School of Education

Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies

The 36-credit MSEd in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies program provides an interdisciplinary exploration of important foundational and policy issues and an introduction to educational leadership in higher education settings. The program provides flexible course delivery methods to meet the diverse needs of students. Students can complete degree requirements on-site, or online, or a combination of on-site and online courses. A distance learning (DL) class is equivalent to its on-site version.

Program Objectives

  • Provide a comprehensive understanding of leadership issues in a higher education setting.
  • Provide a thorough knowledge base of the governance and operation of an institution of higher education.
  • Explore historic and current issues involving administration and leadership in colleges and universities in the United States.
  • Explore leadership styles in higher education administration.
  • Prepare students to assume middle and senior leadership roles in institutions of higher education.
  • Prepare students for the successful implementations of college and university missions.

About the Program


Graduates of the MSEd program may pursue a number of opportunities at colleges and universities. Depending on professional experience, students may go on to attain entry-level to upper administrative roles in a number of areas, including:

  • Academic advisement
  • Admissions and enrollment
  • Alumni relations
  • Athletics and recreation
  • Career counseling
  • Development and fundraising
  • Financial services and aid counseling
  • Institutional research and planning
  • Multicultural and international student initiatives
  • Residential Life
  • Student affairs and event management
  • University relations, publicity and marketing


Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete the program?
Students normally take three courses each semester, totaling 9 semester hours. This allows students to complete the program in four semesters (Fall, Spring, Fall, Spring). Those taking online courses may progress through the program in six semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer).
When are classes offered?
This program is fully online, asynchronous; with coursework being offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.
Is there a specific bachelor's degree required to apply?
Students with a variety of previous experiences may apply to the program. There is no specific bachelor's degree needed to apply.
Do I need professional experience before enrolling in the program?
The M.S.Ed. program accepts applications from current professionals in the field as well as career changes or students entering directly from an undergraduate program.
Are there scholarships available?
There are limited scholarships available for those who apply. Applications materials are reviewed to evaluate potential success in the classroom and the field. While the deadline for admission is rolling, those interested in scholarship opportunities are encouraged to apply early for their semester of interest.
How do I apply for a graduate assistantship?
Matriculated students may apply for a wide spectrum of graduate assistant positions. Interested students should visit Hofstra's Job Opportunities site to learn more about these offerings as the list is updated throughout the year. We also have 2 Graduate Assistant Interview Days each spring where admitted Higher Education Leadership and Policy students receive preferential consideration in graduate assistantship hiring.

Please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions to view additional FAQs and learn more about the online application process.

Meet our Program Director

Dr. Rebecca S. Natow serves as Hofstra University’s Program Director for the Higher Education Leadership & Policy Studies, MSEd and of the Educational and Policy Leadership, EdD within the Department of Specialized Programs in Education. She is an expert on higher education policy and has conducted research on performance-based funding for higher education, federal higher education policymaking, the U.S. Department of Education’s rulemaking process, technology use in postsecondary developmental education, and research use in the creation of federal regulations. Dr. Natow’s areas of expertise are higher education policy and law, federal education policy processes, qualitative research methods, and higher education leadership.

Dr. Natow received her EdD, EdM, and MA in higher and postsecondary education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and her JD from Georgetown University Law Center. She is sole author of the book Higher Education Rulemaking: The Politics of Creating Regulatory Policy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017), as well as a co-author on two additional books and an author or co-author of numerous scholarly articles, commentaries, and research reports. Her newest sole-authored book is entitled Reexamining the Federal Role in Higher Education: Politics and Policymaking in the Postsecondary Sector (Teachers College Press, 2022).

Rebecca S. Natow

Dr. Rebecca Natow, EdD
Director of Higher Education Leadership, MSEd and Educational and Policy Leadership, EdD
P: 516-463-6027
212 Hagedorn Hall

Contact Us

Office of Graduate Admissions
Phone: 516-463-4723