The world of higher education is changing dramatically.

Best Online Masters in Higher Education

With increasing numbers of students enrolling in degree programs over the next decade, the field of higher education is becoming both more complex and competitive.

Higher education offers countless opportunities for professionals with strong leadership skills and expertise. There are so many roles to fill – from the many administrative and management jobs to the plethora of careers in student services.

A master’s degree in Higher Education will give you the training you need for any higher education career you want to land in.

What kind of Higher Education degree should you get?

Do you want to work in administration? Career services? Enrollment management? The answers to those questions should in large part determine the program you enroll in. There are lots of options out there, with emphases in a variety of areas. And there are also more broadly-based programs that will prepare you for many different jobs in higher ed.

Online education is also a great option if you want to continue working while you study. All the programs on this ranking offer courses online, so you’ll be able to balance your work and personal commitments with your studies. These are accredited, rigorous programs which will be highly respected by employers.

If you’d like to learn more about online education, check out the College Choice ranking of the Best Online Colleges.

How much money do people make with a Higher Education degree?

There are so many different positions in higher education – with a wide range of salaries. Your take-home pay will be determined by a range of factors like geography, work experience, and – of course – the institution you work for.

But there is high demand for professionals with the skills to support, manage, and lead the many operations associated with colleges and universities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for post-secondary educational administrators will grow by 10 percent by the year 2026. And the median pay for postsecondary education administrators is currently reported as $92,360 annually.

What can you do with a degree in Higher Education?

With a Master’s in Higher Education, you’ll be ready to take on wide range of entry-level and middle-management positions in higher education. Broadly speaking, careers tend to lie in either administration or student affairs.

Administration can include managing finances, fundraising, or human resources – among many, many other possibilities. A career in student affairs puts you in direct contact with students through jobs like career or academic advisement, admissions, and enrollment.

With a Master’s in Higher Education, the sky’s the limit – up to the very top leadership positions. Common job titles include:

  • Financial Aid Counselor
  • Development and Fundraising Officer
  • Alumni Relations Coordinator
  • Academic Records Specialist
  • Assistant Director of Marketing and Communication
  • Assistant Dean of Admissions

What are the requirements for a degree in Higher Education?

All the degree programs on our ranking are designed for adults who have graduated with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Apart from that basic standard, each program has its own specific admission requirements.

Most programs are designed for both recent (or current) undergraduates and professional adults with experience in a two- or four-year college or university. Most admissions committees also ask for a statement of your professional goals and objectives, to make sure that the program is right for you.

And of course, you’ll need to submit all your undergraduate transcripts and possibly GRE scores.

What are the best Higher Education degrees?

At College Choice, our goal is to help you locate a program that will deliver both academic excellence and a high return on investment.

To accomplish that, our team of researchers takes into account a variety of factors – like national reputation scores, tuition rates, early career earnings of graduates, and wherever possible, student satisfaction surveys. We use all that data to calculate our College Choice score and then lay it all out for you in an easy-to-read manner.

And all the schools on our ranking are regionally accredited, so you don’t have to worry about any fly-by-night institutions making their way onto our rankings.

1

Georgetown University

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $26,625

School Website

Overview

Located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, Georgetown University is a historic, private, Catholic research university. The school, which U.S. News and World Report ranks among the top 20 national universities in the country, is comprised of nine undergraduate and graduate schools. Georgetown’s School of Continuing Education provides hands-on education that goes well beyond the classroom.

Program Features

Georgetown’s School of Continuing Education offers an online Master of Professional Studies in Higher Education Administration. This practical, applied degree program is designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge to take on increasing responsibility in the field of higher education.The curriculum provides both a broad view of the UShigher education landscape, and the skills to effect change. Courses include:

  • Ethics
  • American Higher Education
  • Organization and Administration in Higher Education

Notables

Georgetown’s MPS in Higher Education Administration is a 33-credit program comprised of six required courses (including a capstone project) and five elective courses. The program is available online (as well as on campus) and you’ll be able to set the pace of your studies, taking from two to five years to complete the program. Georgetown’s program offers a high degree of flexibility, including two possible focus areas in Administration and Student Affairs.

2

Boston University

College Choice Score: 95.77

Average Net Price: $31,539

School Website

Overview

Situated along the Charles River in Boston’s Fenway-Kenmore and Allston neighborhood, Boston University is one of the largest private research universities in the country. The university’s combination of excellence in teaching and research consistently places them at the top of national rankings. BU’s School of Education currently sits at #34 nationally, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Program Features

BU’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development offers an online MEd in Education Leadership & Policy Studies with a concentration in Higher Education Administration. If you’re looking for a program with a social justice lens, BU’s program is a great choice. The program develops culturally competent leaders by reflecting on the contemporary higher education landscape. You’ll engage in theory-to-practice learning in areas that include student life, financial aid, admissions, career advisement, and more. Courses include:

  • Perspectives on Higher Education
  • Contemporary Issues in Higher Education Administration
  • Strategic Planning and Administration

Notables

BU’s MEd: Higher Education Administration concentration is a 36-credit program comprised of nine required, four-credit courses. Courses are delivered in accelerated, 7-week terms so students move quickly through their degree requirements. And the program is set up to be manageable for working students, with asynchronous classes, flexible live sessions, and three start-dates throughout the year – so you can begin when you’re ready.

