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Master’s of Science (MS) Degree in Higher Education

Drexel University School of Education

The field of higher education offers many opportunities for professionals with exceptional leadership skills and expertise. By pursuing a master's degree in higher education, you are setting yourself up for a successful career in higher education administration. The higher education degree program’s objective is to develop self-motivated leaders with excellent communication and collaboration skills. Our graduates make meaningful contributions that benefit students and higher education as a whole.

For those interested in continuing their education in this rewarding field, Drexel’s Master’s in Higher Education is an ideal foundation for a doctoral degree in education management.

What Can You Do with a Degree in Higher Education?

With a Master’s degree in Higher Education from Drexel University, graduates are prepared to enter or advance in an exciting and highly rewarding career field. The Higher Education degree is offered 100% online and prepares students with the practical skills, knowledge, and experience to become professionals and leaders.

The program is designed to prepare students for their next steps, wherever they may be. Our students work toward:

  • Career advancement - get a competitive edge when you enroll in a higher education master’s program
  • New careers - broaden your education horizon and pursue a career that excites and fulfills your ambitions
  • Future doctoral studies - use a master’s degree in higher education as a stepping stone to achieve further educational endeavors, including a PhD or EdD

The Higher Education Master’s Program is an experiential program that offers intense preparation for many kinds of rewarding careers. Job opportunities may include:

  • Higher education institutions
  • National associations
  • International organizations
  • Non-profit and for-profit organizations/corporations
  • Government agencies
  • Executive search firms

Our graduates have assumed leadership roles in two and four-year colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, associations and government agencies. They serve roles such as managers, directors, deans, presidents and analysts in programs at private and public institutions of higher education all over the U.S.

Higher Education Master’s Program Options

The higher education graduate program at Drexel University’s School of Education is offered entirely online.

Drexel University has been offering online courses since 1996. We pride ourselves in delivering world-class educational opportunities in and out of the classroom. There are no fixed class hours, so students can work their education into their current schedules.

Students graduate with a primary concentration in higher education administration & leadership and an optional, secondary three-course concentration in one of the following areas:

  • Education policy- Through this concentration, students wishing to work in the dynamic field of educational policy and educational administration acquire the tools to analyze, craft, and implement policy effectively.
  • Enrollment management- Build a strong understanding of enrollment processes and develop a deep knowledge of contemporary issues and legal problems in enrollment management.
  • Global and international education- Review the complex economic, political, cultural, and social structures that shape learning in different parts of the world.
  • Learning technologies and instructional design- Explore new learning technologies and trends, applying them toward solving problems in the ever-evolving technical landscape of education.
  • Student development and affairs- Learn how to make colleges supportive, learning rich environments for all students ranging from traditional to adult students.
  • Community college leadership and administration- Learn skills and competencies put forth by the American Association for Community Colleges (AACC,) including organizational strategy, resource management, and advocacy.
  • Neuroscience, Learning and Online Instruction- Gain an understanding of the principles of neuroanatomy, neuroscience, cognitive processing, and learning theory, and how to apply these skills to online instruction.

Students may also design their own area of interest from over 35 elective courses available within the School of Education.

Graduate Higher Education Program Eligibility

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. The Higher Education Graduate Program admits new students for fall and spring terms.

Drexel’s highly interactive e-learning method allows extensive interaction with faculty and practitioners in higher education systems. Do not let distance be a deciding factor. Feel comfort in knowing you are getting a world class education from the location that is most suitable for you to get closer to your master’s in higher education.

Additionally, students will be required to participate in our graduate capstone, an important feature of the higher education degree program. It provides invaluable field experience to further enforce concepts learned through the online portion of your degree. This capstone is designed to prepare you for the next stage of your career.

Admissions Criteria

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate degree GPA will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA)
    • Provisional admission may be granted with a GPA between 2.80 to 2.99

Required Documents

With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting Drexel Online's Completing Your Application Guide.

Higher Education Courses & Curriculum

Drexel’s Master’s in Higher Education consists of 14 courses with a total of 45 academic credits. The credits include:

  • 15 credit hours of core courses (5 courses)
  • 12 credit hours of primary concentration courses (4 courses)
  • 9 credit hours of secondary concentration or professional elective courses (3 courses)
  • 9 credit hours required for the capstone experience (3 courses)

The higher education degree program can be completed over two years.

Within the primary concentration area of higher education administration and leadership, students are given the option of enrolling in a total of four concentration-area courses over three quarters.

Within the secondary concentration area, students are given the option of enrolling in a total of three concentration-area courses over three quarters. As an alternative to the secondary concentration, students are given the option to choose three courses from available courses within all of the concentration areas to further customize their degree.

Capstone Courses

Students in the MS in Higher Education program complete a research capstone course where they are introduced to various types of research designs and learn to be both consumers and producers of research. Following completion of the research course, students will complete a capstone experience by selecting one of the two-course multi-disciplinary sequence options below:

  • Thesis (Part I and II) - Students who select this option will be required to complete a master’s thesis which consists of a well-written research paper, comprised of five chapters that posits a research question and uses logical arguments & data to address/answer a gap in research
  • Lesson Study (Part I and II) - Students who select this option will be required to complete a research-based lesson design and analysis project
  • Practitioner Course (Part I and II) - Students who select this option will be required to complete a master’s project. Examples include: A reform initiative narrative, program or grant proposal, white paper or policy analysis, or program evaluation

How to Apply to the Master’s of Science in Higher Education Program

 The MS in Higher Education is offered 100% online. You can get started by filling out the Drexel Online application.