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MA, Higher Education and Student Affairs

Required Courses (21 Credits)

Foundations of Higher Education

This course introduces students to the field of higher education. Emphasis is on historical development, philosophical and sociological foundations, the structure and variety of students and institutions, governance and administration, professional standards, the role of specialists, ethical problems and relationships to other professions and educational sectors.

Internship Seminar/ Practicum: Problems in Higher Education

The purpose of this seminar is to serve as an opportunity to integrate the content and information presented in formal classroom settings with the practical field experience.

College Student Learning and Development

This course explores the characteristics of students attending various types of institutions and the theories of growth and development for traditional and older-aged students. This course also reviews research on attendance and withdrawal, institutional environment and student subcultures, and the immediate and long-term effects of a college experience.

Diversity in Higher Education

This course examines current issues and research relating to participation and success of students and faculty from different backgrounds in U.S. higher education. Emphasis is on the interplay between diverse populations and institutional, societal, governmental, and personal influences on participation and retention of students and faculty.

Leadership In Higher Education

This course is designed to give students an understanding of several major theoretical approaches to understanding leadership, and to examine how leadership functions within higher education. Students learn how to observe and analyze roles and behaviors in higher education and gain useful insights for their own development as professionals.

Research Approaches & Techniques in Postsecondary Education

The purpose of this course is to develop good consumers of educational research and to introduce topics and skills of educational research and evaluation. The course is intended for those who conduct research on college campuses and emphasizes a practitioner-oriented approach to research for use on a college campus.

Internationalism and Study Abroad

This course focuses on the history, design, variety, impact & challenges of contemporary study abroad programs. The links between internationalization & globalization in the development of study abroad programs in the United States will be analyzed. Discussion will include the origins of study abroad; the many varieties of academic formats, sponsorships & venues; the demographics of student participants; the academic, cultural & personal learning of students; & the academic & administrative challenges faced by sponsoring colleges & universities.

Elective Courses (15 credits)

The following are examples of electives that you could take, by advisement:

  • Campus Communities and Student Subcultures
  • The Community College
  • The High School to College Transition
  • Higher Education and the Law
  • How Colleges Work
  • The Impact of College on Student Success
  • International Perspectives on Education Reforms
  • Internationalism and Study Abroad
  • Politics of Higher Education
  • Minority Serving Institutions

1-credit HPSE-GE Courses alternately offered in trios every spring:

  • Social Justice on The College Campus
  • Budgeting in Higher Education
  • Undergraduate Advising
  • Enrollment Mgmt/Retention Programs In Higher Education
  • Professional Competencies in Student Affairs
  • Crisis Intervention

Areas of Study (9 credits)

In addition to core requirements, students may have the option to create an Area of Study. The decision to pursue any area of study is optional and these designations will not appear on the transcript or diploma; however, they are endorsed by faculty and students may wish to include designation information on their resumes.

By combining a required course with a specific set of electives students may, but are not required to choose from one of six areas of study.

[Required courses are denoted by *.]

Area of Study I: Academic Affairs and Administration

The purpose of the Administration area of study is to prepare individuals for entry- and middle-level administrative positions in post-secondary institutions. This concentration is appropriate for students seeking positions in admissions, financial aid, strategic planning, governmental relations, enrollment management, and institutional research.

Course # Course Title Credits
HPSE-GE.2090 *Foundations of Higher Education (3 credits)
HPSE-GE.2068 The Impact of College on Students (3 credits)
HPSE-GE.2011 How Colleges Work (3 credits)
HPSE-GE.2115 Higher Education and the Law (3 credits)


Area of Study II: International Higher Education

The purpose of the International Education area of study is to support the development of academic and cultural competencies in global and international post-secondary studies. Students wishing to pursue careers in study abroad offices, international student services, and globalized curricula should consider this area of study.

Course # Course Title Credits
HPSE-GE.2045 *Internationalization and Study Abroad (3 credits)
HPSE-GE.2157 Global Perspectives in Higher Education (study abroad) (3 credits)
HPSE-GE.2139 Globalization and Higher Education Reforms (online) (3 credits)
ADMT-GE.2072 International Perspectives on Education Reform (3 credits)


Area of Study III: Student Affairs

The Student Affairs area of study prepares individuals who wish to serve in leadership positions in working with college students, student affairs administration, and/or research about college students. This concentration emphasizes professional practice, college student development, and leadership in higher education.

Course # Course Title Credits
HPSE-GE.2069 *College Student Learning and Development (3 credits)
HPSE-GE.2068 The Impact of College on Students (3 credits)
APSY-GE.2620 Group Dynamics (3 credits)
HPSE-GE.2067 Campus Communities and Student Subcultures (3 credits)


Area of Study IV: Research and Policy

This area of study is designed for students that are invested in developing acumen in areas of research and policy.

Course # Course Title Credits
HPSE-GE 2088

Research Approaches & Techniques in Ed. (required)

(3 credits)

HPSE-GE 2136 Higher Education Finance and Public Policy

(3 credits)

HPSE-GE.2061 The High School to College Transition (3 credits)
HPSE-GE.2017 Inequality in American Education: A K-16 Perspectives (3 credits)
HPSE-GE.2115 Higher Education and the Law

(3 credits)


Area of Study V: Social Justice

This area of study is designed to enable students to gain a deeper and broader analysis of topics related to access, retention, and the promotion of equity in systems of education ranging from K-20. Students passionate about this focus might explore careers that include: Multicultural Affairs, Pre-College Programs, Opportunity Programs, Residential Life, Teacher Education, Offices for Diversity and Inclusion, and Admissions.

Course # Course Title Credits
HPSE-GE.2161 *Diversity in Higher Education (3 credits)
HPSE-GE.2017 Inequality in American Education: A K-16 Perspective (Advanced) (3 credits)
HPSE-GE.2061 The High School to College Transition (3 credits)
EDLED-GE.2342 Politics of Multicultural School Communities (3 credits)


Area of Study VI: Individually Designed

Students wishing to take a wider or different selection of electives may opt to develop, with their adviser, an individually designed course of study.