Master's Programs in Higher Education

Take Your Career.
To a Higher Level.

Do you want to influence change on college campuses and in students' lives? Let Warner help you take your career, and higher education, to new heights.
There may be no better time or place to influence change than on the campuses of America’s colleges, universities, and related educational enterprises.

Our programs in higher education energize students to take higher education to new heights. We provide students interested in beginning or advancing a career in higher education with a foundation in institutional culture. We promote an understanding of the purposes and ideals of higher education.  Most importantly, we provide the skills and foster the creativity to inspire and lead college students and, overall, institutions of higher learning to an even higher level of thinking and thoughtful change.  

Graduates of our programs have become college admissions officers, facilities managers, financial aid officers, library administrators, and staff across a variety of academic, administrative, and student services offices. As advocates for innovative leadership, graduates understand how to motivate others, make decisions, manage people and processes, and enable individuals and institutions to reach their highest potential.
Attention UR Employees... Perfect Opportunity to Advance Your Career!Tuition Benefits for UR Employees

Program Quickview

All the programs described below lead to a master's in educational administration with specialization in one of the following areas of higher education (higher education administration, student affairs administration, and academic and career advising).

If you are interested in other educational leadership programs, check our Related Programs.
  • A bachelor’s degree.
Key Program Features:
  • Minimum Credits: 36 graduate credits.
  • Customizable: Includes a mix of rigorous core/specialization courses and elective courses to enable you to tailor the program to your career interests and needs. Opportunity to complete an Advanced Certificate in Program Evaluation or Online Teaching for a few additional required credits.
  • Career-Related Experiences: Includes a supervised internship in a local higher education institution and opportunities to pursue assistantships.
  • Culminating Experience: Choose to participate in either a master’s thesis or comprehensive exam, allowing you to choose how to exhibit your mastery of the coursework.
  • Flexible: Program can be completed in as little as one calendar year full-time or two years part-time. You can also start during any semester and go at your own pace.
  • Hybrid-Online Offerings: Option to take some required and elective courses fully online or hybrid-online.
  • Supportive Environment: Engage with full-time faculty and peers at the master’s and doctoral levels, both inside and outside the classroom. Work with a dedicated faculty advisor to tailor the program to suit your academic and career goals.

Warner Master's Programs in Higher Education

All of the following options lead to a 36-credit MS in Educational Administration: 

Higher Education Administration (HE1): For students interested in beginning or advancing their career in the administrative and operations side of higher education. Core coursework centers on leadership and management, critical issues facing higher education, and an understanding of how universities work.

Student Affairs Administration (HE4): For students interested in beginning or advancing their career in the student affairs side of higher education in areas with high student contact. Core coursework centers on the administration of student affairs and student services, critical issues facing higher education, and theories underlying college students’ development.

Student Affairs Administration and Academic and Career Advising (HE5): For students interested in beginning or advancing their career in the student affairs side of higher education in the specific areas of academic and career advising. This program is unique in that it has a dual core comprised of administration of student affairs and student development coursework within the higher education program and academic and career counseling coursework within the counseling and human development program.

Opportunities for Additional Specializations
  • Advanced Certificate in Program Evaluation: To strengthen your research and skills in planning and conducting evaluations of existing programs.
  • Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching: To be more competitive for positions that may involve teaching online.
Contact Admissions if you wish to speak with a faculty member in your area to better understand which option and enhancements will best meet your career goals and constraints.
Sisters graduate, in caps and gownsSisters graduate, in caps and gowns

Our Approach

Creating Effective Higher Education Leaders Who Can Inspire and Lead Change

As advocates for thoughtful leadership, our graduates understand how to motivate others, make decisions, manage people and processes, and enable individuals to reach their highest potential. They also become thoughtful leaders with a comprehensive understanding of the institutional and cultural world of higher education.

Throughout the program, students learn to use intellectual skills to approach the challenges of academic life with creativity and a deep appreciation of the fundamental purposes and ideals of higher education.
Warner graduate in LeChase Hall, holding the UR Rocky logo

The Warner Advantage

Preparing Graduates to Innovate, Advocate, and Elevate.

Warner will give you the highest-quality preparation for a career in higher education administration or student affairs.    
  • Be challenged to become an innovator and a thought leader by learning the necessary dispositions and skills to be an effective, evidence-based practitioner.
  • Leverage the reputation of a leading research university to give your degree even more recognition.
  • Utilize the supervised internship and culminating experience to develop and demonstrate your skills to employers and/or doctoral-level programs.
  • Network with the best and the brightest peers at the master’s and doctoral levels.
  • Learn from an accessible, supportive faculty of researchers and accomplished practitioners who will prepare you to think critically, promote inclusivity, and utilize theory and evidence to adapt to and address ever-changing challenges in higher education.
  • Leverage Warner’s relationships with a rich array of higher education institutions in the Rochester region to find opportunities for internships, paid assistantships, and career placement upon graduation.
  • Shorten your path to a doctoral degree by earning transferable credits.
Our affordable and flexible programs are designed to meet the needs of working professionals.  
  • Program can be completed in as little as two years of part-time study while working part time.
  • Start the program in any semester and go at your own pace.
  • Take advantage of online learning options to reduce trips to campus.
  • Customize your program by choosing elective courses that align with your academic and career goals or enable you to add an advanced certificate to your degree program.
  • Are you a University of Rochester employee? Make sure you make full use of your tuition benefits.

All About Experience

Your experience at Warner will be informed by the many research projects and community initiatives we are engaged in. In addition, you'll benefit from the experience of faculty that include nationally recognized researchers, award-winning authors and accomplished practitioners.

Motivation and College Success

Motivation and College Success

An interdisciplinary team of Warner faculty with expertise in motivation and higher education has developed a new model to explain college students’ persistency and achievement. This work is expanding the cultural motivation theory model to incorporate cultural orientations to explain students’ intent to persist and GPA.

Admissions Building

Uncovering the impact of trauma, mentorship on college student development

What do traumatic experiences and great mentors have in common? Both have the potential to inform and shape the development of young adults studying in a higher education institution.


ACPA Names Tricia Shalka as Emerging Scholar Designee 

Warner School faculty member Tricia Shalka has been selected as a 2019-21 Emerging Scholar Designee by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). 

Career Opportunities

Advancing Education and Your Career to the Next Level.

Our graduates are prepared to assume entry-level and middle-management positions in a variety of settings in higher education administration (i.e., academic departments, administrative and operations offices) and student affairs areas (i.e., admissions, residential life, academic advising, athletics).

There are a wide range of these types of positions, and the need for skills specific to supporting, managing, and leading the operations associated with the campus community is growing more quickly than for other sectors. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for post-secondary educational administrators will grow by 15 percent by the year 2020.

Some of our graduates have also transferred their knowledge and skills to positions in state and federal agencies, coordinating boards and system offices, as well as other higher education-related enterprises and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad.

International students have found many opportunities to apply what they have learned in this program to international settings.
group of highe education students in cap and gown at graduation with program director


An Accessible, Supportive Faculty of Researchers and Accomplished Practitioners.


Making it Affordable to Make Warner Possible

Many of our higher education students benefit from merit-based scholarships that significantly decrease tuition costs.

Contact Admissions for more information about merit-based scholarships.

Are You a UR Employee? Inquire about your tuition benefits. If eligible, up to 95% of your tuition costs can be covered depending on your position. Contact the UR benefits office at
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Try Us Out

A Warner Degree Opens Doors. Open Ours to See Why.

Do you want to have a taste of what Warner can offer, before committing to one of our programs?

We invite you to come and observe one of our higher education courses. Or even better, take a Warner course for a highly discounted price.

Contact admissions to arrange for a visit or learn more about opportunities for non-matriculated students.
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Meliora Means 'Ever Better.' To Our Graduates, It Means Making a World of Difference.

  • Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

    “As educators, it’s our job to make sure we’re giving students the knowledge to be successful when they move on in their life….Warner was the best grad school experience I’ve ever had because it prepared me extremely well to jump into my career, and I will forever be grateful for that.”

    Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

  • Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

    “I had a very unique situation. I wasn’t going down the typical path of a Warner student, and the school was just so flexible and supportive.”

    Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

  • Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

    "The growth I’ve realized in myself is something I will be forever grateful for. I’ve learned to question, analyze, think and create in ways I never considered. I’ve changed as an educator and as a person."

    Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

  • Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

    “It was more than I expected. Not only what I learned in the program, which I’ve been able to put into practice every day since, but also the connections I was able to make and the relationships I was able to form."

    Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

  • Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

    "The most important thing I received there was the opportunity to be immersed in the study of education and leadership with very talented people, that think-tank mentality of being surrounded by the best of the best. The intellectual stimulation from both the staff and fellow classmates really did allow me to think about things differently."

    Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

  • Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children

    “When it came time to interview for jobs, it was very easy for me to talk about anything in the field, and that set me apart,” he says. “You name it, and I had at least one experience in it—largely due to Warner.”

    Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

Contact Admissions

The admissions team looks forward to assisting you as you explore graduate education at the Warner School. Please feel free to use the form below to contact us with any questions. You can also email us at or call (585) 275-3950.

Application Deadlines

The next application deadline is March 01, 2023. View all  Admissions Deadlines.

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