The Master of Arts degree in higher education is offered on the Tuscaloosa campus and online. The Master of Arts is a 36-hour degree program designed for students seeking to enter into a range of professional careers in postsecondary education. The program follows standards and guidelines taken from the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, and provides courses in foundational studies, professional studies, supervised practice, research methodology and elective study.

The campus program partners with staff in Student Life and Academic Affairs to provide professional development opportunities inside and outside of the classroom experience. An internship is required for most students in the campus program. The online program offers courses in grant writing, technology, and higher education assessment.

See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information.

  All candidates for the master's degree must earn a minimum of 33 semester hours of credit and complete a 3-hour culminating "Capstone” experience. This plan requires a minimum of 18 semester hours in the major subject. With the approval of the major program, the remainder of the coursework may be completed in either the major or a related field.

All candidates will be required to participate successfully in seminar or problem courses that will give them an acquaintance with the methods of research and an appreciation of the place and function of original investigation in the field.

Main Campus Program Requirements

Application deadline: January 15

Admission to the Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration (Main Campus) requires the following:

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution
  • An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or a 3.0 average for the last 60 hours in a degree program, or a 3.0 or higher in a completed graduate degree program
  • Minimum score of 300 on the GRE or 50th percentile on the MAT

Additionally, the following departmental requirements should be submitted in the admissions application system.

  • HEA application
  • three recommendations
  • a one-page statement of purpose for pursuing the degree (You may use the same one required by the Graduate School.)
  • vita or résumé
  • a five-page writing sample describing a problem that faces higher education today (nationally), analyzing salient points of the issue, and evaluating potential solutions. The sample should demonstrate formal writing and should include appropriate citations. Applicants may submit an academic paper in lieu of the five-page essay, preferably on a recent topic related to higher education.

One plan is offered for the master’s degree. Candidates for the master’s degree must earn a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit. The Capstone Seminar in Higher Education (AHE 593 Student Affairs Capstone Sem ) is the required culminating experience for the program and is detailed in the Higher Education Administration Program Handbook. The 36-hour degree program is designed for students seeking to enter a range of professional careers in postsecondary education. The program includes courses in foundational studies, professional studies, supervised practice, and research methods. As a rule, all master’s students are required  to complete an internship and a capstone  seminar.

Unless substitutions are approved by the student’s faculty advisor, all of the following courses are required for the award of the MA in Higher Education Administration.

Code and Title Hours
AHE 500Perspect High Educ Admin3
AHE 507Student Development Theory I3
AHE 520Student In Higher Eductn3
AHE 521Student Affairs3
AHE 540Org and Governance3
AHE 592Internship in Higher Education3
AHE 593Student Affairs Capstone Sem 3
AHE 645Higher Ed/SA Assessment3
AHE 680Readings in HE3
AHE 685Div Issues Higher Ed Pract3
BER 540Statistical Methods In Educ3
Advisor approved elective3
Total Hours36

Distance Learning (Online) Program Requirements

Application Deadlines:

  • July 15 - fall admission
  • April 15 - summer admission
  • November 1 - spring admission

Admission to the distance learning (online) program leading to the MA in Higher Education Administration requires the following:

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution
  • An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or a 3.0 average for the last 60 hours in a degree program, or a 3.0 or higher in a completed graduate degree program
  • Minimum score of 300 on the GRE or 50th percentile on the MAT

Additionally, the following departmental requirements should be submitted in the admissions application system.

  • HEA application
  • three recommendations
  • a one-page statement of purpose for pursuing the degree (You may use the same one required by the Graduate School.)
  • vita or résumé
  • a five-page writing sample describing a problem that faces higher education today (nationally), analyzing salient points of the issue, and evaluating potential solutions. The sample should demonstrate formal writing and should include appropriate citations. Applicants may submit an academic paper in lieu of the five-page essay, preferably on a recent topic related to higher education.
Code and Title Hours
AHE 500Perspect High Educ Admin3
AHE 507Student Development Theory I3
AHE 520Student In Higher Eductn3
AHE 540Org and Governance3
AHE 550Financing Higher Eductn3
AHE 591Seminar Higher Education (Technology in Higher Education)3
AHE 593Student Affairs Capstone Sem 3
AHE 645Higher Ed/SA Assessment3
AHE 680Readings in HE3
AHE 685Div Issues Higher Ed Pract3
BER 540Statistical Methods In Educ3
Select ONE of the following electives:3
Seminar Higher Education (Grantwriting in Higher Education)
Sem Acad Progrm Dev Eval
Higher Education Policy
Total Hours36