Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) faculty and students spark innovative practice and produce research to address the contemporary challenges and persistent inequities in higher education.

Program Overview

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.

A hallmark of the Iowa HESA program is its abundant opportunities for experiential learning; through assistantships, internships, practica, and more, HESA students have opportunities for leadership, service, teaching, and research.

Questions?

Programs

MA Higher Education and Student Affairs

A theory-to-practice master’s preparing scholar-educators for careers in student affairs and higher ed administration.

PhD Higher Education and Student Affairs

A terminal doctorate preparing scholar-educators for leadership, faculty positions, and policy analysis.

EdD Educational Policy and Leadership Studies

A practice-based terminal doctorate preparing scholar-educators for upper-level leadership.

Graduate Certificates

Certificate in Institutional Research and Effectiveness

Certificate in Institutional Research and Effectiveness (IRE) prepares professionals to use data for institutional and organizational decision-making, reporting, and accountability in higher education and K-12 contexts.

Certificate in K-12 Equity and Inclusion

The Certificate in K-12 Equity and Inclusion offers professionals currently working in K-12 schools, districts, and area education agencies expertise in equity and inclusion to better support the needs and interests of a diversifying K-12 student population.

Faculty and Research

Higher Education and Student Affairs faculty are nationally and internationally recognized in the field and are active in a wide range of research areas.

To see associated faculty, please visit: Faculty Listing.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Minoritized students’ experiences
  • College choice and access
  • Student outcomes
  • Inequality in higher education
  • History of higher education
  • Multicultural initiatives
  • Internationalization
  • Higher education administration, policy, and governance
  • Student development
Students studying outdoors at Iowa Memorial Union

Center for Research and Undergraduate Education

The Center for Research on Undergraduate Education (CRUE) implements and disseminates research and scholarship that fosters an understanding of effective undergraduate education.

Old capitol building with flowers

Multicultural Initiatives Research Team (MCI)

The Multicultural Initiatives Research Team (MCI) researches ways of being in relationship, constructs and strategies that disrupt dehumanizing practices that perpetuate inequity.

Hear Katharine Broton, assistant professor, speak about her research into food access, scarcity, and higher education.

Missions and Values

The Higher Education and Student Affairs program is united in its commitment to advancing knowledge, and cultivating transformation in the practice and study of postsecondary education.  The HESA program offers educational leaders, scholars, and practitioners comprehensive expertise built from a range of intellectual traditions.  Our differences (philosophies, methods, disciplinary training, and personal backgrounds) exemplify the respect and concern we have for ensuring that students develop a deep understanding and interconnected view of the field.  Together, the HESA program coalesces around a shared sense of responsibility to produce research, and to spark innovative thinking, that addresses the contemporary challenges and persistent inequities that permeate the field of higher education and student affairs.

    Together we pursue these tasks by:

    • Engaging authentically with civility and respect
    • Critically examining issues of justice and social change
    • Offering learning experiences that require holistic reflection
    • Examining the classic and contemporary contexts of postsecondary education
    • Cultivating a caring and dynamic learning community and a rigorous culture of scholarship and ethical practice

    Admissions and Application

    For general admissions information, please visit Graduate Admissions. Please visit the degree pages for specific admissions information:

    Apply Now

    Please review your specific degree requirements before starting the general graduate application.

    News

    ernie-pascarella-2019-10_0.jpg

    Pascarella ranked among 2022 top scientists

    Tuesday, June 14, 2022
    Ernie Pascarella, renowned scholar and faculty emeritus in Higher Education and Student Affairs, was ranked #39 in the world ranking of top 1,000 scientists in the area of social sciences and humanities by Research.com. 
    Yellow and white graphic that says Congratulations with photos of Cassie Barnhdart, Mary Cohen, Katharine Broton, and Stacey McElroy- Heltzel

    College of Education faculty honored with outstanding research awards

    Monday, May 9, 2022
    Four faculty members were honored with the University of Iowa College of Education Outstanding Research Awards at the spring faculty and staff meeting on Thursday, May 12.
    Chris Ogren

    Ogren receives grant to write book on life, legacy of Lyle Spencer

    Thursday, January 6, 2022
    Christine Ogren, associate professor, is the recipient of a Spencer Foundation grant to write a scholarly book on education research philanthropist Lyle Spencer.

    Contact Us

    Questions?

    We're here to help.

    For general program questions, please email us at: epls-hesa@uiowa.edu.

    For admissions and application questions, please contact: anne-sparks@uiowa.edu.