Graduate Programs: Higher Education


New class sessions begin every fall, spring and summer:
Start Dates | Preferred Application Dates


Master of Arts in Higher Education

Are you looking to advance your career working with students on a college campus? Would you like to deepen your understanding of the foundations and principles of effective leadership in higher education from a Christian faith perspective? Whether your passion is coaching, student activities, multicultural programs, academic advising, admissions or residence life, Messiah College’s Master of Arts in higher education will prepare you to be a transformative, visionary leader for faith-based and other higher education settings.

You’ll wrestle with issues facing higher education in a time of significant change. You’ll be prepared to strategically advance excellence and equity for colleges and universities in the future. And as a nationally ranked Christian college, Messiah can help you bring your faith identity and values into all aspects of your professional practice.

The majority of classes in the higher education program are conducted online with weeklong summer intensives and graduate assistantships that allow you the opportunity to personally interact with fellow classmates, faculty and students.

Higher education degree concentrations

Academic Support Services
College Athletics Management

Strategic leadership
Student Affairs
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Individualized Concentration

Messiah College’s M.A. in higher education offers:

  • Academic rigor combined with experiential learning opportunities. An internship experience is built into the program design for all students. In addition, many students practice what they’re learning through 15 graduate assistantships available on Messiah’s campus.
  • A flexible program designed with working professionals in mind. The majority of courses are conducted online, blended with some weeklong sessions during the summer months.  
  • Concentrations in academic support services; college athletics management; strategic leadership; student affairs; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL); or the unique opportunity to create your own individualized concentration, tailored to your professional aspirations.
  • Program completion in as little as two years.
  • Courses taught by accomplished, committed Christian faculty. Our professors have extensive higher education experience, gained through leadership in academic institutions, professional associations, and as consultants. As accomplished scholars, our faculty has vital experience in their specialized areas of study and practice. Our professors are caring, committed educators who mentor you as you engage your faith, explore your vocation, and advance your career.
  • A reputation for excellence. Messiah College is home to The Ernest L. Boyer Center, committed to renewing society through education. The College's academic strengths are matched by championship intercollegiate athletic teams that have won 15 NCAA Division III national titles within the past ten years. 
  • Small class sizes ensure personalized attention and meaningful interaction with professors and fellow students. Our program allows you to learn from and with one another through online as well as face-to-face interaction.
  • Deferred payment option if your employer reimburses for graduate course completions.
  • Applicable and relevant coursework including a flexible capstone experience that allows you to complete the program in a manner that fits your career and personal goals.
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Learn more about our program from our students and graduates.

Now enrolling for fall 2014

The master’s in higher education program is now accepting applications for fall 2014.

New concentrations

Messiah’s master’s in higher education now offers concentrations in academic support services, strategic leadership and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  Learn more about these new opportunities!

The professors are very intentional—from the texts they select, to the questions they ask, to how they help you think through what’s your passion in higher education and how you can use that to further society.

~Shannon Demant, graduate student M.A. in Higher Education