Master of Education
Higher Education

Total cost:

$9,500 View Tuition Details

Application due date for October 3, 2022 term: September 30

Estimated time to completion: 16 Months

Take your career further.

Designed for individuals who wish to advance their skills or career in higher education, this program focuses on the ever-changing global, economic, and technological environments that impact the field of higher education.


in the nation for most Master's degrees awarded in Health Education*.

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What you can expect.

  • Relevant Coursework: You will take courses completely focused in the field of higher education, and by learning critical frameworks in finance, legal, marketing, and technology, you will be prepared to advance your career.
  • Flexible: Study on your schedule. Our online format allows you to plan your coursework around your life.
  • Customizable: Choose from over five focus of study options to customize your degree in the area of higher education that matches your career goals and interests.
  • Accelerated Completion: If you have completed our Certificate in Higher Education, you can apply those credits toward this degree and finish it faster.

Choose your focus of study.

Nine of your semester credits will specialize in a focus area of your choice. View the College Catalog for full descriptions.

You also have the option of customizing this program by selecting a General Track and choosing the zero courses that best fit your needs.

  • Community College Leadership
  • Enrollment Management
  • Institutional Research and Planning
  • Leadership
  • Student Development and Affairs

A few of the classes you'll take.

  • Lead5103 Law, Compliance, and Governance in Higher Education 3 semester credits
  • ED5523 Evaluation Instructional Programs 3 semester credits
  • LEAD5623 The Economics of Community College 3 semester credits
  • MRKT5413 Marketing for Higher Education 3 semester credits
Amanda Jandris, Ph.D.

Department Chair

Amanda Jandris, Ph.D.
Chair, Doctoral Research,
Department of Leadership and Administration
View All Faculty

A degree you can count on.

American College of Education is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission— a federally-recognized accrediting agency. The College’s accreditation includes approval to offer degree programs, in education, healthcare, nursing and business and leadership through distance education via the Internet. Accreditation ensures that an institution’s academic program meets or exceeds acceptable levels of quality and is the most recognized accreditation status for higher education entities. To receive and maintain HLC accreditation and affiliation approval, we must continuously undergo routine peer review cycles and provide proof that our programs meet or exceed HLC accreditation criteria and expectations of quality.

A Note About Licensure:

While this program provides a comprehensive understanding of the intended program outcomes, it does not lead to licensure, certification, or endorsement. ACE offers several programs that do provide a pathway to licensure, certification, or endorsement and they can be found here.

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M.Ed. in Higher Education

Total Tuition

34 semester credits
x $235 per credit



$50 Application Fee

$1,360 Technology & Library Fee
($40 per credit)

$100 Program Conferral Fee


Total Program Cost*


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Let’s find a plan that fits your budget.

Even without federal loans, there are plenty of ways to finance your education at ACE. When you’re ready to invest in yourself, explore our flexible payment and financing options. Our Student Services reps are available to help you create a workable plan whatever your financial circumstances.

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1This is an estimated value of the cost for tuition and fees. Amounts may vary depending on number of transfer credits applied to the selected program hours or program pathway credit hours, the pace and satisfactory completion of the selected program or program pathway credit hours, receipt of, or eligibility for, institutional or non-institutional scholarship and/or grant amounts, and adjustments to tuition or fees as described in the Catalog Right to Modify Tuition section.

State of California Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF)

It is a state of California requirement that a student who pays his or her tuition is required to pay a state-imposed assessment two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges, rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, for the California Student Tuition Recovery Fund. For more information and to see if you must pay the state-imposed assessment for Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) click here.

Admission Requirements

M.Ed. in Higher Education

ACE General Admission Requirements

  • Complete and submit all application components including the admission application, the enrollment agreement, and the payment agreement.
  • Submit the nonrefundable application fee.*
  • Provide official transcripts from a regionally accredited institution indicating successful completion of the level of education required for entry to the program.**

*The application fee is valid for one year from date of submission.
**Additional evidence may be required to fulfill state requirements, including but not limited to verification of professional experience, test scores, or an interview.

Program Admission Requirements

M.Ed. in Higher Education

  • ​Bachelor's or Highest Post-Baccalaureate degree earned
  • Minimum Grade Point Average 2.50 on a 4.00 Scale for full admission
  • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.00 on a 4.00 Scale for Provisional Admission
  • Applicants must achieve and maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their program

International Transcript Requirements

All applicants must submit to the Admissions Office official, sealed college transcripts from each institution attended.

  • Transcripts that are international and/or not in English must be evaluated through an NACES-recommended agency.
  • Texas applicants may only submit evaluations from agencies approved by the Texas Education Agency.
  • International applicants must request the course-by-course evaluation. The evaluation report must show that the non-U.S. education is equivalent to the education/accreditation level required for the program.

