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Higher Education (MA)

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Higher Education (MA)

The HIED program differs from traditional Student Affairs/Counseling in Higher Education programs as our program focuses on administration and leadership broadly and not solely on student services. The program also emphasizes an organizational and social science level approach, and is organized around administrative and programmatic issues and interventions.

The program and its faculty are committed to building on students’ prior knowledge of higher education, provide a solid background of higher education theories and practices to expand their knowledge, and teach them how to apply it to their professions so that they may contribute to the needs and advancement of their postsecondary institutions and our society. This program is intended for students wishing to enter a master’s degree program that will provide them with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to take on leadership and administrative positions within higher education organizations, including four year colleges and universities, community colleges, and technical schools.

The content of the program is based on professional competencies and program standards and guidelines developed by the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), American College Personnel Association (ACPA), and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

Issues of diversity, equity, minority-serving institutions, college access, etc., are explicitly built into the curriculum. In addition, the attention to issues of higher education globally, and the potential placement of graduates within institutions of higher education internationally.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of postsecondary education administrators is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected because of increasing student enrollment in colleges and universities.” In New Jersey, growth in employment is expected to be slightly higher than the national average (7.7%). The median annual wage in 2018 for postsecondary education administrators was $94,340 nationally and $153,800 in the state of New Jersey. In 2018, there were 998 unique job postings in the category (based on EMSI Postings Data) in New Jersey, but only a small number (10) of Master’s Degrees specifically in Higher Education/Higher Education Administration conferred in New Jersey in 2017.

Along with the Higher Education (MA) degree, the department also offers the following options for graduate study: Educational Leadership (MA)Educational Leadership (MA – Online), Educational Leadership (MA – Fast Track), and an Educational Assessment certificate.

Hear from current students and alumni on their experiences in the Higher Education (MA) program at Montclair State:

“The faculty are fabulous and are willing to mentor students on their specific areas of interest. For example, Dr. Liera invited myself and two other students to present at a conference together, and even mentored us on writing a journal article which has been accepted for publication!”

Stephanie Spitz, Current Student

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 Office of Graduate Admissions 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.

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 corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.

  • Application Deadline: Rolling Admission. Should a prospective student want to participate in our Spring Graduate Assistantship Placement Job Fair, their application is due by March 15th.
  • 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 Higher Education (MA) program:

  • Transcript: One from each college attended.
  • Essays/Personal Statement: In one integrated essay, thoughtfully discuss each of the areas identified below:
    • What draws you to the Higher Education program at Montclair State University?
    • What are your areas of interest within Higher Education?
    • The College for Education and Engaged Learning at Montclair State University values diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
      • Why do diversity and social justice matter in the field of higher education?
    • Please highlight strengths that will make you an excellent graduate student within our program, as well as explain any areas of relative weakness in your application.
  • Resume: Required.
  • Two letters of recommendation are encouraged, but not required
  • Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the US degree equivalency information.

The program is 36 credits, with the option to reduce the credit requirement to 33 credits by waiving an elective course for students who have at least two years of full-time, professional experience working in higher education. We offer multiple course modalities, including in person, online and hybrid courses that meet the needs of working professionals.

View the University Catalog for more information on the Higher Education (MA) curriculum.


If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Telephone: 973-655-5147
Fax: 973-655-7869

If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Higher Education (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.*

Program Coordinator: Dr. Blanca Vega