Higher Education Administration (M.S.)

Culminating Experience

You will complete your master’s program with a culminating experience to showcase the knowledge you’ve gained through the program. You can chose from three options — a research thesis, a comprehensive test of your knowledge or an efolio to develop a product you can use in your future career.

Experience options

Plan A: Thesis

The thesis option involves the design and implementation of empirical research. You will design an original study, obtain or develop data collection tools, organize and implement data collection, input and analyze the data and write the results and conclusions of the study based on the data. A thesis contributes to your field of study.

Here is the forms you will need to form your committee and set up your meeting:

Graduate Studies Guidelines

The School of Graduate Studies includes the guidelines, submission directions, deadlines and timelines for completion as well as tips and workshops for students doing their Culminating Experience.

The St. Cloud State Institutional Review Board ensures that any research project that involves human subjects is in compliance with the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects. The board’s website includes application forms, training modules and information to assist you.

Plan B: Written comprehensive examination

The Written Comprehensive Examination is a final exam that you take at a specific date, pre-determined by the Higher Education Administration program. This exam evaluates your basic knowledge about the courses you’ve taken.

The exam entails working on two basic questions and the analysis of a case study which is genuine to the field of higher education. These will be provided to you during the exam. The Written Comprehensive Examination is offered twice a year.

Plan C: Project/eFolio

The graduate project involves the design of a product, which could be a curriculum, a workshop, a handbook, a video, a website or some other useful product to demonstrate the knowledge you’ve gained throughout the course of the master’s program.  

You will be expected to provide a rationale for your product based on a comprehensive review of your research and consultation with experts in the field. The project should contribute something new and/or significant to your institution, and it must be based on a review of the research and/or a needs assessment.

A graduate eFolio involves the design of an eFolio using the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities support website. You will provide evidence of your knowledge acquisition and skill development by using course work or work related artifacts.

Culminating Experience Resources

Miller Center

  • The University Library contains numerous resources available to help you with your research. The library also offers study rooms, equipment check out and personal assistance. 

  • Research tips, tutorials and RefWorks plagiarism prevention tools.

  • Additional tips for using the library’s resources.

  • Additional library services include off-campus proxy access and interlibrary loan.

Other Resources

The American Psychological Association (APA) website offers resources on APA format.

St. Cloud State’s The Writing Center offers individualized help and additional online writing resources.

The Statistical Consulting Center is a free service for students, faculty and staff that offers assistance in using statistics to support your research. The center will help you to design your survey and interpret the results.