Leadership in Higher Education

Master of Education
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

NCU’s master’s degree in Leadership in Higher Education specialization is an excellent choice if you are interested in pursuing a career as a higher education specialist or manager. Mentored by your doctoral professors, you will develop a strong knowledge of the inner workings of higher education as you explore a variety of specific topics including how higher education is organized and financed, legal issues, and the history of higher education. In the Leadership in Higher Education MEd program you will also have the option to take an in depth look at community colleges, which are an important aspect of higher education. This specialization emphasizes application, and you will be encouraged to apply what you learn to the real world as you continue to advance your knowledge and skills. An accelerated approach to this specialization is also available.

Certification and Licensing

The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The MEd program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country. Certification requirements vary by state. Students are advised to contact their state department of education or local school district for guidance in obtaining certification or licensure, or for approval in fulfilling district level incentive programs.

There are several reasons why an educator would want to pursue a graduate degree in education that does not lead to state licensing or certification.

Reasons may include:

  • "Move up" steps on the salary schedule.
  • Improve skills and professionalism in general or to pursue a ”leadership” position outside the classroom (school-based or district level).
  • Advance as a ”teacher leader” through a graduate degree (already has a bachelor's degree and certification).
  • Meet the needs of increasingly diverse students.
  • Work in a traditional K-12 classroom environment (trainer, educational consultant, etc).

Completion Period for Master's Degrees

Northcentral University allows 5 years to complete all 30 credit hour master's programs. Normal time to complete varies depending upon the rate courses are taken and credits transferred.

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


The Art and Science of Adult Education

In this course, students will gain a knowledge base organized around four domains: professional attitudes; historical, social, and philosophical context; adult learning and development; and, organization and administration of adult programs. Topics include: adult learning theory, training and development, motivation, and learning modalities.


Leading Organizations in Higher Education

In this course, students will receive an introduction to the classical theories, traditional models, and contemporary readings regarding approaches and structures relative to organizational governance in higher education. Topics to be covered include organizational theory, governance models, campus climate, institutional change, and diversity.


Exploring Legal Issues in Higher Education

In this course, students will develop a fundamental understanding of the importance of legal issues in higher education and their impact on individual rights and responsibilities as well as those of institutions of higher education. Topics include: academic freedom, liability for student behavior, separation of church and state, antidiscrimination statutes and academic discipline.


Financial Issues in Higher Education

This course will provide students with an overview of financial issues applicable to higher education in the United States. Students will engage a broad foundation of theory, practice, research, and policy of higher education economics. Topics will include societal investment in higher education, methods of finance, costs of higher education, and budgeting concepts.


A History of Higher Education

In this course, students are introduced to the historical origins of higher education in the United States. Significant periods in the development of higher education in this country are covered, as well as the evolution into today’s contemporary and complex system of higher education. Topics include: education models, progressive movements, federal higher education acts, community colleges, access, diversity and opportunity.


Topics in Higher Education

This course explores areas of interest in higher education. Often these areas are new topics of special interest to higher education. At times, areas of higher education that are receiving attention nationally will be highlighted through this course. Students will work with faculty to create a self-directed study plan on a topic appropriate for master's-level study.


Leadership for Higher Education

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the nuances of higher education leadership and theory. Emphasis will be given to the practical application of higher education leadership theories in the academic and administrative roles of an institution of higher education.


The Community College

This course provides a general and introductory understanding of curricular issues in a community college setting. Students will explore issues related to the community college curriculum relative to program development and management as well as assessment.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s MEd costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $628
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $1,884
  • Program cost: $19,190
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.