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Master's in higher education programs prepare graduates for administrative roles in colleges and universities.

Learners gain the skills and knowledge needed to make important decisions, manage budgets, and handle staffing needs.

Graduates enjoy strong job prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for postsecondary education administrators to grow 7% between 2018 and 2028 -- faster than the national average for all occupations. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $94,340 in 2018, with the top 10% of earners making more than $190,600 during the same timeframe.

This guide ranks the top online master's in higher education programs. We also cover important information for prospective students, such as common courses and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Top 10 Online Master's in Higher Education Programs 2020

#1 Boston University Boston, MA
#3 Georgetown University Washington, DC
#4 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
#5 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
#6 Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA
#7 University of Houston Houston, TX
#8 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
#9 University of Mississippi University, MS
#10 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
#11 DePaul University Chicago, IL

The Best Online Master’s in Higher Education Degree Programs

1
Boston University
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5

University of Rochester 

Rochester, NY

About this school

Established in 1850, Rochester is a private university that serves more than 12,000 students annually. Regarded as one of the preeminent research universities in the country, Rochester offers more than 200 degrees, including an online master's program in higher education.

This 36-credit MS in educational administration offers three concentrations: higher education administration, student affairs administration, and academic and career advising. Core courses include master's research methods, college access and (in)equity, higher education law, and history of higher education. The curriculum also includes an internship and requires a master's thesis.

Part-time students complete the program in two years. Rochester delivers program coursework asynchronously through Blackboard.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
86%
Percent Receiving Loans
40%
Online Enrollment
1%
6

Louisiana State University 

Baton Rouge, LA

About this school

With a main campus in Baton Rouge and satellite campuses spanning the state, Louisiana State University and A&M College serves approximately 31,000 students every year. LSU offers 10 programs through distance learning, including an online master's in education with a concentration in higher education administration.

LSU's 36-credit higher education program covers topics like Greek life affairs and alumni relations. The curriculum prepares graduates to effectively navigate administrative and academic challenges. Required courses include understanding and applying research in higher education, issues of race and gender, leadership in higher education, and strategic planning and finance. Rather than completing a comprehensive exam prior to graduating, learners can build a professional portfolio of their best work.

The program does not include any in-person requirements. Students typically earn their degrees in 18-24 months, completing the 12 required courses during seven-week terms. Admission requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. The program does not require GRE scores for admission.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
36%
Online Enrollment
17%
7

University of Houston 

Houston, TX

About this school

Founded in 1927, the University of Houston is now the third-largest university in Texas. Through its 14 colleges, UH offers more than 280 degrees to its 45,000 students annually. To expand access to academic opportunities, UH also provides 27 online graduate programs and more than 1,250 online courses.

UH's master's in higher education offers both on-campus and fully online delivery methods. Online students participate in a cohort model that allows them to complete the degree in six consecutive semesters. Students enroll in two classes per semester.

The 36-credit curriculum includes courses such as cultural foundations of American education and leadership and administration of higher education. In addition to an internship and required coursework, learners complete either a thesis or a comprehensive exam. The program delivers all coursework asynchronously through Blackboard.

Prospective students must submit GRE scores. Texas residents receive a tuition discount.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
39%
Online Enrollment
6%
8

University of Nebraska - Lincoln 

Lincoln, NE

About this school

As the flagship school in the University of Nebraska system, the Lincoln campus serves over 25,000 students annually. The university offers 25 online undergraduate and graduate degrees, including an online master's in higher education.

UNL's higher education program primarily serves working professionals looking to bolster their knowledge and advance their careers within colleges or universities. Part-time students finish the degree in about two years, tackling courses such as administrative theory, higher education in America, finance in higher education, and college student development. All learners must pass a comprehensive examination before graduating.

Applicants must be currently employed at a college or university and hold a bachelor's degree. Before enrolling, prospective students can participate in an online orientation.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
46%
Online Enrollment
27%
9

University of Mississippi 

University, MS

About this school

The University of Mississippi is Mississippi's flagship public institution of higher education. The university serves over 20,000 students annually and offers several programs through distance learning.

