FAQ icon

Need Answers?

Directory Icon

Email, Phone, and Addresses

Graduation cap icon

Explore Degrees


Master of Arts in Higher Education and Master of Public Policy (Dual Degree)

Overview & Requirements
Careers & Internships

The Master of Arts in Higher Education and Master of Public Policy program is designed for students interested in broad policy issues that affect higher and postsecondary education, such as state governance and coordination, financial aid funding, and affirmative action in admissions and hiring. 

You will learn to generate and apply knowledge to advance the role of higher education in supporting the public good and improving institutional practice. The coursework and other experiences help to increase understanding of higher education as an academic area of inquiry and practice. Students are prepared for administrative, faculty, research, and policy careers in higher education and related enterprises.

Students take coursework in both f the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the School of Education and benefit from the interaction among students with different professional backgrounds and diverse career goals. Students come to appreciate and understand the multiple frames of reference that may have an impact on higher education decision-making.

You will be paired with an advisor from among the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education (CSHPE) faculty members, based on shared professional interests. Students and advisors work together to develop a plan of study that is appropriate to the student’s background and career interests. They also work closely with an advisor in the Gerald R. Ford School.

Want to learn more about the program?
See our upcoming information sessions

Additional certificate and endorsement opportunities
Learning Experience Design Certificate


The curriculum below pertains to students entering the master’s program in Fall 2021 and later. Please refer to the intranet to review your degree requirements if you began prior to Fall 2021.

Minimum credits required / Marsal School credits required
65 / 27

Marsal School core credits


Students complete a minimum of 6 credits:

Marsal School concentration credits


Students complete EDUC 764 – Public Policy in Postsecondary Education (3 credits)

Students complete a minimum of 12 credits from the list of courses below, in addition to their diversity foundations course.

If more than one diversity foundations course is taken, the additional course(s) will be considered a concentration course in Higher Education, after the diversity foundations requirement is fulfilled.

A selection of these courses will be offered each term:

Elective credits


Students complete up to three credits in elective courses approved by an advisor (may be inside or outside the Higher Education program).


This required, two-semester internship offers students opportunities to build skills in a particular functional area. Internship experiences help to develop professional networks and knowledge of professional work environments that facilitate career success upon graduation.

Read more about the internship

Additional credits


Students must register for an additional 6 credits in either program.

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy credits


See the Ford School's dual degree requirements

Credits in introductory research methodology, advanced-level policy beyond the core, and cognates may satisfy requirements for both schools. When a core course is waived, students must take another course in the school that waived the requirement (e.g., if a student waives two courses from the Marsal School, they must complete two different courses in the Marsal School—not in the School of Public Policy—that contribute to the Marsal School's 27-credit minimum requirement).



Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective students

Prospective Students

CSHPE students

Discover more offerings from CSHPE

The Center for the Study of Postsecondary and Higher Education

Upcoming Information Sessions

There are no information sessions currently scheduled; please contact us at [email protected] to speak with a recruiter.

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.

Application Deadlines

Fall (Aug)
January 4
Winter (Jan)
October 15
Part-time applicants only—available to full-time U-M employees


Students should file separate applications to and be admitted by both the School of Education and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. An application fee must accompany each application. Students currently enrolled in either program may apply to the dual program during the first year of study. Visit the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy website for more details on applying for admission.

Step 1: Prepare your application materials

To submit a successful application for admission, you need to provide the following:

  • Academic Statement of Purpose
    • Part-Time Admission: Applicants seeking admission to a master’s program may attend on a part-time basis.
    • The Academic Statement of Purpose should be a concise statement about your academic and research background, your career goals, and your reasons for applying to this degree program. Please be specific in explaining how the course offerings and faculty expertise of this program fit your educational and career objectives. Please mention if you are interested in attending part-time. We are also interested in how you learned about our program. Two double-spaced pages is considered a good length. 
  • Personal Statement 
    • 500 word limit
    • How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. Please do not repeat your Academic Statement of Purpose. 
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
    • We strongly encourage two of your letters come from individuals who are familiar with your academic performance. The third may be from a professional reference.
    • Register your recommenders' names and contact information on the online application so that they will be sent instructions for submitting their letters via the application system. Let your recommenders know that they need to upload a letter and that it is required by the program. 
    • As soon as you click "save" on the page of the application where your recommenders' contact information is entered, they will receive an email with instructions for completing the process. Proceed to this point in the application process as soon as possible to trigger that email.
  • Resume or CV
  • Test Scores (See test details in Step 5 below) 
    • English proficiency scores (for non-native speakers of English only)
    • GRE Test Scores are not required for admission
Step 2: Create an ApplyWeb account, managed by Rackham Graduate School

Create an account with Rackham Graduate School. 

This program, like all of the Marsal Family School of Education's graduate programs, is administered through the University of Michigan's Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Rackham offers a host of resources and administrative support to help see you through from submitting your application to completion of your degree.

