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PhD in Higher Ed Administration...my area of interest not well represented


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I have an opportunity to study at the university for which I currently work, which means my PhD would essentially be free and I would not have to relocate my entire family and slip back into poverty in the mean time. I am interested in international higher education (study abroad, IEPs, recruitment, international programs, etc.). The program does not have a lot of courses in international higher ed or much international experience, which is the main weakness. I can, however, take cognate courses that do offer some of the subject matter, but they are not that plentiful. How much of that can be made up for in my own study and dissertation work, as well as other opportunities (such as Fulbright, seminars abroad, etc.)? Should I be considering a different school or a different specialization within higher ed admin (there is one more area I am interested in)?

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Hi!  I can relate...I just finished up my master's in Higher Ed and my main interest is in study abroad.  In terms of coursework, I took two courses focused on globalization and international higher ed policy, but even those weren't exactly my interest.  I was one of two people in my cohort interested in study abroad, and it definitely was not well represented in my cohort or in the curriculum.  To be honest, it was pretty discouraging and lonely to always have to tailor my papers to study abroad on my own vs. being in a program that spoke about study abroad.  However, I do think getting a PhD for free is hard to pass up!  I think just be prepared to be the only one/one of few who have have an interest in study abroad.  Fulbright is also hard to get so I wouldn't necessarily count on that.  I'm certainly no expert but that's my two cents :)

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