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Online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration

The online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration (MAHEA) is the perfect degree for current university or college employees, as well as for those seeking employment in the higher ed industry.

Offered by the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Louisville, the online master’s in higher education provides students with deep knowledge and skills related to the practice of higher education administration. Eliminate the space between your career goals and the education needed to achieve them with a higher ed degree that helps you learn to navigate and conquer administrative challenges and prepare for leadership roles in a university setting.


Complete your degree on your own time through fully online coursework and learning tools.

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Complete 12 courses consisting of 9 core courses and 3 classes within a specialization.

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Take accelerated courses, with intensive weekend course options available.

Online learning video - Online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration

"I get fulfillment out of helping other people, and I feel I can best reach college students. This was the right program for me to be able to do that with my life."


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How Much Will I Pay?

$764 per credit hour
$250 active duty military rate per credit hour

Tuition & Aid    

Are you a university employee? Ask us about tuition remission options!

Tuition rate does not include costs associated with a specific course or program, such as textbooks. Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time without prior notice.


  • Explore areas of practice and knowledge, such as the history of higher education, campus management, organizational change, organizational improvement and project management.
  • Focus your expertise around leadership theory, organizational behavior, teaching and learning, policy and equity, or sports administration.
  • Transfer in up to 6 credit hours of graduate courses from other regionally-accredited universities.
  • Earn your degree in as little as two years (full-time students).
  • Learn from world-class and award-winning faculty.
  • Take 100% online classes with 24/7 access to learning tools.


Graduates with a master’s degree in higher education can work in a wide variety of administrative positions in virtually all departments at both public and private colleges and universities.

Across the industry, higher ed jobs are expected to grow 10% from 2016-2026, faster than the average across all industries. Furthermore, the median pay is projected at $92,360 annually (bls.gov).

Application Deadline Term Start Date
July 1 Fall August
December 1 Spring January
April 1 Summer May/June

Steps to Apply

  1. Complete online graduate application
  2. Submit $65 non-refundable application fee
  3. Submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work (have them sent directly to UofL)

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a regionally-accredited institution
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 to be admitted in good standing (applicants with a lower GPA may obtain conditional admission)
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to the applicant's academic and/or professional capabilities and potential (not friends or family members)
  • GRE scores – this requirement is waived for applicants with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 during undergraduate studies or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 during graduate studies
    • For all others, minimum GRE score in the 36th percentile in Verbal Reasoning and the 22nd percentile in Quantitative Reasoning required for unconditional admission
    • If taken prior to August 1, 2011, minimum combined GRE score needs to be 800 or higher
  • Resume and one-page professional goals statement
    • Your professional statement must be 1-2 pages in length and address why you are interested in the program, how it relates to your career goals, the relationship between your personal and professional goals and your experience/interest in learning more about diversity issues in higher education
    • This document is also a writing sample and will be used to assess your writing skills

Send all materials to:
Graduate Admissions
University of Louisville
2211 S. Brook Street
Louisville, KY 40292

All credentials are considered. Please know that satisfying the minimum GPA or GRE requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.

International Students

  • If you live outside of the United States and intend to complete an online academic program from your home country, be sure to view special requirements for international students.
  • International applicants must take the TOEFL exam if applying from countries where English is not the native language. Applicants holding a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited institution in the United States are exempt from this requirement.
  • Bachelor's degrees earned internationally must be assessed to ensure that entrance requirements are met.
  • International students will not be issued a U.S. visa if admitted to the online structural transportation certificate program, since there are no campus attendance requirements.

For more information on the admission and application process, please contact our Online Learning Enrollment Counselor at 800.871.8635 or by email at online@louisville.edu.

The higher education administration online master’s degree at the University of Louisville is a 36 credit hour program that requires 27 credit hours in core (practice and advanced) courses and 9 credit hours in a specialized area.

