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Educational Leadership, Higher Education Concentration (MA)

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Educational Leadership, Higher Education Concentration (MA)

The MA in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education Leadership provides graduate students with the knowledge and skills needed to take on leadership positions with higher education organizations in student affairs, academic affairs and 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.

Students may apply to study on a full-time or part-time basis. 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: Educational Leadership (MA), Educational Leadership (MA – Online), and an Educational Assessment certificate.

Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.

Admission Requirements

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.

All applicants who wish to be eligible for certification as a school leader in the state of NJ must possess a Standard New Jersey Teaching or Educational Services Certificate, or an out-of-state (ie. NY, PA) Standard Teaching Certificate or Educational Services Certificate and a minimum of three years teaching or educational service experience.  On a case-by-case basis, students who do not meet those requirements may apply for “DEGREE ONLY” and will NOT be automatically eligible for NJ certification as principal or supervisor.

Application Checklist

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 of corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.

  • Application Deadline: Rolling Admission.
  • 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.

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 8-course core requirement that covers organizations, management, leadership, finance, communication, research and evaluation; and then choose from a variety of specialization coursework that address 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
Telephone: (973) 655-5147
Fax: (973) 655-7869

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. To find the updated summer chair for this program, click here.*

Program Coordinator: Sherlene Ayala
Office: University Hall 3162
Telephone: 973‑655‑3186