EdM in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies: Higher Education Administration

For over 30 years, the program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies: Higher Education Administration has been teaching and learning with hundreds of dynamic university administrators. The Higher Education Administration concentration of our EdM in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies (ELPS-Higher Education Administration) develops culturally competent leaders through a specific selection of courses that reflect the contemporary higher education landscape and issues currently impacting colleges and universities. Students graduate our program having engaged in theory-to-practice learning that enables them to meaningfully contribute to their current and future roles as administrators involved in areas including student life, financial aid, admissions, career advisement, pre-college advisement, development, and alumni relations.

The EdM in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies -Higher Education Administration comprises two distinct 36-credit programs — residential (on campus) and online.

  • Residential, On-Campus: Students who enroll in the residential program complete a set of core, required courses and a set of electives. The residential program is structured to facilitate both full-time and part-time study. Full-time students begin their studies in the fall semester and complete the program in one academic year; part-time students may begin the program in either the fall or spring semesters, and typically complete the program in two years (including one summer).
  • Online: Students enrolled in the online degree program complete a fixed set of nine (9) required courses and may begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer terms.
  • Please note: The intersection of theory, learning and practice is an essential element of the ELPS-Higher Education Administration programs. Full-time students must complete a graduate assistantship each semester. Part-time students, both residential and online, are expected to be working full-time in higher education or a related field.

At the end of the Ed.M. in Higher Education Administration program, students will be able to…

Demonstrate a proficient understanding of the complex context shaping higher education’s past, present, and future (including cultural, developmental, financial, historical, legal, pedagogical, and political features). Appreciate the rich diversity of institution types and missions that comprise higher education and how the higher education industry relates to broader societal purposes.
Source and understand scholarly research; understand student development theory; and, apply sound assessment practices that lead to improved curricular and co-curricular outcomes. Appreciate the inter-relationship between theory and practice in the development of feasible action plans and management practices. Demonstrate proficiency in written and oral communications, especially those that are relevant to professional practice.
Respond adroitly to complicated issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within various higher education settings. Appreciate how issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education relate to broader societal purposes.
Analyze and articulate institutional policies and their implications for effective administration, leadership, and management within higher education. Appreciate how institutions shape and respond to local and national policy environments.
Understand and be able to assess the characteristics of effective leadership in higher education and reflect critically on one’s own leadership, career, and advancement.


Essential Questions

Students within our Higher Education Administration concentration of our EdM in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies program are guided by a dynamic pedagogical framework that is structured within a broad-based curriculum and customized electives. Our rich curriculum offers students exposure to, exploration in, and experiential opportunities with both historical perspectives and real-time challenges facing colleges and universities.  Students engage in theory-to-practice learning that allows them to meaningfully contribute to their current and future administrative roles.

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Program Requirements

  • Visit the BU Bulletin for information on this program’s academic requirements.

Program Faculty

Mary L. Churchill, Adjunct Professor, Associate Dean For Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement

Raul Fernandez, Lecturer, Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Jay Halfond, Professor of the Practice

Laurie Pohl, Professor of the Practice, Program Director for Higher Education Administration

Jerry Whitmore, Jr., Clinical Assistant Professor

More Program Information

Welcome to Higher Education Administration

Curricular Framework & Learning Objectives

Coursework Timelines

Information about Graduate Assistantships

Contact Info

For more information about this program and the requirements for admission, please contact highered@bu.edu

Next Steps