Master of Science (M.S.) in Educational Administration, emphasis in Higher Education Administration
Higher education is a broad-based area of knowledge and study that examines the management and coordination of programs, policies, and processes pertaining to colleges and universities. Programs, policies, and processes include issues associated with access, admission, assessment, curriculum, diversity, economics, enrollment, equity, faculty, finance, governance, law, learning, organizational behavior, philanthropy, policy, resource management, students, and teaching.
Career paths in higher education vary widely, and are dependent on academic qualifications and job responsibilities required within and across colleges and universities. For example, the qualifications for entry-level academic advisors or activities director at a community college or baccalaureate granting institution are often more flexible than at a doctoral research university. While it is possible to prepare for a position for a career in higher education administration with a bachelor’s degree, most colleges and universities require an advanced degree such as a masters or doctorate. Higher education administrators typically hold a masters or doctorate degree with areas of specialization including business, equity, faculty, finance, law, student affairs, organizational behavior, policy, research methodology, and teaching. Promotion to more advanced level positions require, at minimum, a master’s degree.
Graduates with a master’s degree can work in university housing, student activities, admissions and other areas of student affairs. Positions in academic affairs are also common, such as academic advisor, recruitment or retention specialist, development specialist, study abroad coordinator, or financial aid counselor. Other students are interested in education policy and may pursue a career in government policy in higher education.
The higher education administration program at Texas A&M is taught by leaders in the field, either as full-time faculty or as full-time administrators who teach part-time. Our full-time administrators are not just good at their job, they are leaders in their professional organizations or have written books on their specialty. The full-time faculty are critical scholars and national leaders who reflect the rich racial and ethnic diversity of our community. regularly doing research on student retention and financial aid, the preparation and retention of underrepresented groups such as Latinx males interested in attending a postsecondary institution, faculty work-life issues, diversity issues in higher education, college teaching, and qualitative research. The program faculty are committed to a social-justice infused curriculum. For example, in the college teaching course students learn pedagogy, assessment, and instructional methods, but that is infused with a concern for all students’ success in culturally-inclusive pedagogy.
Our program has a specific focus on infusing an equity minded agenda that is reflected in the courses we teach, the research we conduct, and the service we provide at the local, state, and national levels. Specifically, we offer areas of emphasis including higher education administration, student affairs administration and a certificate in college teaching for aspiring postsecondary instructors. We excel at graduating scholar practitioners. Further, our program offers opportunity to:
- Work alongside faculty as research collaborators
- Make a meaningful contribution to national discourses in higher education and student affairs
- Be a part of an engaged learning community
- Serve or lead at the national level
- Learn from faculty committed to student success
- Practice your profession connected to academic learning and teaching
- Individualize and tailor your experience based on personal goals
- Engage with faculty with a breadth and depth of knowledge and experiences beyond teaching
- Apply for Graduate Fellowship from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies
- Involvement and graduate student support (e.g., GRAB/SAAHE professional organization, Black graduate student association, Hispanic graduate student association, Graduate student senate)
- Utilize extensive academic support (e.g. TAMU Writing Center, World Class Research Library)
Admissions Deadline: December 1
Application submission deadline for the Master’s and Doctorate degrees is December 1 for Summer or Fall semester. Candidates will be required to come to campus for an interview with faculty if the faculty considers it necessary. All admission decisions will be made by mid-March.
To be admitted to a graduate program, you must apply to the EAHR department and Texas A&M University.How to Apply
The 42-hour master’s program prepares students to enter a mid-level management position at the college or university level. The masters in higher education is particularly appropriate for people already working in higher education who want more career flexibility or wish to advance in the field. The flexibility in course requirements allow students to explore different career areas within higher education. Students complete 27 hours of required coursework and 15 hours of electives. Electives are based on the student’s support field and specialization areas and must be approved by the committee chair. The department also offers a master’s program in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education (SAAHE), which is specifically designed for individuals interested in working more closely with college students. To help decide whether the higher education masters or the student affairs master’s program is right for you, see the frequently asked questions section below.
