M.Ed. in Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education
By integrating a strong theoretical framework with practical application, this Master of Education program trains graduates for success in higher ed leadership positions. This is a full- or part-time program that is offered in Charlottesville only.
The Master of Education in Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education is designed to prepare students for success in entry- and mid-career level professional positions within a variety of post-secondary education contexts. The program emphasizes knowledge of theories that underlie practice, the study of diverse student experiences and development, awareness of the organizational and environmental characteristics of the various types of post-secondary institutions and an understanding of the political and social forces that shape higher education.
Students admitted to the master's program might specialize in general administration, student affairs, or intercollegiate athletic administration, or take a broader approach to explore higher education. Although coursework may vary according students' individual plans, the objectives remain consistent throughout the program.
- An integration and application of the theoretical foundations of higher education; this may include sociology, psychology, politics, economics, leadership and organizational theory.
Principles of Practice
- Coursework that develops and refines core competencies for student affairs, intercollegiate athletic administration or general administration work in colleges and universities and other post-secondary settings.
Reflective Professional Experience
- Professional internships that lead to successful work in specialized functional areas of higher education; the experience includes development of a professional philosophy and career plan, and introduction to major professional and service organizations.
The M.Ed. program in Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education offers both full-time and part-time options, though most students pursue the degree full time. Full-time students complete the program in twelve months, with the program beginning about June 1 each year and concluding by mid-May of the following year. Students who are enrolled part time typically complete the program within two to three years. The M.Ed. is awarded upon completion of 36 credit hours.
“The opportunity to live, learn, and study at a foundational institution of higher education is extremely special. This university offers so many opportunities for personal and professional growth for its students.” -2018 Cohort Graduate
Since this is a one-year, 36-credit hour program you can expect to have a very full and challenging year. Beginning in June, the summer coursework provides a nice entry into the program and an opportunity to get your feet under you as you transition. Fall semester is generally busy as students typically dive into their internships on top of their coursework. In spring semester, the workload shifts a bit as students finish up their coursework and begin the job search.
We often refer to the class of master's students as a cohort—a term that refers to a group that enters the program at the same time and, for the most part, will graduate at the same time. One of the best things about the master's program is the cohort itself—it's a built-in support system, social group, and network. After graduation, cohort members often stay in touch with each other as colleagues.
Students in the master’s program generally choose one of three focus areas.
- Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education (SAPHE)
- Intercollegiate Athletic Administration (IAA)
- Higher Education Administration (HEA)
During the first summer session course, students meet with their advisor to select coursework that will help the student meet their academic and professional goals.
Summer (10 credits) Fall (13 credits) Spring (13 credits) Introduction to Higher Education (3) Financial Management & Budgeting in Higher Education (3) Capstone (3) College Student Experience (3) Research in Higher Education, Student Affairs & Intercollegiate Athletics (3) Internship/Professional Development (1) Organization and Management of Colleges & Universities (3) Internship/Professional Development (1) Elective (3) Internship/Professional Development (1) Elective (3) Elective (3) Elective (3) Elective (3)
- What is the GRE alternative?
If you are applying while you are an undergraduate student, you have the option of submitting SAT or ACT scores and a writing sample in lieu of submitting GRE scores.
If you are not an undergraduate student while applying, you are able to schedule a program interview with faculty members in lieu of submitting GRE scores. Please contact the Senior Student Services Coordinator, Emily Groves, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you seek to schedule a program interview.
- Where should my letters of recommendation come from?
This is your decision to make. We do like to see one recommendation from a faculty member, particularly if you have remained in contact. Mainly, we like to hear from individuals that know you well, like a supervisor, colleague, or mentor.
- When will I receive a decision regarding my application?
If you apply by the December 1 deadline, you should expect to receive a decision by the end of January. If you apply after the deadline, it typically takes a few weeks to receive a decision.
- Is direct admission available for current UVA students?
Yes, if you are a current UVA student and hold a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher, you may qualify for direct admission. For more information, please go to: https://curry.virginia.edu/direct-admission-curry-graduate-programs
- How much is tuition?
The cost of tuition will change every year. You can find a list of this year’s tuition and fees here: https://curry.virginia.edu/admissions/cost
- What is the difference between an internship and an assistantship?
Our internships pay students directly for the hours worked, as opposed to assistantships, which tend to pay students through tuition remission.
- How many hours do students work at their internship?
We expect students to work 15-20 hours per week at their internship throughout the academic year.
- How many internships are available?
Most of our full-time cohorts include 40 students, so we typically have around 50 internships available for admitted students to apply for.
- How do I apply for an internship?
Once admitted to the program, we will send information regarding Interview Day to able apply for and interview with various offices.
- I want to be a full-time student, but I cannot start classes in the summer. Can I start the program in the fall?
Unfortunately, all full-time students must start the program in the summer. Students may start part-time then switch to full-time status, but there is less flexibility for part-time students due to course sequencing.
- How many students will be in my classes?
You can expect to have around 20 to 30 students in each class. Summer and core courses will have more students enrolled within them, whereas electives will have a small number of students.
- As a part-time student, should I have an internship?
No, we do not ask part-time students to have an internship. Most part-time students are full-time employees and therefore cannot add 20 hours to their work schedule.
- I am a part-time student and I do not know how classes will fit into my work schedule. When classes are typically offered?
During the academic year, most classes are offered in 2.5 hour blocks once a week, either from 3:30-6pm or 6:30-9pm. Certain classes are offered during the day, but tend to meet mid-day an hour and fifteen minutes twice a week. Each summer course is three-weeks long that meets 11-2pm or 4-6:30pm.
- I am a UVA employee. What kind of funding opportunities are available?
The Curry education benefits program provides funds to waive application fees and reduce tuition charges to $400 per credit hour for courses taken by salaried, benefits-eligible employees of the University of Virginia, who have been employed at least 90 days while enrolled part-time in graduate degree and non-degree programs during the spring, summer or fall semester, or enrolled in courses for professional development. For more information, visit: https://curry.virginia.edu/admissions/uva-employee-funding
- I am unsure if this program is right for me. Can I enroll in a class before applying?
Students may enroll in up to two 3-credit courses as a non-degree seeking/professional learner before applying to the program. If you decide to apply to the program, up to six credits may be transferred in. You can find more information here: https://curry.virginia.edu/academics/professional-learner.
- What is the GRE alternative?
The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.