Masters of Science in Education in Higher Education Administration

The Master's degree in Higher Education Administration at KU is primarily designed for individuals preparing for administrative careers in higher education. The program consists of 36 credit hours of integrated courses and hands-on experiences - all of which can be completed in two years.

The graduate program allows students to extend and apply their knowledge of colleges and universities, and to gain relevant experience in higher education administration. Graduate students will learn from expert scholars and practitioners, as well as fellow classmates, who bring diverse leadership experiences to the higher education administration program at KU.

Graduate students enrolled in the program, can expect to complete coursework and gain experiences that meet specific learning objectives, such as:

  • Gain knowledge of organization, culture, diversity & history of higher education Institutions
  • Understand relevant research on student development theories and its impact on students
  • Incorporate a professional expression of cultural competence
  • Use literature to link higher education administration theory with practice
  • Relate relevant assistantship experiences to classroom learning
  • Consider hands-on internship experiences for graduate course credit
  • Demonstrate proficient writing skills and mastery of APA format


Students admitted to the Master’s degree program are required to obtain a graduate assistantship at KU (or another local higher education institution). Students typically work between 20-30 hours per week, and receive in-state tuition, health insurance, and a stipend as a part of their assistantship at KU.

The number and type of available assistantships will vary slightly from year to year, though assistantship positions are typically available in the following offices:

  • KU Student Housing
  • Office of Admissions
  • Office of First Year Experience (FYE)
  • Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC)
  • Student Involvement & Leadership Center (SILC)
  • Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA)
  • Financial Aid & Scholarships

Graduate Admission to the School of Education

Graduate programs in education are open to students with acceptable baccalaureate and graduate degrees whose academic records indicate that they can do successful work at the graduate level. Regular admission requires a grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in prior degrees. Individual departments may require additional information and may have more stringent admission requirements.

Some departments may offer special provisional admission categories to students who may not qualify under regular admission criteria. Departments that offer provisional admission require a grade-point average of at least 2.5.  Applicants must provide evidence of ability to work successfully at the graduate level, including experience in and commitment to the profession. Exceptions to established policies must be sought individually by petition to the Graduate Division of the School of Education.

See Admission in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog for more information.

Each department in the School of Education sets its own application deadlines.  Prospective graduate students should contact their departments for more information.

Graduate Admission

Individual programs may have additional requirements and request additional materials.  Please check the departmental website for additional requirements.

Applicants for all programs must submit the following materials:

  1. Graduate application.
  2. 1 official transcript from each degree-granting collegiate institution attended.
  3. Original Graduate Record Examination general test scores for Ph.D. applicants and for Ed.D. in educational administration applicants. The GRE is not required for Ed.D applicants in higher education or for master’s applicants in educational administration, higher education, social and cultural studies in education, or educational technology.
  4. Statement of purpose/relevance of degree to career aspirations.
  5. 3 letters of recommendation evaluating the applicant’s capacity for rigorous graduate study and qualifications for leadership positions in education and related fields.
  6. A vita or resume.

Individual program concentrations may require additional application materials. Please consult the appropriate program advisor. The following application deadlines apply:

Educational Administration

Summer Master’s and doctoral applicants April 1

Higher Education

Fall Master’s applicants who intend to enroll full-time and seek graduate assistantships January 10
Fall Master’s applicants who intend to enroll full time and seek graduate assistantships in housing only March 5
Fall Master's applicants who are working professionals June 1
Spring Master's applicants who are working professionals October 1
Summer Master's applicants who are working professionals March 1
Fall Ph.D. applicants July 1
Spring Ph.D. applicants November 1
Summer Ph.D. and Ed.D applicants March 1

Social and Cultural Studies in Education

Fall Master’s and doctoral applicants July 1
Spring Master’s and doctoral applicants November 1
Summer Master’s and doctoral applicants April 1

Educational Technology

Fall Master’s and doctoral applicants June 1
Spring Master’s and doctoral applicants November 1
Summer Master’s and doctoral applicants April 1

Policy Studies

Fall Doctoral applicants July 1
Spring Doctoral applicants November 1
Summer Doctoral applicants April 1

Submit your graduate application online. Supporting materials, such as the résumé, statement of purpose, writing sample, and letters of reference may be uploaded to the application. Original transcripts from degree-granting institutions and official test scores should be sent directly to the department:

The University of Kansas
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Joseph R. Pearson Hall
1122 W. Campus Road, Room 421
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101

Higher Education Administration

The M.S.E. in Higher Education Administration consists of a set of integrated courses and experiences that provide an opportunity for participants to extend their knowledge of the histories, clienteles, and administrative functions of colleges and universities, and to gain relevant experience in higher education administration. The program consists of 36 hours of course work. Courses are scheduled in 16-week formats during the fall and spring semesters, usually scheduled after 4:30 p.m. The summer session classes vary in time and format. The course work provides a substantive knowledge base in higher education and student affairs administration. Students must hold an assistantship or a full-time job in a related area while completing coursework. For the culminating activity, students take a comprehensive examination. A sample sequence of courses is listed below:

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
ELPS 7803ELPS 8823Elective3
ELPS 8833EPSY 7153 
ELPS 798 (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Higher Education)3Elective3 
 9 9 3
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHours 
ELPS 8853ELPS 8863 
ELPS 8843Elective3 
Elective 3  
 9 6 
Total Hours: 36

Regularly offered electives include the following:

ELPS 895Internship3
ELPS 980Postsecondary Finance3
ELPS 986The Governance and Administration of Higher Education3
ELPS 981Higher Education Law3
ELPS 880The Community/Junior College3
ELPS 982Faculty in Higher Education3