Master in Higher Education and Student Affairs


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Prepare for a professional career in student affairs and leadership in higher education.

The Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) combines a rigorous academic curriculum which includes practicum experiences in various areas of student life, arranged in collaboration with the USF Division of Student Life.

Program Schedule

Consistent with the School of Education's commitment to serve working adults, the program follows a schedule of alternate weekend classes that convene nine times a semester. Classes are typically held Thursday evenings, Friday evenings and all day Saturday.

Program Cornerstones:

  • An integrated approach to issues of equity and access to higher education.
  • A commitment to social justice emphasized throughout coursework and co-curricular experiences.
  • A practicum component, which places students in diverse learning environments within student affairs and promotes the development of concrete practical skills and reflective learning.
  • An optional, paid internship opportunity which can provide a compensation package offered by the USF Division of Student Life.

“The social justice education component is something that I value most about the HESA program. It adds meaning and purpose to the work I'm pursuing and allows me to see the bigger picture. Joining a program that would afford me the opportunity to merge theory and practice was essential to my decision to attend USF.” - Amiya Powell-Hodge, Higher Education & Student Affairs Alumna

The HESA Program at USF seeks individuals who demonstrate an explicit commitment to social justice in higher education and student affairs. As such, we undergo a holistic admissions process in our approach to reviewing applicants, which includes consideration of prior academic and life experiences.

Financial Resources

Federal financial aid, state, and university resources are available as funding to newly admitted and current USF School of Education students.

In order to offset the cost of graduate education tuition, many School of Education courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening, and/or on alternating weekends. Most students find they can maintain a full-time job while earning their credential, master or doctoral degree. However, if your program requires you to spend time in a classroom (i.e. student teaching) or to complete a fieldwork or traineeship experience, such commitments will interfere with a normal workday. Please consult your intended program of study for more information.

Visit our website to learn more about financial resources for this program


Graduates of the Higher Education Student Affairs program are educators who work in university settings.

Student affairs is an exciting field that promotes the growth and development of students in higher education, in and out of the classroom. The work of student affairs practitioners centers on supporting student success, from the point of access to colleges and universities, through their educational journey, and onto achievement of educational and developmental outcomes.

HESA’s program approaches student affairs as a field where ensuring equitable outcomes for all students is a primary objective of our work, a principle that is integrated throughout coursework and co-curricular experiences and better prepares HESA graduates to serve as social justice advocates within higher education settings.

HESA also provides a variety of support services including workshops and mentorship in networking, interviewing and resume writing.

Examples of career options include:

  • Student Services Manager.
  • Academic Success coach.
  • Assistant Director of Student Life.
  • Program Manager.
  • Admission Assistant.
  • Program Coordinator Office of Multicultural Recruitment.
Last updated Jun 2018

About the School

The School of Education celebrates four decades of involved teachers, devoted leaders and caring counselors. Our faculty and students are scholars and social justice advocates engaged within the diver ... Read More

The School of Education celebrates four decades of involved teachers, devoted leaders and caring counselors. Our faculty and students are scholars and social justice advocates engaged within the diverse San Francisco Bay area and beyond. Read less
San Francisco , San Jose , Sacramento , Santa Rosa + 3 More Less