3

Northeastern University

College Choice Score: 94.36

Average Net Price: $29,998

School Website

Overview

A private research university located in Boston, MA, Northeastern University first opened its doors in 1898. The school ranks among America’s top 50 national universities, according to U.S. News and World Report. And Northeastern’s distinctive graduate education programs prepare educators for leadership with courses that bring to bear more than a decade of experiential learning expertise.

Program Features

Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies offers an online MEd in Higher Education Administration. Students gain a 360-degree understanding of the structure, governance, and operation of higher education organization in the U.S. This is a great program if you really want to put your knowledge to the test – Northeastern employs an experiential learning model that encourages students to apply theoretical knowledge and examine the results. Courses include:

  • Education as an Advanced Field of Study
  • Culture, Equity, Power, and Influence
  • The Landscape of Higher Education

Notables

Northeastern’s MEd in Higher Education Administration is a 45-quarter-credit program comprised of five required courses, five electives, and a capstone course. One unique feature of Northeastern’s program is the possibility to take part in up to two international field study experiences. These require on-site instruction in the region of study combined with a professional research project or presentation.

4

Stony Brook University - SUNY

College Choice Score: 93.34

Average Net Price: $13,615

School Website

Overview

Located on the North Shore of Long Island, NY, Stony Brook University is a public research university in the State University of New York system and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. Stony Brook is known for its outstanding graduate programs in a number of fields, and their online programs have also earned national acclaim.

Program Features

Stony Brook University’s School of Professional Development offers an online MA in Higher Education Administration that will provide the academic preparation to become a leader in the field. As a student, you’ll experience a curriculum that aligns ACPA and NASPA professional competencies. And courses combine aspects of theory and practice within the changing landscape of American higher education, including:

  • Foundations of Higher Education Administration
  • Survey of College Student Development Theory
  • Leadership in Higher Education

Notables

Stony Brook University’s online MA in Higher Education Administration is a 36-credit program comprised of six core courses and six electives. You’ll have the opportunity to take part in a practicum (as well as an advanced practicum) in higher education, which will give you professional experience prior to graduation. And with a very competitive tuition rate, Stony Brook’s program offers a high level of return on investment for your tuition dollar.

5

University of Rochester

College Choice Score: 92.18

Average Net Price: $34,170

School Website

Overview

Rochester University is a private research university that U.S. News and World Report ranks at #34 among national universities. The Warner School of Education takes part in that reputation, with programs uniquely designed for practitioners or researchers who participate in groundbreaking studies and grant-funded projects in a variety of areas.

Program Features

The University of Rochester’s Warner School offers a Master of Science in Educational Administration. Designed for students beginning or advancing a career in higher education, the program provides a foundation in institutional culture as well as the purposes and ideals of higher education. You’ll gain the skills – and develop the creativity – to inspire and lead students and institutions to a higher level of thinking and thoughtful change. There are three options for specialization:

  • Higher Education Administration
  • Student Affairs Administration
  • Student Affairs Administration and Career Advising

Notables

The University of Rochester’s online MS in Educational Administration is a remarkably customizable 36-credit program with a mix of core/specialization courses and electives. You’ll take part in a supervised internship and culminating experience to develop and demonstrate your skills. And you’ll also be able to complete an Advanced Certificate in Program Evaluation or Online Teaching. If you’re looking for a program with a lot of options, this one is definitely worth checking out.

6

Mississippi College

College Choice Score: 88.74

Average Net Price: $16,804

School Website

Overview

Located in Clinton, MS, Mississippi College is a private, Christian university and one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the state. Affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention, MC ranks at #32 among regional universities in the South, according to U.S. News and World Report. And its online programs make MC’s programs accessible to students nationwide.

Program Features

Mississippi College offers an online Master of Higher Education Administration for those beginning or continuing a career in the field of higher education. MC’s program provides a strong grounding in general administrative theory and practice as they pertain to the higher education landscape. Courses are highly interactive, and students have opportunities to put theory to practice in hands-on assignments. Courses include:

  • Basic Understandings in Higher Education Administration
  • Law and Higher Education
  • Finance in Higher Education

Notables

Mississippi College’s online Master of Higher Education Administration is a 27-credit program comprised of seven required courses and two practicum experiences. Online courses at MC are designed with the busy schedule of working adults in mind. If you’re looking for a hands-on higher education administration program with a Christian focus, this may be a good fit for you – and the school’s affordable tuition makes it a highly competitive degree.

7

Hofstra University

College Choice Score: 88.34

Average Net Price: $32,169

School Website

Overview

Located in the village of Hampstead on New York’s Long Island, Hofstra University is a highly-ranked, private research university. Hofstra’s 11,000 students can choose from 160 undergraduate and 165 graduate programs of study, including several programs offered entirely online. The school’s online graduate education programs rank at #76 nationally, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Program Features

Hofstra University’s School of Education offers an online M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies program that prepares students for careers in a variety of aspects of higher education. This interdisciplinary program is for students from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds and provides a comprehensive understanding of leadership issues in a higher education setting. Courses include:

  • Student Affairs Leadership
  • Governance in Higher Education
  • Legal and Ethical Issues

Notables

Hofstra University’s M.S.Ed. in Higher Education is a 36-credit program comprised of nine required courses, two leadership electives and a capstone course. Offered in asynchronous format, the online program employs a cohort model, so you’ll be able to build strong relationships with fellow students as you move through the program together. And if you’re interested in pursuing a doctoral degree, 30 credits of the MEd transfer directly to Hofstra’s 79-credit Ed.D.

