Master of Arts in Ethical Leadership, Higher Education Specialization


The Master of Arts (MA) in Ethical Leadership with a Specialization in Higher Education equips students with the skills, competencies, and capacities necessary for leading within institutions of higher education. As a specialization of the Master of Arts in Ethical Leadership, attention will be set on developing students as effective, ethical, and socially responsible higher education leaders. The program is designed for individuals looking to advance their work and standing in college and universities and maximize their potential. The program leverages best practices and innovative leadership strategies to create a foundation for organizational change.

In alignment with the St. Thomas University Mission, the Master of Arts in Ethical Leadership, Higher Education Specialization program develops students’ ethical leadership capacity for higher education through interdisciplinary coursework focusing on and integrating leadership and higher education theory and practice, with an ethical foundation for working with diverse student populations. Graduates create value for their institutions, demonstrate the ability to ethically inspire action and a shared vision in others, make effective decisions within fast-paced environments, improve organizational effectiveness and teamwork, and increase profitability.


Career Trajectory

  • Executives and managers, and directors and supervisors in post-secondary institutions
  • Directors and managers for non-profit organizations, management consultants, planners, and policy advisors
  • Learners aspiring to serve as presidents, vice presidents, deans, senior higher education administrators, or professors


Program Highlights

  • Maximum Accessibility – Fully online courses with intensive residencies to establish professional networking opportunities
  • Economic Benefit – An affordable price point well below our national competitors provides quality without financial burden
  • Pace of the Program – Full-time working professionals can complete the program within one calendar year
  • Rolling Admissions – Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis for to ensure for convenience of start date
  • Ease of Application – A personalized admissions advisor is provided to every prospective student ensuring consistent and timely communication, while not requiring a standardized test (e.g., GRE, GMAT, etc.) to create ease for the applicant
  • Transfer Credits Accepted – Up to 12 credits beyond a bachelor’s degree can be accepted accelerating program completion
  • Relational – Nationally renowned faculty members work with students to be adaptive to the complications of
    work, family, and personal obligations



Tuition per Credit Hour Technology Fee per Course Program Tuition
Tuition $500 $75 $18,900


Starting Coursework

The Master of Arts in Ethical Leadership with a Specialization in Higher Education offers six start terms throughout the year. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions to learn more (see information below).

Admissions Process

Admission to the Master of Arts in Ethical Leadership with a Specialization in Higher Education program requires each prospective student to submit the following materials for evaluation:

  • A completed and signed university Application for Admission
  • Official accredited college and/or university baccalaureate and master’s transcripts

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  • Applying theories of Higher Education and Ethical Leadership to practice
  • Developing skills for teaching and working with diverse student populations
  • Creating inclusive and outcome-based programming with assessment and evaluation and budgetary pieces
  • Demonstrating and developing ethical and moral values within the context of higher education


Required Courses-36 credits

  • MEL 503 Applied Research Methods
  • MEL 600 Leadership Foundations and Skills Assessment
  • MEL 601 Interpersonal Leadership*
  • MEL 602 Introduction to Higher Education and Student Affairs
  • MEL 603 Inclusive Colleges and Universities
  • MEL 604 Student Development
  • MEL 605 Students in Higher Education
  • MEL 630 Organizational Communication & Leadership
  • MEL 650 Conflict Resolution and Mediation
  • MEL 675 Managing Innovation in Organizations*
  • MEL 700 Organizational Behavior
  • MEL 701 Ethical Leadership Capstone


*Residency Requirements

Residencies are facilitated via an intensive application of ethical leadership theory and practice over a 3-day period. Students will be greeted by an opening reception on the first evening and engage in experiential and project-based workshops over the next two days. The final day will culminate in a celebration with students, faculty, staff, university administration, corporate executives, and community leaders that provide implications for advancing ethical leadership in our world. Residencies are included in the following courses: MEL 601 Interpersonal Leadership & MEL 675 Managing Innovation in Organizations.


Graduation Requirements

The Master of Arts in Ethical Leadership with a Specialization in Higher Education program requires a total of thirty-six (36) graduate credit hours. For graduation, students need to earn a B or better in every course and attain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.



Office of Graduate Admissions
Call or Text: 305-563-8792