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Explore Degrees

CSHPE students

Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education


The Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education offers Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in a variety of concentrations. You may also choose to earn a dual degree with the Stephen M. Ross School of Business or the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Each of these programs includes coursework and other experiences that will prepare you for leadership in shaping the future of higher education, advancing the role of higher education in supporting the public good, and improving instructional practice.

Master of Arts in Higher Education

Our master's degree programs in higher and postsecondary education are structured to give you a general understanding of higher education as a field of practice and inquiry, while allowing you the flexibility to probe more deeply into areas of specialized interest.

CSHPE provides unique opportunities for you to interact with students who have different professional backgrounds and diverse career goals. You will learn with your fellow master’s students in required courses as well as with doctoral students in cognate and elective courses. As you work together on assignments and discuss issues inside and outside of the classroom, you will develop a rich appreciation and understanding of the multiple frames of reference that shape effective decision-making in higher education.

The master's program provides a variety of impactful learning options including the internship, Master's Research Opportunity Program (MROP), and study trips that take place to both US and international locations during the summer.

Graduates are qualified for a wide variety of roles working on key activities such as, advising, administration, research and evaluation, and policy analysis in settings that include: 

  • College and university administration
  • State and national public policy agencies
  • Government offices, higher education systems offices
  • Professional associations, consortia
  • Regional and coordinating bodies and accrediting agencies

The Center has a preferred admission agreement for students pursuing the minor in Intergroup Relations (IGR) at the University of Michigan. This partnership and additional details regarding the admissions process are included with each of the master's concentrations.

Pursue a master's degree in Higher Education part-time

Part-time master’s students are an integral part of the classroom community in the Center. Most part-time students work full-time at the University of Michigan, while others work at nearby institutions. Part-time students working full-time in a higher education setting can request to waive the CSHPE internship requirement.

To apply as a part-time student, use the same application process.

Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education

This doctoral program’s goal is developing leaders who will effectively steer higher and postsecondary education institutions, conduct scholarly research, and contribute in meaningful and distinctive ways to the overall development of the profession.

Our students are expected and encouraged to think rigorously, understand and appreciate the craft of scholarship and research, demonstrate interest in and a capacity to make a difference in postsecondary education, and be actively committed to diversity.


The Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, known to faculty, students, and graduates as CSHPE, is home to the graduate programs in higher education.  For more than six decades the CSHPE has been educating scholars and practitioners who seek to improve higher and postsecondary education as academic leaders, public policy experts, postsecondary faculty, research analysts, student affairs professionals, higher education consultants and advocates, professional development providers, and a host of other capacities too numerous to name.

These individuals come to CSHPE with a variety of life and educational experiences, professional backgrounds, and career goals to join a vibrant learning community committed to excellence in higher education scholarship and equity in higher education practice. Learning in courses and in associated experiences such as research assistantships, internships, and professional development opportunities build on students’ diverse talents.  We seek to enhance students’ capacity for analytical and critical thinking about higher education issues, for innovation in higher education research and practice, and reflective leadership in the production and application of knowledge that contributes to the public good.  Such knowledge recognizes the centrality of diversity, inclusion and justice in teaching, research, administration, service, and advocacy.

CSHPE master’s and doctoral students prepare for futures in a variety of higher education positions and settings through in-depth study of the postsecondary environment.  In courses faculty and students examine cultural and societal influences on colleges and universities and those who work and learn within them. They study organizational structures and systems that enable, but that can also constrain equitable, effective, and innovative educational practices.  They thoughtfully assess the student experience by focusing on how students learn and thrive on college and university campuses, in academic programs, and in their lives outside the classroom.

CSHPE students learn and work together, sharing perspectives that build their appreciation and understanding of the various frames of reference that can inform administration, research, and educational practice.  Full-time faculty appointed in CSHPE teach and advise students and are joined in these efforts by a complement of dedicated, PhD-educated higher education administrators and leaders who bring deep knowledge of educational practice to the courses they teach.  The curriculum is flexible, permitting master’s and doctoral students to individualize their academic programs with guidance from faculty, and in the case of master’s students, from a professional academic advisor as well.

Master’s students complement their course experiences with practice-based internships that enhance their professional development and allow them to explore and experience different career paths. They can also prepare for later graduate study through the Master’s Research Opportunities Program that places them in supervised research projects with CSHPE and other faculty across campus where they can earn academic credit toward their degree.

Beginning in their first semester, doctoral students work closely with faculty supervisors on research teams and with peers who share their passions and scholarly interests. They are also guided by a faculty academic advisor who supports them in their educational journey. These academic advisors help them build and customize their curriculum with courses offered through CSHPE and the university at large; identify learning and professional development opportunities on campus and beyond; connect them to faculty, peers, and professionals who can provide valuable knowledge and assistance; and familiarize them with the educational requirements and milestones of the doctoral program.

Upon completion of their degrees, CSHPE graduates enter a diverse array of positions. Master’s graduates often pursue positions in academic advising, admissions, not-for profit advocacy organizations that support access to higher education, student affairs, institutional research, and wide variety of administrative positions in two- and four-year colleges and universities and related organizations. Doctoral students prepare for faculty roles and administrative leadership positions in higher education institutions, policy organizations, and research and consulting firms.

CSHPE graduates remain connected to the Center through an extensive alumni/professional network of more than 1600 graduates working in higher education and beyond in the U.S and across the world. These graduates pay it forward by offering support to CSHPE students as they gather information about professional positions and career trajectories, and by connecting them to supportive colleagues in their institutions and networks. In this way, the CSHPE experience extends beyond graduation to enrich the learning each new cohort of graduate students who become part of the CSHPE community.

