Graduate Application Guide

Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA-MA)

Prepare for a career in higher education, working in student affairs, financial aid, and career services. This master of arts program combines coursework in student learning and development with research and practical field experiences.

Academic Plan Code: HESA

Degree: MA

Credits: 36

Academic Load: Full-time or part-time. Students have up to six years to complete the program.

Application Deadlines
Fall: January 6 (full-time program), February 1 (part-time program)
Summer: N/A
Spring: November 1 (part-time program)

Program Information
Website | 212-998-5520

Admissions Requirements

Selection to the MA program is based on a completed baccalaureate degree with outstanding academic achievement, evidence of significant undergraduate leadership experience, and the letters of reccommendation and statement of purpose submitted in your application (see "How to Apply" below). If you have questions about the program or the admissions process, email

You may choose to apply for either the full-time or part-time MA program: 

Full-time MA program: The most qualified candidates for admission will be invited to a recruitment program at which they will interview for an internship in higher education or students affairs in the New York metro area. This recruitment event will also provide candidates with the opportunity to meet current students, faculty and learn more about program offerings. Candidates must obtain an approved internship in order to obtain formal admission the program.

The application deadline for the full-time program is January 6, for the Fall semester only. The January 6 deadline is necessary for the extensive time requirements needed in the internship interview process.

Part-time MA program: In order to be considered for admission to the part-time program, you must be a full-time employee in the field of higher and postsecondary education within the New York City metropolitan area at the time of application and for the duration of the program. Before admissions decisions are made, the most qualified candidates will be asked to interview with the program’s coordinator and director.

The application deadline for the part-time program is November 1 for Spring semester or February 1 for Fall

How to Apply

These instructions and requirements are for all applicants. If you are not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, please read the special instructions for international applicants.

1. Prepare Your Application

Your application will require the following items. The following are acceptable document types for uploads: .pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, .png, .doc, .docx, and bitmap.


You are required to upload a copy of your most recent résumé or curriculum vitae as part of your application. 

Statement of Purpose

You are required to upload a typed, double-spaced, two- to three-page statement explaining your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this particular program as part of your application. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and to inform the admissions committee about your goals, interests, and career plans as they relate to your intended academic pursuits.

Letters of Recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline. Read detailed instructions.

Two of these letters should be from faculty members who are familiar with your academic work. At least one reference should be from a college administrator with whom you have worked.


Upload one official copy of transcripts from every postsecondary school you have attended. Make sure to request them in advance of the deadline. See detailed instructions.


Not required.

Proficiency in English


2. Apply


Start your application now

After you fill in and upload the required information, you can submit your completed application. Your application must be completed, dated, electronically signed and submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST of the stated deadline.

Application Fee

You will be prompted to pay a $75 application fee, payable by major credit card only. After submitting your payment, you will see your application status change from “saved” to “submitted.” Please print this screen for your records, as it confirms that your application has been successfully sent to our school. If you have problems submitting your payment, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions. Learn more about our fee waiver policy.

Mailing Additional Items 

If any remaining application materials need to be mailed to our office, mail the materials together in a single mailing using this document cover sheet. Items received without the cover sheet take longer to process and match to your application. Please do not mail your materials in binders or folders. Any mailed materials must be received by, not postmarked by, the stated deadline. Only completed applications will be considered and reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Due to high volume, we are unable to confirm receipt of mailed materials.

Application Policies

Application deadlines are "in-office" deadlines, not postmark deadlines. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are in the Office of Graduate Admissions by the appropriate deadline, and we reserve the right to return any application that arrives after the deadline. Only completed applications will be considered. Should a deadline fall on a weekend, the in-office deadline will be the next business day. We advise you to apply early.

Please check the online system to confirm that you have successfully submitted your application. Due to the volume of applications and related materials received, the Office of Graduate Admissions will only contact you if your application was successfully submitted and is deemed incomplete because of missing required materials. Otherwise, you will hear from us when the admissions committee has made its decision.

Deferral policy: NYU Steinhardt does not allow deferrals. Applicants who wish to be considered for a future semester must reapply by submitting a new application with all supporting materials, including letters of recommendations, by the application deadline.


3. Receive Your Admission Decision

You will be notified about your decision by email. Typically, decisions will start going out in late November for Spring semester enrollment and in late March or early April for Summer or Fall enrollment. You may learn of your decision before or after this timeline.