A Matter Of Degrees

An Examination Of Higher Education In The Granite State

This special series presented by NHPR takes a look at the uncertain future of New Hampshire's colleges, and how they are working to stay relevant, competitive, and worth the cost.

Series stories and topics will air on Morning Edition, All Things ConsideredThe Exchange and Word of Mouth, and you can find all of the content and special web-only features right here.


Series made possible with support from EDvestinU & The Derryfield School.

As we start this week's look at higher education in New Hampshire, we thought we would start with a look at how the landscape of higher education is changing – in effect, what’s prompting institutions to change.

Unusual College Courses: The Science Of Superheroes

May 5, 2014
[cipher] via flickr Creative Commons

Professor Michael Dennin from the University of California in Irvine, discusses his course "Science of Superheroes', which recently changed its title to "Science Fact, Science Fiction" to avoid disappointing superhero fans. Michael spoke with producer Taylor Quimby about superhero science: from Spiderman's webs to the mystery of The Hulk's instantaneous mass increase.

srgpicker via flickr Creative Commons

Craig Owens is an associate professor of English at Drake University, and, by his own admission, he is much more academic than athletic. This didn't stop him from merging the two worlds into a program he co-created and called "Coaching in the Classroom." Having acted as an honorary coach for the university's varsity women's basketball team, Craig was inspired to bring sports into the classroom. He spoke with producer Taylor Quimby about "Coaching in the Classroom."

Via UNH Wildcats website

How much is a sports program worth to a college or university? I spoke with Michael McCann, Director of the UNH Law Sport and Entertainment Law Institute, about why the answer is different for New Hampshire than in other parts of the country.

Why is the value of a college sports program different in New Hampshire?

Fast Company / Flickr/CC

We kick off A Matter of Degrees, a week-long series on higher education, with what's behind the rising costs of college. Critics blame sports programs, fancy cafeterias, and highly paid professors, but officials say you need to make college attractive, and what students pay now will be returned exponentially in the future. (digital post by Faith Meixell)


Southern New Hampshire University is launching a new bachelor’s degree program that will cost students $10,000 in total.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Research at big universities is expensive, and the price tag is rising. At the same time securing money for research is getting harder as more and more academics are competing for research grants that are less and less generous. This raises a question: are universities that do research more likely to raise tuition.

The Education Doc via Flickr CC

All this week, NHPR's reporters and programs presented A Matter of Degrees. This special series examined the uncertain future of New Hampshire's colleges, and how they are trying to stay relevant, competitive, and worth the cost.

Here’s today’s question for you:

With all you’ve heard about rising tuition, high student debt, and the push for colleges to innovate, would you choose to go to school in New Hampshire?