Best Colleges Online - Most Affordable Degrees-01In this article, we profile the 50 most affordable master’s in higher education online programs of 2020.

Postsecondary education administrators oversee various departments and programs at colleges and universities. To secure one of these leadership roles, a master’s degree is typically required. The most common master’s degree in this field is the master’s in higher education. Today, reputable and accredited institutions offer online master’s in higher education degrees that are designed for working and busy students.

50 Affordable Online Master’s in Higher Education Programs Methodology

We reviewed 91 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator and reputable online sources that offered master’s in higher education online degrees or closely related programs. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: accreditation (regional and/or national), institution and/or program rankings with at least one major publication, focusing primarily on U.S. News and World Report, and affordability. We selected schools with a combined graduate tuition cost and fees of less than $26,500 per year. We then listed our 50 chosen programs according to raw affordability.

Below are the resulting selections for our top 50 most affordable master’s in higher education online programs.

#50 – Hofstra University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Leadership

Hempstead, New York

Website

Hofstra University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Ranked and affordable! Hofstra University’s master’s in higher education online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $26,134

Hofstra University’s master’s in higher education online degree program consists of 36 credits and costs approximately $26,000 per year. The program provides an extensive understanding of leadership issues in a higher education setting, emphasizing governance and policy studies. The distance-learning option mirrors the onsite program version, as students take the same classes and learn from the same faculty. Graduates of the program earn an MSEd in higher education leadership and become eligible for employment or an Ed.D. program. In addition to its affordable tuition, Hofstra ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, recent rankings include #162 in best national universities, #97 in best value schools, and #78 in best online master’s in education programs.

#49 – Northeastern University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

Northeastern University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Ranked by U.S. News! Northeastern University – top choice for online higher education programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $25,085

Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies offers an affordable online master’s in higher education designed to provide working students with the foundation to understand current trends and issues faced in higher education. Through the online learning option, students work together on group and project-based activities. The group work is designed to allow students to forge networks and build global connections. Required courses cover topics like higher education law and policy, the foundations of higher education, and the history of colleges and universities. Overall, the program takes as little as two years to complete. Northeastern ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 40th best national university.

#48 – Pennsylvania State University World Campus

Online Master’s in Higher Education

University Park, Pennsylvania

Website

Pennsylvania State University World Campus - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
30 credits and nationally ranked! Penn State’s World Campus – master’s in higher education online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,186

The accredited master’s in higher education online program at Pennsylvania State University World Campus consists of 30 credits and offers three emphasis areas. The program is unique in that students may tailor their degree to better align with career aspirations by selecting one of three concentrations. These emphasis areas include administration, institutional research, and student engagement. All courses, delivered online, are taught by Penn State’s esteemed faculty. The courses cover topics like administrative leadership in higher education, college students and their success, and foundations in higher education and student affairs. Penn State is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #57 nationally.

#47 – Saint Peter’s University

Online Master of Higher Education in General Administration

Jersey City, New Jersey

Website

Saint Peter's University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Saint Peter’s University’s online master’s in higher education earn a spot on the list of affordable options.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $21,246

The 33-credit, online M.Ed. in higher education program at Saint Peter’s University prepares students for leadership roles in a wide variety of higher education settings. Graduates of this online program have acquired positions in admissions, enrollment management, institutional research, and other areas at community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities. Courses are delivered online and taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. Higher education courses include directed research in education, emerging legal issues facing administration, and ethical decision making and social responsibility. Saint Peter’s is fully accredited and ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, recent rankings include #86 in best regional universities in the North and #19 in top performers on social mobility.

#46 – Upper Iowa University

Online M.Ed. in Higher Education

Fayette, Iowa

Website

Upper Iowa University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
100% online! Upper Iowa University’s master’s in higher education online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $21,060

For individuals seeking online higher education programs that are both affordable and accredited, Upper Iowa University provides options. The online M.Ed. in higher education consists of 36 credits with courses that target relevant theories to real-world higher education case scenarios. Sample classes you might see while earning your higher education degree at Upper Iowa include ethical and legal issues for the administrator, finance and budgeting in higher education, and student affairs practice in higher education. Upper Iowa ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, Upper Iowa’s rankings include #117-#153 in best regional universities in the Midwest.