8

Georgia Southern University

College Choice Score: 87.49

Average Net Price: $16,121

School Website

Overview

Located in Statesboro, GA, Georgia Southern University is the largest comprehensive university south of Atlanta. The university takes a hands-on, practical approach to learning and employs dedicated faculty that are committed to student success. Georgia Southern’s nationally-ranked College of Education offers online graduate programs that rank among the best in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Program Features

Georgia Southern’s School of Education offers an online MEd in Higher Education that will expose you to the full institutional and social context of the American higher education system. You’ll explore the concepts of administration, law, finance, and human governance as they apply to higher education. And faculty are dedicated to connecting with students, helping them become expert practitioners and scholars. Courses include:

  • American Higher Education
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Higher Education Law

Notables

Georgia Southern’s MEd in Higher Education is a 36-credit program comprised of nine required courses (this includes a practicum experience) and three electives. The coursework provides the foundation of the program, and hands-on experiences make connections between what you learn and how it applies to the real world. You can complete the program on a full- or part-time basis, begin in any semester, and complete your courses either entirely online or in a hybrid format.

9

Drexel University

College Choice Score: 87.47

Average Net Price: $39,021

School Website

Overview

Located in Philadelphia, PA, Drexel University is a highly innovative, private technological university. The school has pioneered technology-enhanced education, and its cooperative education program guarantees that students graduate with extensive work experience. Drexel is a leader in online learning, with several programs – including graduate education – ranking among the best in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Program Features

Drexel’s School of Education offers a Master of Science in Higher Education which features a strong academic program in a convenient online format. The experiential curriculum will give you a deep understanding of the world of higher education. And you’ll be equipped with practical skills using the latest learning technologies and strategies, research, software applications, and management systems. You can also enroll in one of seven optional secondary concentrations, including:

  • Community College Administration and Leadership
  • Educational Policy
  • Enrollment Management
  • Global and International Education

Notables

Drexel’s MS in Higher Education is a 45-quarter-credit program comprised of 13 courses, a capstone project, and a Higher Education co-op experience. For those looking for a highly practical program that will give you useful skills to help you accelerate your career progress, Drexel’s program is worth serious consideration. Rooted in practice, Drexel’s program aims to train leaders that will change the field of higher education for the better.

10

Michigan State University

College Choice Score: 87.46

Average Net Price: $14,970

School Website

Overview

Situated in East Lansing, MI, Michigan State University is a large public research university that ranks among the top 100 national universities in the country. MSU’s graduate programs have a reputation for being some of the best in the nation – and U.S. News and World Report has ranked the College of Education #1 in the nation for higher education administration.

Program Features

MSU’s College of Education offers a Master of Arts in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education that promotes professional development for those working in a variety of higher education settings. The curriculum covers areas such as higher education policy, curricular development, and budget and finance. And you’ll also learn how to serve students in contexts beyond the higher education sector. Courses include:

  • Inquiry in Postsecondary Education
  • Leadership and Organization Development
  • Administration in Higher Education

Notables

MSU’s MA in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education is a 30-credit program comprised of two core courses, eight electives, and a final project connecting theory to practice. This program features a remarkably high level of course flexibility, so you can customize the program to your own interests and career goals. And with MSU’s eminently reasonable tuition, you’ll gain a top-ranked education without breaking your bank.

11

University of Houston

College Choice Score: 87.38

Average Net Price: $15,571

School Website

Overview

The University of Houston is a major public research university and the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. The school is situated on a sprawling campus in southeast Houston, and offers many nationally ranked programs through its 14 academic colleges. Currently, UH’s College of Education is home to one of the top five online graduate education programs in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Program Features

The University of Houston’s College of Education offers an online MEd in Higher Education that prepares students to work in student affairs and administrative areas in postsecondary institutions. Designed to help close the leadership gap in higher education, UH’s program equips students to thrive in the diverse, fast-paced, and often uncertain context of colleges and universities. Courses include:

  • Leadership and Change
  • Critical Issues in Higher Education
  • American Higher Education

Notables

The University of Houston’s MEd in Higher Education is a 36-credit program that adheres to the recommendations of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education and the Association for the Study of Higher Education. Program tuition is competitive – and you’ll be able to choose an internship that will expose you to new administrative areas in higher education and help clarify your career goals.

12

Penn State World Campus

College Choice Score: 86.38

Average Net Price: $25,055

School Website

Overview

Headquartered in University Park, PA, Penn State World Campus is the online campus of Pennsylvania State University. With a mission to extend the school’s highly regarded programs to nontraditional students, Penn State World Campus is home to an online graduate education program which U.S. News and World Report ranks at #8 nationally.

