Online Higher Education Degree Programs

Higher education plays a crucial role in the economic wellbeing, cultural life, and scientific achievement of our nation--not to mention the personal and professional development of each individual student. Higher education administrators take on considerable responsibility as the leaders of these institutions, developing and coordinating a range of academic programs.

Degree programs in higher education are specifically geared to train you in a variety of disciplines, ranging from instruction to curriculum development to educational management. Graduates of such programs often go on to become deans, provosts, and administrators. Higher education administrators are responsible for maintaining academic quality and reputation, coordinating and developing academic programs, managing budgets and financing, recruiting, hiring and managing faculty, establishing academic policies.

Master of Science or Master of Education (MEd) in Higher Education Degree programs are designed to prepare students for leadership positions in a college or university. Areas of specialization include:

  • Student development
  • Organization and governance
  • Diversity and higher learning
  • College leadership and organizational change
  • Student services

Courses cover a range of topics pertinent to higher education leadership. Sample course titles include:

  • Legal Issues in Higher Education
  • Budgeting and Finance of Educational Institutions
  • Management of Higher Education
  • Educational Politics and History
  • The Future of Teaching and Learning
  • Curriculum Development
  • Human Resources in Higher Education
  • Distance and Online Learning Programs
  • Educational Technology
  • Grant Writing for Higher Education

Online master's degree programs typically offer opportunities for students to conduct independent research projects, complete internships, and network with other academic professionals.

PhD in Higher Education

A doctoral degree in Higher Education is appropriate for higher-level administrators, researchers, and education professors. In addition to the courses listed above, doctoral students complete courses in quantitative analysis and research methodology. The three- to six-year program culminates in an extensive original research project.

Higher Education Degrees Online

Higher education degree programs are increasingly available online, offering students greater flexibility. Those who attend online degree programs in higher education occasionally have to reside at the main location for a week or two if they are working towards a doctoral degree. But during the rest of the year, you can work towards your degree from the comfort of home.

Careers in Higher Education

A degree in higher education can be an important means of career advancement in higher education administration. A master's degree is the minimum qualification for a position as an academic dean, provost, or department chair; many higher-ranking administrators have a PhD.

Although no program can guarantee you exact starting salaries after graduation, the U.S. Department of Labor reports that the median income for postsecondary education administrators was approximately $85,870 in 2007. Job opportunities should be "excellent," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fueled by a wave of retirements and a 12 percent increase in the number of jobs through 2016. With an advanced degree in higher education, one of those jobs could be yours.

Pursue your Higher Education major today…

Matching School Ads

Want to study at a UK university without leaving your house? The University of Liverpool offers online Masters and Doctoral programmes.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online
The schools below offer related programs that other inquirers have considered.

With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online