#45 – Dallas Baptist University

Online Master of Education in Higher Education

Dallas, Texas

Website

Dallas Baptist University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Dallas Baptist University – a great choice for a master’s in higher education online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,172

DBU’s (Dallas Baptist University) master’s in higher education online degree program consists of 36 credit hours and offers two tracks of study. Students may elect to focus their studies on either administration or instruction by choosing one of two tracks. Also, students may tailor their degree even further by selecting one of the following 12-hour concentrations: community college leadership, distance learning, interdisciplinary studies, leadership studies, or student affairs. To be considered for admission to the DBU higher education program, applicants must hold an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher. DBU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 281st best national university. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #226-#298 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#44 – Michigan State University

Online Master’s in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education

East Lansing, Michigan

Website

Michigan State University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Ranked and accredited! Michigan State’s online master’s in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,858

The online master’s in higher education program at Michigan State University offers a uniquely designed degree that emphasizes three areas of education: higher, adult, and lifelong education (HALE). The program consists of 30 credits, all of which may be completed online, and promotes professional development among those working in these three areas of education. Courses cover a number of topics including administration in higher education, adult learning, concept of a learning society, inquiry in postsecondary education, and leadership and organization development. Michigan State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most current Michigan State rankings include #84 in best national universities and #4 in best online master’s in education programs.

#43 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

Southern New Hampshire University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
SNHU’s online master’s in higher education takes 15 months to earn.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,810

Southern New Hampshire University’s online higher education degree program emphasizes leadership and administration. Through online delivery, students take courses designed to prepare them for leadership roles in colleges and universities. Courses cover topics like contemporary issues in higher education, enrollment management and marketing, and higher education law and regulation. While the program is designed to be completed in 15 months, students may work at their own pace. To add to the program’s flexibility, there are multiple start dates throughout the year. In addition to being an accredited institution, SNHU ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 92nd best regional university in the North and #1 most innovative school.

#42 – Northcentral University

Online M.Ed. – Leadership in Higher Education

La Jolla, California

Website

Northcentral University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
The online M.Ed. in higher education at Northcentral requires 10-12 courses.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,095

One of the more affordable online higher education programs on our list is the online M.Ed. in higher education leadership offered by Northcentral University. At a glance, the program consists of 30-36 credits, a total of 10-12 courses, and a recommended completion time of just 16 months. This means that in less than a year, students obtain their master’s degree. For the leadership in higher education specialization, the average completion time is 15 months. However, there are also accelerated options for this specialization. Northcentral is fully accredited and recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution.

#41 – University of Massachusetts

Online M.Ed. in Higher Education

Amherst, Massachusetts

Website

University of Massachusetts - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
100% online! UMASS Amherst’s online M.Ed. in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,209

UMASS-Amherst offers an affordable master’s in higher education online degree program designed for professionals currently working in higher ed or an adjacent field. Typically, the average student has completed several years of work experience. To add to the degree’s uniqueness, the program offers two focus areas in social justice and student success. Online courses cover topics like foundations of higher education, managing higher education, and student life research. There is no shortage of accolades received by UMASS at Amherst. The school is fully accredited and ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, University of Massachusetts ranks #64 in best national universities and #140 (out of 1,200) in best online master’s in education programs.

#40 – National University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

La Jolla, California

Website

National University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Ranked and affordable! National University’s online master’s in higher education administration.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,480

National University’s online master’s in higher education offers four-week classes that allow students to complete a course in just one month. While the program moves at a rapid pace, students earn their degree faster than most traditional higher education programs. Courses cover a number of higher education topics like community development in higher education, higher education research, managing finances and operations, and strategic planning and analysis. According to U.S. News and World Report’s most current edition of Best Colleges, National University’s online master’s in education programs rank #226-#298 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs. Also, the school is fully accredited and highly affordable.

#39 – Bay Path University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Website

Bay Path University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Four concentration options! Bay Path’s online master’s in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,670

One of the most affordable online M.Ed. programs on our list is the Bay Path University master’s in higher education administration online degree. This program is unique in that four concentrations are offered so that students may tailor their degree to better align with interests and career goals. These concentrations include enrollment management, general administration, institutional advancement, and online teaching and program administration. Several start dates allow for flexibility. In fact, classes start every February, June, and October. In addition to Bay Path’s flexible programming, the school ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 94th best regional university in the North.

#38 – John Brown University

Online Master’s in Higher Education

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Website

John Brown University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
100% online coursework – John Brown University’s higher education program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,400

For students seeking online M.Ed. in higher education programs that are both accredited and affordable, John Brown University has options. The online master’s in higher education program is a fast-paced degree that consists of 30 credits. The program is offered with 100% online coursework to accommodate working students. In addition to the study of higher education, all courses at JBU are taught from a Christian worldview. Faculty are committed to both the academic and spiritual growth of the student population. JBU ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 11th best regional university in the South. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #226-#298.

#37 – North Park University

Online Master of Higher Education Administration

Chicago, Illinois

Website

North Park University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
21 months! North Park University’s online higher education degree moves at a quick pace.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,076

North Park University’s online higher education programs include the master’s in higher education administration. This online program is designed for students who desire leadership roles and management positions in the field of higher education. A total of 13 core courses and five electives are required. While the program can be completed in just 21 months, students take an average of 2.5 years to earn their degree. Online courses cover topics like ethical leadership and decision-making, higher education organization and governance, and organizational behavior and ethics. North Park University ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 61st best regional university in the Midwest.