Program Features

Penn State World Campus offers an online MEd in Higher Education. You’ll learn from full-time faculty, which include practitioners with significant administrative experience. And you’ll gain a foundational understanding of the careers, policies, administration, history, and organization of postsecondary education. Offered collaboratively through Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education and the Department of Education Policy Studies, the program has four emphasis areas:

  • Administration
  • Student Engagement
  • Institutional Research
  • Fundraising Leadership

Notables

Penn State World Campus’ online MEd in Higher Education is a 30-credit program comprised of nine credits each of required coursework, electives, and focus area courses, as well as a capstone. You’ll be able to use your electives to design your own program of study – and you’ll benefit from a Penn State World Campus education, which has a stellar reputation for both academic rigor and flexibility for working students.

13

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

College Choice Score: 86.23

Average Net Price: $16,462

School Website

Overview

Chartered in 1869, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a flagship public research university and the oldest and largest in the University of Nebraska system. Home to a number of firsts, including the first undergraduate psychology laboratory, and the birthplace of ecological study, UNL is a leader in higher education. Their online graduate education program currently ranks at #12 nationally, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Program Features

UNL’s College of Education and Human Sciences offers an online Master of Arts in Educational Administration – Higher Education. This program is designed specifically for those who are already employed at a college or university, and are seeking to advance their careers in administration. You’ll learn from UNL’s dedicated, full-time faculty, UNL administrators, and affiliate faculty who have expertise in administration. Courses include:

  • Administrative Theory
  • Higher Education in America
  • Higher Education Environments

Notables

UNL’s online MA in Education Administration is a 36-credit program that is comprised of nine required courses and three electives. Part-time students can complete the degree in four regular semesters and two summer sessions – or you can take longer if needed. The program starts in the fall or spring semester, and UNL’s online courses are both highly interactive and offered asynchronously so you can work on your own time.

14

Sam Houston State University

College Choice Score: 84.97

Average Net Price: $12,365

School Website

Overview

Located near Houston in the town of Huntsville, TX, Sam Houston State University is a public university and a member of the Texas State University System. The school offers more than 20 highly affordable online bachelor’s and graduate degrees, and U.S. News and World Report ranks its online Graduate Education program among the best in the country.

Program Features

SHSU offers a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration for those entering or continuing a career in higher education administration. The program specializes in a comprehensive, well-rounded understanding of academic and student affairs. And SHSU’s renowned faculty share years of experience in key areas of importance in higher education administration. Graduates will be prepared for administrative roles in a variety of educational settings as well as for doctoral studies. Courses include:

  • History and Organization of Higher Education
  • Contemporary Issues in Higher Education
  • Leadership in Education

Notables

SHSU’s MA in Higher Education Administration is a 30-36 credit program which may be completed with either a thesis or a practicum. You can also opt to pursue the Academic Advising Certificate or the Higher Education Assessment and Institutional Research Certificate as part of your degree program. One of the few online Higher Education master’s programs with a thesis component, this is a great choice for those interested in an academic career.

15

University of Louisville

College Choice Score: 83.14

Average Net Price: $16,249

School Website

Overview

Located on the banks of the Ohio River in Louisville, KY, the University of Louisville is a historic public research university and a member of the Kentucky State University system. The university is committed to extending the accessibility of its high-quality degrees. Several of the U of L’s online programs – including graduate education programs – rank among the best of their kind, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Program Features

The University of Louisville offers an online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration that will help you meet your career goals. The program is designed to help students navigate – and conquer – challenges in higher education. You’ll gain skills in leadership that will propel you to top positions in university settings. The program allows students to customize their degree through four concentrations:

  • Administration
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Policy & Equity
  • Sport Administration

Notables

The University of Louisville’s online MA in Higher Education Administration is a 31-36 credit program comprised of 21 credits of required coursework, and 12+ credits in your chosen specialization. The Sport Administration concentration does include a thesis option. Online courses at the U of L are delivered in eight-week courses and intensive weekend course options, so you’ll be able to earn your degree in two years.

16

Colorado State University

College Choice Score: 81.75

Average Net Price: $29,025

School Website

Overview

Located in Fort Collins, CO, Colorado State University is a large public research university that offers more than 150 degrees through its eight colleges. CSU is a research powerhouse, and students gain hands-on education through field experiences, laboratory research, and internships. CSU is also a leader in online learning, and U.S. News and World Report ranks their online graduate education program among the best in the country.

Program Features

CSU Online offers an online Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education program which teaches expertise in higher education administration, communication, and diversity issues. You’ll learn professional competencies from faculty who are both scholars and practitioners. Courses cover a wide range of topics you’ll need to master for an administrative career on college and university campuses, including:

  • Financial aid
  • Admissions
  • Student activities
  • Advising

Notables

CSU Online’s MS in Student Affairs in Higher Education is a 45-credit program which is comprised of courses introducing you to all facets of the profession – as well as two practicum experiences and a portfolio. Students work with an advisor to find an internship site that best fits their career goals. And courses are offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer, so you can choose how many and which courses fit your work and family schedule. The program takes three to five years to complete.

