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Master's Degree in Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs

The Master's Degree program in Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs is designed to prepare individuals for careers in student affairs areas of higher education. Student affairs professionals recognize that development and learning occur not only in the classroom but also in other phases of a student's life in college.


Student development is an ongoing and cumulative process of intellectual, physical, psychological, cultural, spiritual, and social growth. This development is shaped by the student's environment and experiences while in college.


The Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs Master's program focuses attention on the broad issues of, and problems facing the administration of, higher education organizations and student affairs programs, the college culture, and the developmental changes experienced by students in higher education institutions. The program integrates the theoretical with the practical by blending academic preparation in the areas of higher education, student affairs, and administration with related areas such as educational psychology, social foundations, counseling, and research. The classroom coursework is complemented by internships in various student affairs departments at the University of Northern Iowa or in selected two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Internships are for degree credit; and some may also include a stipend.


We encourage you to look at our Student Outcomes Assessment Plan for more details about the knowledge, skills, and qualities we expect our graduates to acquire through this Master's program and a list of the core courses and electives offered.


The student affairs profession attracts individuals who are motivated to assist students to realize their maximum potential in college. They create or assist in creating positive educational environments in which students can learn academic subjects such as personal decision making, goal setting, individual needs assessment, and skill building. In addition, they may be asked to work in collaboration with faculty and academic administrators to assess student characteristics and concerns. Most entry-level positions in the profession require a Master's Degree in student affairs, higher education or a related degree.


Student affairs professionals perform various roles and functions. These include administering programs that support students and enhance campus life, advising and counseling students, facilitating the efforts of student groups and organizations, and helping to formulate campus policies and procedures that affect students.