Doctoral Programs

Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies

The School of Education at Colorado State University offers a single Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education and Human Resource Studies. Within this Ph.D. degree program, however, we offer four different specializations - each geared to an area of theoretical and career interest for its graduate students. All students admitted into this Ph.D. degree program, regardless of the specialization they choose, take a common core of research courses, a unique core of specialization courses, complete a common comprehensive qualifying examination, and conduct original research in their chosen specialization, guided by an advisor and a committee of content area and research methodological faculty. Each of these four specializations is described briefly below, and have links to more detailed information about them.

Education Sciences

The Education Sciences specialization is designed to train researchers and scholars to address critical issues in education. This specialization has a strong research methods core, an education sciences content core, and a focused apprenticeship in a field aligned with the expertise of (a) faculty mentor(s). In addition to coursework, students will be expected to engage in education research, attend and present at professional conferences, and submit manuscripts for publication. At the time of application, prospective Education Sciences Ph.D. students must specify their research interests and a potential faculty advisor (with whom their interests are aligned) to serve as a mentor. For more information, please visit the Education Sciences web page. for more details.

Higher Education Leadership

The Higher Education Leadership (HEL) specialization, with an option in College and University Leadership is designed to provide a Ph.D. program that is specifically focused on leadership within colleges and universities.  It is offered exclusively through a distance delivery format. If an advanced degree offered through this medium is what you are looking for, please visit the Higher Education Leadership web page for more details.

Organizational Learning, Performance and Change

The Organizational Learning, Performance and Change (OLPC) Ph. D. specialization is designed for individuals intending to occupy scholarship, research, planning and/or implementation roles associated with strategic human capital development processes, which advance and sustain organizations, industries, and economies engaging in the global imperative.  If an advanced degree focusing on these professional roles and responsibilities seems right for you, we encourage you to explore our Ph. D. specialization on our Organizational Learning, Performance and Change web page for more details.

School Leadership

The School Leadership Ph.D. program is designed for practitioners who are interested in leadership positions in the PK-12 school system.  These positions might include anything from being a Principal, Curriculum Specialist, Policy Maker, University Professor/Teacher Educator, or well-prepared classroom teacher.  The instructors in the program are experts in the PK-22 environment and are committed to providing the very best preparatory educational experience possible for the continued improvement of the American Public School system.  For more information, please visit the School Leadership web page. 

WICHE Designation

The Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) has designated the School of Education's Ph. D. degree to be a Regional Graduate Program. This designation permits citizens of other western states to pay resident tuition rates under certain conditions.


There is a ten-year time limit for completion of the master's or doctoral degrees. Courses to be applied toward fulfilling the requirements for the master's and doctoral degrees, including any which may have been transferred from another institution, must have been registered for and completed within the ten years immediately preceding the date of competition of requirements for the degrees.