Higher Education Administration (M.S.E.) Program Curriculum & Admission Requirements



The academic coursework is designed to develop the knowledge base necessary for effective research and scholarship development.


Relate relevant assistantship experiences to classroom learning. For full-time students, admission to the program is required prior to being awarded a graduate assistantship, and securing an assistantship is required for enrollment in the program. As a requirement for the assistantships, master's students will meet regularly during the first year in the program to participate in a series of seminars designed to complement the assistantship experience and formal coursework.

Comprehensive examination

Upon completion of 36 graduate credit hours of coursework, the student’s culminating activity is the comprehensive examination. The exam consists of both a written and oral part and tests the student's knowledge of the coursework; ability to reason, evaluate and draw supportable conclusions; and knowledge of current issues and trends within the field.


As a course elective, students can choose to participate in self-designed for-credit internship experience that complements the learning process with hands-on experiences for graduate course credit.

Program Curriculum

The program consists of 36 credit hours of integrated courses and hands-on experiences - all of which can be completed in two years. Students are able to select content electives in areas such as: higher education law, diversity in higher education, and others that might complement specific professional interests. A for-credit internship experience is also an option.

Course Requirements


Please note: This is only a potential plan of study. Consult with your academic advisor before enrolling.

Additional Requirements

  • Elective 1 - 3 credit hours

  • Elective 2 - 3 credit hours

  • Elective 3 - 3 credit hours

  • Elective 4 - 3 credit hours


KU Higher Education Administration Core Learning Domains

Foundational competencies to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • The organization, culture and diversity of higher education institutions
  • The history of higher education and how that history informs current events and issues
  • The primary student development theories
  • The theory and relevant research on how collect affects students
  • The profession of higher education administration, its history and related ethical principles
  • A greater commitment to cultural competence

Academic and professional development competencies to demonstrate:

  • An ability to state a position and provide relevant evidence to support the stated position both verbally and in writing
  • Proficient writing skills and an understanding of APA format
  • An ability to use the literatures to link theory and practice
  • An ability to relate relevant assistantship experiences to classroom learning experiences
  • The capacity to apply skills to promote student outcomes

Personal growth and development competencies to demonstrate an ability to:

  • Work effectively in a group
  • Solve problems, manage conflict and effectively communicate with peers and colleagues.

Fundamental Research and Assessment Skills to:

  • Demonstrates an understanding of program evaluation and assessment.
  • Apply theory to practice for the purposes of understanding college student learning, development and success.

Graduate Admission

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale from a regionally accredited institution or a foreign university with substantially equivalent bachelor’s degree requirements. International applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the application process well in advance of the application deadlines in order to ensure adequate time for processing of visa-related paperwork. Meeting minimum admission standards does not guarantee admission to the program.

Application Deadlines (full-time, domestic & international applicants)

Jan. 5
Priority* application deadline

Application Deadlines (part-time, domestic applicants)

May 1
Summer semester application deadline
July 1
Fall semester application deadline
Dec. 1
Spring application deadline

*The priority deadline is to participate in the assistantship process for full-time applicants. We are unable to guarantee availability of assistantships for students who submit for the final deadline. Individuals participating in the Oshkosh Placement Exchange (OPE) are not required to submit an academic application prior to OPE. See the Employment graduate staff page for more information. Part-time and international applicants are not required to hold an assistantship.

Application Checklist

M.S.E. in Higher Education Administration

Applicants are required to submit the following materials and meet the following requirements before the application deadline:


  • Online application

    Complete through the KU Office of Graduate Admissions

  • Transcripts

    One official copy of academic transcripts from each college or university attended

  • English translation of transcripts

    Official transcripts from an international university must include an English translation

  • Resume or CV

  • Statement of purpose

    1-2 page statement indicating how the program relates to future career goals

  • Letters of recommendation

    Three names and email addresses of persons to be asked to complete letters of recommendation: one should be from the applicant’s immediate supervisor and at least one of the others should be from a professor

  • Proof of English proficiency

    Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency

  • Application fee

    $65 for U.S. residents; $85 for international applicants.

Program Faculty

Zak Foste
Zak Foste
Assistant Professor
Amanda Mollet
Amanda Mollet
Assistant Professor
Gene T. Parker
Gene T. Parker III
Associate Professor
Susan B. Twombly
Susan B. Twombly
Professor, Chair, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Lisa Wolf-Wendel
Lisa Ellen Wolf-Wendel
Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies