The BC Concept

The Boston College approach to the study of higher education and the preparation of professionals in the field includes three basic elements. The first is an understanding of the important issues relating to post-secondary institutions — including insights from history, sociology, philosophy, psychology, economics, and political science. The second is exposure to the theoretical and empirical knowledge base of administration, and the managerial and policy-making issues facing higher education. The third focus is on an applied administrative experience that will expose professionals to a range of practical issues in higher education — for Master’s students, this is in the form of a supervised field experience and for Doctoral students in the form of research or administrative assistantship experiences. Our commitment is to link analysis with action, to combine understanding with the techniques needed to solve the complex problems of higher education. Underlying the curriculum is a concern for values — for understanding the basic nature of the academic enterprise and applying social and moral values to the management of higher education and ethical decision making.

A hallmark of the BC Higher Education Program is a commitment to meeting the individual needs of students. In the context of a rigorous selection of courses, students are encouraged to pursue their own specific interests in higher education. The faculty make every effort to design a set of individualized academic experiences that satisfies the intellectual concerns of students and provides the appropriate training needed for specific careers in higher education.
The BC Environment

The Higher Education Program benefits considerably from its location in one of the richest post-secondary environments in the world — the Boston area. Boston College itself offers an excellent site to study higher education. The O’Neill Library has an excellent collection of books and journals in higher education, resulting from three decades of focus in the field. The university offers strong supporting faculty in education, management, and the social sciences, and a strong tradition of collaborative scholarship. Close relations with other academic institutions in the area mean extensive opportunities for field experience placements and research around the metropolitan area. Boston College’s Jesuit identity also offers an underlying concern with social justice issues that is unique among higher education programs, and of course the program benefits from the Jesuit tradition of rigorous intellectual discourse.

For more information about the PhD program at Boston College in Higher Education, click here.

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