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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 18 students per year in the full-time two-year program. Part-time enrollment is also an option over a three- or four-year period. The small cohort size encourages 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 educational environment and expand social awareness.

An array of 60 practicum internships, 25 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 the Center for Cultural Pluralism, ALANA Student Center, College of Education and Social Services, Student Services Offices, Center for Cultural Pluralism, Honors College, 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 assistantship application process (December 15 deadline) is separate from the admissions process but interviews, upon invitation, for both are 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

  • Undergraduate transcript(s)
  • Three letters of reference
  • Resume (a resume is extremely important for HESA admission consideration)
  • Graduate College Admission application including the student's Statement of Purpose

Extensive information about the program is available at HESA website.  Inquiries regarding this program should be addressed to:

University of Vermont
Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration
208 Mann Hall
Burlington, Vermont 05405

Minimum Degree Requirements

Students are urged to hold either a full-time position in college and/or student affairs administration, if a part-time student; or a twenty hours per week professional practice opportunity (e.g., volunteer position, graduate assistantship), if a full-time student.

The following courses comprise the 40 credit hour program of study required for completion of the master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration.  The course sequence varies depending on the student's enrollment status (e.g., full or part-time) and enrollment in summer classes.

Note: EDHI courses are those that have a higher education focus, and EDFS courses are foundational courses within the College of Education and Social Services.

EDHI 385Foundations & Functions of CSP3
EDHI 361The (Un)Changing Academy3
EDHI 397Problems in Education1-6
EDHI 375Cultural Pluralism Higher Ed3
EDHI 362The American College Student3
EDHI 380Professional Problems in Educ (Student Development II)3
EDHI 380Professional Problems in Educ (Intro to Research Methods in Higher Education)3
EDHI 395Lab Experience in Education ( three choices)2
EDHI 383Higher Ed Admin & Organization3
EDHI 396Capstone:Eth,Val&Mean/High Ed3
EDFS Educational Foundations Electives
Electives chosen from approved list (EDFS, EDCO, EDLP)

Forty credits (including required classes, six credits of EDFS, practica, and one elective) are required for the M.Ed. degree.

There is also a Higher Education concentration in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies doctoral degree (Ed.D.) that requires core courses (see Educational Leadership Ed.D.) and a program of studies focusing on the administration in higher education.

Comprehensive Examination

  1. The student will take the comprehensive examination orally.
  2. The examination will entail three questions prepared for the candidate by program faculty and one question specifically written for the student.
  3. The examination will consist of a one-hour oral presentation to a comprehensive examination committee whose membership will include two HESA faculty members and one additional member to be chosen by the student from other UVM academic units or administrators with whom the student has worked (e.g., faculty, assistantship, or practica supervisors).  Any requests for exception to these membership parameters must be discussed with the HESA coordinator.

Additional information about the comprehensive examination will be circulated by the program faculty.

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

Successful completion of any pre-requisite courses, and at least 15 graded graduate credits with a 3.00 GPA or better, including all core courses.