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Purdue University Global

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Grand Canyon University

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University of Southern California

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Liberty University

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Capella University

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Colorado Christian University

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University of Arizona Global Campus

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Master's Degree Programs in Higher Education Administration

Earning a master's degree in higher education administration will prepare you for a career helping students and developing policies that affect the future of a college or university. Review course topics and check online availability of programs. Learn about job options and salary potential as a higher education administrator.

What Courses Will I Take in a Higher Education Administration Master's Degree Program?

Master's degree programs in higher education administration are designed to enhance your managerial and analytical skills. Your courses will examine the practices of higher education by covering the areas of governance, policymaking, administration and contemporary issues. Your core classes will typically cover topics, such as the following:

  • Economics for higher education
  • Legal issues of higher education
  • Organizational leadership
  • History of higher education
  • Business management

Additional coursework may be tailored to your field of specialized interest with classes such as these:

  • Student services management
  • Postsecondary curriculum development
  • Student athletic services
  • Student financial services
  • Student leadership

Common Courses Business management, student leadership, economics for higher education, student athletic services, organizational leadership
Online Learning Online programs are available, but rare
Career Options Colleges or universities, government agencies, public education policy agencies, professional associations, accrediting agencies
Median Annual Wage $97,500 in 2020 (for postsecondary education administrators)*
Job Outlook 4% increase between 2019-2029 (for postsecondary education administrators)*

*Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

Most higher education master's degrees are offered as on-campus programs. However, a few online programs are available. Your coursework will be the same as that for on-campus programs and will result in the same degree. Online coursework, just as on-campus coursework, will consist of individual and group assignments, case studies, field interviews, written papers and exams.

Online courses are typically asynchronous allowing you to access them whenever it is convenient for you, which makes them especially appealing if you are working or have family obligations. Most programs offer online tutoring, discussions and group projects. Communication with instructors and peers is through online bulletin boards and e-mail.

What Can I Do With a Higher Education Administration Master's Degree?

As a graduate of a higher education administration master's degree program, you may work as a professional administrator at a college and university in such areas as student housing, special population services, admissions, financial aid or other student support offices. Your job duties within these departments may focus on administration, research, faculty support or policymaking. In addition to working at colleges and universities, you will be qualified for positions with public education policy agencies, government agencies, accrediting agencies and professional associations.

Career opportunities for postsecondary education administrators are expected to increase by four percent from 2019-2029 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The rise in career opportunities is primarily due to the increase of postsecondary education student enrollment, especially in continuing education and distance learning programs. The median annual salary for postsecondary education administrators was $97,500 as of May 2020 (www.bls.gov).