Masters Degree in Higher Education Administration: Program Info

If you want to become a college administrator, a master's degree program in higher education administration may fulfill your academic needs. Learn more about prerequisites, graduation requirements, and opportunities for graduates.

Essential Information

Master of Higher Education Administration (MHEA) programs typically integrate educational administration theories with realistic case study scenarios in order to bolster the students' leadership skills, organizational aptitudes, and funding and budget management capabilities.

Successful completion of approximately 48 credit hours of classroom instruction, research projects and internships are generally required for graduation. Online programs are available at some schools.

Aside from a bachelor's degree, there are no education prerequisites specific to master's degree programs in higher education administration. Some programs require that interested students have some professional experience in higher education, even at a basic administrative level.

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Master of Higher Education Administration Degree

Master's programs in this field may cover methods and techniques for career mapping, college catalog analysis and mediating asynchronous online discussions. Beyond traditional classroom instruction, a capstone research project is the focal point for many MHEA degree programs. These projects usually involve independent study in a particular field of interest to the student, such as fundraising or technology trends. Capstone projects typically culminate with a written report and a group presentation of the research results. Common course titles include:

  • Organization and administration of higher education
  • College and university student personnel management
  • History of higher education
  • Legal issues in higher education
  • Higher education business management

Career Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment for postsecondary education administrators to increase 9% between 2014 and 2024, faster than the average for all occupations, most likely because of enrollment increases at colleges and universities. The BLS also reported that as of 2014, these professionals held 174,100 jobs, and the median yearly wage was approximately $88,580 in 2015 (

Continuing Education Information

The majority of doctorate degree programs in this field take the form of either a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Higher Education Administration. Also, continuing education opportunities can be found through professional organizations, such as the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers ( and NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (

Master's programs in higher education administration often include traditional coursework and culminate in research projects tailored to students' career goals. Graduates are prepared to hold administrative positions at colleges and universities or go on to pursue doctoral degrees in the field.

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