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

School of Education


Total program credits needed for graduation: 48

One academic quarter is three months. You will have a three-week break between each quarter.

Core Courses:

Twelve Required Courses, 48 quarter credits

ED5006 Survey of Research Methodology 4 quarter credits
ED5010 Foundations of Master’s Studies in Education 4 quarter credits
ED5012* Overview of Higher Education 4 quarter credits
ED5016 Foundations of Higher Education Assessment and Evaluation 4 quarter credits

Specialization Courses:

ED5570 History, Issues, and Trends in Higher Education 4 quarter credits
ED5572* Politics and Public Policy in Higher Education 4 quarter credits
ED5574* Financial Management and Institutional Development 4 quarter credits
ED7540* Leadership in Higher Education 4 quarter credits
ED5890* Higher Education Leadership and Administration Capstone 4 quarter credits

In addition, choose one of the following emphases:

For a Community College Leadership emphasis

ED6562* Comprehensive Community Colleges 4 quarter credits
ED6564* Governance and Politics in Community Colleges 4 quarter credits
ED6566* Issues and Trends in Community Colleges 4 quarter credits

For a Higher Education Program Administration emphasis

ED6572* Organization and Functions of Higher Education Programs 4 quarter credits
ED6574* Law and Governance in Higher Education 4 quarter credits
ED6576* Higher Education Program Administration 4 quarter credits

*This course has a prerequisite. Contact an enrollment counselor or refer to the course descriptions for more information.

This specialization does not lead to license, endorsement, or other professional credential. For more information, see the Licensure section for this program on Capella’s website ( Teachers are advised to contact their school district to determine whether a program may qualify for salary advancement. 

What Can I Expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which may help save time and money. You can transfer up to 12 credits into this specialization.

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Take an Individual Course

Whether you're completing additional credits for your own education, want to see if online learning is right for you, or are simply interested in a specific topic, you can enroll in many of Capella's online courses without committing to a degree program. We recommend speaking with an enrollment counselor to discuss your goals and ensure that the credits you earn now may be applicable to a Capella degree program.

Learn more about individual courses


If you have elective courses in your specialization, you may be able to use them to fulfill both your degree and concentration requirements at the same time. However, completing a concentration may extend your total credits beyond the requirements of your degree. Concentrations available for this specialization include:

  • Community College Leadership
  • Higher Education Program Administration

Ready for the Next Step?

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