One Master’s Degree in Higher Education. Many Career Paths.
You want to shape learning environments that empower adults to reach their potential. As one of the top granters of master’s degrees in higher education in the U.S.1 Walden can help you become the change leader you aspire to be.
In our master’s in higher education program, you’ll have the opportunity to work with—and learn from—a vibrant community of innovators, critical thinkers, and problem solvers. Build a versatile skill set that allows you to stay ahead of the curve in a dynamic field.
Our master’s in higher education degree prepares educators for a range of roles and opportunities in postsecondary education, training, and professional development.
Why Choose Walden?
Walden is home to nearly 60,000 education alumni,2 including more than 150 state teachers of the year.
Our faculty are all passionate, experienced practitioners with a deep understanding of learning and development.
Build contemporary skills customizable for different roles and settings, from corporate training to academia.
Focus on challenges in your current job. Build a portfolio of relevant work you can share with your current or future employer.
Minimum Degree Requirements
- 30 semester credits
- Core courses (27 sem. cr.)
- Capstone course (3 sem. cr.)
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.
The program’s courses are delivered online in a prescribed sequence:
Understanding Higher Education
Historical perspectives on the development of higher education are useful in understanding the characteristics of our current system and future trends. The social, political, and economic context in which 4-year colleges, community colleges, and universities operate is introduced in this course. Education professionals explore how institutions of higher education apply business principles to renew their commitment to student learning and achieve their mission and goals effectively. They also become familiar with the philosophy, requirements, and community of Walden University, The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, and the M.S. in Higher Education program.
|(3 sem. cr.)|
Understanding Students: Learning, Development, and Diversity
The success of any business is tied directly to its ability to serve its customers effectively. In higher education, those customers are students. In this course, education professionals examine fundamental principles of student learning and development as well as the implications of these principles for adult learners from a variety of backgrounds who have diverse needs and are in different stages of the educational process. They investigate and discuss factors affecting students' educational goals and aspirations, their ability to stay in college, and the impact of their educational experiences on their learning and development; through this exploration and discussion, education professionals gain a better understanding of the ways leaders can improve these outcomes.
|(3 sem. cr.)|
Best Practices for Student Success
Student success depends not only on the quality of the institution's academic programs but also on the quality and availability of student services. In particular, the growing need to help increasingly diverse student populations succeed in college requires innovative approaches to retention and support initiatives. In this course, education professionals explore strategies to plan, organize, and manage student services and programs effectively as well as for ensuring that these programs meet legal and regulatory requirements. They also engage in coursework that emphasizes the design and deployment of programs and services, which enables students from diverse backgrounds to achieve their educational goals.
|(3 sem. cr.)|
Understanding Institutions: Organizational Behavior and Culture
Effective leadership within colleges and universities depends on the ability to identify important aspects of an organization's structure and culture as well as to adapt one's behavior to that culture. In this course, education professionals examine patterns of organization, governance, and culture in higher education, and they assess strategies for working effectively within governance structures and organizational cultures to achieve desired goals. They engage in readings and assignments that emphasize the organization's ability to learn and change in response to internal and external factors, including the ever-changing use of technology in academic programs and services.
|(3 sem. cr.)|
Managing Resources for Organizational Success: Finance
As costs escalate and resources dwindle, the effective, ethical, and socially responsible management of financial resources becomes an increasingly important skill in higher education. Education professionals are introduced to the fundamentals of financial administration in 4-year colleges, community colleges, and universities in this course. They explore financial issues specific to higher education, such as budget management, asset management, state appropriations, administration of financial planning, and fundraising. They also engage in practical learning activities through which they develop and assess strategies for deploying and managing resources to achieve established goals.
|(3 sem. cr.)|
Foundations of Research
An introduction to the principles and processes of research is provided in this course. Education professionals explore the various steps and considerations of the research process. They develop an understanding of basic research methodologies and statistical analyses, learn how to formulate research problems and questions, conduct a literature review, and critique and evaluate research. Additionally, they consider the ethical responsibilities of the researcher.
