Higher Education Administration Graduate Schools: How to Choose

Dec 05, 2019

Higher education administration programs are designed for students interested in entering administrative positions in colleges and universities. The most common schools offering graduate programs in higher education administration award master's degrees.

Individuals interested in a higher education administration graduate program can earn a master's degree in the subject, although doctoral programs may also be available. These programs are commonly offered at 4-year universities and may feature practical training to help students prepare for roles in community colleges or universities.

10 Schools with Higher Education Administration Programs

Here's a list of ten schools with relevant programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition 2018-2019*
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, Michigan Public Master's, doctorate In-state tuition $23,128 Out-of-state tuition $46,678
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, California Public Master's, doctorate In-state tuition $11,442 Out-of-state tuition $26,544
University of Southern California Los Angeles, California Private not-for-profit Master's, doctorate $44,712
Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan Public Master's, doctorate In-state tuition $18,132 Out-of-state tuition $35,628
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Private not-for-profit Master's, doctorate $34,882
University of Georgia Athens, Georgia Public Master's, doctorate In-state tuition $8,704 Out-of-state tuition $24,692
Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania Public Master's, doctorate In-state tuition $21,540 Out-of-state tuition $36,974
Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee Private, not for profit Master's $47,208
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, Indiana Public Master's, doctorate, certificate In-state tuition $9,225 Out-of-state tuition $31,932
University of Maryland - College Park College Park, Maryland Public Master's, doctorate, certificate In-state tuition $12,906 Out-of-state tuition $27,864

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

These are some things to consider when choosing a program geared toward higher education administration:

  • Students who know their career paths may want to consider colleges that offer customized programs, whereas students without a specific career goal in mind would be better suited for traditional programs that take a holistic approach.
  • Students may want to consider schools that offer career training in the form of on-campus employment, paid internships, or graduate assistantships.
  • Smaller class sizes may also be a consideration because a small class size can allow for the development of personal relationships between students and faculty.

Master's Program

A master's degree program in higher education administration prepares students for entry-level administrative positions in community and technical colleges and 4-year universities and colleges. Programs focus on administrative theories and practices. Upon completion of the master's degree program, students are trained for positions in student services and residential programs, financial aid, career counseling and admissions.

Graduate programs in higher education administration prepare students for leadership roles at higher education institutions. When selecting a program, students should consider career-training components, class size and specific career goals.

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