Master of Science in Higher Education

Description and Outcomes

The Master of Science in Higher Education program is designed to prepare you to pursue higher education professions or enhance your current higher education career. Courses help you develop knowledge and skills and build a solid basis for professional practice. The program is designed to help you pursue positions in a wide range of postsecondary educational settings including universities, 4-year colleges, community colleges, private colleges and universities, and various credit and noncredit technical colleges and schools.


To help further your career goals, you can customize your degree by selecting one of three concentrations: college administration and leadership, college teaching, or student affairs.

The student affairs concentration addresses specific standards of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) for graduate programs in student affairs and the standards of the Professional Preparation Commission of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).

Program Length

The Master of Science in Higher Education program consists of a minimum of 50 quarter credit hours. Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a master of science degree.

Program Outcomes

  1. Research Methods and Evaluation: Apply research methodology in designing and evaluating research studies in higher education.
  2. Organizational Behavior and Governance: Apply theories and principles of organizational behavior, governance, and leadership to operations within the profession of higher education.
  3. Assessment: Integrate assessment theory and methods along with the institutional mission, values, goals, and objectives to evaluate specific higher education programs.
  4. Ethics, Law, and Regulatory Compliance: Apply appropriate policies and practices using a range of ethical values, legal principles, and regulatory standards to the practices of the higher education community.
  5. Professional Practice: Contribute to the profession by making reasoned decisions informed by historical underpinnings and relevant theory in the performance of service and engaging in applied scholarship.
  6. Finance: Make reasoned financial decisions that maximize efficiency and efficacy of a broad range of resources available within higher education.
  7. Diversity/Multiculturalism: Assess cultural, individual, and role differences of various constituent and stakeholder groups that constitute the entire higher education community.

Professional Competencies

In addition to the discipline-specific outcomes, professional competencies are integrated throughout your academic program. You can review the professional competencies associated with your academic program in the Professional Competencies section of this Catalog.

Program Availability

For program availability, please refer to the U.S. State and Other Approvals section and Program Availability Information.


Admissions Requirements

You must meet the below admissions requirements in addition to Purdue Global's general requirements.

Upon enrollment in the program, you must declare your choice of concentration. During the course of the program, you may change concentrations; however, previously completed courses may not transfer to the new course of study.

Progression Requirements

  1. If enrolled on the 6-week calendar, you can enroll in no more than one course per session without written permission from the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
  2. If you are enrolled in the student affairs concentration, you may elect to complete a 120-hour internship experience in addition to HE594 Student Affairs Internship. Both the internship experience and HE594 Student Affairs Internship are not required, especially if you already work with students and/or in higher education. 
    If you choose to complete an internship, prior to beginning your internship experience, you are responsible for participating in locating, selecting, and obtaining an agreement with an appropriate site that best fits your location preferences and meets program requirements. You are required to speak with the Clinical Placement Team to determine your exact responsibilities and process for site selection. If an internship cannot be secured, you will complete ED558 Leadership Essentials in lieu of HE594 Student Affairs Internship.

Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams

Certain state certification and licensure boards have specific educational requirements for programs to lead to a license or certification that is a precondition for employment in a recognized occupation. Prospective and current students must review Purdue Global’s State Licensure and Certifications site to view program and state-specific licensure information.

Unless otherwise specified, Purdue Global's programs are not designed to meet any specific state’s licensure or certification requirements. Licensure-track programs may limit enrollment to students in certain states; please see Purdue Global’s Program Availability Information to determine enrollment eligibility.

You are responsible for understanding the requirements of optional certification exams. Such requirements may change during the course of your program. You are not automatically certified in any way upon program completion. Although certain programs are designed to prepare you to take various optional certification exams, Purdue Global cannot guarantee you will be eligible to take these exams or become certified. Your eligibility may depend on your work experience, completion of education and/or degree requirements, not having a criminal record, and meeting other certification requirements.

Most institutions require individuals teaching at the collegiate level to have the minimum of either a master’s degree in their teaching field or a master’s degree in college teaching and 18 semester hours (27 quarter credit hours) of graduate coursework in their teaching field. Please note that college teaching requirements vary by institution and program. You are responsible for verifying the requirements to teach in any program or institution of interest.

Alabama Students

State authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P–12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama certificate. Applicants for an Alabama certificate based on reciprocity must meet Alabama's test requirements and submit a valid, renewable professional educator certificate/license issued by another state at the degree level, grade level, and in the teaching field or area of instructional support for which an Alabama certificate is sought and for which Alabama issues a certificate. Applicants for Alabama certification in an area of administration must also document at least 3 years of full-time employment as an administrator in a P–12 school system(s).


Kentucky Students

Please be advised that this program is not accredited in Kentucky by the Education Professional Standards Board and is not recognized for initial, additional, or renewal of certification or salary enhancement (rank change) for P–12 educators in Kentucky. For more information, please visit the Education Professional Standards Board’s website at:

Tennessee Students

Specific education master's degrees are not recognized for initial licensure in Tennessee and cannot be used to add endorsement areas to a Tennessee license. Potential students are strongly encouraged to confirm salary rating and license renewal policies with their school district and/or state department, when applicable.