#36 – Stony Brook University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Stony Brook, New York

Website

Stony Brook University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Fully accredited! Stony Brook University – master’s in higher education online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,558

One of the most reputable and affordable online M.Ed. in higher education programs on our list is the master’s in higher education administration at Stony Brook University. The flexible, online program offers curriculum aligned with ACPA and NASPA professional competencies. Courses cover topics like diversity and higher education, foundations of higher education administration, leadership in higher education, and research and assessment in higher education. While the degree consists of 36 credits, there is also an 18-credit advanced graduate certificate available. Stony Brook ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 91st best national university and 149th best value school.

#35 – University of Louisville

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Louisville, Kentucky

Website

University of Louisville - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Ranked by U.S. News! University of Louisville offers reputable and affordable online higher education programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,196

University of Louisville’s online master’s in higher education program is ideal for those currently employed or seeking jobs with a higher education institution. The program prepares students with the knowledge needed for the practices and challenges faced in higher education. Four concentrations make this program unique. These concentrations include administration, policy and equity, sports administration, and teaching and learning. All courses are delivered online and cover topics like diversity in higher education, educational resource management in postsecondary education, and legal issues in postsecondary education. University of Louisville ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 192nd best national university and 95th top public school.

#34 – Louisiana State University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Website

Louisiana State University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
No GRE requirement! LSU’s online master’s in higher education administration.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,035

One of the most affordable and accredited online M.Ed. in higher education programs on our list is available at Louisiana State University. This program is tailored for education professionals seeking roles as administrative leaders at colleges and universities. Admission to the program is convenient and does not require GRE scores. However, scores may be submitted if the applicant wants them to be considered in the admission process. Online courses at LSU include higher education and the law, leadership in higher education, organization and administration of higher education, and strategic planning in higher education. LSU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 153rd best national university. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #184 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#33 – Tiffin University

Online M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration

Tiffin, Ohio

Website

Tiffin University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
The online M.Ed. in higher education at Tiffin costs $13,000 per year.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,000

Tiffin University offers some of the most affordable online M.Ed. programs on our list. For just $13,000 per year, students can earn an online M.Ed. in higher education administration. Courses are delivered entirely online and taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. These courses cover topics like assessment in student learning, issues in student affairs, student enrollment and retention, and world history of education. A research and capstone project near the end of the program is required. Tiffin is an accredited and ranked institution. In fact, Tiffin ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 114th best regional university in the Midwest. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #226-#298 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#32 – Colorado State University

Online Master’s in Student Affairs in Higher Education

Fort Collins, Colorado

Website

Colorado State University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
No GRE! CSU’s online master’s in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,871

The 45-credit, online master’s in higher education program at Colorado State University is a unique program designed for individuals seeking leadership roles in student affairs within a higher education setting. Courses are delivered online and cover topics like college student personnel administration, financial management in student affairs, foundations of college opportunity programs, and the inclusive university. CSU is selective. The admission requirements to the program include an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with at least a 3.0 GPA. However, GRE scores are not required. CSU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 166th best national university. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #120 out of more than 1,200 surveyed.

#31 – University of Florida

Online M.Ed. in Student Personnel and Higher Education

Gainesville, Florida

Website

University of Florida - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Affordability! UF’s online master’s in higher ed.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,737

What makes University of Florida’s online higher education programs unique is the focus on student personnel. The online SPHE M.Ed. program is best suited for professionals currently working in student affairs or a closely related field. The program can be completed online with part-time enrollment. Classes cover topics like American higher education, diversity issues in higher education, leadership and supervision in higher education, and theory of college student development. The program generally takes two years (summers required) to complete. UF ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, recent UF rankings include #34 in best national universities. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #2 and the online master’s in educational administration programs rank #3 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#30 – Mississippi College

Online Master of Higher Education Administration

Clinton, Mississippi

Website

Mississippi College - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Affordable options! Mississippi College’s master’s in higher education online degree program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,130

Mississippi College’s master’s in higher education online program is designed to assist professionals seeking administrative opportunities in the field of higher education. Through course interaction, study, and practicum experiences, students enrolled in the master’s in higher education program gain the skills needed to succeed as a leader in the field. Courses cover topics like basic effective leadership, finance in higher education, law and higher education, research methods and procedures, and student development theories (ethics and inquiry). The institution ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and top performer on social mobility.

