Master of Arts

Master of Arts in Education: Higher Education Leadership 

The mission of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program is to develop educational leaders from diverse backgrounds who will effectively lead and improve higher education systems. Our program aims to prepare school teachers, who possess the following core skills, qualities, and characteristics:

  • Be visionary change agents
  • Create collaborative learning communities
  • Engage in reflective leadership practices
  • Lead for inclusiveness, multiculturalism, and change
  • Implement research-based and site-based best practices
  • Be a creative and innovative leader in a changing world

What Makes Our Program Unique

Aspiring higher education leaders can complete our Higher Educational Leadership Program and complete their Masters of Arts in Education: Higher Education Leadership degree in 4 semesters. Our program is cohort-based in that students who are admitted each application cycle will matriculate through all coursework together, as a cohort. Utilizing a hybrid program design, our program incorporates both traditional face-to-face and online learning activities in order to ensure our program is conducive to full-time working professional adults. 

Where Are Our Graduates

Past graduates of our program successfully serve in a broad variety of leadership roles within higher education four-year institutions, community colleges, and professional associations in the field of higher education systems both in the region and across the state, as well as throughout the nation and around the globe. In addition, upon completion of our program, several of our graduates have chosen to pursue a Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree at California State University, Sacramento and other institutions. 

"The best estimates offered by research is that leadership is about one-third born and two-thirds made." ~ Ronal E. Riggio, Ph.D., Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College. 

Career Options 

  • Unit Manager
  • Student Services Professional
  • Program/Project Director
  • Community College entry-level management
  • Mid-or entry-level student services manager

Program Requirements 

  • A baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA for all work presented for the degree
  • Leadership experience
  • Knowledge of/experience with student affairs

Program Course Requirements

Graduate Core Requirements (24 units)
Course             Units   Title

EDLP 221       3          Foundations of Higher Education Leadership
EDLP 222       3          Diversity in Higher Education
EDLP 250       3          Education Leadership (Graduate Writing Intensive)
EDLP 224       3          Advanced Seminar: Program Development and Evaluation
EDLP 225       3          Advanced Seminar: Ethical Decision Making
EDLP 226       3          Meeting the Leadership Challenge
EDLP 227       3          Leading the Way for Student Success: Student and Instructional Services
EDLP 228       3          Innovative Leadership for Troubled Times: Budget/Finance and Human Resources

Culminating Requirements (6 units)
Course           Units    Title

Option 1
EDLP 230       3          Master of Arts Thesis/Project Seminar
EDLP 500A     3          Master of Arts Thesis/Project*

Option 2
EDLP 500A     3          Master of Arts Thesis/Project*
EDLP 500B     3          Master of Arts Thesis/Project

*Students requiring additional time to complete the Thesis/Project may do so by enrolling in subsequent semesters within the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program with approval of their advisor and Department Chair.

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Learn how to apply.
Catalog with detailed program requirements.
View our updated Program Flier (PDF)

Lead Program Faculty

Dr. Geni Cowan

Phone: (916) 278-6154 | Office: Eureka Hall 402A | Email:
Dr. Jose Chavez
Phone: (916) 278-5221 | Office: Eureka Hall 402A | Email: