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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

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.

Application Process This section is for residential M.Ed. applicants interested in a graduate assistantship

The process for participating in the M.Ed. program at University Park and having a graduate assistantship involves these steps:

1. Submit all of the required admissions materials detailed above

2. Then, if/when an applicant is offered admission to the program, they are invited to attend an on-campus program called Preview Days. This two-day program typically occurs in late February or early March and is designed to introduce students to current students and faculty, and to provide additional information about the program and living in State College. Perhaps most importantly, Preview Days offers admitted students an opportunity to interview for graduate assistantships with several offices/programs, based on their availability any given year (typically somewhere between 12-15 graduate assistantships are available each year).

3. Based on these interviews, graduate assistantship offers are made within approximately three weeks and prospective students who receive offers are given several weeks to decide, though we encourage them to do so quickly. Almost all graduate assistantships include full tuition and a monthly stipend during the traditional 9-month academic year.

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.

SAVE THE DATE! The Preview Days Program this year is scheduled for February 25-26, 2021. All applicants that are granted admission to the M.Ed. program are automatically invited to this event to meet current students and faculty, learn more about the program, see the campus, and perhaps most importantly, interview for available graduate assistantship positions beginning in Fall 2021.