Higher Education Administration Certificate

Higher Education Administration Certificate

Higher Education and Administration Certificate

As a professional in postsecondary education, you will deepen your understanding of the field and expand your networks by earning the Higher Education Administration certificate. Through the certificate, you will explore major topics in higher education administration and consider how theory intersects with practice. You will take courses from senior administrators and learn alongside bright, motivated peers who have been working in the field of higher education.

Networking and Career Development

The certificate will allow you to take your professional practice to the next level and grow your network. If you’re looking for a career shift within the field of higher education, you’ll get the preparation you need. Students have access to ongoing professional development support, one-on-one career coaching, academic advising and networking opportunities.

Flexible Scheduling

Students may begin the program in any quarter. For four of the five courses, classes are in a blended learning/alternative schedule format, meeting in person on the Evanston campus for two intensive weekends and virtually for the remainder of the quarter.  The fifth course is an elective that may be in a blended or online format.

The Higher Education Administration Certificate requires completion of the following five courses:

Summer Quarter

Proseminar in Higher Education

This introductory course focuses on current and ongoing issues in the American higher education system. Learn about a variety of areas of professional endeavor, such as enrollment management, student affairs, athletics and administration. Explore major issues and policies, including affirmative action, college access, and governance and mission of different institutional types. You'll have the opportunity to meet senior-level professionals in a variety of higher education positions.


The College Student

This introductory course explores the characteristics of today’s college students and reviews the literature on student development theory, which describes the developmental challenges (e.g., cognitive, psychosocial and identity) facing college students and how students change while in college. A secondary focus is the influence of multiple identities on student development. You will have the opportunity to apply theory to practice.

Winter Quarter

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Explore current issues of learning and teaching in higher education as you analyze and critique applicable concepts, policies and practices. Examine how college students learn and strategies faculty can employ to maximize learning. You'll apply models and theories of learning and teaching to real environments, as well as discuss contemporary issues related to faculty, including the tension between teaching and research.

Spring Quarter

Budgeting and Finance in Higher Education

This course addresses the budget process in colleges and universities, along with the impact of budget activities on all areas of institutional planning and operations. You will enhance your ability to write and speak effectively about budget- and finance-related issues.

One Elective

Students complete one elective to fulfill the Higher Education Administration Certificate requirements. Courses in the MSHE program or other Northwestern University programs as approved are appropriate. Students may choose to take an elective fully online or in a blended learning format. Students meet with their academic adviser to identify an appropriate elective.

Contact Us

MS in Higher Education Administration and Policy Program

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-7526

Email: ms-highered@northwestern.edu