MS in Student Affairs Administration
The Master of Science in Student Affairs Administration degree program is suited for those who wish to pursue careers in higher education. The program is grounded in both student development theory and the concept of theory-to-practice-to-theory. Thus, an underlying goal of the program is to prepare professionals who have a working knowledge of how student development theory is used in practice and how practice serves to inform future theory development.
The program seeks to prepare administrative leaders and personnel who are comfortable working with people of diverse backgrounds in positions that require decision-makers to respond to department/unit situations while taking into consideration how their decisions impact other systems (such as departments and/or divisions) within the institution.
The program was designed to meet the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Professional Preparation Commission Standards and is offered through full-time and part-time tracks.
MS in Student Affairs Administration
Want to combine your talent for leadership with your passion for working with students?
The Master of Science in Student Affairs Administration (MSAA) degree program at Binghamton University prepares graduates for entry- to mid-level management positions in higher education institutions. The MSAA program is ideally suited for those who wish to pursue careers in academic advising, admissions and enrollment management, career development and placement, financial aid, health services, judicial affairs, leadership development, multicultural affairs, non-traditional and commuter student services, residential life, services for students with disabilities, student activities, and student development and involvement.
Coupled with sufficient professional experience, the MSAA may also serve as the foundation for students who want a career in upper administration, such as a dean of students or vice president for student affairs. Graduates of the MSAA program may also acquire skills that are desirable in organizations outside of academia.
The curriculum for the MSAA degree program was designed to meet the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Professional Preparation Commission Standards.
No GRE required. Fast track your next step to success.
The Student Affairs Administration program does not require a GRE for its master's degree applicants.
- To prepare professionals who have working knowledge of how student development theory is used in practice and how practice serves to inform future theory development
- To prepare graduates to discuss research relevant to their selected areas of work, contributing to knowledge production at a level appropriate to their experience
- To prepare administrative leaders and personnel who are comfortable working with diverse people in positions that require them to respond to department/unit situations while taking into consideration how their decisions impact other systems within an institution
Learning outcomes and academic content
The overall academic content of the program has been structured to enhance the students' ability to think reflectively, work independently and collaboratively with others, as well as be able to investigate and analyze situations in student affairs specifically and higher education in general, both verbally and in writing using technological aids where appropriate.
More specifically, upon completion of the program graduates should be able to perform the following:
- Define the role and function of student affairs work in higher education within philosophical and historical frameworks, as well as the broader context of higher education;
- Articulate the current status of the field and discuss contemporary issues facing the profession;
- Articulate an understanding of how student development theory (e.g., psychosocial, cognitive-structural, typologies, and person-environment interaction models) is used in practice;
- Discuss leadership principles and strategies used in practice;
- Demonstrate in behavior and practice the rudiments of effective leadership;
- Interpret research significant to the profession and conduct related scholarship at an elementary level;
- Identify factors affecting human and organizational behavior;
- Translate theoretical knowledge about the development of individuals and organizations into meaningful practice;
- Articulate an understanding of how various systems of oppression (e.g., racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ageism, etc.), impact student development and the role of advocacy in student affairs work; and
- Develop multicultural competency that enables engagement with diverse students and others with effectiveness and confidence.
Through the program, students complete internships, which give opportunities to apply theory and acquire practical skills while working under the guidance of experienced practitioners. Students often also seek out graduate assistantships — which provide additional practical experiences, as well as financial support packages — through the offices in the Binghamton University Division of Student Affairs. These internships and graduate assistantships help students to explore specific areas of interest within the field of student affairs administration. The faculty encourages involvement and participation in professional organizations, conferences, and training, which further immerse students in the field while they are completing their graduate studies.
The program also supports the Student Affairs Graduate Association (SAGA). This student-led organization aims to provide support and services that encourage personal, professional and community development to current students and alumni.
