Six college students listening to a lecturer with a laptop in a classroom.

Master of Science  in
Higher Education

Program of Study


This 36-credit graduate program covers fundamental leadership strategies and a strong foundation in the historical and social contexts that can impact the achievement of organizational goals. And the flexible curriculum allows you to create a program of study that supports your specific interests.

Core Courses

  • Introduction to Organizational Leadership
  • Introduction to Social Analysis
  • Quantitative Methods in Educational Leadership

Support Discipline Courses

Choose two:

  • Economics of Education 
  • Ethics and Education 
  • Higher Education Finance 
  • Higher Education Law 
  • History of Higher Education 
  • Politics of Higher Education 
  • Sociology of Higher Education 

Two Elective Courses

Select two courses from the support discipline and/or higher education category options (that you haven't taken yet).

Higher Education Courses

Choose four:

  • Administration of Athletics in Higher Education 
  • Administration of the Community College
  • Administration of Institutions of Higher Education 
  • Assessment and Accountability in Higher Education 
  • Career Development
  • Community Colleges 
  • College Student Affairs 
  • College Persistence 
  • Higher Education Finance 
  • Higher Education Law 
  • Leadership for Cradle to Career Education Systems
  • Research Colloquium on Higher Education

Capstone in Educational Administration

Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Graduate Advisor Gina Guiliano at [email protected].

"The MS in Higher Education degree prepares students for college and university positions in academic affairs, student affairs, athletics, and institutional research."

— Teniell Trolian, Assistant Professor

Student in Downtown Albany
Learn in a Lively Hub of Higher Education

The city of Albany provides an ideal backdrop for post-secondary education studies, applied learning experiences, and higher education policy analysis, as it is the New York State capital, headquarters for the largest higher education system in the country (SUNY), and home to numerous public and private colleges and universities. 

And New York State government is leading higher education policy reform in areas such as sexual harassment, diversity and inclusion, and affordability.  

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Option

If you’re a current UAlbany undergraduate student with at least a 3.2 GPA, you can save time and money by beginning your graduate degree coursework as early as your junior year. Up to 12 academic credits, billed at the undergraduate rate, will count towards both degrees – so you can complete your combined program in only 5 years and spend less than you would if you completed each program separately.

Contact your undergraduate advisor to see if you’re eligible and learn about your combined graduate program options.

UAlbany graduate with confetti at Commencement.

Admissions Requirements

  • Fall: Rolling
  • Spring: Rolling
  • Summer: Rolling

There is no departmental assistantship consideration for this program.

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

Supplemental Documents


Statement of Goals
The statement is generally one to two pages discussing what you have to offer the program and what you wish to get out of the program.  It should include a brief description of the applicant's field of interest, related background, desired area of study and research emphasis or career goals. 

Educational Leadership Essay
Please type one essay of no more than 800 words each from among the two possible topics below:

  1. Summarize the leadership activities in which you have been involved in recent years and explain how these experiences reflect your vision of and capacity for leadership in higher education.
  2. Identify a problem or challenge in a college, university, or your professional life generally and write an analysis in which you assess the issues(s), describe effective strategies for addressing the issue(s), and make clear the implications for the exercise of effective leadership in the situation.
Special Notes

This program offers an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience in the course listing as an option to fulfill course requirements. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Master of Science
  • Graduates are prepared to enter (a) early to mid-career administrative posts in higher education institutions or education or training units in other organizations or agencies or (b) early career policy analysis posts in education departments, professional associations, or policy research firms or centers.
  • Graduates are prepared to draw from, and critically apply, information from the relevant knowledge and skill base.

Careers and Advisement

The Pathways Into Education (PIE) Center is the central office on campus serving undergraduate, graduate, and prospective students interested in pursuing careers in education and programs leading to teacher certification.

Please call or email to schedule an appointment.

Graduate Advisement:
Email Graduate Advisement