Master of Arts (M.A.) in Higher Education

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Higher Education

In this program, you will attain foundational knowledge about today’s global 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. It will prepare you for entry-level and middle-management positions in student affairs and other professional areas within colleges, universities, community colleges, and policymaking organizations. 

At a Glance

How many courses?

Most students take 10 courses (30 credits total). 

How long will it take?

Full-time students typically finish in two years.
Part-time students take three to four years to complete the degree.

When can I start?

The program begins in the fall semester.


Depending on your interests and career goals, you can create a customized graduate degree by choosing from four distinct concentrations: Administration; Student Affairs; International Perspectives; and Spirituality, Faith, and Formation.


  • Courses: 10 
  • Credits: 30 
  • Comprehensive Exam

Student Affairs Concentration 

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.


International Perspectives Concentration

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.


Administration Concentration 

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.


Spirituality, Faith, and Formation Concentration

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.



Assistantship Opportunities


Of Assistantships Are Paid


Assistantships Posted Annually


Located at Boston College

Assistantships are available at various Boston-area campuses, including:
  • Bentley University
  • Boston University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tuition Remission Breakdown

The majority of assistantships at Boston College offer full or partial tuition remission. All assistantships are paid.

Values represent percentages.

Possible Additional Compensation

Professional Development
Meal Plan



  • College President
  • Resident Director
  • Education Attorney
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Admission Counselor
  • Career Consultant
  • Policy Analyst
  • International Services Specialist
  • Study Abroad Advisor
  • Director of Enrollment Marketing


  • Merrimack College
  • The Legal Aid Society
  • Princeton University
  • Fordham University
  • University of Connecticut
  • Kyung Hee University
  • MCPHS University
  • Brown University
  • University of Miami
  • Elms College

Financial Aid

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 $11.4 million in financial aid to students each year. As a result, the quality of BC’s instruction, the benefit of our alumni network, and the impact a BC degree will have on your employment options is both affordable and invaluable. 




Application & Deadlines

Apply Now

A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required. The fee is waived for select applicants.

Fall 2024

  • Priority Deadline - December 1*
  • Rolling Admission - Until July 15

*In order to participate in the February admitted student Interview Days programming, applicants must apply by the priority deadline.


To be uploaded to your online application.

In addition to your academic history and relevant volunteer and/or 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.

Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online application.

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.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required, with at least one preferably coming from an academic source. Applicants may submit one additional recommendation of their choice.


Transcripts from all college/university study are required.

Applicants who have received degrees from institutions outside the United States should view the "International Students" section for additional credential evaluation requirements.

Please begin your online application before submitting your transcripts. Details on how to submit transcripts and international credential evaluations can be found within the application. In order to ensure your transcript reaches our office, it is important to review and follow the instructions.

Standardized Tests

GRE scores are not required. If you wish to send GRE scores, the Lynch School GRE code is 3218.

Please view the "International Students" section for information on English Proficiency test requirements.

Writing Sample

Not required.

International Students

Applicants who have completed a degree outside of the United States must have a course-by-course evaluation of their transcript(s) completed by an evaluation company approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Submission of falsified documents is grounds for denial of admission or dismissal from the University.

Applicants who are not native speakers of English and who have not received a degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction must also submit a TOEFL or IELTS test result that meets the minimum score requirement.

Please click the link below for full details on these requirements.

Requirements for International Students

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