#29 – University of Wisconsin

Online Master’s in Adult, Continuing, and Higher Education Administration

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Website

University of Wisconsin - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Fully accredited! University of Wisconsin – a top choice for online master’s in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,050

Whether you are seeking an online M.Ed. in higher education or master’s degree in adult and higher education, University of Wisconsin provides options. The online master’s in adult, continuing, and higher education administration (ACHEA) degree prepares graduates to meet the rising demands of leaders working in colleges with adult learners and students from diverse backgrounds. Faculty at University of Wisconsin have over 15 years of online teaching experience. Small class sizes that meet during alternating weeks provide flexibility for busy and working students. In addition to the flexible coursework delivery options of online classes, UW Milwaukee is fully accredited and ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school ranks among the top national universities in the country.

#28 – Geneva College

Online Master’s in Higher Education

Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Website

Geneva College - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
No GRE or MAT required! Geneva College’s online master’s in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,042

Geneva College’s online higher education programs include the master’s in higher education. This fully online degree program is rooted in a Christian view of life and prepares graduates for full-time jobs as principled leaders for colleges and universities. Applicants to the online master’s program are not required to take the GRE, MAT, or other standardized tests. In fact, the application process is as flexible as the online classes. Required courses offered at Geneva include college students in America, foundations of learning and knowledge, leadership and change, and the higher education professional. Geneva ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 92nd best regional university in the North.

#27 – Bellarmine University

Online M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Social Justice

Louisville, Kentucky

Website

Bellarmine University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
No work history required! Bellarmine University’s online M.Ed. in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,734

One of the most affordable online M.Ed. programs on our list is found at Bellarmine University, a nationally-ranked institution located in Louisville, Kentucky. This uniquely designed M.Ed. program is fully online and provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve leadership roles in higher education. Full-time and part-time course loads are offered. And to add to the program’s flexibility, online courses run in eight-week sessions. Also, there is no work experience or GRE requirement for admission. Bellarmine is fully accredited and ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent rankings include #197 in best national universities and #147 in top performers on social mobility.

#26 – Central Washington University

Online M.Ed. in Higher Education

Ellensburg, Washington

Website

Central Washington University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Internship options! CWU’s online master’s in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,537

The accredited master’s in higher education online degree program at Central Washington University is a 45-credit program that consists of 10 core courses, two electives, an internship or capstone project, and master’s examination. Offered entirely online, the M.Ed. degree serves as preparation for students seeking administrative positions in higher education. Courses cover a number of higher education and leadership topics, such as diversity leadership management, finance in colleges and universities, higher education law, organizational dynamics, and research in higher education. CWU ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 55th best regional university in the West and 30th best college for veterans.

#25 – Northern Arizona University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership – Higher Education

Flagstaff, Arizona

Website

Northern Arizona University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Ranked by U.S. News! Northern Arizona’s online higher education degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,121

Northern Arizona University’s online master’s in higher education program prepares students for leadership roles in community colleges, universities, or public and private business entities and institutions. A minimum of 30 credits must be completed to receive the online degree. To successfully receive the degree, students must meet all university and program requirements. These requirements include a 3.0 GPA on all graduate work, a project or thesis, and a completion time within six consecutive years. NAU is a fully accredited, public institution that is also ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, NAU ranks #293-#381 in best national universities. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #111 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#24 – Florida International University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Miami, Florida

Website

Florida International University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
FIU’s master’s in higher education online program requires no GRE for admission.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,106

FIU (Florida International University) offers affordable options for earning an online M.Ed. in higher education. The fully online master’s degree in higher education program at FIU also offers one of the quickest completion times. In just 12 months, students may earn their master’s in higher education. Additionally, the program requires no GRE for admission and provides online classes designed for working and busy students. These courses cover topics like diversity and social justice in higher education, foundations of educational research, legal issues in higher education administration, and social and historical foundations of education. FIU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 218th best national university and 63rd most innovative school in the country.

#23 – West Virginia University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Morgantown, West Virginia

Website

West Virginia University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
WVU’s online master’s in higher education ranks with U.S. News.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,134

West Virginia University’s master’s in higher education online degree program is designed to prepare students for administrative and faculty roles within colleges and universities. Through distance learning technology, students take classes from experienced WVU professors. The classes are conveniently structured to enable working students access to learning while maintaining balance with life obligations and their education. Courses cover higher ed administration topics like assessment research in higher education, contemporary issues in higher education, introduction to research, and qualitative research methods. WVU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 228th best national university and 109th top public school. Also, WVU’s online master’s in education programs rank #60 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#22 – Purdue University Global

Online Master’s in Higher Education

Indianapolis, Indiana

Website

Purdue University Global - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Purdue Global’s online master’s in higher education requires a 120-hour internship.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,603

One of the most affordable online M.Ed. programs in higher education is the master’s in higher ed at Purdue University Global. With six-week terms and customizable program concentrations, Purdue’s online master’s in higher education is flexibly designed for working students. The unique concentrations allow students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest. These concentrations include administration and leadership, student affairs, and teaching. Also, to help students gain hands-on experience, specifically for the student affairs concentration, a 120-hour internship is required. Purdue Global is a leader in online learning. Also, the institution ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Purdue Global is fully accredited and affordable.

