Why Penn State?

Information about the Master's Degree program offered by the Penn State College of Education.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I am reminded every week—typically more than one time—about how delighted I am to be able to work within and to explore the field of Higher Education. Such delight may be prompted by a conversation with a student, a provocative class discussion, reading an essay, attending an event, or any number of other things. In each case, these experiences persuade me of the complexity and dynamism of this area of life that I have had the privilege to be a part for well over 20 years now.

From this context I encourage you to examine a career in Higher Education and, more specifically, to consider graduate study of this field at Penn State University. Over the last year, my faculty colleagues and I undertook a revision of our Master’s programs, and are very excited with the results. We transitioned the 43-credit Master of Science degree into a 30-credit Master of Education degree, while simultaneously retaining opportunities for two-year graduate assistantships at University Park[1], most of which are in Student Affairs. Although there is significant competition to obtain these assistantships, they offer an exceptional educational laboratory for making connections between cognitive and experiential learning while offering valuable support to the excellent operations of Student Affairs offices at Penn State. Moreover, the camaraderie and investments of other student, faculty, and staff colleagues offer an engaging educational environment for the program.

We also modified the curriculum of the Master of Education degree program to highlight the knowledge and skill areas that are essential for professional preparation. We’ve simultaneously expanded the number of concentrations (i.e., areas of emphasis) to correspond with diverse areas of service in the academy. And, finally, we have completed the development of a fully-online Master of Education degree that replicates the traditional, on-campus degree. The flexibility that online learning offers makes it possible for those already working in the field to maintain their positions all over the country (and world) while receiving a top-notch graduate education.

These modifications are complemented by the larger contexts within which the Master’s program exists, namely Penn State University and State College, Pennsylvania. Students heartily agree that both the university and the geographical area in which the university is situated provide robust and diverse opportunities for learning, community, and enjoyment. 

Plenty of opportunities exist to obtain a Master’s degree in Higher Education. As you explore these opportunities now or in the future, it is my hope that Penn State’s program will find its way onto your list to investigate. Its combination of a compelling academic program, premier university context, verdant geographical location, and committed, gifted colleagues provides a terrific backdrop to your continuing preparation for a promising career in this dynamic field.


[1] These graduate students will take 36 credits during a two-year period of study.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you have an assistantship, your tuition remission does NOT include any courses taken through Penn State's World Campus.