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Education, Higher Education, M.Ed.

The Master of Education in higher education prepares educators to become effective practitioners in multiple administrative roles in higher education contexts, facilitate student learning and promote student success, and shape inclusive communities in higher education.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Of Faculty Have Practitioner Experience

Each faculty member is an experienced education practitioner.

Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission

GVSU's education program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Of Faculty Have Doctoral Degrees

Each faculty member holds a doctoral degree in their field.

Source: EMSI, 2021

Program Overview

The program offers an opportunity to enroll in coursework full- or part-time and includes two emphasis areas: Adult and Higher Education and College Student Affairs Leadership (CSAL). Graduates of the higher education program will be equipped with the theoretical basis to serve in student affairs positions such as admissions, orientation, housing, campus recreation, and more.

Why Study Higher Education at Grand Valley?

  • Faculty members are leaders in their fields, melding together the philosophy of education and students' needs as practitioners.
  • Faculty members are committed to creating and maintaining supportive educational environments that challenge students to reach their fullest potential.
  • The curriculum is flexible and offered in a hybrid format for working educators.
  • The curriculum, instructional practices, professional development, experiential, and co-curricular opportunities are shaped by theory to practice, foundation, which enables graduates to make well-informed decisions in a variety of higher education settings.
  • Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.


Grand Valley State University's College of Education and Community Innovation is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (NCA). The faculty are leaders in their fields, melding together the philosophy of education and your needs as a practitioner.

Location & Format

Classes for this program are offered in the following formats: in-person, hybrid (some in-person and some asynchronous and synchronous meetings) and online. Classes are offered on both the Allendale and Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids campuses.



The higher education program includes foundation courses, emphasis area courses, concentration courses, and elective courses.

The AHE emphasis requires a minimum of 36 credits and offers the opportunity to take coursework part time.

The CSAL emphasis, requiring a minimum of 42 credits overall which includes 6 credits of practicum/internship experience, offers a cohort experience to students and is designed to be completed in two full-time academic years.

Career Options

The M.Ed. in Higher Education curriculum prepares graduates to work with college students and higher education professionals in a variety of functional areas such as:

  • Academic advising
  • Career Services
  • Housing and Residential Life
  • Multicultural affairs
  • Admissions
  • Financial aid
  • Recreation and wellness

Application Deadline

Deadline for fall semester is July 15; winter deadline is November 15; spring/summer deadline is March 15. Those applications received after the deadline will be considered on an individual basis and program availability. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to GVSU.

Admission Requirements

  • The Education programs have rolling admissions deadlines to ensure maximum flexibility for our applicants
  • Up to 9 credit hours can be transferred from other institutions (many institutions only allow up to 6 transfer credits)
  • Enrollment begins in mid-March for the following academic year to give students additional time to plan
  • GVSU allows you up to 8 years to complete your graduate program (more time than most other institutions)
  • You must submit an official transcript from your baccalaureate degree granting institution


Visit the Education page for criteria and procedures.

For More Information

College of Education and Community Innovation
401 Fulton Street West, Building C
(616) 331-6650
Program Contact: Karyn Rabourn, Ph.D., [email protected]

Graduate Admissions Office

Program Director

Karyn Rabourn, Ph.D.
(616) 331-6591



When you became a Laker, you opened up a lifetime of learning, and now alumni like you can use your Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account for classes that provide greater knowledge and new skills. Your account is waiting for you to use for future classes at GVSU. All you have to do is click on the button below to find out more.

Find Out More About Your Laker Lifetime Learning Account (L3)