The Student Affairs Concentration is committed to the professional preparation of student affairs educators in higher education environments. The concentration is modeled and directed by the core values of student development, multiculturalism/social justice, leadership, scholarship and research, and ethical practices. We maintain a strong relationship with the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Maryland, College Park, which has a historic commitment to supporting scholar-practitioners. Masters graduates commonly work in settings such as student activities centers, academic advising offices, career services offices, offices of resident life, orientation, leadership programs, and multicultural centers. Doctoral graduates often become graduate faculty and/or senior administrators, directing such offices as academic advising centers, student activities, offices of student life, multicultural centers, assessment and research, learning support services, and career centers. Our location near Washington DC provides students with an abundance of opportunities to work in various higher education institutions, policy organizations, and associations in the area.

The masters program is designed to meet the 2003 Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education criteria for Master's programs with emphasis on the college student population and multicultural issues. The Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) is a cooperative effort of over 40 professional associations in Student Affairs Administration who have designed standards of preparation and practice for the profession.

For more information visit the graduate admission requirements webpage. Select an area of interest from the various offerings in the College of Education to determine the admission requirements and deadlines.  If you are unsure of your area of interest you may request information by submitting an Inquiry Form.  

Information about applying to the Student Affairs Concentration can be found here

Also, please refer to the University of Maryland Guide to Applying for guidance on the steps to follow and how to apply for graduate admission. If you have questions or concerns about the administrative process, we ask you to first review their list of Frequently Asked Questions.  For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application please contact:

Judy Foster, Coordinator of Graduate Admissions
Office of Student Services, College of Education
(301) 405-2359                  

After you apply for graduate admission you may check your application status by logging into the online graduate application using your user name and password.  Graduate faculty in the Academic Department you applied to will review your completed application for graduate admission.  

Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply? What is required? 
The Graduate School requests that you apply online.  You can access the application from the UMD webpage. http://www.gradschool.umd.edu/application. We require a resume, personal statement, GRE scores, transcript(s), and three letters of recommendation. Typically statement of goals/experiences is about 3-4 double-spaced pages for a Master's applicant.  Additional information about graduate admissions can be found here: http://www.education.umd.edu/studentinfo/graduate_info/Admissions.html

When will I find out whether or not I have been accepted?
We usually notify applicants about admission decisions in February.

Didn’t you used to be called CSP? Where do you exist in HESI/CHSE?
Yes! We have been the Student Affairs Concentration since 2011. We are a concentration/program within the broader program of Higher Education, Student Affairs, and International Education Policy (HESI), which exists in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE). 

What can I do to strengthen my application?
Use your personal statement to show us more than just your resume. We appreciate reflection on meaningful personal or professional/academic experiences (something that has made you who you are today), as well as reflection on social identities such as race, class, gender, or sexual orientation, etc.  

What is the difference between the Student Affairs and Higher Education concentrations in the HESI program? 
The Higher Ed concentration broadly considers all activity that takes place on a college or university campus or has broad implications for higher education.  The Student Affairs curriculum is focused more specifically on student learning, experiences, and outcomes and has a counseling-based sequence. Students commonly take classes across the concentrations. In selecting one, we encourage you to review the curriculum and faculty in both concentrations.  Students commonly take classes across the concentrations. In selecting one, we encourage you to review the curriculum and faculty in both concentrations.

What are some unique features of your program?  
Overall all of the faculty’s work addresses issues related to race, social identities, diversity, and inequality, and we often attract students who are interested in these issues. For the masters program, unique features include the opportunity to take an intensive practicum with either the Counseling Center or to facilitate an Intergroup Dialogue. Students note that our seminar paper/thesis option provides a particularly rigorous academic experience. We also have affiliate faculty who work full-time in the Division of Student Affairs who serve as mentors for our students. 

Who should write my letters of recommendation? 
At least two of the three references should be from academic sources (faculty who have had you in class). Having all references from academic sources is fine as well. If you are unable to submit at least two academic references, you may offer an explanation in your statement of goals/experiences. Applicants may submit more than three letters of recommendation but we can only guarantee that three will be reviewed due to the high number of applications we receive. 

What about assistantships, stipends, and tuition?
Admitted students are invited to the Preview Program. Employers review resumes, students review job descriptions, and both send in preference lists. Interviews are scheduled during Preview. Over 60 assistantships were posted this year. You do not need to apply for assistantships prior to notification of admission. Ten-month assistantship remuneration ranges from $11-16,000 plus full tuition remission and health benefits. Twelve month assistantships are also available with higher stipends.  Assistantships are available for all students.

GRE Scores, GPA, and Provisional Admission
SAC considers a broad range of application criteria in making its admissions decisions, and all parts of the student's application are reviewed carefully and holistically. Scores older than five years from date of application will not be accepted. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is required, along with a graduate program GPA of 3.5 for doctoral applicants. However, students who do not meet one of these requirements, but show other evidence of outstanding potential, may be considered for provisional admission. Provisional status is removed when students maintain a graduate grade point average of 3.5 or better after 12 credits of course completion. 

Difference between M.A. and M.Ed. Program
The primary difference between the two Master's degrees is that M.A. students complete a thesis as part of their graduation requirements. M.Ed. students complete a seminar paper, which is similar to the thesis, but does not involve data collection and analysis. Masters students can switch once enrolled. 

Part-time vs. Full-time
In general, Master's students are expected to be full-time. 

