Professionals who are interested in accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degrees are among the most passionate about postsecondary education in the field. These individuals have dedicated themselves to providing incoming students with the resources and education they need in order to move into the workforce and make a positive difference. And while the demand is rising for students with graduate degrees in the field, many working professionals haven’t been able to narrow down their choice of programs yet.

This may be because working adults have different needs that make attending a traditional program more difficult. For one, they can’t take on-campus courses that take place during normal business hours. They also don’t have the luxury of completing a degree in three or four years. They need a program that is flexible, online, affordable and accelerated in order to be a viable option for them, which is exactly what this ranking aims to showcase.

Methodology

All of the schools provided on this list were chosen from an initial pool of 75 schools; the initial pool was identified by searching the National Center for Education Statistics and its College Navigator database. From there, each program was reviewed in-depth on a number of factors, including tuition rates and estimated degree completion timelines; this information was gathered by searching the school program’s website. From the original 75 schools, 20 were chosen based on the total estimated in-state graduate tuition rate for the length of the program. They are listed below from most to least expensive.

20. The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Online Master of Science in Administrative Leadership, Concentration in Educational Administration and Supervision

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online MS in Administrative Leadership requires 33 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $25,329

The accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration that is offered by the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is designed to be of use to any professional working the educational field. This program will lead to administrative and supervisory licensure in the state of Wisconsin and most other states; students are encouraged to check their state’s requirements before committing to this program. The program also offers a standalone Specialist Certificate in Administrative Leadership, a course of study that is mandatory for those seeking school superintendency or other administrative positions. The curriculum is offered 100 percent online and can be found through the school’s virtual portal. Students will complete asynchronous and synchronous courses in 16-week sessions. Students who complete a minimum of two courses every term will graduate in two years. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework, a thesis or master’s paper, and a final portfolio. Sample courses include Organizational Change and Team Leadership, Administration of Pupil Services, and Legislative and Legal Aspects of Exceptional Education.

19. Northcentral University

Scottsdale, Arizona

Online Master of Education, Concentration in Leadership in Higher Education

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online M.Ed. in Leadership in Higher Education can be completed in 15 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $22,960

Northcentral University is home to an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that can be completed in two years and prepares students to become specialists or managers in the field. Please note that this degree will not lead to licensure in any state. This degree can be completed 100 percent online and in 15 months, provided that students study part-time. Coursework requirements are completed through the school’s online learning management system; sessions are delivered asynchronously and synchronously in 12-week sessions. Full-time students will be able to complete this degree; part-time students generally take two years to fulfill all the requirements. Students will be expected to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, the Action Research Project Capstone, and a comprehensive oral exit exam. Sample courses include Exploring Legal Issues in Higher Education, Financial Issues in Higher Education, and Leadership for Higher Education.

18. Capella University

St. Paul, Minnesota

Online Master of Science in Higher Education, Higher Education Leadership and Administration Specialization

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The MS in Higher Education requires 48 quarter credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $21,120

Students enrolled at Capella University will be provided with the opportunity to complete an accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that can be completed in two years. This degree will not satisfy the licensure requirements for educators or administrators in any state. Students will be able to complete this degree entirely online and will focus on the theory and practices of the field. Courses are delivered asynchronously and in a 10-week format. Students will be eligible to complete their degree in just over one year. This degree requires that students complete 48 quarter credit hours of coursework, the Foundations of Higher Education Leadership and Administration capstone, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Politics and Public Policy in Higher Education, Foundations of Higher Education Assessment and Evaluation, and Financial Management and Institutional Development.

17. The University of Mississippi

University, Mississippi

Online Master of Arts in Higher Education

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online MA in Higher Education requires 42 credit hours in coursework.

Website

Tuition: $19,530

The University of Mississippi confers an accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that is perfect for higher education professionals who are interested in advancing in their careers. This is a wholly online program that can be completed in two years. Students will be able to complete one of four endorsements for this program: Emotional Disability, Gifted, PreK-K, or Wellness and Physical Activity. This is a part-time course of study that enables students to move through the sequenced curriculum at a rapid pace; courses are delivered online and are offered synchronously during the evening to fit into the students’ schedule. Students will be able to graduate within two years. This degree requires 42 credit hours of coursework, a practicum, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Cultural Context of Education, Contemporary Issues of Higher Education, and Student Services in Higher Education.

16. Post University

Waterbury, Connecticut

Online Master of Science in Higher Education Administration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online MS in Higher Education Administration requires 33 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $19,360

Students at Post University are provided with an accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that can be completed in two years. This is a 100 percent online program that has no residency requirements. This program comes with two concentrations: Administrative Leadership or Student Affairs. All courses for the degree and its concentrations can be found online through the school’s virtual portal. Courses are offered as live or on-demand sessions that run in the standard 16-week term format. This is a comprehensive course of study and students will have to study full-time in order to complete this degree in two years. Students will be expected to complete 33 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include The New Post Secondary Student, Leading Change in Higher Education, and Higher Education Policy, Politics and Pressing Issues.

15. Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, New York

Online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online MA in Higher Education Administration requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

School Profile

Tuition: $19,193

Stony Brook University confers an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that is open to working professionals who are in the field. This is a wholly online degree that can be earned in two years when students choose to study full-time. All courses for the program are available through the school’s online learning management system; features of the system include small class sizes, live or on-demand offerings, private tutoring, and an online bookstore. Students can expect to take three courses every term and graduate in two years. This degree requires that students complete 36 credit hours of coursework, the Project Seminar, and a comprehensive oral exit exam. Sample courses include Research and Assessment in Higher Education, Survey of College Student Development Theory, and Crisis Management and Prevention in Higher Education.

14. The University of Southern Maine

Portland, Maine

Online Master of Science in Adult and Higher Education

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online MS in Adult and Higher Education has no residency requirements.

Website

Tuition: $19,193

Students enrolled at the University of Southern Maine are offered an accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that can be earned in two years. This is a 100 percent online course of study that has no residency requirements and is perfect for working professionals. Students will take all of their courses online through the school’s virtual portal; sessions are delivered asynchronously or synchronously and in the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students who take three courses every term will graduate in two years. Field experience is also necessary for this degree; this will be completed in a student’s community. Other requirements for this program include 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Action Research and Evaluation Methodologies, Managing Adult Education and Human Resource Development, and Uses of Technology in Adult Learning.

13. West Virginia University

Morgantown, West Virginia

Online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online MA in Higher Education Administration requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $17,820

West Virginia University provides students with a pathway towards completing an accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree in two years or less. This is a wholly online program of study that has no residency requirements. Students can customize this degree plan as much as they wish to ensure that they meet their career goals. This program is fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Students will take all of their courses online through the school’s learning management system. Sessions are offered as live or on-demand offerings and run in 16-week sessions. Students who take two courses every term will graduate within two years. This degree requires that students complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, a portfolio, and an internship that takes place in a student’s community. Sample courses include History of Higher Education, College Student Development, and Higher Education Planning and Budget.

12. Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, Arizona

Online Master of Education in Educational Leadership, Concentration in Community College/Higher Education

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online M.Ed. in Educational Leadership delivers courses both asynchronously or synchronously.

Website

Tuition: $17,770

Students attending Northern Arizona University will be interested to learn that the accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree conferred there is possible to earn in two years or less. The program of study is offered entirely online with no residency requirements; internships are optional but not required, ensuring that working professionals who do not have the time to take on an internship are not burdened with that responsibility. Students will complete all of their coursework via the school’s virtual portal; courses are held asynchronously or synchronously and in the traditional 16-week term format. Students who enroll in just two courses every term will graduate in two years. Students will be expected to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a master’s seminar, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Higher Education in the United States, Programs for Access and Opportunity in Higher Education, and Social Entrepreneurship in Higher Education.

11. The University of Missouri at Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri

Online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online MA in Higher Education Administration requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $17,413

The University of Missouri at Kansas City confers an accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that was designed for working professionals. This degree comes with four concentrations, including Student Affairs Administration, Foundations of Higher Education, Disability Services, and Sports Administration and Exercise Science. Students can complete this degree as a 100 percent online course of study. Students will enroll in their classes online through the school’s learning management system; courses are synchronous and held one evening every week. This degree follows the standard 16-week academic term format and can be completed in two years when students take on a full course load during their degree plan. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, two internships, the Higher Education capstone, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include The College Student, Principles and Methods of Research, and Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Cultural Understanding.