#21 – McKendree University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administrative Services

Lebanon, Illinois

Website

McKendree University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Flexible online options! McKendree University’s online master’s in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,522

McKendree University’s online higher education programs include the online MAED in higher education administrative services. This unique program offers a flexible online format using the course management system Blackboard. Students take all classes online in an eight-week format. Interesting classes you will likely take while enrolled in this program include law in higher education and student development and services on the modern campus. Admission to the program requires an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, official transcripts, and a minimum 3.0 GPA in all undergraduate studies. McKendree is fully accredited and ranked with U.S. News and World Report as the 53rd best regional university in the Midwest and 40th best value school.

#20 – University of Houston

Online M.Ed. in Higher Education

Houston, Texas

Website

University of Houston - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
100% online! University of Houston – affordable online master’s in higher education programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,372

University of Houston’s online M.Ed. in higher education prepares graduate students who aspire to leadership and administrative positions within colleges and universities. This 36-credit hour program requires an undergraduate degree and minimum 3.0 GPA. Through online coursework and instruction, students gain practical experiences within diverse settings and graduate fully prepared to build communities and contribute to higher education. The University of Houston is fully accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, University of Houston ranks #185 in best national universities and #133 in best value schools. In addition to school rankings, the online master’s in education programs rank #8 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#19 – Concordia University Chicago

Online Master’s in Leadership – Higher Education

River Forest, Illinois

Website

Concordia University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
12 to 24 months! Concordia University’s online master’s in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,180

Concordia University Chicago offers a 33-credit online master’s in higher education. This program is available online or on-campus and takes 12 or 24 months to complete. Through coursework and study, students gain valuable leadership, management, and problem-solving skills. Courses cover foundational and specialized topics. Some of the courses you will see while enrolled in the program include ethical and social leadership, historical and societal issues in higher education, law and higher education, leadership and excellence, and strategic leadership and planning. Toward the end of the program, students complete a capstone leadership project. Concordia Chicago ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 72nd best regional university in the Midwest.

#18 – University of Mississippi

Online Master’s in Higher Education

University, Mississippi

Website

University of Mississippi - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
For less than 9K per year, University of Mississippi offers an online master’s in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,828

Applicants with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA may be eligible for one of many online M.Ed. programs or online master’s degrees at University of Mississippi. For the sake of this profile, we examined the online master’s in higher education at Mississippi. This program is offered entirely online and costs less than $9,000 per year. While coursework is completed online, the program mirrors that of the face-to-face program on campus. Graduates with a higher education degree from Mississippi are prepared for roles in leadership at colleges and universities. The school ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 162nd best national university and 128th best value institution in the country.

#17 – University of Southern Maine

Online Master’s in Adult and Higher Education

Portland, Maine

Website

University of Southern Maine - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Study adult and higher education online at University of Southern Maine.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,502

University of Southern Maine’s online higher education programs is designed to meet the needs of training adults for public school administration jobs. The program requires 36 credits of coursework to earn a master’s in adult and higher education. Courses are delivered online and taught by University of Southern Maine’s esteemed faculty. These courses include action research and evaluation methodologies, leadership in adult and higher education, mindfulness in adult learning, and planning programs for adult learners. USF is a top-ranked and accredited institution that offers affordable options for grad students. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #129-#170 in best regional universities in the North.

#16 – Liberty University

Online M.Ed. in Higher Education

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
100% online M.Ed. in higher education – Liberty University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,400

Liberty University’s online M.Ed. in higher education is a 30-credit program that takes approximately one year to complete. With 100 percent online courses that run eight weeks in length, Liberty’s online master’s in higher education provides a convenient schedule for busy and working students alike. Featured courses include contemporary issues in educational policy, leadership and supervision in education, leadership in educational technology, and student support services and retention. The program is fully accredited through CAEP. In addition to receiving accreditation, Liberty has also ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, these rankings include #293-#381 in best national universities and #202 in best online master’s in education programs.

