Coursework

M.A. in Higher Education Leadership

Department of Leadership Studies

Program of Study

Overview

The M.A. in Higher Education Leadership is a 36-unit program of study designed for students working in, or with a career preference for, higher education. Students may choose to focus on Higher Education Administration or Student Affairs, or they may take coursework in both areas. Students planning to pursue a career in Student Affairs are urged to consider Graduate Assistantships made available through the Student Affairs/SOLES Collaborative, a partnership with the Division of Student Affairs.

Learning Outcomes

Leadership and Development Theories
Masters candidates will articulate prominent leadership theories in Leadership Studies, analyze and critique these theories, and apply these theories in the course of addressing a variety of organizational issues and problems.

Critical Thinking and Analytical Approaches
Students will select relevant information, organize and evaluate the information, and apply it to issues of leadership.

Organizational Systems and Group Dynamics
Students will demonstrate an understanding of key theories of organizational behavior and change, and effectively apply them in an organizational setting.

Cultural Competency Global Understanding
Students will critically examine culture other than their own, and apply the knowledge gained in their personal and professional lives.

Self-Awareness
Graduates will have an ability to reflect upon their own skills and limitations as leaders, evidenced by performance working with groups.

Higher Education Practical Application
Make explicit connections to higher education practice and apply various theoretical constructs in the context of workplace.
Understand the unique characteristics of students and student culture in higher education.

Higher Education Policy and Historical Trends
Understand historical trends in higher education and their implications for contemporary policy issues.

International Experience

At SOLES, all masters and doctoral students participate in an international experience designed to support the growth of cultural competency. Our goal is to inform best practices in working with culturally diverse populations locally, nationally and globally.

For many students, this experience will include a one- to two-week, faculty-led course abroad. For students who prefer to stay in southern California, this experience may be fulfilled through research or coursework on international issues. Service trips and site visits across the border in Tijuana are offered regularly.

Counseling courses with an international component include:

  • Community Models of Leadership: From Noticing to Mindful Action in Sri Lanka (Summer 2012)
  • International Education and School Change in Chile (Intersession 2013)
  • Nonprofits and Civil Society in Guatemala (Intersession 2013)
  • Exercising Leadership for the Common Good in South Africa (Summer 2013)
  • Models of Participatory Leadership in Mondragon, Spain (Summer 2012, 2013)

Curriculum

Leadership Core Curriculum (12 units)

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE GRADUATE UNITS
LEAD 550 Leadership Theory and Practice
3
LEAD 551 Human Relations for Leaders
3
LEAD 555 Leadership & Ethics
3
LEAD 559 Organizational Theory & Change
3

Research Core (3 units)

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE GRADUATE UNITS
LEAD 547 Action Research Methods I
3

Internship (3 units)

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE GRADUATE UNITS
LEAD 598 Leadership Internship
3
Or*  
LEAD 594 Student Affairs GA Seminar
6*

* Student Affairs GAs will enroll in LEAD 594 - Student Affairs GA Seminar (1.5 units) each semester for a total of 6 units.

Higher Education Core (9 units)

Select 3 classes from the following:
view course schedule

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE GRADUATE UNITS
LEAD 565 Dynamics of Race, Gender and Culture in Higher Education
3
LEAD 571 History, Theories and Philosophies of Higher Education
3
LEAD 577 Higher Education Policy
3
LEAD 569 Making Meaning and the Collegiate Experience
3
COUN 515 Multicultural Counseling
3

Electives (6-9 units)

Students complete 6-9 units of electives. The variation is based on the internship requirement. Student who take 3 units of internship will need 9 units of electives. Students Affairs GAs, who take 6 units of the GA Seminar will need 6 units of electives. Electives are selected in consultation with the student's advisor and may be drawn from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the School of Peace Studies, the School of Business and the School of Law. Electives drawn from other programs may require instructor approval in order to enroll. All students must complete 36 units to earn the MA degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the program take me?

Full-time students complete their degree in 2 years. Part-time students complete their degree in 2.5-3 years.

How many units are included?

This program consists of 36 Graduate Units.

When are classes scheduled?

Each class typically meets once per week at 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. for 2 hours and 50 minutes. Summer and intersession classes typically hold more frequent class meetings. Students typically take 2-3 classes per semester and may take summer and intersession coursework.

Please note that electives taken in other departments may not follow this class schedule.

Can I work while completing this program?

Yes. Classes are scheduled in the evenings and occasionally on weekends. Many students work full-time or part-time while completing this program.

Is this program offered online?

No, this program is offered on campus at the University of San Diego only. There is no online, hybrid, or distance learning option available.