Master's in Higher Education Administration

Transforming Student Communities

For today’s diverse student population, institutions need strong leaders to become the next generation of change agents determined to transform campus communities nationwide. Whether it is through an emphasis on the demographic variables that are predictors of student borrowing, the historical analysis of the contributions of the black power movement to higher education, changes in Greek life policy and practice, or the foundations of college student development, college student personnel professionals are prepared to take on this work.

GW's Master's degree in Higher Education Administration equips students with effective leadership and administration capabilities by combining coursework with professional practice in a multitude of settings in the DC Metro area through internship and fellowship opportunities. You will become immersed in innovative work to ensure that colleges are using inclusive and multicultural student affairs practices focused on promoting social justice, civic engagement, and equity. Higher Education Administration students deepen their expertise by selecting a concentration in Student Affairs Administration, General Administration, Higher Education Policy and Finance, and International Higher Education. Students in the HEA program 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; Greek life policies and practice; and much more. In the final semester of the program, students complete a capstone project on a topic of their choosing related to a problem of professional practice. This provides a living portfolio of work directly related to their intended career path.

Students enrolled in the Higher Education Administration Masters program may pursue a joint degree with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Juris Doctorate. Courses can be applied toward earning the Masters degree and certificates.

Upon completion of the degree, students will be prepared for professional positions in student affairs, academic affairs, university relations, study abroad and international exchange programs, and more.


Why a GW Master's in Higher Education Administration?

Location: GW’s location in Washington, DC- the epicenter of policy, practice, and research - provides students with the distinct advantage of being a neighbor to national organizations including: The Department of Education, American Council on Education, ACPA and NASPA, American Educational Research Association, and a variation of colleges/universities in size and affiliation.
Diverse Student Body: From across the country and around the globe, bringing a wide range of professional experience, skills, and enriching knowledge.
Convenient Schedule: Courses are scheduled once a week in late afternoons and evenings (Monday-Thursday) to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, and for internship experiences.
Study Abroad: Students in the Higher Education Administration program may have the opportunity to participate in short term study abroad trips for course credit. These opportunities allow students to further their work as scholar-practitioners through exposure to and research of other international perspectives.


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) 994-6853
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
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



Program Entry: Summer, Fall
Prerequisites: Bachelors Degree
Campus: Main Campus

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • GRE or MAT (Submission of scores is optional if undergraduate GPA is 3.3 or higher)
  • Transcripts (unofficial)
  • Application Fee

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants

For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions page.

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Master's in Higher Education Administration program located on campus (202-994-7066).

In the News

GSEHD alumnus Dr. Rob Shorette II (master's, Higher Education Administration) co-authored a piece in the Huffington Post entitled Beyond Tuition: How Student Loan Debt for California’s Low-Income College Grads Reveals Real College Affordability Challenges.

GSEHD alumna Martha Scott Schafer (master's, educational administration) was highlighted in the Alexandria Time's St. Paul’s Nursery and Day School turns 70. Ms. Schafer has been the school's headmistress for 35 years.

Tim Rabolt, GSEHD alumnus (master's, higher education administration) was quoted in Vice News' After Decades of Letting Students with Addictions Fend For Themselves, Colleges Are Starting to Help.

Helen Cannaday, GSEHD alumna (master's, higher education administration) and GW Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement, was quoted in Diverse Issues in Higher Education's GWU, Among Urban Colleges Providing Scholarships to Locals.

GSEHD alumna Dr. Stephanie Wood-Garnett (master's, higher education administration) has been appointed the next president of The Institute for Student Achievement (ISA), a division of ETS. ISA, whose mission is to partner with schools and districts to transform public high schools so that students who are traditionally underserved and underperforming graduate prepared for success in college and careers, has been part of ETS since 2013.