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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.

ELHE 7101   Higher Education in American Society

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.)

ELHE 7103   Education Law and Public Policy
ELHE 7201   Philosophy of Education
ELHE 7301   Organization and Administration of Higher Education
ELHE 7404   College Student Development
ELHE 7202   Global and Comparative Higher Education
EDUC 9803   History of American Higher Education

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:

ERME 7460   Interpretation and Evaluation of Educational Research
ERME 7466   Models of Curriculum and Program Evaluation
ERME 7468   Introductory Statistics
ELHE 7405   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 and Comprehensive Exam

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 ELHE 7901 (2 credits) in the Fall semester and ELHE 7902 (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 ELHE 7901/7902. 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.

ELHE 7402   College Student Experience
ELHE 7602   Issues in Higher Education (topical course offered on a rotating basis)
ELHE 7401   Student Affairs Administration
ELHE 7605   Public Policy, Politics and Higher Education
ELHE 7503   Catholic Higher Education
ELHE 7606   Diversity and Higher Education
ELHE 7504   Religion and Higher Education
ELHE 7302   Organizational Decision-Making in Higher Education
ELHE 7303
  Financial Management in Higher Education
ELHE 7607   Seminar on Law and Higher Education
ELHE 7608   Gender Issues in Higher Education

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:

ELHE 7403   Principles and Techniques of Counseling for Higher Education and Community Settings
EDUC 7435
  Social Contexts of Education
ERME 7467
  Program Evaluation II
ELHE 7704
  Ethics and Equity in Education
MGMT 7709   Managing People and Organizations
MGMT 8102   Managing Organizational Change
MKTG 7700   Marketing Principles
APSY 7518   Issues in Life Span Development
APSY 7528   Multicultural Issues
APSY 8462   Psychology of Trauma
APSY 7617   Learning and Cognition
APSY 7740   Topics in the Psychology of Women
SOCY 5568   Sociology of Education
SOCY 5509   Feminist Approaches to Theory and Methodology