The Student Affairs Administration Master of Arts program is a 45-credit hour graduate preparation program that aligns with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) Guidelines for Master’s Level Higher Education and Student Affairs Professional Preparation Programs (2019) and frames the curriculum around the ACPA/NASPA (2015, 2016) Competencies for Student Affairs Educators. We emphasize applied learning through a theory-to-practice framework and partner with colleagues in Division of Student Affairs and Division of Academic Affairs to offer graduate assistantship, practium, and internship experiences.
Students learn in a cohort-based model, which means students take required classes together and offer support to one another throughout their two-year academic journey.
The degree prepares reflective scholar practitioners to work in various areas of student affairs to serve students and institutions of higher education through collaborative, equitable, and inclusive practice. People with this degree work in areas such as Academic Advising, Career Development, Diversity & Social Justice, First Year Student Programs, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Leadership Development, Orientation, Residence Life, Service Learning, Student Activities, Student Conduct, Student Learning Center, Study Abroad.
Curriculum / Program of Study
A student’s Program of Study is designed around required core courses as well as elective courses. Applied learning experiences, such as graduate assistantships, practicums, summer experiences, and internships add practical experience to the learning process.
Each student is encouraged to pursue their own educational and professional goals to the extent possible within a wide range of curricular choices. In general, the curriculum is designed to provide students with theoretical framework necessary to guide current and future study, practical knowledge about the professional field, and career development in higher education. Students will develop their tenative program of study with their advisor during the fall semester of their first year.
Our faculty and educational partners (e.g., supervisors of GAs, practicums, & Internships) infuse critical theory and social justice content across the program curriculum and experiences. All courses are taught from a social justice perspective which emphasizes the influence of identities, histories, cultures, experiences, and perspectives.
Organizational Structure and Physical Location
The SAA program is part of the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling (HPC) within the Reich College of Education (RCOE). Both the department and college are located in the Reich College of Education building at 151 College Street (pictured below). The program is also associated with the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies (e.g., the Graduate School) which sets university-wide policies and procedures for graduate programs at App State. The School of Graduate Studies is located in 232 of the John E. Thomas Building.
While there is no regional or natioanl accreditor for graduate programs in student affairs or higher education, the Student Affairs Administration master's program at App State is designed to adhere to the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) Guidelines for Master’s Level Higher Education and Student Affairs Professional Preparation Programs (2019) and frames the curriculum around the ACPA/NASPA (2015, 2016) Competencies for Student Affairs Educators.