MS Higher Education

Become a locally engaged, globally aware leader of higher education
with UAlbany’s MS in Higher Education.

For an overview of the MS in Higher Education check out our pdf

Overview of the Program
The Master of Science in Higher Education, a 36-credit graduate program, prepares aspiring, early-career, and mid-career higher education practitioners with the knowledge and skills to take on leadership roles in colleges and universities as well as governmental, non-governmental, and non-profit organizations that shape the policy contexts in which higher education operates.  Students are exposed to a comprehensive curriculum that prepares them through an academic experience guided by a global vision of higher education, rigorous inquiry, and transformative practice. 

Students who enter the MS degree will be exposed to an engaged intellectual community, interdisciplinary perspectives on higher education that capture the complexities of the sector, and a faculty comprised of leading scholars and seasoned professionals that provide a unique learning experience that prepares you to be a leader of tomorrow in New York, across the United States or around the world.  More about the global engagements of the department can be found here.

In addition, as the capital of New York State, the home to more than 30 colleges and universities, as well as hosting the headquarters of the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the country, Albany serves as an ideal social laboratory for studying the vast array of postsecondary institutions, creating customized applied learning experiences, and examining cutting edge higher education policy.  In fact, New York has become a national leader in higher education policy in areas such as confronting sexual harassment, diversifying higher education, and making a four-year college degree free for those families earning less than $125,000 a year.   

Students can pursue their degree program either part-time or full-time through a combination of face-to-face and online courses.  Many courses are offered in a hybrid format that uses combination of face-to-face and web-enabled learning that allows students to develop personal connections with classmates and pursue their education in a more flexible format. 

Click here to Read More About the MS in Higher Education Degree Program

For more information about the program, please contact Dr. Gina Giuliano, the Departmental Advisor at General inquiries about the department can be directed to Ms. Maria Moon, Department Coordinator, at

Applying for the Program
Formal application to the program can be made here:
Applications for the MS in Higher Education are considered on a rolling basis and students may start in the summer, fall, or spring term.  All applications are reviewed by the departmental admissions committee and students are notified by the University of all official decisions. The Chair of the EPL Admissions Committee is Dr. Gilbert Valverde and he can be contacted at

Requirements for admission to the program include the following.

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended.
  • Resume or CV detailing professional and educational experience, as well as other relevant activities such as student leadership positions, community service, and/or presentations.
  • Statement of Goals: Provide a 1-2 page statement of professional goals, including a brief description of your field of interest, related background, desired area of study, and research emphasis or career goals.
  • Three letters of reference from faculty, supervisors, and or/colleagues. It is encouraged that letters come from those that can speak to your ability to be successful in graduate school and it pursuing a career in higher education.
  • Educational Leadership Essay: Submit one typed essay of no more than 800 words responding to your choice of the two possible topics below:
  • 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.
  • 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.

Additional information about application process and requirements can be found here:

Concurrent Enrollment
Students currently enrolled in MS in Higher Education can apply to complete the Certificate of Graduate Study in International Education Management at the same time as their other degree. All courses can apply toward the MS degree (with consent of Advisor).  Application for the certificate can be done through the MyUAlbany portal.

Program Requirements 
The 36 credit-hour Master of Science degree is comprised of courses in five areas: 

  • Higher Education Concentration (12 credits):  The higher education administration courses advance the students understanding of college student development as well as the leadership and management of higher education institutions. (A list of possible courses is below).
  • Educational Policy & Leadership Core (9 credits): The educational policy and leadership core is designed to provide student with a solid foundational in analytical, theoretical, and quantitative understandings of higher education management and leadership within the broader educational ecosystem. 
    • EAPS 600: Introduction to Organizational Leadership
    • EAPS 601: Introduction to Social Analysis  
    • EAPS 614: Quantitative Methods in Educational Leadership
  • Support Disciplines (6 credits):  The support discipline courses allow students to strengthen their understanding of higher education from a particular disciplinary perspective.  Popular disciplines include political science, history, economics, sociology, and organizational theory. (A list of possible courses is below).
  • Electives (6 credits): Student can select 6 credits of coursework from EPL or other departments that support their career and scholarly goals within the higher education context. Students may take EAPS 895 (internship) to acquire credit for applied learning experiences.  Advisor permission is needed for the elective courses to count toward the degree program. 
  • Capstone Experience (3 credits):
    • EAPS 680: Seminar in Educational Policy and Leadership

Course Offerings and Descriptions
Below is a non-exclusive list of courses that can be used for the support disciplines and the higher education concentration requirements.  In addition, the program requires 6 credits of electives that can be selected from any of the below listed courses that are not used to meet other requirements in the program and must be selected in coordination with the academic advisor. 

