PHOENIX, October 16, 2007 — University of Phoenix has received approval from the Higher Learning Commission to offer its first doctor of philosophy degrees through the School of Advanced Studies. The expansion of degree programs is a substantial milestone, as a Ph.D. has become a requirement for a career as a university professor or researcher in many fields. The School of Advanced Studies will now be able to proffer Ph.D. degrees in both Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Higher Education Administration.

"With the addition of two new Ph.D. programs, we have significantly expanded our ability to serve a new constituency of students and provide them with an array of educational and professional opportunities," said William Pepicello, Ph.D., the University's president.

The School of Advanced Studies' highest priority is preparing its graduates to step into leadership roles and make meaningful contributions to the growth and development of their communities. The program's innovative scholar-practitioner-leader model enables students to integrate course content into their personal and professional lives and gives them a foundation for making data-driven decisions.

University of Phoenix's doctoral graduates already have demonstrated their success as scholars-practitioners-leaders by producing two of the top 10 best-selling dissertations in 2006, according to the ProQuest database. In 2005, it was a University of Phoenix alumna who topped the best-selling list, with dissertations from four additional graduates included in the top 10.

"We have seen tremendous success in our current doctoral degree options, due in large part to the caliber of faculty combined with our meticulously developed curriculum and program structure," said Dawn Iwamoto, Ed.D., dean of the School of Advanced Studies, "We are delighted to expand Ph.D. degrees to students throughout the world."

University of Phoenix launched its first doctoral program in 1998. Subsequently, its School of Advanced Studies was established in 2002 and has been conferring doctoral degrees in four disciplines: business, education, health care and management. Since its inception five years ago with 100 enrolled students, University of Phoenix's School of Advanced Studies has served more than 4,000 students.

About the Higher Learning Commission

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation and one of two Commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits, and thereby grants membership in the Commission and in the North Central Association, to degree-granting educational institutions in the North Central region.


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As of August 31, 2008, 362,100 students were enrolled at University of Phoenix, the largest private university in North America. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world.


Christie Lowey
(602) 417-0672