College of Education & Professional Studies


Master's Degree Programs

Colleges and universities —and their students — thrive when well-trained professionals and administrators are at the helm of the organization. This field offers a wide array of opportunities, and completing a degree in Higher Education Leadership at UW-Whitewater will prepare you for a position of your choice in a higher education setting.

Supporting students, working with academic units, collaborating or leading student affairs units, and working in athletics, financial aid, advising, orientation, and housing are all opportunities that exist with the completion of UW-Whitewater’s HELEAD program.


Degree plan


Why study Higher Education Leadership at UW-Whitewater?

A scholar + practitioner approach
Our 30-credit program prepares you to be an equity-minded change agent across colleges and universities. Classroom experiences are grounded in research and theory that guide organizational leadership, but provide numerous opportunities for practical application. Students who complete this program will have a strong understanding of how to implement policy, apply theory, collaborate across higher education units, and engage in critical equity-minded decision-making processes.

Supportive and flexible
Program support includes a program coordinator and faculty who teach within the program serving as advisors. And there’s no need to put your job on hold — coursework is offered in the evenings or online, to ensure candidates can continue working while completing this program.

Employers tell us that students who graduate from UW-Whitewater’s program are equipped to step directly into fast-paced higher education leadership roles.

What our students do

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Explore current and urgent topics in college leadership

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Get individualized attention and advising from faculty

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Gain real-world experience through a practicum in an actual higher ed setting

Hands-on learning experiences

As future higher education leaders, practical experience in the field is crucial. UW-Whitewater’s 3-credit practicum includes 150 hours of hands-on work in a unit of higher education of your choice and arranged with the program coordinator and site supervisor. This experience is highly individualized and tailored to assist you with meeting individual career goals.

Students in the program will apply theory and concepts developed in class to higher education leadership settings. The purpose of the practicum is twofold: (1) to enhance individual leadership skill sets; and (2) to enhance each students' professional résumé and CV to be competitive in a job market that values diverse, hands-on, practical experiences in higher education.

Current students and alumni have completed practicums throughout the Midwest. Settings could include:

Academic Affairs Leadership

  • Academic Advising
  • Chancellor’s Office/Provost’s Office
  • Curriculum Development/Assessment
  • Enrollment and Retention
  • Faculty Development Center
  • Financial Aid
  • Graduate School/Continuing Studies
  • Registrar’s Office

Intercollegiate Athletics/Community Outreach

  • Athletic Administration
  • Campus Outreach Programming
  • Camps and Clinics

Students Affairs Leadership

  • Career Services
  • Dean of Students Office
  • Diversity and Inclusion, Multicultural Affairs
  • First-Year Experience Office
  • High School to College Transition Programing
  • LGBTQ Programming
  • Student Orgs/Greek Life

Two-Year College Leadership
As a university with a true branch campus — UW-Whitewater at Rock County in neighboring Janesville — we’re uniquely experienced in two-year college administration. And we have collaborations and partnerships with many other two-year, junior, and technical colleges throughout the Midwest.

What our graduates do

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Academic affairs leadership

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Student affairs leadership

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Intercollegiate athletics

Careers: What can you do with a Higher Education Leadership degree?

After earning their degree in Higher Education Leadership, UW-Whitewater graduates find a variety of positions in various colleges and university settings. Here’s just a sample of locations and departments:

  • ABC of Wisconsin
  • Beloit College, Admissions
  • Central Connecticut State University Athletics
  • Marquette University (Milwaukee)
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College, Admissions
  • Texas A&M University, Residence Life
  • Thomas College, Community Standards
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Tennessee, Haslam College of Business
  • University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Post Secondary Education Research Center
  • University of North Florida, College of Education and Human Services
  • University of North Texas at Dallas, Student Engagement
  • University of Wisconsin Colleges Online, Registrar’s Office
  • UW-La Crosse, Office of Field Experience
  • UW-Madison, Financial Aid
  • UW-Whitewater, Academic Advising and Exploration Center
  • UW-Whitewater, College of Business and Economics
  • UW-Whitewater, College of Education and Professional Studies
  • UW-Whitewater, First Year Experience
  • UW-Whitewater, Recreation Sports
  • UW-Whitewater, University Housing
  • UW-Whitewater, Undergraduate Admissions
  • Wisconsin Technical College System, Information Technology

Our Higher Education Leadership faculty

Want to learn more about a master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership? Contact us at

UW-Whitewater offers the following Higher Ed. Leadership master’s degree options:

Required master’s degree courses for HELEAD include:

  • Introduction to Higher Education and Student Affairs
  • College Student Development: Theory, Assessment, and Application
  • Assessment in Higher Education
  • Diversity and Equity in Higher Education
  • Reading, Analyzing, and Evaluating Higher Education Research

Depending on your interests and career aspirations, you’ll have the choice of targeted elective courses, such as:

  • Legal Issues in Higher Education
  • Issues, Perspectives, and Directions in Higher Education
  • Organization and Governance in Higher Education
  • Event Management, Marketing and Sponsorship in Athletics

Prospective students can apply for admission to this program year-round. Reviews of applications are completed on a monthly basis, and communication regarding admission to the program is sent within 30 days of the application submission.

This program begins in a Fall semester only, and is cohort based for those who wish to enroll full time. If you prefer to enroll part time, that is also a possibility.


Apply now

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