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Expand Your Career Potential

With our talented faculty, diverse professional development opportunities, tailored career services, and broad-based alumni network, the MS in Higher Education Administration degree and Higher Education Administration Graduate Certificate will enhance your professional possibilities.

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Our Application Process

Apply for our outstanding master's degree program in higher education administration and policy or our higher education administration certificate.

Learn more about our application process

Admissions decisions are based on a holistic evaluation of an applicant's academic and leadership achievements, motivation, professional performance and potential as a higher education administrator.

The MS in Higher Education Administration and Policy degree and Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration have rolling admissions, and students may begin taking courses in any quarter.  However, full-time students who want to complete the master's degree in one year must begin in the summer or fall quarter. Full-time degree applicants who apply by the early admission deadline have the best chance of being awarded partial tuition scholarships, graduate assistantships, and paid internships.


Application Deadlines

Early Admission Deadline
Desired Entrance Quarter All Application Materials Due Classes Begin
Summer or Fall 2018 January 8, 2018 June or September
Regular Admission Deadlines
Desired Entrance Quarter All Application Materials Due Classes Begin
Summer 2017
May 15, 2017
June 19, 2017
Fall 2017
August 7, 2017
September 19, 2017
Winter 2018 November 27, 2017
January 8, 2018
Spring 2018 February 12, 2018 April 3, 2018
Summer 2018 May 14, 2018 June 25, 2018
Fall 2018 August 6, 2018 September 24, 2018

Master of Science Degree

You may choose to apply to the program as a matriculated or non-matriculated student. Matriculated students are candidates for the master's degree. Non-matriculated students are not yet candidates for the master's degree but may take up to four courses before they must apply to matriculate. The following are the primary reasons why some students choose to apply as non-matriculated students:

  • The student does not have anyone who can serve as an academic reference (this often happens with students who have been out of school for a while and have lost contact with their previous instructors).
  • The student has not yet taken the GRE but wants to begin taking courses.
  • The student does not wish to earn a master's degree but does want to take some courses in the program.

Average Scores

The GRE and GPA are important indicators of an applicant's academic capabilities. The average successful matriculated applicant has the following profile:

  • Undergraduate GPA: 3.4/4
  • GRE Verbal: 160 (86th percentile)
  • GRE Quantitative: 154 (66th percentile)
  • GRE Analytical Writing: 4.75

Please note that these are average, not minimum, scores. Each applicant will be evaluated holistically.

As of September 1, 2012, the GRE has changed their scoring system. New average scores will be available after January 1, 2012. We will continue to accept tests with the old scoring system, as long as the test was taken less than five years before the score is submitted.

If applicants take the GRE exam multiple times, we will use the highest score from each section.

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Certificate applicants must complete an online application. Requirements are a statement of purpose, official transcripts from undergraduate and graduate coursework, a resume, and one letter of recommendation (professional or academic). Through a separate application process, Graduate Certificate students may apply to the master’s degree program. All coursework successfully completed from the Graduate Certificate will count toward degree requirements.  Common reasons why applicants choose to apply to the Graduate Certificate include but are not limited to:

  • The student already holds a masters or doctoral degree in another field
  • The student prefers the blended learning format of the Graduate Certificate courses for scheduling reasons
  • The student is considering bridging to the full degree program

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