The Lynch School of Education and Human Development’s M.A. in Higher Education prepares you for entry-level and middle-management positions in student affairs and other professional areas within colleges, universities, community colleges, and policymaking organizations. Depending on your interests and career goals, you can create a customized graduate degree by choosing from among four distinct concentrations: Administration, Student Affairs, International Perspectives, and Spirituality, Faith, and Formation.
Through area-specific coursework and a yearlong field experience, our M.A. program will provide you with foundational knowledge about today’s higher education landscape, a sharper understanding of specific elements within the field, and the opportunity to put theory into practice and apply your skills in real-world settings.
During your time in the M.A. program, you’ll have the opportunity to gain experience in a range of academic and professional settings at BC and other institutions in the Boston area, one of the world’s hubs for higher education. If you choose to pursue a graduate assistantship within an office at Boston College, you can gain valuable professional experience while reducing the cost of your program and receiving a stipend.
Offered exclusively to current and incoming students in the M.A. in Higher Education program, our Higher Education Graduate Assistantships provide you with valuable experience and opportunities to reduce your financial burden as you apply your classroom instruction skills in the workplace.
As a graduate assistant within one of several offices at Boston College, you can earn up to 15 credits worth of tuition remission and a stipend to support your studies. Interviews for these positions begin in February at Higher Education Interview Days and hiring continues through the summer for many positions.
The graduate-level study of higher education has a long and notable history at Boston College. In 1963, the University became one of the first institutions in the country to open a Center for the Study of Higher Education, which was intended to represent Catholic colleges and universities in the emerging field of higher education research. In its early years, the organization hosted institutes on contemporary issues in higher education, engaged in research on the fortunes of Catholic colleges and universities, and offered doctoral-level coursework for students pursuing careers in higher education. In 1968, the center was converted into a doctoral program in higher education, and several years later, Boston College launched a master’s degree program in higher education as well. The M.A. program quickly distinguished itself among the best of its kind in the U.S., and the program’s longevity and reputation continue to benefit our students and alumni today.
As a student in this program, you’ll have the option to choose from among four distinct Higher Education concentrations: Administration, Student Affairs, International Perspectives, and Spirituality, Faith, and Formation.
Each concentration requires a yearlong field experience that links theory and practice and is inspired by Boston College’s social justice mission.
After you complete your foundation and core requirements, you will take a comprehensive exam. You will also be required to create an electronic portfolio that showcases the work you have completed in the program.
If you enter the program with less than three years of full-time work experience in higher education, you will be required to take the Field Experience course, which is designed to help you apply your classroom studies in a professional context. This yearlong course requires a commitment of 10–12 hours at your field experience placement per week.
Students often use their assistantships as their field experience placement. That process starts in February each year after admission decisions are released and continues through the summer.
Yes. Some students choose to work full time during their program, taking one to two courses per semester. All students must complete the program within five years.
We do not require interviews for admission to the program, but you are welcome to schedule a remote or in-person visit, pending state and local health regulations regarding COVID-19. Please email email@example.com to schedule your visit, or see our listings of upcoming virtual events. Our faculty can also respond to your questions via email. Please see the faculty profiles below for contact information.
Approximately 75 percent of our full-time students receive partial or full tuition remission and/or a stipend through a graduate assistantship, either within a BC office or off campus. Assistantships range in position and compensation, and some include room, board, or both. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about financial aid.
The Office of Residential Life manages the University’s off-campus student housing program, and sponsors programs that serve the needs of all students. You may also learn about potential living situations and roommates when you connect with current and prospective students via social media or during our program’s Interview Days.
This program consists of 11 required courses, worth a total of 30 program credits.
Full-time students typically complete the program within two years.
Part-time students may require three to four years to complete the degree.
The program begins in the fall semester.
You will choose from among four possible degree concentrations. Each provides an understanding of the foundations of higher education and offers opportunities to link theory and practice during field experience placements. All four concentrations encourage you to align your curriculum with your professional goals and interests.
This concentration prepares you to work as a professional in functional areas of student affairs such as student activities, residence life, admissions, service learning, orientation, career services, and academic advising. You will gain an understanding of the foundations of higher education and student affairs and learn to link theory and practice through class projects and field experience.
This concentration prepares you to work as a professional within college and university offices, policy organizations, and advocacy organizations. You will gain an understanding of the foundations of higher education with a focus on law, policy, and administration, and you will link theory and practice through your field experience.
Affiliated with the world-renowned Center for International Higher Education, this concentration prepares you to work in internationally-focused positions within U.S. institutions or around the world. You will gain an in-depth understanding of internationalization and other impacts of globalization on higher education, as well an appreciation of the diverse ways that higher education is understood and organized around the world.
As the top-ranked Catholic graduate school of education in the country, the Lynch School offers the only master's degree in higher education that prepares you to shape the policies, practices, and intellectual life of Catholic colleges and universities while supporting the continuing formation of diverse groups of students. This concentration integrates theories of student development with the sociology of religion, institutional culture, leadership formation, policy development, and theology within a Catholic higher education setting.
This award is given annually to a graduating student in the Higher Education program who embodies the qualities of academic excellence and service that reflect the Jesuit ideal of education in the service of others.
Communications & Outreach Coordinator
International Services Specialist
Study Abroad Advisor
Director of Enrollment Marketing and Operations
Education should level the playing field. We feel the same way about financial aid.
The Lynch School of Education and Human Development provides more than $8.4 million in financial aid to students each year. The quality of the University’s instruction, the benefits of individual connections to its nearly 190,000-member alumni network, and the influence of a BC degree on your employment prospects are exceptional. Thanks to our range of aid options, they are also affordable.
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To be uploaded to your online Application Form.
In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, any language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.
To be uploaded to your online Application Form.
In 1,000-1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations.
Identification of recommenders/instructions to recommenders are outlined in the online Application Form.
Two letters of recommendation are required with at least one required from an academic source. Applicants may submit one additional recommendation of their choice.
Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in lieu of official transcripts for the application review process. In the event that one is admitted into a program and enrolls, our office will need official transcripts prior to course registration. To expedite application processing times, our office encourages you to send unofficial transcripts electronically to our email address at GSOE@BC.EDU. Please note that unofficial transcripts must include all of the following items:
If you are able to secure official transcripts, please note the following:
Official electronic transcripts are accepted when sent directly to email@example.com from the institution. When requesting electronic transcripts, you must manually type in firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure it is received by our office.
Mailed transcript(s) should be sent to the following address:
Lynch Office of Graduate Admissions, Boston College
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Submitting GRE test scores is optional and not required for 2021 entry term(s). If you wish to send GRE scores, the Lynch School GRE code is 3218.