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  • Higher Education

    Established in 1957, the Florida State University Higher Education Program boasts a long tradition of excellence in preparing students for successful careers in higher education and in disseminating research on higher education policy issues at the national, state, and institutional level. Our mission is to draw upon and apply knowledge from the broad areas of organizational theory, student development, public policy, as well as teaching and learning to improve the quality of practice in college and universities. We offer the program at the M.S., Ed.D. and Ph.D. levels.

    Admission Requirementsexpand menu

    In order to meet minimum University admission requirements, an applicant must have:

    • A bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA – An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution, with a minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA) in all coursework attempted while registered as an upper-division undergraduate student working towards a bachelor’s degree
    • A graduate degree with at least a 3.5 GPA – Applicants for the doctoral programs must have an earned graduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution, with a minimum 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA).
    • GRE test scores – Official test results are required from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The Educational Testing Service (ETS) does not retain scores longer than five years. If your test scores are older than five years, you may have to retake the test to have official scores sent directly to FSU from the testing agency. If you have the official report that was mailed to your home address for older scores, then FSU will accept that report. FSU Institution Code: 5219.

    Target Scores:
    Verbal – 149
    Quantitative – 147
    Analytical Writing – 3.5

    • Language proficiency test scores International applicants whose first language is not English and who have not studied in an English-speaking country for at least an academic year must submit language proficiency test scores.

    Target Scores:
    TOEFL (paper-based) – 550
    TOEFL (internet-based) – 80
    IELTS – 6.5
    MELAB – 77

    • Transcripts Applicants must submit an official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college and/or university attended to the Office of Admissions. Transfer credit posted on the records of other institutions is not accepted in lieu of transcripts from the original institutions. Official transcripts for these credits must also be submitted. Transcripts are considered official when they bear an official seal and signature and are sent from the issuing college or university directly to Florida State. FSU transcripts or official transcripts already on file will be obtained by the Office of Admissions. Original documents or signed, officially certified photocopies of original documents may be submitted by the student only when institutions outside the United States will not send academic records to other institutions. The verifying signature should be that of an officer of the institution attended. All academic records that are not in English must be accompanied by certified English translations. Certified documents should be true copies that are signed and dated by an educational official familiar with academic records. Documents signed by a notary or other public official with no educational affiliation will not be accepted.The address for submitting transcripts is:

    Florida State University
    Office of Admissions
    282 Champions Way
    P.O. Box 3062400
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400

    For this program, supporting documents must be uploaded to the Admissions Application Portal:

    • Statement of purpose (1 required) The purpose statement should describe you purpose for pursuing a degree, qualifications, and long-term career goals
    • Letters of recommendation (3 required)
      • Letters should be written by persons who are in a position to comment on the likelihood of your success within the department, specifically faculty members or supervisors. At least one letter must be from a faculty member. We do not accept letters from co-workers or friends.
    • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (1 required)
    • Unofficial Transcripts Include transcripts from all colleges attended. Uploading a copy will expedite the review process, though you must still send official copies to the Office of Admissions.


    The application deadline is December 1 (Fall admission only).

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    Apply Now- International Students

    Degree Requirementsexpand menu

    • Master’s
      • 39 hours of course work including:
        27 hours in required courses
        3-6 hours of required track courses*
        3-6 hours of electives*
        6 hours of internship credit
        Professional Portfolio

      All master’s degree students are required to prepare a professional portfolio as a capstone experience that should be presented during the last semester of the student’s enrollment. For those in the student affairs emphasis, the portfolio preparation process is introduced in the summer term between the first and second year of the master’s program in the course, SDS 5804, Practicum in Student Services. There are two opportunities for this course. One takes place locally and one internationally. Click here for our current practicum in London. A presentation of the portfolio is a part of the requirements for the course — EDH 5630 is Capstone in Higher Education.

    • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
      • The Ed.D. degree requires a minimum of 57 semester hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree plus 24 hours of dissertation credit
        The 57 semester hours must include:
        • 21 hours of core courses
        • 18 hours of research courses
        • 12 hours of foundation courses
        • 6 hours of electives
        + 24 dissertation hours

    3.00 minimum GPA

    Doctoral Residency
    Residency credits must be earned by each student after being admitted to a doctoral program
    Residency is a University requirement; it is enforced by the Dean of Graduate Studies without exception.
    An Ed.D. student may accumulate 24 credits in 12 consecutive months or 30 credits in 16 months.

    Career Opportunitiesexpand menu

    Excellent job prospects await our higher education program graduates. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 19 percent increase in education administrator employment through 2020. Moreover, the median annual wage of entry-level postsecondary education administrators in 2010 totaled $83,710. The growth in this field is primarily due to increased enrollment in postsecondary schools. A large number of postsecondary education administrators are expected to retire between 2010 and 2020, which will present many opportunities for young graduates entering the field.

    With a degree in higher education, you will be prepared to take lead roles in areas such as student loans and admissions, student services, and student development. You will also be qualified to work in education-related businesses including consulting and education marketing companies.

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