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Master of Education: Student Affairs

The Master of Education in Student Affairs program provides students with a transformative learning experience founded on theory-to-practice. In producing practitioner-scholars, the faculty combine in-class learning with graduate assistantships / full-time employment enhanced with practicum and internship experiences. The program’s strong network of alumni help foster connections across the field and in and beyond the region. Students graduate prepared to successfully support students with strong collaboration, leadership, and communication skills based in theory and ethical practice.

Specialty Concentrations

    • Overview

      The M.Ed. Program in Student Affairs at Clemson University is designed to produce practitioner-scholars with skills to work in any student affairs or student support functional area. This program highlights the ways that student affairs and academic affairs complement one another in recruiting, admitting, supporting, developing, retaining, and graduating students. The student affairs program curriculum is mapped to the ACPA / NASPA professional competencies.

      Our work and learning together centers students and contributes to higher education in a variety of ways, in a broad range of positions, and in diverse institutional settings. Ultimately, students in our program learn how divisions of student affairs function as interconnected working units, and how divisions of student affairs complement the academic mission of institutions and enhance student learning in higher education.

      In our program we hope to prepare:

      • Informed practitioners who apply research and scholarship to individual contexts and broader learning environments.
      • Active practitioners who engage in service and professional development at the campus, local, state, regional, and national levels.
      • Introspective practitioners who make ethical and critical decisions in pursuit of just and equitable experiences and environments.
      • Collaborative practitioners who create, implement, and support equitable opportunities and environments to address emerging issues in community with others.
    • Program Goals

      Students in this program can expect:

      • A curriculum aligned with the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies;
      • graduate assistantships and field experiences selected by the students and their advisors enhancing students’ professional interests);
      • professional development opportunities through graduate student organizations, professional conferences, and leadership opportunities;
      • a learning experienced informed by the cohort model which brings together students from varied backgrounds and identifies and informs the learning in and out of the classroom; and
      • an immersive learning environment that develops practitioners ready to engage in student and academic affairs work, informed by courses, projects, individual and group projects, student involvement, and field experiences.

      Program Evaluation Data
      Each year, the program conducts an exit survey that assesses recent graduates' learning outcomes and perceptions of program experiences (see 2019-2020 exit survey results). Consistently, over the past several years, recent graduates have noted they appreciate the following components of Clemson's program:

      • student-centered faculty who get to know students as individuals;
      • the ability to work with their faculty advisor to design a unique course of study that furthers their professional goals;
      • the rich variety of functional areas and institutional settings for practicum and internship experiences;
      • a strong program alumni network connecting students with prospective employers;
      • collaboration between the student affairs M.Ed. program and the Clemson University Division of Student Affairs, which facilitates learning in and out of the classroom;
      • recognition of the program by student affairs practitioners around the country; and
      • the high job placement rate of the program and the assistance they receive from the faculty to effectively search for, acquire and transition into their first professional position.

      The program also periodically collects data in the form of alumni surveys, which are collected from program graduates one and three years after graduation. The 2015-16 alumni survey results are available.

    • Admission Requirements

      Ms In Student Affairs

      Admission to the Program
      Applications for the Master of Education in Counselor Education- Student Affairs must be complete by the listed deadline below to be considered.  This can be found below. 

      Application Deadlines
      All application materials must be submitted by the following deadlines:

      • January 15, all full-time students to enroll in the Fall semester
      • October 1, part-time students already working in Higher Education to enroll in the Spring semester
      • Final decisions are typically made by mid-February for fall admission and mid-October for spring admission.
      • All applicants must also submit a separate application for the Graduate Assistantship process. 

      NOTE: This program is listed on the Graduate School application as Counselor Education (Student Affairs). 

      Application Requirements
      To be considered for the program, applicants must:

      Transfer Credits
      Individuals who have started working on a graduate degree in student affairs or a related degree at another institution must go through the full application process. Clemson can accept up to 12 graduate course credits from another institution. Transfer courses must meet the requirements of a Clemson graduate course. In addition for this program:

      • You must provide a syllabus for the course(s) you hope to transfer in.
      • Any transfer credits must be approved by your Clemson University academic advisor in consultation with instructors for the course(s) you hope to transfer in.
      • Courses must have been taken within six years from the date you will complete your graduate degree.

