Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration M.Ed.

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

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission


Applications to the HESA Program are processed by the UVM Graduate College via the online admissions process. This process includes the documents that are listed below. 

Applicants are strongly advised to submit all materials (e.g., transcripts, recommendations, resume) by or before the deadline to receive a full and timely review.

Through your admissions account set up in the Graduate College, you can check whether your application is complete and all materials (e.g., recommendations, transcripts) have been submitted. Your application will not be reviewed by the admissions committee until it is complete.

PLEASE NOTE:  The assistantship application is due at the same time as the academic application.

Required Application Materials

  • Graduate Application Form- The online application form is available on the Graduate College website.
  • Statement of Purpose- Applicants should review the following when preparing the Statement of Purpose:

The HESA Statement of Purpose offers the applicant an opportunity to articulate his/her/zer reasons for pursuing graduate study in HESA and to review the skills and experiences that have informed the applicant’s desire to pursue studies in this area.  The Statement will be reviewed for clarity of expression, grammatical construction, insight and clarity regarding the applicant’s reasons for pursuing study in the HESA Program. Select a quote that embodies a critical moment in your life and, in 750 words or less, reflect upon your aspirations and promise for pursuing the student affairs profession as a University of Vermont HESA.

  • Three Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must request three letters written by individuals who have a professional relationship with the applicant and who are well acquainted with the applicant’s accomplishments and potential for becoming an effective professional.  At least one of these letters should be from an academic advisor or instructor.  Please do not include letters written by personal friends, family friends, therapists, or acquaintances.  All letters of recommendation must be submitted by the recommenders by December 1.  We allow a small buffer of a couple of days to allow for arrival and processing. Applicants are able to check to see if/when letters have been submitted. 

PLEASE NOTE: Your application for assistantship (found on the Division of Student Affairs website) is separate from your application for admission to the HESA program, and the two applications are reviewed by separate groups of evaluators. The former is reviewed by assistantship providers who you may interview with for positions, and the latter is reviewed by the HESA program faculty. Here are what the letters of recommendation should address for each application:

HESA Academic Program Application:  At least one letter from a faculty member (preferably two) and the third from a student affairs professional. These letters should highlight your preparedness for graduate level work, communication skills, critical reasoning skills, etc.

Student Affairs Graduate Assistantship Application:  There are no restrictions on who writes these letters, but these letters should speak to your interests and passion for student affairs and should highlight your professional preparation as an undergraduate student/returner to the academy.

Having shared these expectations, if the third individual who is writing your letter of recommendation can speak to these two separate but complementary criteria in the same letter, you can certainly use the same letters for both applications. However, each letter must have an original signature.

  • Unofficial College Transcripts

Official transcripts are not necessary when submitting your application. An unofficial transcript of course work (undergraduate and graduate) should be submitted from every college and/or university attended for the Admissions Committee to review. Please make sure any community college credits are listed on your college or university transcript.  If admitted to the program, you will be required to submit an official transcript for all course work (undergraduate and graduate) upon an acceptance of the offer.

  • Professional Resume/Curricula Vitae (CV)

An up-to-date resume/CV that attests to the applicant’s education, work and volunteer experience should be included in the application packet.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

It is a Graduate College policy that applicants whose native or first language is not English must submit TOEFL test scores for admissions.  The minimum acceptable score for admission to the Graduate College at the University of Vermont is 90; the minimum acceptable score for a student receiving funding at the University of Vermont is 100.

  • Application Fee- $65

Please note:

  • Candidates whose applications are COMPLETE (including the resume/CV) by December 1 will be given priority consideration.  Applications completed after the December 1 deadline cannot be guaranteed a completed review by the interview session invitation deadline.  As applications are completed and reviewed after the December 1 deadline, invitations to attend the on campus interview and program orientation occur on a rolling bases.  Only applicants who have passed the admissions application review are invited for an on campus interview.

  • All materials must be submitted online through the Graduate College. Materials that arrive external (e.g., in the mail, through email) to the online process cannot be considered for academic admissions.

  • GREs are not required for academic admissions into the HESA program or for applicants seeking an assistantship or university funding through financial aid.


A one-and-a-half day Interview and Program Orientation Session is held for students who pass the initial academic application screening.  Attendance for invited candidates is required for admission consideration into the HESA program.  Invitations for the Interview and Program Orientation Sessions will be issued approximately three weeks prior to the first session.

Activities during these interview sessions include:

  • an extensive welcome and academic program orientation including curriculum, program goals, and faculty,
  • an academic interview with a HESA faculty member,
  • meals with current students and University administrators,
  • meetings with current students,
  • orientation to the Division of Student Affairs, and
  • assistantship interview(s), and
  • visit to downtown Burlington.

Phone or Skype interviews are not an adequate substitute for a visit and orientation to the HESA program, University, Burlington, and Vermont.

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

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.