Program Requirements

Student receiving their master's degree hood.

To successfully complete our program, you will need a minimum of 45 credit hours. You will also be required to complete two semester-long student affairs practicum (6 credits). The practicum experience allows you to personalize the program to meet your career goals and objectives such as enrollment management, student activities, judicial affairs and residence life.

Review SAHE Handbook

Master of Science, Student Affairs in Higher Education

Gilbert Brown, Program Director
Hill Hall, Room 302; Phone 417-836-5287

NOTE: Not accepting applications at this time.

Program description

The Student Affairs program has been developed at Missouri State to meet the staffing needs of colleges and universities throughout the nation. Our goal is the development of individuals to successfully enter the field of student affairs administration in higher education. Individuals who participate in this program will have both a theoretical understanding of the history and traditions of higher education, and the practical experience needed to address current issues which face campuses in the 21st Century.

Program admission requirements

In addition to the Graduate College admission requirements, the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) MS program requires the following:

  • A grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.00 scale, OR at least a 2.75 grade point average on a 4.00 scale for the last 60 hours of academic course work.

Prospective students who intend to pursue full-time graduate study in the SAHE program are required to obtain a graduate assistantship. A grade point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale, OR at least a 3.00 grade point average on a 4.00 scale for the last 60 hours of academic coursework is required.

Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum scores of 550 on the paper-based or a comparable score of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL are required for admission.

Required Application Materials

To apply to the SAHE program, the following materials must be submitted via GradCAS:

  • Application to MSU's SAHE program, including application fee.
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions of higher education.
    • Missouri State University undergraduates do not need to request official transcripts.
  • Statement of purpose
    • Your written personal statement (minimum of 300 words) should describe your professional and/or personal goals, discuss how the degree will contribute to those goals, and indicate the experiences that have prepared you for graduate study in student affairs.
  • Resume or curriculum vita (CV)
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • These letter should be written by individuals familiar with your academic abilities and professional potential.

Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign


The program follows the Council for Advancement of Academic Standards in Higher Education (CAS) and meets the College Student Educators International (ACPA) and Student Affairs in Higher Education (NASPA) respectively Professional Preparation Commission and the Graduate Program Directory.

Degree requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 45 approved graduate hours with a minimum overall GPA of 3.00.
  2. No more than 9 semester hours of 600-level course work may be applied to the degree program as approved by the program director.
  3. Qualification Exam and the E-Portfolio Project is the two part Comprehensive Examination for SAHE program. Students will complete Qualification Exam/E-Portfolio in SAE 771, Capstone Seminar. Students will begin the E-Portfolio during the first semester of the program.
  4. Research. Successful completion of SAE 729, SAE 766 and SAE 767.
  5. Transfer Credit. A maximum of 30% of the total hours may be accepted in as transfer credit toward a master’s degree. All transfer credit must be “A” or “B” grade status from a regionally accredited college or university and must be approved by the program director.

Graduate assistantships

There is a strong possibility that candidates admitted into the student affairs program by February 1 will be offered employment as a graduate assistant within the Division of Student Affairs. Students admitted by this date with at least a 3.00 GPA will receive priority consideration. Students admitted to the student affairs program should have either a graduate assistantship or a full-time employment position with Missouri State University or a local postsecondary educational institution.

Required courses

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
SAE 721 Introduction to Student Affairs 3 hrs
SAE 723 Student Development Theory 3 hrs
SAE 726 Higher Education in the United States 3 hrs
SAE 729 Foundations of Research 3 hrs
SAE 732 Leadership and Administration in Higher Education 3 hrs
SAE 735 Governance and Finance in Higher Education 3 hrs
SAE 738 Legal and Ethical Issues in Student Affairs 3 hrs
SAE 747
SAE 748*
Supervised Practice
Special Projects: Reflective Moments in Higher Education and Student Affairs
6 hrs
SAE 749 Student Outcomes 3 hrs
SAE 766 Research Methods and Data Analysis 3 hrs
SAE 767 Assessment and Evaluation 3 hrs
SAE 771 Capstone Seminar 3 hrs
SAE 727 Creating Inclusive Campus Environmnents 3 hrs
SAE 728 Individual & Group Support Skills 3 hrs
  Total 45 hrs

*Full time employees at Missouri State University or area institutions may substitute this class to meet their Supervised Practice requirement for their degree.

Comprehensive portfolio requirements

Portfolio Guidelines (PDF)

This guide provides information for students about completing the portfolio and presentation of the portfolio as part of the requirements for graduation.

The video below is a look into the experiences of a Graduate Assistant and a Full-Time Employee. Please allow a few seconds for the video to begin once the "play" button is pushed.