The Division of Student Affairs at Binghamton University offers a limited number of assistantships each academic year to graduate students enrolled in the Student Affairs Administration Program. Graduate students that are interested in applying for available assistantships should complete the official Division of Student Affairs Application for Graduate Assistantship and apply by February 1st (for highest priority) unless noted otherwise. You must be a full-time student to qualify for a graduate assistantship position. If you are a conditional/provisional admit or you are on probation, you are not eligible to obtain a graduate assistantship position.
Required internship experience
Internships provide new professionals an opportunity to gain invaluable practical experience under the leadership of an experienced practitioner. Through working in student affairs units, students learn how to apply the theory and concepts they are learning in the classroom to real-life situations. They also gain a better sense of their particular areas of interest within student affairs and have a chance to develop the skills they will need to be successful in the field. Therefore, all students are required to participate in at least one internship experience while enrolled in the program. However, we recognize that some students in the program will be experienced professionals enrolled in order to gain advanced academic credentials and/or training for upward mobility.
Therefore, students who have professional experience in the field of Student Affairs (i.e., 3+ years of service) may be exempt from having to complete the internship experience at the discretion of their faculty adviser. Students will be required to take an additional course in the major areas of study as a replacement.
Because the internship experience is designed to expand the student's current knowledge of theory and practice, students will not be permitted to do an internship in an office where they have previous work experience, where they currently work or currently serve as a graduate assistant. Any questions regarding internships should be presented to the department chair.
Students will be permitted to register for the internship experience only after they have fully matriculated into the program, completed the 15 credit-hour student affairs core curriculum, obtained a grade-point average of B or better, and submitted a completed Internship Proposal with signatures indicating approval by the site supervisor where they intend to work and their faculty adviser. While the time equivalents (156 clock hours) are the basis for these options, the intent here is to afford students who may be working and attending school simultaneously flexibility in their scheduling options. The final product for the internship experience will be a written report outlining aspects of the student's learning experience based on the objectives identified in the Internship Proposal.
After You Graduate
Graduates of the program are prepared to enter careers in the full range of the field of student affairs: academic advising, admissions and enrollment management, career development and placement, financial aid, health services, judicial affairs, multicultural affairs, non-traditional and commuter student services, residential life, services for students with disabilities, and student development and involvement. Coupled with sufficient professional experience, the program may also serve as the foundation for students wishing to become deans of students or vice presidents for student affairs.
To be eligible for a graduate study, you must:
- Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
- You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university.
- You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university.
- You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University.
- Have earned, at a minimum, one of the following:
- A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
- A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
- A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
- In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.
To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.
- Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee,
- Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended,
- Two letters of recommendation.
- The letters should come from instructors or professors who can attest to your academic ability for graduate study. If you have been out of college for at least three years, you may submit current letters of reference from employment supervisors or others affiliated with your employees who can attest to their ability to perform successfully and professionally and to the likelihood of success in a graduate program.
- Personal statement.
- The personal statement should be 2 to 3 pages and should specifically address your interest in the program, career goals, and current skills and experiences relative to your current or intended career in student affairs.
- Résumé or curriculum vitae.
- A completed copy of the Student Affairs Administration Contract (available in the online application).
- Review the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Statement of Ethical Principles and Standards before signing the contract. By completing this contract, you agree, if admitted to the program, to abide by the professional standards of social work as set forth by this Statement of Ethical Principles and Standards.
International students must also submit the following materials.
For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.
- International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form.
- Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.).
- Official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic scores.
Fast-Track Application for Eligible Students:
The Department of Student Affairs Administration offers a fast-track application process open to students who hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Prospective students who meet the requirement should apply to the Student Affairs Administration program by submitting the online application, appropriate transcripts, a personal statement, and résumé. No letters of recommendation are required.
This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.
Total Enrollment: 37
International / Non-Citizen Enrollment: 5%
Fall: Rolling (February 1 Recommended)
Spring: Rolling (October 15 Recommended)
Program taught in: