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LAKERS TOGETHERGrand Valley is preparing for successful learning experiences when classes resume on Aug. 31. Learn more about the plan for fall in this handbook.



Image of GVSU Education students teaching.

Education, Higher Education, M.Ed.

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) 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 higher education communities.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Of Faculty Have Practitioner Experience
Of Faculty Have Doctoral Degrees

Source: EMSI, 2020

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.

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.

Why Study Higher Education at Grand Valley?

  • Faculty are committed to creating and maintaining supportive educational environments that challenge students to reach their fullest potential.
  • Curricular and co-curricular opportunities align with the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education and ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies.
  • Our curriculum, instructional practices, professional development, experiential, and co-curricular opportunities are shaped by our theory to practice foundation. It is essential to preparing effective educators, particularly related to student development, leadership in and administration of organizations, and those that are critical in nature. By modeling this foundation, we expect graduates to make well-informed decisions in a variety of higher education settings.


Grand Valley State University's College of Education is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and 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 as a hybrid program that requires three face-to-face meetings per semester on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.


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

Skills Employers Want

Graduates will:

  • Understand student development theory.
  • Understand how higher education institutions are structured.
  • Be able to make well-informed decisions in a variety of higher education settings.

Application Deadline

Deadline for fall semester is May 15; winter deadline is September 15; spring/summer deadline is February 15. Early application is strongly encouraged, those received after the deadline will be considered for the next cycle. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to Grand Valley State University. Please visit

Admission Requirements

All students seeking degree, endorsement, approval, license or certificate change must be formally admitted to graduate study.

A maximum of six graduate credits earned prior to graduate admission may apply to degree requirements.

In addition to university admissions requirements in the GVSU Catalog, students must meet the Master of Education (M.Ed.) Admission Criteria.

  • Application Materials: Graduate application, application fee, official transcripts from all previous colleges or universities attended, and copies of teaching/administrative certificates if required for program admission or approved waiver;
  • Recommendations: Three professional or academic recommendations on COE recommendation forms, addressing the candidate’s potential for graduate study;
  • Grade Point Average: Grade point average of 3.0 or better for the last 60 credits of undergraduate work taken from a regionally accredited institution; or
  • Previous Master’s Degree: A prior master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution will be accepted in lieu of the minimum grade point average.

Candidates should submit materials to GVSU Admissions, Allendale, MI 49401. When all application materials have been received, Admissions will forward the complete portfolio for consideration to the College of Education - Student Information and Services Center. Candidates should allow 4-6 weeks for written notification of their admission status.

Visit the College of Education website for alternate criteria and policies.

For More Information

College of Education
401 W. Fulton St, Building C
(616) 331-6650

Graduate Admissions Office



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)