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Educational Psychology, Foundations and Leadership Studies
Educational Psychology, Foundations and Leadership Studies (EPFLS) » Graduate Study » Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs Master of Arts

Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs Master of Arts

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Program Description

Did you enjoy your college experience--both in and out of the classroom?  Are you a people person who enjoys helping others solve problems and accomplish their goals? 

A career in student affairs provides a path to meaningful, important work with college students. Through the Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations and Leadership (EPFLS), a master’s degree in postsecondary education: student affairs prepares you for this field or helps you further advance your career. 

Student affairs professionals provide services and programs designed to support students and enhance campus life across a wide variety of college and university settings. Research has shown that co-curricula--everything that happens on campus outside of the classroom--are an important complement and partner to academic work in shaping the whole student. 

Career opportunities in the field of student affairs include residence life, student activities, admissions, financial aid, career services, and multicultural affairs. In this degree program you will have opportunities such as assistantships and internships to help you learn which areas best fit your skills and interests.

Same great program, two options for study

With Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approval in June 2021, the MA program in student affairs now offers two options: online or on campus. 

  • Pending sufficient interest, a fully online option for part-time students offered in conjunction with UNI Online & Distance Education launches  January 20. For more on the online option, turn to the distance education program webpage.  Applications will be due November 15, 2021, for January start.
  • The traditional on campus format primarily offered on campus remains. 

Class sizes range from 23 to 26 people for on-campus classes, with the online option having similar capacity. 

Program Mission:

Through a comprehensive curriculum with an emphasis on experiential learning, the Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs master’s program seeks to prepare practitioners to empower the holistic development of students.

Four Core Values of the Program:

  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Education
    • Through diversity, inclusion and equity education, PSE students build a foundation of knowledge and develop an awareness of identities to engage in conversations and advocate for social justice.
  • Competency-based Curriculum
    • Through a curriculum based on the NASPA and ACPA Professional Competencies, PSE students comprehend all ten competencies and develop a deeper understanding of student affairs education.
  • Personal and Professional Ownership
    • Through personal and professional ownership, PSE students develop personal values by engaging in opportunities for the betterment of themselves as both individuals and professionals.
  • Campus Partnerships
    • Through UNI’s close-knit campus community and surrounding institutional partners, PSE students create lasting connections for mentorship, support, and a professional network.

Preview Days  

The Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs M.A Program, in collaboration with the UNI Division of Student Affairs, will host three Preview Days this fall.  Sessions will be held on the following dates:

  • Friday, October 1, 2021, from 9am-10:30am (In Person)
  • Thursday, October 21, 2021, from 5pm-6:30pm (Via Zoom)
  • Friday, December 3, 2021, from 1pm-2:30pm (Via Zoom)

Individuals interested in learning more about the program and the Division of Student Affairs are invited to contact David Schmid (david.schmid@uni.edu) with any questions.

To register for any of the Preview Days, please click here.  Registration is open until two days before each session.  

2019 Spring Graduation Student Affairs Hooding Ceremony

Spring 2019 Graduation Hooding Ceremony



Brad Kinsinger PSE: SA doctoral student “All of the professors that I have had the privilege of working with have been extremely supportive of my journey and are always challenging me to grow professionally and personally." -- Brad Kinsinger, doctoral student. Read more. 


  • POSTSEC 6264:  Values, Philosophies, and History of Student Affairs
  • POSTSEC 6220:  Leading, Helping, Advising
  • POSTSEC 6270:  College Student Development
  • POSTSEC 6265:  Organization and Personal Foundations of Student Affairs
  • POSTSEC 6273:  Research in Student Affairs 
  • POSTSEC 6291:  Internship
  • POSTSEC 6268:  Social Justice and Inclusion
  • POSTSEC 6231:  Assessment in Postsecondary Education
  • POSTSEC 6289:  Seminar: Current Issues in Student Affairs
  • POSTSEC 6274:  Higher Education Law
  • POSTSEC 6271:  Portfolio Development (Taken Twice)
  • A Combination of 3 Internships or Electives 

Possible Electives: 

  • POSTSEC 6250:  Teaching in College
  • POSTSEC 6256:  The Two-Year College
  • POSTSEC 7372:  College Effects on Students
  • POSTSEC 6285:  Readings in Postsecondary Education
  • COUN 5103:  Intro to Professional Counseling
  • COUN 5105:  Counseling Skills
  • COUN 6225:  Facilitating Career Development
  • COUN 6227:  Counseling Theory
  • COUN 6256:  Multicultural Counseling
  • PSYCH 5304:  Organizational Psychology

Program Faculty and Staff

Primary Faculty and Staff Contacts
Shelley Price-Williams
Assistant Professor, Postsecondary Education
Dr. David Schmid
Assistant Professor & Coordinator, Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs
Additional Faculty and Staff Contacts
Debra Jacobs image
Secretary III

Application Process

NOTE: Applications for the newly added online MA degree option for postsecondary education: student affairs are being accepted through November 15. For more information, go to UNI Online & Distance Education.

For the on-campus program, the priority application date for Fall 2022 admission is January 15, 2022.  However, depending on numbers, applications may be accepted after the deadline.  As noted above, the online program's deadline for Spring 2022 admission is November 15, 2021.  We encourage you to submit materials as they are complete.

Admission to the Student Affairs program is based on the following requirements:

  • A completed Application to Graduate Study
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • An official transcript of all previous undergraduate and graduate credit (mailed by Registrar's Office to UNI's Admissions Office)
  • To be unconditionally admitted, a  new student must have at least a 3.0 GPA for undergraduate or previous graduate work of at least 8 graded credit hours.  This is important due to the requirement from the Graduate College to have a 3.0 GPA to attain a Graduate Assistantship.  However, you can be conditionally admitted with less than a 3.0 GPA.  You must then achieve a 3.0 GPA in your first 8 hours to continue in the program.
  • A two-page essay in which you discuss your motivation to join the Student Affairs profession. You may want to describe how your life has been impacted by interaction with a student life professional, or you may want to relate a story about an experience that drew you to working in this field (PDF)
  • Three letters of recommendation written by persons familiar with your academic ability and potential for student affairs work (you will enter their information in the application and they will receive a link to complete the online form and attach a letter)
  • A current resume (PDF) 
  • Applicants for whom English is not their first language must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language Examination (TOEFL) and achieve a score of at least 79 on the online version or 550 on the paper version

Note: GRE is not required for admission to the Master's degree program.

Meeting with program faculty through either a Preview Day or individual Zoom meeting is strongly encouraged.

To ensure full consideration, all materials should be submitted online; however, they can also be sent to admissionsprocessing@uni.edu


Internships allow you to see what a Student Affairs professional does first hand. 6 credits (300 work hours total) of internship are required for graduation from the program. You will do two separate 150 hour internships (10 hrs/week for 15 weeks). Internships may also be taken as a final elective. They are graded and some may be paid. You can complete internships at various colleges in the area, in other states, or even internationally. Recently, students have completed internships in the US in Minnesota, Kentucky, California, Texas, New York, and Wisconsin; and internationally in Belize, New Zealand, England, and Ireland. 

Graduate students in the Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs program are required to complete a minimum of two internships (150 hours each) and may choose to complete up to three as a part of their course of study. 

Students are encouraged to explore internships in functional areas and institutions of their choice.

Forms in PDF version (NOTE:  Please fill out the forms completely, then print to PDF to save a copy of the completed forms):

Forms in fill-in word version:



Maximum Award Apply By
Dean's Graduate Fellowship $1,500 8/16/2021

Frequently Asked Questions