The Higher Education and Student Affairs program is committed to advancing knowledge and cultivating transformation in the practice and study of postsecondary education.

The Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program coalesces around a shared sense of responsibility to produce research and spark innovative thinking that addresses the contemporary challenges and persistent inequities permeating higher education. HESA offers educational leaders, scholars, and practitioners comprehensive expertise built from a range of intellectual traditions. Faculty have diverse philosophies, methods, disciplinary training, and personal backgrounds, ensuring students gain a deep understanding and interconnected view of the field.



With its nationally known faculty, the HESA doctoral program is one of the country’s major doctoral-granting programs in the field of higher education and student affairs. HESA reflects a movement in the study and practice of American postsecondary education to integrate academic experiences with the co-curricular learning experiences of students, and to study the outcomes of both. The curriculum is organized around three core areas: Higher Education Administration & Policy; Teaching, Learning, and the College Experience; and Diversity, Equity, and Foundations of Higher Education. 

Candidates work as:

  • Leaders in student affairs and academic administration
  • Graduate faculty at research universities
  • Leaders in conducting research about college students and higher education
  • Policy analysts in postsecondary institutions and public or private agencies
  • Teachers and academic leaders at two-year and four-year colleges

Application Deadlines

  • December 1 (Fall semester)



The master’s program in Higher Education and Student Affairs prepares candidates for careers in higher education.

The 40- semester- hour HESA master’s program is comprised of coursework focusing on college students and their environments, current and emerging issues within higher education, research and assessment, and postsecondary administration. The curriculum integrates theory and practice, and students choose one of two concentrations: Student Affairs or Higher Education Administration and Policy.

Candidates work in:

  • Academic administration
  • Policy analysis
  • First-year programs
  • Student activities and leadership
  • Enrollment management
  • Program evaluation
  • Multicultural affairs
  • Academic and career advising
  • Residence life
  • International student services

Application Deadlines

  • December 15 (Fall semester)


The joint master's degree between Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA)  and Urban and Regional Planning (M.A. or M.S.) fills a growing need for higher education academic administrators with knowledge and understanding of planning and sustainability principles and methods.

The M.A. degree in HESA requires 40 hours. The joint-degree option in URP and HESA reduces the total semester-hour requirement for both degrees from 90 to 68. Students can complete the course work in 3 years.