17

Texas Tech University

College Choice Score: 81.23

Average Net Price: $15,235

School Website

Overview

Located in Lubbock, TX, Texas Tech University is a public research university and the flagship institution of the Texas Tech University system. The university has a deep commitment to attracting and retaining top-notch students and award-winning faculty. Currently, Texas Tech ranks in the top 100 public schools nationally, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Program Features

The College of Education at Texas Tech offers an online MEd in Higher Education for those seeking middle management and leadership positions at US colleges and universities. The program is designed for those working in, or with direct access to, either a public or private higher education institution. You’ll develop skills to become a collaborative, practitioner-based professional with the ability to take on challenges in higher education. Courses include:

  • Higher Education Research Design
  • History of Higher Education
  • Student Services in Higher Education

Notables

Texas Tech’s online MEd in Higher Education is a 36-credit program comprised of 11 required courses and a capstone project – all delivered in an online, cohort-based format. As a student, you’ll also complete a 150-hour internship. The program takes two years to complete, and there is a mandatory, one-day orientation on Texas Tech’s campus Lubbock, TX prior to the start of the first fall semester.

18

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

College Choice Score: 81.09

Average Net Price: $14,747

School Website

Overview

Located near Lake Michigan’s western shore, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a public research university and a member of the University Wisconsin system. Consisting of 14 schools and colleges, including a School of Education that is Wisconsin’s premier school of urban education, UWM prepares students to be leaders in their field.

Program Features

UWM’s School of Education offers an online Master of Science in Adult, Continuing, and Higher Education Administration for those wanting to make substantial social changes in the climate of urban higher education. UWM’s program is equity-focused and offers a clear understanding of how to create inclusive policies, practices and environments. You’ll also learn essential research and leadership skills to put theory to practice. Students choose between two tracks:

  • Adult and Continuing Education
  • Higher Education

Notables

UWM’s online MS in Adult, Continuing, and Higher Education Administration program is a 33-credit program comprised of 15 credits of core courses and 18 credits of electives. UWM’s program offers a remarkable degree of flexibility for students, both through course choice and course delivery. You’ll be able to take courses entirely online, or in a blended online/face-to-face environment. And class sizes are kept small so you’ll be able to connect with other students and faculty.

19

Capella University

College Choice Score: 80.76

Average Net Price: $16,538

School Website

Overview

Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Capella University is a regionally accredited, for-profit, online university. Capella has over 36,000 students enrolled in more than 140 undergraduate and graduate programs. Capella University offers highly-applicable, professionally-aligned programs that lead to career success, with a focus on competency-based education.

Program Features

Capella’s NCATE-accredited School of Education offers a Master of Science in Higher Education that will prepare you to lead in the fields of adult and post-secondary education. You’ll learn leadership and administration skills, as well as learning theory for diverse learners. And you’ll be supported by expert faculty that are there to help you reach your goals. The Higher Education program offers three specializations:

  • Adult Education
  • Higher Education Leadership and Administration
  • Integrative Studies

Notables

Capella’s MS in Higher Education is a 48-quarter-credit program comprised of four core courses and seven courses in your chosen specialization (some specializations also offer concentrations). You’ll be able to choose your online learning format – either the self-paced flexpath, or the more structured and interactive guided path. And you can transfer up to 12 credits into the program, saving you time and money.

20

Appalachian State University

College Choice Score: 80.75

Average Net Price: $13,615

School Website

Overview

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Appalachian State University is a public comprehensive university that U.S. News and World Report ranks among the top ten regional universities in the South. The school was originally founded as a teacher’s college in 1899, and the Reich College of Education continues the tradition of excellence, with innovative instruction and mentoring.

Program Features

Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education offers an online Master of Arts in Higher Education which explores the higher education environment across a range of professional perspectives. As student, you’ll gain a foundation for encouraging student growth and a deep understanding of the landscape of higher education. You’ll also gain a strategic mindset for the promotion of educational possibilities. There are two track options:

  • The Community College and University Leadership track
  • The Adult and Developmental Education track

Notables

Appalachian State’s MA in Higher Education is a 36-credit program comprised of 12 credits of core courses and 24 credits in the chosen track. And you’ll have the choice to complete your program with either a thesis or six credits of electives based on your career goals. This online program blends synchronous and asynchronous coursework, utilizing a range of engaging online platforms that allow students to interact with faculty and other students.

21

West Virginia University

College Choice Score: 80.63

Average Net Price: $10,814

School Website

Overview

Located in the small city of Morgantown, WV, West Virginia University is a public research institution that ranks among the top 100 public universities in the South according to U.S. News and World Report. WVU’s College of Education and Human Services offers a variety of academic programs, including outstanding online graduate education programs that prepare students to be leaders in their field.

Program Features

WVU’s College of Education and Human Services offers an online, NCATE-accredited Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration for those seeking a career or advancement in higher education. Through engaging online courses, WVU’s expert faculty will prepare you for executive, administrative, and academic support positions at colleges and universities. And the program will also set you up for doctoral studies. Courses include:

  • History of Higher Education
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Contemporary Issues in Higher Education

Notables

WVU’s online MA in Higher Education Administration is a 33-credit program comprised of 18 credits of required coursework and 15 credits of electives. The program includes a capstone consisting of an internship, monthly group discussions, weekly journaling, and portfolio development. And WVU makes no distinction between in-state and out-of-state students when it comes to tuition, so this is a very competitively priced degree program.

