Online Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration

A career in higher education administration can be challenging and rewarding. Higher education administrators enjoy a dynamic work environment that is always changing: the college campus. However, most university administration positions require a graduate degree, which sends many higher education professionals back to school. A masters degree in higher education administration usually requires 30 hours of course work, or at least 10 classes. A program of this length takes a full-time student at least one to two years to complete. Part-time students usually take three or more years to complete the degree, but this can vary depending on the student’s resources and flexibility.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Higher Education Administration

A masters degree in higher education administration prepares students for an active role on a college campus. Students learn about the organizational side of higher education and the factors that influence student performance. They also take classes emphasizing psychological, sociological, cultural, political, and economic perspectives in higher education. These courses are designed to give graduates the necessary tools to create solutions, programs, and strategies in a college setting that promote student success and stability for the institution itself. Common coursework in a higher education administration masters program might include:

  • Education in a Multicultural Society
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Intro to Administration of Higher Education
  • Educational Planning and Policy Development
  • Student Development and Student Affairs

An online masters degree in higher education administration typically requires a thesis. Students may also have the option to take a comprehensive exam in lieu of the thesis requirement. The thesis involves some independent research in the field of higher education administration. In some programs, students might be required to present their research to a faculty board on campus.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Higher Education Administration

Professionals with masters degrees in higher education administration can take on a number of administrative or leadership roles at colleges and universities. Many assume management or directorial positions in financial aid, admissions, counseling, or student affairs. They can also find management positions in other areas like alumni relations, study abroad programs, or fundraising. A masters degree is required for most university administrator positions. Some bachelors degree holders may be able to advance from entry-level positions, but masters degree holders are strongly preferred. Jobs in college administration are expected to grow by 19% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average university administrator earns approximately $80,000 per year.


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