Program Description

The Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and Leadership (MAHEAL) is a two-year, 33-credit program that will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective leadership within complex and changing higher educational environments. This program will prepare you to develop the skills required to work collaboratively, take a systems view of their organization, build enduring relationships and partnerships, make evidence-based decisions, think critically, plan strategically and lead meaningful educational change.   

Designed in collaboration with current leaders in the field, the MAHEAL program enables professionals to:

  • Examine the relationship between theory and practice in higher educational environments;
  • Acquire the knowledge, skills, and mindsets they need to be effective in their own post-secondary work environment;
  • Gain a greater understanding of the issues facing higher education administrators and how to manage and resolve them; and
  • Enhance their ability to critically assess research advances in the higher educational leadership field and apply this knowledge to practice.

This program will allow you to customize your learning by choosing from two specialization options, a specialization in  Business Development in International Education or a specialization in Systems Leadership in Higher Education and by selecting from two program completion options including a research paper (secondary research) or a thesis (primary research). 

Specialization Options:

  • Business Development in International Education – Ideal for those students who wish to focus on leadership in international education contexts. 
  • Systems Leadership in Higher Education - Ideal for students wishing to acquire a deep understanding of systems thinking to create meaningful educational change

 Visit the Program Design page for more information.

Who It’s For

The MAHEAL program is designed for current or aspiring leaders in post-secondary educational environments who want to expand their expertise and gain new skills and credentials in the field of higher education administration and leadership, to advance or redirect their career. Students of this program are required to have a background in higher education knowledge and experience, to learn more visit the program admission page.

Applicants who do not have the formal academic education to qualify for admission may be assessed based on both their formal education and their informal learning, in accordance with the Flexible Admission Policy. Please visit the program admission page for more information.


Graduates will develop an understanding of educational improvement concepts and research and be able to apply practical tools and strategies to address issues, challenges, and opportunities related to supporting student achievement and institutional growth.

Graduates will:

  • Facilitate the collaborative development and implementation of shared values, vision, mission, and goals to support learning and achievement for all students;
  • Understand and use change and improvement processes to support student learning and institutional growth;
  • Build positive and effective relationships between the institution and the larger community;
  • Integrate evidence-based decision making approaches into administrative leadership practices to support growth and improvement;
  • Engage in meaningful self-assessment and self-awareness to enhance leadership skills, positive relationships, and professional goals;
  • Apply systems thinking to strategically plan and manage the higher education institutional environment to support student learning;
  • Engage in sound financial planning/budgeting and project management practices to support organizational goals;
  • Foster and sustain an inclusive institutional culture and climate to support both student learning and faculty/staff professional growth;
  • Critically analyze the leader’s own organizational context considering existing cultural norms, national/international trends and global perspectives;
  • Implement authentic and meaningful strategies assuring program quality; and
  • Lead collaborative and systematic inquiry processes that support institutional growth and improvement.