MA, Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration

MA, Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration

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Priority application deadlines:

  • Feb 1 for Fall admission (general application deadline April 1)
  • Aug 1 for Spring admission (general application deadline Oct 1)


The Master’s of Arts degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration is designed to prepare students for a variety of student affairs positions in postsecondary institutions. The program is unique because it emphasizes social justice and service to diverse student populations at varying types of institutions. In addition, although the goal of this master's program is to prepare generalist practitioners with a broad understanding of the role of student affairs in postsecondary education, it is recognized that each student's interests and skills will result in a more specific orientation toward select roles and functions which can be further explored through the selection of practicum and internship experiences.

Our graduate programs are shaped by the following trends and issues:

  • A global economy demanding highly productive, creative, and adaptable workers
  • Demographic changes requiring attention to diversity and the multicultural contexts
  • Social and family changes necessitating coordination and collaboration with a variety of organizations to meet educational needs
  • The new technologies transforming social networks, instruction, and management tasks
  • Decentralized management and organizational systems requiring greater teamwork, human resource development, and accountability related to the mission of an institution or school;
  • The expectations of the policy community and the public that all individuals can and should achieve success in school
  • Increased levels of scrutiny and accountability for all activities within the campus environment

Our curriculum shifts student's thinking and action:

  • From technical skills to interpersonal skills
  • From command and direction to consensus building and motivating
  • From resource allocation to being accountable for learning processes and outcomes
  • From campus managers to leaders and integrators of resources, programs, and services
  • From policy recipient to policy shaper and participant

In our Higher Education Administration programs, our faculty seek to:

  • Enhance professional competence and communication skills
  • Promote social justice
  • Meet the needs of diverse learners
  • Engage and encourage reflective practice
  • Maintain a constructivist emphasis in teaching and learning
  • Encourage partnerships and collegiality

Through the process of self-reflection, our educational community will value:

  • Continuous growth in professional practice and competence
  • Respect for the uniqueness of all individuals
  • Ethical advocacy on behalf of individuals or groups experiencing discrimination

To that end, we expect all graduates of our programs will be able to:

  • Advance Social Justice & Transformative Practice within the campus community
  • Promote Stakeholder Development (student, alumni, donor, faculty, staff, administrator, community, etc.)
  • Enhance the Organization and Administration of their University/College
  • Engage in Independent Assessment, Evaluation, and Research

Goals of the Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration MA Program

Recognizing the breadth of possible experiences and positions within student affairs, the MA program in Student Affairs Administration is developed around the competencies of ACPA and NASPA, the two primary student affairs professional associations, and conforms to the norms and standards found in Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. There are 13 goals of the MA program:

  • Understand and articulate the role of student affairs in the context of postsecondary education.
  • Reference historical and current documents that state the philosophical foundations of the profession and communicate their relevance to current student affairs practice.
  • Articulate the inherent values of the profession that are stipulated in historical and current documents in a manner that indicates how these values guide practice.
  • Understand complexities of diversity and multiculturalism as they affect higher education and student affairs.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use appropriate theory (e.g., student development, organizational, learning, leadership, etc.) and data-based decision making to assist institutions in accomplishing their missions.
  • Demonstrate a flexible capacity to use skill sets (e.g., technology, distance learning, communication, etc.) to deliver programs and services that engage students and foster student learning and development.
  • Analyze, understand, create, and/or modify learning environments.
  • Use appropriate theory to understand, support, and advocate for student learning and development.
  • Assess learning and developmental needs and outcomes.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the influence of student characteristics and collegiate environments on student learning and learning opportunities.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and awareness of resources necessary to design and evaluate effective educational interventions and/or programs for individuals and groups.
  • Demonstrate ability to identify and appropriately refer persons who need additional resources.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and ability to apply a code of ethics or ethical principles sanctioned by a recognized professional organization.

Program Admissions Requirements

  • Official transcripts of all academic work completed at other regionally accredited institutions of higher education, with a GPA of 2.5 or better overall undergraduate GPA; 3.0 or better for the last two years of undergraduate work; and a GPA of 3.0 or better on any postgraduate study beyond the baccalaureate degree.
  • Official results of national entrance examinations such as GRE (verbal and quantitative sections), the MAT or the GMAT.
  • International students, whose native language is not English, must provide a TOEFL score of 550 or higher and demonstrate through the required written documentation and interview that they have requisite verbal and analytical skills needed to successfully complete the program.
  • Written statement outlining applicant's professional experiences, including any relevant experiences in student affairs and higher education, specific career goals in higher education, how achieving a master's through Morgan State University's program will assist in accomplishing those career goals.
  • A current resume or curriculum vita, documenting professional experiences.
  • A writing sample, such as a course paper, publication, or research proposal abstracts.
  • Personal interview with program faculty

Residency Requirements

Part-time candidates for the MA degree will satisfy residency requirements by completing 18 credit hours over a period of three consecutive semesters (not including summer). Full-time degree candidates must complete two consecutive semesters, carrying 9 credit hours each semester, to satisfy residency requirements. All requirements for the MA degree must be completed within a period of six consecutive years. The granting of a leave of absence by the School of Graduate Studies does not automatically extend this time limit.

General Degree Requirements

  • To be awarded the MA in Higher Education  & Student Affairs Administration, a student must have completed 36 credit hours of coursework inclusive of the Comprehensive Examination. A maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate work taken prior to admission to these programs may be transferred from another accredited institution, to be determined in consultation with program faculty and program coordinator.
  • All students are expected to maintain high standards of scholarship throughout the duration of the programs. Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.5 at the end of any semester will be placed on academic probation. A grade point average of 3.0 or above must be maintained in order for a student to continue to receive financial aid. Grades of "C" may not count for more than 20 percent (6 credits) of total credit hours applied towards degree requirements.
  • The course work component of the program is designed to be completed in 2 years of full-time attendance, not including summer. 
  • All candidates are expected to complete and pass the comprehensive examination, which is administered In January and August. 
  • All degree requirements must be completed within a maximum of six years of admission to the program.

Program of Study (36 credit hours) (as of August 2015)

Foundation Courses (12 credits)

  • RDHE 702 Historical Foundations of Higher Education (3)
  • RDHE 720 Contemporary Issues in Higher Education (3)
  • RDHE 727 Legal Issues in Higher Education (3)
  • RDHE 731 Governance & Administration of Higher Education (3)

Student Affairs Concentration (18 credits)

  • RDHE 725 American College Student (3)
  • RDHE 735 Student Affairs Administration (3)
  • RDHE 745 Student Development Theory (3)
  • RDHE 755 Issues in Urban and Special Mission Institutions (3)
  • RDHE 765 Counseling in Student Affairs (3)
  • RDHE 699 Supervised Practicum (3)

Research Methods (6 credits)

  • EDSR 604 Intro to Educational Research
  • Plus one of the following:
    • EDSR 620 Action Research in Urban Education
    • EDSR 628 Applied Social Research
    • EDSR 630 Statistical Methods I
    • Other research course with permission of Advisor

Apply Online Today! Click here

Priority application deadlines:

  • Feb 1 for Fall admission (general application deadline April 1)
  • Aug 1 for Spring admission (general application deadline Oct 1)

For more information about the PhD Program, contact:

Dr. Benjamin Welsh, Program Coordinator
P: (443) 885-3748