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Top 15 Masters in Higher Education Administration - Open Education Online

Top 15 Masters in Higher Education Administration

Administrators are essential in the higher education system. They serve the needs of students, develop successful and innovative programs, and guide policies that support their institutions. There are several career options for HEA professionals, including jobs in student life, financial aid, admissions, and more. For more career opportunities, you’ll want a graduate degree. Here are the top 15 masters in higher education administration and related areas like education leadership.

Table of Contents

#1. PGCert Higher Education Administration Management & Leadership Online (University of Law)
#2. Master’s in Higher Education Administration (Georgetown University)
#3. Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration (Stony Brook University)
#4. EdM in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies: Higher Education Administration
#5. Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs (University of Portland)
#6. M.Ed. – Educational Leadership – Higher Education Administration (William & Mary School of Education)
#7. MSc in Education (Higher Education) (University of Oxford)
#8. Master of Eduation in Educational Administration and Leadership (The University of British Columbia)
#9. M.Ed. in Higher Education (Pennsylvania State University)
#10. Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies MA (Stanford University)
#11. Online Masters in Higher Education Administration (Northeastern University)
#12. Master of Arts in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education Student Affairs Administration (Michigan State University)
#13. Master of Tertiary Education (Management) (The University of Melbourne)
#14. Online Master’s in Education Leadership (Harvard Graduate School of Education)
#15. M.A. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development Higher Education

#1. PGCert Higher Education Administration Management & Leadership Online (University of Law)

Location: Multiple campuses, UK

Also available as an MA and PG Dip, this program covers learning, teaching, and assessment methods, as well as materials and technologies. As an online, part-time course, it’s a good choice for students with other work commitments. The program can take as long as 30 months, though the Postgraduate Certificate is designed to take 1 year. Students will graduate with sharpened professional skills and an understanding of leadership and management in higher education.

The PGCert Higher Education Administration, Management and Leadership costs £4,000 while the MA costs £12,000. Those who study are eligible for a Student Loans Company Postgraduate Loan up to £11,570. The University of Law is a well-respected institution. In 2016, they ranked first for student satisfaction with a 97% overall satisfaction rate.

#2. Master’s in Higher Education Administration (Georgetown University)

Location: Washington, D.C.

This program through Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies gives students a mix of study and hands-on practice. Over 2-5 years and 33 credits, students will gain a thorough understanding of the U.S. higher education system and how to lead change. Topics covered include academic affairs, DEI, program administration, student affairs, and more. Students can also focus on one of two optional focus areas: student affairs or administration. They can also develop a customized curriculum.

Part-time and full-time study options are available. Tuition varies year to year, but most recently, total tuition was $50,391 when students entered in the autumn.

#3. Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration (Stony Brook University)

Location: Stony Brook, NY

This 36-credit program is ideal for students wanting to work in higher education administration, such as student affairs or other service-related departments. Six courses – such as Foundations of Higher Education Administration and a Project Seminar – are required. Students must choose six other electives on topics like technology in higher education, legal issues in higher education, and international higher education.

Tuition varies yearly and depends on whether a student is a New York Resident Graduate ($635.58/credit), an out-of-state resident in an approved online master’s program ($729.58/credit), or a non-resident, on-campus graduate ($1,127.58/credit). Stony Brook is ranked #77 out of 443 National Universities.

#4. EdM in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies: Higher Education Administration (Boston University)

Location: Boston, MA

Hosted by the BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, this master’s program gives students the theoretical understanding and practical skills needed in higher education administration. The Higher Education Administration concentration is 36 credits, which includes core courses like History and Foundations of Higher Education; Theories of Student Learning & Development in Higher Education; and Legal Issues in Higher Education.

The program offers full-time (1 year), part-time (2 years), and online learning options. Total tuition for full-time students is $61,944. Part-time varies depending on whether students are taking day ($1,908/credit) or night evening courses ($955/credit). More info on online and summer study can be found here. Boston University is ranked #41 out of 443 National Universities.

#5. Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs (University of Portland)

Location: Portland, Oregon

This MA provides students with the tools to become effective leaders and administrators in higher education. It’s designed for working students, who can complete the 30-credit program in two years. There are four “strands” or tracks available: administration-leadership, student affairs, program evaluation, and integration. Topics covered include legal issues in higher education, human resources management, and student career development and planning.

Full-time and part-time options are available. We couldn’t find the tuition for this MA HESA, but the Master of Arts in Education costs $689.00 per semester. The University of Portland is ranked #1 out of 120 Regional Universities West and #8 in Best Value Schools.

#6. M.Ed. – Educational Leadership – Higher Education Administration (William & Mary School of Education)

Location: Williamsburg, VA

This masters in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education Administration gives students the foundation needed for careers at higher education institutions. Students must complete 36 credits, a master’s project, and an internship. They also choose a professional focus (three courses in a specific professional context) with the guidance of an advisor. Coursework includes leadership and change in higher education; student development theory; and the history of higher education.

Full-time and part-time study (which typically takes three years) are available, as well as evening courses. Tuition depends on whether a student is part-time or full-time and varies for in-state and out-of-state residents. Per year, full-time in-state students pay $16,776 while out-of-state students pay $35,136. William & Mary School of Education is ranked #76 in Best Education Schools.

