Higher Education


Note: the priority deadline for graduate assistantships has passed and we can’t guarantee placement at this time. Applicants working full-time and looking to pursue the M.S. degree part-time are encouraged to apply.

Established in 1957, the Florida State University Higher Education program boasts a long tradition of preparing students for successful careers. Faculty members and students regularly disseminate research on higher education policy issues at the national, state, and institutional level. Our program, which is currently ranked #13 in the nation, focuses on three central pillars: student success, leadership, and social justice. As they progress through the program, students will gain opportunities for advancement and career mobility. They can also expect to enhance expertise and renew motivation. Florida State offers master's (M.S.) and doctoral (Ph.D.) programs in higher education.

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree prepares individuals for careers in administration, management, and leadership. Graduates can expect to work in public and private, two-year and four-year colleges, universities, and other institutions. Coursework and other learning experiences, such as internships and graduate assistantships, add practical experience to the learning process. In general, we provide students with appropriate knowledge about the professional field while grounding students in a theoretical framework. This knowledge guides the current and future study and career development in higher education and student affairs. Many courses use practical examples, case studies, and simulations to facilitate theory to practice learning opportunities and applications. Students typically secure entry-level positions following graduation. The application deadline for this program is June 1, 2024.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is designed for individuals interested in higher education research and/or policy analysis. Students choose one of two tracks of study: student affairs or public policy. The curriculum prepares graduates for research, faculty, and administrative positions through the comprehensive core, track-specific, elective, and research coursework. Ultimately, graduates conduct independent research of a quality required by the field’s major associations and academic publications. Graduates work in a variety of service, research, and teaching programs throughout the United States and abroad. The application deadline for this program is June 1, 2024.

For students interested in an Ed.D., our department offers an online Ed.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy where you can specialize in either K-12 or higher education. The program prepares mid-career education leaders and scholarly practitioners to be knowledgeable about organizational systems, actively engaged in research to improve policy and practice in their own contexts, and attuned to issues of equity. Click here to learn more about the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy.