M.A. in Higher Education Administration

Online Info Session

Are you working in higher education now and seeking advancement?
Or, are you wanting to pursue employment in the higher education field?
If you answered yes to either question, join Dr. Casey George on October 07, 2020 from 12pm-1pm and learn about the highly ranked Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration

Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration
October 07, 2020, | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.


The Higher Education Administration program at the University of Louisville has been ranked #2 by the Best Online Master's Program in Higher Education. Also, among all the special categories, the program is ranked as the Best for Vets! Read More . . ..

In addition, among the educational administration online offerings, the Higher Education Administration program at the University of Louisville was also ranked #2 in the nation and received a national distinction for being most responsive to graduate student transfers into its program. Read More . . .

Graduate Education Badge
Education Administration Badge

The MA in Higher Education Administration online program is now ranked #22 in the nation by BestColleges.com!

The Higher Education Administration program at the University of Louisville offers a well-recognized scholar-practitioner academic experience. It enrolls 253 masters students and approximately 35 Ph.D. students. Student may choose among four concentrations - administration, teaching & learning, policy & equity and sports administration. Graduates of the program have been placed in positions within academic affairs, admissions, advising, dean of students, enrollment management, government relations, military/veteran affairs, public relations, residential life, and student success.

The program's faculty are nationally recognized with terminal degrees from among the highest ranked research programs (i.e., Columbia University, Indiana University, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Maryland). The faculty frequently present at academic conferences including the Association for the Study of Higher Education, American Educational Research Association, the Association for Education Finance & Policy, and NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The program, through the University of Louisville's Center for Economic Education, also houses and edits the Journal of Student Financial Aid, a peer-reviewed journal "featuring works of significance in all areas of postsecondary student financial assistance."

The 36 hour Master's in Higher Education Administration Degree program at UofL is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career in university and college settings. Our nationally recognized faculty apply their expertise as scholars and practitioners to connect classroom knowledge directly to real-world experiences.

Now offering four tracks to help students find their niche:

  • Administration:
    Gain practical experience in the art and science of running a world-class institution
  • Teaching and Learning:
    Effectively develop, deliver, and facilitate academic excellence in learning environments
  • Policy and Equity:
    Navigate the ever-changing postsecondary landscape with a dedication to positive change in diversity and inclusiveness
  • Sports Administration:
    Learn about the context of sports in higher education and how to help manage sports teams

Graduates from the program:

  • Know about the historical, philosophical, and organizational foundations of American higher education
  • Understand and can apply administrative skills such as planning, human resource management, and finance and budgeting
  • Know about the responsibilities and roles of college and university faculty
  • Use contemporary methods to conduct and use research relevant to postsecondary administration
  • Understand issues of cultural diversity and know about the global context of postsecondary administration

Stay in the Loop!

Get important updates, information, job postings, and invitations to social events by signing up for the listserv now. Go to https://listserv.louisville.edu/wa?A0=HigherEdChat and sign in with your University e-mail.


Distance Learning

The Higher Education Administration program at the University of Louisville has been ranked #2 by the Best Online Master's Program in Higher Education. Also, among all the special categories, the program is ranked as the Best for Vets! Read More . . ..

In addition, among the educational administration online offerings, the Higher Education Administration program at the University of Louisville was also ranked #2 in the nation and received a national distinction for being most responsive to graduate student transfers into its program. Read More . . .

Graduate Education Badge
Education Administration Badge

Please check availability of the online program in your state.

The MA in Higher Education Administration is one of two graduate level programs offered within the College of Education and Human Development that can be completed entirely online.

The online format of the MA in Higher Education Administration is designed for distance learners who need the flexibility that's not offered by the on campus program. Online classes are offered through Blackboard -- a course management system used by UofL to facilitate online learning. Among other things, students use Blackboard to...

  • Read the course syllabus or handouts
  • Submit papers and assignments
  • Take tests
  • View grades
  • Send email to other students or the instructor
  • Participate in an online chat
  • Discuss case studies with classmates on a discussion board

MA HEA Online     Request More Info

James Barnard

The Higher Education program has given me a more broad view of how colleges and universities operate. I had experience in my specific field but the classes I have taken made me see things from new perspectives. This helps me to think critically in my job and put theories into practice in the workplace. The program is big enough that I have met a wide variety of other students with diverse experiences, yet small enough that I have gotten to know the faculty well and developed mentor relationships with them.

James Barnard, Higher Education Administration Student

The biggest benefit of online learning is that you can work to earn your degree from your own home while raising your family, working full time, or experiencing particular life circumstances that make commuting to campus difficult or impossible. At U of L, you are taught by the same world class faculty as our on campus students. You read the same textbooks, do many of the same assignments and earn the same degrees. The biggest difference is that you are able to do it in a way that best fits your lifestyle.

Be prepared for online learning. Online learning is learning that is facilitated in an online environment. Rather than attend class in a traditional classroom setting, online learning allows you to "go to class" when it's convenient for you whether that's 5am or 11pm.

Will you be a successful online learner?

Online learning is not for everyone. Successful online students...

  • Have a desire to learn online
  • Are motivated
  • Have strong time management and organizational skills
  • Can work independently
  • Have college level reading and writing skills
  • Are not afraid to speak up when problems arise

For more information, view http://louisville.edu/online.

For details about program curriculum, visit the Graduate Catalog.

FAQs about the program's Internship requirement

Students may be admitted for the fall, spring or summer semesters. Applications will not be reviewed until ALL materials have been received by the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their materials no later than 4 weeks before the start of a semester to allow sufficient time for appropriate review and advising.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must submit an online application for admission to the University of Louisville School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

To be considered for the program, each applicant must submit the following:

  • All official transcripts. The minimum requirement for admission is a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution.
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members or supervisors who can speak to the applicant's academic and/or professional capabilities and potential. Do not include friends or family members.
  • Professional goals statement. The Admissions Committee evaluates applications based on how an applicant’s goals, professional experiences, and commitment to education are an appropriate fit with this program. This document is also a writing sample and will be used to assess your writing skills.
  • Current resume.
  • GRE scores are not required for admission.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all foreign students from countries in which English is not the native language. Students holding a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited institution in the United States are exempt from this requirement.
  • For unconditional admission, applicants are required to have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5.
  • All credentials are considered. Please know that satisfying the minimum GPA requirement does not guarantee admission into the program.

Application Priority Deadlines

  • July 1st for fall admission.
  • December 1st for spring admission.
  • April 1st for summer admission.

If you have questions about applying to the program, please email gradadm@louisville.edu or call Lynne Ernst 502-852-7697.

FAQs about the program's Internship requirement

Christine Payne

As a nontraditional student pursuing my graduate degree full-time, I reviewed all the programs that were available to me both in the classroom and online. The MHEA was a perfect fit for my goal to transition into the field of higher education administration. I have been inspired by my classmates and engaged by the faculty in this program.

Christine Payne, Higher Education Administration Graduate


Learn more about our program faculty.

Casey George
331 College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Program Faculty

If you're seeking to advance your career or considering a career in higher education, the UofL MA in Higher Education Administration is the program of choice. Our graduates emerge as the stronger candidates for a variety of positions in universities and colleges across the country. Check out the variety of roles and salary ranges at https://www.higheredjobs.com/salary

Jonathan Hughes

As a recent graduate from the Higher Education Administration program I can honestly say that the program equipped me with the tools necessary to be successful in my career. The faculty and staff in the program are pioneers in higher education and afford students like myself the opportunity to work alongside them and help create new knowledge and research. The faculty and staff provided me with knowledge of how colleges and universities function from various perspectives. I was also given mentorship that allowed me to meet the leaders in my field and taught me those transferable skills that made me employable after graduation. I can say with the upmost confidence that I am a proud graduate of the Higher Education Administration program and would not be in the position that I am without the program.

Jonathan Hughes, Higher Education Administration Graduate

Why Choose a Career in Higher Education?

    Work in a variety of different positions on campus.
    Assist students during very important and critical time in their lives.
    Gain valuable experience and insight into higher education.
    A campus environment continually offers new challenges.
    Competitive wages, benefits, discounted tuition.
    A career that's always new and exciting with constant change!

Career Outlook

Financial Aid

Full time students may be eligible for a limited number of graduate assistantships available in the CEHD and the Division of Student Affairs at UofL. It is the responsibility of the students to secure these positions. In addition to the financial aid opportunities offered by the University, the College of Education & Human Development also has information about other forms of financial aid.

Other financial aid opportunities available include graduate assistantships and other employment opportunities.


Faculty and Staff Tuition Benefits

University employees enrolled in the MAHEA program and taking online classes are charged at non-bundled fee rates, which are $66 per class or $22 per credit hour.

Full-time employees are eligible to take up to two courses at UofL each semester tuition free. Full-time is defined as working 80% of full-time equivalency or greater. Part-time employees are eligible to take one course at UofL each semester tuition free. Part-time is defined as working 40-79% of full-time equivalency or greater.

Please Note:
  • You must be employed on the first day of the semester to be eligible that semester.
  • Continued eligibility is dependent on a grade C or better from the previous semester.
  • Fees may still apply

View the Tuition Remission Policy for full details on eligibility, tuition coverage, and requirements.


