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Higher Education Leadership and Administration Specialization Master of Science in Higher Education

School of Education

Strive for the Best at the University Level

Take your passion for making a difference in education to an administrative level. Prepare to take your place as a leader with the Capella University online master's degree in higher education leadership and administration. Our curriculum can help you reach your potential and make an impact at the college level. Dive deep into current theory and best practices to gain understanding of history, public policy, law and governance, finance, and program administration.

This program can help prepare you to pursue future opportunities in higher education administration, getting you ready to advance in your career or pursue a doctoral degree.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 4 Core Courses
  • 4 Specialization Courses
  • 3 Emphasis Courses
  • Capstone
  • 48 Total Quarter Credits
  • 12 Maximum Transfer Credits

Classes Start January 7th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 Application Fee (waived w/promo WINTER)

MS in Higher Education—Program Highlights

Expertise in Change Management

Discover how you can improve the processes and operations in higher education to reach more desirable outcomes.

Skills in Resource Management

Explore the ways personnel management can make a difference in higher education institutions.

Leadership for Academic Excellence

Build the skills needed to support diversity, equity, and ethical decision-making for academic excellence.

Applied Technology

Select, support, and apply technology to develop data-driven solution.

Choice of Two Study Emphases

Focus on community college leadership or higher education program administration to reach your own professional goals.

Professionally Aligned Program

This program integrates current, recognized theory and practice to help you excel as a leader in higher education.

Meet Your Education Faculty

We have more than 200 faculty members who teach in our P-12 programs, many of whom teach and work in districts across the country, providing authentic experiences around best practices and innovative ideas.

Cythia Howell, EdD, MA, School of Education

Cynthia Howell, EdD, has served as core faculty for Leadership for Higher Education in the School of Education at Capella University since 2010. She has designed and taught courses on assessment, education program evaluation, advising and retention, and others. She serves on dissertation committees as chair or member. She holds a doctorate in higher education leadership from Northern Arizona University, a master's degree in English from Western Washington University, and a bachelor's degree in English from the College of William and Mary.

Get the Support You Need for Success

Our dedicated support teams guide and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  

Writing Support

These skilled communicators offer free tutoring services and multiple resources to sharpen your writing skills.

Doctoral Advising

A doctoral degree takes special effort. It's why we offer expert support at every step to keep you moving forward toward your goal.

Cost & Learning Format

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it. We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$15,840$21,120* MAX TRANSFER CREDITS–TYPICAL TRANSFER CREDITS
$440 per credit, 48 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Accredited & Respected

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Transfer Credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. 

Grants

Grants are federal education funds that never need to be paid back. 

Federal Work Study

This program provides part-time jobs to reduce your loan debt amounts. Talk to an enrollment counselor to learn more.

MS in Higher Education Sample Courses

The MS in Higher Education, Leadership and Administration specialization focuses on leadership and supporting diverse student populations. You’ll also learn to implement technology solutions for guiding decision-making and evaluating learning programs.

Course Number Course Title
ED6576 Higher Education Program Administration
ED5570 History, Issues, and Trends in Higher Education
ED5574 Financial Management and Institutional Development

Concentrations

Concentrations let you hone in on your specific area of interest that can get you even closer to your exact career goals. The concentrations you earn will be included on your transcript.

Community College Leadership

Choose this area of emphasis to learn the philosophy, culture, leadership attributes, issues, and trends in community college.

Administration

The higher education program administration emphasis covers the divisions of higher education institution and challenges.

What You’ll Learn

The right education can change everything. Discover your path to gaining real-world skills as an administrative leader in an institution of higher education.

  • Communicate and collaborate effectively as a leader in higher education.
  • Embrace technological solutions that can help you implement data-driven decisions.
  • Learn to manage change and an evolving workforce in higher education.

  • Manage higher education resources to reach desired outcomes efficiently.
  • Encourage academic excellence by supporting diversity, equity, and ethical decision-making.
  • Infuse your personal leadership skills and practice with relevant higher education theory and research.

MS in Higher Education, Leadership & Administration Career Insights

Choosing the Right Master’s in Higher Education for You

There are many degree options in higher education; which master's program is right for you?

MS in Higher Education—Professional Paths

Your education can help you reach your goals, professionally and personally. Here are some of the jobs and employment settings to explore with an MS in higher education, specializing in leadership and administration.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Community college leadership
  • Academic advisor
  • Adjunct or part-time faculty
  • Articulation officer
  • Assistant director of business affairs
  • Assistant director of student activities
  • Associate director of student affairs
  • Career center coordinator
  • Coordinator of contract education
  • Coordinator of diversity affairs
  • Director continuing education
  • Director of academic advising

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Adult education organization
  • Community college
  • Continuing education program
  • For-profit institution
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Military education
  • Technical college
  • Vocational or technical college
  • Volunteer program

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other Programs to Explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals. 

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.