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Master's Degree Programs in Higher Education in North Carolina (NC)

Several schools in North Carolina offer master's degree programs in higher education. Read on for a complete list of these schools and what you can expect to learn once you've applied and enrolled.

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State's Master of Education in Higher Education Administration degree program includes courses in student development theory, diversity in higher education, and college outcomes. Students can also pursue electives in an area of interest, such as college student affairs, counselor education, and community college leadership.

North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University offers an M.S. in Higher Education Administration program with coursework that can be completed completely online. In order to provide students with practical hands-on experience, the program includes a 300-hour internship and prepares graduates for careers as academic advisors, development officers, residence hall directors, and more.

The University of North Carolina - Wilmington

The Watson College of Education at the Wilmington branch of the UNC school system offers a Master of Education in Higher Education. The program takes a holistic approach and focuses on the historical, social, and developmental factors that shape modern higher education.

The University of North Carolina - Charlotte

UNC's Charlotte campus features an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership program that is devoted to higher education leadership. The program features courses in adult learning theory, research methods, and legal issues in higher education.

Elon University

Elon offers a Master of Arts in Higher Education program that consists of 36 credit hours. This program incorporates a variety of experiential learning opportunities and includes study abroad options, an apprenticeship, two internships, and a capstone project.

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University's Master of Arts in Higher Education program provides flexible learning alternatives for students, as it can be completed both on campus and online. In the on-campus program, students can choose from one of three specializations: teaching, community college and university leadership, and adult development and education.

Western Carolina University

The Master of Education in Higher Education Student Affairs degree program at WCU provides instruction through classroom discussion and an optional internship experience. Course topics include legal issues, financial matters, diversity, and history.

The University of North Carolina - Greensboro

UNC - Greensboro offers an M.Ed. in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education that includes courses in higher education leadership, student development theory, and educational research methods. The program also contains an internship that provides practical experience as candidates prepare for careers as academic advisors, assistant deans, program coordinators, and career counselors.

School Name Degree Name Graduate Tuition (2018-2019)*
North Carolina State University M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration $8,917 (in-state), $25,405 (out-of-state)
North Carolina Central University M.S. in Higher Education Administration $4,740 (in-state), $17,964 (out-of-state)
The University of North Carolina - Wilmington M.Ed. in Higher Education $4,719 (in-state), $18,548 (out-of-state)
The University of North Carolina - Charlotte M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (Higher Education) $4,337 (in-state), $17,771 (out-of-state)
Elon University M.A. in Higher Education $13,482
Appalachian State University M.A. in Higher Education $4,839 (in-state), $18,271 (out-of-state)
Western Carolina University M.Ed. in Higher Education Student Affairs $4,435 (in-state), $14,842 (out-of-state)
The University of North Carolina - Greensboro M.Ed. in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education $5,219 (in-state), $18,937 (out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Application Requirements for a Master's Degree in Higher Education

Prospective students need to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Schools do not typically require prior coursework in certain subjects, but many schools look for a GPA of at least 3.0. Students with a GPA below this mark may be required to demonstrate competency by taking standardized tests, such as the GRE or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).

Applicants may also need to provide a resume, letters of recommendation, and/or a statement of purpose. Applicants with a degree from outside the U.S. may need to take an English proficiency exam, such as the TOEFL.

Earning a Master's Degree in Higher Education

Higher education is a diverse field that includes the study of several disciplines, such as history, philosophy, accounting, and administration. As such, curricula in these programs can contain a wide range of course offerings. Many programs in North Carolina consist of 36-40 credit hours and can include additional learning methods, like an internship, apprenticeship, or study abroad experience.

Higher Education Foundations

This introductory course provides students with an understanding of the past, present, and future of higher education. Students explore landmark moments in the history of higher education and consider how these events shaped the current landscape. Other course topics can include leadership philosophy, student culture, academic governance, and state relations.

Higher Education Budgeting and Financing

In this course, candidates study and master best practices for managing finances in a higher education setting. Concepts covered in this course include endowment management, sources of revenue, and financial aid policies. Students also discuss the impact of federal and state policy on education budgets and how to best approach the challenges facing contemporary higher education.

Law and Higher Education

This course covers the most common and pressing legal matters that higher education institutions face. It covers such issues as student safety and student codes of conduct. Students can also expect to learn about the governmental and societal legal issues that schools must contend with and how these factors can influence education officials.

Higher Education Leadership

In this class, candidates focus on the leadership skills and philosophies that are essential to a successful career in higher education. They learn the negotiation and communication skills that leaders must have in order to resolve conflicts along with management techniques to ensure smooth organizational changes. Instruction can consist of traditional lectures as well as case studies.

Master's degree programs in higher education are offered throughout the state of North Carolina. Students in these programs study a wide range of leadership, law, and finance topics as they prepare for an administrative career with higher education institutions.