22

John Brown University

College Choice Score: 79.08

Average Net Price: $19,687

School Website

Overview

Located in Siloam Springs, AK, John Brown University is a private, Christian (interdenominational) university that U.S. News and World Report ranks at #17 in the South. Boasting a diverse student body, with students from over 50 countries, JBU offers traditional undergraduate, degree completion, graduate, and online learning programs to students from across the globe.

Program Features

JBU’s College of Education and Human Services offers an online Master of Arts in Higher Education that will prepare you to succeed in the dynamic field of higher education. The program will give you a deep understanding of how colleges work – as well as how to make them work better – in a changing environment. And education at JBU is both student-focused and taught by expert faculty with years of professional experience. Courses include:

  • History and Philosophy of American Higher Education
  • Understanding and Applying Research in Higher Education
  • The College Student: Issues, Policies and Programs

Notables

JBU’s online MA in Higher Education is a 30-credit program comprised of eight required courses, one cognate elective, and a higher education capstone project or thesis. Graduates from JBU’s Higher Education program take on a variety of higher education careers, including residence life, student development, admissions, financial aid, career development services, intercollegiate athletics, ministry programs, and more.

23

Dallas Baptist University

College Choice Score: 78.10

Average Net Price: $24,669

School Website

Overview

Located just southwest of downtown Dallas, TX, Dallas Baptist University is a nationally-ranked Christian liberal arts college. The university takes a Christ-centered approach to education, encouraging students to integrate their faith into their academic and daily lives. DBU’s Cook School of Leadership offers high-quality programs that help students become servant leaders, scholars, and global thinkers.

Program Features

DBU’s Cook School of Leadership offers an MEd in Higher Education that will give you the skills and understanding to lead or teach at a college or university. The program provides an interdisciplinary perspective from a forthright Christian worldview with opportunities to conduct research in areas of interest. And at DBU, faculty and staff work closely with students, so online learning is not an isolated experience. Students choose from two tracks:

  • Administration Track (with five possible concentrations)
  • Instructional Track

Notables

DBU’s online MEd in Higher Education is a 36-credit program. Both tracks include core coursework as well as more focused coursework in a chosen area. There is no thesis option for either track, but DBU provides opportunities for dual degrees for those who want to combine their Higher Education degree with a degree in Business Administration, Management, or Communication, among other options.

24

DePaul University

College Choice Score: 77.40

Average Net Price: $32,084

School Website

Overview

DePaul University is a large, private, Catholic university with two main Chicago campuses, one in Lincoln Park and one in the Loop. The school’s location allows for exceptional educational experiences that are both pragmatic and socially engaged. With an emphasis on excellence in teaching, DePaul University is committed to creating an integrated academic experience for students.

Program Features

DePaul University’s College of Education offers an online MA or MEd in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education. The program will equip you to meet the needs of diverse learners, while shaping policy, collaborating with stakeholders and coordinating institutional services. You‘ll be prepared to take on a variety of leadership, administrative, policy, and management positions at colleges and universities.​ Courses include:

  • Effective Leadership of Schools
  • Data Driven Decision Making
  • Stakeholder Relationships

Notables

DePaul University’s MA or MEd in Educational Leadership is 52-quarter-credit program comprised of three core courses, 10 courses in your chosen concentration, and two internships. The difference between the MA and MEd boils down to a choice between a thesis (for the MA) or a Capstone project (for the MEd). You can start the program at the beginning of each quarter and complete it in two and a half years.

25

Post University

College Choice Score: 76.94

Average Net Price: $19,044

School Website

Overview

Originally founded in 1890, Post University is a regionally accredited, private, for-profit university in Waterbury, Connecticut. The school strives to provide accessible, career-driven undergraduate and graduate degrees both on campus and through their accelerated online programs which are designed for working adults.

Program Features

Post University offers an online Master of Science in Higher Education Administration that will help you advance your career. Whether you’re just starting out or moving into positions of increased responsibility, Post University’s program will equip you with knowledge of emerging trends and demographics. And you’ll learn proven methods and strategies for serving students in a range of formats. Students choose from two concentrations:

  • Administrative Leadership
  • Student Affairs

Notables

Post University’s MS in Higher Education Administration is a 33-credit program comprised of four MSHEA core courses, four courses in the concentration, and three research capstone courses. Post University’s 100 percent online courses are designed to work with the schedules of busy professionals. And you’ll have one-on-one academic advising to help you work through any questions you might have as you complete your degree – and start looking for jobs.

26

Louisiana State University

College Choice Score: 75.22

Average Net Price: $15,095

School Website

Overview

Located near the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, LA, Louisiana State University is a public research university and the state’s flagship school. by offering innovative master’s degree programs online, LSU is extending its reach beyond Baton Rouge and adding to its long history of academic excellence.

Program Features

LSU’s School of Education offers a Master of Arts in Education with a Specialization in Higher Education Administration. Designed for students seeking careers in student affairs and higher education administration, the program is taught by experienced practitioners. You’ll develop the leadership vision, higher education knowledge, and management skills you’ll need to take on leadership positions across higher education fields. Courses include:

  • Foundations of Higher Education
  • Understanding and Applying Research in Education
  • College Students in the United States

Notables

LSU’s online MA in Education: HEA concentration is a 36-credit program comprised of 12 required courses. There is no thesis component for LSU’s program – instead students complete a comprehensive final exam and may choose to complete a web-based portfolio or write a reflective essay. You’ll emerge from LSU’s program with a powerful combination of theory and real-world applications for the ever-changing world of higher education.