|(3 sem. cr.)|
Globalization in Higher Education
Globalization is a phenomenon affecting almost every aspect of society, from politics to commerce to entertainment. Higher education is no exception; technology and social mobility increasingly lead to opportunities for collaboration and competition among institutions globally. In this course, education professionals investigate trends and issues in higher education worldwide, including ways in which institutions serve the needs of an increasingly mobile student population. Through assignments designed to provide practical application of course content, education professionals consider globalization through a variety of contexts, such as in their personal and professional lives, student experiences, and challenges and opportunities. They also explore international differences in institutional organization and governance, operations and services, accountability, and articulation; they use this knowledge to inform later study of program development and administration.
|(3 sem. cr.)|
Managing Resources for Organizational Success: Human Resources
Faculty members and staff are the most important resource in any higher education institution. In this course, education professionals focus on strategies for human resource management in higher education, including recruitment and staffing, professional development, compensation, performance evaluation, and legal considerations. They investigate issues specific to faculty members, including promotion and tenure, collective bargaining, and collaboration with adjunct faculty members. They also examine the skills needed to coach, support, motivate, and facilitate collaboration among staff, enabling the organization to move toward desired outcomes.
|(3 sem. cr.)|
Program Planning and Assessment
Higher education institutions achieve their goals primarily through instructional programs as well as through student support programs and services. Stakeholders at all levels within and outside the organization, including students, administrators, employers, legislators, and the public, expect institutions to demonstrate that their programs accomplish desired goals and that processes are in place to support data-driven improvement. In this course, education professionals engage in the cyclical process of program planning and assessment, including establishing goals and outcomes, creating and implementing an assessment plan, sharing results and determining strategies for improvement, and involving faculty, staff, and students in the assessment process.
|(3 sem. cr.)|
Capstone: Master's Project
Through the master's capstone experience, education professionals have the opportunity to integrate and apply their learning to real-world issues or problems. Education professionals research and create a product that addresses a critical issue in a particular institution or area of higher education. Examples of such products include a design for a program or service that could be implemented at a particular institution, a professional development program or resource, or a position paper that addresses a particular issue in depth. Education professionals choose an issue or problem that is of sufficient scope to enable them to apply theories, concepts, and practices gained from multiple areas of prior coursework.
|(3 sem. cr.)|
|VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses|
Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.
General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.
Tuition and Fees
|Tuition||30 semester credit hours||$759 per semester hour||$22,770|
|Technology Fee||Per semester||$220||$1,100|
*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 15 transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.
Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost between $1,000 and $1,400.
Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.
*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.Find Ways to Save
Explore educational strategies and management principles that could help you address today’s most pressing issues facing higher education institutions and improve organizational and student success.
Explore emerging theories, research, and best practices that can be applied to create effective education experiences for this unique population of learners.
Examine the major steps in the teaching and learning process: planning, developing, and facilitating learning experiences and assessing outcomes.
Learn to develop strategies—using all types of communication tools—that attract students and promote your institution.
Broaden your understanding of global trends and issues in higher education.
Gain the tools you need to develop and measure programs that support student success.
Explore the most current online technologies to support student learning and organizational effectiveness.
Build an Advanced, Versatile Skill Set
In our online master’s in higher education program, you’ll develop transferable skills that can help you excel in your current job or pursue new opportunities. Explore strategic planning and budgeting and learn how to build a strong culture and high-performing teams. For your capstone, you’ll have the chance to use your new skills and insights to solve a real challenge from your own workplace.
With more people seeking higher education to meet their career goals, demand for postsecondary teachers is on the rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of these professionals is projected to grow 9% through 2029.3
With the versatile MS in Higher Education degree, you’ll be ready to pursue a variety of hands-on and leadership roles in academia, business, and government. Gain the skills and confidence to expand your career possibilities and make a positive impact for your organization.
An MS in Higher Education prepares you for job roles such as:4
- Professional developer and trainer
- Academic director
- Research and planning director
No. 2granter of higher education and higher education administration master’s degrees in the U.S.1
An MS in Higher Education prepares you to work in settings such as:
- Community colleges and universities
- Government agencies
- Corporate training and development
- Workforce development
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
As a graduate of Walden’s online Master’s in Higher Education program, you’ll be prepared to:
- Apply an understanding of higher education systems, business principles, and student learning in solving institutional problems to drive institutional and student success.
