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M.A. in Student Affairs in Higher Education

The Department of Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) houses one graduate program, offering the M.A. degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education.

The SAHE program is designed to prepare graduate students for employment in higher education in entry-level or mid-management student affairs positions, dependent upon their previous experiences. Graduates will fill professional positions in two- and four-year colleges and universities in areas such as admissions, housing and residence life, student development programs, student activities, financial aid, career planning and development, and academic advising or other program areas.

Under the guidance of student affairs faculty and practitioners, requisite knowledge will be acquired through a balance of academic and practical experiences which stress critical thinking and which encourage the development of professional behavior. Students will develop a broad range of skills, in-depth knowledge, and the ability to apply concepts and skills as effective practitioners. The program is organized in cohort groupings of students enrolled in a curriculum offering foundational and theory courses in the first year and application courses in the second year.

Admission Criteria

Admission into the program can be from any undergraduate major, provided that students have demonstrated scholarship and the potential for success in advanced studies. A minimum of 42 hours (36 required course hours and 6 hours of electives or thesis) and the successful completion of a comprehensive exam are required to earn the degree. Students who complete a thesis are not required to take the comprehensive examination. This degree is typically earned over two years of full-time study in daytime classes.

In addition to graduate school admissions requirements, the SAHE program requires a 2.8 (3.0 is preferred) grade point average (GPA), an updated resume, a typed, 200-word writing sample addressing the candidate’s reasons for entering the Student Affairs field, and a personal interview. All graduate assistant candidates must come to campus for personal interviews. Admissions interviews can run concurrently with assistantship interviews.

Program Requirements

I. Core Courses (36 cr.)

First Year

SAHE 621 History of Higher Education in the United States 3 cr.
SAHE 624 Student Affairs Functions in Higher Education 3 cr.
SAHE 625 Theories of Personality and Human Development 3 cr.
SAHE 631 Student Development in Higher Education 3 cr.
SAHE 634 Assessment and Evaluation in Student Affairs 3 cr.

Second Year

SAHE 731 Practicum in Student Affairs (to be taken twice for a total of six credits) 6 cr.
SAHE 733 Management of Organizational Behavior in Higher Education 3 cr.
SAHE 735 Individual and Group Interventions 3 cr.
SAHE 737 The American College Student 3 cr.
SAHE 740 Contemporary Issues in Higher Education 3 cr.

Non-Sequential Courses

GSR 615 Elements of Research 3 cr.

II. Thesis or Electives (6 cr.)

A. Thesis Option

SAHE 795 Thesis 3 or 6 cr.
----- Electives 0 or 3 cr.


B. Non-Thesis Option

----- Electives 6 cr.

Total 42 cr.

  • School of Graduate Studies and Research
  • Stright Hall, Room 101
    210 South Tenth Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1048
  • Phone: 724-357-2222
  • Fax: 724-357-4862
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Summer: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.