The typical degree path includes:

  1. Practice core courses
  2. Advanced core courses
  3. Concentration courses (as approved)
  4. Exit requirement (dependent on concentration)


Courses Hours
Practice Core Hours
ELFH 600 Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics OR
ELFH 666 Program Development and Assessment in Higher Education
ELFH 682 The Organization and Administration of Higher Educational Institutions 3
ELFH 693 College Students in the United States 3
ELFH 690 Professional Project in Higher Education 3
Advanced Core  
ELFH 607 Principles of Educational Leadership 3
ELFH 678 American College and University 3
ELFH 680 Legal Issues in Postsecondary Education 3
ELFH 684 Educational Resource Management in Postsecondary Education 3
ELFH 694 Diversity in Higher Education 3
Concentration (approved by advisor) 6
Exit Requirement: ELFH 697 (dependent on concentration) 6
Total 36

For more information about specialized concentrations please contact our enrollment counselors at 800.871.8635 or online@louisville.edu.

Course Descriptions

ELFH 600 Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics
Emphasis given to historical, empirical, and experimental methods of research; to techniques of research design and statistical analysis; and to skills in writing reviews and critiques of research literature.

ELFH 607 Principles of Educational Leadership
Examines concepts, analytical tools, case material, and organizational theories from the public, business, and educational administration sectors.

ELFH 666 Program Development & Assessment in Higher Education
Guides students in the design and implementation of a program in higher education based on organizational and situational analyses, and measures performance through student learning assessment and program evaluation data.

ELFH 680 Legal Issues in Higher Education
Examines constitutional and statutory provisions and court decisions affecting educational leadership in postsecondary education.

ELFH 682 Organization and Administration of Higher Education Institutions
Explores organizational and administrative theory as related to colleges and universities and assessment of the roles of major administrative units of the institution.

ELFH 684 Educational Resource Management in Postsecondary Education
Study of resources, practices and procedures of finance and economics as related to postsecondary education. Provides investigation of specific and current educational finance issues affecting educational institutions.

ELFH 690 Professional Project in Higher Education
Integrates theory and practice as a culminating experience for students learning about postsecondary education and gaining professional experiences under the supervision of higher education professionals; provides professionals an opportunity to apply course content to address topics and issues in higher education in a setting different from their current employment; serves as a vehicle to provide oversight for students’ internship experiences.

ELFH 693 College Students in the United States
Provides a comprehensive examination of the changing demographics of undergraduate students, the issues undergraduate students bring to institutions of higher education, as well as the educational outcomes of college attendance as it relates to educational policy.

ELFH 694 Diversity and Higher Education
Explores relationships between forms of diversity (e.g., religion, class, race, ethnicity, gender, ability, age, sexual orientation, nationality, nativism) and higher education; analyzes how diversity shapes higher education and how leaders within higher education institutions can be positive change agents regarding the diversity agenda.

    Featured Faculty

    Jessica Buckley, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor

    Kerry Charron, Ed.D., Clinical Assistant Professor

    Casey George, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Jacob Gross, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Meghan Pifer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Sr. Assistant Director of the Cadre & Faculty Development Course

    Ishwanzya Rivers, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor

    Jeffrey Sun, Ph.D., Professor, Department Chair

    Learn more about the faculty of the Department of Leadership, Foundations and Human Resource Education.

    The set of questions and answers outlined below can help you learn more about our program, delivery method, application and admission process, financial aid options and how to succeed as an online student at UofL. 

    • 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 adviser approves the request. Transfer requests are then submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

    • Are GRE scores required for admission?

      Not if your cumulative undergraduate GPA is a 3.0 or higher; or if your cumulative graduate GPA is a 3.5 or higher. If you do not meet this criteria, then, yes GRE scores are required. GMAT and MAT scores can be converted to GRE equivalencies.

      For GRE scores prior to August 1, 2011, a minimum combined (verbal and quantitative) score of an 800 is required for unconditional admission. For GRE scores taken August 1, 2011 and after, a score at the 36th percentile or higher in Verbal Reasoning and the 22nd percentile or higher in Quantitative Reasoning is required.

    • 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. Do I have to complete a new application packet?


    • Can I complete the degree completely online?

      Yes, you can but the sequencing of on-line courses may result in your taking longer to complete the degree.

    • 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.

      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 adviser one semester before you plan to take the internship course to discuss what you are considering.

    For answers to any other questions you might have, please submit an Information Request Form.