Support Disciplines Courses (6 credits)
EAPS 602 - The Economics of Education (3)
The usefulness of economic analysis in the study of education and educational policy, including methods of economic analysis, determinants of economic and educational success, effects of education on equality, equity, and allocative efficiency, public v. private production of education in a democratic society.

EAPS 606 (EPHL 606) - Ethics and Education (3)
Relationship of ethical theories to education. Consideration given to absolutist and relativist ethical positions; the possibility of teaching people to be ethical, and contemporary theories of social justice.

EAPS 656 - Sociology of Higher Education (3)
Application of the methods and findings of sociology to universities and other institutions of higher education. Emphasis on the social and intellectual consequences of forms of academic organization and the social backgrounds and cultures of students and faculty

EAPS 657 - History of Higher Education (3)
Development of institutions of, practices in, and ideas about higher education from their medieval European origins to contemporary universities and other institutions of higher education in the United States and in comparative perspective.

EAPS 658 - Politics of Higher Education (3)
Political aspects of higher education. Focus on contemporary policy issues. Emphasizes relationships between institutions and external actors, especially governments. Political relationship with institutions. Concepts from political science are used to investigate who governs, autonomy-accountability balances, public interest, and power distribution.

EAPS 750 - Higher Education Finance (3)
Analysis of higher education finance in the US and around the world. Investment nature of higher education decisions, the definition and estimation of benefits and costs, and the alternative private and public means of financing.

EAPS 751 – Higher Education and the Law (3)
Impact of laws, regulations, and judicial opinions on institutions of higher education. Legal issues involved in various controversies coextensive with inquiry regarding the educational and policy implications of the legal cases considered.

EPHL 601 - Philosophy of Education (3)
An examination of the methods of philosophy and its application to educational issues. Topics considered include social justice, moral education and theories of learning and knowledge. These topics are examined in the context of historic and contemporary philosophical writings.

Higher Education Concentration Courses  (12 credits)
EAPS 609 - Leadership for Cradle to Career Education Systems (3)
This seminar describes, explains, and evaluates cradle-to-career educational reform. Special emphasis is accorded to leadership for new systems that connect early education programs, K-12 school systems, and postsecondary education, including policy leadership.

EAPS 649 - Administration of Athletics in Higher Education (3)
Introduction to the theory and practice of athletics administration in U.S. higher education. Includes history and current context, regulations, ethical issues, and relationship to academic programs.

EAPS 651 - Administration of Institutions of Higher Education (3)
Analysis of controls in higher education; internal organizational patterns, roles of trustees, administrative personnel, and faculties. The impact of teaching, research, criticism, and sanctions on the differentiation of institutional goals. Prerequisite: consent of department chair.

EAPS 652 - College Student Affairs (3)
An introduction to the roles and functions of student affairs in American higher education, including historical origins, philosophical underpinnings, and current issues facing student affairs administrators.

EAPS 654 - Two-Year College in American Education (3)
Historical and sociological contexts of the two-year college in America; consideration of the purposes, roles, and trends in the development and structure of the two-year college.

EAPS 659 - Assessment and Accountability in Higher Education (3)
An examination of accountability, including accreditation and quality assurance in higher education. Topics include development and use of rankings, assessment methods, program reviews, external accountability and linkages to planning and budgeting.

EAPS 750 - Higher Education Finance (3)
Analysis of higher education in the United States and around the world. Investment nature of higher education decisions, the definition and estimation of benefits and costs, and the alternative private and public means of financing. Prerequisite: EAPS  602 or consent of instructor.

EAPS 751 - Higher Education and the Law (3)
Impact of laws, regulations, and judicial opinions on institutions of higher education. Legal issues involved in various controversies coextensive with inquiry regarding the educational and policy implications of the legal cases considered.

EAPS 752 - Research Colloquium on Higher Education (3)
Interdisciplinary research seminar where faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars share interests in higher education research. A variety of perspectives from academic disciplines (economics, history, political science, sociology, etc.). Seminar attempts to make disciplinary inquiry more useful to the policy-making process in higher education.

EAPS 753 - Seminar on College Student Persistence (3)
The seminar analyses the issues, theoretical models, research and practice on college choice and persistence. It presents case studies to illustrate how theory and research informs institutional practices.

EAPS 757 - Seminar in the Administration of the Community College (3)
Organization and management of the two-year college as a distinct sector of postsecondary education. Topics include administrative concepts and functions such as finance, governance, and management of academic programs. Major field-based project required.