Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration

Program Overview

The overall mission of the Higher Education Administration program is to prepare individuals for leadership positions in higher education institutions. The program will provide opportunities for students to gain knowledge, skills, and competencies essential to their career and professional development as leaders in higher education settings and related fields. Components of the program are designed to provide students with 1) a broad understanding of the meaning and scope of higher education; 2) an understanding of the professional nature of higher education; 3) competence as agents of social change in the higher education setting; 4) the acquisition of critical communication skills; 5) knowledge of research methods and design; and 6) opportunities for practical experience in the field.


Who Does This Program Benefit?

Individuals who are looking to further their careers in an administrative setting on a college campus. Staff members and administrative leaders at institutions such as community colleges, two-year & four-year universities, and other types of proprietary schools will benefit.


What Does The Program Look Like?

This graduate program is designed for the working adult, with flexible online and evening (on-campus) coursework. Our on campus courses typically meet from 4:30 to 7:15 in the evening, once per week.  The standard number of classes per semester for our graduate students is 6 – 9 credit hours, depending on our students’ individual schedules, including other personal and professional obligations. This program can be completed in as little as five (5) semesters.


How Can I Afford My Degree?


Program Curriculum

The curriculum reflects consideration of the current issues and needs of society, of higher education, and of the student populations served by colleges and universities. Developed with the assistance of current students and graduates of the program, it is consistent with recommendations of local, state, regional, and national legislative bodies and professional groups concerned with graduate education. Also, the Master of Arts program in Higher Education Administration has been designed with three different emphasis areas available. In addition to our emphasis areas, admitted students are encouraged to select from a number of elective course options to create another individualized plan of study. Please review a description of emphasis provided in each of the focus areas below:

  • Sports Administration & Exercise Science
    Athlete or not, this area of study will enable students to prepare for leadership positions with an institution’s intercollegiate athletics division. Students enrolled in the courses required for the area of study will learn the basics of the organization and administration of sports programs, including coaching, student-athlete support services, campus recreation, facilities management, sports marketing, etc. They will also be able to study and engage with fellow students on topics related to the psychology and sociology of sports and athletics.
  • Student Affairs Administration
    Do you enjoy student activities? Want to get involved with Greek Life or Multicultural Affairs in a leadership capacity? This is the program emphasis area for you! Students will enroll in required coursework related to Legal Aspects, Financial Aspects, Student Development Theory, and many other areas related to student affairs leadership on a college or university campus.
  • Foundations of Higher Education
    Students interested in this program area of emphasis usually enjoy the theoretical undertones of educational research. Courses required in this focus area encourage participants to think across sociological, historical, and philosophical boundaries – as they relate to education in the United States and beyond. Cultural influences will also guide discussion and research for students in these courses.
  • Disability Services
    Students interested in Disability Services will receive an overview of the history of disability issues, some individualized perspectives of persons with disabilities, the rationale for interdisciplinary approaches regarding disability studies, and opportunities for leadership development with regard to disability issues. After an orientation of the study of disabilities, various aspects of community membership for persons with disabilities will be addresses, particularly with regard to the workplace, the neighborhood, and the home. Emphasis with placed on vital leadership roles that facilitate community membership and contribution of persons with disabilities to society.

 Eligibility Requirements:

Undergraduate Grade Point Average of at least 3.0


Completion of Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution


Application Procedures:

Complete the online UMKC Graduate Application


Submit official transcripts from all colleges attended to the UMKC Admissions Office (


Complete the Higher Education Administration Application Packet Cover Sheet (See Resources)


Provide two professional or academic letters of reference with the Higher Education Administration Recommendation Form (see Resources)


Provide a written statement of purpose outlining your rationale for application to the program and learning goals


The online graduate application and the official transcripts will need to be sent directly to the UMKC Admissions Office.


All other supplemental application materials should be sent to the ELPF Division Office:
615 E. 52nd St., Suite #328
Kansas City, MO 64110


The admissions process is competitive and satisfaction of the minimum criteria does not guarantee acceptance. Candidates are selected after careful review of their complete application package by department faculty, and with consideration of the adequacy of department resources.


Applicants who do not meet all of the full admission requirements may be conditionally admitted to the program with the requirement that all conditional terms be met prior to the end of their first semester in the program.