      Student Affairs Assistantships
      Full-time students are required to be employed full-time or to have a graduate assistantship in order to be in the program. The program is designed this way to emphasize the theory to practice philosophy of student affairs work. Graduate assistantships are competitive and are typically obtained through the Clemson University Graduate Admissions Recruitment and Selection CUGARS process. Because the size of each cohort is determined by (a) available assistantships and (b) faculty capacity, applicants who do not receive an assistantship with Clemson University or who are not full-time employees in higher education settings will NOT have a space in the cohort.

      Student Affairs Assistantships Information & Application: click here

      Helpful Tips for Student Affairs Program Applicants
      The student affairs program faculty seeks to admit a diverse cohort from the applicant pool for this competitive program, thus we review applicant files comprehensively. With that in mind, the faculty look for the following when reviewing applications:

      • The potential for student success in graduate school. This can be exemplified by past academic success (GPA), but enhanced by strong letters of reference from former faculty on the likelihood of students’ success in graduate learning and education.
      • Strong collaboration and communication skills. Much of the program at Clemson is based on teamwork and grou projects. This is intentional in order to prepare students to be successful student affairs practitioners. Students should be prepared to provide examples in their materials of how they have worked on teams, communicated effectively, and navigated conflict.
      • Experience with and desire to continue learning about justice and equity. Because we seek diverse student perspectives, student experiences and familiarity with issues of justice and equity enhance the learning / teaching faculty, individual students, and cohorts can do in the program. Speaking about personally transformative experiences related to these topics helps faculty understand potential student contributions and opportunities for additional learning.
      • Student affairs knowledge. While we do not expect students to come in with full understanding of the complexities or variety of functional areas within student affairs, student should bring some familiarity with the profession and current issues related to student affairs work into their learning.

      Applicants will have a chance to speak to these and other topics in the application essays. We encourage you to give thought and a high level of effort to these essays as they are your chance to tell us who you are. Essay responses that are superficial, contain basic writing errors (grammar, spelling, etc.) significantly reduce the likelihood that a student will receive admission from the faculty to the program. We encourage students to have others review their writing for both content and mechanics before submitting the essay responses.

      Additional information concerning supporting materials can be found at: https://www.clemson.edu/graduate/admissions/preparing-to-apply/supporting-materials.html

    • Program Requirements

      The Master of Education degree in student affairs prepares students for positions in all areas of student development services across higher education. Students may complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis. The full-time program can be completed in two years. Most full-time employees are able to complete the program in three years. All students must complete the program in six years. Courses are primarily taught late afternoons and evenings, Monday through Thursday, at 3:30 or later. Most of the courses are taught at Clemson University.

      Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education (42 semester hours)

      1. Area of Specialization (33 hours):
        EDSA 8030 Student Development Services in Higher Education
        EDSA 8040 Theories of Student Development in Higher Education
        EDSA 8060 Student Affairs Issues
        EDSA 8080 Legal and Ethical Issues in Student Affairs and Counselor Education
        EDSA 8090 Higher Education Administration
        EDSA 8100 Advising and Supporting
        EDSA 8110 Social Justice
        EDSA 8190 Contemporary College Student
        EDL 7650 Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
        EDL 8550 Applied Research in Higher Education
        EDL 9770 Diversity Issues in Higher Education

      2. Field Experiences (6 or 9 hours):
        EDSA 8340 Student Affairs Practicum (prerequisite 8030 or 8040 and permission of instructor)
        EDSA 8440 Student Affairs Internship (prerequisite 8340 and permission of instructor)

      III. Elective (in lieu of second internship as outlined above).

      Students must complete both a practicum and an internship experience. Students may opt for a second internship or may instead choose an elective course. The elective course must be at the graduate level and chosen in consultation with a student’s advisor.

    • Financial

      Tuition and Fees

      Explore information on tuition and fees using the Student Financial Services’ tuition and fee calculator. (Be sure to choose the ‘graduate’ tab at the top of the page.)

      Financial Aid

      For information regarding Financial Aid, please contact the office of Student Financial Aid.