Step 3: Complete pages 1-5 of application using ApplyWeb

After completing page 5 of the application, you will receive an e-mail with your U-M ID. A U-M ID number will be issued to you via email within 5 business days of completing pages 1-5 and advancing to page 6 of the ApplyWeb application. Having your U-M ID number to include on all your application materials ensures accurate and timely processing, so we encourage you to complete pages 1-5 early in the process.

  • If you need to submit your application before you receive your U-M ID number, you may still complete the application. Include your date of birth and the program’s name on your application materials.
  • Current and former U-M Ann Arbor students, alumni and employees: You do not need to obtain a new U-M ID number. Use your previously obtained U-M ID number.
  • If your personal information has changed (for example, legal name, gender), make sure the personal information you submit with your application matches your previous Ann Arbor campus record. If your previous Ann Arbor campus record does not display your current personal information, contact the Registrar’s Office or the Shared Services Center to change your personal information before you apply.
Step 4: Upload academic statement of purpose, the personal statement, and a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume to the ApplyWeb application

Include at the top of each document:

  • The type of document (Academic Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, or Curriculum Vitae or Resume)
  • Your name
  • The name of the graduate program
  • Your 8 digit U-M ID (if known)

Make sure margins are at least one-inch so nothing is cropped when you upload the documents to the application.

Step 5: Submit test scores (non-native speakers of English)


  • TOEFL, MELAB, ECPE, or IELTS scores (for non-native speakers of English only; valid 2 years from test date)
  • GRE Test Scores
    • GRE test scores are not required for admission, but scores (valid 5 years from test date) can be included with your application.
    • Provide ETS with the U-M Institutional Code of 1839 and your scores will be sent directly to the university.
  • Test scores must be sent directly from the testing center to the Rackham Graduate School. We recommend starting this process early as it can take up to two weeks for the scores to be received. 
Step 6: Submit transcripts
  • Upload an electronic version of your official transcript(s) for each Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional, or Doctoral degree earned or in progress through your ApplyWeb application account (part of the Rackham application system).
  • Do not upload academic records printed from your school’s website or student portal.
  • Domestic applicants are not required to send official transcripts at the time of application. If you are recommended for admission, the Rackham Graduate School will require official transcripts. Admitted applicants will receive an email notification when the official transcripts are required.
  • Students who have studied in a country outside of the U.S. should review the required credentials from non-U.S. institutions. For all degrees obtained at non-U.S. institutions, please submit your official international transcripts before the application deadline. Please review Rackham's international transcript requirements.
  • Information for submitting official transcripts can be found on the Rackham Graduate School website.
Step 7: Check that letters of recommendation have been submitted
  • Check the status of your letters of recommendation, change a recommender, or resend the notification email to your recommender using the ApplyWeb Activity Page
  • Please reach out to [email protected] if there are any questions regarding the submission of the letters of recommendation.
Step 8: Create a U-M Friend Account

Check on your application status. If you’ve been accepted, you will receive an email with information on how to send your official transcripts.

Step 9: Respond to admission offer

Quick Facts

Application fee waiver


The $75 application fee is waived for all U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

GRE general exam scores

Not required

While GRE scores are not required for admission to the Higher Education Master's program, they are required for admission to the Ford School of Public Policy

Undergraduate GPA guideline


Guideline for the last two years of coursework on a 4-point scale

Paid internships


Financial aid


Part-time status

Applications accepted

Full-time U-M employees may apply for part-time status

Online, evening, or weekend courses

Not available

Entry term

Fall (August) or Winter (January)

Full-time students must begin in the Fall term. Part-time students may begin in the Fall or Winter terms.

Preferred admissions

Applications accepted

The Center has a preferred admission agreement for students pursuing the minor in Intergroup Relations (IGR) at the University of Michigan. Applicants who meet the required criteria will be offered admission to the master's program.

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.



of graduates found full time employment or pursued an advanced degree


of graduates are highly satisfied or satisfied with their current position


average starting salary for graduates
Graduates typically go into these industries
College and university administration and faculty
State and national public policy agencies
Government offices
Professional associations


Hiring organizations and job titles
Organization Job title Location
Fitchburg State University International Education Coordinator Fitchburg, MA
New York University Graduate School, PhD Program in Higher Education New York, NY
University of California, San Diego Project Analyst, Student Affairs San Diego, CA
University of Michigan Coordinator of Community College Partnerships, OptiMize Ann Arbor, MI
University of Michigan Graduate School: PhD Program in Higher Education Ann Arbor, MI


During their first year, master’s students have the opportunity to expand their skill base by engaging in professional practice across a wide array of functional areas. Students typically pursue an internship during the following summer and fall as well, although this is optional. The internship program includes sites that provide experience in research and program evaluation, curriculum development, academic program management, student affairs and services, and other areas.

Please see the Internship Program for Master's Students page for more information.

Students also complete a policy-related internship through the Gerald R. Ford School to apply knowledge and skills acquired during their studies to significant problems in the public, private, or non-profit sectors.