The Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) Student Affairs Administration (SAA) Master’s Degree Program at Michigan State University provides future student affairs professionals the knowledge and skills to work with students and to cultivate educational environments promoting diversity and multiculturalism.
In the MSU SAA MA Program, we believe higher education has not achieved equity for all groups, and part of our responsibility in the student affairs profession is to move higher education closer to equity and justice. We also acknowledge and celebrate the multiple, intersecting identities of students, instructors, and program staff. Therefore, within the program, we aspire to create an inclusive environment that supports individual and community learning in the context of a sense of belonging and commitment to the holistic development of individuals and our community.
We do this work by embodying critical considerations of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) across curricular and practical experiences. Looking outward to MSU, the field of student affairs, and the higher education ecosystem, we aspire to create and undertake educational experiences that equip SAA graduates to take up the challenges, injustices, and opportunities of higher education.
About the SAA MA Program
In our program, graduate students gain a broad perspective of higher education systems from social, historical, and global perspectives. Highlights of the program include:
- Forty (40) credit hours completed over 2 years (full time), including 7 core courses, 5 electives, and a professional development seminar
- An in-person cohort model enrolling 15–20 students per year from across the U.S. and abroad
- Two (2) required practica experiences
- Graduate assistantship opportunities across various student affairs functional areas
- World-class faculty specializing in higher education and student affairs
- Graduate certificate options, including the HALE graduate certificate in Teaching & Learning in Postsecondary Education
- Opportunities to gain teaching experience, including through mentored teaching apprenticeships
Prospective students interested in applying to the SAA MA Program should visit our Application Information webpage to review application requirements and learn more about our program. The deadline to apply for Fall 2023 is Friday, December 2nd. For additional information about the SAA MA Program, review the links under the HALE Menu on the right side of this page and consult our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Connect with SAA
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What Our Students, Alum, and Partners Say About Us
“I chose the SAA MA Program because I felt a strong sense of belonging after attending the program’s well-organized, intentional events during my application process and Spartan Preview Days (SPD). As a result, I connected with the faculty who are genuine and supportive, met with prospective students, and learned more about how the SAA MA Program was right for me. I value the endless opportunities the program offers, allowing me to craft my own experience while providing me ample guidance.”
–Jonathan Washington, SAA MA 2nd-year student,
SAA MA Program Outreach & Recruitment Coordinator
“The SAA MA program prepared me for my career by providing me the opportunity to connect with world-renowned faculty, have multiple practical learning experiences both in and out of the classroom, and receive the support and guidance I needed to learn and thrive. The program also provided a wonderful contextual framework, theoretical foundation, and space for reflection that prepared me to be thoughtful, intentional, and effective in my career. My experiences prepared me to take on all that comes in my career because I was taught, supported, and empowered to do and implement what I was learning in my classes.”
–Elizabeth Sanchez, SAA MA class of 2022,
Parent and Family Engagement Coordinator,
Cal Poly Pomona
“For more than 70 years, the Michigan State University Student Affairs Administration program has led the field in preparing future Student Affairs professionals. Faculty, comprised of leading scholars in the field, provide graduates with a solid foundation to be top-notch practitioners. The Division of Student Life & Engagement provides graduate assistantships and practica experiences to enhance the classroom learning experience. We believe our graduates are prepared to be leaders, scholars, and contributors to advancing knowledge and transforming lives.”
–Vennie Gore, Senior Vice President
for Student Life and Engagement
What SAA Faculty Say About Teaching Future Professionals
“Teaching graduate students as they prepare for a career in student affairs provides eternal hope that we can…and must…be better as a field and as student affairs educators.”
—Dr. Patricia Marin, Associate Professor, Coordinator, SAA MA Program
“One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to see the future of the field in and through the students in MSU SAA. And that future is BRIGHT!”
—Dr. Kristen Renn, Professor,
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies for Student Success Research
“One of the important roles I play is helping SAA graduate students to understand they don’t just make a difference in the lives of students, they ARE the difference. Student affairs professionals do exceptionally valuable work to make a difference in the lives of college students who, in turn, will change the world.”
—Dr. Matt Wawrzynski, Professor, Coordinator, Teaching and Learning in Postsecondary Education Graduate Certificate Program
Three points of distinction
AMONG THE BEST
HALE programs are ranked #2 in the nation for higher education administration (U.S. News & World Report).
FOCUS ON THEORY-TO-PRACTICE
Our program helps students connect theory-to-practice through immersive field experiences, teaching and research opportunities, invited speakers, and more.
ROBUST NETWORK OF ALUM
SAA MA alum work in student affairs and higher education across the globe. SAA MA alum can keep connected by updating their contact information on MSU’s Alumni Office website.