MA in Higher Education and Student Development

Catalog Year: 2024-2025

Banner Code: LA-MA-HESD

The program prepares students for positions in higher education administration, student development, non-profit higher education associations, and government organizations. Today's higher education professionals are required to address both the needs of incoming traditionally aged students, as well as those of older students returning for a degree and special populations. The wide range of student backgrounds in the current complex context requires a holistic approach to college student development.

The Master of Arts degree in Higher Education and Student Development will prepare future higher education leaders who understand higher education in the digital age, student development, multicultural and diverse populations, program development, professionalism, and learning assessment. This multidisciplinary program offers both thesis and project capstone options and is full and part-time student friendly. Alumni hold positions in areas such as career development, academic advising, assessment, facilities management, admissions, and residence life.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 36

The program offers three distinct tracks: (a) Student Affairs Administration and (b) Administration, Policy, and Finance, and (c) Higher Education Individualized Studies. The Students Affairs Administration track is built on the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education's (CAS) standards and guidelines for Master's Level Student Affairs Professional Preparation Programs. The Administration, Policy, and Finance track prepares students for administrative and policy positions in higher education. The Higher Education Individualized Studies track takes an interdisciplinary approach to offer the flexibility for students to select courses across disciplines to meet their professional needs.

Students Affairs Administration track

The Students Affairs Administration track is built on the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education's (CAS) standards and guidelines for Master's Level Student Affairs Professional Preparation Programs. Graduates will have the knowledge, perspective, and skills to serve in a wide variety of capacities within higher education.

Required Courses

HE 606 Cultural Pluralism in Higher Education 3
HE 610 Research Methods in Higher Education 3
HE 624 Finance and Fiscal Management in Higher Education 3
HE 644 Organization and Administration of Student Affairs 3
HE 645 College Students Today 3
HE 646 Student Development Theory 3
HE 685 Practicum 1 6
HE 703 Higher Education in the Digital Age 3
HE 721 History of Higher Education 3
Total Credits 30
1

CAS standard requires students to complete two practicums that provide distinct experiences. Students who are working full-time in higher education may substitute the 2nd practicum with an elective course.

Capstone Requirement

Students may choose the capstone course option or thesis option as described below.

Capstone Course Option
Students who select the capstone course option will complete one elective course (3 credits) approved by the advisor in addition to the HE 797 Higher Education Capstone. Electives can be taken outside of the Higher Education Program and should be selected in consultation with the advisor.
One elective course 3
HE 797 Higher Education Capstone 3
Total Credits 6
Thesis Option
A thesis is a rigorous scholarly inquiry that requires the collection of original data and is presented in a traditional, formal, written format. It is informed by experience gained from the research apprenticeship. The guideline and deadlines for thesis submission are set by the University and administered by the University Dissertation and Thesis Service. Students selecting the thesis option must complete an extra research course approved by the student’s thesis advisor in addition to HE 799 Higher Education Thesis.
One elective research course 3
HE 799 Higher Education Thesis (3 credits required) 1 3
Total Credits 6
1

Students are required to enroll in a minimum of 3 credit hours of HE 799. If the thesis is not completed within the timeframe of a 3-credit-hour course, the student must continue to register and enroll in HE 799 until the thesis is completed.

Administration, Policy and Finance track

The Higher Education Administration, Policy, and Finance track prepares students for administrative and policy positions at higher education institutions and adjacent fields.

Required Courses

HE 610 Research Methods in Higher Education 3
HE 624 Finance and Fiscal Management in Higher Education 3
HE 645 College Students Today 3
HE 685 Practicum 3
HE 703 Higher Education in the Digital Age 3
HE 711 Policy Studies in Higher Education 3
HE 721 History of Higher Education 3
HE 722 Organization and Administration in Higher Education 3
Total Credits 24

Capstone Requirement

Students may choose the capstone course option or thesis option as described below.

Capstone Course Option
Students who select the capstone course option will complete three elective courses (9 credits) approved by the advisor in addition to the HE 797 Higher Education Capstone. Electives can be taken outside of the Higher Education Program and should be selected in consultation with the advisor.
Three elective courses 9
HE 797 Higher Education Capstone 3
Total Credits 12
Thesis Option
A thesis is a rigorous scholarly inquiry that requires the collection of original data and is presented in a traditional, formal, written format. It is informed by experience gained from the research apprenticeship. The guideline and deadlines for thesis submission are set by the University and administered by the University Dissertation and Thesis Service. Students selecting the thesis option must complete an extra research course approved by the student’s thesis advisor in addition to HE 799 Higher Education Thesis.
Three elective research courses, of which at least one must be an advanced research method course approved by the student's thesis advisor. 9
HE 799 Higher Education Thesis (3 credits required) 1 3
Total Credits 12
1

Students are required to enroll in a minimum of 3 credit hours of HE 799. If the thesis is not completed within the timeframe of a 3-credit-hour course, the student must continue to register and enroll in HE 799 until the thesis is completed.

Higher Education Individualized Studies track 

The Higher Education Individualized Studies track takes an interdisciplinary approach to offer the flexibility for students to select courses across disciplines to meet their professional needs.

Required Courses

HE 606 Cultural Pluralism in Higher Education 3
HE 610 Research Methods in Higher Education 3
HE 624 Finance and Fiscal Management in Higher Education 3
HE 645 College Students Today 3
HE 685 Practicum 3
HE 703 Higher Education in the Digital Age 3
HE 721 History of Higher Education 3
Total Credits 21

Specialization Courses

Students should work with their advisor to select four courses (12 credit hours) either in the Higher Education Program or in another discipline that fits the students’ career goals. Students selecting the thesis option must include at least one advanced research method course approved by the student's thesis advisor in the specialization courses. 12

Capstone Requirement

Students may choose the capstone course option or these option as described below.

Capstone Course Option
Students who select the capstone course option will complete the HE 797 Higher Education Capstone.
HE 797 Higher Education Capstone 3
Total Credits 3
Thesis Option
A thesis is a rigorous scholarly inquiry that requires the collection of original data and is presented in a traditional, formal, written format. It is informed by experience gained from the research apprenticeship. The guideline and deadlines for thesis submission are set by the University and administered by the University Dissertation and Thesis Service.
HE 799 Higher Education Thesis 3
Total Credits 3