Ole Miss's fully online master's in higher education takes two years to complete. The program's 36-credit curriculum includes two foundational classes in cultural context of education and education research. Learners also complete core courses in higher education history, law, and finance, along with a practicum in student personnel services.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants with a GPA of 2.7 may earn conditional admission. Prospective students must submit official transcripts, references, a resume, and GRE scores. All learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
64%
Percent Receiving Loans
41%
Online Enrollment
12%
10

Drexel University 

Philadelphia, PA

About this school

Established in 1891, Drexel University is a private research institution located in Philadelphia. Drexel serves more than 26,000 students in over 70 undergraduate programs and 100 graduate and professional programs annually. Drexel launched its first distance learning program in 1996 and now offers more than 100 fully accredited online degrees and certificates.

Drexel's MS in higher education offers a rigorous curriculum designed to provide graduates with the leadership, administrative, and management skills necessary to excel in the field. The 45-credit curriculum includes core courses in foundations of higher education, student development, and managing campus operations.

All students complete one of five concentrations: education policy, enrollment management, global and international education, learning technologies, or student development and affairs. As a culminating experience, learners complete a lesson study, thesis, or practitioner capstone.

Program applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Applicants with a 2.8 GPA can earn provisional admission. Prospective students must submit official transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a short personal statement. Drexel offers tuition discounts for alumni and military members.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
74%
Percent Receiving Loans
61%
Online Enrollment
10%
11

DePaul University 

Chicago, IL

About this school

Established in 1898, DePaul University is a private, Roman Catholic university. DePaul offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 23,000 students each year. As a result of the university's dedication to diversity, students of color make up nearly 33% of DePaul's population.

Offered both online and on campus, DePaul's MA or M.Ed. in educational leadership requires 30 months to complete. Graduates learn to meet the needs of diverse students.

Both the MA and M.Ed. require 48 quarter credits and include courses like introduction to research, curriculum design, creating and sustaining professional learning communities, and effective leadership of schools. All students also complete a one-year internship. MA students must write a thesis, while M.Ed. learners must complete a capstone project.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and must submit transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement of at least 750 words. DePaul's higher education program accepts new learners for the fall, winter, spring, and summer quarters.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
Online Enrollment
15%
12

Loyola University Chicago 

Chicago, IL

About this school

Loyola University of Chicago is a private, Catholic research university founded by the Jesuits in 1870. Through 11 colleges and schools, Loyola offers over 300 undergraduate degrees and graduate or professional programs. Loyola maintains campuses across the Chicago metropolitan area, plus a campus in Rome and programs in China and Vietnam.

Loyola's M.Ed. in international higher education takes two years to complete. The 36-credit curriculum includes required courses like introduction to educational policy analysis, leadership in higher education, globalization and education, and international higher education. Students also take part in two blended courses located on Loyola's international campuses; they spend two weeks in Rome and one week in Ho Chi Minh City.

The program also requires learners to engage in an international education internship and culminates in a portfolio-based capstone course. Distance learners enter the program as part of a cohort.

Program applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students must also submit three letters of recommendation and a short statement explaining their personal and professional goals in international higher education.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
74%
Percent Receiving Loans
65%
Online Enrollment
17%
13

West Virginia University 

Morgantown, WV

About this school

Established in 1867, West Virginina University serves approximately 30,000 students through more than 350 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs annually. WVU has hosted 25 Rhodes Scholars and 64 Fulbright Scholars.

Offered fully online, WVU's MA in higher education administration prepares graduates for faculty and administrative roles within universities, colleges, and external educational fields. The 30-credit curriculum requires four core classes: history of American higher education, contemporary issues, administration, and college student development.

All learners must complete a capstone project that includes an internship and an academic portfolio. The program delivers coursework both synchronously and asynchronously.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Prospective students must submit a resume, three references, and an academic writing sample. All students in the program pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
60%
Percent Receiving Loans
57%
Online Enrollment
25%
14

University of North Texas 

Denton, TX

About this school

Based in Denton, the University of North Texas also operates campuses in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Frisco. Founded in 1890, UNT now serves almost 40,000 students annually and offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degrees.

