Economics and finance of higher education, state higher education policy, labor market outcomes of graduate students, and quantitative research methods

Dr. Titus is an associate professor of higher education and the coordinator of the Higher Education concentration within the Higher Education Student Affairs and International Education (HESI) program at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the University of Maryland in 2007, Dr. Titus was at North Carolina State University, where he taught and did research in the Adult and Higher Education program. Before then, he worked for the University System of Maryland Office as a policy analyst and policy analyst for 13 years. He also worked as an institutional research analyst, labor economist, and economics lecturer.

Using rigorous quantitative methods, Dr. Titus strives to produce policy-relevant research around issues of higher education finance, state higher education policy, and institutional production, costs, and prices (i.e., tuition and fees).  Dr. Titus addresses complex questions of national importance such as: how do state higher policies affect degree production; how efficient are higher education institutions; and what statistical techniques are the most appropriate to conduct higher education policy analysis.  Because of the complexity of questions, he utilizes large national as well as customized datasets and employs a variety of statistical techniques such as stochastic frontier analysis, multilevel modeling, dynamic panel modeling, spatial analysis, instrumental variable probit, and heterogeneous coefficient regression.

In addition to teaching semester-length courses, Dr. Titus has also conducted short workshops on quantitative research techniques at UCLA and guest lectured at the University of Georgia, Stanford University, and the University of California – Riverside.

Almost all of Dr. Titus' scholarly work has been published in top-tier prestigious journals in the field of higher education such as Studies in Higher Education, The Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and The Review of Higher Education.  He has published a book (Higher Education Policy Analysis Using Quantitative Techniques: Data, Methods, and Presentation) and book chapters such as: Understanding the Relationship Between Working While in College and Future Salaries and Examining Production Efficiency in Higher Education: The Utility of Stochastic Frontier Analysis.  His work has also been mentioned in The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.

Dr. Titus is an associate editor of Research and Research in Higher Education.  He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Education Finance.  Dr. Titus also served on the editorial boards of The Review of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, The Journal of Higher Education, Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning, and the Journal of College Student Development. He has been invited to review manuscripts for Research in Higher Education, The Journal of Higher Education, The Review of Higher Education, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, the Journal of Education Finance, Empirical Economics, Mathematics, the Journal of the Operational Research Society, and other journals.  Dr. Titus served as a member of the National Advisory Board of the ASHE Higher Education Report Series.  

Dr. Titus’ scholarly work and expertise have also been recognized at the national level, as evidenced by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics seeking his advice as an expert in the area of higher education dataset design and development. These national datasets include the Educational Longitudinal Study (ELS), Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) Survey, National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) Survey, and Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B) Longitudinal Study. Dr. Titus' research on baccalaureate degree production and state support for higher education has been cited in testimony before the U.S. Congress. He served on the Financial Aid Working Group of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), which produced a State Plan for Postsecondary Education. 

To conduct his research utilizing national and customized state and institution-level datasets, Dr. Titus uses several statistical software packages such as Stata, Limdep, and HLM.

Dr. Titus earned a bachelor of arts in economics and history from York College of the City University of New York, a master's of arts in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a PhD in higher education policy, planning, and administration from the University of Maryland.  

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) Institute Fellow


Fellow, Higher Education Finance Roundtable at the Institute for Higher Education Governance and Law

National Center for Public Policy in Higher Education Associate




Titus, M. (2021). Higher Education Policy Analysis Using Quantitative Techniques: Data, Methods, and Presentation. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.  

Book Chapters

Titus, M.A. (2023). An analysis of state economic performance and state support for public higher education. In J. A. Delaney (Ed.), Volatility in state spending for higher education. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association Publications. 

Titus, M.A., Gray, S., & Lue, K. (2022). Bachelor’s Degree Production and State Higher Education Finance Policy in the Pre- and Post-Recessionary Period. In C. Roellke & J. King Rice (Eds.) Fiscal Policy and Practice in American Higher Education. Information Age Publishing Inc. 

Titus, M. A., & Eagan, K. (2016). Examining Production Efficiency in Higher Education: The Utility of Stochastic Frontier Analysis. In Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (pp. 441-512). New York: Springer International Publishing. [link to abstract]

Titus, M.A. (2010). Understanding the Relationship Between Working While in College and Future Salaries. In L. W. Perna (Ed.), Understanding the Working College Student: New Research and Its Implications for Policy and Practice. Stylus Publishing.

Titus, M. A. (2004). National Center for Education Statistics: Supplemental Table Update, January 2002. In T. Shohov (Ed.), Federal Student Loans. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. (pp. 129-161).

Edited Journals

*Rios-Aguilar, C., & Titus, M. A. (2018). Special Issue: Spatial Thinking and Analysis in Higher Education Research, New Directions for Institutional Research, 2018(108).

