Master of Arts in Education Higher Education

The Higher Education master’s degree program is designed for people pursuing careers in colleges and universities. The program offers two tracks, higher education and higher education with a concentration in student affairs. The higher education track focuses on organization, leadership, and assessment. The student affairs track examines campus cultures, support services, and student development theories. Both tracks prepare students to work in postsecondary institutions through exposure to the social, cultural, and organizational contexts of higher education. Students also develop the skills to practice informed decision making from a social justice perspective in their roles as higher education or student affairs professionals.

Learning outcomes for the Master of Arts in Higher Education may be found at

Core Courses

EDUC 644 Introduction to Educational Research (3 Credits)

Introduces the major orientations informing educational research, as well as a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Develops an understanding of study design, data collection, and analysis to evaluate existing studies and plan new ones that are relevant to professional practice in education.

EDUC 637 Master’s Seminar (3 Credits)

Culminating experience of the program. Students will have the opportunity to identify, explore, and research an area in depth and then communicate findings to the professional community.
Prerequisites: completion of all course requirements. Students may be concurrently enrolled in other required courses to fulfill program requirements.

Required Courses

EDUC 607 Higher Education in the United States: Contexts and Populations (3 Credits)

This graduate survey course examines five themes in American higher education: (a) history of higher education, (b) educational access, (c) student populations, (d) roles of educators, and (e) current context.

EDUC 612 Popular Culture, Media and Higher Education (3 Credits)

This class explores the representation of higher education in popular culture and applies what is learned to higher education research and practice. Students consider the use of media as part of their professional practice. 
Prerequisite: EDUC 607.

EDUC 669 Diversity in Higher Education (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to theory, research, and practice related to diversity in American higher education. Students learn about crucial topics such as those related to discrimination and privilege, as well as developing a critical understanding of what these issues mean for institutions and their own professional practice. 
Prerequisite: EDUC 607 or by permission of instructor.

Fieldwork Requirements (take 3 credits)

EDUC 666 Fieldwork Practicum in Higher Education (1-3 Credits)

Independently designed learning experience focuses on a particular area of expertise in higher education. Students will be assigned a mentor to direct fieldwork experiences. 
Credit/no credit only.

HESA Foundation Track Courses

Please note – all students take 9 credits in this section but the specific courses are differentiated by track below, as indicated by the “OR”

Higher Education Track (leads to MA in Education: Higher Education)

EDUC 608 Evaluation and Assessment: Enhancing Program Effectiveness and Student Learning (3 Credits)

Emphasis on the evaluation of program efficiency, effectiveness, and impact, as well as the assessment of learning in and out of classroom settings in higher education. Intends to build the skills of planning, development, implementation, analysis, and communication of findings in projects related to evaluation and assessment. 
Prerequisite: EDUC 607 or by permission of instructor.

EDUC 631 Law, Policy, and Finance in Higher Education (3 Credits)

Students in this course explore law, policy, and finance issues in higher education. The purpose is threefold; 1) to develop an understanding of these issues at the international, national, state, and institutional levels; 2) to conduct analysis of these areas; 3) to develop an integrated view of law, policy, and finance for practice. 
Prerequisite: EDUC 607.

EDUC 614 Organization Theory and Leadership in Higher Education (3 Credits)

Emphasis on theoretical perspectives of organization theory and management with a focus on colleges and universities. Introduction to organization theory, organizational structure, governance, and cultures of higher education.


Student Affairs Track (leads to an MA in Education: Higher Education Student Affairs)

EDUC 611 Introduction to College Student Affairs (3 Credits)

Student affairs is integral to students’ experiences and success. This introductory course examines four areas as a foundation for student affairs practice: 1) the historical context of student affairs; 2) philosophy and ethics of the profession; 3) functional units and their purpose; and 4) core concepts as part of student affairs practice. 
Prerequisite: EDUC 607.

EDUC 633 Working with College Students (3 Credits)

This course investigates the role and function of student affairs professionals working with college students. The various functional areas that comprise student services, contemporary issues in student services, and the role of assessment in student affairs will be addressed.
Prerequisites: EDUC 607 and EDUC 611.

EDUC 624 Introduction to College Student Development Theory (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to the main theories of college student development. Students will become familiar with and develop their own understanding of holistic, psychosocial, cognitive, and social identity theories related to college student development. Students will consider what these theories mean for their work in institutions of higher education. 
Prerequisite: EDUC 607 or by permission of instructor.

Elective Courses

Students must take an additional 9 credits of coursework based on consultation with their academic advisor from additional foundational courses and/or a selection of the following:

EDUC 601 The Counseling Process (3 Credits)

Students will develop a conceptual understanding of the helping process and learn basic counseling and interviewing skills. Practice in applying skills will take place through role-playing and videotape review.

EDUC 606 Topics in Higher Education (0-3 Credits)

Topics courses address questions, theories, and practice related to a special topic or area in higher education. Prerequisite: EDUC 607 or by permission of instructor.

EDUC 654 Counseling for Career Choice and Development (3 Credits)

Students will become familiar with career development theories, sources of occupational information, the career counseling process, assessment in career counseling, and curricular approaches to fostering career development. They also will become familiar with the impact of diversity and individual differences on career development and choices. 
Prerequisite: EDUC 601 with a minimum grade of at least 3.0 or higher; and, for non-counseling majors, by permission.