Master of Educational Leadership in Higher Education


The master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership is designed to prepare students for a broad array of entry level and mid-management positions in higher education. Graduates will be prepared to work closely with students in their growth and development in a variety of settings. Graduates will learn the tools to manage existing programs and to develop new programs in response to changing environments.

Students will:

  • Work with an advisor to tailor a degree program that reflects their academic interests and career aspirations
  • Select from an array of classes in the college to help prepare for a career in higher education
  • Participate in an annual progress conversation with faculty to assure that objectives are being met

Student Experience

TCU Visiting Days

View our Virtual Informational Session, Virtual Informational Panel, or videos below to hear from program students, faculty and staff.


To be admitted to the Higher Education Leadership Program, a student must:

  • Apply to TCU Graduate School (application deadline is March 1 for fall admission)
  • Demonstrate a strong academic record
  • Have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Provide three letters of recommendation (including at least one faculty person with first hand knowledge of your academic work)
  • Provide a resume
  • OPTIONAL GRE for 2021-2022 admissions. Typically official GRE scores are required for those who do not have a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of their bachelor’s degree. The GRE is optional for all other applicants.
  • Submit a written statement including reasons for student’s interest in the program and their professional goals
  • International students must meet TCU International Admission requirements

Application Deadlines

January 1 – fall admission (early deadline for Graduate Assistantship applicants only)
March 1 – fall admission

Program of Study

  • Foundations (12 credits)
  • Focused coursework (12 credits)
  • Electives (6 credits)
  • Internship (6 credits)

Download Program of Study

Graduate Assistantship

The Graduate Assistantship Program provides master and doctoral students with a theory to practice experience complementing the Higher Education Leadership curriculum.

Graduate Assistantships are in a variety of offices, including:

View NASPA Graduate Program Detail

TCU enhances the Graduate Assistant’s practical experiences through collaboration with other offices, which foster skill sets in many functional areas. Graduate Assistants are encouraged to participate in departmental, divisional and University committees, and are provided with many development opportunities fostering growth and learning. In the program, students can expect:

  • Opportunities for student development and creation of programs specifically meeting student needs.
  • To have the ability to work with University practitioners, specifically trained in functional areas to provide student support and services.
  • Supervisors to spend time getting to know Graduate Assistants, their needs and develop development plans to meet those needs.

“My assistantship has provided me with many opportunities to learn about different areas of Student Affairs. From learning about and working with student organizations to helping students as a Student Success Coach, I’m able to see and work with different functional areas within Student Affairs. I feel very supported by my supervisors and know that they want me to have the best experience possible!”

– Cierra Jackson


“I love my assistantship because it has allowed me to grow into the young professional I have always wanted to be. I have been challenged to assist in initiatives lead by my department and encouraged by others to gain experiences outside my comfort zone. I am able to work alongside many colleagues, peers, and students all while applying the knowledge I learn in the classroom into my daily tasks.  My assistantship at TCU has greatly prepared me for my future career in higher education.”

– Michala Manfredo


“One thing I really appreciate about TCU is its focus on relationships first. This mindset is present in the classroom, in my assistantship, and in the people that I have met. I’m grateful for teachers and staff who really model what it means to effectively lead students by establishing strong relationships first, and then guiding them to reach their full potential. This is a model I see at TCU and one I hope to practice in my future career.”

– Sophie Khadivi

Graduate Assistant Transition Experience (G.A.T.E.)

G.A.T.E. was created by members of student affairs to provide continuous development and guidance for our Graduate Assistants in partnership with the academic program. G.A.T.E. focuses on a few important aspects of development, including developing your network in professional organizations, preparing for internship and job searches and acclimating to the DFW area. G.A.T.E. will provide some of your first experiences at TCU, and prepare you well for your career prior to graduation. Learn more about the G.A.T.E. program

“The G.A.T.E. program has guided me through my semester and prepare me for my internship. From creating events to help GAs get to know each other (even during a pandemic), to helping me create connections around campus, to preparing me for the internship application process, G.A.T.E has ensured that I am always a step ahead. I appreciate this program for easing the internship process and making my semester more worry-free.”

– Mariana Gonzalez-Berrocal


“Through resume reviews, mentorships, mock interviews, and field trips to learn about Student Affairs operations at other institutions, GATE has helped me explore and expand my understanding of what it means to be a future Higher Education professional and has prepared me to take the next steps towards that goal.”

– Warren Martin


“The G.A.T.E program has provided me with an abundance of opportunities to grow professionally. The G.A.T.E Team is extremely intentional in making sure that the Graduate Students walk away with tangible skills and tips to succeed after we obtain our degrees. The professional development has been so helpful in the search for internships.”

– Jermaine Thomas


Get Involved

Program participants are invited to membership in the Higher Education Leadership Organization, a student organization offering guest speakers, interview preparation and networking.

Program Director: Dr. Don Mills
Program Advisor: Dr. Taryn Allen
Coordinator for Graduate Recruitment: Stephen Dominy