Master of Science in Leadership in Higher Education

The dynamics of higher education are changing. Be the changemaker.

About 6 in 10 Americans say the U.S. higher education system is going in the wrong direction, with many citing a combination of tuition costs and inadequate skills development.* The system needs a new type of leader. That’s where you come in.

Leaders in this industry must have different skills and capabilities to take on 21st century challenges. Together, we can rethink leadership for higher education and achieve a higher purpose.

*Pew Research Center

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Complete coursework online

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Graduate in as few as 20 months

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3 start dates per year


No GRE/GMAT required

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No required work experience or related major

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Apply earned credit toward a doctorate degree

Why earn your online master’s in leadership in higher education?

The dynamics of higher education are driving the demand for a new set of skills for tomorrow’s leaders. Here’s the challenge. Today’s organizations struggle to balance adequate leadership development with everything else going on in an environment that’s constantly changing. In fact, 78% of corporations identified leadership development as the top issue for companies around the world.* That’s where Pepperdine comes in.

A master’s degree is considered the educational minimum for careers in postsecondary education; some positions, including professors, typically require a doctoral degree. Students who focus on educational leadership or administration will be ideal candidates for roles in student affairs, housing, course registration, finance, and other key facets of college life.

*Deloitte Insights

What can you do with it?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, administrative roles are growing faster than the average for all occupations, with many of them requiring a master’s degree. But what’s driving the growth in career opportunities? The answer: student enrollment.

More than 20 million students were expected to attend American colleges and universities in 2017 — that’s 5.1 million more since the fall of 2000.* That means career opportunities for university faculty, including administrative roles, will be on the rise too — making now the perfect time to earn your degree.

Postsecondary administrators can work in public or private colleges overseeing student services, academics, and research. The number of open positions is expected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, and there are currently 180,100 jobs in the field with a median salary of $90,760.**

*National Center for Education Statistics | **The Edvocate 

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Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

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Ranked among the top 50 “National Universities” and 35th among “Best Value Schools” by U.S. News & World Report

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Specializations offered in five M.S. in Leadership programs: preK-12 administration, higher education, learning technology, learning design and innovation, and organizational leadership and learning

Build on your foundation. Broaden your future.

23 core course credit hours | 9 program-specific credit hours

Administrative roles are out there — you just need the right credential to be qualified.

Our curriculum encourages you to build on your foundational knowledge while exploring advanced concepts, theories, and approaches to educating college students. We’ll teach you how to accommodate their academic needs while fulfilling one of your own.

These courses will be your building blocks:

  • Higher Education Politics, Governance, and Society
  • Student Support and Services in Higher Education
  • Economics, Finance, and Policy in Higher Education

Help shape the future of your institution.

Good leaders think they’ve learned it all. Great leaders take the initiative to learn more. Which type of leader do you want to be?

When you commit to lifelong learning, you won’t just gain the expertise to impact the future of your organization, you can gain the drive to shape it.

Study with us, and you can learn to:

  • Play an integral role in defining the economic policy for institutions of higher education
  • Support the advancement of student services in higher education
  • Navigate the structures and methods of governance in higher education institutions

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of Master of Science in Leadership in Higher Education will be expected to achieve the following learning outcomes:

1. Develop and practice clear, persuasive and data supported narratives that advance initiatives and present them using advanced transmedia.

2. Develop and deliver learning experiences by integrating and applying learning theory and tools of technology and assess outcomes of those efforts.