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Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration, M.S.

About the Program

Mission: The Mission of the Higher Education Administration department at Buffalo state is to prepare exceptional student affairs scholar-practitioners for careers in higher education. We are guided by promoting aces and learning within the context of a diverse student body. Our graduates possess knowledge and skills with an ethic of care to facilitate learning and development in students.

Vision: The Higher Education Administration Department (HEA) is clearly focused on one of the most distinguished programs of its kind in the United States. Concentrated on serving the educational needs of a diverse student body through a flexible program with evolving and updated curricula, the HEA department challenges students to become lifelong learners and leaders in the administration of student affairs, academic support services, and other administrative/teaching areas at the postsecondary level. As the demographics of higher education change in the 21st century, the program will provide highly prepared leaders including underrepresented groups to serve the nations institutions of higher learning at the highest levels. Many student s will continue their intellectual and personal development through doctoral programs and as scholar-practitioners.

Students may focus on courses and internships in four concentration areas: administration and management, counseling and development, adult and community education, research and evaluation or a general focus.

Internships: The internship represents the application of theory in a practical setting. This vehicle for diversified professional training encompasses research, planning, organization and ethical applications.

Assistantships: Graduate assistantships are available in student affairs, academic affairs and other areas within higher education. For college-wide assistantship opportunities, visit

Professional Organizations: HESAA graduates gain mentoring, networking, and professional development support through national, regional, and local organizations.

Graduation Requirements: A minimum of 36 credit hours are needed for degree completion: 27 credit hours of required coursework and 9 hours of electives. After completing 6 to 12 credit hours, students apply for degree candidacy and are subject to continuous review by the faculty to ensure adherence to professional standards. The required comprehensive examination must be completed prior to graduation.

About the Higher Education Administration Department

214C Bacon Hall
1300 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-3789
Fax: (716) 878-5833

Admission Requirements

1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale). Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree but do not meet the minimum GPA requirement may be admitted if they attain a minimum combined quantitative/verbal score of 290 on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or are accepted by the faculty under provisional status.

2. Consideration can be given to work-related experience and involvement in the field.

3. Three letters of recommendation, of which at least one must be from a former faculty/instructor who can speak to your academic and classroom performance and one must be from a professional who works in student affairs or the field of higher education.

4. A written essay indicating reasons for interest in the program. This will be evaluated as a writing sample.

5. A current resume.

6. An interview with HEA program faculty may be required.

In addition, all applicants should review the Admission to a Graduate Program section in the Graduate Catalog.

Program Requirements

Required Courses 27 cr
HEA 616 American Higher Education
HEA 617 Student Development and Learning
HEA 618 Student Personnel Administration
HEA 620 Planning and Finance in Higher Education
HEA 622 Techniques of Counseling I
HEA 624 Internship/Practicum I
HEA 625 Internship/Practicum II
HEA 650 Student Assessment Tests
HEA 689 Methods of Educational Research
Comprehensive Examination (offered in November and April; 0 cr)

Elective Courses * 9 cr
Select three courses from any of the following areas:
A. Administration
HEA 504 Community College Administration
HEA 619 Management Systems and Leadership in Higher Education
HEA 651 The Law and Higher Education
HEA 670 The College Student Movement 1955–1975

B. Counseling and Student Development
HEA 623 Counseling II
HEA 630 Group Counseling
HEA 632 Vocational Development and Career Counseling
HEA 670 The College Student Movement 1955–1975
HEA 711 Seminar in Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy

C. Community Education
HEA 504 Community College Administration
HEA 619 Management Systems and Leadership in Higher Education
HEA 632 Vocational Development and Career Counseling
HEA 670 The College Student Movement 1955–1975

D. Research and Evaluation
HEA 690 Master’s Project
HEA 695 Thesis; may be substituted for Master’s Project (6)
SPF 520 Educational Statistics I (Descriptive and Inferential)

E. Any Concentration Area
HEA 590 Independent Study (if research-based)
HEA 690 Master’s Project

Other elective courses may be selected from related courses/workshops in various disciplines or interdisciplinary areas with adviser approval.

** Can apply to other concentrations

Total Required Credit hours 36 cr

* Selected under advisement

All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated.

Career Preparation: Through collaboration with alumni in the field, college departments, professionals in the field, curricular and co-curricular activities support planning and preparation for a professional career in higher education.

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