27

Walden University

College Choice Score: 75.19

Average Net Price: $22,675

School Website

Overview

Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Walden University is a regionally accredited, for-profit, online university which has been providing higher education for working students since 1970. Today the school enrolls over 51,000 students in all 50 states and over 114 countries. Their accredited, career-centered programs help nontraditional students reach their goals in a broad range of fields.

Program Features

Walden University’s NCATE-accredited Riley College of Education and Leadership offers an online Master of Science in Higher Education. As a student, you’ll enhance your understanding of the higher education environment as you learn the latest strategies and technologies that can help you – and the students at your institution – succeed. And you’ll be able to customize your degree with seven specializations, which include:

  • Online and Distance Learning
  • Adult Learning
  • College Teaching and Learning
  • Global Higher Education

Notables

Walden’s MS in Higher Education is a 30- to 33-credit program comprised of seven core courses, two courses in your chosen specialization, and a capstone master’s project. You can transfer up to 15 credits into the program, and you’ll be able to choose the speed of your progress – taking one or two courses at a time. And Walden has multiple start dates throughout the year, so you won’t have to wait till September to get started.

28

Purdue University Global

College Choice Score: 75.14

Average Net Price: $17,098

School Website

Overview

Headquartered in West Lafayette, IN, Purdue University Global is a recent addition to the extensive Purdue University System. A result of Purdue University’s recent acquisition of the formerly for-profit Kaplan University, Purdue University Global offers nontraditional students the weight of a Purdue University credential with the flexibility and convenience of adult-serving, online programs.

Program Features

Purdue Global offers a Master of Science in Higher Education which will help you maximize your career choices. Purdue’s interactive online courses are taught by distinguished faculty members who are dedicated to helping you pursue your goals. You’ll focus on the practical knowledge, critical thinking, and research skills related to today’s colleges and universities – and you’ll be able to customize your degree with one of three concentrations:

  • College Administration and Leadership
  • College Teaching
  • Student Affairs

Notables

Purdue Global’s MS in Higher Education is a 50-credit program with 30 credits of core coursework and 20 credits in your chosen concentration. Online education at Purdue Global utilizes advanced technology and enhanced delivery methods to make classes user-friendly, interactive, and collaborative. And Purdue Global offers multiple start dates, giving you greater flexibility with your education, life, and work schedules.

29

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

College Choice Score: 74.18

Average Net Price: $13,265

School Website

Overview

Lying along the Mississippi in La Crosse, WI, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is a leading public regional university. Many of UW-La Crosse’s 94 undergraduate and 21 graduate degrees have earned distinction for excellence, and U.S. News and World Report ranks UW-La Crosse at the top of the UW system.

Program Features

If you want a program with a student affairs focus, UW-La Crosse offers an online Master of Science in Education: Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education. As a student, you’ll explore current trends and issues – like the impact of technology, diversity and internationalization – on student affairs. And you’ll learn from a faculty of scholar-practitioners with an average of 18+ years of experience as student affairs professionals. Courses include:

  • Foundations of Ethical & Professional Practice in Student Affairs
  • Student Development Theory
  • Leadership and Organizational Theories

Notables

UW-La Crosse’s MSEd in Student Affairs Administration is a 36-credit program comprised of ten required courses, a practicum in student affairs, and a capstone project. This is a cohort-based program that takes three years to complete. There are no residency requirements or campus visits. And UW-La Crosse keeps tuition manageable and cohort sizes small (average of 16 students) to ensure that students and faculty have plenty of opportunity for interaction.

30

Mercer University

College Choice Score: 72.59

Average Net Price: $20,692

School Website

Overview

Located in Macon, GA, Mercer University is a top-tier private research university – and the oldest private university in the state. At the core of a Mercer education is a commitment to helping students lead ethical and meaningful lives, and the school’s high-quality programs share that common thread. The Tift College of Education shapes students for lives of service and professional excellence.

Program Features

Mercer University’s Tift College of Education offers a Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership that will enable you to assume entry or mid-level leadership roles in higher education. The curriculum provides a broad-based, scholarly foundation in higher education organization, structure, administration, and governance. Grounded in leadership theory, students become transformational leaders, trained specifically for the college and university setting. Courses include:

  • Introduction to Higher Education
  • Legal Issues in Higher Education
  • Leadership in Intercollegiate Athletics

Notables

Mercer University’s MEd in Higher Education Leadership program is a 30-credit program comprised of nine required courses and an internship. Designed for working professionals, Mercer’s program can be completed in one year of study and is delivered in a hybrid of online and face-to-face courses (at Mercer’s Macon and Atlanta campuses). You can also take part in Mercer’s Leadership Academy, which provides networking and professional development opportunities.

31

University of Missouri-Kansas City

College Choice Score: 71.67

Average Net Price: $15,368

School Website

Overview

A public research university in the four-campus University of Missouri System, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is a high-quality provider of online education. U.S. News and World Report ranks UMKC’s online graduate education programs among the best in the country. And the school’s commitment to keeping education accessible means their tuition is highly competitive.

