Higher Education Universities

Degree: Master of Arts in Higher Education

The master's degree program in higher education offered through the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education (CSHPE) is designed to provide individuals with a general understanding of higher education as a field of practice and inquiry, while allowing the flexibility for students to probe more deeply into areas of specialized interest. A distinct feature of the master's degree program is the interaction among students with different professional backgrounds and diverse career goals. Students have opportunities to work with other master's students in required courses as well as with doctoral students in cognate and elective courses. As students work together on assignments and discuss issues in and out of class, students come to appreciate and understand the multiple frames of reference that may be brought to bear on higher education decision-making.

The challenges that face higher education require that educators not only adapt to change but also engage in developing a vision of higher education for society. Our main goal for graduate training is to prepare individuals for leadership in shaping the future of higher education through generating and applying knowledge, advancing the role of higher education in supporting the public good, and improving institutional practice. This is accomplished through coursework and experiences designed to increase students' understanding of higher education as an academic area of inquiry and practice. Toward this end, our curriculum is geared toward preparation for administrative, faculty, research, and policy careers in higher education and related enterprises.

Our graduates leave the program with a good sense of the work that is needed in higher education and endeavor to make a difference in their career fields. Most employers and faculty would agree that CSHPE graduates:

  • Combine academic knowledge with individual action
  • Are well-prepared in terms of research and self-directed learning
  • Are prepared for a self-directed career
  • Possess comprehensive knowledge about higher education as an enterprise
  • Can communicate the critical components of higher education issues to various audiences and constituencies

Graduates of the program are qualified to participate in a wide range of higher education settings, including: college and university administration, state and national public policy agencies, government offices, higher education systems offices, professional associations, consortia, regional and coordinating bodies and accrediting agencies. They assume a wide variety of roles and work on key activities such as admissions, advising, administration and policy analysis.

Profiles of student and alumni ambassadors who have participated in the higher education programs provide additional information about who fits in a program and what they might do after graduating.

This program is designed with the full-time student in mind. Coursework is offered primarily during the academic year (September through April) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The typical time to completion is three semesters over a year-and-a-half (year one: fall and winter semesters; year two: fall semester). It is possible to complete the program either part-time or full-time at an accelerated pace over 12 months.


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