Can I take classes without being admitted to the program?
Yes, you can take several classes without being admitted to the program. If you contact Graduate Admissions (gradschool@umd.edu), they can advise you as to how to be admitted as an "advanced special student" so that you can take any course that is open enrollment or with instructor permission.  You can view open courses at testudo.umd.edu. Some, but not all courses, may not be open to you. 

How many students apply and are accepted each year?
Each year there are approximately 80-140 applicants with 11 to 15 accepted to the masters program. 


Please feel free to email SAgrad-GA@umd.edu if you have additional questions.

Please refer to the Guide to Applying for instructions on how to apply for graduate admission. International applicants, please visit the International admissions webpage for additional information.  International applicants, please visit the International admissions webpage for additional information.  If you have questions or concerns, we ask you to first review our list of Frequently Asked Questions.  For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application please contact:

Judy Foster, Coordinator of Graduate Admissions
Office of Student Services, College of Education
(301) 405-2359                  

After you apply for graduate admission you may check your application status by logging into the online graduate application using your user name and password.  Graduate faculty in the Academic Department you applied to will review your completed application for graduate admission.  Questions regarding application reviews and decision recommendations should be directed to Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE).  Please contact:

Carol Scott, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education
(301) 405-8384

Please contact the Office of Student Services, ed-advising@umd.edu, or (301) 405-2364.

Please contact the Office of Student Services, ed-advising@umd.edu, or (301) 405-2364.

Academic advisement for graduate students is provided by the graduate faculty in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE).   For advising information, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Carol Scott at (301) 405-8384 or cscott18@umd.edu.

Academic advisement for graduate students is provided by the graduate faculty in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE).   For advising information, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Carol Scott at (301) 405-8384 or cscott18@umd.edu.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Our students are largely funded through graduate assistantships.  These assistantships offer students high quality professional experiences, complimenting their student affairs graduate curriculum. Twelve-month assistantship remuneration ranges from $18-20,000 plus tuition remission and health benefits. Ten-month assistantships are also available.

Admitted students are invited to participate in our Preview Program, which offers students a structured opportunity to apply for graduate assistantships across campus.  Student submit resumes and cover letters, and employers review applicants' materials, with both students and employers submitting preference lists. Interviews are scheduled during the Preview visit, with students receiving offers shortly after the program has ended. 

Visit the College of Education Scholarship opportunities webpage. 

Visit the Graduate School Fellowship and Graduate Assistantship web page for additional funding opportunities 

For information about other student financial aid, review the Office of the Student Financial Aid website.

 

Program Requirements 

All Masters students who matriculated Fall, 1997 or later are required to complete two field work experiences : the Counseling Practicum (EDCP 619U) and an administrative apprenticeship experience (EDCP 888U). Both are taken following the first academic year of foundational coursework. Descriptions of these experience are in this manual. 

The foundation of the master's curriculum rests on two mutually enhancing "core" dimensions: counseling knowledge and skills and knowledge and skills concerning the college student population and the student affairs profession.From these perspectives, skills are developed to enable the graduates of the concentration to effect developmental changes for individuals, groups, and environments.  The course work is in itself developmental.  For example, individual differences are affirmed and a developmentally appropriate sequence is followed to facilitate the learning of specific competencies. The curriculum also emphasizes skills in assessment and research.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree recipient will have professional entry-level competencies in each of the following areas:

1.   defining the role and functions of student affairs work in higher education;

3.     interpreting research significant to the profession and conducting related research;

4.     identifying factors affecting human and organizational behavior;

5.     translating theoretical knowledge about the development of organizations and individuals into meaningful practices of the profession: counseling, instruction, supervision, program design, administration, and research;

6.     developing multicultural competence and social justice perspective to engage with diverse students with effectiveness and confidence;

7.     developing and incorporating skills in the areas of program assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation as appropriate for individuals, student services offices, and organizations.

Individuals who complete the master’s curriculum are prepared to seek employment in a variety of student affairs settings such as: student activities centers, academic advising offices, career planning and placement centers, offices of resident life, orientation, commuter affairs, multicultural centers, college unions, and counseling centers at community colleges and smaller colleges and universities. Students may also continue their studies and earn a doctorate in higher education administration, student affairs administration, counseling psychology, counselor education, and numerous other fields. 

Dr. Kimberly Griffin, Program Director (kgriffin.umd@gmail.com)

Dr. Julie Park, Admission Director (parkjj@umd.edu)

Kristen Rupert, Graduate Assistant (sagrad-ga@umd.edu)

Carol Scott, Coordinator (cscott18@umd.edu)

Academic deadlines are provided by the Office of the Registrar for the academic year. Students should refer to the deadlines listed in Important Dates  prior to the beginning of the degree completion semester.  

Students should check with their Department or Program for any deadlines it may have.  Please contact:

Carol Scott, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education
(301) 405-8384

HANDBOOKS

The student affairs program handbook is available here

Visit the Department of Counseling, High Education and Special Education program handbooks and forms page.

The Graduate Student Life Handbook provides information on academics, campus resources, finances, health, job opportunities, and information on how to get involved as a graduate student. 

POLICY

Graduate students in the College of Education are responsible for meeting University and the Graduate School policy, and for meeting Program requirements.   The Graduate Catalog  is the official listing of Policiesgoverning graduate education at the University of Maryland.  The schedule adjustment policy is available from the Office of the Registrar and provides information on adding and dropping courses, penalties, and refund schedules.

FORMS

Graduate students are required to submit various forms at specific points in the program and as part of the degree clearance process.  Please refer to Steps Toward Graduation to determine the steps and forms that are required.  Click here to access forms used by graduate students.