Center for the Study of Higher Education
Professor Regina J. Deil-Amen
Director, Center for the Study of Higher Education

Established in 1977, the Center for the Study of Higher Education offers flexible, interdisciplinary, and individualized master of arts and doctor of philosophy degree programs with concentrations in comparative higher education, organization and administration, college access, and student affairs.

We are distinguished by:

  • A commitment not just to improving practice, but also to educational changes that enhance the realization of social justice in higher education.
  • A consideration of how developments in the political economy shape and are expressed in the restructuring of higher education settings, professions, and practices.
  • An exploration of the international/global dimensions, issues, and agencies related to higher education, with particular attention devoted to the Americas.

These distinctive characteristics go beyond individual faculty; they reflect a collective synergy and orientation of our faculty to scholarship and practice.

Diverse, supportive, challenging intellectual community

Each year, we admit about 10 Ph.D. students and 15-20 M.A. students. The life experience and perspectives of approximately 90-100 students enrolled here flavor our program. A high proportion of our students are accomplished professionals, and we value the practical experience and organizational skills they bring.

Ours is a diverse, supportive, challenging intellectual community. More than half of our students are women, more than 20 percent are students of color, and more than10 percent are international students. Many are first-generation students. This diversity enriches our community and work.

In recognition of its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, the Center for the Study of Higher Education was honored with the Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Award in 2010.

Faculty foster a culture of research

We are supportive of each other's work and that of our students. Most of our students work, yet are fully engaged intellectually in a program that emphasizes a culture of research and reflective practice. Our aim is to bring theories and findings from the academic literature to bear on professional practice in ways that enhance students' abilities to understand, analyze, and act within postsecondary organizations and systems. We seek students who are deeply committed to the advancement and improvement of higher education as students, practitioners, scholars, and activists.

Most of our students advance into positions in various support professions and administration, but some also pursue faculty positions. Although most obtain positions on college and university campuses, we have also placed students in systemwide administration, policy agencies such as WICHE, and in private enterprise.

An important contributor to our intellectual community is the Higher Education Student Organization (HESO). It sponsors formal and informal annual functions and activities that are academic, professional, and social in nature and that address student needs as well as bring students and faculty together for supportive exchange.

Get to know us on a more personal level!

Our core faculty

Our affiliate faculty

Judy Marquez Kiyama

Welcome! Professor Judy Marquez Kiyama joined our Center for the Study of Higher Education and also serves as the university’s associate vice provost for faculty development, increasing institutional capacity among faculty to excel in our Hispanic Serving Institution designation. Kiyama is a nationally renowned scholar and was featured in this story out of the University of Denver.