Gain a Wide Range of Skills in an online MA in Higher Education Administration Program

A Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Leadership Studies prepares graduates with the general knowledge, vision and skills they need to advance their careers in higher education. It’s especially well-suited to professionals who aspire to leadership and administrative roles within colleges and universities.

These leadership skills are grounded in a practical understanding of the contemporary higher education landscape across the country and world. Coursework and study will offer graduates a 360-degree view of colleges and universities globally, covering areas such as student development, finance, policies and legal issues. A capstone research project, focusing on an applied problem, provides an opportunity for in-depth research and analysis of a specific area of interest in the student’s concentration. This flexible degree equips professionals with diverse skills and experience that can be applied to many career paths within the higher education field.

With an action-oriented and practitioner-focused approach, the William Paterson University (WP) online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration develops leaders ready to meet current and future challenges in the higher education field.

What Are the Learning Outcomes?

WP’s M.A. in Higher Education Administration program combines a focus on leadership in academic institutions with in-depth coursework on the history, structure, organization and administration of colleges and universities. Each graduate will also develop an e-portfolio aligned with the Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators developed by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). The program consists of 10 courses for a total of 30 credit hours, focused on developing core areas of knowledge including:

  • Academic and Professional Development: Graduates will be equipped to analyze American higher education systems’ results for all parties, including students, faculty and staff, boards of trustees, and alumni. They will also apply the latest theory and practice to current difficulties and developments in the world of higher education institutions.
  • Fundamental Competency: This coursework prepares graduates to bring foundational tenets of leadership, history, law, policy, theory and finance to bear on higher education institutions with the goal of improving educational organizations and structures.
  • Personal Acumen and Career Readiness: The program seeks to develop leaders who can solve complex challenges. Problem-solving and leadership skills give professionals the confidence to communicate with diverse constituencies, resolve conflict and achieve consensus around common goals.
  • Evaluation and Assessment Skills: Graduates will feel confident applying analytical methods and critical thinking skills in evaluating the effectiveness of educational programs. They will be able to apply research methods to data and evidence collection to guide institutional decisions, with specific attention to meeting the needs of under-represented students and an increasingly diverse student population.
  • Culturally Sensitive Leadership/Social Justice and Inclusive Thinking: The program prepares graduates to assess the ways in which inequitable and unjust policies and laws disproportionately affect vulnerable students in institutes of higher education. Leaders will be equipped to create environments that amplify diverse voices and underrepresented stakeholders’ perspectives.

Admissions criteria for a William Paterson University online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (students who don’t meet this requirement may be considered for admission with proof of higher education leadership potential)
  • Transcripts from previously attended colleges and universities
  • A resume summarizing education and work experience
  • Contact information for two references

Learn more about William Paterson University’s M.A. in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Leadership Studies online program.


U.S. News & World Report: Best Higher Education Administration Programs

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