#15 – Texas Tech University

Online M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration

Lubbock, Texas

Website

Texas Tech University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
The online M.Ed. in higher education at Texas Tech is ranked and accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,181

Texas Tech University’s online M.Ed. programs include the master’s in higher education administration. This fully online graduate program requires the completion of 36 credits, all of which may be taken online. Setup of the courses allows students to complete the program in two years by taking six credit hours each fall and spring semester, and six hours during the summer. Upon graduation, students are prepared to seek leadership and administrative jobs in colleges, universities, and other educational settings. Texas Tech ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 218th best national university and 105th top public school. Also, the online master’s in education programs at Texas Tech rank #109 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#14 – Sam Houston State University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Huntsville, Texas

Website

Sam Houston State University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
SHSU’s online higher education programs prepare for careers in administration.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,016

Sam Houston State University’s online master’s in higher education administration program consists of 36 credits and is fully online. The program prepares students for mid-level administrative and leadership positions at higher education institutions, such as community colleges, colleges, and universities. Also, the program serves students looking to enroll in further doctoral studies upon graduation. The degree may be completed with or without a thesis. In addition to offering highly affordable options for a master’s in higher education online degree, SHSU ranks with major publications. Recent rankings with U.S. News and World Report include #281 in best national universities and #140 in top public schools. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #42 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#13 – Appalachian State University

Online Master’s in Higher Education

Boone, North Carolina

Website

Appalachian State University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
App State’s online master’s in higher education is ranked with U.S. News.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,976

The affordable online higher education programs available at Appalachian State University include the master’s in higher education online degree. This 36-hour program also offers a unique concentration in community college and university leadership. The concentration is designed to prepare students for mid- and upper-level management and administration positions at colleges and universities. To be eligible for admission, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Appalachian State ranks 6th among best regional universities in the South and 2nd among best colleges for veterans. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #69 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#12 – University of North Texas

Online M.Ed. in Higher Education

Denton, Texas

Website

University of North Texas - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Ranked and affordable! UNT’s online master’s in higher ed!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,788

University of North Texas offers a master’s in higher education online degree program designed to develop professionals who work to improve the effectiveness of higher education. Courses are delivered online and students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to earn the degree. The application requires official transcripts from each college or university attended, as well as GRE scores. However, the GRE may be waived for applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or higher. UNT ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and top public school. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #20 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#11 – Indiana State University

Online Master’s in Student Affairs and Higher Education

Terre Haute, Indiana

Website

Indiana State University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Fully accredited! Indiana State University – a top school for master’s in higher education online programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,742

For those seeking online M.Ed. programs in higher education, Indiana State University provides options. The online master’s in student affairs and higher education is a fully accredited program designed to equip graduates for success in leadership roles in higher ed. Courses are delivered online and taught by the same ISU faculty who instruct on campus. These courses cover topics like group dynamics and leadership, legal aspects of educational administration, student development, and techniques of interpersonal interaction. ISU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution. In addition to the school rankings, several online programs have also received recognition.

#10 – Post University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Leadership

Waterbury, Connecticut

Website

Post University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Study higher ed leadership online at Post University!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,700

Post University’s online master’s in higher education leadership degree program is designed to prepare individuals to respond to challenges faced by higher education leaders. The coursework, entirely online, explores leadership and management skills unique to the higher education field. Through lively online classes and research-based projects, students gain a practical understanding of how to examine and handle issues in higher ed. Some of the online courses offered at Post cover topics like assessment and evaluation, educational research and planning, foundations and emerging trends in higher education, and the new post-secondary student. There are also two concentrations in administration leadership and student affairs designed to help students tailor their degree. Post University is regionally ranked with U.S. News and World Report and the online graduate education programs rank #154 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#9 – University of Nebraska

Online Master’s in Educational Administration – Higher Education

Lincoln, Nebraska

Website

University of Nebraska - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Ranked with U.S. News! University of Nebraska’s online master’s in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,575

Affordable online M.Ed. programs and online master’s in higher education degrees are available at University of Nebraska. According to the higher education program website at UN, the online master’s benefits those currently in leadership, those at an entry-level who wish to advance, and practitioners already working in higher education settings. By taking online classes from UN’s esteemed faculty, students become prepared for leadership roles in the various areas of higher education. Courses you will take cover topics like current issues in education, finance in postsecondary education, foundation of research and methods of inquiry in educational administration, and law and higher education. University of Nebraska ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 139th best national university and 115th best value school. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #78 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#8 – Grace College and Theological Seminary

Online Master of Higher Education

Winona Lake, Indiana

Website

Grace College and Theological Seminary - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
100% online! Grace College’s master of higher education online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,386

Grace College offers online higher education programs that are both affordable and designed for graduate students. The 100% online master’s in higher education consists of 36 credits. This accredited program requires a bachelor’s degree from an equally accredited institution for admission. Also, to qualify for admission, applicants must hold a minimum 2.75 GPA. As stated, all classes are delivered online. These classes cover topics like finances for nonprofit organizations, history and foundations of higher education, leadership in higher education, and legal issues in higher education. Grace College is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 75th best regional university in the Midwest.