#7. MSc in Education (Higher Education) (University of Oxford)

Location: Oxford, UK

This program educates students on areas like internationalization, graduate employment and employability, access, social justice, rankings, and more. Students also learn about the key concepts and principles of educational research design and methodology. Over 12 months, six modules, and a dissertation, students will be prepared for careers in higher education.

For 2023-2024, home students owe £15,270 while overseas students owe £30,910. The University of Oxford has a #5 ranking in Best Global Universities and #1 in Best Global Universities in Europe.

#8. Master of Education in Educational Administration and Leadership (The University of British Columbia)

Location: British Columbia, Canada

This program is designed for experienced educators who want to be leaders in formal and informal educational environments. Through an interdisciplinary curriculum, students will learn about education in various national and cultural settings, gain valuable knowledge and skills, and be empowered as effective administrators.

Full-time and part-time study options are available. Tuition (for the first year) is $7,579.41 for domestic students and $14,715.00 for international students. The University of British Columbia is ranked #35 in Best Global Universities and #2 in Best Global Universities in Canada.

#9. M.Ed. in Higher Education (Pennsylvania State University)

Location: State College, PA

This program prepares students for a variety of roles at colleges and universities. When taken full-time as residential students, the program takes two years. Students take 18 credits of required courses, 12 credits of electives, and 6 credits in a focus area. Student affairs are strongly recommended as a focus area, though there’s also an Administration area of emphasis. Students are also encouraged to obtain professional experience beyond a required graduate assistantship.

Online, residential, and flexible study options are available. It appears that tuition for the 2022 fall semester per year was $41,602 for non-PA students while PA students owed $24.466. U.S. News ranked Penn State #31 among national public universities for the 2022-2023 year.

#10. Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies MA (Stanford University)

Location: Stanford, CA

Designed as a 9-month, full-time residential program, this program blends fieldwork and coursework for students interested in becoming educational leaders. Students finish 45 units, 27 of which are given by the Graduate School of Education. Students also complete a field project addressing a specific challenge in education. Topics covered include educational policy in the U.S. and global education policy.

Total tuition for the 2022-2023 POLS program is $56,487. With the on-campus budget (which includes books, health services fees, food, etc), students should expect to pay a total of $97.353. The QS World University Rankings 2023 put Stanford at #3.

#11. Online Masters in Higher Education Administration (Northeastern University)

Location: Online (Boston, MA)

This program, which is designed for working professionals, helps students gain knowledge, network, and apply what they’ve learned. Students will learn about local, national, and global disruptions and impacts on higher education policy, analyze problems in higher education, and social justice and inclusion principles.

Learning takes place online and can be completed full-time or part-time. Tuition is around $33,200. Northeastern University is ranked #388 in the QS World University Rankings.

#12. Master of Arts in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education Student Affairs Administration (Michigan State University)

Location: Online (East Lansing, MI)

This 40-credit online program is designed for students interested in working with students in a higher education setting. Students will cover topics like residence life, career services, current issues in student affairs administration, and connecting theory to practice. As a cohort program, 15-20 students are selected for the program. Students must complete seven core courses, as well as elective courses.

Students typically enroll full-time with 10 credits per semester for two years. Using the tuition calculator, it looks like in-state students at the College of Education pay $874.57/credit. Out-of-state students pay $1,687.00/credit while international students pay the same. The QS World University 2023 rankings give Michigan State University a #159.

#13. Master of Tertiary Education (Management) (The University of Melbourne) Location: Online (Melbourne, Australia)

Designed for academic leaders, managers, and senior administrative professionals, this master’s program provides the needed knowledge and skills for effective leadership and management in tertiary education institutions. Students must complete 100 credit points, including two core subjects, four elective subjects, and a capstone.

The program is held online and takes two years with part-time study, which is the only option for the master’s. It’s available to both domestic and international students, though it’s not available to international students who need a student visa to study in Australia. Both Australian and international students pay a total of $34,964 in 2023. Times Higher Education gives the University of Melbourne a #33 rank in 2022.

#14. Online Master’s in Education Leadership (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Location: Online

This Ed.M. program is meant for working professionals with at least seven years of relevant or transferable work experience. The part-time, 2-year program requires 42 credits, including Foundations courses in How People Learn; Leading Change; Evidence; and Equity and Opportunity. Higher education professionals should then choose the Higher Education pathway. There’s one on-campus experience – which is required – before the first fall semester.

The total online Ed.M. budget is around $58,671, which includes tuition, books, technology expenses, and so on. QS World University Rankings put Harvard at #5.

#15. M.A. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development Higher Education (University of Minnesota)

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Students in this program are trained to dissect complicated issues in higher education, assess the performance of higher education institutions, and make informed administrative decisions. Graduates have gone to careers as academic advisors, financial aid advisors, directors of residence life, and more. Plan A requires 34 credits with a master’s thesis in two years of full-time students. Plan B requires 30 credits without a thesis with added coursework in two years for full-time students.

At the College of Education and Higher Development, the tuition for residents is $10,908 while non-residents owe $15,960. Times Higher Education gives the University of Minnesota an 86th World University Rankings in 2022.

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