Best Online Master's In Higher Education Administration

Updated April 26, 2023 · 4 Min Read

A ranking of the best online master's in higher education administration degree programs. Programs ranked by affordability, flexibility, and academic quality. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Online Master's In Higher Education Administration

Higher Education administrators are among the most well-paid in the education sector, with median pay at $83,710 in 2010 per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – or $40.24 per hour. What’s more, the BLS predicts jobs in higher education administration to increase 15 percent through 2022, growing twice as fast as other management jobs. Individuals after graduating may wonder what they can do with a master's in higher education administration. Positions such as student engagement outreach specialist, leadership program administrator, and more are just a few options.

There are tips for getting a job in higher education, and for most of these positions, a graduate degree is required, and a Master’s in Higher Education will give education professionals the ideal background to advance their careers. Here’s a list of our top online Master’s in Higher Education Administration programs.

Featured Online Educational Administration Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Ranking the Top Master's Degrees in Higher Education Administration Online

To compile this ranking, our editors began with an initial pool of over 40 online Master’s degrees in Higher Education Administration programs offered by colleges across the US. We then narrowed the pool to include only those schools that were in the top 200 for all online graduate programs (ranked by the US News and World Report) and below $30,000 (out-of-state) tuition per year. We used affordability to break any ties, listing the more affordable program higher in the ranking.

true University of Nebraska-Lincoln $22,425 10 Online Master of Arts in Educational Administration

The University of Nebraska Lincoln offers an online Master of Arts in Educational Administration with focus areas in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs Administration, with an option to add on a graduate certificate in Community College Leadership. Students can choose from two methods of study, one 30-credit option where a thesis is required, or one 36-credit option where no thesis is required, but a minor of at least 9-credit hours is. In culmination, all students will take a written comprehensive exam prior to graduation. Interested students can proceed to a Doctorate level degree if desired. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is ranked among the top 40 of all online graduate education programs by the US News and World Report.


true Purdue University Global $7,860 9 Online MS in Higher Education

The online Master of Science degree in Higher Education from Purdue University Global gives students the opportunity to build the critical thinking, writing, and research skills necessary to excel in the higher education arena. Students can tailor their educational experience by choosing one of three concentration areas: College Administration & Leadership, College Teaching, and Student Affairs. In addition, Purdue offers a very unique partnership with Promise Opens Doors where students can enroll in the Teaching English To Speakers of Other Languages Core Certificate Program. Though the certificate program is not included in the degree tuition, it is a valuable experience for those seeking to work with non-English speaking students, home or abroad. Gradates of this degree program can expect to find jobs as Directors of Student Services or Affairs, Department Chairs, or other research & assessment positions.


true University of Louisville $25,496 9 Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration

The University of Louisville’s online program consists of 36 credit hours, with 4 concentrations available: Administration, Teaching & Learning, Policy & Equity, and Sports Administration. Among the core courses include Diversity in Higher Education, College Students in the United States, and Educational Resource Management in Postsecondary Education. Full-time students typically complete their degrees in 2 years, though this program is particularly geared for working, full-time professionals currently in the field.


true Post University $7,500 8 Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Post University offers an online M.S. Higher Education Administration with a concentrations available in Administrative Leadership and Student Affairs. The 33-credit program is broken down into 12 core hours, 12 concentration hours, and 9 capstone hours. Higher Ed classes Foundations & Emerging Trends in Higher Education, The New Post Secondary Student, and Faculty in Higher Education. Thanks to an asynchronous delivery, students can complete all course work according to their own schedules.


true North Park College $13,068 8 Master of Higher Education Administration (MHEA) Online

North Park College’s online Master of Higher Education Administration degree consists of 36-credit hours, consisting of 13 core courses and 5 elective courses. Students can expect to take classes like Organizational Behavior and Ethics, Ethical Leadership and Decision-Making, Non-profit Financial Management, and Enrollment Management in Higher Education. Depending on the student’s schedule, this program can be completed in 21 months. The degree can be completed fully online, or through a hybrid format. Either direction will provide a thorough education with hands-on learning projects and interactive instruction.


Louisiana State University $6,196 7 Master of Education in Educational Leadership Online

Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, LSU’s online Master of Education in Educational Leadership is designed for current and aspiring educators to strengthen their teaching strategies and abilities. While some other programs on this list focus on student affairs of higher education, this program is made up of mostly practitioners in the teaching profession. Students can expect the curriculum to address fundamental educational material like administration, leadership ethics, and improvement research. With the program available fully online, classes will consist of 13 courses and follow a 7-week class format. Most students finish the program in 15 months. Impressively, 100% of students who take the School Leaders Licensure Assessment pass the exam.


Walden University $23,250 7 Master of Science (MS) in Higher Education Online

Walden University’s online general track is a 30-credit program (27 core, 3 capstone) can be completed in two years. If students desire to take two classes at a time instead, students can earn their online Master’s in higher education at an accelerated pace. Graduates will be prepared to enter the workforce in various higher education positions like: Student Affairs, Registrar, Institutional Advancement, Corporate Training, and Academic Affairs. Walden University offers 6 specializations so students can tailor their degree to their desired outcome. Concentrations include Enrollment Management and Institutional Marketing, Adult Learning, Global Higher Education, Online and Distance Learning, College Teaching and Learning, and Leadership for Student Success.


Sam Houston State University $12,861 7 Online MA in Higher Education Administration

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Sam Houston State University offers a 30-36 credit-hour online program. The track includes thesis and non-thesis options, as well as 2 graduate certificates in Academic Advising and Higher Education Assessment and Institutional Research. Core course work includes studies in History and Organization of Higher Education; Contemporary Issues in Higher Education; and Leadership in Higher Education, among others. Students must also complete a practicum, which provides valuable real-world experience. Graduates can also proceed to a doctoral program in Educational Leadership or Higher Education Administration.


Capella University $14,365 7 MS in Higher Education Online with a specialization in Leadership and Administration

Capella University offers a 48-credit MS in Higher Education with a specialization in Leadership and Administration. Accelerated options are available, which may allow students to graduate in just 1.5 years (with up to 12 credits transferable, qualified students may graduate even sooner). Courses deliver in 10-week blocks, and include 4 core courses, 4 specialization courses, e emphasis courses, and a capstone experience. Sample courses are History, Issues, & Trends in Higher Ed; Politics & Public Policy in Higher Ed; and Financial Management & Institutional Development, among others. Additional emphases options include a concentration in Community College, as well as further studies in administration.


Penn State World Campus $20,470 3 Online Master of Education in Higher Education

Penn State World Campus offers a 30-credit online Master of Education in Higher Education through its Center for the Study of Higher Education and the Department of Education Policy Studies. Because the program is flexible, students can choose to take one class at a time or two classes at at time, which would enable students to complete the program in as little as 15 months. Four emphasis areas are available: Administration, Student Engagement, Institutional Research, and Fundraising Leadership. After completing the required coursework, students will take 6-credit hours in their desired concentration field and 6-credits hours of elective work. Sample courses include Pro-Seminar in US Higher Education, College Students and Their Success, and Foundations of Institutional Research.


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