Higher education

University of Missouri-Columbia
Master of education in educational leadership and policy analysis
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To further your career in higher education and/or student affairs, having a holistic understanding of how a university functions is imperative. Mizzou’s 100% online higher education master’s program provides you with an opportunity to apply what you’re experiencing in your practice to course work in higher education. The course work provides a strong foundation in understanding higher education administration and governance, college student development and identity, college environments, assessment, policy, finance and additional areas that can address your own desired competencies and outcomes. 

Classes offer an opportunity to consider diverse college students and institutional environments in order to better serve the needs of the current higher education context. If you have experience as a practitioner or staff member and would like to advance your career with a graduate degree, this is a great option for you. Early career and entry level practitioners are strongly encouraged to pursue this program part-time to allow for opportunities for campus engagement through assistantships, internships and full-time work.  

The online master’s in higher education can help you prepare for professional administrative, leadership, and student-oriented positions and career advancement opportunities in a variety of post-secondary, community and leadership settings. The course work for this degree is taught mainly by full-time, tenured or tenure track faculty, and some courses are taught by advanced administrators in higher education or student affairs.

Not ready for a full master's program? ELPA also offers an online graduate certificate in higher education administration.

Top-ranked programs

Mizzou's online master's in education programs ranked among the nation's finest in U.S. News & World Report 2024.

Quick facts

Official name

Master of education in educational leadership and policy analysis with emphasis in higher education


University of Missouri-Columbia

Program type

Master's degree

Academic home

College of Education & Human Development | Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

Delivery mode

100% online


Higher Learning Commission

Credit hours


Estimated cost


*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

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Career prospects

This master's degree prepares graduates to take on roles in many areas of higher education, such as:

  • Housing
  • Student affairs
  • Diversity programming
  • International student affairs
  • Career services
  • Enrollment management
  • Leadership
  • Off-campus engagement

Job titles for graduates of this program can expect to achieve:

  • Academic adviser
  • Residence hall coordinator
  • Leadership director
  • Coordinator
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
Employment growth
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
Median salary

Program structure

Delivery of this program is 100% online: No campus visits required. 

Courses are 8 weeks in length. Students typically finish the program in two years by taking 1 class per 8 week session. Students attending full-time can complete the program in one calendar year.

Course work includes

  • Race, gender and ethnicity in higher education
  • College student development
  • College student culture and environment
  • Administration and governance of higher education
  • Higher education finance
  • Higher education policy
  • Assessment


100% online

Calendar system

8 week

Typical program length

2 years

Typical course load

1 class per 8 week session


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

Faculty spotlight

Casandra Harper-Morris, PhD

Areas of expertise:

  • Differential effects of college on students
  • Racial identification patterns of college students
  • Parental involvement, campus climate, & financial aid
Casandra Harper Morris, PhD
Associate Professor, Higher Education
Bradley Curs, PhD

Areas of expertise:

  • Education policy
  • Economics of education
  • College access
Bradley Curs, PhD
Associate Professor, Higher Education Policy Director
Marjorie Dorimé-Williams, PhD

Dr. Marjorie Dorimé-Williams’ research focuses on access, persistence, and retention of historically underrepresented students and assessment and evaluation within higher education. Specifically, Dr. Dorimé-Williams’ work examines the role of assessment and evaluation in improving student learning environments, as well as the impact of underrepresented students’ identities on engagement, learning, and other educational outcomes. At the macro level, her work explores how assessment can support institutional effectiveness and encourage more equitable outcomes for marginalized students in higher education.

Marjorie Dorimé-Williams, PhD
Assistant Professor, Higher Education
Pilar Mendoza, PhD

Dr. Mendoza's scholarly activity has significantly impacted internationalization efforts and the development of higher education in Latin America. She has been recognized with the 2018 MU International Engagement Award and the 2019-2020 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award. Her international work has attracted more than $1,003,000 in external grants from USAID, the Ford Foundation, the Fulbright program, and the U.S. State Department.

Pilar Mendoza, PhD
Associate Professor, Higher Education
Michael Williams

Dr. Michael Steven Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis in the College of Education at the University of Missouri. His research program broadly focuses on inclusion, diversity, and equity, the social-psychological development of students, and institutional excellence in American postsecondary education.

Michael Steven Williams, Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis