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 prepares students for careers in higher education including student affairs or higher education administration and policy.

Application Deadlines

  • December 15 (Fall semester)

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 (in both undergraduate and graduate work)
  • GRE not required for HESA MA. If you are applying to the HESA/URP joint degree, contact URP for requirements.
  • Evidence of significant leadership or work experience, writing ability, and fit with the program
  • English Proficiency Requirements (international students)

These are general criteria; the admissions committee considers each applicant's entire portfolio. Applicants will not be considered until they have submitted a complete application packet.

Application Process

  1. Create an application account to begin the application process.
  2. Submit the online application to the Graduate College and pay the $60 application fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants).
  3. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password which you will use to access MyUI, our online service center for students and applicants.
  4. You will use your Admissions Profile on MyUI to upload required supplemental materials.

Required Supplemental Documents

  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
  • A statement of purpose (1-3 pages) that describes your professional interests and goals, whether you plan to enroll full- or part-time, and how your goals and experiences are consistent with the HESA program’s mission and values.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation. At lease one letter should be from a college professor or instructor.*

* You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.


Application questions can be directed to: Sue Cline in the Office of Student Services   319/335-5260,

Questions about HESA program requirements can be directed to Steve Malvaso (program graduate assistant) at

We look forward to receiving your application!


Core Courses: 24 s.h.
Integrative Experiences: 4-7 s.h.
Elective Courses: 9-12 s.h.
Total Hours Required: 40

Note: An internship at an approved site is required for full admission to the M.A. program.

Core Courses

All M.A. students must complete the following core courses:

  • EPLS:5250 - Introduction to Higher Education & Student Affairs
  • EPLS:5100 - Issues and Policies in Higher Education
  • EPLS:5247 - Multiculturalism in Higher Education
  • EPLS:5251 - College Students and their Environments
  • EPLS:5253 - Research, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
  • EPLS:5252 - Administration of Higher Education & Student Affairs
  • EPLS:6334 - College Student Learning, Cognitive and Moral Development
  • EPLS:6332 - College Student Psychosocial & Identity Development

Integrative Experiences

All M.A. students must complete the following integrative curricular experiences:

  • EPLS:6301 (1 s.h.) - Professional Seminar I (taken during the first semester of enrollment)
  • EPLS:6333 (3 s.h.) – Practicum in Higher Education & Student Affairs*
    *EPLS:6333 is required once; students may enroll in EPLS:6333 a maximum of 3 times. Students with appropriate professional experience may – with faculty advisor approval – waive this requirement.
  • EPLS:6305 (3 s.h.) – HESA Capstone (taken during the final semester of enrollment)

Elective Courses

Additionally, M.A. students must complete 9-12 semester hours of elective courses from the approved list, or outside the program with the faculty advisor’s approval:

  • EPLS:5278 - Helping Skills in Student Affairs Work
  • EPLS:6216 - Finance in Higher Education
  • EPLS:6224 - Organizational Theory & Administrative Behavior
  • EPLS:6225 - Introduction to Public Policymaking
  • EPLS:6218 - The Law and Higher Education
  • EPLS:6206 – Research Process & Design
  • EPLS:6220 - History of Higher Education
  • EPLS:6275 – Diversity & Equity in Higher Education
  • EPLS:6293 – Individualized Instruction (one enrollment of 3 s.h. max)
  • EPLS:6336 - Impact of College on Students
  • EPLS:7380 - Practicum in College Teaching
  • EPLS:7385 – Teaching & Learning in Higher Education
  • EPLS:7432 – Multicultural Initiatives
Employment Opportunities
  • 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)

Application Questions

Sue Cline
Office of Student Services