Educational Leadership, Higher Education Concentration (MA)
The MA in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education provides graduate students with the knowledge and skills needed to take on leadership positions with higher education organizations, such as:
- Student affairs
- Academic affairs
- College and university administration.
Montclair State University is currently the only public university in Northern NJ to offer this program, making it the most affordable option in the area for current and aspiring higher education professionals.
What makes this program unique is that it emphasizes leadership and administration across all functional areas of colleges and universities, as opposed to placing sole emphasis on student development and student affairs. Courses in the program aim to integrate theory, research, policy and practice to provide students with a comprehensive graduate experience. Our program does not limit a student to a particular field, but allows them to use their electives to investigate a variety of fields within Higher Education Leadership, and then complete a field experience in a specific functional area. Students complete an eight course core requirement that covers organizations, management, leadership, finance, communication, research and evaluation, and then choose from a variety of electives that address their individual interests.
Several assistantships are available for full-time study (individuals must have a minimum 3.0 baccalaureate GPA to be considered for an assistantship). Several assistantships are available for full-time study. Courses are offered in convenient formats for busy students, including evening, weekend and hybrid options.
Along with the Educational Leadership, Higher Education Concentration (MA), the department also offers the following options for graduate study: Master’s degree in Counseling – Student Affairs/Higher Education Counseling, Educational Leadership (MA), Educational Leadership (MA – Online), and an Educational Assessment certificate.
Hear from current students and alumni on their experiences in the Educational Leadership (MA) program at Montclair State:
“I wanted to be in the field of Higher Education Student Affairs Administration as a result of my experiences as a first-generation and racially marginalized college student. As such, I had a desire and passion to work on a college campus as a leader. The Educational Leadership Higher Education program offered the best faculty who were knowledgeable about the field of Higher Education administration as both scholars and practitioners. This program allowed me to foster mentorship relationships with Higher Ed professionals around the country. The programs emphasis on current events in Higher Ed, diversity and social justice, leadership, and organizational leadership has prepared for my role at Pace University where I now serve as the Assistant Director for the TRIO Upward Bound Program.”
Paolah Chaparro – Assistant Director, TRIO Upward Bound, Pace University
“I applied for the Educational Leadership – Higher Education program at Montclair State because of its focus on versatility in the realm of higher education. I entered the program with an unswaying passion for student affairs and student activities, but as I progressed through the program, I soon realized that my passions grew to also include student engagement and development. Of all the awesome opportunities and experiences that I had while in the program, the ones that I’ll hold onto most are the ones shared with real life higher education professionals sharing their advice and wealth of knowledge as our professors in the program.”
Robert Serrani, MA ’18, Academic Program Coordinator for University College at Montclair State University
Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.
The Graduate School requires the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply for a graduate program. Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the U.S. degree equivalency information.
In order to make applying for graduate school as seamless as possible for you, we have
created an application checklist. This checklist can be a reference point for you during the
application process to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the steps
needed to apply, as well as all corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.
- Application Deadline: Applications completed by the February 15th deadline will receive full consideration for graduate assistantship opportunities as well as the opportunity to participate in Interview Day. Applications completed after the February 15th deadline may not be guaranteed consideration for graduate assistantships and/or participation in Interview Day.
- Submit Online Application: Please create your online account and submit your application by following the general application instructions and pay (or waive) the non-refundable $60 application fee. Once this step has been completed, the online portal will allow you to upload your supplemental materials.
The following is a list of the supplemental materials that will accompany your application for the Educational Leadership, Higher Education Concentration (MA) program:
- Transcript: One from each college attended.
- Essays/Personal Statement: Write an essay in response to the prompts below. Your essay should reflect your developing knowledge of and interest in Higher Education as a profession and your potential place within it.
Why are you interested in pursuing a masters degree in Higher Education?
With so many options to choose from, what draws you to the Montclair program specifically? Please be specific. (ex. Faculty, courses offered, location)
What are your areas of interest within Higher Education, and how do you see our program supporting you to further develop your competency in those areas?
The College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State University values Diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
Why do diversity and social justice matter in the field of higher education?
- In your opinion what are 2-3 issues affecting college and universities today?
- Please highlight strengths that will make you an excellent student within our program, as well as explain any areas of relative weakness in your application.
- Resume: Required.
- Letters of Recommendation: Two.
- Standardized Test Scores: GRE or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) (see test waiver policies).
- Students holding degrees from non-US institutions must request a course-by-course transcript evaluation from a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or by Educated Choices. TOEFL or IELTS is required for applicants to any program who earned their degree in a country where English is not the official language. Please check our International Applicants page for more information and for our current TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Policy.
Courses within this thirty-six credit program aim to implement college theories in a tangible way that can be directly applied to careers in university administration. Students complete an eight course core requirement that covers organizations, management, leadership, finance, communication, research and evaluation; and then choose from a variety of specialization coursework that addresses their individual interests. For more information, please visit the Educational Leadership, Higher Education Concentration (MA) listing in the University Catalog.
If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
The Graduate School
If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Educational Leadership, Higher Education Concentration (MA) Program Coordinator:
*During the summer months, there will be a rotating department chair available to answer your inquiry. Click to find the updated summer chair for this program.*