Master of Science in Higher Education Student Affairs

The Master of Science in Higher Education Student Affairs Leadership is offered by our College of Education and Leadership and available 100% online. This program focuses on how to prepare leaders for working with people of different ages, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual identity, abilities, socioeconomic status, language, and customs by providing the knowledge, skills and understanding of human development, the emotional and psychological needs of students, their financial needs, the impacts of budgetary decisions on working with students, overseeing campus life activities, recruitment, advisement, student life, and all other aspects of students’ academic development. Students in the program will learn how to better understand and appreciate the needs of diverse populations as a result of their education. The program prepares individuals as leaders to become aware of the different functions and services offered in an academic institution that a student would encounter.

The Master of Science in Higher Education Student Affairs leadership includes 3 required components, coursework, practicum or field experience, and two graduate courses in a different area selected by the student and approved by the program chair. The program consists of nine core courses. Additionally, graduate students enrolled in the program will have to complete a semester long practicum if they are already working in an area related to academic or student affairs in an institution of higher education or other settings approved by the program chair where they work with adult population in different capacities. Graduate students who are not employed in an institution of higher education will complete a semester long field experience where they are placed in a setting approved by the program chair and complete projects related to academic affairs under the supervision of an academic affairs personnel. Detailed description will be provided upon admission to the program. Finally, graduate students have the option of completing two additional graduate courses in an area outside of their interest with the approval of the program chair.

CIC Tuition Exchange is not currently available for the HESA program.


Courses Are Available


Program Details

●  Credits: 30
●  View Tuition and Fees
  1. Develop both self-leadership and organizational leadership effectiveness
  2. Design, conduct, and communicate original scholarly research
  3. Critically interprets the principles and skills of assessment for quality improvement
  4. Demonstrates legal, ethical, and moral practices when advising & supporting students
  5. Utilizes theory, research, technology, and reflection in practice as stimuli for continuous development. 
  6. Cultivates individual and collective human development as a means to advance and transform the human condition.
  7. Applies service and social justice within a global context
  8. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key historical events, movements, and trends that have shaped student affairs & American higher education.

Transfer Credits You Already Earned

A maximum of nine graduate credits may be transferred from another accredited degree-granting institution. Download our guide that explains credit acquisition.

Application Process and Requirements

Academic and Professional Requirements 

Prior Education
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for full acceptance. 2.5–2.74 GPA for Conditional Acceptance. Conditional admission requires students to earn a B or better in the first two classes.)

Admissions Application and Transcripts

Complete the Admissions Application
  • Submit the admissions application which is free to complete online. Applications for this program are reviewed on a rolling basis so allow sufficient time before the start of your program to be considered for admission.

Request Transcripts
  • Have official transcripts from each college or university you attended delivered directly to the Office of Admissions. Cardinal Stritch University alumni and current students should inquire with the admission counselor about locating transcripts already on file.
  • Transcripts from institutions outside of the United States require a course-by-course evaluation with GPA. Request the official report from ECE or WES to be sent directly to the Office of Admissions. Allow time for the evaluation to be completed since it could take up to 4-6 weeks to be created.

Information for International Students
  • If your prior education was not conducted in English, you must demonstrate proficiency with acceptable scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or an ESL program. Review the language and academic requirements to know if you are prepared for studying at Stritch. We can also help you obtain an F-1 student visa.

Two Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation should be provided by your building principal, department leader, or another individual who can comment on your professional leadership abilities should complete the other.

Personal Essay

A two-page (approximately 200-300 word) essay responding to the following prompts:

  • Think about your attitude/disposition, knowledge and skills. Discuss at least three reasons why you will be successful in this online program.
  • What characteristics do you possess that will be a benefit to you when working with diverse adult populations?
  • Is there anything else that you would like us to know that might help us gain insight into who you are and why this program will benefit you.

Send Application Materials to Admissions

Submit the application online and have additional materials sent to:

Cardinal Stritch University
Graduate Admissions
6801 N. Yates Road, #516
Milwaukee, WI  53217-3985

Funding Your Education

Stritch is competitively priced to make graduate education affordable. Counselors in our Financial Aid Office know that each student is unique and they are dedicated to helping identify ways to help students fund their education. Learn more about our tuition and the financial aid process.


Alumni Network

More than 38,000 Stritch alumni are recognized worldwide for their leadership roles in businesses, health care organizations, corporations, educational institutions, entrepreneurial ventures and non-profit organizations. Responsive to the needs of their communities, Stritch graduates are critical thinkers, ethical decision-makers and lifelong learners.

Tweets by ‎@stritchu - Cardinal Stritch University's Twitter feed

Featured Events