Master of Science in Higher Education

The Master of Science in Higher Education program stresses the practical knowledge, critical thinking, research, and writing skills relevant to leaders in today’s colleges and universities. Whether your interests are in administration, teaching, student development, or other areas within higher education, you will have the opportunity to work closely with your instructors and other students who share your interests. Enjoy the convenience and flexibility of online learning while you study to maximize your career choices and strengthen your knowledge and skills as a practitioner of higher education.

Master of Science in Higher Education Program Highlights

Courses feature learning activities led by distinguished faculty members who are dedicated to helping you pursue your educational goals. In the interactive online courses, you will:

  • Focus on multicultural and diversity issues affecting student development in higher education
  • Examine how technology, public policy, and financing issues affect a student’s ability to attend college
  • Explore the historical development of colleges and universities in the United States and the organizational principles that guide them

Master of Science in Higher Education Concentrations

Choose from three concentrations designed to help you develop valuable expertise in specific areas of higher education administration, teaching, or student affairs.

College Administration and Leadership: Study to gain expertise in the principles of effective leadership as they relate to the management of academic programs and departments in a variety of postsecondary settings. Explore the roles of institutional research and strategic planning in institutions of higher education. Develop skills in assessing and evaluating academic programs, including accreditation standards and processes in both on-ground and online institutions. Prepare to enter the field of higher education administration, or to advance your career and take on new leadership roles.

College Teaching: Explore foundations of adult learning and the use of technology in higher education settings. Focus on developing expertise in curriculum design and implementation and in the methods and models used to assess learning outcomes. Analyze strategies for quality online education as you explore the theory and processes of designing, delivering, and assessing online learning. 

Note: 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 higher education and 18 semester hours (27 quarter credit hours) of graduate coursework in their teaching field.

Student Affairs: Focus on developing expertise in the administration of a comprehensive student services program for both on-ground and online institutions. Gain hands-on experience through an internship at a real-world educational institution, and explore how to incorporate current management and legal issues into student affairs. This 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).

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Higher Education at the Highest Standards

Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and committed to the highest standards. Our specific programs hold additional industry-relevant approvals and accreditations.

What are the Career Opportunities?

The Master of Science in Higher Education is designed to prepare you to pursue leadership positions in colleges, community colleges, universities, and technical and vocational centers. Your master's degree may help you qualify for positions such as the following:

  • Department or division chair
  • Positions in institutional research, assessment, or staff development
  • Supervisory roles such as director of admissions, advising, student life, or student services

Upon successful completion of the program, you may choose to further your knowledge by pursuing doctoral-level studies.

How Do I Get Started?

Kaplan University offers multiple start dates, giving you greater flexibility with your education, life, and work schedules.



Online Start Date

October 11, 2017



Online Start Date

November 29, 2017



Online Start Date

January 17, 2018



Online Start Date

March 07, 2018



Online Start Date

April 18, 2018



Online Start Date

June 06, 2018



Online Start Date

July 18, 2018



Online Start Date

September 05, 2018



Online Start Date

October 17, 2018



Online Start Date

December 05, 2018

What Courses WIll I Take?

The Master of Science in Higher Education program focuses on the practical knowledge, critical thinking, and research skills related to today's colleges and universities. Courses include:

  • Foundations of Higher Education
  • Higher Education Laws and Regulations
  • Multiculturalism and Diversity in Higher Education
  • Higher Education Finance
See All Higher Education Courses
Program Requirements
  • Core Credits30
  • Concentration Credits20
  • Total Credits50

Can I Afford This?

Here are some of the ways we can help lower the cost of your tuition and help you graduate sooner.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition Rates

Select Your Options

Desired Track Only one track is available for this program.
Enrollment Location:
Online, Rockville, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin
  • Online, Rockville, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin
  • Maine
  • Hagerstown
  • Iowa, Nebraska
Tuition Discount Options:
Select One
  • Select One
  • Active-Duty Military
  • Military Veteran
  • Military Spouse
  • International
  • Indiana Residents
  • Alumni

Online, Rockville, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin

$420.00 cost per credit
number of credits

Tuition does not include University fees and associated program fees. View tuition and fee information or contact an Admissions Advisor for more information.

Indiana resident military veterans: tuition for online undergraduate degree and certificate programs is $220.00 per quarter credit hour.

Request More Information

To receive the Kaplan University Program Guide, including areas of study and associated career paths, please complete this information form.

Helpful Information

Whether you are on your way up the corporate ladder or just getting started, our degree programs and certificates could help you prepare to take your career to a higher level.

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View notes and conditions

*College teaching requirements vary by institution and program. Students are responsible for verifying the requirements to teach in any program or institution of interest.

Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

While many of Kaplan University's degree programs are designed to prepare graduates to pursue continued graduate- or doctorate-level education, the University cannot guarantee that students will be granted admission to any graduate or doctoral programs.