UNT offers an M.Ed. in higher education that has no in-person requirements. The program prepares graduates for entry- and mid-level management roles in student life, alumni offices, financial aid, and business development. Requiring 36 credits, the curriculum includes four areas: higher education core courses, research, an internship, and a specialization.

Core courses include student demographics, cultural pluralism in higher education, history and philosophy of higher education, and organization and administration. The required internship accounts for six credits and spans two semesters. The remainder of the curriculum consists of electives such as foundations of student development and community college leadership. Students must complete the degree within five years.

Admission requires GMAT or GRE scores. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose. Prospective students who earn an undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or higher do not need to submit standardized test scores.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
53%
Percent Receiving Loans
51%
Online Enrollment
33%
15

University of Wyoming 

Laramie, WY

About this school

Founded in 1886, the University of Wyoming offers over 120 programs, including 40 online degrees and certificates. Through asynchronous and synchronous delivery, UW provides myriad flexible opportunities to learners across the nation.

UW's fully online master's in higher education administration prepares graduates for careers in both nonprofit and for-profit universities. The program's 33-credit curriculum provides coursework through Blackboard and video conferencing platforms. Required courses include introduction to research, higher education systems, workforce training, and community college leadership. All students also complete a capstone project.

Prospective students must submit a personal statement, a current resume, and three letters of recommendation. UW charges all distance learners the same tuition regardless of residency.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
57%
Percent Receiving Loans
50%
Online Enrollment
30%
16

University of Louisville 

Louisville, KY

About this school

Established in 1798, The University of Louisville is located in the heart of Kentucky's largest city, Louisville. UofL serves over 22,000 students annually and operates a hospital and three campuses. UofL offers more than 200 programs, including 24 fully online degrees and certificates.

Designed for both current university professionals and those looking to break into the higher education field, UofL's online master's in higher education administration offers students the chance to grow their knowledge and gain the tools needed to pursue careers in higher education. This 36-credit, fully online master's degree accepts both full- and part-time learners and delivers all coursework asynchronously through Blackboard.

The program offers the following concentrations: administration, teaching and learning, policy and equity, and sports administration. Core courses include introduction to research methods, college students in the United States, legal issues, and diversity in higher education. All students must also complete a 100-hour internship.

Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation, a professional goals statement, and a current resume. The university's higher education program does not require GRE scores for admission.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
57%
Percent Receiving Loans
48%
Online Enrollment
16%
17

Texas Tech University 

Lubbock, TX

About this school

Founded in 1923, Texas Tech University now serves over 38,000 students annually through over 300 programs, including several online degrees.

TTU's online master's in higher education administration delivers coursework both synchronously and asynchronously through Blackboard. Students enter the program as part of a cohort and usually need two years to earn their degrees. The program's 36-credit curriculum covers higher education research design, history of higher education, access and equity, and legal aspects and crisis management. All students also complete a 150-hour, supervised internship and a capstone project.

Prospective students must submit a resume, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and responses to four writing prompts. GRE scores are not required for admission.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
60%
Percent Receiving Loans
44%
Online Enrollment
25%
18

Hofstra University 

Hempstead, NY

About this school

Established in 1935 in Hempstead, New York, Hofstra University is now the largest private institution on Long Island, serving approximately 10,000 students annually. Hofstra offers more than 160 undergraduate and 170 graduate academic programs, including a fully online master's in higher education leadership and policy studies.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, this degree explores the foundational and policy challenges within higher education and provides students with the educational and leadership skills needed to pursue administrative roles. The program offers online, on-campus, and blended delivery methods.

The 36-credit curriculum includes a required leadership concentration that covers economics and finance; governance in higher education; legal, ethical, and contemporary issues; and student affairs. Learners also complete elective courses and a culminating independent study project.

Prospective students must submit three letters of recommendation, a detailed resume, and a comprehensive personal statement outlining professional goals and objectives. All applicants must have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
63%
Percent Receiving Loans
53%
Online Enrollment
5%
19

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee 

Milwaukee, WI

About this school

The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee serves approximately 26,000 students annually and offers more than 190 degrees. As Wisconsin's most diverse university, UWM provides an internationally recognized faculty, small classes, and a dedication to expanding access to dynamic careers.

