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Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Gain the knowledge, skills, and experience to contribute effectively in a higher education position.

Program Info

Program Overview

The Master's in Higher Education Administration is a 30-credit, online program flexibly designed so that students can tailor the coursework to fit their professional goals. The curriculum, taught by experienced faculty, will be beneficial to professionals in all areas of higher education, including:

  • Enrollment management
  • Admissions 
  • Development
  • Management and business
  • Marketing and communication 
  • Educational technology
  • Facilities management and more.

Duquesne University's online M.S. in Higher Education Administration provides students with the knowledge and experience necessary to become institutional leaders ready to advance America's diverse array of colleges and universities. Graduates of the online Master's in Higher Education Administration program carry with them a broad, holistic understanding of university structures and operational areas, as well as the ability to identify and analyze problems, craft data-driven solutions, and cast vision for future practice.

With the flexibility of online delivery and accelerated course terms offered every fall, spring, and summer, students can efficiently pursue their graduate education while working full-time. Duquesne's online M.S. in Higher Education Administration can be completed in as little as two years. Submit the request information form on this page to learn more about the online M.S. in Higher Education Administration program.

"The M.S. in Higher Education Administration program has provided me with a holistic view of the different functional areas within higher education. I can't speak highly enough of the flexibility and real world application that the program provides. As someone that is in their third year working full-time in a higher education setting, this program has helped me develop the knowledge and skills to better support students while also teaching me how all departments work together for student and university success. This online program has been a wonderful complement to my career and personal life, as it lets me take responsibility for how I manage my time."

-Ashley, Student Involvement & Disability Services

Program Resources

Fall Lecture Series

2021 Leadership Series 

The 2021 Leadership Series Lecture for the M.S. Higher Education Administration program was held on November 4, 2021. Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant, Carnegie Mellon University's inaugural Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, held a candid conversation about the role of an equity focus in higher education leadership and administration. Through the lens of her social work background, Dr. Heading-Grant described her own personal and professional journey toward becoming an equity driven leader; highlighted several cases in which her decision-making and leadership skills were tested; and provided key thoughts and takeaways for attendees from all career levels to carry forward in their own equity driven work in higher education and similar fields.

Spring Lecture Series

2021 Hehir Memorial Lecture

Addressing a diverse group of college administrators, faculty members, and graduate students, Dr. Lucie Lapovsky delivered the 3rd Annual Rev. Martin A. Hehir C.S.Sp. Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 via webinar. An economist, higher education consultant, and former college president, Dr. Lapovsky explored the new realities facing higher education in her presentation, "Changing Landscapes, Fiscal Implications, and Emerging Models: The Current State and Future Trajectory of Higher Education." A recording of Dr. Lapovsky's lecture can be viewed below.

2020 Hehir Memorial Lecture

Dr. Ana M. Martínez Alemán, Professor of Higher Education and Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College, delivered the 2nd Annual Rev. Martin A. Hehir C.S.Sp. Memorial Lecture on Monday, March 16, 2020. The event honors Duquesne University's fourth president, whose visionary leadership and deep commitment to institutional mission resulted in unprecedented organizational transformation, enrollment growth, and institutional impact. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Dr. Martínez Alemán delivered her lecture, "Achieving the Democratic Imperative of American Higher Education: Engaging First Generation Students through Technology," via webinar, a recording of which can be viewed below.

2019 Hehir Memorial Lecture

Speaking to a capacity crowd, including attendees from a wide range of academic disciplines and administrative areas, Dr. Matthew J. Mayhew, William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor in Educational Administration at The Ohio State University, delivered the inaugural Rev. Martin A. Hehir C.S.Sp. Memorial Lecture on Monday, April 29, 2019. Mayhew's presentation, "Does College Affect Students? The Answer May Surprise You," highlighted key findings from his recent volume, How College Affects Students: 21st Century Evidence that Higher Education Works. Dr. Mayhew shared a meal with current students and also spoke at a luncheon for student affairs, enrollment management, and institutional advancement professionals serving in local colleges and universities.

Administrative Leadership Series

Every fall, the M.S. Program in Higher Education Administration hosts an accomplished scholar practitioner who serves in a senior role in higher education. This virtual event provides an opportunity for students to learn about principles of administrative leadership across various functional areas in the academy.

Fall 2020

Leading Improvement, Innovation, and Change: Principles for Organizational Excellence in Higher Education
Sarah L. Collie

White Paper Series

Authored by scholar-practitioners with expertise across a wide range of postsecondary areas, Issues & Insights is a quarterly publication of the M.S. in Higher Education Administration program. Each installment addresses a particular functional area, institutional type, or key issue in American higher education.