Program Features

UMKC’s School of Education offers a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration that will prepare you for a leadership position in higher education. You’ll gain a broad understanding of the meaning and scope of higher education and become an agent of social change in your institutional setting. And UMKC allows students to tailor their degree to their specific career goals by choosing one of four emphasis areas:

  • Sports Administration & Exercise Science
  • Student Affairs Administration
  • Foundations of Higher Education
  • Disability Services

Notables

UMKC’s MA in Higher Education Administration is a 36-credit program comprised of seven core courses, three courses in your emphasis area, an internship, and a capstone. If none of the emphasis areas interest you, UMKC allows students to choose nine credits of electives to create their own individualized study plan, making this a highly customizable degree. The program is offered in a hybrid format, with both online and face-to-face components.

32

University of Mississippi

College Choice Score: 71.12

Average Net Price: $14,678

School Website

Overview

Located in the college town of Oxford, MS, the University of Mississippi is the flagship public research university of the state. The University ranks among the top public schools nationally, is home to one of the best Schools of Education in the country, and boasts a outstanding online graduate education program, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Program Features

The University of Mississippi’s School of Education offers an online Master of Arts in Higher Education that will take your job to the next level. This multidisciplinary program is designed for professionals working in a wide range of capacities at the college and university level. You’ll be prepared with a foundation in student services, human resources, finance, law, and more. Courses include:

  • Student Services in Higher Education
  • Organization and Governance
  • History of Higher Education

Notables

The University of Mississippi’s online MA in Higher Education is a 42-credit program comprised of 13 required courses and a practicum. Students take two classes per semester in a cohort format and complete the degree in two years. You’ll be taught by the same faculty that teach the program on campus. And the University of Mississippi charges a flat tuition rate no matter where you live, making this a highly affordable degree program.

33

North Park University

College Choice Score: 70.91

Average Net Price: $20,076

School Website

Overview

Located in Chicago’s north side, North Park University is a private Christian university associated with the Evangelical Covenant Church. With high caliber programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, North Park prepares students for a life of significance and service. U.S. News and World Report ranks North Park’s online graduate business programs among the best in the country.

Program Features

North Park University offers an online Master of Higher Education Administration for those who want to be leaders and managers in the field. The program combines the principles of management with the variables of higher education to prepare future administrators, faculty, and policy-makers for successful careers. You’ll learn the skills – like team management and legal and ethical considerations – that you need to help your college or university thrive. Courses include:

  • Organizational Behavior and Ethics
  • Ethical Leadership and Decision Making
  • Nonprofit Financial Management

Notables

North Park University’s online MHEA program is a 36-credit program comprised of 13 core courses and 5 electives. You’ll be able to choose between a 100 percent online program or a hybrid of online and face-to-face classes. Both formats include hands-on learning projects and an interactive classroom experience. And for added value, North Park also offers graduate-level certificates so you can hone skills in a particular area, like management or finance.

34

Tiffin University

College Choice Score: 69.54

Average Net Price: $20,972

School Website

Overview

Located in the city of Tiffin, OH, Tiffin University is a private regional university that blends traditional, face-to-face programs with a blend of online and hybrid programs designed specifically for working adults. U.S. News and World Report ranks Tiffin among the top 100 regional universities in the Midwest for their innovative and rigorous programs.

Program Features

Tiffin University offers an online MEd with a concentration in Higher Education Administration for professionals looking to pursue a career in a non-academic aspect of higher education. Tiffin’s MEd in Higher Education program provides an overview of the whole landscape, from human resources to crisis management and budgeting. And if you want to continue on to doctoral work, the degree provides a good foundation. Courses include:

  • Issues in Student Affairs
  • Educational Leadership
  • World History of Education

Notables

Tiffin University’s online MEd Higher Education degree is a 30-credit program with 12 credits of core MEd coursework and 18 credits in the Higher Ed Administration concentration. Courses are 100 percent online and are delivered in seven-week terms. If you want a program with a high level of interactivity between students and faculty, Tiffin is a great choice. Classes are small, between 10-15 students, so your professors will get to know you well.

35

Angelo State University

College Choice Score: 68.75

Average Net Price: $10,943

School Website

Overview

Located in the West Texas city of San Angelo, Angelo State University is a public comprehensive university that offers a wide range of academic programs through its six colleges. The school has a reputation for academic excellence in both its face-to-face and online programs. Currently, U.S. News and World Report ranks their online graduate education programs among the best in the nation.

Program Features

For those with a particular interest in student development, this program is definitely worth checking out. ASU offers an online MEd in Student Development and Leadership in Higher Education which will prepare you to take on leadership in areas such as career services, enrollment management, residential programs, and candidate development. You’ll be ready to work in a variety of settings – from community colleges to research universities. Courses include:

  • Social and Cultural Influences
  • Lifespan Development
  • Legal and Ethical Principles

Notables

ASU’s online MEd in Student Development is a 36-credit program comprised of 12 required courses. This also includes a mandatory internship in a higher education setting, ensuring that you’ll have professional experience before you graduate. Courses are delivered in accelerated, eight-week sessions, so you’ll move quickly through courses. And there are five start-dates throughout the year, so you can begin as soon as you’re ready.

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