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Higher and Postsecondary Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Higher and Postsecondary Education

In the Department of Organization & Leadership

Degrees > Master of Education

Master of Education

The Master of Education Program develops breadth of understanding of higher and postsecondary education, though emphasizing particular domains of study and practice, among them, academic learning and development, organizational and institutional processes, and social and comparative perspectives.  Students in the Ed.M. Program typically use these offerings to elaborate and deepen their experience-based knowledge and intellectual interests in policymaking, curriculum development, student development, etc.  Ed.M. students conclude their programs of study by writing an integrative paper focused on a particular topic of professional and personal interest and drawing on the knowledge resources availed by the three curricular domains.


The Ed.M. requires a minimum of 60 points and an integrative paper prepared as a culminating project.

Core courses required:

  • ORL 5521 Introduction to research methods, or equivalent with advisor approval (3)
  • ORLH 4010 Purposes and policies of higher education (3)
  • ORLH 4011 Curriculum and instruction in higher education (3)
  • ORLH 4020 College and university organization and administration (3)
  • ORLH 4031 Financial administration of higher education institutions (3)
  • ORLH 5011 College teaching and learning (3)
  • ORLH 5044 Theories of diversity in higher education (3)
  • ORLH 5199 Special topics: Institutional assessment and evaluation in higher education (3)
  • ORLH 5526 Literature of higher education (3)
  • ORLH 5527 The college professoriate (3)
  • ORLH 6511 Coordinating seminar in higher education (3)
  • ORLH 6900 Research and independent study in higher education or equivalent with advisor approval (3).  (The Integrative paper is prepared in this course.)

Of the remaining 8 courses:

  • 5 should be within the HPSE Program, with the purpose of developing a concentration in one of the curricular domains (Academic and Developmental Analysis, Organizational and Institutional Analysis, or Social and Comparative Analysis).
  • 3 should be outside the Program, with at least 2 of these outside the Department of Organization and Leadership. All extra-Program courses should relate conceptually, substantively, or methodologically to the student's developing area of interest.  All out-of-Program electives require advisor approval.

Internships may be open to Ed.M. students on a space-available basis but require approval of faculty advisor and program coordinator, including possible addition of course requirements.