      Graduate Assistantships

      Graduate Assistantship positions exist across the University in a variety of departments and centers that enhance and complement the academic experience students receive in the classroom.

      Assistantships are available to full-time students (enrolled in at least nine credit hours per semester) and typically require a 30-hour per week work commitment. The work assignments vary by assistantship. Students who obtain these positions will receive an extensive tuition reduction as well as a monthly stipend.

      Candidates for the Master of Education in student affairs program may submit applications for Graduate Assistantships starting in mid-November. Applications are due no later than February 1. This is a separate application from the February 1 Graduate School application.

      Once candidates are admitted to the graduate program, they will be invited to participate in the on-campus interview days during which admitted students will interview with departments seeking graduate assistants. The two-day process allows candidates to meet other candidates, faculty, staff,a nd current students while they learn about Clemson University and the Master of Education student affairs program.

      At the end of interview process, candidates rank their assistantship opportunities. These rankings will assist in identifying the best candidate for each position. Candidates receiving an offer will have until April 15 to make a final decision.

      Click here for the Graduate Assistantship Application.

      Click here for the complete listing of open assistantships.

    • Faculty

      The faculty in the Master of Education Student Affairs program bring a variety of experiences to the work. You will have the chance to learn from former practitioners in a variety of areas and scholars with scholarship in and beyond student affairs focusing on a variety of areas in higher education. Upon admission to the program and securing of an assistantship, you will be assigned a faculty advisor.

      For more information about the faculty, please consider our faculty pages which include courses we have taught, our vitae, as well as our research interests.

      Boettcher, Michelle Counselor Education, Student Affairs 864-656-1446 mboettc@clemson.edu
      Cawthon, Tony Counselor Education, Student Affairs 864-656-5100 cawthot@clemson.edu
      Croom, Natasha Higher Education/Student Affairs 864-656-1485 nncroom@clemson.edu
      Wagner, Rachel Higher Education/Student Affairs 864-656-5111 rwagne3@clemson.edu

      Additionally, we partner with current practitioners and doctoral students who bring other experiences into the classroom as visiting professors, instructors, and guest speakers. This further enhances the partnership between the program and student and academic affairs at Clemson University.

    • Our Students

      As mentioned earlier, the students in our program bring a variety of personal, academic, and professional experiences with them to Clemson. While many come into the program directly from their undergraduate institutions, others work and then return to school full-time, while still others continue to work full-time as they complete their degrees. Their experiences at diverse institutions as undergraduates as well as their experiences in the varied jobs and assistantships they hold make the learning deeper and richer in the program.

      Additionally, the student affairs program faculty encourages students to be involved outside of the classroom and therefore supports the following organizations:

      Student Personnel Association (SPA)
      SPA is open to all graduate students in the student affairs program as well as student affairs practitioners and Ph.D. students interested in student affairs.

      Chi Sigma Alpha – Edward Grandpre Chapter 
      This is an honorary society for student affairs graduate students and practitioners to which one must apply and be accepted.

      Student Peer Mentor (SPM)

      Student Peer Mentors are current students who engage with and sometimes host potential students who are interested in the student affairs M.Ed. program at Clemson University.

    • Alumni News and Resources

       On the lower right corner of this page, you will find under “Our Graduate Professionals” some examples of our graduates and the roles they currently hold. This is just a small sample of the things our graduates go on to accomplish.

      In addition, we have a sample of graduate testimonials. In these, alumni of our student affairs graduate program talk about their experiences learning at Clemson. We hope you will find this additional information helpful as you explore our master’s program. Read the testimonials

    • Find Out More

      For more information, please fill out this form or visit the Clemson University Graduate School website. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact Stephanie Henry.

View the Brochure
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Program Handbook

Download the M.Ed. Student Affairs Handbook

Student Affairs Field Experience Manual

Our Graduate Professionals
  • Advising
    Univ of Tennessee
    --
  • Housing
    Michigan State
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  • Housing
    Univ of Iowa
    --
  • International Services
    Furman University
    --
  • Housing
    Presbyterian College
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  • New Student Transition Pgm
    Clemson
    --
  • Housing
    Northeastern
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  • Florida State
    Student Activities
    --
  • Housing
    William Peace
    --
  • MBA Office
    Clemson
    --
  • International Services
    Yale
    --
  • Graduate School
    Clemson
    --
  • EF Tours, College Break Out
    Boston
    --
  • Genesis, College Placement
    Houston
    --
  • Housing
    South Alabama
    --
  • Student Activities
    Vanderbilt
    --
  • College Access Pgm
    Student U
    --
  • OCES
    Clemson
    --
  • Night Programs
    Limestone College
    --
  • Housing
    Univ of Tampa
    --
  • Student Actitives
    Framingham State
    --
  • Advising
    Clemson
    --
  • Housing
    St. Edwards
    --
  • Conduct
    Lamba Chi Alpha
    --
  • Housing
    Elon
    --
  • Advising
    Clayton State
    --
  • Clemson
    Grad Stuides/Post Doc
    --
  • Health Education
    Gonzaga
    --
  • Study Abroad
    Northeastern
    --
  • International Orientation
    Univ Calif, Davis
    --
  • Housing
    Univ South Florida
    --
  • Admissions
    Miss State
    --
  • Housing
    Belmont Univ
    --
  • Co-op
    Clemson
    --
  • Housing
    Emmanuel
    --
  • Sustainability/Hous
    FSU
    --
  • Housing
    VCU
    --
  • Athletic Advisign
    FSU
    --
  • Housing
    Marquette
    --
  • Recruiting, Dixon
    Raleigh
    --
  • Alumni
    Vandy
    --
  • Career, Wash. Ctg
    DC
    --
  • Student Success
    American niv
    --
  • Housing
    Pace
    --
  • Housing
    KSU
    --
  • Housing
    IUPUI
    --
  • Housing
    App State
    --
  • Housing, Private
    Univ of Illinois
    --
  • Student Success
    American Univ
    --
  • Housing
    Univ. Alabama
    --
  • Student Success
    Long Island College
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  • Pre Health
    Greenville Hosp. Syst.
    --
  • Student Orgs
    FSU
    --
  • Housing
    Augusta Univeristy
    --
  • Multicultural
    Duke
    --
  • Housing
    Clemson
    --
  • Housing
    Towson
    --
  • Campus Rec
    GA Tech
    --
  • Cam Rec
    Rider University
    --
  • New Stud Pgms
    Duke
    --
  • Stiudent Conduct
    UT Dallas
    --
  • Multicultural
    Davidson
    --
  • Admissions
    ODU
    --
  • Housing
    Clemson
    --
  • Athletic Ad/Adj Prof
    UNC/Community College
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  • Housing
    Univ of Colorado
    --
  • Advising
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    --
  • Housing
    California Polytechnic State University
    --
  • Athletics
    Clemson University
    --
  • Student Success
    Clemson University
    --
  • Care Development
    Iowa Primary Care Association
    --
  • Orientation Student Pgm Coordinator
    University of South Florida
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  • Academic Advising and Coaching Specialists
    Clemson University
    --
  • University Housing
    Old Dominion University
    --
  • Asst Dir Annual Giving, Development
    Davidson College
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  • University Housing
    University of Louisville
    --
  • Asst.Dir of Equity and Community Engaged Learning
    Furman University
    --
  • Senior Career Specialists
    Arizona State University
    --
  • Senor Career Specialist
    Arizona State University
    --
  • Development
    Davidson
    --
  • Student Dev. Coordinator Health and Wellness
    Duke University
    --
  • Multicultural Student Affairs of
    Iowa State University
    --
  • Student Activities
    Miami University
    --
  • Orientation
    Virginia Tech
    --
  • Student Program Coordinator
    University of South Florida
    --
  • Tigertown Summerbound Coordinator
    Clemson University
    --
  • University Housing
    Ohio State University
    --
  • Assessment Coordinator/School
    Crossroad Academy School of Business
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  • Greek Life
    Univ. of Mississippi
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  • Greek Life
    Univ. of Southern California
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  • Assistant Director of Honors Program
    University of Arkansas
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  • Middle School Program Manager
    YESS Institute
    --
  • Associate Dir of Academic Programs
    Clemson University
    --
  • University Housing
    University of Louisville
    --
  • University Housing
    Duke University
    --
  • University Housing
    Bryant University
    --