The Higher Education Administration and Policy Program prepares reflective and dynamic leaders for careers in higher education. Alumni work in colleges and universities, governmental agencies and consulting firms concerned with higher education. Graduates have careers in fields including student affairs, admissions and enrollment management, financial aid, government and community relations, policy analysis, alumni relations, institutional and policy research, athletics administration and change management.
Northwestern University has the only School of Education and Social Policy in the nation, and it is consistently ranked among the top graduate schools of education nationwide by U.S. News and World Report.
Distinctive Features of the Program
Our curriculum is designed to expose students to the full institutional and social context of the American higher education system. The course of study helps students to consider all of the important factors and stakeholders that will impact their professional practice. Experience with a wide range of careers and functions within higher education gives alumni career flexibility and helps them discover what types of positions most closely fit their interests.
Diversity as a Valued Resource
Our students come from a vast array of educational and professional backgrounds. Some students have years of experience in higher education and others are just launching their careers. Still others are making career changes, often from fields such as law, teaching, engineering, banking and many others. This diversity adds depth to classroom discussions as students share their experience and viewpoints with their peers in a uniquely collaborative context.
Research and Inquiry
The Master's Project allows students to conduct in-depth research on current issue in higher education and contribute to the knowledge in their field. Students gain research and assessment skills that they will utilize continuously in their professional practice. Because of this our alumni are able to address the real-world problems that exist in higher education today though systematic study and deliberate action.
We believe that students' own passions and experiences should guide their learning. Therefore, our courses offer flexibility for students to examine areas of particular interest within each topic. The Master's Project and internship experience(s) give students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the issues within higher education that are most important to them.
Connecting Theory to Practice
Courses in the Higher Education Administration and Policy Program are taught by practitioners and researchers with a wealth of experience in higher education. These instructors help students connect what they are learning in the classroom with what they will encounter in their professional practice. Students who are working full-time or completing an internship can start implementing what they learn in their courses right away.
Exceptional Career Placement
More than 90 percent of our graduates have jobs within two months of graduation. The program offers a variety of high-quality career and networking services, including interviewing and resume workshops, networking opportunities, salary negotiation workshops, career panels with practitioners in the field of higher education, and one-on-one career coaching. Additionally, students benefit from a strong network of talented collegues that includes classmates, instructors and distinguished alumni.
The master's degree can be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students can complete the degree in just one calendar year. Part-time students can complete the degree in two to three years. Each course meets just once per week in the evenings to allow students to work or obtain internships during the day. Students can start the program in any academic quarter.