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

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

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.

At a Glance

How many courses?

This program consists of 11 required courses, worth a total of 30 program credits. 

How long will it take?

Full-time students typically complete the program within two years.
Part-time students may require three to four years to complete the degree.

When can I start?

The program begins in the fall semester.

Program Faculty & Expertise

What will I study?


  • Courses: 11
  • Credits: 30

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Mary Kinnane Award

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.

Learn more about the award and past recipients 

Where do our graduates work?

Merrimack College

Resident Director

The Legal Aid Society

Education Attorney

Princeton University

Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Fordham University

Admission Counselor


University of Connecticut

Career Consultant

Kyung Hee University

Policy Analyst

MCPHS University

International Services Specialist

Brown University

Study Abroad Advisor

University of Miami

Director of Enrollment Marketing and Operations

Elms College


Financial Assistance

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.

Application Information


Click the boxes below for additional details on each item


Regular Decision
Rolling Admission
Until 8/1
Intl. Applicants
Until 7/1

Apply Now

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A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required; however, this fee is waived for select applicants.


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.

Personal Statement

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.

Letters of Recommendation

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:

  • Course titles and grades for each course
  • Year and entry term for each of the courses listed
  • Translated into English by certified translation agent (if not already in English)
    • Original and translated transcripts must be provided

If you are able to secure official transcripts, please note the following:

  • An official postsecondary transcript must be printed on official institutional paper and include at least one of the following: an institutional watermark, the registrar’s signature, or the registrar's seal.
  • Copies and unofficial transcripts sent directly from applicants are not acceptable, the transcript must come directly from the institution.
  • If you are a current student and have not completed your undergraduate and/or graduate degree, the most updated version of your transcript is acceptable.

Official electronic transcripts are accepted when sent directly to from the institution. When requesting electronic transcripts, you must manually type in 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

Standardized Tests

Submitting GRE test scores is optional and not required for 2022 entry term(s). If you wish to send GRE scores, the Lynch School GRE code is 3218.

Writing Sample

Not required.

International Students

International applicants are encouraged to apply to the Lynch School of Education and Human Development.

Requirements for International Students

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