English as a Second Language Applicants

All applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in the English language as demonstrated in one of three ways:

  1. Submission of an official transcript showing a degree from a United States secondary school or regionally accredited college/university.

  2. Submission of an official minimum score on the paper or internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams.
    • The minimum TOEFL score required for the internet-based version is 80, and the paper-based version requires a minimum TOEFL score of 20 for each of the three skills: Reading, Listening, and, Writing.

    • The minimum IELTS score required is 6.5. Note: IELTS is not acceptable for Texas programs leading to certification.

    • The testing agency must send test scores directly to American College of Education.
  3. Applicants to the Texas Educational Leadership program whose first language is not English must submit a minimum scaled score of 24 for speaking, 22 for listening, 22 for reading, and 21 for writing from the Internet-Based TOEFL (IBT) or evidence of an undergraduate or graduate degree earned at an institution of higher education in a country outside of the United States listed in Figure: 19 TAC §230.11(b)(5)(C).


M.Ed. in Higher Education

Explore the classes you'll take to fulfill this program's 34 semester credit requirement. For more information, a complete list of requirements, and course options, see the College Catalog.

Focus of Study

Customize this degree by choosing a three - course Focus of Study to fulfill the remaining nine semester credits.

Research Courses

(3 semester credits)

This course enables students to become informed consumers of research and to develop skills to prepare them to carry out action research in their professional organizations. An emphasis is placed on providing students with knowledge they can apply in determining whether particular research findings are relevant to their leadership and instructional practices and to distinguish between trustworthy and non-trustworthy research. The course places action research within the context of various types of research and examines research in terms of basic concepts and various purposes, methods, data, and paradigms. Emphasis is placed on how research can become a vital and relevant tool for professional practice.

Leadership Courses

(13 semester credits)

This course captures the changing landscape of higher education through the historical lens and changing philosophies which have shaped institutions in the past. By investigating critical functions, current societal shifts are probed to determine relevancy, and how emerging roles are reshaping the foundations of higher education. Case studies showcase academic components, student affairs, and the roles of compliance, regulatory, and accreditation in sustaining an institution of higher learning at a tipping point of change.
Institutions of higher learning are governed by layers of authorization from federal, regional, state, and internal constituents. This course assesses how college infrastructures influence decisions and functions of operations, financial options, human resources, marketing, and enrollment in relation to institutional research and reporting. Trends in technology and student services frame forecasts for the possible future of higher education.
This course considers how to strategically manage human, financial, and data resources. Strategic thinking, planning, and development establish effective ways to 1) strengthen working relationships, 2) engage in financial practices which contain costs and advance the mission of an institution and 3) utilize data for continuous improvement. By comparing and evaluating institutional advancement strategies, activities are assessed to determine how they complement strategic priorities and goals, build and enhance program relevance, and add practical value.
This course will focus on examining statutory and regulatory compliance issues impacting institutions. This course is designed to heighten analytical skills to ensure an understanding of the intricacies influencing higher education in today's society. The interrelationship between law and policy is explored through the use of readings, case studies, and scenario analysis, serving to establish a context for practice with the governance of an organization.   
The Capstone Experience is designed for candidates to demonstrate and document the impact of their knowledge and competencies gained throughout, and as a result of the Master of Education in Higher Education.

Teaching/Learning Core Courses

(3 semester credits)

This course focuses on theories and processes of measuring student learning to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs. Students conduct a program evaluation and apply the results to develop an improvement plan. 

Digital Learning and Teaching/Technology Courses

(3 semester credits)

Applying principles of instructional design and adult learning, learners demonstrate a broad understanding of their professional environment by developing products to support continuous professional growth within the organization. Learners identify and evaluate technologies to facilitate and improve collaboration, productivity, communication, and instruction for all organizational stakeholders. They also design a professional development plan based on best practices and emphasizing legal and ethical guidelines specific to blended and online learning environments. Within the context of professional environments, academic integrity and dishonesty, personal and professional learning networks, and digital citizenship are major topics.

Marketing Courses

(3 semester credits)

As an introduction to foundational concepts of marketing, this course considers various perspectives from influencer to consumer. Marketing opportunities are explored for implementing strategic plans through the use of research and analysis. Students examine examples of brand development, positioning, and management of integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaigns, which can be highly beneficial for private and charter schools. Case studies and scenarios frame the examination of managed markets. The intersection of marketing with public and media relations is also explored.

Focus of Study

Customize this degree by choosing a three - course Focus of Study to fulfill the remaining nine semester credits.

