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 graduate program trains students and disseminates knowledge around three central pillars: Student Success, Leadership, and Social Justice. Graduate study in higher education can improve opportunities for advancement and mobility as well as offer intrinsic rewards that stimulate productivity, enhance expertise, and renew motivation. Degrees are offered at the M.S., Ed.D. and Ph.D. levels.
The Master of Science (M.S.) degree prepares individuals for careers in administration, management, and leadership in public and private, two-year and four-year colleges, universities, and other institutions. Coursework and other learning experiences, such as internships and graduate assistantships, add practical experience to the learning process. In general, the curriculum is designed to provide students with appropriate knowledge about the professional field while grounding students in the theoretical framework necessary to guide current and future study and career development in higher education and student affairs. Many courses use practical examples, case studies, and simulations to facilitate theory to practice learning opportunities and applications. Students typically secure entry-level positions following graduation.
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree is designed for individuals interested in upper-level administrative roles at colleges and universities. The curriculum prepares graduates through a focus on knowledge of policy and practice, the conduct of the systematic inquiry, the development and understanding of current practice and professional standards, and the application of cultural and contextual variables to institutional settings. The Ed.D. degree prepares individuals for careers in administration and leadership in public and private two-year colleges, four-year institutions, and universities. Graduates work in a variety of administrative capacities in education agencies and organizations throughout the United States and abroad. Careers offer the satisfaction of serving human needs and realizing valued societal goals.
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is designed for individuals interested in higher education research and/or policy analysis. Students choose one of two tracks of study: Student Affairs or Public Policy. The curriculum prepares graduates for research, faculty, and administrative positions through a combination of comprehensive core, track-specific, elective, and research coursework. Ultimately, students will graduate with the ability to conduct independent research of a quality required by the field’s major associations and academic publications. Graduates work in a variety of service, research, and teaching programs in education agencies and organizations throughout the United States and abroad.
The application deadline is December 1 (Fall admission only).
Graduate assistantships are available to qualified master’s and doctoral students who enroll full-time. Graduate assistants are expected to contribute their time and energy to major research or service projects associated with the department, affiliated centers, and individual faculty grant projects, as well as various college and FSU offices. A particularly strong relationship exists between the Higher Education program and the Division of Student Affairs as well as two research centers: the Center for Postsecondary Success and the Leadership Learning Research Center.
Admitted students may interview for available graduate assistantships through Visiting Days, which typically occurs in the month of February. Training opportunities through these assistantships include administrative, research, and teaching. Admitted students will receive detailed information regarding the Visiting Days program and assistantship applications following acceptance to the Higher Education program, including tuition waivers and health insurance information.
Visiting Days (for students admitted to the fall 2019 cohorts) will be held Sunday, February 10 – Tuesday, February 12, 2019. Especially for students seeking master’s degrees, assistantships are a critical piece of your funding package and an opportunity to learn more about the program, university, and what it would be like to live, work, and study here. Visiting Days features master’s and doctoral program tracks to provide prospective students with information regarding the program and institution, specific to their degree programs and goals. Additional information about the Visiting Days Program is updated each December in preparation for the program and can be found at http://www.fsuhesa.org/visiting-days/.
FELLOWSHIPS & SCHOLARSHIPS
The Graduate School at Florida State University offers internal funding awards and has additional information available about external scholarships and fellowships: https://gradschool.fsu.edu/funding-awards/graduate-school-fellowships-and-grants.
FSU doctoral applicants have been successful at winning both external and internal grants. These include the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship for Florida Ph.D.-seeking students, FAMU Graduate Feeder Scholars Program, P.E.O. Scholars, the NAEd/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, and others. Success stories can be found here at the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards site. We strongly encourage you to review the site and apply for awards. The College of Education also offers scholarships for incoming and current students; more information is available here. Additional information about graduate financial aid can be found here.
Excellent job prospects await our higher education program graduates. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10 percent increase in education administrator employment through 2026. The median annual wage of postsecondary education administrators in 2017 was $92,360 per year.
With a degree in higher education, you will be prepared to take on leadership roles in areas such as student services, student development, administration, and higher education or public policy research. You will also be qualified to work in education-related businesses, including consulting and education marketing companies.
For this program, supporting documents must be uploaded to the Admissions Application Portal:
You should touch on your personal background and experiences that have led you to pursue a graduate degree, but are reminded the faculty will have a copy of your resume/C.V. Personal statements are generally two pages long, 12-point font, double-spaced.
FSU’s Higher Education Program is organized around three pillars: Student Success, Leadership, and Social Justice. We would like to give you a brief but focused opportunity to share your scholarly voice in writing as it applies to our program’s aims and strengths.
In order to meet minimum University admission requirements, an applicant must have:
Verbal – 149
Quantitative – 147
Analytical Writing – 3.5
These scores are considered official only when they are sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the testing agency, and are not valid after two years.
The address for submitting transcripts is:
Florida State University
Office of Admissions
282 Champions Way
PO Box 3062400
Tallahassee FL 32306-2400
Higher Education Student Association (HESA) – Want to know more about what it’s like to be a student in Higher Education? Visit the HESA website for more information.