10. Upper Iowa University

Fayette, Iowa

Online Master of Education in Higher Education

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online M.Ed in Higher Education requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $16,740

Students interested in the accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that is available from Upper Iowa University will find a degree that can be earned in two years or less. This degree comes with the option to complete a graduate certificate in Leadership or Student Affairs. All coursework for this degree is offered entirely online; there are no campus residency requirements for this degree. Students will instead enroll and engage in their courses through the school’s virtual portal, where courses are offered asynchronously or synchronously and in 16-week sessions. Students who enroll in three courses every term will graduate within two years. This degree requires that students complete 36 credit hours of coursework, the Capstone Seminar, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Teaching and Working in a Multicultural Setting, Finance and Budgeting in Higher Education, and Strategic Decision Making in Higher Education.

9. The University of Houston

Houston, Texas

Online Master of Education in Higher Education

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online M.Ed. in Higher Education requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $15,552

The University of Houston is home to an excellent accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that was designed for educators and administrators. This degree is found 100 percent online and can be completed in two years or less. Students will find that all of their coursework can be found through the school’s online learning management system and can be completed as either asynchronous or synchronous sessions. Courses are held to the standard 16-week academic term format, meaning that students that take just three courses every term will graduate within two years. This degree requires that students complete 36 credit hours of coursework, an internship in their community, a capstone seminar, and a portfolio. Students who are interested in finding out more about this degree, its requirements, and course offerings are highly encouraged to speak to a department admissions advisor.

8. Tiffin University

Tiffin, Ohio

Online Master of Education with a Concentration in Higher Education Administration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $15,000

The accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree available from Tiffin University is available to all professionals who are interested in taking on an administrative role in the education field. This degree is found 100 percent online and was recently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best online graduate education programs in the nation. Students will take this course of study by utilizing the school’s virtual portal. Courses are offered as live or on-demand sessions that run in seven week-sessions; two sessions make up a traditional academic term. Students will be required to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, the capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Crisis Prevention and Intervention in Education, World History of Education, and Human Resource Management in Educational Organizations.

7. Texas Tech University

Tyler, Texas

Online Master of Education in Higher Education

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online M.Ed. in Higher Education has no residency requirement.

Website

Tuition: $14,754

Texas Tech University confers an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration program that can be completed in two years. This is a 100 percent online, cohort mode of study that has no residency requirements and is perfect for students who are interested in taking on administrative or supervisory roles in the field. This degree is delivered mostly asynchronously through the school’s online learning management; however, some courses, such as seminars, are only offered as synchronous courses that require class meeting times. This degree requires that students complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a master’s capstone project, an internship in a student’s own community, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Administration in Higher Education, Legal Aspects and Crisis Management in Higher Education, and Student Services in Higher Education.

6. Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Online Master of Arts in Higher Education

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online MA in Higher Education has no residency requirements.

Website

Tuition: $14,655

Students at Sam Houston State University have the opportunity to complete an accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that can be completed in two years. This is a non-thesis program that is delivered entirely online with no residency requirements. Students will have the chance to pursue standalone certificates in Academic Advising and Higher Education Assessment and Institutional Research. Courses for this degree are available through the school’s virtual portal and are delivered asynchronously or synchronously. Sessions run in 16-week academic terms, making it possible for a student to complete the degree in two years when they study full-time. This program requires 30 credit hours of coursework, a research project, and a portfolio. Sample courses include Data Management, Leadership in Higher Education, and Research in Higher Education.

5. Central Washington University

Ellensburg, Washington

Online Master of Education, Concentration in Higher Education

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online M.Ed. in Higher Education requires 45 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $14,484

Central Washington University has designed an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education administration program that can be completed in two years when students choose to follow a full-time plan of study. This degree is offered 100 percent online and has no residency requirements. Students will enroll in courses online through the school’s learning management system and complete live or on-demand lectures and assignments in order to qualify for graduation. This degree requires that all students complete 45 credit hours of coursework, an internship or capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include History of Higher Education, Program Evaluation and Assessment, and Diversity and Leadership Management

4. John Brown University

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Online Master of Arts in Higher Education

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online MA in Higher Education requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $13,800

The accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree offering from John Brown University was designed for professionals who are actively working in the field. This program is built to be wholly online, ensuring that working adults can complete their education with little to no disruption to their personal and professional lives. Students will find that all of their courses are offered asynchronously or synchronously through the school’s virtual portal. Other features of the portal include private tutoring sessions, an online bookstore, and live chat forums for faculty and students. Students who take on two courses every term, including one summer term, will graduate in two years. This degree requires that students complete 30 credit hours of coursework, the Higher Education Capstone, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include History and Philosophy of American Higher Education, Understanding and Applying Research in Higher Education, and Planning and Financial Management of Colleges and Universities.

