Campus: Blacksburg 

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

The HED program is designed to meet the standards for master's level preparation in student affairs of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).

48 semester hours of graduate study
Small Cohorts and high student/professor interaction
A commitment to diversity
Opportunities for student scholarship and research
Our Master's Program in Higher Education

The master’s program in Higher Education is a 48-credit hour program that provides entry-level professionals with the essential knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes necessary for a wide variety of student affairs positions in higher education.The Higher Education (HED) preparation program educates entry-level professionals about the essential knowledge, skills/experiences, and disposition necessary for practice in higher education. Graduate students are prepared to work as student development educators and administrators in higher education. Specifically, students may expect employment in residential programs, campus activities, career planning, judicial programs, counseling, admissions, financial aid, student orientation, multicultural services, and related campus programs.

Why Study Higher Education Here?

A small cohort experience that ensures individual attention and shared learning, opportunities to specialize in one area, or explore many areas, of student affairs through assistantships, practica, and summer internships, and a solid grounding in program assessment and evaluation. Our students plan both fun and educational activities through the HEA (Higher Education Association). Students are strongly encouraged to collaborate. Our students are actively engaged in the profession. Over 90% held memberships in one or more professional associations, 88% participated in professional development activities, 42% presented one or more conference programs, 39% held leadership positions in professional associations, 24% were writing for publication, and 10% published manuscripts in professional journals.

Faculty Research Interests

Higher Education Economics, Finance, and Policy

Fiscal Administration in Higher Education

Enrollment Management and Student Price-Response

College Going and Choice

Research Design and Applied Econometrics

Social Identity Construction

College and Graduate Student Development

Student Affairs and Higher Education

Gender, Race, and Intersectionality

Qualitative Research Methods

Dr. Sharrika D. Adams

Crisis management

Case management in higher education

Contemporary women's issues

Dr. James Orr

Higher education law and policy



Organizational theory

Self-efficacy of community college STEM students

Dr. Michael Herndon

 Student epistemic beliefs in the virtual learning environment

Dr. Patricia Hyer

The nature of today’s college students

Organizational models

Tragedy and recovery at Virginia Tech

Student learning and engagement

Positive psychology and its influence on student growth and development

Dr. Sherwood G. Wilson

Dr. Kimberly S. Smith

Engineering Education

Learning Analytics

Engineering Student Outcomes

Diversification of STEM Fields

International Higher Education

Critical race studies

Black feminism

Critical race feminism

Transdisciplinary analysis of diversity issues in higher education

Dr. Susan Short

Higher Education Research Highlights

  • Serna, Gabriel R. (2015) “Do Tax Revolt Provisions Influence Tuition and Fee Levels: Evidence from the States using Recent Panel Data” Journal of Education Finance, 41(1), 48-82.
  • Serna, Gabriel R. (2015) “Insiders/Outsiders? Market Signaling and Student Identity in College Choice” Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly, 3(3), 167-183.
  • Robbins, C. K. (in press). White women, racial identity, and learning about racism in graduate preparation programs. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. b.

  • Robbins, C. K., & Jones, S. R. (in press). Negotiating racial dissonance: White women’s narratives of resistance, engagement, and transformative action. Journal of College Student Development.

Related Programs

Deadlines for Domestic and International Application

Applications for Fall are due on January 15



Dr. Gabriel Ramón Serna
Program Leader
1750 Kraft Dr., Room 2007
Blacksburg, VA24060

Ben Austin
Admissions Coordinator
1750 Kraft Dr., Room 2011
Blacksburg, VA 24060

School of Education

226 War Memorial Hall (0313)

370 Drillfield Drive

Blacksburg, VA 24061