Master of art in student affairs

Prepare the next generation of student leaders 

Situated in our psychology department, the student affairs program is unique in nature, including counseling and student affairs coursework as well as electives and internships. Students develop a versatile set of tools and in-depth theoretical understanding to handle the range of challenges they will see in preparing the next generation of student leaders.

Program highlights

  • 36-credit program, including 1-2 semesters of internship
  • Includes core courses, electives, internship, and an optional supervised research project
  • Part-time or full-time options (typically completed in 1-2 years) 
  • Graduate assistantships available in several student affairs, administrative and academic departments on campus
  • No GRE required and rolling admissions

Through electives in counseling, digital learning, and the master of business administration program, students are prepared to pursue a career in any student affairs area including residence life, admissions as well as advocacy and support programs at a variety of institutions.

Students who wish to work in a college counseling center and/or pursue professional licensure to potentially work in other mental health settings or private practice are invited to pursue the dual degree option (63 credits).

Request more information.

Student affairs curriculum focused on relational practice

With a curriculum focused on developing and engaging in healthy growth-fostering relationships, our students graduate well-prepared to pursue a career in student affairs. Students will:

  • Learn developmental theory, listening, communication and crisis management skills, and program and co-curricular assessment methods
  • Understand roles and responsibilities of student affairs practitioners within institutional and higher education contexts, relational practices and relational leadership, like mentoring and advising
  • Develop an awareness of ethical complexities within student affairs and social justice issues and their implications within higher education

Course information and descriptions can be found in our course catalog.

Graduate career-ready

The student affairs program is designed to help you clarify your career goals and job search. Throughout the program, explore functional areas and build or expand your professional network as early as your first semester, clarify and strategize your options and goals with the program chair. This time helps each student to develop a strategy to secure a meaningful internship, and prepare a resume, learn search strategies and expand your professional network during Carlow's Career Summit.

Experiential learning aspects include informational interviews, consulting projects and mini-conference poster and presentation sessions, and internships. Recent internship sites include:

  • Carlow University Admissions
  • Carnegie Mellon University Counseling Center
  • Chatham University Career Development
  • Community College of Allegheny County Counseling Center
  • Penn State Greater Allegheny Center for Academic and Career Excellence
  • Penn State Greater Allegheny Counseling Center
  • Slippery Rock University Counseling Center
  • University of Pittsburgh Career Center

Request more information about our student affairs program or apply for free anytime with our rolling admissions.

Hear from our student affairs graduates

 Loretta 4  Harriet Schwartz, director of the MA in Student Affairs program
Read MA in Student Affairs student Loretta Ellis's "Change the Way You Look at Things and the Things You Look at Change," published on NASPA's homepage.

 Read Dr. Harriet Schwartz's article Relational Practice: The Currency of Student Affairs on the St     udent Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) website. 
 Lauren Villella, MA in Student Affairs student Three student affairs students sitting together
Read MA in Student Affairs student Lauren Villella's post, The Student Newspaper: An Unexpected Pathway to Student Affairs on the NASPA blog.  Hear from more of our students on our student interview page.

Dual degree option

Earn a master of arts in student affairs and master of science in professional counseling with our dual degree option.

This 63-credit program prepares students to pursue licensure and work in a college counseling center, other areas of student affairs, and opportunities in professional counseling. Students complete one semester of practicum and two semesters of internship.