Master's in Higher Education Administration

Transforming Student Communities

The HEA Master’s degree develops future scholar-practitioners through innovative teaching methods and diverse field experiences. The program’s location in the heart of the nation’s capital offers unique connections to higher education fellowships and internships. Graduates join an extensive network as engaged and thoughtful change agents who are committed to transforming campus communities through ethical leadership, improving student success, advancing inclusive living-learning environments through social justice advocacy, and integrating research and assessment in data-driven decision making.

The HEA Master’s degree prepares students for professional positions in student affairs, academic affairs, university relations, non-profit associations, federal government and more. The academic program integrates principles of practice, theoretical foundations, and a student-created inquiry theme to help students develop both depth and breadth in higher education knowledge and experiences. Students take core courses in their concentration and also have the freedom to customize their academic experience by choosing a third of their coursework. Each student creates a Personal Development Plan and Job Market Strategy with the assistance of faculty. Students also have the opportunity to gain professional experience during the program through fellowships and internships.

HEA students have the opportunity to deepen their expertise by selecting a concentration in Student Affairs Administration, General Administration, Higher Education Policy and Finance, and International Higher Education.


Why a GW Master's in Higher Education Administration?

  • Applied Scholarship and Learning: The HEA program combines in depth course work with professional practice. Drawing on the diverse array of colleges, universities, national and federal agencies in the DC Metro area, students will apply classroom knowledge to internship and fellowship opportunities. At the epicenter of policy, practice and research, GSEHD Higher Education students benefit from lectures, work opportunities and networking with colleagues at the Department of Education, the American Council on Education, ACPA, NASPA and the American Educational Research Association .
  • Changing Campus Communities: As an HEA student you will engage in scholarship to support evidence-based, innovative, inclusive, and socially just student affairs practices. Your experience will build leadership capabilities as you learn in innovative classroom and professional settings. You will become the next generation of change agents, transforming campus communities nation-wide.
  • In Depth Excellence: Focus on study abroad and international exchange policies and programs; enrollment management, admissions and recruiting strategies; academic advising best practices; intercollegiate athletics and club sports management; student engagement, event programming and residential life; career services and development; or, Greek life policies and practice.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 30 credits, including 12 credits in required core courses, 12 to 15 credits in one concentration, and 3 to 6 credits in elective courses.

Core Courses:

EDUC 6112: Foundations of Assessment, Testing, and Measurement in Education
EDUC 6500: Introduction to Student Affairs & Higher Ed
EDUC 6510: Administration of Higher Education
EDUC 6585: Master’s Internship in Higher Education Administration
EDUC 6590: Capstone in Higher Education Administration (0 credit course)

General Administration Concentration:
EDUC 6540: Group and Organizational Theories
EDUC 6560: Legal Problems in Higher Education
EDUC 6555: Higher Education Policy
or EDUC 6565: Financing Higher Education
EDUC 8560: Case Studies in Higher Education Administration
ELECTIVES: 6 credits in elective courses to be selected in consultation with the advisor.

International Education Concentration:
EDUC 6602: Regional Studies in International Education
or EDUC 6615: Internationalizing U.S. Schools
or EDUC 6630: International Experiences
EDUC 6610: Programs and Policies in International Education
EDUC 6620: Strategies and Analysis in International Education
EDUC 8560: Case Studies in Higher Education Administration
ELECTIVES: 6 credits in elective courses to be selected in consultation with the advisor.

Student Affairs Administration Concentration:
EDUC 6520: Foundations of College Student Development
EDUC 6525: Managing College Student Services Programs
EDUC 6530: Intercultural Campus Leadership
EDUC 6540: Group and Organizational Theories
EDUC 6585: Master’s Internship in Higher Education Administration
ELECTIVES: 3 credits in elective courses to be selected in consultation with the advisor.

Higher Education Policy and Finance Concentration:
EDUC 6555: Higher Education Policy
EDUC 6565: Financing Higher Education
EDUC 6560: Legal Problems in Higher Education
EDUC 8540: History of Higher Education
ELECTIVES: 6 credits in elective courses to be selected in consultation with the advisor.

Visiting Assistant Professor
(202) 994-6854
Associate Professor
(202) 994-5123
Associate Professor
(202) 994-3205
Visiting Professor
(202) 994-7218
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-1453
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-2770
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-8108
(202) 994-9711
Career Outlook


Graduates of the Higher Education program are transforming campus communities across the nation. We work as the:

Director of Admissions, The Citadel
Director of Student Affairs & Community Service Learning, University of Virginia
Director of Residence Life, Christendom College
Director of Student Services, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, GW
Assistant Director of Admissions, Bucknell University
Assistant Director of Student Life and Activities & Coordinator Greek Affairs, American University
Assistant Director of Programming, University of Wisconsin
Leadership Coordinator, University of California, Davis
Assistant Director of Campus Programming and Greek Life, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Director of Career Services, University of Washington
Assistant Director of Campus Assault Resources and Education, UC Irvine

In the News

GSEHD student Timothy Rabolt (master's, higher education administration) was quoted in The Crime Report's article Colleges Are Taking Action As Opioid Epidemic Worsens.

GSEHD student Timothy Rabolt (master's, higher education administration) was quoted on National Public Radio's Marketplace. (His comments start at 1:32 of the audio file.)

Dr. Susan Swayze co-edited a book with GSEHD alumna Helen Cannaday (master's, higher education administration) titled Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion: Advancing the George Washington University Commitment to Academic Excellence. This book highlights some of the projects supported by the GW Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion grant program.

GSEHD alumna Christine James (Master's, Higher Education Administration) was quoted in GW Today's Successful Alumni Offer Pointers on Washington Careers. Ms. James moderated the Alumni Careers Success panel on campus.

Two GSEHD alumni have been elected to the Executive Board of the DC College Personnel Association (DCCPA). Tim Miller (Ed.D., Executive Leadership Program) is now President-Elect, and Lauren Wagoner (Master's, Higher Education Administration) is Secretary/Treasurer.