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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?

The Educator of Educators®

Walden is home to nearly 60,000 education alumni,2 including more than 150 state teachers of the year.

Practitioner Faculty

Our faculty are all passionate, experienced practitioners with a deep understanding of learning and development.

Multiple Career Paths

Build contemporary skills customizable for different roles and settings, from corporate training to academia.

Personalized Learning

Focus on challenges in your current job. Build a portfolio of relevant work you can share with your current or future employer.

Program Savings

Receive a 10% tuition reduction for the life of the program if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on October 31, 2022. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Program Details

Curriculum - General Program

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:


Course Code Title Credits
EDUC 6155

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.)
EDUC 6156

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.)
EDUC 6263

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.)
EDUC 6157

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.)
EDUC 6261

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.)
EDUC 6225

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.)
EDUC 6761

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.)
EDUC 6260

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.)
EDUC 6264

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.)
EDUC 6960

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.


  • All other courses

(3 sem. cr.)

Admission Requirements

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

General Program

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost amount
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.

Paying for Your Education

Our Enrollment Specialists can help you outline a plan and find resources for funding your education.

Learn more

Program Savings

Receive a 10% tuition reduction for the life of the program if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on October 31, 2022. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now


General Program

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.

Adult Learning

Explore emerging theories, research, and best practices that can be applied to create effective education experiences for this unique population of learners.

College Teaching and Learning

Examine the major steps in the teaching and learning process: planning, developing, and facilitating learning experiences and assessing outcomes.

Enrollment Management and Institutional Marketing

Learn to develop strategies—using all types of communication tools—that attract students and promote your institution.

Global Higher Education

Broaden your understanding of global trends and issues in higher education.

Leadership for Student Success

Gain the tools you need to develop and measure programs that support student success.

Online and Distance Learning

Explore the most current online technologies to support student learning and organizational effectiveness.

Program Outcomes

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.

Career Outlook

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 

  • Administrator
  • Professional developer and trainer
  • Academic director
  • Research and planning director
Walden is the

No. 2

granter 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.

Learning Outcomes

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 Blakely

    Judith Blakely

    Academic 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 Cale

    Chris Cale

    Contributing 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.


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FAQ About Walden’s Online MS in Higher Education Program


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