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

School of Education

The Best Schools Have the Best Leaders

Behind every successful college or university is a group of dedicated administrators, working together and leading the way.  Capella’s online master's in higher education, higher education leadership and administration degree is designed to help you become an even more effective higher education leader.* In this program, you can choose between Higher Education Program Administration or Community College Leadership as your area of emphasis. You’ll dive deep into current theory and best practices, and gain a more thorough understanding of history, public policy, law and governance, finance, and program administration.

*This degree program does not satisfy licensure requirements for K-12 public school teachers or administrators.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 4 Core Courses
  • 4 Specialization Courses
  • 3 Emphasis Courses
  • Capstone

Classes Start October 8th

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.

Admission Requirements » | $50 Application Fee (waived w/promo SUMMER)

What You’ll Learn

Build a Clear Vision

Communicate and collaborate effectively as a leader in higher education.

Embrace Technology Solutions

Apply technology that enables you to implement data-driven decisions. 

Be an Agent of Change

Learn to manage change in higher education organizations. 

Champion Efficiency

Effectively manage resources of higher education organizations to keep things running at their most efficient level. 

Foster Academic Growth

Apply professional practices that support diversity, equity, and ethical decision-making for academic excellence.

Lead With Confidence

Apply relevant higher education theory and research to personal leadership skills and practice.

Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Professional Development Plan

To help you focus on achieving your goals and staying on track, you can create a professional development plan in your first course. 

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one size fits all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

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
$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.

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 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.

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

Sample Courses

Our master's in higher education, higher education leadership, and administration curriculum focuses on leadership and supporting diverse student populations. You’ll also learn to use technology and evaluate learning programs.  

Some of the courses you will take:

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


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.


The Higher Education Program Administration Emphasis covers the divisions of higher education institution and challenges.

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, 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.  


From enrollment to graduation, coaches help you stay on track. They know your program, answer questions, and cheer you on.


Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now.

Writing Support

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

Relevant Blog Posts

How Higher Education Administrators Can Support a Changing Landscape

Four ways education is changing and how administrators can stay ahead of the changes.

Move Forward in Your Career

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online master's in higher education, higher education leadership, and administration degree. 

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.