Higher Education/Student Personnel: Master of Arts (M.A.)

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Higher Education/Student Personnel with an emphasis in Student Affairs is a 36 hour primarily residential program examining the various aspects of higher education administration. The program is offered by the Department of Higher Education. The program fosters a strong theoretical understanding of the underpinnings of college and university function, including the functions around student life. This program also provides professional preparation through practicum and graduate assistantship opportunities for those seeking full-time enrollment.

The program is designed for those who seek to work at a college or university in different administrative roles, such as financial aid, housing, or other areas of postsecondary education.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants to the program must meet these requirements:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited United States institution or the equivalent from an international institution.
  • An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on the course work attempted.
    • A 2.7 grade point average, or 3.0 on the last 60 hours, may allow one to enter on a probationary basis.
  • Complete a Graduate School application online
  • Upload the following supplemental materials to the Graduate School application:
    • Statement of purpose: Please discuss how your life experiences (personal, academic, and/or professional) have fostered your interest in pursuing a graduate degree in higher education, the strengths you bring that will help you be successful in the program, and how earning the degree might help you achieve your goals as a professional serving in higher education.
    • Resume
    • Contact information for three references
  • Priority application deadline: January 1st (for Fall Semester entrance); however, the application will remain open until May 1st. All materials must be in the system by that date.

Career Opportunities

As a blended program that addresses both student affairs and other administrative functions in higher education, graduates from this program have found careers in a variety of areas. Examples include financial aid officer, Greek Life, student discipline, programming, residence life, institutional fundraising, admissions, campus recreation, and career services.

In addition to Mississippi institutions including The University of Mississippi, Mississippi State, Southern, Jackson State, and Mississippi College, other institutions that have hired our graduates in recent years include Florida State, Cornell, Oregon State, Trinity College (San Antonio), Purdue, Arizona State, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, and others.

Online/Regional Campus Options

The on-campus program does offer some online courses, but the vast majority utilizes the traditional face-to-face courses, typically meeting one day per week.

For those individuals who already work at college or university, including community colleges, the program does offer a fully online program that utilizes a cohort model. This Professional Cohort program admits a new cohort each summer. For additional information, click here.

The on-campus program does not offer content courses at any of the regional centers, though some of the required courses outside of higher education are offered at the regional centers.

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