PHD in Higher Education | Education and Human Services | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Educational Administration and Higher Education

SIU Campus

Ph.D. in Education

In the School of Education, the Doctor of Philosophy degree is a cross-departmental degree offered in five departments. Educational Administration and Higher Education participates in the Ph.D. in Education program with a concentration in educational administration. The program provides advanced level preparation related to administrative practices and policies in P-20 educational settings. Students focus their studies in either pre-K-12 administration or higher education. In addition to learning to do independent, high quality research, the core of the program includes study of policy and politics in educational systems, leadership and change in educational organizations, program development and evaluation, ethics and social justice, and education and culture.

Review the Ph.D. Policies and Procedures information.

Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination are used to fulfill two broad purposes:

  • Students must also complete a preliminary exam prior to the admission into Ph. D. candidacy.
  • To determine the breadth and depth of a student’s scholarship; and
  • To demonstrate command of the knowledge base in the chosen discipline.

The preliminary exam offers the doctoral student an opportunity to demonstrate that s/he has become an independent and original thinker in the discipline as a consequence of the study and research engaged in during formal graduate coursework. The preliminary examination in EAHE consists of three questions negotiated by the student and their advisor in each of the following broad areas: theory, research, and specialty area. The questions negotiated for each of these three areas of the preliminary exam are meant to be overarching and integrative, and designed to test the student’s understanding of concepts, theories, and methodologies relevant to his or her program of study. The examination will be administered on the fifth week of each semester. Students must apply to take the preliminary exam.


Please refer to the Graduate School forms page for all forms not available below.

  • Preliminary Procedures
  • Preliminary Application
  • Student Doctoral Committee Form (three copies): Use this form to identify who will serve on your doctoral committee. Be sure to indicate whether the person can 'direct' dissertation or whether they are 'regular' graduate faculty. Those who are adjunct will need a letter from your chair to the departmental graduate director requesting such permission. In addition, this person's vitae needs to accompany the request.
  • Admission to Candidacy Form (four copies): This form is completed after the student has successfully passed all sections of their preliminary examination. After completion, give this form to the Departmental Graduate Director.
  • Prospectus Approval Form (two copies on blue): This form is filled out by the student and/or chair prior to prospectus. Committee members sign the form if the student has had a successful prospectus. Turn signed copies to the Departmental Graduate Director, who will then forward it to the appropriate channels. Make sure that the copies are on blue.
  • Ph.D. Oral Defense (two copies on white bond): Student will complete this form prior to the defense. Please provide these completed forms to your chair prior to your defense. Note, you may want to have additional copies.
  • Dissertation Approval Form (four copies): This form should be prepared ahead of the defense and be given to the chair of the committee at the beginning of the defense. This will be placed in the front of the thesis after the final changes have been made. The chair of the committee keeps these forms until the final changes are made.
  • Students who plan to graduate in a particular semester are required to complete this form and turn it into the graduate school. Note: if graduation does NOT occur in that semester, the application will roll-over to the next semester until graduation requirements have been met.