We are so glad you are considering one of our degree programs in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA)! With leading scholars as faculty, over 1,100 alumni around the world, and a rich community of campus partners, HESA students gain experiences and competencies that prepare them for a wide variety of careers in student affairs and higher education.

You will learn ‘the basics’ about our programs on this website, and we encourage you to contact us to ask questions, connect with current HESA students and faculty, or to set up a campus visit.

Jodi Linley
Assistant Professor, Educational Policy & Leadership Studies
Program Coordinator, Higher Education & Student Affairs

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Prospective Student Handbook

Program Overview

The faculty, students, and staff from Higher Education & Student Affairs invite you to pursue an advanced course of graduate study with us here at The University of Iowa. The HESA program:

  • Draws upon diverse perspectives from a variety of disciplines and professional fields;
  • Analyzes critical issues and policies in the field of higher education;
  • Examines the effects of critical issues and policies on students, faculty, administrators, staff, and other participants in the higher education community; and
  • Explores the complex, interactive relationships among institutions of higher education, the external environment, and society at large.


Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Department of Educational Policy & Leadership Studies (EPLS).

M.A. Higher Education and Student Affairs
M.A. Joint Degree - Higher Education and Student Affairs / Urban and Regional Planning

Ph.D. Higher Education and Student Affairs

Financial Support

There are a variety of options for funding your graduate program at Iowa. Opportunities for HESA students include graduate assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships.