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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Higher Education Program

Master of Arts (MA) - Higher Education

Are you curious about higher education as a field of study? Do you want to gain research skills and apply them to issues related to colleges and universities?

This research-stream program best serves those seeking the knowledge and skills needed to pursue administrative and policy careers related to higher education. It also prepares students to pursue doctoral studies in higher education and related fields.

We welcome applicants with diverse but relevant backgrounds.

Study options: Full-time or part-time
Components: Coursework and thesis
Length: Minimum full-time program length is 2 years

For detailed information about the program, please consult the School of Graduate Studies Calendar and the OISE Bulletin

Check the application tips for this degree.




  • Coursework. Students must complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LHA 3803H Doctoral Seminar: Recurring Issues in Postsecondary Education (0.5 FCE), to be taken at the beginning of the program.

    • 0.5 FCE in research methods approved by the faculty advisor.

    • 3.0 other FCEs, of which 1.5 FCEs must be from the Higher Education program.

  • Thesis.


Explore courses


Collaborative specializations

Collaborative specializations provide graduate students enrolled in participating degree programs with an additional multidisciplinary experience as they complete their home degree program. 

Learn more about the collaborative specializations offered to MA students in the Higher Education program:


Faculty in the Higher Education program have multi-disciplinary teaching and research expertise in a wide range of fields. To learn more about our faculty, check out our program's faculty listing for profiles.

Our faculty's expertise includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Higher education, globalization and neoliberalism
  • Comparative higher education and international academic relations
  • Educational leadership and change
  • Higher education policy and politics in Canada
  • Minoritization in postsecondary institutions
  • Indigenous college student experience
  • Politics in higher education
  • Sociology of knowledge

Funding and tuition


We are pleased to offer OISE Graduate Funding Packages to full-time MA students in year 1.


The following are  annual tuition fees for 2021-2022. These figures include all non-tuition related fees. 

  • Domestic full-time students: $7,979.99
  • Domestic part-time students: $2,799.74
  • International full-time students: $28,735.99
  • Please note: Master's programs at OISE have minimum degree fees.

For detailed and up-to-date information about tuition fees, funding, and financial support, visit Tuition and Financial Support.  

Admissions and application information

General information

Please visit the OISE Admissions website for detailed information about the application process, including general minimum admission requirements and supporting documents. 

Program-specific information

Minimum admission requirements

  • An appropriate bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with a grade equivalent to a University of Toronto mid-B or better in the final year.

Required supporting documents  

  • Transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended
  • Two letters of reference (one academic and one professional)
  • Résumé
  • Answers to faculty admissions questions (applicants are to answer each question in an essay format)
  • Written evidence of ability to define a research question or problem, devise a research design, and analyze and report research findings – all in an academically rigorous manner. This sample of written work may be an undergraduate thesis, long essays or papers written for undergraduate courses, reports and studies written as part of employment, or other documents that demonstrate the ability to conduct research at the master's degree level.


The main application deadline is November 15, 2021. Tguarantee consideration for admission and a base funding package (if applicable), applicants should submit their application and supporting documents by this date 

After November 15, admission to some programs may remain open. For the most up-to-date information on application deadlines, please visit OISE Admissions



Questions about applying? Please contact the OISE admissions office at 416-978-4300 or