Northern Illinois University

College of Education

Department of Counseling and Higher Education

Higher Education (M.S.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs, Ed.D. in Higher Education, Ed.D. in Community College Leadership)

  • M.S.
  • Ed D.
  • Certificate
Program Emphasis: 
  • Administrative Leadership
  • College Teaching
  • Community College Leadership
  • Student Learning & Development


Department of Counseling and Higher Education, Gabel Hall 200
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy
DeKalb, IL 60115

Program Statement

The Higher Education program offers professional preparation for students at the master's and doctoral levels for entry-level and leadership roles in the fields higher education and student affairs.

Our M.S.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs grounds you in the theory and methodology of student development. Our program prepares you for a variety of leadership and administrative positions in student affairs and higher education. The program is 36 semester hours; internships generally require 120 hours of field experience.

Our Executive Weekend Ed.D. in Higher Education will prepare you to advance in leadership roles at various types of postsecondary institutions. The program provides you with analytical, theoretical and foundational groundings to address contemporary issues facing higher education educators, administrators and institutions. Topics related to diversity, social justice and inclusion are thread throughout the curriculum. You will have the opportunity to engage with a dynamic community of experts in order to enhance your leadership skills. You can choose an emphasis in Higher Education Administration or College Teaching.

Our Ed.D. in Higher Education specializing in Community College Leadership program is designed to prepare higher education professionals to advance in a variety of administrative positions within the community college environment. This online degree emphasizes applied practice and action-based research, giving midcareer professionals the edge to move ahead. The Ed.D. in Higher Education specializing in Community College Leadership consists of 54 credit hours beyond the master's degree and is designed to be completed within three years. Students will take two courses per semester. Summer courses are blended format to foster connections with faculty and other students. Fall and spring courses are delivered online. The cumulating experience for the program is a Dissertation of Practice (12 credit hours) that takes an innovative practice-based problem approach to research.

Meets ACPA Commission for Professional Preparation Standards: 
Meets CAS Standards: 

Number of Program Faculty

Full Time: 

Visitation Program



Entrance Exam: 
  • None Required
Assistantship Required: 
Assistantship Placement Assistance: 
  • Full time
  • Part time
Program Delivery: 
  • In-person
  • Online
  • Hybrid
Comprehensive Exam Required: