Student Affairs and Higher Education (MS)

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Prepare to serve, lead and inspire college students while serving in student development, admissions, financial aid, and other important campus roles, with a Student Affairs and Higher Education Master of Science degree from Indiana State.

Contact Us

  • Department of Educational Leadership
  • Email Us: EDLR@indstate.edu
  • Phone: 812-237-2900

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Program Availability

The Master of Science in Student Affairs and Higher Education is a traditional, on-campus program offered on the Indiana State University campus in Terre Haute, Indiana. The program is open to U.S. and international applicants who satisfy admission requirements.

Why Earn a Master of Science in Student Affairs and Higher Education at Indiana State?

Indiana State University’s Master of Science in Student Affairs and Higher Education (SAHE) balances and integrates traditional, content-based curriculum with challenging, performance-based curriculum. One of the program’s essential components is its unique practicum requirement, for which you will select from a broad array of experiential learning opportunities, many with Indiana State’s local higher education partners.

Three Practicum Experiences

As a graduate student in the Department of Educational Leadership’s SAHE MS program, you will receive hands-on professional training for Student Affairs positions at the university, college, and two-year post-secondary levels. The MS in Student Affairs and Higher Education requires completion of three distinct practicum experiences in functional areas of student services and university administration. Each practicum requires a minimum of 100 hours at the practicum site.

As part of your practicum experiences, you will be expected to participate in weekly class meetings and complete assignments and readings that support your field experience. These practicums are supervised by faculty and a qualified site supervisor.

Learn from Our Excellent Faculty

Graduate students in the Student Affairs and Higher Education MS program benefit from classes taught by dedicated faculty mentors with diverse expertise and experience. All hold advanced degrees, collaborate with practicing professionals, and engage in a range of scholarly and service activities at the state, regional, national, and international levels.

Recent faculty awards include the University’s Presidential Medal for Exemplary Teaching and Scholarship, the Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research and Creativity Award, and the Bayh College of Education Holmstedt Distinguished Professorship Award.

What You’ll Learn in the Student Affairs and Higher Education MS Program

Our Master of Science in Student Affairs and Higher Education includes 33 credits of significant supervised practiced coursework and class-based, practicum-based, and independent learning experiences. You will also complete a professional seminar course as your culminating experience in the MS program. Topics include current professional issues, professional and personal development, and professional ethics.

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Career Possibilities for Student Affairs and Higher Education Graduates

Indiana State’s Student Affairs and Higher Education MS provides a pathway to a wide range of career opportunities in higher education administration and student affairs. The program is also excellent preparation for doctoral study.

Graduates in Student Affairs careers often find their work to be professionally rewarding and personally fulfilling because they are positively impacting students’ lives. And the job outlook is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of postsecondary education administrators to grow 4% from 2022 to 2032.

Our graduates secure professional positions in a variety of student affairs fields, including admissions, career services, residential life, new student transition programs, and volunteer programs.

Meet Dr. Mary Howard-Hamilton, Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership

Dr. Mary Howard-Hamilton, Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, and the Dr. Lotus Delta Coffman Distinguished Research Professor at Indiana State University.

Accreditation

Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Higher Learning Commission

Admission Requirements and Application Instructions

The Master of Science in Student Affairs and Higher Education begins every Fall semester. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis with program coordinator approval. Timely submission of all application items is essential to receive an invitation to the February on-campus assistantship interview days, which is required for all on-campus students.

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission.

Admission Requirements and Information

Applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicant should have earned a minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale in all undergraduate coursework. Students with a GPA of 2.75 will have special attention given to their final 60 credit hours.

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required for this program.

Applicant should submit the following documents as part of the online application.

  • Resume/Curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons who can comment on the applicant’s potential and/or fit for the program. Important: Explain to your references that they will receive an email from Indiana State University requesting that they submit a letter of recommendation. Please ensure that your references expect to receive this request. It will be sent to your references immediately upon completing the application.
  • International applicants must submit official scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or provide equivalent evidence of language proficiency.
  • Personal statement of professional goals and past experiences emphasizing those life experiences that are relevant to the pursuit of a career in student affairs. The statement shall comprise a typed paper of two to three pages in which the applicant must answer questions that include:
    1. Why do you want to be a student affairs professional?
    2. What or who has most influenced your wanting to pursue this career goal?
    3. What experiences did you have as a college student that contributed to your desire to work in student affairs?
    4. What qualities do you believe will enable you to be a successful student affairs professional, and what strengths do you believe will help you achieve your academic and professional goals?

Application Instructions

The following are application instructions and deadlines for the Student Affairs and Higher Education MS program. All students seeking admission to program must apply to be accepted as a graduate student by Indiana State University. In addition to completing the application for admission, applicants must submit additional materials specifically required by the Department of Educational Leadership.

How to Apply

Complete Indiana State University’s online application for graduate admission at apply.indstate.edu/apply/.

Submit official transcripts from all colleges previously attended. To be official, transcripts must be sent directly from the college attended to: Graduate Admissions, Indiana State University, Welcome Center, 318 North Sixth Street, Terre Haute, IN, 47809. E-transcripts should be sent to admissions@indstate.edu. 

Submit a nonrefundable application fee of $45.00 (U.S. citizens and permanent residents) or $65.00 (international students) payable by Visa, MasterCard, or check or money order payable to Indiana State University. Submit payment to: Indiana State University, Graduate Admissions, Welcome Center, 318 North Sixth Street, Terre Haute, IN, 47809.

Submit the following as part of the online application process.

  • Three letters of recommendation from persons who can comment on your potential and/or fit for the program.
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae
  • International applicants must submit official scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or provide equivalent evidence of language proficiency.
  • A personal statement of professional goals and past experiences emphasizing those life experiences that are relevant to the pursuit of a career in student affairs. The statement shall comprise a typed paper of two to three pages in which the applicant must answer questions that include:
    1. Why do you want to be a student affairs professional?
    2. What or who has most influenced your wanting to pursue this career goal?
    3. What experiences did you have as a college student that contributed to your desire to work in student affairs?
    4. What qualities do you believe will enable you to be a successful student affairs professional, and what strengths do you believe will help you achieve your academic and professional goals?

The Student Affairs and Higher Education MS program admits students for fall only. Beginning December 31, the SAHE program reviews completed applications. Applications completed by December 31 will receive full consideration. Applications will continue to be accepted until the cohort is full. Failure to submit all of the above items in a timely manner can delay an admission decision. Admission offers are made by March.

Next Steps

Once admitted, students receive notification from the University as well as their University ID number needed to activate their University Username on the MyISU Portal. The Portal offers access to online registration, University records, and other important University services, including e-mail and University announcements.

Note: Returning ISU students must apply for re-admission if they have not attended Indiana State University for more than two calendar years.