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

PLEASE NOTE:  For those applying for an assistantship, 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- Select a quote that embodies a critical moment in your life and, in 500-1000 words, reflect upon your aspirations and promise for pursuing the student affairs profession as a University of Vermont HESA student.
  • 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 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. We recommend that applicants contact their recommenders early in the process to avoid delays in UVM receiving letters. The HESA admissions committee only reviews complete application packets. 

All letters of recommendation should accompany the application to arrive by December 1.  We allow a small buffer of a couple of days to allow for arrival and processing.

PLEASE NOTE: The application for assistantship is separate from the 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 with whom applicants may interview for positions, and the latter is reviewed by the HESA admissions committee. 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 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 interests and passion for student affairs and should highlight professional preparation as an undergraduate student/returner to the academy.

Having shared these expectations, if the third individual who is writing a letter of recommendation can speak to these two separate but complementary criteria in the same letter, applicants can 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 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, work and volunteer experience should be included in the application packet.

  • 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

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 full-review.

  • 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.


An Interview and Program Orientation Session is held for students who pass the initial academic application screening. Invitations for the Interview and Program Orientation Sessions will be issued approximately three weeks prior to the first session.

Minimum Degree Requirements

The HESA curriculum is 40 credits, including 10 core courses, 2 elective courses, and practicum. Typically completed in 2 years full-time or 3 years part-time, it is designed to promote self-directed field-based experiences to complement academic learning through 300 hours of practicum experience and summer internship opportunities. With the assistance of a faculty advisor, each student builds an experience to meet their interests and professional aspirations.

EDHI 300Prgrm Eval & Assess in HESA3
EDHI 361The (Un)Changing Academy3
EDHI 362College Students and Contexts3
EDHI 363Controversies of the Academy3
EDHI 364Helping Skills in Stdn Affairs3
EDHI 375Social Justice/Inclusion in HE3
EDHI 376Student Development Theory3
EDHI 377Higher Education Law3
EDHI 383Higher Ed Admin & Organization3
EDHI 385Foundations & Functions of CSP3
EDHI 395Lab Experience in Education (3 semesters)2
EDHI 396Capstone:Eth,Val&Mean/High Ed3
EDHI 397Problems in Education1

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

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 student affairs professional practice as guided by the 2015 Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators established by ACPA and NASPA Professional Competencies Taskforce. These milestones include an academic review at the end of the first and third semesters as well as a comprehensive review of academic, assistantship and practica performances at the end of year one (or second semester) in the program.