Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration M.Ed.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master of Education Degree


The HESA graduate program enrolls approximately 15-18 students per year in the full-time two-year program. The small cohort size facilitates strong and enduring relationships among students and faculty. A wide spectrum of undergraduate majors, geographic locations, previous experiences, and cultural backgrounds are represented in the class cohorts. These diverse perspectives enrich the overall educational environment and expand social awareness. Part-time enrollment is also an option and students work with a faculty advisor to plan course sequencing.

An array of 60 practicum internships, 30 graduate assistantship placements, and paid and volunteer professional practice opportunities help students integrate their conceptual knowledge with student affairs and higher education practice. Assistantships are housed in College of Education and Social Services, Student Services Offices, Office of Student Life, Orientation, Leadership and Civic Engagement, and Residential Life (these offerings change from year to year). Assistantships cover tuition for twenty credits of study each year and a bimonthly stipend.

The academic program admissions process (December 1) and the assistantship application process (December 1 deadline) are separate from each other.  Selected candidates are invited to interview for admission and for assistantships at times held concurrently in the spring of each year. Practica experiences (three selections during the course of the degree) are available within university and local college offices.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Education

Submit the following to the University of Vermont Graduate Admissions Office. Please be advised that the UVM Graduate College uses an on-line application process. Applications received by December 1 will be given priority consideration  for the following Fall admissions.

  • Graduate Application Form: Available on-line from the Graduate College

  • Statement of Purpose: The statement of purpose will be reviewed for clarity of expression, grammatical construction, and insight regarding the applicant’s reasons for pursuing study in the HESA program

  • Three Letters of Recommendation: Letters written by individuals who are well acquainted with the applicant’s academic accomplishments and potential for becoming an effective student affairs practitioner are considered valid letters of recommendations. Of these three letters needed for admission, preferably two should be from faculty members and one from a student affairs professional/mentor. Please do not include letters written by personal friends or acquaintances.

  • Official College Transcripts: An official college transcript of course work (undergraduate and graduate) should be submitted from every college and/or university attended.

  • Professional Resume: An up-to-date resume that attests to the applicant’s education, work, and volunteer experience should be included in the application packet for admission. Work and leadership experience in higher education is highly desired.

After an initial review of applications, select applicants will be invited to participate in an academic program interview on the UVM campus in the spring semester. These required interviews are conducted by HESA program faculty and are critical in the application process. Faculty will be looking for evidence of candidates’ academic potential, communication skills (oral and written), knowledge of higher education issues, exposure to student affairs, professional readiness, and commitment to the higher education and student affairs profession. This campus visit  will also offer candidates an opportunity to experience the UVM campus climate, receive information about UVM’s HESA program, interact with closely with HESA faculty and students and  UVM student affairs staff.  During that same campus visit, candidates for assistantships will interview with  assistantship supervisors.

Minimum Degree Requirements

Forty credits are required for the completion of the master of education degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs and the curriculum appears below. The course sequence varies depending on the student's enrollment status (e.g., full or part-time). A faculty advisor will assist the student in preparing a program of study, which will be completed by the end of the first semester of the program. Successful completion of the program is based on the demonstration of appropriate knowledge, relevant skills, and personal characteristics, as well as the accumulation of credits in required coursework. Students are urged to hold either a twenty hours per week professional practice opportunity (e.g., volunteer position, graduate assistantship) during each semester if a full-time student; or a full-time position in college and/or student affairs administration, if a part-time student. Students are required to complete three practica internship assignments.

EDHI 361The (Un)Changing Academy3
EDHI 364Helping Skills in Stdn Affairs3
EDHI 385Foundations & Functions of CSP3
EDHI 362The American College Student3
EDHI 375Social Justice/Inclusion in HE3
EDHI 380Professional Problems in Educ (Program Evaluation and Assessment in Student Affairs)3
EDHI 380Professional Problems in Educ (Advanced Student Development)3
EDHI 363Controversies of the Academy3
EDHI 380Professional Problems in Educ (Program Evaluation and Assessment)3
EDHI 380Professional Problems in Educ (Current Issues in Higher Education)3
EDHI 383Higher Ed Admin & Organization3
EDHI 396Capstone:Eth,Val&Mean/High Ed3
EDHI 395Lab Experience in Education (Practicum Internship: three choices)2

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive exam requirement of the Graduate College is met through successful completion of the Capstone Seminar course taken during the final semester of enrollment. This culminating experience is designed to be a final assessment of a student’s professional portfolio as aligned with the ACPA & NASPA Professional Competencies for Student Affairs Educators.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Education

At the conclusion of the first year of full-time study (completion of the prescribed 20 credit hours in the HESA curriculum with a minimum 3.00 GPA and no more than 1 grade below a B), HESA faculty assess students’ progression toward successful completion of the degree program.