University Catalog 2023-2024

Higher Education Administration

NC State’s Higher Education program provides exceptional opportunities for students interested in higher education administration to explore a core body of knowledge, gain real-world professional experience and pursue advanced study. Program content is informed by relevant theory, scholarly research and best practice in the fields of higher education and student affairs. In addition, the program links theoretical foundations of higher education leadership and administration to practical application of skills.

Students in the program, you will develop the professional expertise required for entry or advancement in colleges and universities, governmental agencies or public service organizations.

By participating in this master’s program, students will benefit from several distinct program characteristics:

  • Diverse students and faculty representing a variety of backgrounds, experiences and research interests
  • A commitment to educational equity
  • Access to multiple institutional types in the Triangle area that provide diverse contexts for learning and professional development

Admissions Requirements

  • Personal statement of interest and desired career goals
  • Professional resume or CV
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended (except NC State)
  • Three professional/academic recommendations
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students

Master of Education

At 39 credit hours, typically the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Higher Education Administration degree takes 2–3 years to complete, depending on enrollment status.


Full Professors

  • Joy Gaston Gayles
  • Alyssa Nicole Rockenbach
  • Paul David Umbach

Practice/Research/Teaching Professors

  • Krispin Wagoner Barr
  • Mark Bernhard
  • Callie Womble Edwards
  • Barry A. Olson
  • David J. English

Adjunct Faculty

  • Patrick Crane
  • Pam Eddinger
  • Linda Garcia
  • Algie Gatewood
  • Cameron Sublett
  • Keith Witham


Adult & Higher Education

EAC 540  Foundations of Higher Education and Student Affairs  (3 credit hours)  

Examines knowledge that guides professional practice in higher education and student affairs, such as: history of higher education, professional development practices, student characteristics, group process, and helping and advising skills. Programmatic applications are emphasized through class assignments.

Typically offered in Fall only

EAC 542  Student Characteristics and the College Environment  (3 credit hours)  

Study of the history and philosophy of student affairs, the impact of college on students and current issues of concern to students and student affairs professionals. Good practices of student affairs in the context of student learning are identified and current literature is reviewed.

Typically offered in Spring only

EAC 543  Student Development Theory  (3 credit hours)  

Gain an understanding of the major student development theories and emerging professional literatures in this area. Provide opportunities for students to develop skills in applying student developmental theory to specific student affairs settings, issues, and populations.

Prerequisite: EAC 540

Typically offered in Fall only

EAC 545  Higher Education Masters Professional Seminar  (3 credit hours)  

Emphasizes application of concepts and theories learned in previously completed coursework to understand and analyze current issues facing student affairs professionals. Focuses particularly on the job search process and transition out of graduate school. Facilitates the transition from student to full-time student affairs professional through critical examination, synthesis, integration, and practical application of prior and concurrent coursework.

Typically offered in Spring only

EAC 595  Special Topics  (3-6 credit hours)  

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

EAC 651  Internship In Adult and Community College Education  (1-9 credit hours)  

Utilization of the participant-observer role with required participation in selected educational situations. Emphasis upon observational skills' development, the recording of relevant observations through written journals, analysis of experiences identifying critical incidents and projection of events and consequences. Student development and selection of possible alternative courses of action in various situations and evaluation of the consequences of the selected course of action.

Prerequisite: Nine hrs. in graduate level courses

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer