Course Details

The coursework required for the Master of Professional Studies in Higher Education Administration includes two core courses, Ethics and Leadership in Higher Education and Capstone, as well as foundation and elective coursework. Below represents a sample of course offerings. Format and content may change.

Core Courses (6 credits)

MPEA 500: Ethics and Leadership in Higher Education
This course provides a firm foundation in the essential concepts and skills of ethical decision-making in higher education. The course will also explore issues and frameworks that administrators are confronted with as they form an ethical culture within their institution. Jesuit pedagogy will be utilized throughout the delivery of the course as a way of engaging with larger questions of social justice within ethical decision-making.

MPEA 900: Capstone
All students are required to complete a three-credit capstone project as the culminating experience of the program. This course, taken during the student’s last semester, demonstrates the student’s advanced grasp of the discipline of higher education administration and provides the opportunity to synthesize all of the theoretical and practical content taught during the program into one course experience. Each student works with a faculty advisor who serves as a guide through the detailed development and execution of the project and related deliverables. The capstone project is also an opportunity for students to develop connections and gain mentors to help them progress in their career upon graduation. To successfully fulfill the capstone requirement, students must complete an applied research project or an in-depth research paper, and defend their work in front of a panel of faculty and experts.

Foundation Courses (12 Credits)

MPEA 600: American Higher Education
Taken at the beginning of the program, this course introduces students to the field of higher education. This course begins with an overview of the historical development of the American higher education system. It then introduces students to a variety of institution types, governance and administration structures, and key stakeholders in higher education (students, parents, faculty, administrators, governing/accrediting bodies, etc.) and their various roles.

MPEA 610: Global Higher Education
This course introduces students to a global approach to higher education, exploring how globalization has affected higher education and how institutions are adapting to the shifting landscape. Throughout the course, students explore current events and issues in higher education with a global perspective while examining the implications that globalization has on governance, operations, academic and student affairs, and enrollment. Topics such as the rise of global-format education programs outside of traditional study abroad programs, increasing international student enrollments, and the expansion of international branch campuses will also be covered.

MPEA 620: Organization and Administration in Higher Education
This course will introduce students to the governance, structure, and management of higher education institutions. Different institution types (community colleges, colleges, universities, for-profit institutions) will be addressed so that students begin to understand how operating models differ among institutions. This course will prepare students for further coursework in the Administration focus area and will provide an introduction to several elective courses, including Faculty Governance and Academic Administration, Budgeting and Financing in Higher Education, and Planning and Resource Management in Higher Education.

MPEA 630: Student Affairs: Orientation to the Profession
This course will provide students with an overview of the profession of student affairs. Students will explore the role of student affairs professionals in relation to functional/programmatic areas and supporting the institutional mission. An emphasis will be placed on understanding the responsibilities that student affairs professionals have in promoting holistic student development including intellectual, social, moral, and emotional development. Emphasis will be placed on self-reflection and developing a professional philosophy towards student affairs practice.

Elective Courses (15 Credits)

Administration Focus Area:

MPEA 700: Higher Education Policy
This course is designed to survey the policy landscape that has helped shape higher education and considers the direction and implications of current and future policies. Students examine federal, state, and local policies that affect institutions, including policies governing assessment systems and the regulation and financing of schools. They also explore the ways in which policy influences various aspects of the university, including governance, research, and student affairs.

MPEA 701: Budgeting and Financing in Higher Education
Designed to give students an understanding of the budgeting considerations and processes at various levels within an institution, this course pays special attention to the different roles and functions of budget officers and how budgeting and finance affect various aspects of an institution’s operations. Students engage with financial methods and practices through case studies and problem sets. This course examines whether different financial approaches are more suitable for public, private, nonprofit, or for-profit higher education. Finally, students will learn how macroeconomic factors affect higher education institutions’ revenue streams and cost structures and how to communicate effectively with others about financial challenges.

MPEA 702: Faculty Governance and Academic Administration
This course will explore the historical role of faculty within the institution and current models for faculty governance and involvement in academic administration. Models for faculty governance in various institution types will be examined, including models for: two versus four year institutions, private versus public universities, liberal arts colleges, and for-profit institutions.

MPEA 703: Planning and Resource Management in Higher Education
This course will introduce students to the concepts of institutional and strategic planning. Students will learn how to develop, implement, and modify a campus plan, and how to integrate planning with resource management. This course will examine the interplay between institutional and academic initiatives and facilities planning.

MPEA 704: Facilities, Operations, and the Physical Plant
This course will provide an overview of facilities management responsibilities, including security, operation, and maintenance of physical facilities.

Student Affairs Focus Area:

MPEA 720: Foundations of College Student Learning and Development
This course provides an overview of student development, counseling, and human development theories as they pertain to student learning and development, with a particular focus on catering to different types of students who attend different institutions (or different programs within institutions), such as how theories of growth and development are different for traditional student populations versus adult learners.

MPEA 721: Student Outcomes Assessment and Program Evaluation
Understanding student outcomes assessment is critical for anyone working with faculty or academic departments or co-curricular student engagement, as this is the basis of evaluating student learning. This course will provide an introduction to student outcomes assessment for administrators during the first part of the course. The second part of the course will then focus on program evaluation, which will teach administrators how to work with faculty, department chairs, and other administrators to evaluate the health of academic and co-curricular programs in order to fine-tune, update, or sunset programs.

MPEA 722: Multicultural Student Communities
This course will provide an overview of the historical context of multicultural education and will introduce best practices for student services professionals as they interact with multicultural student communities in a variety of capacities (such as offices that govern student housing, academic advising, financial aid, and student success).

MPEA 723: Diversity and Social Justice in Higher Education
This course introduces students to issues of diversity and social justice in higher education. While evaluating questions of diversity regarding race and ethnicity, gender, and social class, students will examine social justice as an action and a process for creating change and transformation within higher education. This course will also reflect on Georgetown’s commitment to social justice and examine whether Jesuit institutions (or other religious or mission-driven educational institutions) have a special moral obligation to promote diversity and social justice in higher education.

Additional Electives:

MPEA 750: Seminar on Innovation in Higher Education
This course will rotate topics based on innovative trends or current case studies in higher education. Examples of topics include: examining new modalities, innovative teaching and learning models, and higher education law.

MPEA 760: Higher Education Practicum
The practicum allows students to apply classroom concepts in the field. Participants spend a semester in a department or functional area of an institution and gain experience as a higher education administrator. Students are expected to reflect on the practicum and synthesize the experience with their coursework. Students work with an advisor for this learning experience, and assignments evaluate their learning throughout the duration of the practicum. Students may take up to two elective practicums as part of their course of study. This opportunity gives students a better understanding of possible career paths through hands-on experience.

MPEA 770: Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations
This course will explore the evolution of advancement as a distinct university function and will explore the interplay between fundraising and academic priorities, government and community relations, and strategic planning. Students will learn the importance of comprehensive communications and alumni relations strategies and how fundraising fits into the lifecycle of alumni relations.

MPEA 771: Institutional Communications and Public Relations
Students in this course learn the crucial role of communicating with internal and external stakeholders. Effective managers and leaders must be expert communicators and connected with all members of an institution’s community. This course provides techniques for communication planning and the clear composition of written and oral messages. Crisis communication and writing skills are covered.

MPEA 772: Intercollegiate Athletics in Higher Education
This course will explore the social, moral and ethical issues that are posed by intercollegiate athletics in the higher education landscape. A history of the development of collegiate athletics will be covered, and students will learn how athletics departments support institutional goals and interact with various offices across the institution.

MPEA 773: Systems Management in Higher Education
This course will provide an introduction to the various systems that are deployed across a university to manage data, store information, and generally execute the business of running an institution of higher education. Examples of systems to be covered include CRMs, SISs, and LMSs. Students will learn how the various systems interact and will engage in simulations or exercises in the systems in order to learn basic operational skills.

MPEA 774: The Community College
This course provides a survey of the various types and structures of community colleges. Students will learn how different community colleges have evolved historically and how they currently function. This course will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the community college system and will compare various aspects of community colleges with those of traditional four-year colleges and universities, such as organization, financing, student population, curriculum, faculty, and mission/social function.

MPEA 775: Enrollment Management: The Student Lifecycle
In this elective, students gain an understanding of enrollment management processes as well as strategies for recruiting, retaining, admitting, and enrolling students. The course examines the different stakeholders and gives an overview of the different factors influencing enrollment: financial aid and scholarships, academic standards, learning formats, and institutional goals. Students learn recruitment and enrollment strategies based on research, differentiation, marketing, and data analysis and reporting.

MPEA 776: Data-Driven Decision-Making in Higher Education
As higher education administrators have more data at their fingertips than ever before, they are increasingly under pressure to employ sophisticated data analysis techniques to make decisions. Functions and departments across universities and colleges all face this challenge in their own way, whether they must analyze data for enrollment trends, program development, budgets and financial planning, or marketing purposes. In addition to exploring the many ways in which data analysis takes place across college campuses, this course will serve as a basic introduction to statistics and modeling methods that can be implemented in the workplace.