Mission and History


The Higher Education Program (HEP) at George Mason University prepares individuals for positions of leadership in teaching, research, and administration at community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities around the globe. The interdisciplinary, graduate-level curriculum focuses on leadership, the scholarship of teaching and learning, administration, and assessment. The program also prepares students for positions in academic and student affairs as well as in associations, government agencies, and industries whose activities relate to or impact higher education. 

Learning Outcomes

Students will understand and apply concepts of leadership, teaching, administration, and assessment within the context of the complex higher education enterprise. Leadership, teaching, administration, and assessment are studied through an interdisciplinary lens using emergent technologies with a focus on the scholarship of teaching and learning. Students will become socialized members of a community of higher education professionals where they will contribute to and lead scholarly conversations by consuming, critiquing, and creating scholarship. Students will understand and employ effective pedagogical approaches. They will value assessment, understand its role, and be skilled in enacting processes of analysis. Students will reflect on themselves as cultural beings, analyze the ways in which that influences their work in higher education, value diversity, and meet multicultural competencies. Students will use theory as a base from which they ground their practice of effective and ethical leadership, teaching, and administration. 


Since 1988, George Mason University has offered doctoral degrees in higher education. Over 200 graduates are now contributing to the academic, administrative, and pedagogical activities in community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities around the country.

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