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MS - Higher Education Leadership and Administration

Capella University's Master of Science in Higher Education with a specialization in Higher Education Leadership and Administration is designed to provide an understanding of administrative principles and practices for working in 2- and 4-year colleges and universities. Learn more about this program here.

Official Program Name:

Master of Science in Higher Education with a specialization in Higher Education Leadership and Administration

School Offering Program:

Capella University

Degree Level:


Program Prerequisites:

Before enrolling in this program, aspiring students might have earned an undergraduate degree in education and might have professional experience in an academic setting. They should possess strong leadership, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Applicants to Capella University's graduate programs should have a bachelor's degree; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

From financial management to program administration, the Master of Science in Higher Education with a specialization in Higher Education Leadership and Administration program at Capella University addresses managerial practices and roles in various areas of educational leadership. Students are given the opportunity to review events and issues in higher education; implications of public policy in higher education; institutional budgeting and other finance topics; and educational leadership roles, organizational structures, and institutional vision. In addition, students can choose an area of emphasis. In the community college leadership emphasis, students could expect to learn about factors that drive the growth and expansion of community colleges, policy decision-making, and trends. The program administration emphasis focuses on the functions of higher education institutions, governance practices, and human resources management. An integrative project required in the capstone allows students to draw on and apply their knowledge of concepts addressed throughout the program.

Learning Format:


Program Length:

48 credits.

Financial Aid Available:

Eligible students could be able to receive financial aid in the forms of grants, loans, and scholarships. Contact Capella University's financial aid office for more information.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. Complete the form to the right to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for a Master of Science in Higher Education with a specialization in Higher Education Leadership and Administration:

In this program, students must earn a total of 48 credits: 16 credits in core courses and 32 credits in the area of specialization. Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Capella University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Core Courses (16 credits)

  • Foundations of Master's Studies in Education
  • Survey of Research Methodology
  • Overview of Higher Education
  • Foundations of Higher Education Assessment and Evaluation

Higher Education Leadership and Administration Specialization Courses (32 credits)

  • History, Issues, and Trends in Higher Education
  • Politics and Public Policy in Higher Education
  • Financial Management and Institutional Development
  • Higher Education Leadership and Administration Capstone
  • Leadership in Higher Education
  • Students choose one of the following areas of emphasis and complete its required courses:
    • Community College Leadership
      • Comprehensive Community Colleges
      • Governance and Politics in Community Colleges
      • Issues and Trends in Community Colleges
    • Higher Education Program Administration
      • Organization and Functions of Higher Education Programs
      • Law and Governance in Higher Education
      • Higher Education Program Administration

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Furthering Your Education:

Once they have obtained the Master of Science degree in Higher Education - Higher Education Leadership and Administration, graduates could be prepared to pursue a doctoral degree in the field. A doctorate could further explore leadership and administrative theories, roles, and practices, and could be needed to qualify for some upper-level administrative positions in postsecondary institutions.

Doctoral degrees graduates might be prepared to pursue include, but are not limited to:

  • PhD in Education - Leadership in Educational Administration
  • PhD in Education - Leadership for Higher Education
  • Doctor of Education - Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education - Performance Improvement Leadership

Career Paths:

Upon completion of Capella University's MS in Higher Education - Higher Education Leadership and Administration program, graduates could seek assistant administrative, coordinator, or advisory positions in public or private colleges or universities. They might work in areas of student affairs, student advising, continuing education, career counseling, or instruction.

Career titles suitable for graduates of this MS program include:

  • Academic advisor
  • Articulation officer
  • Director of continuing education
  • Career center coordinator
  • Assistant director of student affairs

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