2023 Best Master’s in Higher Education Programs
Click here to find out more about the ranking methodology that we used to compile this list.
Congratulations! If you represent a college or university that is included in this list, please collect your seal below.
Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student/teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.
Do you want to acquire a master’s degree in higher education, but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best master’s in higher education programs.
What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
The Master’s in higher education at Harvard University allows learners to finish a degree at a top Ivy League institution in less than one year of full-time study. This program features a distinguished former university president who serves as the President-in-Residence, who works alongside graduate learners and anchors their discussions and studies. These discussions are supported by real-world experiences. Learners are also supported by close-knit mentorship and an involved cohort degree program design.
Within their cohorts, learners have the chance to study alongside others who have varied interests and backgrounds. The coursework for this degree program is grounded in reality, exposing learners to actual policies and practices in American colleges.
Most learners in this degree program will engage in paid internships and externships either on campus or at nearby nonprofits, institutions, and colleges. Interns receive class credit along with valuable work experience. Upon graduation, learners are connected to a broad alumni network, which helps learners solve field-related problems after graduation and network for potential career and fellowship opportunities.
The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) features a master of arts (MA) and a PhD degree program in higher education and organizational change. These degree programs expose learners to a broad comprehension of all of the elements surrounding higher education, including those that are cultural, political, social, logical, and historical. Learners at UCLS are supported by the activities of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, which carries out national longitudinal studies of the American higher education system. Learners in graduate studies can work with the institute as they collect data on over 1,900 institutions across the country. This is primarily due to UCLA’s emphasis on urban education and the development of teachers as leaders. All education programs at UCLA underscore the importance of developing 21st-century skills in teachers, along with the learners they ultimately serve.
The higher education degree program at the University of Pennsylvania is intended for graduate learners who are in the early stages of their careers. This program includes full-time internship and graduate assistantship opportunities to help learners obtain more detailed, real-life knowledge about the discipline in a realistic learning environment. Most learners will finish about 15 to 20 hours each week of internship experiences. These internships and externships often help learners offset the expenses of graduate study.
This degree program, which must be started in the fall, consists of 10 class units of study. All classes are reading and writing intensive, but also consist of powerful discussion-based seminars, project-based learning, case studies, and work-based endeavors.
The master of education in higher education administration from Vanderbilt is intended for learners seeking professional roles in state education agencies, nonprofits, or academia. This degree program seamlessly incorporates real-world experiences with integrated classwork, helping learners get expertise in the three areas crucial for potential professionals: learner affairs, general administration and policy, and enrollment management. A total of 36 credit hours is required for graduation. This degree program is top-rated for its exceptional career services along with its outstanding academic rigor. Many learners will finish internships and externships in the summer during the first and second year of the degree program to get crucial work experience and develop professional skills and knowledge.
Graduates from the USC’s master of education in postsecondary administration and learner affairs are a diverse bunch, working in an array of sectors. Alumni are situated all over the country in settings such as public research institutions, liberal arts colleges, and for-profit institutions; they are involved in all aspects of learner life at those institutions. This degree program stresses all aspects of higher education, including administration, learner affairs, advising, admissions, and athletics.
The coursework is based the most recent and advanced research in the world. Learners are taught by faculty with extensive experience in educational settings, all of whom deliver exceptional mentoring and guidance across each learner’s academic career. Learners at USC benefit from an array of learner-led organizations. The institution has customized activities and clubs, such as Graduate Learner Government and Rossier Learner Organization. Rossier was developed to allow graduate learners to exchange ideas and plan learner activities. The institution also sponsors groups such as MAT connect, Educators for Queer Alliance, and TESOL/TEFL Society to help learners stay connected and form valuable networks while on campus.
The diverse, interactive degree program in higher education at the University of Michigan enables learners to combine their hypothetical, academic knowledge with real-life experiences. The degree program incorporates strong collaboration among faculty, administration, and learners to deliver a holistic comprehension of higher education. This degree program is highly adaptable, allowing learners to investigate areas of focused interest and inquiry.
This degree program is intended for the full-time learner. It takes most graduates a year and a half to finish; an accelerated pace is available. An integral component of this degree program is its emphasis on a two-term internship, which is chosen by each learner and customized to their objectives and interests.
The School of Education at Michigan is one of the most outstanding in the country. The school is rated second regarding its peer reputation and effectiveness of instruction and is also highly rated with regards to its higher education administration programs and its teaching programs in particular.
- University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD
The higher education degree program at the University of Maryland at College Park, exists as an area of concentration within the higher education, learner affairs, and international education degree program at the institution. This degree program is nationally recognized and readies learners for leadership positions at academic institutions.
Thirty-six credit hours are required, including classwork in core prerequisites, electives, and research methods. Each learner is also required to partake in an internship. Most learners finish their studies in less than two years, working across their studies with an individual advisor to develop a customized degree program of study. Most learners finish internships and externships while enrolled in their studies. These internships and externships frequently take place at federal government agencies, advocacy organizations, and public policy think tanks in the US capital region. Learners have received respectable paid internships and externships that build upon their classwork and allow them to make vital connections to what they are learning in class. On-campus assistantships are also available to help learners gain experience while financing their education.
The master of education in higher education at the University of Virginia is offered full time and part time. It couples real-life application of skills with a robust hypothetical framework, allowing learners to work in learner affairs, general or athletic administration, or policy-making upon graduation. Learners may tailor their studies according to their plans, allowing them to adapt to any challenge presented by working in a higher education setting.
Learners are required to finish professional internships and externships in focused functional areas. This enables them to develop individual professional philosophies and career objectives and establish their network with professional and service organizations.
