For nearly 50 years, the Master of Arts in Student Affairs Administration (SAA) at Appalachian State University has prepared reflective scholar-practitioners to work in various areas of student affairs to serve students and institutions of higher education through collaborative, equitable and inclusive practice. Through the in-person, 45-credit hour program, students:
- Expand and challenge their thinking about themselves, others and student affairs through theory, research and reflection.
- Experience multiple functional areas of student affairs practice through practice and reflection.
- Develop their professional philosophies, values, pathways, and communities.
- Cultivate their abilities to be change agents in higher education.
Features of the SAA program include:
- Generalist student affairs/academic affairs preparation.
- A theory-to-practice framework.
- An applied learning emphasis with 3–5 practice-based experiences (graduate assistantship, practicum, internship).
- Critical theory and social justice content across the program curriculum and experiences.
Recent graduates have secured employment in Academic Advising, Career Development, Diversity and Social Justice, First Year Student Programs, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Leadership Development, Orientation, Residence Life, Service Learning, Student Activities, Student Conduct, Student Learning Center, Study Abroad and many other areas. The program consistently receives positive feedback from employers about its graduates’ preparation for and success in their roles and the broader field.
Required Entrance Exam: GRE (score must be no more than 5 years old), unless waived for those with a GPA of 3.0 and higher AND one or more years of experience in student engagement/involvement, higher education or other related work.
Required number of references to specify in the online form: 3
Supplemental Information: Resume (required upload for application submission) and interview.
Basic Conditions for Consideration of Admission: Meeting or exceeding the conditions below does NOT guarantee admission. All applications for a given entry term will be weighed based upon the number of seats available and the quality of the complete application packages. With special permission from the Graduate School, a program may admit a limited number of students with exceptional circumstances who do not meet the graduate school minimums.
Graduate School: 3.0 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores from the appropriate admission test(s), OR 2.5 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores at the 25th percentile level from the appropriate admission test(s).
Admission to Student Affairs Administration: Both qualitative and quantitative aspects of applications are reviewed in comparison to the current applicant pool. Students must apply for and secure a graduate assistantship through App State’s Graduate Assistant Preview Program to be admitted to the Student Affairs Administration program.
- Appalachian State University
- Belmont Abbey College
- Cleveland Community College
- East Tennessee State University
- Elon University
- Florida Gulf Coast University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Georgia State University
- Marymount University
- Meredith College
- Midlands Technical College
- Old Dominion University
- Queens University of Charlotte
- Radford University
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- San José State University
- Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta
- University of Alabama-Huntsville
- University of Colorado-Boulder
- University of Kansas
- University of Lynchburg
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- University of North Dakota
- University of North Georgia
- University of North Florida
- University of South Florida
- William Peace University
About App State's Division of Student Affairs
The Division of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University is committed to the development of lifelong learners and leaders by engaging and challenging students within a culture of care and inclusion. The division consists of 16 units that offer activities and services to help students develop more fully by becoming global learners, fostering healthy relationships, appreciating diversity and different perspectives, understanding community responsibility, enhancing self-awareness, developing autonomy and living ethically. Learn more at https://studentaffairs.appstate.edu.
July 1, academic priority deadline is Dec. 15
Graduate assistantship priority deadline is Jan. 31
(this requires a separate application)
- The 45-credit hour program can be completed in two years if enrolled full time. Part-time students are also admitted into the program.
- The program complies with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) Guidelines for Master’s Level Higher Education and Student Affairs Professional Preparation Programs (2019) and frames the curriculum around the ACPA/NASPA (2015, 2016) Competencies for Student Affairs Educators.
- Students will benefit from the program’s applied learning emphasis, which requires at least three different practice-based experiences (graduate assistantship, practicum, internship), with the option to engage in two additional experiences (second practicum, summer experience); this allows students to graduate with more than 1,700 hours of experience working with students, colleagues and groups.
- Students’ culminating project (called the Comprehensive Product of Learning, or CPL) provides them with an opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning by blending professional competency growth with their own interests to cultivate a holistic development experience within the master’s program. The cornerstones of the comprehensive product of learning include: Holistic Development; Experiential Learning; Critical Thinking; and Reflective Thinking.
- Program faculty and educational partners (supervisors of GAs, practicums and internships) infuse critical theory and social justice content across the program curriculum and experiences.
- All graduate programs at App State have small class sizes, providing intimate classroom interaction.
The School of Graduate Studies offers scholarships, fellowships and assistantships to support eligible, full-time, degree-seeking students.
- Academic Advisor
- Alumni Association: Student Engagement Coordinator
- Assistant Director of Leadership Development
- Assistant Director of Orientation/New Student Programs
- Assistant Director of Outdoor Programs
- Coordinator of Student Organizations
- Assistant Director of Student Engagement/Involvement
- Career Advisor/Counselor
- Community Service/Service Learning Coordinator
- Coordinator for LGBTQIA+ Programs and Services
- Coordinator for Inclusion and Engagement
- Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life
- Coordinator of Student Involvement and Leadership
- Program and Advising Coordinator for Second Year and Transfer Transitions
- Residence Hall Director/Residence Life Coordinator
- Student Activities Coordinator
- Study Abroad Advisor