Fall 2020

Higher Education & Career Readiness: Why We Need Innovation
Brian D. Reed

Summer 2020

Crisis Leadership in Higher Education: Keys to Building and Maintaining a "Reservoir of Goodwill"
Ralph A. Gigliotti

Spring 2020

Historically Black Colleges & Universities: Extending a Legacy of Excellence and Opportunity
Adriel A. Hilton

Winter 2020

Integrated Marketing for Higher Education: Imperatives for Achieving Institutional Success
Marilyn Rossa Kail

Program Newsletter

HIGHER ED HORIZONS is the semi-annual newsletter of the M.S. in Higher Education Administration program. Each issue provides coverage of program news and events, as well as updates regarding current students and alumni.


Spring 2021 Newsletter

Fall 2020 Newsletter

Spring 2020 Newsletter

Fall 2019 Newsletter

McCool Award

The Fr. Naos McCool, C.S.Sp. Award is bestowed annually upon a scholar practitioner who has made outstanding contributions to the M.S. Program in Higher Education Administration by exemplifying the "Duquesne Difference" of cultivating academic excellence with a personal touch. The award honors Fr. Naos McCool, a Spiritan priest who served as Assistant Dean for Student Formation in the School of Education and was widely regarded for his embodiment of the Spiritan Tradition of Care.

2021 - Jessica L. Mann

2020 - Lauren J. Germain

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Applying to the online M.S. in Higher Education Administration is easy. Below is a breakdown of the required materials that must accompany your application. Click here to create an account to start your application.

Application Materials

Duquesne University Online Graduate Application

Official college or university transcripts
If your undergraduate and/or graduate degrees are from an institution located outside of the United States, you must use a transcript credential evaluation service to obtain a course-by-course report. The official reports must be sent directly to Duquesne University from the organization you order through and will qualify as official transcripts. Please review our Transcript Credential Evaluation Directions.

One-page statement of purpose addressing motivation for seeking admission to the program (250 word maximum). The statement of purpose can be emailed to: higheredadmin@duq.edu 

All international students with a degree from a non-English speaking institution must submit test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.

Send application materials to:

Duquesne University School of Education
Office of Graduate Admissions
214A Canevin Hall
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282



International applicants can visit International Admissions for additional information and requirements.

Admission Requirement

  • 3.0 GPA*
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university
  • Due to higher education regulation changes, Duquesne University is unable to accept applications for admission to online programs and courses from students residing in certain states. Before applying, please review the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).

*Applicants are customarily expected to have a 3.0 grade point average, based on a four-point scale, in their undergraduate work. However, exceptions may be granted on a limited basis, in which there is substantial additional evidence of a student's academic competency.

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Tuition and Aid

A Duquesne degree is an investment in your future. Join one of the nation's top-tier universities with the best value, considering cost and academic quality, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. At Duquesne, you'll become part of a community of nearly 9,500 students studying at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

Program tuition is competitively priced. In addition to tuition, graduate students may also incur fees for administrative services, room, and meals, if applicable. At Duquesne University, we believe that financing your education is a partnership between the student and the university. University-offered graduate assistantships are available for competitive applications.

For further assistance, please contact the Duquesne University Office of Financial Aid.

"The M.S. in Higher Education Administration at Duquesne has afforded me countless opportunities to develop my knowledge and further shape my experience. Higher education has been a field of interest for me since I was enrolled as an undergraduate, and now I have the opportunity to see higher education from different and unique perspectives...The structure of the courses allow me to develop a sense of community among my cohort which is not always the case in purely online programs. We have connected and bonded with each other through our shared passion for higher education, and we benefit greatly from the networking opportunities. Overall, I cannot recommend this program enough. The opportunities and lessons it offers cannot be matched."

-Brandon, University Library

Federal government financial aid options:

In addition to awards and scholarships, you may be eligible for financial aid with the federal government. The federal government has loan options that can cover education and living costs. Loan forgiveness options are also available for those working inside and outside of the classroom, these include:

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

For further assistance, please contact FedLoan Servicing.

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Program Faculty

Dr. Tara Abbott

Tara Abbott, Ph.D.

Program Director
Interim Director of the Higher Education Administration Program
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Foundations & Leadership

412A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.2592
Full profile

Tara Abbott (Ph.D. Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy with a Concentration in Education Research, Assessment, and Program Evaluation from Seton Hall University) Dr. Tara Abbott joined the Duquesne University School of Education as the Interim Director for the M.S. Higher Education Administration program. A passionate higher education scholar, her research interests include higher education funding and finance, measuring the impact of student debt, and exploring equity in higher education access and outcomes. Most recently, Dr. Abbott served as a Visiting Assistant Professor for the Point Park University School of Education.  She taught research methods and academic writing courses, chaired and served on doctoral dissertation committees, and was named one of the university's 2021 Social Impact Scholars. Additionally, she also taught statistics and research methods courses in the Psychology Departments at Chatham University as well as Point Park University. Before earning her doctorate, Dr. Abbott served as the Director of Fundraising and PR for a $15+ million nonprofit organization providing programs and services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Personally, Dr. Abbott lives in the south hills of Pittsburgh with her husband and two young daughters. She is an ardent advocate for public libraries and serves as the board president of her local community library. In her spare time she enjoys all things outdoors, running, live music, reading, watching Penn State football, and spending time with family and friends.