If you seek to contribute in a meaningful way to higher education, educational equity, and the public good, please join us in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. We share your commitment to making a difference in higher education and we are eager to support you in pursuit of this goal. 
Lisa R. Lattuca
Director, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education

A Learning Community

At the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, you will immerse yourself in a rich learning community that is characterized by scholarly rigor, strong connections to broader communities of practice, and a passion for contributing to the betterment of society through education. Contribute to the improvement of higher education by building expertise in organizational behavior and management, public policy, academic affairs, student development, assessment, and evaluation.

Faculty who invest in you

CSHPE faculty are committed to your development as a scholar and practitioner who will be able to improve the world of higher and postsecondary education as an academic leader, public policy expert, administrator, member of the professoriate, or consultant.

Prepared to lead

CSHPE students are trained to think analytically, excel at scholarship and research, and apply creative solutions to educational issues. You will be prepared to lead, armed with mastery of in-depth knowledge and the competencies to manage the evolving higher-education environment.

Committed to diversity in higher education

Members of the CSHPE community make profound differences in postsecondary education with their commitment to diversity and leadership of the highest integrity.

Marsal School in Action

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Creating Pathways to Higher Ed
Ryan Henyard aims to build pathways for students with stories like his to be able to get into higher education.
Assisting Nationwide Higher Education Policymakers
CSHPE student Kristen Cummings builds connections and shares information among state policymakers as an intern with the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.
Studying Equity in Education
CSHPE doctoral graduate Xiaoyang Ye investigates why disadvantaged students make what he calls “sub-optimal choices in their K–12 to higher education pathways."
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Exploring internships
Shruti Naik found the connections she made between her coursework and her internship experiences to be the most impactful aspect of her CSHPE degree.

Give to CSHPE

Your support can help us create transformative leaders and educators who have the theoretical framework and practical skills to address the many urgent challenges in postsecondary education.


Core Faculty
Associate Professor, Marsal Family School of Education
(734) 647-1652
Associate Dean
Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies; Professor, Marsal Family School of Education
(734) 615-4415
Professor Emeritus, Marsal Family School of Education; Faculty Associate, Institute for Social Research
(734) 647-8394
Associate Research Scientist
Assistant Professor, Marsal Family School of Education
Marvin W. Peterson Collegiate Professor Emeritus, Marsal Family School of Education; Evaluation Faculty Lead
Associate Research Scientist
(734) 647-5814
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work; By Courtesy Assistant Professor, Marsal Family School of Education
Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering; By Courtesy Professor, Marsal Family School of Education
(734) 764-0244
Director, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education; Professor, Marsal Family School of Education; Professor, College of Engineering
(734) 647-1979
Professor, Marsal Family School of Education; Professor of Economics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; Professor, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy
(734) 647-8366
Associate Professor, Marsal Family School of Education
Assistant Professor, Marsal Family School of Education
Adjunct Lecturer, Marsal Family School of Education; Director, Spectrum Center
(734) 763-4186
Sherry B. Ortner Collegiate Professor of Sociology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
William H. Payne Collegiate Professor of Education and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Marsal Family School of Education; Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
Professor, Marsal Family School of Education; By Courtesy Professor of Mathematics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
(734) 647-0628
Associate Dean
Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, Justice, and Equity, Marsal Family School of Education; Stephanie J. Rowley Collegiate Professor; Professor of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
(734) 647-0614
Associate Professor, Gerald R. Ford School of PublicPolicy; By Courtesy Associate Professor, Marsal Family School of Education
Assistant Research Scientist, ICPSR at University of Michigan Institute for Social Research
Clinical Professor Emeritus; Intermittent Lecturer
(734) 615-8882
Professor Emerita
(734) 615-6740
Professor Emerita of Education
Executive Secretary
(734) 764-9472
Master's Program Manager, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education
(734) 647-1412
Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education
(734) 647-1981
2017 CSHPE study trip group on a boat off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa

Study Trips

The Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education conducts a study trip to engage with scholars and educators working in diverse contexts in higher and postsecondary education. Read about previous domestic and international trips and learn about upcoming opportunities.

Student Organizations

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Graduate Organization of Students in Higher Education (GOSHE)

The purpose of the Graduate Organization of Students in Higher Education (GOSHE) is to promote the academic, social, and professional development of future leaders in the field of higher education.
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Graduate Student Community Organization (GSCO)

The mission of the Graduate Student Community Organization is to cultivate the constant improvement of graduate student support, representation, and communication within the Marsal Family School of Education.
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Student Rights Project

SRP is an interdisciplinary project of law, social work, and education students. SRP was founded in response to the tremendous need for free, high quality representation and advocates for students facing suspension and expulsion hearings in southeast Michigan.
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Women of Color and the Academy (WOCATA)

Women of Color and the Academy (WOCATA) is a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop* group that focuses on centering and elevating the voices and experiences of Women of Color in the Academy. This group hosts monthly programming centering race, research, representation, and positionality and weekly programming such as a study hall for Students of Color and book clubs for the graduate student community.
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Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop

The Rackham Graduate School sponsors this ongoing program of interdisciplinary workshops, designed to encourage exchange and collaboration between graduate students, faculty, postdocs, and staff, and to help doctoral students form supportive working groups.

Connect with CSHPE


Phone: (734) 764-9472
Fax: (734) 764-2510
Master's: [email protected]
Doctoral: [email protected]


610 E. University Avenue
Room 2117
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

Office Hours

8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.