The Higher Education master’s program at SMU has a variety of resources necessary to provide students with the tools needed to excel at the highest level and to feel prepared for the challenges their future career opportunities may provide. In our small cohort-style courses, students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty and administrators across campus and in the community.

With typically 10-15 students per cohort, students experience the engaging benefits of small classes, as well as the opportunity to work closely with our faculty, who bring current research into class to improve students’ knowledge of higher education. Professors help students achieve their goals by providing the flexibility necessary to focus on each student’s individual interests. Our higher education students also have the opportunity to learn from university administrators and practitioners, so that they have a clear idea of what it is like to work in the world of higher education.

In addition, our master’s students form lifelong connections within their cohorts. In the classroom, students get the chance to discuss their readings and interests among their peers and work together on projects. Graduate students and alumni participate in events coordinated by the Higher Education Student Association (HESA) and SMU’s Division of Student Affairs, such as professional development programs. You have the opportunity to get to know each of your classmates on a more personal level and support each other during your time in the program and beyond graduation. 

Program Faculty

  • Sondra Barringer, Ph.D. (University of Arizona) Assistant Professor
  • Michael S. Harris, Ed.D. (University of Pennsylvania) Professor and Department Chair
  • Ashley Stone, Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin) Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Dawn Norris, Ed.D. (Southern Methodist University) Adjunct Faculty Member, SMU Executive Director for Student Involvement
  • Molly Ellis, Ph.D. (Southern Methodist University) Adjunct Faculty Member, Associate Director of Learning Analytics & Student Success in the SMU Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Allison Kanny, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles) Adjunct Faculty Member, Director for Student Affairs Administration at SMU
  • Devean Owens, Ph.D. (University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign) Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program Manager at KJE Consulting and Coaching