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Best 15 Masters in Higher Education Programs in 2021

February 16, 2021 | Staff Writers

Masters in Higher Education
Degree Finder
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A masters in higher education is a post-baccalaureate degree program designed for professionals who wish to delve deeper into higher education areas to critically evaluate the processes required to improve higher education at all levels. A masters in higher education‘s curriculum pulls from a number of disciplines.

The masters in higher education degree program takes a specialized, interdisciplinary educational approach providing degree candidates with an option to specialize in a specific higher education field in line with the student’s personal interests and career objectives.

Top 5 Masters in Higher Education Programs

Rank School Location
1The University of NebraskaLincoln, Nebraska
2The University of KansasLawrence, Kansas
3The University of FloridaGainesville, Florida
4The University of California Los AngelesLos Angeles, California
5Auburn UniversityAuburn, Alabama

Graduates from a masters in higher education degree program find rewarding careers in a university’s alumni programs, student affairs, or even within a university’s admissions team. Armed with a masters in higher education degree program, a graduate who has customized their degree program may become academic or athletic policymakers for nonprofits or higher learning institutions or work collaboratively with students to help them reach for their personal educational and work goals.

The list that follows includes some of the nation’s best masters in higher education degree programs. Some degree programs are available online, while others require on-campus attendance – which is noted for each school.

Best 15 Masters in Higher Education Programs

1

The University of Nebraska

  • Lincoln, Nebraska

The University of Nebraska’s College of Education & Human Sciences offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) In Higher Education Administration, that can be completed 100% online in about 24 months. Students applying to UN Lincoln’s masters in higher education have the opportunity to earn a graduate degree that could propel them to leadership and administrative positions in a college or university, and a GRE is not required for admission! Coursework for this graduate higher education degree includes law & higher ed, finance in higher ed, and foundations of research and methods of inquiry for educational administrators, among others.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $11,952 (resident)
Credit Units Required: 36 credit units
Online or On-campus: Online
Student Enrollment: 25,390
Accreditation: HLC
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2

The University of Kansas

  • Lawrence, Kansas

The University of Kansas (KU) Educational Leadership & Policy Studies Department offers a Master of Science degree in Education (MSE) with a focus in Higher Education Administration that is recognized among the state’s best masters in higher education degree programs. Students enrolled in KU’s graduate degree in higher education administration will also be required to fulfill the graduate assistantship requirements to graduate.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $ 15,091 (resident)
Credit Units Required: 36 credit units
Online or On-campus: On-campus, full-time (about two years) or part-time
Student Enrollment: 27,552
Accreditation: HLC
Visit School Website
3

The University of Florida

  • Gainesville, Florida

The University of Florida (UF Online) College of Education offers a Master of Education degree in Higher Education Administration that is available 100% online. Students enrolled in UF’s masters in higher education degree program can complete the degree in about 24 months if studying full-time through the summers.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $17,500.47 (resident)
Credit Units Required: 39 credit units
Online or On-campus: Online for part-time students
Student Enrollment: 52,407
Accreditation: SACSCOC & CAEP
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4

The University of California Los Angeles

  • Los Angeles, California

UCLA’s Department of Education offers a masters in higher education degree program with its academic degree (MA) in Higher Education. UCLA’s graduate degree in higher education implements a scholarly and research approach to higher education. All students must complete a capstone and pass the comprehensive exam to meet program requirements and can complete the program in about twelve months studying full-time.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $17,566 (resident)
Credit Units Required: 30 credit units
Online or On-campus: On-campus
Student Enrollment: 44,371
Accreditation: WASC
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5

Auburn University

  • Auburn, Alabama

Auburn University‘s Education Division offers a Master of Education degree (M.Ed.) in Administration of Higher Education (HIED) that prepares degree candidates for rewarding careers as leaders and administrators in the American higher education system. Classes for Auburn University’s masters in higher education degree program include college student development, an overview of postsecondary education, higher education management, seminar in college teaching, research & dissertation, and leadership in higher education, plus a guided practicum or directed studies/internship, to meet program requirements.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $ 18,018 (resident on campus)
Credit Units Required: 33 credit units
Online or On-campus: On-campus
Student Enrollment: 30,460
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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6

Merrimack College

  • North Andover, Massachusetts

Merrimack College (MC) Winston School Graduate School of Education & Social Policy, located in North Andover, Massachusetts, offers a Masters in Higher Education degree (M.ED.) program that is recognized among the top regional and innovative schools according to US News and the Princeton Review. Merrimack College offers small class sizes, scholarships, and fellowships that provide full tuition of expenses. Review. Merrimack College allows degree candidates to personalize this Masters in Higher Education degree program to meet their interests and academic passions.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $23,580
Credit Units Required: 36 credit units
Online or On-campus: On-campus (full-time (one-year) or part-time (1.5 to 2 years)
Student Enrollment: 5,186
Accreditation: NECHE
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7

Caldwell University

  • Caldwell, New Jersey

Caldwell University offers a Master of Arts degree (MA) in Higher Education that prepares higher education professionals for leadership and administrative positions in colleges, professional schools, and universities. Located less than 30 minutes from downtown Manhattan, Caldwell University is a Catholic Liberal Arts School that was once an all-women’s school but has welcomed co-educational students since the mid-1980s. Caldwell University’s masters in higher education degree program includes coursework in technology & digital identity, legal & ethical issues in higher education, enrollment management, and college student development in the 21st century, plus a capstone internship, among others.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $24,300
Credit Units Required: 36 credit units
Online or On-campus: Online
Student Enrollment: 2,206
Accreditation: MSCHE & CAEP
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8

George Washington University

  • Washington, D.C.

