Master of Education or Master of Arts in Student Affairs in Higher Education - Administration


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The Student Affairs in Higher Education program provides education for individuals interested in professional careers in student affairs. The emphasis of this program is on the administrative perspective of student services and supports student development. The Student Affairs in Higher Education program offers graduate students opportunities for involvement in a variety of areas while they are pursuing their master's degree. Practicum, internships, and graduate assistantships are designed to complement the academic course work and provide opportunities for practical application. Assistantships are not required but highly recommended for students to pursue.

Graduate students in our program represent gender and racial diversity, geographical spread, and a significant number of different undergraduate academic disciplines. Candidates have been active in student government, residential services, Greek life, and campus recreation, and others have worked full time in various campus offices. Demand for graduates of the Student Affairs in Higher Education program has been strong.


Thesis Focus

An individual choosing a thesis focus will have the opportunity to conduct an extensive research project or study on a given topic. The student will work on his/her thesis under the direction of an experienced faculty mentor along with a thesis committee which will supervise a student's thesis. This committee will consist of a faculty chairperson (or co-chairs) and two or more committee members for a total of three-four committee members who supervise the progress of the thesis. The committee members are doctors in their field (whether a PhD or other designation) and have the task of reading the thesis, making suggestions for changes and improvements, and sitting in on the thesis proposal hearing and defense. The committee is chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her thesis chairperson. The completed thesis document must be submitted in support of candidature for the student affairs in higher education master’s of art degree.

Career and Advising Focus

The Career and Advising focus consists of four courses dedicated to increasing the helping skills competence of students pursuing the Master’s Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education. By pursuing this focus students will develop skills that apply to academic advising and career services work. Students choosing the Career and Advising Focus gain knowledge and skills in the delivery of supportive and directive services to individuals and groups. In this focus students enhance their competencies as professional helpers and refine their capabilities to guide students, supervisees, and colleagues.

International Focus

The International focus consists of three courses dedicated to increasing the international competence of students pursuing the Master’s Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education. By pursuing this focus students will develop skills in the delivery of international student services, along with foundational knowledge and skills in study abroad practice and research. Students choosing the International focus will conclude their study by participating in a third internship experience in a Student Affairs division abroad. Students pursuing the International focus gain global competencies by developing enhanced understandings of the world and respect for the uniqueness of social context.

Sport Management Certificate

The Sport Management focus consists of five courses dedicated to increasing knowledge and skills related to managing sports programs at the higher education level. By pursuing this focus students will learn about the business aspects of sports and recreation. The curriculum exposes students to a wealth of issues including the role of athletics in higher education, sport and event marketing, current issues in American sports, finance, and law. When students choose this focus, they can earn a Sport Management Certificate in addition to their master’s degree.

Independent Focus

Students with an interest in a specialized focus area other than those offered may identify nine credit hours of graduate coursework related to an area of interest as a personal independent focus area. The student would then discuss with their faculty adviser how this interest area and the courses selected are compatible with their career goals. Upon approval of the faculty adviser, this independent focus may be pursued. The following areas are provided as examples only and not meant to be all-inclusive: women's studies, non-profit administration, and management.


Admission Requirements

  • 2.7 Cumulative minimum GPA and GRE score or MAT  score in the 50th percentile or better
  • 3.0 Cumulative minimum GPA

Admission Process


Apply to Graduate School.

  • Include a statement of professional goals with application.

Submit the following to the Department of Leadership Studies:

  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Resume or vita

Successfully complete an interview with program faculty.

Questions about the graduate school application?  Contact:

Graduate School
Location: 344 Student Union
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Phone: (937) 775-2976
Fax: (937) 775-2453
Toll-free Number: 1-800-452-4723