Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration M.Ed.

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


The University of Vermont's Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration (HESA) graduate program is counted among the top programs in the country preparing professional educators to collaboratively transform higher education. The program welcomes full-time and part-time students with various levels of experience and backgrounds. The student cohort model promotes strong and enduring relationships with fellow colleagues, award-winning faculty, and campus partners. The program engages educators committed to the future of the nation’s higher education system to challenge UVM HESA students through a theory-to-practice curriculum, creating an unparalleled learning experience.

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. Applications will not be reviewed by the admissions committee until complete.

Required Application Materials

  • Graduate Application Form- The online application form is available on the Graduate College website.
  • Statement of Purpose- UVM is a community that celebrates the unique identity of every student, faculty and staff member. In your statement of purpose, please outline your reasons for wishing to undertake graduate study with the UVM HESA program, and how your identities and/or lived experiences inform your career aspirations as a higher education and/or student affairs professional.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted directly to UVM by individuals who have an academic or professional relationship with the applicant. These individuals must be well acquainted with the applicant’s accomplishments and potential for becoming an effective higher education and student affairs professional, as well as readiness for graduate study. For applicants seeking to attend graduate school immediately after graduation from an undergraduate institution, at least two of these letters should be from an instructor/faculty member. Please do not include letters written by friends, family friends, therapists, or acquaintances. 

All letters of recommendation should accompany the application by the application deadline. We allow a small buffer of a couple of days to allow for arrival and processing.

  • Unofficial College Transcripts

Official transcripts are not necessary when submitting applications. 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 the college or university transcript.  If admitted to the program, applicants 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, professional experience, and volunteer work should be included in the application packet. Remember to highlight relevant higher education and student affairs experience (and transferable experiences), whether paid or volunteer.

  • English Proficiency Examination

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit proof of English proficiency. Applicants must submit official scores of either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo. The minimum score for admission to the Graduate College at UVM is 90 for TOEFL; 6.5 for IELTS; and 110 for Duolingo. 

  • Application Fee- $65 (standard set by the Graduate College). Questions regarding application fee waivers should be directed to the Graduate College.

Please note:

  • Candidates whose applications are COMPLETE (including the resume/CV) by the communicated application deadline will be given priority consideration.  Applications completed after the deadline cannot be guaranteed a full-review.

  • All materials must be submitted online through the Graduate College. Materials that arrive external to the online process cannot be considered for academic admission.

  • GRE scores are not required for academic admission into the HESA program,  nor for applicants seeking graduate assistantships or university funding through financial aid.

  • Students accepted into the HESA MEd program as full-time students are eligible for HESA graduate assistantships. More details on the graduate assistantship consideration process can be found on the HESA program website.


A required program orientation session is held for students who pass the academic application screening. In some cases, a faculty interview may also be required for admission. Students who pass the academic application screening will be contacted directly about the required orientation and any request for an academic interview, if applicable. 

Minimum Degree Requirements

The HESA curriculum is 36 credits, including 12 credits in "Foundations of the Profession," 12 credits in "Student Learning and Development," and 12 credits in "Higher Education Administration." The program can be completed in 2 years full-time or 3 years part-time, and includes individualized practica and internships. Each student receives a faculty advisor to support academic and professional development that meets student needs and interests.

EDHI 6110Foundations & Functions of CSP3
EDHI 6120Social Justice/Inclusion in HE3
EDHI 6210College Students and Contexts3
EDHI 6220Problems in Education3
EDHI 6310Student Development Theory3
EDHI 6320Higher Education Law3
EDHI 6330Prgrm Eval & Assess in HESA3
EDHI 6410Higher Ed Admin & Organization3
EDHI 6420Capstone:Eth,Val&Mean/High Ed3
EDHI 6850Seminar in Higher Education3
EDHI 6890Lab Experience in Education2
EDHI 6990Special Topics3

Comprehensive Examination

The successful completion of the Capstone seminar course taken during the final semester of enrollment satisfies the comprehensive examination requirement. This culminating experience is designed to be a final assessment of a student’s professional portfolio as aligned with the ACPA & NASPA Professional Competencies.

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

HESA core faculty have established several milestones to review each student’s academic and professional performance as graduate students. These reviews are to assess holistically whether or not students have demonstrated an adequate level of competency in academic performance and in other critical areas of higher education and student affairs professional practice as guided by the ACPA and NASPA Professional Competencies and the Masters-Level Graduate Preparation Standards set by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. These milestones include an academic review at the end of the first and third semesters, as well as a review of learning, development, and performance in practica and assistantship experiences (when applicable) at the end of year 1.