Degrees & Programs

Higher Education & Student Affairs

Our graduate program in higher education and student affairs is one of the oldest programs in the United States. We started offering courses more than 50 years ago. For many years we have been considered one of the leading graduate programs in the country. We are consistently ranked among the top ten graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report. 

Our faculty possess a unique blend of strong scholarly records and extensive experience in senior administrative roles. As a result they bring a rich understanding of leading research in their areas of expertise along with the ability to translate their ideas into the practical world of public and institutional policymaking. Collectively our faculty resources include expertise in the areas of assessment and evaluation, comparative education, economics and finance, enrollment management, institutional research, policy studies, student affairs, student development, student engagement and teaching and learning.

Read the HESA Highlights Newsletter >>

Overview

The Higher Education & Student Affairs (HESA) program at Indiana University is a pioneer in the study of higher education and student affairs administration. Among the first departments in the country to offer degree programs in this field of study, the HESA program has a distinguished history and continues to be nationally recognized as a leader in the development of higher education scholar-practitioners. Our graduates serve as administrative leaders in postsecondary institutions throughout the country, researchers, as well as faculty members that continue to cultivate new insights and understandings in the field.

We encourage you to explore our website and learn more about our degree programs. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or to learn more about our program.

Degrees

The School of Education offers the following certificates and degrees in Higher Education & Student Affairs:

Certificate in Higher Education and Student Affairs (online)

Download the Certificate in Higher Education and Student Affairs brochure.

This online certificate is designed for full-time employees currently working in student affairs, without a student affairs degree, who are interested in learning more about the field, application of theory to practice, and the current issues and trends facing our profession. This twelve (12) credit hour program consists of four online courses and can be completed over the course of one or two summers. Each student who successfully completes the courses will receive verification from the faculty that confirms successful completion of the certificate program.

The certificate can be combined with the online Adult Education master's degree offered through Indiana University. Students interested in completing the adult education master's degree online can also complete the HESA Certificate as part of that program.

Core Courses (9 credit hours)

  • U544: Introduction to Student Affairs Work in Higher Education (3 cr.)
  • C565: Introduction to College and University Administration (3 cr.)
  • U556: Applying Student Development Theory to Practice (3 cr.)

Elective course (3 credit hours)

Select one of the following courses:

  • D505: Adult Learning through the Lifespan (3 cr.)
  • D506: Adult Education Planning and Development (3 cr.)
  • U550: Topical Seminar in Higher Education and Student Affairs (3 cr.)
  • U590: Independent Study in Higher Education and Student Affairs (3 cr.)

All courses will be taught online and will require students to have regular access to technology. Students will be encouraged to engage in online video and written communication.

Certificate in Institutional Research

This residential certificate program is designed for students currently pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in higher education or other relevant field, as well as working professionals. The eighteen (18) credit hour program consists of four required courses and two elective courses.The curriculum offers a combination of foundational knowledge, technical skills and competencies, and guided professional practice in the evolving field of institutional research. 

You will gain: 

  • Foundational knowledge about the institutional research profession and the practice of institutional research within higher education institutions
  • Integrative understanding of the external and internal contexts and cultures within which higher education institutions use institutional research to plan, evaluate and improve higher education programs and services
  • Extensive knowledge about the core management functions of higher education institutions, (e.g., academic program administration, enrollment management, institutional management and resource allocation, governance, student affairs, higher education policy and finance, and institutional advancement), with more in-depth knowledge of at least one of these areas
  • Advanced skills in adapting, reformulating and employing the principal concepts and methods of institutional research in multiple applied research projects 

Core Courses (12 credit hours)

  • C661: Foundations of Institutional Research (3 cr.)
  • Y502: Intermediate Statistics Applied to Education (3 cr.)
  • C565: Introduction to College and University Administration (3 cr.) or C664: Higher Education Organization and Administration (3 cr.)
  • C678: Capstone in Institutional Research (3 cr.)

Elective Courses (6 credit hours)

Select two of the graduate-level Higher Education courses offered through the School of Education. You may also choose other relevant graduate-level courses with the approval of your program advisor. 

Course descriptions can be found in the IU Bloomington School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

M.S.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs

Study with widely known faculty members and prominent higher education practitioners. Coursework is completed through four fundamental elements: basic core, counseling and counselor education, foundations, and electives. These elements are designed to enhance professional development of our students. Most full-time students need two academic years and one summer session to complete the degree requirements. To complete courses in the preferred sequence, students need to begin coursework in the fall semester. Students may take courses at either Bloomington (IUB) or Indianapolis (IUPUI). The program of study totals 41 credit hours, and 9 credit hours per semester is considered full-time. All students are required to hold a graduate assistantship in higher education and student affairs.

Mission Statement
The Indiana University Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) master's program is designed for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, competencies, and philosophy required for exemplary professional practice in 21st century postsecondary educational institutions and other settings.

Program Overview
The master's program is designed to help you achieve desired learning outcomes, which will prepare you well for a career in higher education and student affairs.

Basic Core (20 cr.)

  • C565 Introduction to College and University Administration (3 cr.)
  • U546 Diverse Students on the College Campus (3 cr.)
  • U548 Student Development Theory and Research (3 cr.)
  • U549 Environmental Theory and Assessment (3 cr.)
  • U553 College Student and the Law (2 cr.)
  • U580 Issues and Problems in Higher Education and Student Affairs Admin (Capstone) (3 cr.)
  • U547 Professional Development Seminar (3 cr.)

Counseling and Counselor Education (3 cr.)

Select one G prefix course from the following:
IUB Campus:

  • G502: Professional Orientation and Ethics
  • G509: Counseling College Student Athletes
  • G522: Counseling Theories
  • G552: Career Counseling Theory & Practice
  • G575: Multicultural Counseling
  • G580: Topical Seminar in Counseling and Guidance
  • G584: Asian American Mental Health

IUPUI Campus:

  • G502: Professional Orientation and Ethics
  • G522: Counseling Theories
  • G552: Career Counseling Theory & Practice
  • G575: Multicultural Counseling
  • G580: Topical Seminar in Counseling and Guidance

Foundations (6 cr.)

  • Y520 Strategies for Educational Inquiry (3 cr.)
  • One course in the history and philosophy of education (H-prefix courses) (3 cr.)

HESA Electives (12 cr.)

Students are required to complete 12 hours of elective credits. A minimum of three (3) credit hours must be completed outside the HESA program (not EDUC-C or EDUC-U courses). Your electives must be approved by your academic advisor and be aligned with your own interests in higher education and student affairs.

Thesis Option (up to 6 cr.)

Students who opt to complete a thesis may have up to 6 credit hours subtracted from electives.  

Course descriptions can be found in the IU Bloomington School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

Admission Requirements
Learn more about admission requirements and apply to the program (Domestic - International).

Ed.D. in Higher Education

Welcome from the Program Chair

Printable Copy of Ed.D Higher Education Program Requirements

The Ed.D. degree is a 60 credit hour post-master’s degree program designed for doctoral students planning careers in senior-level college or university administration. It provides for in-depth study of administrative functions informed by theory, research, and practical experience, allowing students to identify their professional interests and pursue courses and related activities that meet those needs.

The Ed.D. Program requires a set of core courses that focus upon most of the major areas of expertise in which effective college and university administrators are required to be knowledgeable.  These include administration, governance, law, and finance. In addition students can choose courses in a variety of areas including:

  • Assessment, economics and finance of postsecondary education
  • Enrollment management
  • Institutional research
  • Public policy
  • Student development
  • Teaching and learning

As a 60-credit post-master’s doctoral degree, credit for prior coursework is typically not awarded.

The doctoral dissertation for the Ed.D. can be focused on a more action-oriented aspect of research. Many full-time students in the Ed.D. program who are able to identify a dissertation topic by the end of their second year can finish their degree in a three- to four-year time period.

Degree Requirements

A student's program of study is planned with the help of an Advisory Committee composed of two members from the higher education major including the student's faculty advisor, and one faculty representing the minor field. A meeting with the Advisory Committee is required to approve the program of studies. (Printable copy of Ed.D. Program Requirements.)

Ph.D. in Higher Education

Welcome from the Program Chair

Printable Copy of Ph.D. Higher Education Program

The Ph.D. degree is a 90 credit hour program designed for doctoral students who are planning careers as college and university administrators, institutional researchers, policy analysts, and faculty members.  It prepares students for careers in higher education emphasizing research and related scholarly activities. Toward this end, in addition to higher education, coursework emphasizes research and theory including in-depth exploration of an academic discipline which is typically selected outside the School of Education. 

The Ph.D. program has relatively few required courses, allowing students more freedom to specialize in areas of interest. There is also a strong set of inquiry (methodology) courses required.  A strong background in inquiry is essential for careers in institutional research, policy analysis, or as faculty.

Doctoral dissertations are required to have a strong theoretical orientation. Ph.D. students conduct dissertation research in a wide variety of topical areas, but many of them select research aligned with the strengths of the faculty. These areas of strength include:

  • Assessment
  • College choice
  • Economics and finance of postsecondary education
  • Retention
  • Student development
  • Student engagement
  • Teaching and learning

Students should anticipate spending an average of 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 years in the Ph.D. program to complete the coursework requirements and dissertation.

Degree Requirements

A student's program of study is planned with the help of an Advisory Committee composed of two faculty members from the higher education major including the faculty student's advisor, and one faculty member representing the minor field. A meeting with the Advisory Committee is required to approve the program of study. (Printable copy of Ph.D in Higher Education Program Requirements)

 

Faculty

Our faculty combine excellence in research with practical experience as university and college administrators.

Students

View a list of current Master's students »

View a list of current Doctoral students »

HESA News and Events (including the HESA Highlights Newsletter)

IUSPA Journal

Awards and Recognition

EDUC-C and EDUC-U Course Permission

Masters Student Resources

Doctoral Student Resources 

Careers

More than 2,000 HESA alumni are working at institutions across the United States as faculty members, senior-level administrators, and student affairs professionals.

View a LIST of some of the 1) positions held by and 2) Institutions where you will find other IU HESA alumni.

In the last five years, placement of our graduates has been close to 100 percent, with almost all entering positions in student affairs. Many alumni, now in prominent positions in the field, are eager to hire IU graduates.

View Career Opportunities from other institutions and organizations seeking HESA graduates!

Contact

Virtual tour of IU

Virtual tour of IUPUI

Prospective Masters Students Interested in Visiting IU: Personal Visit & Interview Days

Prospective Doctoral Students Interested in Visiting IU: Personal Visit & Visitation Program

For more information about our degree programs, please contact:

Kathy Murphy, Student Services Support Coordinator
Higher Education and Student Affairs Program
W.W. Wright Education Building, Room 4228
201 North Rose Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1006
Phone: (812) 856-8372
Email: murphy65@indiana.edu