Degree: Master’s in Educational Administration
Emphasis: Higher Education Administration
Degrees Offered: Master of Science
Credit Hours: Traditional (42 hours)
The higher education masters has seven required courses that are seminal to any career in the field of higher education and include, higher education law, finance, administration, foundations of education, the college student, and a practicum. In addition to these 21 credit hours of required coursework, students must take 6 hours of elective coursework within the program, and 15 hours of elective course work approved by their faculty advisor. Electives are graduate courses at the university that fit the students’ scholarly interest and professional goals. Students can tailor their electives to topics like social justice, access and equity, finance and policy or student affairs. Within the electives, some must be taken from outside the department as a support field. This is a coordinated set of courses from another program which add to the breadth and depth of the student’s knowledge.
A practicum experience in higher education is required as part of the electives. This practicum can be a great way to try a new career area or strengthen skills. History has shown that professional experience either through employment or the practicum are essential for success on the job market at graduation. Students with less professional experience may elect to do a second practicum. Students with extensive professional experience in a professional position in higher education may waive the practicum with the approval of their committee chair.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HIGHER EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION AND THE SAAHE PROGRAMS?
The general Higher Ed program is geared towards professionals working in the field who want to pursue a master’s degree. The majority of the students are part-time students working full-time in higher education. With this program there is a lot of flexibility in designing a degree plan, which allows students to customize their classes based on their interests. Students are only required to do one internship/practicum and with multiple years of experience this can be waived and the student can take another elective. Students can tailor the general masters to their interest/focus. Students can take some or most of the courses in student affairs administration or can focus on academic administration, education policy, instructional technology in higher education, etc. The elective courses are selected between the student and their advisor to form a cohesive program that fits the student’s interests and goals.
The SAAHE program is designed for students who know they want to work in student affairs administration within higher education. The program is cohort based and the majority of the students are full-time students holding graduate assistantships across campus. The curriculum is very structured and there are only two electives in the program. Students must do two practicum experiences with student affairs units in the university. As cohorts, students tend to take their coursework in a structured order with the same classmates.
Prospective students who know they want to work in student affairs, should pursue the SAAHE program as the combination of practicum, coursework and graduate assistantships will best prepare someone for the job market, while students with more professional experience or who need more flexibility in their coursework and schedule can build a strong program through the masters in higher education.
WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM GRE SCORES AND GPA TO BE ADMITTED?
We do not have a minimum GRE score or GPA. While scores matter, we look for a combination of strengths from professional experience, understanding of the field, vision for their career as well as test scores and grade point average. We look at GPA from the 60 credit hours of upper-level coursework (not first year courses). For many students this GPA is higher. Students are also invited to explain a bad semester or bad start in their personal statement. Put together the best case for you in the application. While not for all our degrees but for the master’s in higher education, professional experience in the field is considered in the application process.
CAN I STUDY FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME?
Most of the students in the masters in higher education are studying part-time and working full-time in higher education. When working full-time, students often take three years to complete the master’s degree. Students are also welcome to study full-time. If studying full-time, they are encouraged to pursue a graduate assistantship or multiple practicums to assure they are competitive at graduation.
MY UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE IS NOT IN EDUCATION. CAN I STILL APPLY?
Yes. Many of our students come to higher education through their extracurricular experience as an undergraduate or through securing a job in higher education and a desire to make it a career. Therefore, we have students with bachelor’s degrees from psychology, business, special education, marketing, communications, and a variety of other fields.
CAN YOU GUIDE ME THROUGH THE APPLICATION PROCESS?
Completed Application: A completed Apply Texas application. Apply online at www.applytexas.org. The name on your application must match your name as it appears in your passport. Application Fee: A non-refundable $65 application fee for domestic applicants and $90 application fee for international applicants. The application fee may be paid by check, money order or approved credit card. Applicants who wish to pay by credit card may do so as part of the online application. If you are unable to pay the fee online, you may call the Graduate Admissions Office at 979-845-1060. Official Transcripts and Records: Submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. NOTE: You do not need to submit an official transcript from Texas A&M University. For information on submitting official transcripts to Texas A&M University, please visit their website.
WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL PROGRAM COSTS?
The following website can help you estimate the cost of the program, including current costs of tuition and fees: Check out the cost of attendance estimator
Please note, you must update the program hours.
WHAT DO I NEED TO INCLUDE IN MY STATEMENT OF PURPOSE?
Admissions committee members look mainly for fit between what the applicant wants from a graduate program and what we offer. In the personal statement, applicants are encouraged to clearly state and connect their background or current work, and particularly their future career plans, to the degree they are seeking.