Online Master of Science Degree in Higher Education

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Program at a Glance
  • Develop the practical knowledge, critical thinking, research, and writing skills relevant to leaders at colleges and universities.
  • Customize your program by choosing a concentration in administration and leadership, teaching, or student affairs.
  • Learn from instructors who are professionals in the higher education field and bring real-world knowledge to the classroom.
  • Gain hands-on experience in the student affairs concentration through a 120-hour internship experience.
COURSE EFFORT 25 Hours per Week
COURSE LENGTH 6-Week Terms
CREDITS REQUIRED 50
COST PER CREDIT $420
How Do I Get Started?

We offer multiple start dates to give you flexibility in your education, life, and work schedules.

Master of Science in Higher Education Overview

Whether your interests are in administration, teaching, student services, or other areas within higher education, our interactive online courses are designed to help you pursue new opportunities or advance your career in postsecondary educational settings or colleges.

  • Focus on multicultural and diversity issues affecting student development in higher education.
  • Examine how technology, public policy, and financing issues affect a student’s ability to attend college.
  • Explore the historical development of colleges and universities in the United States and the organizational principles that guide them.

Degree Concentrations

Choose from three concentrations to customize your master's degree in higher education.

  • College administration and leadership: Study the principles of effective leadership as they relate to the management of academic programs and departments in a variety of postsecondary settings.
  • College teaching: Explore foundations of adult learning and the use of technology in higher education settings. Develop expertise in curriculum design and implementation and in the methods and models used to assess learning outcomes.
  • Student affairs: Focus on the administration of a comprehensive student services program for both on-ground and online institutions. You will also have the opportunity to complete a 120-hour internship experience.

See the University Catalog for policy and degree plan information specific to this program.

Admissions Requirements

To enroll in this graduate degree program, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The student affairs concentration also requires a background check prior to starting classes.


Refer to the University Catalog or speak to an Advisor to learn more.

Purdue University Global Is Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission

This accreditation covers all academic programs, all regional locations, and all programs provided via distance education. For more information, please visit HLCommission.org or call 800-621-7440.

Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for postsecondary teachers, administrators, and student services personnel in the U.S. are expected to increase between 2016 and 2026.* The Master of Science in Higher Education is designed to prepare you to pursue leadership positions in colleges, community colleges, universities, and technical and vocational centers.

Top 5 Skills Employers Are Looking for:

  1. Active Listening
  2. Monitoring
  3. Social Perceptiveness
  4. Speaking
  5. Coordination

Top Jobs With This Degree

Labor market, salary, and projected growth information are supplied by Emsi. Average salary range is based on national data. Projected growth represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016–2028) at the state level and is based on your geographic location. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience, and opportunities for employment. Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment placement, salary level, or career advancement.

Note: Most institutions require individuals teaching at the collegiate level to have the minimum of either a master’s degree in their teaching field or a master’s degree in higher education and 18 semester hours (27 quarter credit hours) of graduate coursework in their teaching field.

Opportunities for Professional Development

Graduate Resource Center

Take advantage of the Graduate Resource Center, a self-paced course for graduate students that includes information on professional memberships and clubs, career services, social networking, and more.

Academic Alliances to Expand Your Teaching Opportunities

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is pleased to announce a partnership with Promise Opens Doors, an organization that offers an online certificate program for educators interested in working abroad and helping others learn English.

Take a Career Assessment

Discover your work interests and use them to chart your ideal career path.

Learn More

This master’s in higher education online degree program focuses on the practical knowledge, critical thinking, and research skills related to today's colleges and universities.

Sample Courses
  • Foundations of Higher Education
  • Higher Education Laws and Regulations
  • Multiculturalism and Diversity in Higher Education
  • Higher Education Finance
See All Higher Education Courses

Choose one of three concentrations within the master’s in higher education degree to align the curriculum with your career goals.

  • College administration and leadership
  • College teaching
  • Student affairs
Credit Breakdown
  • Core Credits30
  • Elective Credits20
  • Total Credits50

Ways to Save

Program Cost Estimator

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current cost per credit
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Maine residents will pay $420.00 per credit for all graduate programs, with the exception of the Doctor of Nursing Practice. Tuition does not include University fees and associated program fees. View tuition and fee information or contact an Admissions Advisor for more information.

Get to Know Our Faculty

Purdue Global faculty members are real-world practitioners who bring knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and industry experience.

View Education Faculty Directory
grad hat icon 97% Faculty members who have advanced degrees
diploma icon 45% Faculty members who hold a doctorate
tablet icon 231 Faculty publications in 2018–2019
student at desk icon More Than 50,000 Professional development hours logged by faculty in 2018–2019

Statistics include all Purdue Global faculty members and are not school or program-specific calculations. Source: Purdue Global Office of Reporting and Analysis, August 2019. 2018–2019 academic year.

Education Programs Brochure

Download our brochure to learn more about the Master of Science in Higher Education and the benefits of earning your degree at Purdue Global.

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NOTES AND CONDITIONS

*Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Postsecondary Teachers, www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm and Postsecondary Education Administrators, www.bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. College teaching requirements vary by institution and program. This program was not designed to meet any specific state’s requirements for licensure or certification, and Purdue Global makes no representations or warranties as to whether the degree or any individual courses meet such requirements. Refer to the University Catalog for additional information.