A Masters in Higher Education Administration prepares professionals to oversee daily operations and management of pre-K through postsecondary school systems. Administrators in education set goals, evaluate performance, and supervise staff of both public and private institutions.
Educational administrators focus their knowledge and training in a specific age group, including postsecondary education or special needs. A Higher Education Administration degree specifically trains professionals to work in areas like student affairs, academic affairs, fundraising, admissions, registrar, financial services, and more.
The degree program trains higher education professionals to plan, oversee, and increase the effectiveness of higher education. In 2013, postsecondary education administrators had a median annual salary of $87,410. Salaries vary by institution and job description.
The field of higher education administration is expected to have a faster than normal growth in the coming years, so the need for these professionals is growing. Here are the 20 best online Masterís in Higher Education Administration programs, based on academic excellence, types of classes offered, faculty strength, and reputation.
#1 – Penn State World Campus
Location: University Park, Pennsylvania Tuition: $805 per credit
Pennsylvania State Universityís Penn State World Campus offers an online Master of Education in Higher Education Administration degree program. The 30-credit program is offered for students seeking professional careers in higher educational fields like career development, alumni relations, and academic advising. The degree is offered by the Center for the Study of Higher Education and the Department of Education Policy Studies.
#2 – University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska Tuition: $325.50 (in state), $609 (out of state) per credit
The University of Nebraska – Lincoln offers an online Master of Arts in Educational Administration degree with an emphasis on Higher Education. The curriculum provides students with a generalist education with a focus in areas of higher education and/or human resource development. Students must complete 36 credits, including foundational courses and a comprehensive paper that they complete in the last semester of the program.
#3 – University of Louisville
Location: Louisville, Kentucky Tuition: $714 per credit
The University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development offers an online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration degree program. The program requires 36 credits and provides graduates with the opportunity to find a career at a two-year or four-year college or university. Students can finish the degree in two years.
#4 – Hofstra University
Location: Hempstead, New York Tuition: $1,192 per credit hour
Hofstra University offers an online Master of Science in Education in Higher Education degree. The programís curriculum is interdisciplinary and consists of coursework in foundational and policy issues in educational leadership and higher education. Students must complete 36 semester hours in three components of core coursework, electives, and a completion project.
#5 – West Virginia University
Location: Morgantown, West Virginia Tuition: $406 (in state), $1,160 (out of state) per credit
At West Virginia University, students can earn an online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration degree on a full-time or part-time basis. The degree is designed for students who want a career in administrative, executive, and academic positions in colleges and universities. The program includes core courses, electives, and an internship portfolio project.
#6 – University of Houston
Location: Houston, Texas Tuition: $386 – $414 (in state), $876 – $904 (out of state) per credit
The University of Houston offers an online Master of Education in Administration and Supervision – Higher Education. The program aims to provide students with the theoretical and practical foundations to pursue an administrative career in a college or university setting. The curriculum includes core coursework, electives, and a comprehensive internship. The degree takes 15 months or less to complete and offers a face-to-face option along with the online format.
#7 – University of Wisconsin
Location: Oshkosh, Wisconsin Tuition: $238 per credit
Students at the University of Wisconsin can earn an online Master of Science in Administrative Leadership degree with a concentration in Higher Education Administration. Students learn practical and theoretical education foundations needed to work in post-secondary educational administration, teaching, or student affairs. Students must complete core courses as well as an internship.
#8 – Drexel University
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Tuition: $868 per credit
Drexel University’s online Master of Science in Higher Education program is designed to teach students and prepare them for management and administrative careers in universities and colleges, government agencies, corporations, and foundations. Students must complete 45 credits in core classes, four concentration courses, electives, and a capstone course with portfolio.
#9 – Indiana State University
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana Tuition: $438 per credit hour
At Indiana State University, students can earn an online Master’s in Student Affairs and Higher Education. Students learn the intricacies of higher education and student affairs at the university, college, and two-year post-secondary levels. The degree takes up to three years to complete and includes 39 credit hours. The program focuses on areas of performance like student development, student health promotion, and career development.
