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Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration

The Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration is a 36-credit program that can be taken after completing a bachelor’s, master’s, or other advanced degree.  It is the appropriate degree for someone who wishes to work in the higher education field in a student affairs or administration capacity – either working directly with students or in a service-related or administrative department.

Current and upcoming course offerings are updated for every semester and can be found on the HEA Course Schedule webpage.

Program Requirements

Core Courses

18 credits. The following 6 courses are required.

HEA 501 - Foundations of Higher Education Administration
HEA 502 - Survey of College Student Development Theory
HEA 503 - Leadership in Higher Education
HEA 504 - Research and Assessment in Higher Education
HEA 521 - Diversity and Higher Education
HEA 595 - Project Seminar


18 credits. Select 6 courses from the list below.

HEA 510 - Technology in Higher Education
HEA 520 - Advising and Counseling in Higher Education
HEA 522 - Crisis Management and Prevention in Higher Education
HEA 523 - Student Affairs Administration
HEA 524 - Enrollment Management
HEA 525 - The Contemporary Undergraduate
HEA 526 - Career Counseling and the Psychology of Work
HEA 527 - Community College Administration
HEA 530 - Legal Issues in Higher Education
HEA 531 - Finance Issues in Higher Education
HEA 532 - Facilities Management in Higher Education
HEA 533 - Intercollegiate Athletics in Higher Education
HEA 534 - Philanthropy in American Higher Education
HEA 535 - International Higher Education
HEA 540 - Critical Issues in Higher Education
HEA 560 - Comparative University Systems
HEA 586 - Practicum in Higher Education
HEA 587 - Advanced Practicum in Higher Education Administration

Required for Students With Less Than One Year of Full-Time Experience

Students who do not have one year of full-time professional work experience in higher education or are not currently employed in higher education are required to complete a 150-hour (10 hours per week for 15 weeks) unpaid internship with an approved supervisor working in the higher education field to gain practical experience. Students will earn three credits and can choose to do their internship in the fall or spring.  The three credits earned will count as one of the six required electives for the program.

Practicum sites can be at Stony Brook or at another college or university. Students can find current listings of available Stony Brook opportunities in Handshake (the database supported by the Career Center) and the HEA Brightspace community. Students who are looking outside of Stony Brook must find a department and supervisor who is willing to work with them. Supervisors will be required to have an earned master's degree and at least 5 years of professional higher education experience.

In addition to their field hours, students will also complete a 14-week online course, HEA 586 Practicum in Higher Education, to build a strong theory-to-practice connection, and to reflect on and discuss the practicum experience.  Once they have found a location, HEA program advisors will work with the supervisor to make sure the experience meets program requirements.  

All practicum experiences must be approved by the program director prior to enrollment in HEA 586 or 587.

Note:  The practicum opportunity is for students in the Master of Arts program only. Students in the Advanced Graduate Certificate program are not eligible to earn credit for a practicum experience.