Program name change is pending NYS/SUNY approval

Higher Education and Student Affairs, EdM

Our master's program in higher education and student affairs is for you if you wish to pursue a career in higher education working directly with college students in student affairs, academic affairs, enrollment management, or related units. Our program focuses on providing you with the skills needed to help two- and four-year institutions meet the learning and development needs of all students and to personalize the college campus. Our program is designed to meet the guidelines developed by the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education criteria for master's programs. The guidelines emphasize student development, multicultural issues and practical experience.

On this page:

Why Higher Education and Student Affairs at UB?

The features of our program include:

  • experiential knowledge through assistantships, internships or professional work experiences provide opportunities for you to actively practice, apply and discuss the real-life application of theories learned in the classroom
  • exposure to relevant professional organizations and issues through conferences, journals and speakers
  • nationally recognized faculty based on scholarship and research, leadership in professional organizations, and significant awards
  • strong links with colleges and universities in the Western New York area provide you with opportunities for assistantships, internships, and employment upon graduation
  • strong relationship with the UB Division of Student Life, which has historically supported our students and graduates

Program Overview

Academic credential granted Master of Education (EdM)
Credits required for completion 42
Time to completion 4 full-time semesters
(part-time option available)
Course delivery On campus

Areas within academic and student affairs including:

  • academic advising
  • admissions
  • career exploration
  • Greek affairs
  • leadership development
  • multicultural/diversity services
  • new student programming/orientation
  • residence life and student housing
  • student activities
  • student wellness
Supervised professional experience
300 hours minimum
Application deadline Fall admission only
Jan. 15, then rolling

Jan. 15 is priority deadline for assistantship consideration

Program Coursework

Semester 1 (10 credits)

ELP 501 Higher Education in the United States
ELP 509 American College Student
ELP 516 Introduction to Student Affairs Administration 
ELP 522 Introduction to Professional Practice (1 credit)

Semester 2 (10–13 credits)

ELP 505 Organization and Governance 
ELP 513 Cultural Diversity in Higher Education
ELP 514 College Student Development Theory 
ELP 522 Introduction to Professional Practice (1 credit)

Elective 1* (taken in either semester 2 or semester 3)

Semester 3 (10–13 credits)

ELP 520 Counseling for Student Affairs
ELP 522 Introduction to Professional Practice (1 credit)
ELP 693 Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs

select one:
CEP 532 Research Methods
ELP 539 Program Evaluation and Assessment

Elective 1* (taken in either semester 2 or semester 3)

Semester 4 (9 credits)

ELP 507 Financing Higher Education
ELP 523 Capstone Seminar

Elective 2

Elective Courses (6 credits)

You will complete 6 credits of elective courses. We encourage you to select courses, in consultation with your advisor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, that will advance your learning and align with your professional goals. One elective may be fulfilled by a supervised internship experience.

Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships are available in a variety of areas that change from year to year. Compensation for positions ranges from hourly pay only to a stipend to in-state tuition remission plus a stipend. Generally, assistantships require 20 hours of work per week.

When students apply for admission to the program, they can simultaneously apply for graduate assistantships. Students are invited to campus for a 2-day Open House and Graduate Assistantship Interview Day, scheduled for February 20-21, 2020. Here, students have the opportunity to interview for graduate assistantship positions, typically offered by offices on campus such as  Campus Living, Career Services, Student Engagement, Intercultural and Diversity Center, among others. In addition to interviewing for positions, prospective students will have an opportunity to learn more about UB and the higher education and student affairs program, network with current and accepted students, and meet program faculty. For those unable to come to campus for Assistantship Day, offices will conduct phone interviews, although we highly encourage you to attend if at all possible. 

While assistantships are limited, new opportunities become available throughout summer and into the fall semester.

Application Requirements

You must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. 

Submit your completed online application, which includes:

  • Application fee: A $50 non-refundable application fee, submitted electronically through UB's ePayment system.
  • Three references (2 academic, 1 professional) who will each be asked to provide an electronic recommendation letter.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended. (UB transcripts are automatically submitted for current UB students and alumni.)
  • Resume
  • Statement of educational and career goals:
    1. What qualities, characteristics and skills do you possess that make you a strong candidate for the higher education administration program?
    2. How does this relate to your personal and career goals? 

Former/Maiden Name: Please provide us with your former/maiden name if you have one. When requesting transcripts, please ask the sending institution to indicate your current name and former/maiden name.

Admission Decision: The admission decision will be communicated to you as soon as review is complete. The decision is based on a number of factors and is the result of a thorough and deliberate process. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

International Applicant Additional Requirements
  • Official original proof of your degree
  • A copy of your passport biographical page
  • Official test scores for either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic. Test scores must be dated within two years of submitting your application.
    • TOEFL minimum score is a 250 for a computer based test, 600 for a paper based test and 79 for the Internet based test
    • IELTS minimum score is 6.5 overall
    • PTE minimum score is 55 overall
  • Financial documentation — International graduate applicants must document their ability to pay for all costs incurred while studying in the U.S.
  • An official bank statement

All financial forms and supporting documentation with required signatures must be uploaded with your application, and must be dated within one year of your intended enrollment date.

Are you an international student and unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL?

If you are currently unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL tests because they are canceled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.

The TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition is a safe and convenient option for students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test at a test center due to public health concerns.

Learn More

University Computing Standards

You are required to have daily access to a reliable broadband connection and a computer that meets university computing standards. You are also expected to have basic computer competency before beginning your coursework.