#10 – Georgia Southern University
Location: Statesboro, Georgia Tuition: $410 per credit
Georgia Southern University offers an online Master of Education in Higher Education Administration degree that requires 36 credit hours of classes and practicum experience. Students in the program are prepared for roles in post-secondary areas like academic affairs, business affairs, and student services. Along with core coursework, students participate in a supervised practicum under the direction of a practicing higher education administrator.
#11 – Northeastern University
Location: Boston, Massachusetts Tuition: $505 per credit
Students at Northeastern University in Boston can complete an online Master’s in Higher Education Administration. The program requires 45 credits and includes classes like Learning and Instruction, eLearning and instructional Design, and Special Education. The curriculum includes core courses, electives, and a comprehensive capstone project.
#12 – Stony Brook University
Location: Stony Brook, New York Tuition: $453 (in state), $925 (out of state) per credit
Stony Brook University offers a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration degree designed for students who want to work in post-secondary higher education jobs, including administrative or student affairs options. Students complete core classes, electives, a practicum, and an advanced 150-hour practicum. The degree includes 30 credits.
#13 – John Brown University
Location: Siloam Springs, Arkansas Tuition: $548 per credit hour
John Brown University offers an online Master’s in Higher Education Leadership degree program. Students learn how to prepare for leadership roles in positions at mid-level college administration, intercollegiate athletics, residence life, student leadership, and more. Students complete 36 credit hours in core coursework, electives, and a practicum.
#14 – Sam Houston State University
Location: Huntsville, Texas Tuition: $1,477.5 per three-credit class
Sam Houston State University offers a 100 percent online Masterís in Higher Education Administration degree. Students are prepared for mid-level leadership and administrative positions in post-secondary higher education institutions. The degree focuses on areas like student services, career services, residence life, resource allocation, and financial aid. Students take core courses, an elective, a practicum, and a comprehensive exam.
#15 – Mississippi College
Location: Clinton, Mississippi Tuition: $523 per credit hour
Mississippi College’s School of Education offers an online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree. The program includes a comprehensive framework in administrative theory and practice. Students must complete 31 credit hours in core courses, as well as 60 clock-hours of practicum work. Classes include Law and Higher Education, Personnel Management, and Organizational Behavior.
#16 – North Park University
Location: Chicago, Illinois Tuition: $2,220 per course
North Park University offers online students a Master’s in Higher Education degree. The private universityís program provides students with the framework needed to be successful leaders and managers in the higher education and nonprofit sectors. The degree takes less than 21 months to complete and includes 36 credit hours of core courses and electives.
#17 – Upper Iowa University
Location: Fayette, Iowa Tuition: $1,323 per three-credit course
Upper Iowa University offers an online Master of Education: Higher Education degree program that provides emphasis areas in leadership and student affairs. In the program, students learn how to apply advanced theories to real-world higher education scenarios. Students must complete 36 semester credits in classes like Politics in Higher Education, Theories of Leadership, and Finance and Budgeting in Higher Education.
#18 – Northcentral University
Location: Prescott Valley, Arizona Tuition: $1,884 base per course
Northcentral University offers an online Master of Education with a Leadership Higher Education specialization degree program. Students learn the foundation needed in higher education to understand financial, legal, managerial, and historical issues. The program includes 30 credit hours in foundation courses, specialization courses, and a capstone research course.
#19 – Post University
Location: Waterbury, Connecticut Tuition: $505 per credit hour
Post University offers an online Masters in Higher Education Administration degree program. Students complete 33 credit hours in core classes, higher education concentration courses, and a capstone project. The program includes classes in Higher Education Policy, Politics, and Pressing Issues; Teaching the Adult Learner; and Administration and Leadership in Higher Education.