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Master of Science in Student Affairs Administration

The Master of Science in Student Affairs Administration is a two-year, practitioner-oriented program, philosophically based in college student development and university administration. It is designed to prepare thoughtful, compassionate, first-line student and university service administrators armed with the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to begin or enhance a career in the variety of settings in which such services are needed.

The goals of the Student Affairs Administration (SAA) program include:

  1. Demonstrating mastery and application of foundational and professional studies in Student Affairs Administration.
  2. Demonstrating professional behavior in carrying out student services work.

This program may be completed online.

Unconditional Admission

Students are eligible to apply for unconditional admission to the Master of Science degree program in Student Affairs Administration if they meet the following requirements:

  1. Applicants must meet the admission requirements for the Graduate College.
  2. Applicants must submit a current resume/vitae highlighting any co-curricular experiences and/or student affairs experience.
  3. Applicants must submit names and contact information from two (2)  previous/current faculty or supervisors who can attest to the candidate's ability to succeed in an academic setting.
  4. Applicants must meet a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.70 or a 3.0 GPA in the last 30 hours.
  5. Applicants must submit a reflective writing sample, consisting of 3 short-answer reflection items, which include:
    1. What does student affairs mean to you and how do you see yourself contributing to the field;
    2. Explain how your undergraduate grade point average reflects or does not reflect your ability to succeed at the graduate level; and
    3. What can faculty and classmates expect from you in the classroom and/or virtual classroom? Please share the delivery method (online; face-to-face; or both) you plan to use to complete the degree and your work plans for the upcoming term.
  6. Approval from the Program Director.

In addition, applicants must submit admission materials no later than two weeks prior to the start of the semester as a priority admission date. Applicants submitting after the priority deadline will be considered if space is still available in SAA graduate classes.

Conditional Admission

Applicants who fail to meet the minimum requirements for admission have the opportunity for conditional admission if applicant meets the minimum graduate admission standards and upon a successful appeal to the program director. Students admitted under a conditional status must earn a cumulative 3.0 GPA on the first twelve (12) graduate hours in the program.

Advising Certificate Admission

Students not currently in the SAA program will need to submit an application to the Graduate College (advising certificate); pay the application fee; submit a resume; and give a short statement about why you want to pursue the advising certificate and how you plan to use it to meet their personal or professional goals.

Academic Advisors

The director of the program will assign a faculty advisor to each student admitted to the degree program. The advisor will assist the student in the design of a curriculum of study that leads to the fulfillment of degree requirements. Subsequently, the academic advisor, the Department Graduate Committee, and the Graduate College will monitor the student's progress as they progress through the program. It remains, however, the student's responsibility to understand and to satisfy all degree requirements.

Degree Requirements

  1. The completion of a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate work including the following courses:
    Foundation Course (3 hours)

    SAA 6023 Introduction to Student Affairs Administration

    Professional Studies (21 hours)

    SAA 6033 Student Development Theory
    SAA 6043 College Students and Diversity
    SAA 6053 Legal Issues for Student Affairs Administrators
    SAA 6073 Counseling Theories and Helping Skills
    SAA 6113 Research Design and Analysis
    SAA 6123 Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
    SAA 6143 Administration in Student Affairs

    Supervised Practice (6 hours)

    SAA 6083 Practicum I in Student Affairs Administration   OR
    SAA 6283 Advising Practicum
    SAA 6063 Student Affairs Administration Capstone Seminar

    Elective Courses (6 Hours Required)

    SAA 6093 Practicum II in Student Affairs Administration  (Required for students without student affairs related work experience)
    SAA 6133 Ethical Leadership in Higher Education
    SAA 6153 Advising Student Groups
    SAA 6163 Academic Advising
    SAA 6173 Career Advising
    SAA 6881 Special Problems (Workshop) in Student Affairs Administration

    Advising Certificate (15 Hours Required)

    SAA 6073 Counseling Theories and Helping Skills
    SAA 6153 Advising Student Groups
    SAA 6163 Academic Advising
    SAA 6173 Career Advising
    SAA 6283 Advising Practicum

  2. A cumulative grade point average of a 3.00 or better must be achieved in all graduate work attempted at Arkansas Tech University for the Graduate Degree and the Advising Certificate, with a maximum of six (6) hours of "C" grades for the Master's Degree and a maximum of three (3) hours of "C" grades for the Advising Certificate. A student receiving more than six (6) hours of "C" or grades lower than "C" should refer to the section of the catalog on Academic Probation and Dismissal.
  3. A minimum of 27 semester hours of graduate course work completed at Arkansas Tech University.
  4. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination. Comprehensive examination policies are available from the program director.
  5. Completion of all degree requirements within six (6) years from the time of unconditional or conditional admission into the program.

Degree Works

Degree Works is a software tool utilized by Arkansas Tech University designed to detail academic progression. It allows both students and advisors to monitor course progress towards degree completion and clearly indicates which course requirements have been met as well as how courses transfer into a program. Transfer courses must be approved through the use of a substitution/waiver form available via the Registrar for progress to display correctly within Degree Works. 

Degree Works will display course progression based on the current program of study, but a "what-if" scenario can be generated for any program to see how progression looks with the courses currently completed and in progress. Note that if you have applied to and been admitted to a graduate program while still finishing your undergraduate program, Degree Works will show your new program of study in the graduate program and you would have to generate a "what-if" query to see your undergraduate degree progress.

Application for Graduation

In addition to satisfying all degree requirements, a candidate for a degree must file an Application for Graduation online or at the Graduate College.  Students must apply for graduation upon completion of fifteen (15) graduate credit hours.

Special Conditions of Graduate Credit

Graduate Credit Taken Prior to Admission to Arkansas Tech University

A maximum of nine (9) semester hours of graduate credit with a grade point average of "B" or better may be transferred from an accredited graduate school if deemed appropriate to the graduate program by the head of the student's major department and the Graduate College Dean. Students must send a written request to the head of their major department to petition an acceptance of the transfer credit prior to requesting admission to candidacy to the graduate program. Graduate credit earned six (6) years prior to the completion date of all degree requirements may not be applied toward the degree without the approval of the appropriate program director and the Graduate College Dean. Credits earned by correspondence courses or for remedial purposes will not apply toward the graduate degree. No undergraduate course may be repeated for graduate credit.

Graduate Credit Taken After Admission to Arkansas Tech University

If after admission to graduate study, a student wishes to take a course at another institution to count toward degree requirements at Arkansas Tech University, the student must (in advance of enrollment) obtain written approval from the program director and the Graduate College Dean.