Master of Arts in Education, Higher Education and Student Affairs

The Master's in Higher Education and Student Affairs degree is designed for people pursuing careers in colleges and universities. The program also provides a solid foundation for students wishing to pursue doctoral work.

The higher education and student affairs master's degree program from the University of Redlands develops a deep understanding of the theoretical framework behind higher education through a curriculum that centers on technical skills and social justice.

The program prepares students to work in post-secondary institutions through exposure to the social, cultural, and organizational contexts of higher education, theories of leadership and student development, and discussion of current issues.

A Social Justice Perspective

Students develop the skills to practice informed decision-making in their roles as higher education professionals and the program embraces a social justice approach to professional practice. 

The social justice perspective in this program manifests implicitly and explicitly throughout the courses. Our aim is that students graduate from the program with the foundation to be:

  1. Aware of inequities in higher education;
  2. Critical of the role of power and privilege in higher education;
  3. Advocates and allies for those who experience oppression in higher education; and,
  4. Agents for change to address inequities in higher education. 

A Justice-Focused Higher Education Degree in California

This comprehensive program thoroughly examines the social, cultural, and organizational contexts of higher education and develops skills in informed decision making and professional practice from a social justice perspective. The curriculum contains strong focuses in organization, leadership, equity, and assessment all examined through educational justice.

Program Highlights

The Master of Arts in Education, Higher Education program at the University of Redlands is designed for people pursuing careers in colleges and universities. The program focuses on organization, leadership, assessment, and examines campus cultures, support services, and student development theories.

This program prepares students to work in post-secondary institutions through exposure to the social, cultural, and organizational contexts of higher education. Students develop the skills to practice informed decision-making from a social justice perspective in their roles as higher education or student affairs professionals. 

Coursework

In addition to courses, one would expect to see in higher education and student affairs programs, students take a required course on the representations and use of popular culture and media related to higher education and student affairs.

Elective courses also include classes such as Sexuality and Gender in Higher Education and Student Affairs, Addressing Challenges in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and Intergroup Dialogue in Higher Education and Student Affairs.

Students are also required to complete a 120-hour internship. 

Launch Your Career in Higher Education Today!

The Master's in Higher Education and Student Affairs degree develops higher education and student affairs leaders who are paving the way for college and university innovation. Interested in taking the next step in your own career? Request more information or get started on your application today!

Admission Requirements

  1. Completed application 
  2. Evidence of a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution 
  3. Evidence of a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or an approved petition 
  4. One (1) official transcript issued by the Registrar of each institution attended, sent directly to the Office of Graduate and Professional Enrollment.  
  5. Two (2) letters of recommendation from faculty or professionals who know your work 
  6. Personal Statement: Essay of 500 words describing personal experience and interests in relation to higher education and/or student affairs.  

Questions? Email SOEadmissions@redlands.edu

Program Overview

The Higher Education and Student Affairs program focuses on organization, leadership, assessment and examines campus cultures, support services, and student development theories.

As part of the core curriculum for this program, students take a course on higher education representation in popular culture and the use of media in the profession.

Students are required to complete a 120-hour internship.

The program consists of 36 credits over 2 years with classes 2 nights per week located at our Redlands main campus. 

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with an M.A. in Higher Education should be able to:

  1. Competently describe, understand, and analyze concepts, research, and theories related to the study of higher education.
  2. Proficiently describe, understand, and analyze research and theories exposing inequities in educational access, opportunities, and practices in institutions of higher education.
  3. Adeptly evaluate and create solutions to professional problems in institutions of higher education.
  4. Capably evaluate and apply quantitative and qualitative research to practical problems in higher education.  
  5. Demonstrate strong and effective communication skills through well-organized written and oral forms. 

Coursework

EDUC 607 Higher Education in the United States (3)  

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 611 Introduction to Student Affairs (3) 

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 644 Intro to Educational Inquiry (3) 

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

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 an analysis of these areas; 3) to develop an integrated view of law, policy, and finance for practice.  

Prerequisite: EDUC 607. 

EDUC 614 Organizational Theory & Leadership in H.E. (3) 

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. 

EDUC 669 Diversity and Higher Education (3)  

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 develop a critical understanding of what these issues mean for institutions and their own professional practice.  

Prerequisite: EDUC 607 or by permission of instructor. 

EDUC 606 Topics in Higher Education (3) 

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

EDUC 633 Working with College Students (3) 

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 612 Media and Digital Technologies for Leadership in Higher Education (3) 

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 608 Evaluation & Assessment (3) 

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 624 Intro to College Student Development Theory (3) 

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. 

EDUC 637 Master’s Seminar (3) 

The 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. 

Effective Fall 2022 Higher Education and Student Affairs Pathway

Master's Thesis Examples

Master's Thesis Examples

  • A Call to Action: Building a foundation of meaningful change and inclusivity on college campus for minority students
  • Minding the Gap: An Examination of the Impact of Study Abroad Programs on Graduate Student Development
  • Bridging the Gap between Successful Transfer and Degree Attainment among Community College Transfer Students
  • Academic Advising Impacts Student Success
  • Supporting First Generation Students of Color Through K-12 and Higher Education Partnerships
  • AB 705: A Solution to the Impacts of Past Practices in California Remedial Education
  • The Health and Wellness Outcomes of Students of Color in Higher Education
  • Cultivating Engaging On-Campus Experiences for d/Deaf or Hard of Hearing Women
  • Access, Equity, and College Persistence Among African American Students in Higher Education
  • Sexual Assault on College Campuses: Understanding College Culture and its Effects on Creating Beneficial Prevention and Awareness Education
  • Welcome Back: A Review of the Scholarly Literature Regarding Study Abroad Programs and the Repatriation Process
  • Invisible in Higher Education: The Struggles of LGBT Students, Faculty, and Staff Searching for Visibility on Campuses

Career Pathways

Career Pathways

  • Academic Advising
  • Athletic Advising, Coaching, or Training
  • Admissions
  • College Access
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • First Generation Student Programs
  • Greek Life
  • International Education
  • Graduate Studies
  • Residence Life
  • Student Academic Success
  • Student Services
  • Student Success and Support
  • University Communications