University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW)

Watson College of Education

Educational Leadership

M.Ed. in Higher Education

  • M. Ed.


Dr. Andrew Ryder
601 S. College Rd.
Wilmington, NC 28403

Program Statement

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) program includes a specialization in Higher Education.This specialization is designed for people who wish to enter or advance in administrative and/or academic support roles in colleges and universities. It provides social, historical, philosophical, developmental, and international perspectives of postsecondary education. The program supports the Watson College of Education Conceptual Framework of developing highly competent professionals to serve in educational leadership roles. The program has been designed in accordance with the Council for the Advancement and Standards in Higher Education (CAS Standards).

Program graduates typically work in functional areas such as academic advising, admissions, career services, financial aid, judicial affairs, alumni relations, athletics, multicultural affairs, residence life, and student activities.

The M.Ed. in Higher Education requires a minimum of 36 credits including electives that are selected from course offerings in Educational Leadership and other disciplines. The program requires students to engage in supervised professional practice, which provides the opportunity to connect theory to practice while working in a community college or university administrative or student support office or program.

Specialization Objectives

Upon completion of the M.Ed. in Higher Education, students will be able to:

Understand the history and sociology of higher education, and organizational and student development theory.

  • Advocate for the inclusion of practices and policies that represent the differences and diversity of postsecondary student, faculty, and staff populations.
  • Think critically as a member of a complex and global society with responsibilities in postsecondary institutions.
  • Effectively use data for assessment and decision-making, including the design and evaluation of effective postsecondary programs.
  • Effectively use marketing, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Effectively use technology and distance learning, along with traditional communication methods
  • Respond with innovative solutions to contemporary shifts and challenges in the higher education landscape, including social, political and economic changes which directly impact the higher education profession.
Meets ACPA Commission for Professional Preparation Standards: 
Meets CAS Standards: 

Number of Program Faculty

Full Time: 
Total Program Credit Hours: 
Average Time to Degree: 
1.5-2 years

Visitation Program



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