George Washington University’s (George Washington) Graduate School Of Education And Human Development offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Educational Leadership & Administration that is considered an NCATE program of distinction and nationally recognized. This masters in higher education degree program prepares students for a career as an academic administrator or principal, among others. Students enrolled in GWU’s graduate degree in higher education covers Pre-K to 12 education and can be finished in about 24 months.

  • Online or On-campus: On-campus (Alexandria), & Online with field experiences to meet certification requirements in DC, MD, VA, NC, etc.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $25,050 (online)
Credit Units Required: 30 credit units, including an internship.
Student Enrollment: 27,814
Accreditation: MSCHE
Visit School Website
9

Southern Methodist University

  • Dallas, Texas

Southern Methodist University’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development offers a masters in higher education degree (M.Ed.) program from a nationally ranked education school. Students graduating from Southern Methodist University’s enter the workforce prepared for rewarding careers in the area of academic affairs, student affairs, administrative offices, or professional academic organizations, among others. Classes for this degree include equity in higher education, legal issues in higher education, and academic governance, plus an internship and capstone project, among others.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $26,100
Credit Units Required: 36 credit units (2 years full-time or 3-5 years part-time)
Online or On-campus: On-campus
Student Enrollment: 11,824
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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10

Elon University

  • Elon, North Carolina

Elon University offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Higher Education (MHE) that prepares higher education professionals for administrative leadership positions in college, professional school, and university settings. Students enrolled in Elon University’s masters in higher education degree program are also given a study abroad opportunity at no additional cost, a 2 -year paid apprenticeship, and internships for real-world experience. Each class comprises a diverse cohort of 12 students.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $31,572 (scholarships available)
Credit Units Required: 36 credit units – full-time only.
Online or On-campus: On-campus
Student Enrollment: 7,088
Accreditation: SACSCOC & CAEP
Visit School Website
11

Andrews University

  • Berrien Springs, Michigan

The School of Education (SOE) at Andrews University, a 7th Day Adventist higher learning institution, offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Higher Education Administration that prepares higher education professionals for administrative leadership positions in college, professional school, and university settings. Classes for this masters in higher education degree program include leadership in higher education, higher education law, diversity, culture and leadership, and a relevant internship, to name a few.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $40,824
Credit Units Required: 36 credit units
Online or On-campus: On-campus
Student Enrollment: 3,390
Accreditation: HLC
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12

Drexel University

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Drexel University (Drexel) offers a Master of Science (MS) degree in Higher Education Leadership that prepares higher education professionals for administrative leadership positions in institutions of higher education to meet the needs of both traditional and non-tradition students. Drexel University’s masters in higher education degree program is available entirely online from the same on-campus faculty and offers concentrations in enrollment management, mind brain and learning, student development, education policy, learning technologies, and global/international education.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $45,315
Credit Units Required: 45 quarter credit units – two years for full-time students.
Online or On-campus: Online
Student Enrollment: 24,205
Accreditation: MSCHE
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13

Georgetown University

  • Washington, D.C.

Georgetown University (GU) School of Continuing Studies offers a Master’s in Higher Education Administration that is available either online or on-campus in Washington, D.C. Students can begin this program in the spring, summer, or fall semesters. Degree candidates can opt to focus on student affairs or administration, or if they prefer, customize a program to meet their career objectives. Using Jesuit pedagogy, the courses in the master’s program will engage with larger questions of social justice within ethical decision-making. Students will explore issues and frameworks that are key to forming an ethical culture within a higher education institution.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $47,553
Credit Units Required: 33 credit units
Online or On-campus: Online or on-campus, full-time (1.5 years) or part-time (about two years PT)
Student Enrollment: 19,593
Accreditation: MSCHE
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14

Hofstra University

  • Hempstead, New York

The School of Education (SOE) at Hofstra University offers a Master of Science in Education (MEd) with an academic focus in Higher Education Leadership & Policy Studies (HELPS) that is recognized among the best masters in higher education degree programs in the northeastern U.S by thebestschools.com. Students explore the many leadership issues relating to higher education, including the operation and governances of an institution of higher education.

School Overview

Total Program Tuition Fees: $52,314
Credit Units Required: 36 credit units
Online or On-campus: Online, on-campus, or a hybrid delivery to meet student needs.
Student Enrollment: 10,804
Accreditation: MSCHE
Visit School Website

Masters in Higher Education Ranking Methodology

The schools listed above recognize some of the best on-campus and online masters in higher education degree programs available across the United States. The academic degree programs have been ranked with the most affordable degree program listed first.

The total program tuition fees for these masters in higher education degree programs are for those costs for the academic year 2020/2021 – as noted by the institution of higher education unless otherwise noted. Each program’s required credit units are listed to delineate the degree program’s academic depth.

Additionally, each school’s information includes the available program delivery methods as either –

  • Online
  • On-campus
  • A hybrid combination of both

Student enrollment information is provided to help potential students recognize the size of the school’s student body. All other school information that was used for this MBA program and school analysis was pulled from each college or university’s website or data listed on the National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) website.

Would you like to update the specific information denoted above for one of the listed higher learning institutions? Please contact BestValueSchools.com to help us update the information detailed in the rankings.

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