Skip to main content
Sultan Ahkter giving a lecture with text Sultan Ahkter '19

Master's in Higher Education Administration Online

Clock Icon
Register By: April 15 Classes Start: April 17

Learn to Lead in Higher Education

  • $627/credit (36 credits total)
  • Transfer up to 12 graduate credits
  • Complete in as few as 15 months
  • No GRE/GMAT required
  • Learn from experts in online higher education
  • 24/7 access to coursework

Master’s in Higher Education Administration Program Overview

Candidates in booming industries like healthcare, information technology and finance often require post-secondary education for entry-level jobs. The increased demand from employers for degree-holding professionals is putting new pressure on colleges and universities. Shifts in student demographics, learning technology, complex policy and public scrutiny are increasing the need for innovative, fiscally responsible leaders who can balance student demands with organizational needs.

Southern New Hampshire University's Master of Science in Higher Education Administration prepares you for the enterprise of higher education and the complex challenges that go along with it. Learn how strategic leadership, a student success culture and data-driven resource management can advance colleges and universities in the 21st century. These essential skills will prepare you to guide innovation, address institutional needs and shape the higher education conversation.

Learn how to:

  • Strategize ways to address challenges in higher ed using research and data
  • Evaluate program effectiveness in serving the needs of all students – especially those underrepresented
  • Assess the relationship between higher education and institutional, local and national policy
  • Use industry standards to guide institutional decisions
  • Facilitate effective communication, collaboration and continuous improvement methods as an institutional leader
  • Utilize budgeting and resource allocation skills to fund a school's mission, vision and strategic goals

Career Outlook

With the demand for distance learning ever increasing, colleges have been tasked with finding innovative solutions to deliver quality education to students. That's where higher education administrators come in.

Dr. Daniel Tanguay with the text Dr. Daniel Tanguay"Higher education administrators are leaders who foster organizational growth and development through the creation and refinement of industry-leading programs and student services," said Dr. Daniel Tanguay, SNHU's senior associate dean of programs and faculty for education.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that postsecondary administrators made a median annual salary of $96,910 in 2021 – more than twice the median annual wage for all workers.1 

You can position yourself well for a job by having a master's degree and experience working in education. Our master's in higher education administration is a program built specifically to teach you the skills you need to succeed in the world of postsecondary administration.

Depending on your specific role, your duties as a higher ed admin could vary, but if you want to work more directly with students, you might consider working in an area like:

  • Student affairs. Ensure students have the best possible experience by identifying opportunities for improvement in areas of student support services and academic and extracurricular experiences.
  • Student recruitment and retention. Recruit students who you think will thrive at your institution and guide them to degree completion.
  • Registrar's office. Schedule course offerings and plan logistics for class space. Help students enroll in the right courses to finish their degrees on time. Prepare diplomas, transcripts and other academic records.

This master's in higher education administration program can also help you develop into an informed leader who understands how to move an agenda forward amidst the conflicting pressures and perspectives of the higher education industry. Prepare yourself for roles on teams like:

  • Academic affairs. Lead initiatives in curriculum development, academic policies and faculty support and development.
  • Distance learning. Work in higher ed's hottest topic – online delivery models. Beyond the technical logistics, you'll consider how to best support students learning remotely.
  • Diversity management. Lead the diversity, equity and inclusion initiative at your organization to ensure access and representation for your school's employees and students.
  • Faculty development. Staff your faculty with members who align with institutional goals and give students the best support.
  • Institutional advancement. Focus on improving your organization through activities like fundraising, alumni relations and corporate partnerships.

No matter where your career takes you, the MS in Higher Education Administration can help you obtain a keen sense of the role higher education has in enriching the wider community and the obligation administrators have to support and nurture it.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Higher Education Administration Degree

Courses & Curriculum

Glean deep insight into the history and theory that have shaped higher learning in the U.S. while gaining the know-how to take action confidently with your MS in Higher Education Administration.

In this 36-credit master's in higher education administration program, you'll learn the communication, leadership, organization and technical skills required of today's leaders in higher education. Some courses may include:

  • Contemporary Issues in Higher Education: Examine issues in higher education today. You'll look specifically at changing demographics, technology and intellectual shifts to understand how they affect the modern student.
  • Program Evaluation: Evaluate programs using industry-standard theory and processes. Analyze data to suggest programmatic changes that serve an institution's mission. You'll also dig into basic project management.
  • Enrollment Management and Marketing: Learn methods of attracting, admitting and retaining students as part of the enrollment management process. You'll be exposed to concepts in admissions marketing, admissions outcome prediction and financial aid's influence on enrollment behavior.
  • Budget and Financial Management in Higher Education: Use quantitative data to make business decisions related to financial management. Study tuition and fee revenue models to make informed budgetary decisions.
  • Leading Change in Higher Education: Gain skills needed to navigate major internal and external forces while strategically driving change. Apply data, quality improvement principles and creative problem solving to manage and back up your decisions.

More than a best practices degree, this graduate program expands the boundaries of higher education success by teaching students the skills required to make empirical data-based decisions.

Dr. Kim Salgado with the text Dr. Kim Salgado"Students will analyze and work with a variety of datasets to derive and infer the effectiveness of education initiatives, draw data-based conclusions and apply research findings to solve real-world problems," said Dr. Kim Salgado, associate dean at SNHU.

Our master's in higher education administration program was shaped by people who are passionate about advancing higher education. SNHU takes its experience as one of the nation's fastest-growing online universities and combines it with insights from other innovative institutions.

Institutional oversight, functional area leadership and management professionals collaborated to create a curriculum that pushes educators to meet student and organizational challenges head-on.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,881 $627 $9,405 
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs:
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.