#7 – Tarleton State University

Online M.Ed. in Educational Administration – Higher Education Leadership

Stephenville, Texas

Website

Tarleton State University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master's in Higher Education Online Programs
Fully accredited and cheap! Tarleton State’s online higher education programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,215

Another affordable online M.Ed. in higher education program that prepares students for leadership roles at colleges and universities is located at Tarleton State University. The online M.Ed. degree focuses on educational administration but offers a concentration in higher education leadership. The program is fully accredited by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The program consists of 30 credits. Students take classes one at a time and typically finish their degree in as little as 18 months. Each class adheres to an eight-week format. Some of the courses offered include higher education finance, higher education history, and higher education politics and policy. Tarleton ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 70th best regional university in the West.

#6 – Georgia Southern University

Online M.Ed. in Higher Education

Statesboro, Georgia

Website

Georgia Southern University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
The online M.Ed. in higher education at Georgia Southern ranks with U.S. News.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,069

The master’s in higher education online program at Georgia Southern University is one of the most affordable programs on our list. With a $7,000 sticker price, students earn a flexible, online degree with a favorable return on investment. The master’s degree can be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis to ensure working students have the flexibility they need to balance obligations with education. Classes cover a number of higher education topics like American higher education, foundations of student affairs in higher education, and higher education administration. Georgia Southern ranks as a top national institution, according to U.S. News and World Report. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #89 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#5 – University of Sioux Falls

Online M.Ed. in Educational Administration – Adult and Higher Education

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Website

University of Sioux Falls - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Study adult and higher education online at University of Sioux Falls.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,020

The University of Sioux Falls offers online M.Ed. programs with a focus in adult and higher education. The 100 percent online master’s in educational administration is accredited, flexible, and offers a Christian worldview. Enrolled students complete 33 credits in classes that explore topics like current issues in management, higher education administration, managing organizational dynamics, and professional and ethical leadership. In addition to offering accredited higher ed programs, University of Sioux Falls ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #102 in best regional universities in the Midwest. The higher education program costs just $7,000 annually.

#4 – Angelo State University

Online M.Ed. in Student Development and Leadership in Higher Education

San Angelo, Texas

Website

Angelo State University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Highly affordable! Angelo State – a great place to earn an online master’s in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,859

Angelo State University’s online higher education programs include the online M.Ed. in student development and leadership in higher education. This uniquely designed degree prepares graduates for work in non-academic areas of college campuses, such as career services, enrollment, and residential programs. Courses are delivered online and cover topics like legal and ethical principles, program administration and assessment, student affairs and administrative services, and tests and measurements. A total of 36 credits are required for the completion of the degree. The fully accredited institution also ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West. In addition to school rankings, Angelo’s online master’s in education programs rank #154.

#3 – Valdosta State University

Online M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership

Valdosta, Georgia

Website

Valdosta State University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Less than 7K per year! Valdosta State’s online M.Ed. in higher education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,784

Valdosta State University offers one of the most affordable online M.Ed. programs in higher education leadership on our list. Coursework is designed to prepare students to understand and apply student learning strategies and development theories to various fields of higher education. Classes are delivered online and taught by the same university faculty who instruct on campus. In addition to coursework, students must complete one to two guided internships. Also, graduate assistantships are available to qualifying students to help offset tuition costs. Valdosta ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #128 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#2 – Texas A & M University

Online Master’s in Higher Education

Commerce, Texas

Website

Texas A & M University - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Ranked and affordable! Texas A&M’s master’s in higher education online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,578

The online master’s in higher education program at Texas A&M University offers an emphasis in administration. This program serves as preparation for mid- to high-level leadership roles at colleges and universities. Courses in higher education cover topics like finance in higher education, fundamental theories in community college instructional leadership, higher education and the law, and philosophy of education. Students also take course electives in related areas like counseling, educational administration, and management. Texas A&M Commerce ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #293-#381 in best national universities and #69 in best online master’s in education programs.

#1 – University of Wyoming

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Laramie, Wyoming

Website

University of Wyoming - Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Online Programs 2020
Ranked #1 most affordable in master’s in higher education online programs – University of Wyoming!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,289

University of Wyoming’s master’s in higher education online degree program is the most affordable on our list. The program is fully accredited and designed to prepare graduates for roles in administrative positions within higher education. Students complete a series of online courses taught by university faculty. These courses cover topics like budgeting skills in higher education, planning in higher education, organizational management, and supervisory in higher education. In addition to offering affordable programs, UW ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #228 in best national universities and #109 in top public schools. Also, the online master’s in education programs rank #96 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a master’s in higher education online degree?

With a master’s in higher education online degree, you will be qualified for post-secondary education administration jobs. The higher education administrator works in various college and university settings. They oversee departments, such as academic services, enrollment services, faculty research, and student services. Often, these specialized administrators work in community colleges and four-year institutions.

Below are several roles one may be eligible for with a master’s in higher education online degree.

  • Academic deans and provosts:

Academic deans and provosts are postsecondary education administrators who help develop academic policies, make decisions on faculty tenure and appointments, and manage department and institution budgets. Often, they run departments and oversee faculty research.