Dr. Lauren Germain

Lauren J. Germain, Ph.D.

Director of Evaluation, Assessment, and Educational Research
SUNY Upstate Medical University

Lauren J. Germain (Ph.D., Higher Education, University of Virginia, 2012) is the Director of Evaluation, Assessment and Educational Research at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Dr. Germain is the author of Campus Sexual Assault: College Women Respond, which is currently in its second printing with Johns Hopkins University Press, along with several book chapters and peer-reviewed articles. Her dissertation research earned an AAUW National Dissertation Fellowship and the Outstanding Dissertation Award from AERA's Division J (Postsecondary Education).

Gibbs Kanyongo

Gibbs Kanyongo, Ph.D.

Interim Department Chair
Department of Educational Foundations & Leadership

410E Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.5190
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Gibbs Kanyongo (Ph.D., Educational Research and Evaluation, Ohio University) is Professor of Educational Statistics and Research and the Interim Chair of the Department of Educational Foundations & Leadership. The recipient of the 2005 Duquesne University Creative Teaching Award, Dr. Kanyongo is an expert in statistics education and the multivariate analysis of large-scale datasets. His scholarship has appeared in a wide range of research publications, including the Internal Review of Education, Journal of Educational Research, Journal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods, and Teaching Statistics. Dr. Kanyongo's past administrative experience includes directing the M.Ed. Program in Educational Studies at Duquesne University and serving as Associate Editor for the academic journal, Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice.

Dr. Jessica Mann

Jessica L. Mann, Ph.D.

Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement
Duquesne University

20 Chatham Square, Murphy Building
Phone: 412.396.5893

Jessica L. Mann (Ph.D., Administration and Policy Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2016) is Assistant Vice President for Community Engagement at Duquesne University. Dr. Mann has previously served as the Associate Dean for Student Engagement. Dr. Mann has previously served as the Associate Dean for Student Engagement and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at Seton Hill University. Her scholarship has been published in a number of research reports, academic journals, and encyclopedias including The Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice; Journal of Curriculum Theorizing; and Education, Citizenship, and Social Justice. Dr. Mann's research explores community-university partnerships, student development, and service-learning/community engagement in both the academic and co-curricular domains of higher education.

Rick McCown

Rick McCown, Ph.D.

Pierre Schouver Endowed Chair
Department of Educational Foundations & Leadership

101B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.5856
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Rick McCown (Ph.D., Educational Psychology, Indiana University) is Professor and Pierre Schouver Endowed Chair in Mission at Duquesne University's School of Education, where he has served as Interim Dean and Chair of the Department of Educational Foundations & Leadership. A past recipient of Duquesne University's highest teaching award-the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching-Dr. McCown is the author of nine books and numerous articles, papers, technical reports, curriculum materials, and teaching manuals. His research on educational leadership is informed by his study of educational psychology as it bears on the scholarship of teaching and learning, design-based research and development, improvement inquiry, collaboration across the boundaries of school, academy, and community, and the nexus of research, advocacy, and policy in relation to matters of social justice.

Dr. Kimberly McCurdy

Kimberly McCurdy, Ph.D.

Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Postsecondary and Higher Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education

Kimberly J. McCurdy (Ph.D., Instructional Management and Leadership, Robert Morris University) is the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Postsecondary and Higher Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Dr. McCurdy previously served as an Access Partner for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and has over twenty years of higher education experience in financial aid and student lending. Her research interests include first-generation college student success and college affordability.

Dr. Rubab Jafry O'Connor

Rubab Jafry O'Connor, Ed.D.

Distinguished Service Professor of Business
Tepper School of Business
Carnegie Mellon University

Rubab Jafry O'Connor (Ed.D., Higher Education Management, University of Pittsburgh) is Distinguished Service Professor of Business in the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, where she recently created and launched a three-year leadership course sequence for undergraduate business students designed to cultivate the critical behavioral skills needed for leadership success. Previously, Dr. O'Connor served in various administrative roles where she supported student achievement in business programs, including academic advising director and career center director.

Dr. Case Willoughby

Case Willoughby, Ed.D.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
Butler County Community College

Case Willoughby (Ed.D., Higher Education, Columbia University, 2003) is Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Butler County Community College. Dr. Willoughby's work centers on student learning, development, and success. His administrative team seeks to create an educationally purposeful environment in which participants learn the competencies necessary for success as students and citizens. Dr. Willoughby's national leadership roles include membership on the ACPA/NASPA Task Force on Student Affairs Professional Competencies and the ACPA Senior Student Affairs Officer Advisory Board, as well as Faculty Lead for the Donna M. Bourassa Mid-Level Management Institute. In 2017, Dr. Willoughby was named an ACPA Diamond Honoree for outstanding and sustained contributions to higher education and to student affairs.

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