This degree program is unusual in that it is one of the few such programs that can be finished in less than a year. It offers three emphasis areas: learner affairs practice in higher education, intercollegiate athletic administration, and higher education administration. These concentrations allow learners to hone their skills and develop their interests in a specialty, giving them the capacity to grow professionally and individually.
The University of Florida’s learner personnel in higher education degree program is offered in a full-time, on-campus setting, along with a part-time portion online. It incorporates theoretical underpinnings with practice-based experiences. While the on-campus degree program is intended for graduate learners seeking a more intimate, networking-based experience with learner affairs professionals, the online degree program is suitable for learners who are already working in learner affairs and are seeking to sustain their current employment.
The on-campus degree program contains nine credit hours of supervised internship and practicum experiences. Learners in this degree program study within a cohort, providing each other with support and community. Assistantships are available for this degree program. The online program allows learners to obtain an advanced degree without needing to leave their current employment. Conversely, on-campus learners have exceptional chances to interact with campus resources and supports, boosting their confidence and leadership skills.
The university is home to the Learner Personnel Association, a prominent campus organization, intended to foster individual and professional relationships in higher education. This group offers visitation days, facilitates workshops, and organizes social events.
The higher education and learner affairs degree program at The Ohio State University is one of the most preeminent in the country. The degree program is established on research and practice and taught by legendary faculty. A wide variety of classes is available, exposing learners to law, policy, organizational theory, and learner development materials.
This degree program is one-of-a-kind in that it enables learners to carry out substantial on-campus research surrounding higher education concepts. Learners will investigate areas such as identity development, service-learning, and organizational theory, giving them the academic background necessary to inspire future innovation in the higher education setting. Along with the master’s degree program, the institution also has a minor in multidisciplinary leadership studies, a learner personnel assistantship degree program, a doctor of education in educational studies, and a doctor of philosophy in educational studies.
The higher education administration degree program at Northwestern University is intended with diversity in mind. It is inclusive of learners from an array of backgrounds and with an array of professional experiences. It is intended for learners of any age and career level and can even be pursued by those interested in making career changes. Learners will experience an array of real-life programming while enrolled in the degree program, giving them career choice flexibility and insight into what they like best about the higher education field.
This degree program readies learners to become reflective, interactive, and dynamic leaders in all aspects of higher education. Graduates are employed in high-level leadership positions in admissions, learner affairs, alumni relations, and more. Providing unlimited access to in-depth, faculty-guided research, this degree program produces alumni who can solve any real-world problem in higher education. Learners also finish a final master’s project and internship to connect what classroom experience with real-world environment.
The master of higher education and learner affairs at Indiana University is rated as one of the most outstanding in the country. Learners obtain exclusive access to cutting-edge research and real-life experience via faculty-guided research projects and graduate assistantships. This degree program develops twenty-first century skills such as communication and collaboration, preparing learners to become leaders in higher education administration and learner affairs.
Learners work on an array of classes that accentuate comprehension in foundational concepts, elective areas, and counseling. This degree program requires all learners to hold a graduate assistantship in higher education and learner affairs. These assistantships allow learners to work on an area of interest while receiving substantial financial aid toward their graduate studies.
The higher education and learner affairs program at the University of Connecticut prepares reflective professionals in learner affairs. This contemporary degree enables learners to investigate a diverse offering of classes in learner affairs and educational research. A core prerequisite of every learner’s degree plan is to engage in a graduate assistantship. These assistantships deliver full tuition waivers and competitive health insurance and stipends, making this institution a top choice for affordability.
The 44-credit-hour classes are taught by full-time faculty along with learner affairs professionals. Learners remain in the same cohort across the entire two years of their studies, allowing them to develop invaluable connections and professional networks.
The master of arts in higher education at Boston College allows learners to select from three distinct collegiate concentrations: learner affairs; administration; and spirituality, faith, and formation. These concentrations allow learners to concentrate their studies according to their career and professional objectives, and to investigate those areas via coursework, class projects, and field experience placements. Thirty credit hours of elective and required classes along with a field experience are required for graduation. Most learners finish their studies within two academic years although it is possible to accelerate classwork and finish in less than a year.
Each available concentration requires a year-long field experience within the Boston area. The campus stresses the value of social justice, ingraining each degree program with this theme and setting it apart from comparable colleges. Learners get valuable leadership skills and an acute comprehension of what it takes to make a successful institution. Each graduate learner is also supported academically and holistically by the Graduate Education Association, which offers workshops, funding, and social mixers to all graduate learners.
The University of Kansas has a master’s degree in higher education administration that is intended for individuals pursuing administrative careers in education. Consisting of 36 credit hours of rigorous academic classwork and real-life experiences, this cutting-edge degree program can be finished in just two years. Learners learn how to apply their knowledge of colleges and institutions to real-world experiences in administration. Classes are taught by expert scholars and professionals and allow learners to interact directly with a diverse body of leaders from all realms of higher education administration.
Upon enrolling, each learner is placed into a cohort group of learners. This offers a small, close-knit learning environment in which learners can interact directly with involved faculty and passionate learners. Each learner in this degree program is required to obtain a graduate assistantship at the institution or a nearby higher education institution for 20 to 30 hours per week. These assistantships usually include stipends, health insurance, and tuition reduction and allow learners to get valuable experience in the field. This campus-wide cooperative degree program places learners in all areas of higher education, including learner affairs, admissions, and even alumni relations. Learners may also participate in for-credit internship experiences to help improve their learning experiences.