Offered fully online or through a hybrid delivery method, UWM's MS in administrative leadership with a concentration in higher education provides students with the leadership and professional skills needed to advance in the field. The 33-credit curriculum includes courses on organization and governance, strategic planning, and students in the collegiate context.

Through UWM's Two-in-One initiative, students can also complete certificates in teaching and learning in higher education, support services for online students, or health professional education while earning the higher education degree.

UWM accepts applications on a rolling basis. Prospective students must submit a comprehensive personal statement outlining professional goals and objectives. Admission does not require standardized test scores.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
44%
Percent Receiving Loans
65%
Online Enrollment
16%
20

Florida International University 

Miami, FL

About this school

Based in Miami, Florida International University is the largest university in South Florida. Serving close to 60,000 students every year, FIU offers more than 190 programs, including more than 40 online undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Through its online master's in higher education administration, FIU prepares graduates for careers at universities, colleges, and associated nonprofit and for-profit institutions. The program combines theoretical coursework with professional application. The curriculum includes courses on the history of higher education, college student development theory, and foundations of educational research, culminating in a practicum in higher education administration.

Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and must submit official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and an essay describing professional goals. The program does not require GRE scores for admission.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
22%
Online Enrollment
27%
21

University of South Dakota 

Vermillion, SD

About this school

The state's oldest public university, the University of South Dakota was established by the Dakota Territory legislature in 1862. USD now offers more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including several distance learning programs.

USD offers an online master's in educational administration and leadership with a concentration in adult and higher education. The program offers both thesis and non-thesis academic tracks. Major coursework includes adult learning theories, social justice and cultural issues, principles of postsecondary education, and organization and administration in higher education. The degree culminates in either a thesis or additional coursework.

Prospective students must submit official transcripts, three professional letters of recommendation, a resume, and an essay. All students in the program pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
70%
Online Enrollment
41%
22

Messiah College 

Mechanicsburg, PA

About this school

Originally founded in 1909 as Messiah Bible School, Messiah is a private Christian college located just west of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Messiah now serves more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Messiah offers a fully online master's in higher education. Serving both working professionals and interested students, the program takes a faith-based approach to forging the leadership and administrative skills needed for career advancement in higher education.

The program offers five concentrations: academic support, college athletics leadership, strategic leadership, student affairs, and an individualized concentration. The 36-credit curriculum includes core courses in foundations of higher education, equity issues, strategic leadership, and legal and ethical issues in higher education. Students also complete a 120-hour internship.

Applicants must submit official transcripts, a statement of purpose, a resume, and one professional letter of recommendation. Messiah prefers applicants with a cumulative GPA of 3.0, but students who do not meet that threshold may receive conditional admission.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
78%
Percent Receiving Loans
72%
Online Enrollment
72%
23

Stony Brook University 

Stony Brook, NY

About this school

Located 60 miles east of New York City on Long Island, Stony Brook serves nearly 26,000 students. Founded in 1957 as part of the State University of New York System, Stony Brook now offers 64 majors through 13 academic schools and colleges.

Offering both a 36-credit master's degree and an 18-credit advanced graduate certificate, Stony Brook's online higher education administration programs provide students with the academic preparation and practical application needed to become leaders in the field. Students complete coursework asynchronously and can enroll part time or full time, with full-time students graduating in 16 months.

Core courses include foundations of higher education administration, leadership, research and assessment, and diversity in higher education. Elective options include technology in higher education, advising and counseling, enrollment management, and community college administration. Learners also have the chance to study abroad in Italy or China.

Students without at least one year of professional experience in the field are required to complete a 150-hour unpaid internship. Working alongside an approved academic supervisor, each student obtains valuable hands-on experience in a higher education setting.

Applicants must submit a personal statement, a resume, and two letters of recommendation. Stony Brook prefers applicants with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. The university's higher education program does not require applicants to submit standardized test scores.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
74%
Percent Receiving Loans
42%
Online Enrollment
13%
24

University of Southern Mississippi 

Hattiesburg, MS

About this school

Established in 1910, USM is a public research institution located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. With an enrollment of over 14,000 students, USM offers nearly 200 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. Among these myriad offerings are more than 50 online undergraduate and graduate programs.