Community College Leadership

Community colleges depend upon models of finance and funding which influence approaches to student engagement. This course explores the impact on operating costs related to a self-service cafeteria style delivery of services contrasted with other models, including a guided pathway option. By comparing cost per student with cost for successful completion, students investigate the merits of changing economic models.
This course addresses the function and purpose of community colleges from a current-to-future perspective, evaluating what has worked with what could be potentially be needed to encourage students to successfully complete a degree of study. Issues related to student choice, credit transfer to four-year programs, and alignment of program outcomes with student goals and assessment are explored.
Faculty and student engagement is related to relationships focused on mission and vision. This course explores critical topics related to governance, building trust through demonstrated integrity, supporting practice founded on policies while addressing crossfunctional teams supporting collaboration and inquiry.

Enrollment Management

This course explores ways to understand marketing as it conveys the compelling story of an organization, communicating the brand and the promised deliverables. Using key audience perspectives, essential questions are addressed as they impact branding, the ethical implications of gainful employment, consumer voice and social media, and maximizing the message to demonstrate value. Actionable analytics are used to validate market spending in relation to student financial concerns.
Students investigate ways to use data to make critical decisions, connecting strategic planning to an increase in student satisfaction. This course evaluates recruitment strategies to attract prospects and to enhance engagement and retention of students.
Focused on helping students achieve academic goals, this course surveys critical services to eliminate obstacles for students during enrollment and student support. By investigating ways technology integrates processes - database management, student advising, and the use of evaluation to generate efficiencies, catalog development, transcript evaluation-expectations are established.

Institutional Research and Planning

This course applies research design to establish an understanding of the structure and function of an Institutional Research (IR) office. With the focus of helping leadership, faculty, and students achieve the mission and vision of an institution, students investigate IR strategies including how to conduct a focus group, create surveys, and analyze data gathered from measuring instruments. By establishing principles of IR grounded in research, the tasks of IR are defined.
Effective reporting ensures appropriate data sharing in compliance with federal, state, and local requirements, and ethical practices. Databases and tools are utilized to support accountability, transparency, information processes to ensure accreditation requirements are embedded in established evaluation processes. Knowing how to read, apply, and evaluate expectations is given consideration. 
Through the application of statistics, this course reviews data warehousing to support decisions including institutional planning, program viability and quality, and how these impact retention and attrition. Current trends with institutional assessment and evaluation help to inform constituents and support student achievement.


This course examines the leadership process in the context of developing and distributing or sharing leadership within an organization. It investigates team and group dynamics, team building, interpersonal and group relations, and effective problem solving and decision-making skills within collaborative environments. The course places particular emphasis on the development of human resources skill sets for leaders, including risk-prone behaviors and conflict management; relationships among leaders internal and external to the organization; and how leaders build other leaders, contributing to effective succession plans to maintain organizational cohesion and performance.
This course focuses on individuals as leaders from an individual perspective, emphasizing  principles and practices of interpersonal relationships for leadership development, professional role modeling for those who look to them for guidance, and advocacy for change within and outside the organizational environment. In the course, students will take an introspective look at their leadership as a personal and professional journey - how their past life experiences set them on a course toward leadership, where they are today in their journey, and how they envision and are preparing for future destinations.
Success is attributed to effective decision making, a skill required for professional and personal reasons. An essential ability required by leaders, decision making is a process which identifies critical elements of a choice to determine a course of action. The focus for this course considers ways decisions are made and how these techniques can be evaluated to improve outcomes. Specifically, the course addresses the development of skills to efficiently and consistently make informed decisions using data to maintain awareness of organizational needs, demographics, and performance levels. The role of collaboration in decision making is also a major focus.

Student Development and Affairs

Dependent upon function and service, student affairs influences the relationship between adult learning and instructional outcomes. Leadership practices, as seen through theoretical lens, explore personnel issues, student support, success, and retention, and assessment options which guide decision-making. Consideration is given to ways student perspectives shape the college experience and how these can be leveraged for change.
Considering the practical day-to-day support of students, this course looks at critical functions including DSS, retention, and outreach to students through the structure of supporting departments. Topics range from ways to handle at-risk students to helping to build sustainable efforts, class scheduling, and support. From orientation to graduation, readings and discussions target issues related to helping student navigate the complexity of higher education.
Life exists after graduation. In this course, promoting interaction on multiple levels helps to define effective ways to support students as they move from personal learning to professional practice. With an emphasis on ethical practice, students learn how to establish networks and partnerships and foster collaborative sharing of ideas and concepts to support development within the field by exploring how to establish a career office.

General Track

(9 semester credits)

Any zero of courses from the courses above.