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Top 10 Graduate Higher Education Schools

Graduate students pursue degrees in higher education are those who are interested in policy, curriculum, and trends as they affect colleges and universities. Most students who enroll in graduate level programs already have the necessary educational background and professional experience that demonstrates a passion for education and for working with big picture issues and topics, such as policy and curriculum. While many schools of education will offer generalized higher education concentration, other will offer more specialized degrees, such as adult higher education and community college administration.

The list below is based on the surveys and research conducted by U.S. News and World Report and shows the best of the best when it comes to higher education graduate degrees in the country. While this is not by any means a complete list, it is meant to show a number of the most well established schools that produce the most innovative and influential leaders in higher education administration today. If you do find what you are looking for in the list below, then you should continue your research until you find the school that offers the curriculum you need.

  1. Pennsylvania State University--University Park Considered to be the best training ground for higher education training in the country, this school offers student a number of opportunities for research and for clinical practice. The PhD in higher education allows students to concentrate on research and the analysis of policy.
  2. University of Michigan--Ann Arbor This program has excelled in creating leaders for years. The PhD program allows students the cross between practical concern and scholarly research that makes for great leaders and effective policy leaders in today's universities and colleges.
  3. University of California--Los Angeles The Graduate School of Higher Education and Organizational Change introduces master's and PhD students to the major social, political, and economic issues facing today's higher education institutions. Students learn to analyze and apply data and statistics.
  4. Michigan State University The Department of Educational Administration is one of the leading centers for higher education policy research and analysis in the country. While being a highly research oriented department, the school also offers a number of opportunities for clinical research and practical application.
  5. Indiana University--Bloomington The Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs teaches students not only to read and analyze policy, but to consider notions of justice and social equality when it comes to higher education administration.
  6. University of Georgia The Institute of Higher Education offers master's and PhD degree programs for qualified students who are ready to become valuable and influential leaders in today's colleges and universities.
  7. University of Southern California (Rossier) The Rossier School of Education offers a Doctor of Education in Leadership that allows those who are interested in higher education to enter the field with a strong background in research and analysis.
  8. Vanderbilt University (Peabody) The Peabody College of Education and Human Development offers a number of graduate program options for students who are interested in policy, curriculum, student affairs, or general administration.
  9. University of Pennsylvania The Graduate School of Education is highly selective and offers PhD and master's programs in higher education for those students who have experience and a strong background in the higher education field.
  10. University of Maryland--College Park The Graduate School offers a PhD in Higher Education Administration that allows students to participate in clinical research that will help them to complete their dissertations. Students who graduate from this program fill leadership roles in colleges around the country.
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