Department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations

Master of Education in Student Affairs in Higher Education - Administration

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Why Choose the Student Affairs in Higher Education - Administration Program?

The Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) 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.

Graduate students in our programs have also been able to earn many awards and honors. Lindsey Steller and Kate Bumhoffer won the OCPA Case Study Competition in January 2016. Watch a video of their presentation to check out how impressive these two first year SAHE students are! Katie McGrath and Taylor Ridenour also won the Dr. Robert A. Dubick Case Study Competion at the OCPA Annual Conference in January of 2017. In addition, in Fall of 2017 SAHE student Hannah Pigg was selected as a Wright State Graduate Council Scholar for her work as Program Coordinator for the Independent Scholars Network, and SAHE student Annie Walker was chosen for the Wright Fellowship Award. On top of this, in April of 2017 Danielle Graham was selected to present information from her thesis, Athletic Identity and Research Development: An Examination of NCAA Division I Athletes and Their Moral Foundations, at the Wright State University Graduate Research Symposium. 

View the Department Newsletter to see what our students are doing.

Contact Information

Dr. Carol Patitu, Program Director
(937) 775-4148

Academics and Curriculum

Program of Study

Student Affairs in Higher Education Program of Study (PDF)

Career and Advising Focus

The Career and Advising focus consists of three 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. Since 2010, students have had the opportunity of interning at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England. Anglia Ruskin University is home to the Global Sustainability Institute. The university achieved NUS Responsible Future Accreditation for embedding sustainability across all aspects of the university. It's an exemplary higher education model. WSU SAHE students intern in the Student Services division, recognized by the Times Higher Education as an Outstanding Student Services Department.  

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

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 2.7 cumulative undergrad GPA (or 2.5 cumulative undergraduate GPA with a 3.0 or better GPA for the last half of the undergraduate program)
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher on any previous graduate work
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores in the 50th percentile or higher

NOTE: Test requirement is waived if the applicant has a cumulative undergraduate GPA (from all schools attended) of 3.0 or higher or if the applicant has a previous master's degree.

**COVID-19 Update and GRE and MAT Waivers: GRE and MAT test requirements will be waived until the COVID-19 crisis has passed, and testing locations have reopened.

Admission Process


Apply to Graduate School.

  • Admission is in Fall Semesters.
  • Annual Application Deadline: December 1st is the first consideration application deadline. At present, we are continuing to accept applications for the Fall 2020 cohort.

Submit to the Graduate School

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended (except Wright State)
  • Statement of goals and objectives (uploaded to the application)

NOTE: Although students can submit application materials later than the annual December 1 deadline, students must reapply for the next academic year once the cohort for the upcoming year is full.


Submit the following to the Department of Leadership Studies by mail or email:

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume or vita

Mail documents to:

Leadership Studies Department
Attn: SAHE Program
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45435

or you may email them to: and use the Subject Line: SAHE Recommendation


Successfully complete an interview, held annually in January and February, 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

Important Dates for Admitted Students

  • Meet and Greet Reception: Thursday, February 25, 2021 (For the Fall 2021 Cohort)
  • Annual Graduate Assistantship (GA) Interviewing Day: Friday, February 26, 2021 (For the Fall 2021 Cohort)
  • Orientation: Friday, August 7, 2020 (For the Fall 2020 Cohort)

NOTE: Attendance at these events is required for all newly admitted students.

Study Abroad

A biannual study abroad trip is available for Student Affairs in Higher Education students and others who desire to learn more about global diversity in higher education. During June 2014, nine students traveled to Paris with Professor Dr. Carol Logan Patitu to visit universities, museums, and other locations of cultural interest. A second trip is planned for Summer 2016. Those interested in this opportunity should contact Dr. Patitu at to learn more.


I cannot help but to be thankful for the best month of my life. I already miss Paris. I am ready to fly back. My mind races with future travel plans. I have to travel again, soon and often! I dream of visiting England, India, Italy, Greece, Germany and the list goes on and on. (Brittany Dotson, SAHE student)

One thing that I learned that really touched me was the fact that African-American musicians (African-Americans period) were able to live in Paris with the same freedoms as the natives at a time in history when they had no freedoms in the United States. The same African-American musicians that were not even allowed to perform in a bar in the U.S. were performing in beautiful, upscale institutions in Paris. (Dominique Starr, SAHE student)

I really enjoyed seeing the different ethnic communities located throughout Paris, France, and the history of how those communities came to be. (Melissa DeButz, SAHE student)

What I enjoyed most about the study abroad trip was bonding with a group of sojourners who shared a genuine interest in various aspects of higher education. Even though our individual interests were different, the mutual aspect that bonded our group together can be attributed to our deep interest in global diversity in higher education. (Carol Pierson-Milhous, student at Northern Illinois University)

Something I learned that really touched me is that the European culture has a five week paid vacation time. The U.S. is the only developed country without this. (Anthony Patitu, WSU Organizational Leadership student)

This trip changed my perspective on the resources that are available to our students, faculty and staff. Whenever I am ungrateful or upset about the lack of funding, I will remember how fortunate we are. We are able to offer so many different services to enhance the student learning experience including, student support services, co-curricular actives, financial assistance, study coaches, identity centers, tutoring, athletics, etc. (Katherine Nevils, SAHE student)

Study Abroad Course

Participating in the study abroad experience also requires enrollment in a three credit hour course (Global Diversity in Higher Education in France) that includes lectures, discussions, written assignments, and activities. The course meetings also help prepare students for the details surrounding travel outside of the U.S.

Come travel with us and learn!


SAHE Alumni Spotlight

Congratulations to former SAHE student Cassandra Lloyd for being inducted into WSU's Athletic Hall of Fame! Cassandra Lloyd finished her career at Wright State in 2012 as perhaps the most accomplished student-athlete in school history. She was named the Wright State Female Athlete of the Year as well as the Horizon League Track Athlete of the Year each of her four years.  Read more




SAHE Student Spotlight

First Year 

First year SAHE student Katrina Merriweather serves as Coach of Wright State’s Women’s Basketball Team. After being an assistant coach on Bradbury’s  staff for six seasons, Merriweather was handed the torch to succeed him. With the foundation laid, the next step was to build upon it. “We’re still extremely talented, we’re still big and fast, and we can still create. All those things are the same if not better, but where we have the biggest hole to fill is in leadership and toughness,” Merriweather said. “People may not realize how important that is, but without those two things, the points and the rebounds and the assists really don’t translate into wins.” Read more   



Second Year

Second year SAHE student Tiffany Freeman works with WSU's ISN program. ISN (Independent Scholars Network) exists to provide resources and services which enhance the academic and social-cultural experiences of a student who emancipates from foster care into higher education. ISN works with campus community partners and resources to provide a more holistic transition to higher education, by providing an all-encompassing support network. Students have the opportunity to attend workshops and community sponsored events catered to their specific needs and values. As new students transition to Wright State, they are partnered with a volunteer Wright State staff or faculty member, who coach and mentor students during the academic year. In addition, the ISN Coordinator, Tiffany Freeman, facilitates workshops and provides other forms of mentorship to all students within the program. "I work with the students on an individual basis to help them establish proper utilization of all funding resources, ensure health insurance, and provide guidance on how to access different resources", Tiffany says.                                            

During her time as ISN coordinator, Tiffany has worked with Montgomery County Children Services to provide high school-age students information about Wright State University and Higher Education in a general sense. She has also worked with Dr. Carl Brun and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to create a certificate program for former foster youth: Career Advancement Skills I. ODE gave each former foster youth $1,000 in grant money to put forth towards the start of the certificate program.




Annual Hooding Ceremony Class of 2019 

  2019 SAHE Hooding Ceremony











Each year the department holds an annual hooding ceremony at the Nutter Center for graduates of the SAHE cohort.


Program History

Student Affairs in Higher Education Graduate Program: A Brief History

The Wright State University graduate program in Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) began in 1983 as a concentration in the Counselor Education program in the College of Education and Human Services. In 1995-1996, the program moved to the Department of Educational Leadership (currently the Department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations). A program review conducted in 1999-2000 recommended that the SAHE graduate program be discontinued due to low enrollment, and a moratorium was placed on admission.

The Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Dan Abrahamowicz, thought there was a need for the program, and he and the Dean of the College of Education and Human Services, Dr. Greg Bernhart, agreed that if an adequate number of students could be recruited, the SAHE program would continue. They jointly funded a half-time faculty position and set a goal of 15-20 graduate students within two years. Dr. Joanne Risacher, a previous student affairs administrator at WSU, was completing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and was recruited for the half-time position beginning in September 2001.

The enrollment goal was easily met and interest in admission continued to grow. Today's enrollment in the two-year graduate program stands at 45-50 students. In order to provide an optimal learning experience with relatively small class size and to assure a high percentage of graduate job placements, the number of new students per academic year is capped at 20-22. For the past seven years, there has been a waiting list for admission.

There have been four SAHE program directors: Dr. Wilma Henry, while the program was housed in Counselor Education; Dr. Charles Ryan, when the program moved to Educational Leadership; Dr. Joanne Risacher, and the current program director, Dr. Carol Patitu.


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