Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Specialization - Higher Education Program

Accepting applications now for Fall 2018, Apply early, Cohorts fill fast!   Priority deadline for application review is Monday, February 5, 2018

Overview and Outcomes

The Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration with a Specialization in Higher Education program prepares students for mid career higher education leadership positions. Also, this degree prepares students interested in enrolling in an Ed.D. or Ph.D. Higher Education program. Specifically, the program is intended to facilitate learning by supporting students who are committed to:

  1. Facilitating the development, articulation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the higher education community.
  2. Advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a campus environment conducive to student learning and professional growth.
  3. Ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective campus environment.
  4. Engaging with community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.
  5. Modeling a personal code of ethics and developing professional leadership capacity.
  6. Understanding, responding to and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.

NOTE: Specialization in Higher Education will not appear on the diploma.


Courses Requirements and Sequence

The program requires 33 units of coursework to be completed over four semesters. The courses include:

ELPS 600HEResearch Design in Higher Education (3) 
ELPS 601HEAmerican Higher Education (3) 
ELPS 650HEContemporary Administrative Leadership (3)
ELPS 656HEDiversity and Student Success in Higher Education (3) 
ELPS 663HEHigher Education Policy and Law (3)
ELPS 667HEOrganization and Administration of Community College Education (3)
ELPS 673HELeadership for Managing Reform in Higher Education (3) 
ELPS 674HEHigher Education Operations: Finance and Human Resources in Higher Education (3)
ELPS 688HEFieldwork in Higher Education (3)
ELPS 690HEResearch Analysis in Higher Education (3) 
ELPS 697HEDirected Comprehensive Studies (3)

The course sequence over the program of study can be seen below.

Year 1Year 2


Accepting applications now for Fall 2018, Apply early, Cohorts fill fast! 

The Application Process

There are two phases to the application process: 1) Selection to the Program and 2) Admission to the University. All applicants will submit materials for selection; some applicants may be required to participate in an additional interview. Accepted applicants must confirm their place in the cohort through application to the University.

Phase 1: Selection

Only completed applications will be accepted.  Applications will need to be submitted to the ELPS office directly.  Applicants will submit*:

  1. Completed Application Form.
    Please download and complete this application form.
  2. Unofficial Transcripts (only applicable to CSUN transcripts) or Official Transcripts from all four-year universities attended.  Remember to order 2 sets of official transcripts (one for the department and one for Admissions & Records).
  3. Statement of Purpose, not to exceed 2 double-spaced pages.
  4. Critical Response, not to exceed 1 double-spaced page.
  5. Two letters of recommendation, at least 1 letter should be from someone who can speak to your academic experiences.

* A GRE or MAT score (taken within 5 years of applying to the program) will be necessary to submit if undergraduate or graduate cumulative GPA is below 3.0.  

The GRE scores may be submitted before the end of your first semester in the Program as well as your second letter of recommendation.  We encourage students to submit their application materials prior to the March 31st deadline.

Phase 2: Admission

Within 30 days of reviewing application materials, applicants will be notified of an admissions decision. If accepted to the program, applicants must apply to the University (online at Cal State Apply) in order to reserve their place.