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Lynch School of Education


masters program

The master's curriculum is organized into six levels of study. Please consult the following material and MA Programs of Study for precise requirements based on a chosen concentration. Students choose a program of study in consultation with their academic advisor.

Level 1:   Core: (6 credits) 
Level 2:   Foundational studies in higher education (3-6 credits depending on concentration)  
Level 3:   1 course in research methods (3 credits) 
Level 4:   Concentration courses (6-9 credits)  
Level 5:   Field experience and Master's comprehensive exam (3 credits) 
Level 6:   Electives (6 credits)  


Level 1: Core

Since the field of higher education is multidisciplinary, it is critical that all students share a common foundation. Thus, all graduate students in the Higher Education Program are required to take a course in the historical and social foundations of higher education: Higher Education in American Society.

ED 770   Higher Education in American Society (Department core faculty)

Students have one other core course based on their chosen concentration. Please see program of study concentration-specific information.

Level 2: Foundational Studies in Higher Education

Based on he requirements of their chosen concentration, students may choose from among a set of courses that cover higher education from the perspective of different foundational disciplines: organizational sociology, law and policy, psychology, comparative studies, history, and philosophy. In consultation with their advisors, students must choose 3 of the following 6 courses to fulfill this requirement. (Additional courses from the list may be taken as electives.)

ED 705   Education Law and Public Policy (Pullin)
ED 706   Philosophy of Education (Martinez)
ED 771   Organization and Administration of Higher Education (Youn)
ED 778   Student Development Theory (Arnold)
ED 779   Global and Comparative Higher Education (Altbach)
ED 803   History of American Higher Education (Department)

Level 3: Methodological Requirement

To ensure that all incoming master's students have the skills necessary to analyze research articles critically, all masters students in the School of Education are required to take a methods course. The following options are available:

ED 460   Interpretation and Evaluation of Educational Research
ED 466   Models of Curriculum and Program Evaluation
ED 468   Education Statistics
ED 757   Assessments in Student Affairs (Note: This course is required of all students in the Student Affairs Concentration.) 

Level 4: Concentration Courses 

So that graduates of the program have a depth in a particular area, all students in the Higher Education Program are required to take a 6-9 credits (depending on concentration) in a particular area. Please see the individual Programs of Study for concentration courses. 

Level 5: Field Experience (ED 976 and 977) and Comprehensive Exam (ED 888)

To gain practical experience, master's students are required to complete a supervised field experience in a field of higher education for one academic year. Students will register for ED 976 (2 credits) in the Fall semester and ED 977 (1 credit) in the Spring semester and will be required to work in a postsecondary institution or agency and to attend a biweekly seminar and complete assignments such as a journal of their experiences. Many program alumni have been able to secure jobs in specific fields in large part due to participating in these experiences. Master's students with significant full-time work experience in higher education (i.e. 3+ years) may be able to waive the field study requirement with the approval of their faculty advisor. In this case, an additional elective would be substituted for ED 976/ED977. Field Experience placements are normally unpaid, although paid graduate assistantships are often available and can be included as field experiences. Paid assistantships can count towards a field experience with a professor's approval.

Level 6: Specialized Electives in Higher Education and Related Studies

To complement the core courses and design an individualized program, master's students also take a minimum of 2 elective courses with a substantive focus in higher education or educational or psychological studies. Students may choose additional Level 2 courses as electives.

ED 701   College Student Experience (Rowan-Kenyon)
ED 708   Issues in Higher Education (topical course offered on a rotating basis)
ED 772   Issues in Higher Education (Rowan-Kenyon)
ED 773   College Teaching and Learning (Martinez)
ED 807   The Academic Profession (Altbach)
ED 808   Public Policy, Politics and Higher Education (Youn, Pullin)
ED 854   Catholic Higher Education (James)
ED 867   Diversity and Higher Education (Martinez)
ED 868   Religion and Higher Education (James)
ED 873   Curriculum Development/Design in Higher Education (Youn)
ED 874   Organizational Decision-Making in Higher Education (Youn)
ED 876   Financial Management in Higher Education (Zona)
ED 878   Seminar on Law and Higher Education (Pullin)
ED 879   Gender Issues in Higher Education (Martinez)

Electives may also be taken outside of the Higher Education Program. With their faculty advisor's approval, students may also select electives from the human development, counseling, curriculum studies, instruction or evaluation programs in the School of Education or elsewhere at Boston College. In addition, electives may be taken at one of The Consortium institutions (Brandeis, Boston University, or Tufts). It is also possible for students to conduct an Independent Study to pursue their own area of interest. (With special permission, up to 2 graduate courses can be transferred from another university, provided they have not been part of another degree program.) Examples of additional elective courses outside of the higher education program are the following:

ED 433   Principles and Techniques of Counseling for Higher Education and Community Settings
ED 435   Social Contexts of Education
ED 467   Practical Aspects of Curriculum and Program Evaluation
ED 619   Ethics and Equity in Education
ED 720   Curriculum Theory and Philosophy
MB 709   Organizational Behavior
MB 802   Management of Organizational Change
MK 705   Marketing
PY 414   Learning Theory and Cognition
PY 417

Adult Psychology
PY 518   Issues in Life Span Development
PY 528   Multicultural Issues
PY 529   Psychology of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
PY 617   Learning and Cognition
PY 740   Psychology of Women
SC 568   Sociology of Education
SC 735   Feminist Theory