Higher Education, M.S.
Graduate Studies

The Master of Science in Higher Education program prepares you for administrative and leadership roles in colleges and universities.

Program Highlights

Prepare for a rewarding career in higher education with a comprehensive foundation that will expand your capacity for professional service in institutions of higher education in the 21st century.

Your courses will focus on personal and professional development, giving you the knowledge and skills you need to be a responsive leader and adviser, effective educator, and skilled administrator across all types of colleges and universities.

Graduates will be ready to seek career advancement in a variety of student-focused positions including student advisement, admissions and recruitment, student affairs, athletics, career development, communications and marketing, alumni relations and other campus departments.

Cost of Tuition

Course Length


Online Format

Program Overview

  • Affordable tuition—Just $500 per credit; $15,000 total for the degree.
  • Convenient online classes—All courses are offered online. The four interdisciplinary core courses are asynchronous, allowing you to work at your own pace to complete assignments. The six concentration and capstone courses incorporate synchronous, live instruction, allowing you to interact with your professor and classmates.
  • Swift degree completion—Earn the 30 required credits in just 16 months, or five semesters. Take one class at a time in accelerated, seven-week sessions.
  • Professional network—Study with a cohort of the same classmates throughout the program, allowing you to build a close network with peers.
  • Capstone project—Complete a capstone project through which you explore a framework for conducting action research while also participating in an immersion experience within the field. This culminating experience helps you develop your professional voice through the exploration of significant issues in the collegiate educational setting.
  • Learning community—Participate in a broader community of practitioners in higher education, encompassing both master’s and doctoral students. Faculty and students from a wide range of institutions have participated in this learning community, contributing to the growing body of research and leadership in the field.
  • Option to continue to the doctoral program—You have the option to continue your studies in Immaculata’s Ed.D. in Higher Education program without repeating any course content. If you meet the eligibility requirements for admission to the Ed.D. and enroll within five years of completing your M.S., four of your doctoral course requirements will be waived.


Course Preview

Methods of Research

This course is designed to examine comprehensive methodological approaches to qualitative and quantitative research and the basic research process. Skills in critiquing research, evaluating the research outcomes as valid, reliable, and useful and the application of this knowledge and skill in the creating of a literature review are included.

Diversity and Multiculturalism in Higher Education

This course emphasizes development of the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to be an inclusive higher education administrator or faculty member through the lens of structural inequality and diversity. It emphasizes the practitioner’s responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities for creating and sustaining affirming, pluralistic, and inclusive campus communities for all students.

Higher Education Administration and Leadership

This course provides an overview of the basic organizational structure of higher education and how leadership at every level may use the structure to facilitate change and innovation. In this light, the role of each leadership unit (academic affairs, student affairs, enrollment management, finance, institutional advancement, and others) is examined.

Professional Seminar Parts I & II

The Seminar consists of a capstone project with an experiential component of 15 hours of immersion in practice. The project employs an action research process that applies learning directly to a higher education setting. The project serves as the master’s comprehensive evaluation incorporating concepts from all parts of the curriculum. Formal presentation of the project is the final requirement for the program.

Curriculum (30 credits)

  • Core courses in educational leadership (asynchronous online classes)
    • GEN 501 Human Development
    • GEN 502 Methods of Research
    • GEN 503 Interpersonal Relations
    • EDL 615 Contemporary Professional Ethics
  • Concentration courses in higher education (synchronous online classes)
    • HED 605 Foundations of American Higher Education
    • HED 612 Higher Education Administration and Leadership
    • HED 621 Diversity and Multiculturalism in Higher Education
    • HED 632 Assessment of Student Learning
  • Applied capstone courses (synchronous online sessions coupled with field experience and independent research)
    • HED 637 Professional Seminar, Part I
    • HED 638 Professional Seminar, Part II

Program Mission, Goals and Learning Outcomes

Three Pillars

  • Serve as leaders and change agents who think critically and sensitively in the context of a diverse and evolving society
  • Respond reflectively to emerging trends in light of the purposes, ideals and operation of the higher education community
  • Apply skills, knowledge and attitudes effectively and ethically in the spectrum of higher education administrative roles

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the program will be able to:

  • Understand factors influencing and supporting higher education, its purpose and its practices
  • Evaluate and respond to current administrative issues and trends in higher education
  • Recognize social and cultural systems in the context of the environment and through an historical lens
  • Articulate leadership values and styles in the context of ethical decision making
  • Use research, knowledge of human dimensions, and interpersonal dynamics to inform practice


Admission Requirements

To apply, you must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Complete the application
  • Provide official undergraduate transcripts demonstrating a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Submit a current resume (work experience in the higher education setting is not required)
  • Submit a one-page essay discussing professional goals connected to a career in higher education
  • Provide two professional/academic letters of recommendation
  • Complete a successful interview demonstrating capacity to undertake an advanced master’s program


Where Can I Work?

Graduates of the master’s program may serve in roles across the spectrum of institutional types (community colleges, private institutions, and public regional universities). Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate a master’s degree as the preferred entry level education for these types of positions.

Just the facts


Four semesters plus one summer


Program offered at a discounted rate of $500 per credit


Professional Seminars with applied experiences


Credits required for graduation

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