College of Education and Human Development

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Higher education

Becoming a Leader in Higher Education and Student Affairs

Are you passionate about shaping the future of higher education and creating a positive impact on the lives of students?

Higher Education remains a dynamic and exciting field that develops future leaders who will transform organizations that enact equitable policies and practices so that faculty, students, and staff can flourish in an environment of research, engagement, and higher learning. 

Our masters and doctoral graduate programs are designed to equip aspiring academics and administrators with the knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to excel in the dynamic field of higher education and student affairs. Join us on a transformative journey that will prepare you for leadership roles in colleges, universities, and other educational institutions.

Your Future in Higher Education and Student Affairs

With our graduate program, you'll be well-prepared for a wide range of career paths in higher education administration, including roles in student affairs, academic advising, career counseling, residence life, and more. You'll be equipped to drive positive change in educational institutions and help students succeed both academically and personally.

Join us in our commitment to advancing higher education and fostering the growth and development of students. Your journey towards becoming a successful higher education and student affairs administrator starts here.

    Our curriculum covers a wide range of topics essential for effective higher education and student affairs administration, including:

    • Student Development Theory: Explore the psychological, social, and intellectual development of students to better understand their needs and challenges.
    • Leadership and Organizational Management: Develop leadership skills, management strategies, and decision-making abilities crucial for overseeing educational programs and institutions in higher education and student affairs.
    • Policy and Higher Education Law: Understand higher education policies, legal issues, and regulations affecting colleges and universities, both at the federal and state levels.
    • Community Engagement: Learn how to foster collaborative and mutually beneficial partnerships between universities or colleges and their surrounding communities that enrich the educational experience for students, addresses community needs, and fosters positive social change.
    • Diversity and Inclusion: Gain insights into creating inclusive and equitable educational environments, valuing diversity, and promoting social justice.
    • Crisis Management: Learn how to navigate crises, from student conflicts to campus emergencies, with grace and efficiency.
    • Research and Assessment: Understand how to collect and analyze data to make informed decisions and improve student experiences.

    Our dedicated faculty members are experienced professionals with a deep commitment to the field of higher education and student affairs. They bring real-world expertise to the classroom, ensuring that you receive the best guidance and mentorship. Many are past and present senior administrators in higher education at the department, college, provost and presidential cabinet levels and lead in the areas of first-generation students, career development, student affairs, public engagement, academic and faculty affairs, and equity and inclusion. These dedicated mentors bring their wealth of knowledge, research, and real-world experience into the classroom, providing students with an unmatched quality of education.


    Higher education MA

    Embarking on the journey towards an MA in Higher Education at the University of Minnesota is a transformative step - one that promises to deepen your understanding of the dynamic intersection between higher education and student development and will open career opportunities in higher education institutions.

    Higher education PhD

    Earning a Ph.D. in Higher Education at the University of Minnesota can unlock advanced and specialized career opportunities in the field. With a doctoral degree, you can take on leadership roles, contribute to research and policy development, and make a significant impact on the field of higher education.

    Program faculty

    Andrew Furco Andrew Furco

    My primary research and teaching interests focus on the measurement and assessment of experiential education, community-engaged learning, and community-engaged scholarship in fulfillment of the public purposes of education.

    Andrew Furco
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    Rashné R. Jehangir Rashné R. Jehangir

    • Professor; Robert Beck Chair of Ideas in Education; Founding Director, CEHD First Gen Institute
    • 612-625-3551

    My academic work is at the nexus of research and praxis shaped by my early career as a student affairs practitioner and advisor in federally funded TRIO programs.

    Rashné Jehangir
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    Karen Miksch Karen Miksch

    My research focuses on the law of higher education and the transition to college. Specifically, I am interested in access to higher education from a legal and policy perspective.

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    Rebecca Ropers Rebecca Ropers

    • Professor; Senior Advisor, Academic Leadership and Conflict Resolution, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Office of Equity and Diversity
    • 612-626-9545

    My scholarship focuses on how educators create environments that are accessible to, nurturing of, and reliant upon people in our diverse communities.

    Rebecca Ropers
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    Cori Bazemore-James Cori Bazemore-James

    • Affiliate Faculty, Higher Education; Assistant Vice Provost, Graduate School Diversity Office
    • she, her, hers
    • 612-624-9447

    Fall 2023: OLPD 8702—Administration and Leadership in Higher Education Dr. Cori Bazemore-James (she/her) is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians of Western New York and was raised in a Lakota community in South Dakota.

    Cori Bazemore-James
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    Michael Stebleton Michael Stebleton

    My current studies focus on understanding the experiences of first-generation and immigrant college students, including food insecurity issues and the impact of career courses on career planning and career decision-making.

    Michael Stebleton
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    Roberto Orozco Roberto Orozco

    My research explores questions around race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality with relation to college student activism and student development, queer resistance and queer worldmaking in and outside of higher education contexts.

    Roberto Orozco
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    Tania Mitchell Tania Mitchell

    • Professor; Department Chair; Rodney Wallace Professor for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
    • 612-624-6867

    My scholarship and teaching is focused on supporting student development with an aim to foster students’ leadership capacities for social change and social justice.

    Tania Mitchell
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    David Weerts David Weerts

    • Professor; Associate Vice Provost for Public Engagement, University of Minnesota System
    • 612-625-2289

    Over the past fifteen years, my scholarly work has focused on helping college and university leaders build productive relationships with external partners including state policy makers, community partners, alumni, and donors.

    David Weerts
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    Calvin Phillips Calvin Phillips

    Calvin D. Phillips, D. Ed. is the Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and serves as the chief student affairs officer of the University of Minnesota multi-campus system.

    Calvin Phillips
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    Begin your journey