USM offers an online master's and an online doctorate in higher education administration. Both programs prepare graduates with the practical and theoretical knowledge needed to address challenges in higher education by integrating practical field experience and academic coursework.

USM's master's in higher education with an emphasis in student affairs administration is a fully online, 36-credit degree. Required courses include administration in student affairs, foundations of student affairs, social justice in higher education, and student development theory and research. The degree culminates in a comprehensive exam.

Prospective students must submit GRE scores, a statement of purpose, a resume, and three letters of recommendation. The program admits new students each fall term.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
49%
Percent Receiving Loans
68%
Online Enrollment
37%
25

Appalachian State University 

Boone, NC

About this school

Established in 1899, Appalachian joined the University of North Carolina System in 1971. The university serves more than 19,000 students through over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this public university also offers programs at off-campus centers in Hickory, Morganton, and Lenoir and online.

Appalachian offers an online higher education master's program that prepares graduates for career advancement in a variety of institutions, foundations, agencies, and organizations. The curriculum offers concentrations in community college/university leadership and developmental education. Both concentrations feature core courses like adult development and learning theories, college and university teaching, American higher education, and research methods.

Students may choose a thesis or non-thesis track. All learners must complete a comprehensive written exam. The program delivers coursework both synchronously and asynchronously using the ASULearn platform and Zoom.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Prospective students must submit GRE or MAT scores, a resume, statement of intent, and three letters of recommendation. The program accepts new students for the fall semester.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
51%
Online Enrollment
33%
26

Robert Morris University 

Moon Township, PA

About this school

Located 12 miles outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, RMU serves about 5,000 learners. Established in 1921, RMU now offers over 80 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, including several online degrees.

RMU offers an online master's in higher education that focuses on providing students with the professional skills and competencies needed to expand career opportunities in higher education. Designed for both working professionals and those interested in the field, this management-focused program prepares graduates for leadership roles in admissions departments and business operations.

The program's 30-credit curriculum includes courses such as critical issues affecting American education, instructional leadership, college students in America, and foundations of online teaching and learning. The program culminates in a practicum in higher education. RMU supports distance learners through 24-hour technical support, financial aid counseling, a wellness counselor, and a dedicated career advisor.

Applicants must provide letters of reference and GMAT or GRE scores. RMU accepts applications on a rolling basis

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
64%
Percent Receiving Loans
78%
Online Enrollment
46%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Master's in Higher Education Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can You Do With a Master's in Higher Education?

Graduates with a master's in higher education qualify for administrative positions in postsecondary institutions. They may oversee departments like student affairs, admissions, or student programming.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master's in Higher Education?

It typically takes two years of full-time study to earn a master's degree in higher education, though some programs offer accelerated timelines.

How Much Do Higher Education Administrators Make?

Postsecondary education administrators earned a median annual salary of $94,340 in 2018. However, salary varies with factors like location, institution, and experience.

What Is a Degree in Higher Education?

A master's degree in higher education is a professional program that prepares students for administrative roles in postsecondary institutions.

Choosing an Online Master's in Higher Education Program

When researching prospective master's in higher education programs, students should consider factors like cost, transfer policies, and on-campus requirements. We cover several important considerations for students below.

  • Program Cost: Public schools typically cost less than private schools, and in-state students often pay less than out-of-state students. However, some programs allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of residency.
  • Transfer Policies: Many schools offer transfer credit for things like prior academic work, professional experience, and military training. Schools with generous transfer policies can help students with relevant prior experience save time and money on a degree.
  • School Size and Type: A school's size and type affects the learning experience. For example, small schools may offer more individualized attention from faculty than larger schools, but larger schools may have more program and class options.
  • Program Length: Learners who follow a traditional path typically graduate with a master's in higher education in two years. However, some programs offer accelerated timelines.
  • On-Campus Requirements: Some online programs still have on-campus requirements. Students should ensure they can meet these requirements before committing to a program.
  • Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements: Many programs require a thesis or internship, both of which require a significant time investment. Students should choose a program that has requirements aligned with their career goals.

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Higher Education Program?