Kevin Buckley

The Masters of Higher Education Administration program at the University of Louisville has prepared me for a lifelong career in higher education, and allowed me to take the next step on my journey of being a leader and administrator at an institution. With the option to complete the program entirely online, I was able to earn my degree at my own pace from wherever I was, which was extremely helpful for someone like me who travels quite a bit in their work. From the faculty and staff, who truly care about you and your career goals and serve as mentors throughout the entire program, to my fellow students, who are all at different stages on their journeys into higher education and many of whom work 9-5 jobs outside of higher ed, I felt connected and cared for throughout every step of the program, even though many times I was hundreds of miles away from everyone. With classes ranging from the history of education to diversity in higher education, and with an internship requirement that allowed me to explore some areas of interest outside of my current job, I feel ready to take that next step on my career path. I am truly so thankful for the HEA program for providing me with the skills and education necessary to lead in one of the top fields in the country, and for providing me with lifelong mentorships and friendships. No matter where you are located or what you want to do in higher education, the UofL Master of Art in HEA program will help you explore your passions while becoming the leader that the profession demands.

Kevin Buckley, Higher Education Administration Graduate
William George

The Higher Education Administration program has opened my perspective on how colleges and universities of all types vary when it comes to their organization and administration. The professors’ backgrounds within higher education are diverse, and they do an excellent job of using their own experience as real-world examples of the hurdles faced by colleges and universities everywhere. The classes touch on a variety of interesting topics, all of which are helpful in understanding the complexities that span all areas of this field. This program delivers in developing its students professionally and preparing them for careers in higher education.

William George, Higher Education Administration Student
Annie Fitzpatrick

I found my experience in the MA in Higher Education Administration program at the University of Louisville to be invaluable. The curriculum and professors are both relevant and adaptable to students’ specific interests and fields within higher education. Perhaps the best part of this program was its ability to give me multiple different perspectives (legal issues, organizational structures and theory, and resource management, specifically) that I can use to study and then address challenges in higher education. While I would have learned these perspectives in the field eventually, having quality academic preparation has certainly given me an advantage.

Annie Fitzpatrick, Higher Education Administration Student

I have some credit hours from another program/university. Can the credit be transferred?

Once you are admitted to the program, you may request to transfer up to 6 credit hours if your UofL advisor approves the request. Transfer requests are then submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

What is the difference between the Higher Education Administration program and the College Student Personnel program?

The master's program in Higher Education Administration offered through the Educational Leadership, Evaluation, and Organizational Development (ELEOD) department is intended for those already employed or seeking to be employed in staff or administrative positions in colleges and universities. The program offers concentrations in Administration, Teaching & Learning, Policy & Equity, and Sports Administration. The Higher Education program does not focus on the area of student affairs administration and does not follow the CAS standards for master's level preparation in student affairs. Students who enroll in the Higher Education Administration program can take up to two courses in the CSP program as part of their electives.

The master's program in CSP prepares a student for administrative positions in student affairs according to standards embraced by the student affairs profession as set forth by the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS Standards). The program focuses on the skills, competencies, knowledge, and experience needed to work effectively with college students, to be an effective educator in the out-of-class curriculum of the college or university, and to competently administer student affairs programs and services. The length and content of the program are determined by the CAS standards; the design of the program and the curriculum is intended to meet appropriate educational objectives and to prepare our graduates to be competitive with graduates from other CAS compliant graduate programs.
Additional information about the CSP program can be found here:

Are GRE scores required for admission?

No. GRE scores are no longer required for admission.

Can I be admitted provisionally, until I take the GRE?

In typical cases if your GPA is below the threshold mentioned above, no, however, the committee may look at each situation on a case by case basis.

I applied and was admitted to another program in the College of Education and Human Development but have changed my mind and want to apply for the MA in Higher Education Administration. Do I have to complete a new application packet?


Can I complete the degree completely online?

Yes, you can but the sequencing of online courses may result in your taking longer to complete the degree. Students within commuting distance of the University are strongly encouraged to take most, if not all, of their courses on campus.

I have a Bachelor's degree in another content area and want to teach that area in a university or college. Will this degree give me the credential to do so?

No. This degree prepares people who want to work in university administration and does not satisfy any P-12 or postsecondary teaching certification requirement.

Tell me about the internship requirement

More FAQs about the program's Internship requirement

The internship provides you with the opportunity to work in a different setting related to higher education. You will complete, under the supervision of the course instructor and a site supervisor, a significant project or projects that allow you to apply what you learned from your program of study. The internship activities cannot include projects within your current scope of responsibilities. It is taken within the last 9 hours of the program and requires a minimum of 105 contact hours. You should contact your advisor one semester before you plan to take the internship course to discuss what you are considering.