Online Enrollment Management Degree Program Information

Find out about online enrollment management courses and in which certificate and degree programs they're most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

Essential Information

Enrollment management refers to strategies and tactics used by administrators at institutions of higher education to control and influence their enrollment. Areas of operation include financial aid, recruitment, retention, marketing and admissions.

Enrollment management is studied only at the graduate level. Several schools offer this program online. It can be a concentration in a Master of Science in Education program or a certificate program. Both types of programs are designed for education professionals. All courses in these programs can be completed entirely online, with students accessing classes as their schedules permit, within set start and end dates.

A master's program calls for 48 credit hours, and the length of time to complete the program depends on if the student is full- or part-time. Graduates receive a master's degree in education and a certificate in enrollment management. Courses may cover student retention, recruitment, marketing and financial aid.

Admission to a certificate program usually requires that a student have a master's degree or at least five years of experience working in higher education. These programs take no more than three semesters to complete. Courses may cover enrollment management theory, the principles of enrollment management and contemporary issues in the field.

M.S. in Education with a Concentration in Enrollment Management

This program is designed for education professionals in the area of student services who wish to advance to administrative positions in postsecondary institutions. Students are prepared to fill jobs in areas that include enrollment, financial aid, student affairs, registrar duties, admissions and retention. Prerequisites include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college with a minimum 2.30 cumulative GPA.

Program Information and Requirements

Depending on how many courses a student may qualify to transfer and how many courses are taken per quarter, completion time of the 48-quarter credit hour program can vary. Each course consists of 4-quarter credit hours. Quarters are ten weeks long.

Delivery of the program is entirely online by way of a syllabus with assignments and lessons displayed on the home page for each course. Students communicate with instructors and each other by way of a course room discussion board and e-mail. Although students have access to the course room and discussion board at all times, courses have set start and end dates.

Technical requirements include a computer with Internet access. Depending on the computer, the operating system should be at least Windows XP or Mac OS X; and the browser, IE 7.0, Safari 3.0 or Firefox 3.0. Additionally, there should be 512 GB or more of RAM

Course Topics

In addition to two core courses and four elective courses dealing with various topics in the field of education, students must also complete six specialization courses in enrollment management. In doing this, graduates receive a Master of Science in Education and a professional certificate in enrollment management.

Enrollment Management Overview

This introductory course exposes students to concepts, theories and principles of enrollment management and the strategies and tactics used to implement them. Marketing, recruitment, financial aid packages and trends are among the topics explored.

Retention of Students in Higher Education

Students learn the basics of how to retain students at a university or college. Using current research and philosophies of retention, students learn to develop and manage a retention plan of their own.

Technology Application

The students' first focus is on the current technologies used in the recruitment and retention aspects of enrollment management. Then, after examining emerging technologies, they put together a hybrid and learn to apply possible solutions to problems in the field.

Financial Assistance

Students learn how financial assistance plays a part in the administrative aspect of the university and the influence it has on enrollment. They discover how to evaluate strategies as they comply with specific rules and regulations of financial aid.


The purpose, impact and worth of targeted communications as they apply to marketing strategies make up the core of this course. Students use existing principles and rules to develop a plan of improvement for effective school marketing.

Certificate in Enrollment Management

Intended for education professionals, the program requires that a student either have a master's or a bachelor's degree with five years of experience in higher education in order to be admitted. The program prepares the student to take the next step in the field of educational administration in postsecondary institutions.

Program Information and Requirements

Conducted completely online and requiring no in-person work, this certificate program is designed to be completed in 2-3 semesters. A syllabus is published online, as are assignments. Communication and discussion between instructors and students are carried on asynchronously by way of Blackboard. Online calendars, listing due dates, help keep students synchronized to the course schedule.

Technical requirements include a computer with Internet access carrying either Windows XP or Mac OS X or better, as well as at least one GB of RAM and a DSL or cable connection. Firefox 3.0 or higher is the preferred browser. The computer should be able to support Flash Player 10 or higher, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Windows Media Player 10 or higher and Java2 Runtime Environment. Other software may be called for in specific courses.

Course Topics

The program consists of four courses, all of which deal directly with different aspects of enrollment management. Graduates may transfer course credits to a master's in administration of higher education.


The focus of the course is on the creation of an integrated, team-oriented enrollment management program. Factors considered and studied include marketing, recruitment, marketing research, retention and strategic planning.

History and Principles

Dealing with various organizational aspects of effective enrollment management, students focus on the historical and philosophical foundations and justifications of the process. Students closely examine and devise a by-the-numbers approach to marketing the school. The development of an overall effective marketing plan and the role played by the administrator of an enrollment management program are examined.

Contemporary Issues

This course focuses on how contemporary issues tend to affect postsecondary education. Within this context, students analyze the application of techniques and methods used. Philosophical positions are developed and discussed as students prepare and present a research paper.

People Management

Students use case studies, readings and online discussions to investigate various ideas as they apply to management concepts. The goal is to understand how to establish an effective symbiotic relationship between theory and practice.

Career Information

Depending on the size of the school, individuals who have qualified with a certificate or a concentration in enrollment management may find themselves eligible for positions with varied job descriptions. At a big school, the graduate may fill a single position, such as director of admission, director of student services or director of financial aid, all of which may be parts of a larger department of enrollment management. At a smaller school, due to fewer resources, the same individual may have to perform the duties of several directors.

Advancement within the education administration profession is often accomplished by earning a doctorate, promotion or transferring to another larger school. Often, but not always, a move is determined by salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for postsecondary education administrators will increase by 9% from 2014-2024 (

A salary survey was conducted for the 2015-2016 school year by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). The national unweighted median annual salary for a college's chief enrollment management officer, was $153,204 at a private school and $135,310 at a public institution. A chief development/advance officer earned $173,420 at a private school and $158,030 at a public school, while a chief public relations officer earned $109,256 at a private school and $119,222 at a public college.

Continuing Education Information

Membership in one or more professional organizations, such as the Association of College Administrative Professionals or the Association of University Policy Administrators provides the opportunity for members to attend seminars, lectures, conferences and to access professional publications. All of these serve to keep the member up-to-date with and aware of developments in the field, by way of a free exchange of ideas.

Individuals seeking a flexible option for an education in enrollment management may choose to pursue that as a concentration as part of a larger master's degree program, or they may choose to pursue a graduate certificate. These programs emphasize subjects such as student retention, technology, financial assistance and marketing.

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