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Introduction to the Program

The Master of Education in Higher Education is a professional degree program designed to prepare students for a variety of careers in postsecondary education. Areas of service in which recent graduates work with success include: residence life; student activities/orientation; advocacy and affinity offices; fraternity and sorority life; admissions; student conduct; and academic/career advising.

The M.Ed program has three completion options:

Option 1: Online M.Ed. via World Campus

Option 2: M.Ed. with Graduate Assistantship Program and Focus on Student Affairs

This completion option takes place over two years of full-time study at University Park (9 credits for four semesters, and an optional internship experience during the summer between the two academic years), and involves competing for and obtaining an established graduate assistantship in a Penn State office, most of which are in an area of student affairs. Students who pursue this option will complete 18 credits of required courses, 12 credits of electives (also we offer strong recommendations for 6 of these credits), and 6 credits in an “area of emphasis." The student affairs area of emphasis is strongly recommended in this regard. If another area of emphasis is desired, students may have to take 1 or 2 online courses through Penn State’s World Campus.

We also encourage students to consider exploring additional professional experience beyond their graduate assistantships, including during the summer between the two years (as mentioned above), and/or in an on-campus internship (10 hours/week) during their second year of study, and with the approval of their supervisor and the degree program coordinator.

Option 3: M.Ed. Flexible Options

This completion option accounts for a variety of ways in which students may complete the degree, acknowledging that a person’s particular responsibilities and preferences shape decisions regarding how long it may take to complete the 30-credit degree program or how many courses to take during any particular semester. In this option, a student’s plan of study is individualized and developed in league with an adviser to meet self-determined professional goals based on particular realities. Examples of students for whom this option is ideal include: those who work full-time at Penn State; those from nearby campuses who desire additional education; or, those who have “on their own” have obtained an internship/assistantship on campus.

Students who pursue this option will complete 18 credits of required courses, 6 credits in an “area of emphasis,” and 6 credits of electives.  Students who pursue this option will normally take a majority, if not all, of the courses at University Park. However, they may choose to take some courses online through Penn State’s World Campus and, depending on the area of emphasis that is selected, they may be required to take 1 or 2 courses online.