A-Z Index

M.S.: Higher Education Leadership

Welcome, Program Overview & Delivery

Welcome to the Higher Education Leadership program. This academic program is very unique in philosophy, concept, and delivery.


We believe that higher education leaders should be equipped with a firm understanding of leadership, culture, and teamwork in order to lead complex organizations and implement a myriad of administrative responsibilities.


We understand that adults learn best when new theories, concepts, and information are integrated into familiar contexts, when there are ongoing opportunities for collaboration and discourse, and when the "big picture" is always present. Consequently, the program's learning model is cohort-based and content is built around broad themes that encompass components of the complex organization we know as higher education.


This program is offered in the blended model: 7-8 face-to-face meetings each term with online attendance throughout the entire term. Opportunities for program specialization are available through electives incorporated into the program.

Working higher education professionals are encouraged to apply

Individuals currently holding, or interested in, leadership positions in higher education will find this program flexible and accommodating to their needs.

Career Opportunities in Higher Education

The higher education leadership profession encompasses a wide range of duties and skill sets. The profession requires skill and experience in working with people within an academic community with specialized skill sets in finance and personnel management as well as public relations, technology transfer, and strategic planning. A wide range of administrative and management positions comprise the profession including the following: curriculum development, student support and guidance, student advisement, assessment and management, student recruitment and admissions, research support, publications, management information and statistics, alumni relations, and international student services, as well as external relations.

Between 2010 and 2011, job postings for Higher Education positions rose 40.2 percent.  Geographically, higher education job postings increased in all regions of the country. 

As reported by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources in America, median annual salaries for selected administrators in higher education in 2012-13 were as follows (CUPA -HR, 2012-13)

Chief Development Officer $155,004
Dean of Students $91,795
Director, Financial Aids $80,000
Registrar $78,329
Director, Student Activities $58,600

This Masters of Science in Higher Education Leadership program is designed to train aspiring higher education leaders through rigorous course work. This program will prepare students for entry-level management and leadership positions in four-year, community and technical colleges and universities. One general purpose of this program is to produce graduates that are more effective in their offices and more satisfied with their work so that the overall environment has experienced an increase in value both in the work accomplished and employment satisfaction.

Admission Requirements

Accredited Bachelors Degree

Candidates are required to hold a bachelors degree from an accredited institution; no other certification is required. Successful applicants must have at least a 2.75 GPA at the undergraduate level.

GRE or Equivalent

Verbal and quantitative added together must equal at least 280; 3.5 on analytical writing assessment for those candidates who have taken the GMAT, scores of 440 and higher are accepted.

Approved Program Form

All students are required to have a completed Approved Program Form during the first semester of the program.

Exit Comprehensive Exam Required

To meet exit comprehensive requirements, program members are required to submit a completed portfolio and field study in their last semester of coursework for evaluation by a faculty panel. Those students who have successfully completed all course work, portfolio and field study requirements will be approved for graduation.

Schedule of Courses for Program Cohort

Course # Course Title Hours
61-652 Leadership Issues in Higher Education 6
61-654 Higher Education Administration 6
61-656 College Students in America 6
61-658 Law, Policy, and Finance in Higher Education 6
61-659 Introduction to Institutional Research 3
TBD Elective 3
TBD Elective 3

Contact Information

Departments and Offices

Graduate Office
257 Administration Building

School of Education
200 Brown Hall

Canvas Support Hotline (Students)

Our Help Desk is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via phone and e-mail. The Help Desk will respond to e-mails and voice mails within 24 hours, while our average response time is four hours.