  • Admissions officers and administrators:

Admissions officers and enrollment administrators oversee applicant materials and decide which applicants get admitted to the school. Officers also prepare promotional materials, travel to and speak at high schools, and meet with school counselors.

  • Registrars:

The role of a registrar is to maintain student and course records. These specialized administrators prepare transcripts and diplomas, oversee registration, and maintain the academic records of an institution.

  • Student affairs administrators:

Student affairs administrators in higher education are responsible for numerous co-curricular institution functions. They often oversee departments such as housing and residential life, multicultural affairs, and student activities.

How much money can I make with a master’s in higher education online degree?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for post-secondary administrators was over $95,000 as of May 2019. However, there are several factors that impact earnings, including industry setting and experience.

Colleges, universities, and professional schools at the state, local, and private levels reported average earnings for higher education administrators of $97,250. At community and junior colleges, the average pay for administrators, as reported by BLS, is $90,670. The lowest ten percent of earners made $55,320, while the highest ten percent of earners made $194,090.

Most administrators working in higher education do so full time. While part-time positions exist, they are limited. The majority of higher ed administrators work year-round, but hours may be limited or reduced during summer months.

In addition to salary, postsecondary administrators often receive employee benefits offered by the institution. Many colleges and universities–community colleges included–allow full-time employees to attend courses at a discounted fee or, in some cases, free. Some institutions allow their employees to take a limited number of classes each year at no charge. Other benefits received by higher education administrators include health insurance, paid vacation time, and retirement.

What is the job outlook for individuals with a master’s in higher education online degree?

The job outlook for individuals with an online master’s in higher education is favorable over the next several years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, BLS reports employment for post-secondary or higher education administrators is expected to grow seven percent through 2028. This growth is faster than the average for all occupations.

The favorable job outlook and projected growth are anticipated as the overall population seeks post-secondary education to achieve their career goals. As more individuals enroll at colleges and universities, more administrators will be needed to meet the needs of students. Specifically, more admission administrators and officers will be needed as enrollment numbers increase.

Other roles in higher education that will be needed with increasing enrollment numbers are individuals working in student registration, student affairs workers, and residential and housing personnel. However, as colleges and universities expand their online learning options, an increased number of administrators with knowledge and expertise in distance learning will be needed.

Hiring at public institutions will depend on state and local government budgets. In some cases, despite a spike in enrollment, if there is a budget deficit, hiring could be impacted. On the opposite side, if there is a budget surplus, the institution may hire more administrators.

What are the admission requirements for master’s in higher education online programs?

Higher education administrator jobs typically need a master’s degree. Employers, particularly four-year colleges and universities seek candidates with an accredited master’s degree and experience working in some capacity at a post-secondary institution.

The first step in qualifying for admission to an online master’s in higher education program is to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. The online higher education programs on our list ask that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree that is either nationally or regionally accredited. Top-ranked or top-tier schools require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The discipline doesn’t matter. A bachelor’s degree can be in any field from computer science to education.

In addition to an earned bachelor’s degree, GPA requirements may be stipulated. Top-ranked programs ask that applicants have a 3.0 minimum GPA, while others require a 2.5 GPA. And in some cases, a 3.5 GPA may be required.

There are benefits to having an above-average undergraduate GPA. The most common benefit is the GRE waiver that is contingent on undergraduate GPA. Some schools offer test score waivers to applicants with high GPAs. This means if you have a 3.5 undergraduate GPA, you won’t be required to submit GRE test scores. In fact, you won’t be required to even take the GRE.

How long does it take to earn a master’s in higher education online degree?

The time it takes to earn a master’s in higher education online degree varies by program. There are several factors that impact completion time, though a traditional master’s degree takes two years to complete. The programs on our list vary, but the average completion time for an online master’s in higher education is 18-20 months.

As stated, completion time varies by program and institution requirements. The biggest factor impacting completion time for a higher education degree is enrollment status. Do you plan to enroll on a part-time or full-time basis? While there are benefits to both, full-time programs often promise a shorter degree completion time.

Part-time programs provide students with added flexibility. Ideal for working and busy students, part-time programs provide a lighter course load. This means taking fewer classes at a time to focus on outside obligations. However, with a lighter course load comes a longer completion time. Full-time programs allow students to take more classes at a time, often completing the program at a quicker rate than if enrolled in a part-time program.

However, many online higher education programs on our list are designed for busy and working students. Courses run eight weeks in length on average and move at an accelerated pace. The average completion time for a master’s in higher education online degree is less than two years.

BCO Staff
July 2020

Related:

How Exactly Do Online College Classes Work?

Online Master’s in Education

Are Online Degrees Worth It?

This concludes our list of the top 50 most affordable master’s in higher education online programs of 2021.