Articles in Refereed Journals (* indicates refereed manuscript, +indicates invited manuscript)

*McClure, K. R., Vamosiu, A. C., Titus, M. A., & Gray, S. M. (2023). Privatization and Cost Inefficiency at U.S. Public Research Universities. Studies in Higher Education. [link to abstract]

*McClure, K. R., Vamosiu, A. C., Titus, M. A., & Gray, S. M. (2023). New public management in U.S. higher education: Is privatization associated with lower costs? Public Management Review, 0(0), 1–26. [link to abstract]

*Vamosui, A., Sandy, J., & Titus, M.A. (2022). Neighbor-Effects and Economies of Scale and Scope at Public Community Colleges.  Higher Education Policy. [link to abstract]

*Titus, M.A., Vamosui, A., Hayes Buenaflor, S., & Maliszewski Lukszo, C., (2021) Persistent Cost Efficiency at Public Community Colleges in the US: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis, Research in Higher Education. [link to full-text view-only version

*Titus, M. A. (2019). Examining degree production and financial context at public master’s colleges and universities in the United States: A distance function approach. Tertiary Education and Management, 1–17. [link to abstract]

*Rios-Aguilar, C., & Titus, M. A. (2018). Spatial research in higher education: Expanding understanding and identifying inequities. In C. Rios-Aguilar & M. A. Titus (Eds.), Spatial Thinking and Analysis in Higher Education Research New Directions for Institutional Research (Vol. 2018, pp. 5–10).

*McClure, K.R. & Titus, M. A. (2018). Spending up the ranks? The relationship between striving for prestige and administrative expenditures at U.S. public research universities. The Journal of Higher Education. 89(6), 961-987. [link to abstract]

*Vamosiu, A., McClure, K., & Titus, M. A. (2018). Economies of scale and scope at public master’s institutions: Evidence accounting for spatial interdependency. Education Economics, 26(5), 1–18. [link to abstract]

*Titus, M. A., Vamosiu, A. & McClure, K. R. (2017). Are public master’s institutions cost efficient? A stochastic frontier and spatial analysis. Research in Higher Education, 58(5), 469-496. [link to abstract]

*Titus, M. A., Vamosiu, A. & Gupta, A.. (2015). "Conditional convergence of nonresident tuition rates at public research universities: a panel data analysis." Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education Research, 70(6), 923-940. [link to abstract]

*Titus. M. A. & Pusser, B. (2012). States potential enrollment of adult students: A stochastic frontier analysis. Research in Higher Education. 52(6), 555-571. [link to abstract]

+Titus, M. A. (2009-2010). Bachelor's degree productivity x-inefficiency: The role of state higher education policy. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice, 11(1), 7-32. [link to abstract]

*Titus, M. A. (2009). The production of bachelor's degrees and financial aspects of state higher education policy: A dynamic analysis. The Journal of Higher Education. 80(4), 439-468. [link to summary]

*Titus, M. A. (2007). Detecting selection bias, using propensity score matching, and estimating treatment effects: An application to the private returns to a master's degree, Research in Higher Education, 48(4), 487-521. [link to full-text view-only version]

*Titus, M. A. (2006). Understanding college degree completion of students with low socioeconomic status: The influence of institutional financial context. Research in Higher Education, 47(4), 371 - 398[link to full-text view-only version]

*Titus, M. A. (2006). Understanding the influence of the financial context of institutions on student persistence at four-year colleges and universities, The Journal of Higher Education, 77(2), 353-375[link to abstract]

*Titus, M. A. (2006). No college student left behind: The influence of financial aspects of a state's higher education policy on college completion, The Review of Higher Education, 29(3), 293-317. [link to abstract]

*Perna, L.W. & Titus, M. A. (2005). The relationship between parental involvement as social capital and college enrollment: An examination of racial/ethnic group differences. Journal of Higher Education, 76(5), 485-518. [link to abstract]

*Perna, L.W. & Titus, M. A. (2004). Understanding differences in the choice of college attended: The role of state public policies. Review of Higher Education, 27(4), 501-525. [link to abstract]

*Titus, M. A. (2004). Examining the influence of institutional context on persistence at four-year colleges and universities: A multilevel approach. Research in Higher Education, 45(7), 673 - 699. [link to full-text view-only version]

Working Papers

Titus, M. A., Simone, S., & Gupta, A. (2010). Investigating state appropriations and net tuition revenue for public higher education: A vector error correction modeling approach. Institute For Higher Education Law and Governance Institute Monograph Series. 

Titus, M. A., (2010, November). Exploring Heterogeneity in Salary Outcomes Among Master's Degree Recipients: A Difference-in-Differences Matching Approach. Available at SSRN [link to abstract]


Co-PI, Spencer Foundation grant award of $999,024 funding the project, "Disparities in Investment in Children and Youth in the United States"

Current Projects

spatial dimensions of direct and indirect effects of institutional funding of R&D on innovation at the state level  

marginal treatment effects of master's degrees by area of study on salary outcomes 

Dr. Titus teaches the following regular courses in the Higher Education concentration:

State Systems of Higher Education (EDHI 752);  Higher Education Finance (EDHI 754);  Federal Policies in Post-secondary Education (EDHI 755);  First Year Doctoral Seminar (EDCP 870); and Research Critique Seminar (EDHI 895). 

He also teaches special topics courses (EDHI 788): Institutional Research and Planning in Higher Education; and State-Level Higher Education Research.