- Make effective decisions based on critical evaluation of research and data.
- Articulate the perspectives and interests of multiple stakeholders.
- Choose leadership approaches appropriate to the culture of the organization.
- Demonstrate an ability to deploy resources to achieve intended results.
- Evaluate the potential impact of policies and processes on student outcomes.
Meet Your Academic Team
Judith BlakelyAcademic Coordinator
A veteran of urban educational systems, Dr. Blakely is certified in multiple states as a school superintendent; school administrator (P–12 principal); and director of special, bilingual, and gifted education. She is also a member of the National Association for Bilingual Education.
Chris CaleContributing Faculty
Dr. Cale has served as a teacher, counselor, principal, consultant, and university instructor for more than 27 years. He has a solid knowledge base in educational and leadership principles sustained by both his educational pursuits and his extensive career in education.
My advisors and my instructors have all played an important role in my life by keeping me on the right track to finishing my degree.
Brittany Harris MS in Higher Education Graduate
Walden’s curriculum offers a cross-cultural perspective. It is very valuable to have my degree from Walden. It’s a strong point in my professional life.
Daniela Brancheau M.S. in Higher Education Graduate
FAQ About Walden’s Online MS in Higher Education Program
MS in Higher Education candidates have many options when it comes to choosing the program that is right for them. However, a few key factors should always be considered in your decision-making process, including flexibility, diversity, and support. First, flexible scheduling can be key for working professionals, which is why online degree programs are such a popular choice. It’s also important to be able to connect with other professionals. Those with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences can greatly enhance your master’s experience. Lastly, be sure you choose a university with a strong support team that is invested in your success as you work toward your advanced higher education degree.
Online programs vary based on a variety of factors, like where you’re earning your degree and the area of focus you choose. For example, Walden University has been educating adult professionals for 50 years and is a known leader in online learning. When you choose to earn your degree from Walden, you’ll be supported at every turn with personal advisors, faculty members who are all scholar-practitioners, and support services that include a Writing Center with 50 full-time writing professionals, a world-class online library, and much more. As for the MS in Higher Education program, you can choose the general program or select one of six specializations that allow you align your studies with your interests and career goals. You will also complete a capstone project in which you will apply what you have learned to a real-word issue or problem.
One of the best, most convenient ways to earn your MS in Higher Education is to enroll in an online program offered by a respected university. With online learning, you can continue working full time and balance your other responsibilities while earning your degree. An online higher education master’s program lets you complete your coursework from anywhere you have internet access. It’s a great way to earn your MS in Higher Education so that you can begin addressing the most pressing issues facing higher education institutions and improve organizational and student success.
With a master’s degree, you can gain the skills and knowledge to develop and lead higher education programs, services, and classes. Individuals with higher education degrees choose from a diverse array of careers in areas including academic advising, academic affairs, corporate training, distance learning, faculty development, marketing, military education, student affairs, finance, and more. The career planning and development team at an accredited university, like Walden, is also available to provide one-on-one counseling, career tools, resources, and strategies that can only strengthen your career path.
Many students at Walden choose to earn their MS in Higher Education with a specialization in Global Higher Education. This specialization helps prepare graduates to take advantage of the many opportunities for global collaboration and alliances among colleges and universities. The internet, sophisticated e-learning platforms, and the proliferation of mobile devices have broadened the reach of higher education far beyond traditional parameters. Students learn approaches to program planning and management as well as ways to attract and serve international students. This specialization introduces students to different approaches to being an agent for positive change in global higher education.
Walden’s MS in Higher Education specialization in Adult Learning is designed to provide students with the specific knowledge and skills they’ll need to effectively educate adult learners. Coursework centers on understanding adult development, research-based best practices in adult teaching and learning, and the effects that diversity and multiculturalism can have on motivating adult learners. This program also integrates developmental education, online teaching, and training and performance improvement.
Other specialization options at Walden include Online and Distance Learning, College Teaching and Learning, Enrollment Management and Institutional Marketing, and Leadership for Student Success.
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