An online master's in higher education administration program gives students knowledge and skills that translate to a variety of administrative and academic careers. Many programs offer electives that allow students to specialize their skills and tailor the degree to their goals. The following section covers several common courses found in master's in higher education programs.

Online Master's in Higher Education Curriculum

History of Higher Education

Typically taken in the first semester, this foundational course explores how higher education has evolved throughout history. Learners consider how higher education administration has shifted over time and examine current trends and issues affecting the field.

Higher Education Laws and Regulations

This course examines the legal structures and regulations underpinning postsecondary education in the United States. Learners study federal regulations that affect funding, student enrollment, and accessibility. They also examine how nonprofit status affects organizational governance.

Financial Management in Higher Education

Students in this class gain the skills needed to manage higher education budgets. They learn how to manage state appropriations, work with fundraising departments, and follow best practices in financial management and employee compensation.

Curriculum Design

This course teaches students how to design and implement college-level curricula. Students also review various methodologies used in curriculum design and course development, with an emphasis on best practices in teaching and learning.

Higher Education Careers

Graduates with an online master's in higher education qualify for a variety of fulfilling careers. The following list outlines several common careers for graduates of higher education master's programs; however, some roles may require additional education or certification.

Students who want to learn more about education degrees can review detailed information through The Best Schools' guide.

Postsecondary Education Administrators

These professionals oversee the administrative aspects of a postsecondary institution. They may work in departments like admissions or student services, overseeing staff, managing daily operations, and setting short- and long-term goals.

Postsecondary education administrators need at least a master's degree, though provosts and deans may need a doctorate. They must know how to effectively interact with diverse groups of people, solve problems, and motivate staff.

Median Annual Salary

$94,340

Projected Growth Rate

7%

Public Relations Managers

Public relations managers help craft and maintain a college or university's public image. These professionals designate spokespeople for media inquiries, train staff on how to present information to the public, and write press releases about new initiatives.

Public relations managers need at least a bachelor's degree, though some advanced roles may require a master's degree. These professionals must remain calm under pressure and understand how to create messaging campaigns that appeal to a wide audience.

Median Annual Salary

$114,800

Projected Growth Rate

8%

Survey Researchers

Survey researchers in higher education collect student, alumni, and staff data to help improve a college or university. They may collect information like employee fulfillment, salary expectations, and career goals. They may also ask students how they feel about their professors, classes, extracurricular activities, and overall experience.

Survey researchers need at least a bachelor's degree, but some positions require an advanced degree. These professionals need advanced training in statistical analysis and raw data management and the ability to manage long-term projects to completion.

Median Annual Salary

$57,700

Projected Growth Rate

1%

College Professors

College professors instruct students at postsecondary institutions. They deliver class lectures, create assignments and examinations, advise students, and grade papers. These professionals may also conduct and publish their own research.

College professors typically need a doctorate, though some institutions may accept a master's degree. They need strong time-management, communication, presentation, and research skills.

Median Annual Salary

$78,470

Projected Growth Rate

11%

Accreditation for Online Master's in Higher Education Degree Programs

When researching prospective online master's in higher education programs, students should check accreditation status. Accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards with respect to faculty qualifications, student learning outcomes, and academic rigor. Only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and credits from accredited institutions.

Schools may hold regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Programs within a school may also receive accreditation. For example, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission accredit master's in higher education programs.

Students can verify a school's accreditation status through the Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

Higher Education Professional Organizations

Master's in higher education students and professionals can take advantage of professional organizations to enhance their careers. The following organizations offer benefits such as professional development, continuing education, and networking opportunities.

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

AACRAO supports higher education professionals working in student records and admissions. The organization hosts annual events and training programs, industry resources, in-house research and publications, and advocacy efforts. Members can also search for open jobs and receive career advice.

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators

NASPA brings together student affairs administrators to provide opportunities for shared learning and professional support. Members can access national conferences and institutes, regional and community events, focus area research and resources, and regional community groups.

Council for Advancement and Support of Education

CASE is a global member association focused on supporting higher education professionals in alumni relations, development and marketing, communications, and student advancement. The group provides conferences and training workshops, industry resources, annual awards, and career information. It also organizes regional and district chapters.

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