3. The University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska

Online Master of Arts in Educational Administration, Concentration in Higher Education Administration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online MA in Education Administration in Higher Education Administration requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $13,739

Students at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln are offered the chance to complete an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree in less than two years. This degree comes with an optional specialization in Student Affairs Administration. Students who take on this degree will complete it as a fully online course of study; there are no residency requirements. Courses are offered as live or on-demand sessions that run in the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students will be able to complete this degree in two years when they choose to study full-time. Students can expect to complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written exit exam. Interested students are encouraged to speak to a graduate admissions advisor to learn more about program requirements and to view a list of sample course offerings.

2. Georgia Southern University

Statesboro, Georgia

Online Master of Education in Higher Education

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online M.Ed. in Higher Education requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $12,888

Georgia Southern University is home to an exceptional accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that can be completed in two years regardless if a student chooses to study full-time or part-time. This degree is built to be taken 100 percent online with no residency requirements. Courses can be found through the school’s virtual portal and are available as asynchronous or synchronous sessions that run in 16-week term blocks. Students who choose to take this course of study will be required to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a practicum, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Foundations of Student Affairs in Higher Education, Politics of Higher Education, and Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education.

1. The University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming

Online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Higher Education Administration Online for 2018
The online MA in Higher Education Administration requires 33 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $11,143

The University of Wyoming provides students with an accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degree that is perfect for working professionals in the field. This is a low-residency online program that can be completed in tow years. Students will find that this degree is delivered online through the school’s learning management system in asynchronous or synchronous sessions with the sole exception of the Capstone Defense, which must be completed on the Laramie campus in the last term of the program. Other requirements for this degree include 33 credit hours of coursework, the capstone project, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Law of Higher Education, Learning Theories, and International Comparative Education.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Accelerated Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration Degree?

  • Higher Education Administrators
  • Private Education Consultant
  • Student Engagement Outreach Specialist
  • Director of Academic Advising
  • Residential Life Coordinator
  • Director of Student Financial Aid
  • Leadership Program Administrator
  • Dean of Admissions
  • Senior Athletic Director
  • Vice President of Enrollment Management
  • Director of Career Services
  • Fundraising Officer
  • Student Services Dean
  • Director of Alumni Relations
  • College Admissions Administrator

How Much Can You Earn in This Field?

The median salary for this field is roughly $85,000. The current salary range for the field is from $60,000 to over $125,000. Students will note that this is an exceptional field for those who are interested in earning advanced degrees because many colleges and universities enable their employees to take courses towards a degree for a reduced price or even for free. This field’s careers also have excellent retirement benefits and other forms of compensation, making it a great, if not competitive, avenue for students.

What are the Various Disciplines of Higher Education Administration?

Higher education administration is a field that combines education with administration and managerial services. In essence, the field looks at colleges and universities as businesses that provide a service to customers. As this service requires that the college or university successfully provide students with an education that will help them find a job in the workforce, the need for strong and qualified candidates that understand all of the disciplines at play continues to grow.

For example, all higher education administrators will have an understanding of human services, sociology, social work, development, technology, education, psychology, curriculum and instruction, and more. They will also need to have great communication skills, critical thinking skills, reasoning skills, and interpersonal skills.

Depending on how a professional chooses to specialize in their field, they may also focus on one discipline over others. For example, a professional who works in the fundraising office may focus on non-profit managerial skills and writing while a professional in the student financial aid office will focus on finance, the law, and accounting. The list is endless, but it should be clear that the disciplines that impact a professional will depend on how a student focuses on their career.

Higher education administration is the first step for professionals who are interested in helping lead the country’s colleges and universities. Having qualified candidates in the roles of president, vice president, and dean of a school ensures that the institution is run ethically and with the students in mind. This ranking of the top accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degrees will help professionals reach their career goals while continuing with their personal and professional goals.

This concludes our ranking of the Top 15 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Higher Education Administration Online.