2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jan 28, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog

Higher Education, MS


David Perez II, Program Coordinator, 350 Huntington Hall, 315-443-4763, diperez@syr.edu

Higher Education focuses on issues of diversity and inclusion, as applied to both the theory and practice of student success, development and learning in higher education. Given the increasing diversity of college student backgrounds, critical reforms are needed in higher education in order to develop diverse curricular and non-curricular structures, practices, policies, and pedagogies that embrace and build upon students’ talents, experiences, and potential so they learn, develop, and succeed. Due to the complexity of the issues facing higher education around the world, students draw on resources in the School of Education and across the University to provide an interdisciplinary, foundational perspective supplemented by ongoing, integrated practical experiences. Students analyze higher education at a variety of levels, including individual students, student populations, institutions, and systems of higher education, and the policies and practices related to each that foster the success of all college students. The Higher Education master’s program requires a minimum of 36 credits, although we encourage students to complete 42 credits and a minimum of 2 years of study as recommended by the Council for the Advancement of Standards. Students can also complete this program in 3-4 years of part-time study, to allow for working full-time while learning and advancing in their current career.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Examine, synthesize, and integrate theories, research, and practices of leadership, organization, and governance that impact higher education institutions and federal/state systems and agencies

2. Demonstrate knowledge of theories, philosophies, research, and practices that facilitate effective teaching, learning, development, and overall student success

3. Synthesize and analyze historic and contemporary social and political issues in K-12 and higher education landscapes using critical perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches.

4. Become familiar with various research paradigms and practices, develop competence in a research methodology, and synthesize and analyze a topically-focused body of higher education literature

5. Develop an understanding of systems of inequity in higher education and experiences of marginalized groups in higher education and how to lead change toward equity and social justice

Major Requirements

Course offerings cover student development and learning, student attainment and retention; race and gender in higher education; student affairs administration; administrative theory and practice in higher education; learning communities; legal issues in higher education and history.

A hallmark of these programs and their coursework is community and collaboration. Many courses require collaborative group work that involves students as active learners in class and in our program learning community. At the same time, the program is structured to promote collaboration among students, faculty, and administrators. Whenever possible, students and faculty will work together on collaborative research and administrative projects.

The Doctoral degree program include coursework throughout the University so students can draw upon the expertise of faculty from departments in the School of Education (e.g., Cultural Foundations of Education) and a variety of schools including the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the School of Management. Both degree programs also offer field and internship experiences (required for all master’s degree students) which are available at the University and a diversity of neighboring institutions. Doctoral students specializing in higher education are required to have a minimum of three years of full-time experience in higher education. Because the department and its faculty have a strong reputation within the field, graduates of the program are typically embraced by a vibrant market offering a variety of positions.


No more than 6 credits may be taken prior to matriculating into the higher education M.S. degree program. No more than 9 credits post master’s degree may be taken before matriculating into the Ph.D. program. All master’s students must take a minimum of 9 credits per academic year. All doctoral students must complete 12 credits per academic year.