Prospective Student Affairs Administration Students


The Master of Science in Student Affairs Administration (SAA) will equip you with the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to thrive in any higher education setting.

Program Mission

The Student Affairs Administration master’s program offered online and/or on-campus, is committed to the growth, development, and success of students by combining academic preparation, mentorship, and field experience in student affairs.

In addition, through its first-year student course offerings (TECH 1001/1013), the SAA Department works to assist entering college students in making successful transitions to the college environment.

Program Offerings

Arkansas Tech University offers two credentials in Students Affairs Administration.

Master of Science in Student Affairs Administration

The Master of Science in Student Affairs Administration (SAA) is a minimum of 36-hour program that can be completed completely online or in the classroom with the flexibility of joining our program in the fall, spring, or summer. Whether you are seeking employment within higher education or are a professional in the field, our program would provide you the opportunity to enhance your career through the knowledge and experience you obtain within our classes.

Is this Program Right for Me?

The SAA Program is appropriate for individuals planning to work in the field of student affairs, regardless of their undergraduate major. Current students active in their undergraduate institution, as well as individuals currently working in the field of higher education, are great candidates for the program. 

The program is designed to prepare thoughtful, compassionate, first-line student and university service administrators equipped with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to begin a career in the variety of settings in which such services are needed. These areas include, but are not limited to admissions, advising, financial aid, orientation, international student services, residence life, student programming, alumni affairs, and development. 

The curriculum is aligned with the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education and requires a minimum of 36 credits.

In-state tuition is offered to residents of contiguous Arkansas states and a limited number of graduate assistantships are available for those students pursuing the degree full-time and planning to reside in Russellville or the surrounding area. 

Admission Requirements

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 contact information for two references.
  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. Define student affairs and how 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 if you will be a distance student.
  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.


SAA Program provides an online option, an in-classroom option, and a mixed online and in-classroom option, making it accessible to individuals, regardless of their location.

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Graduate Assistantship opportunities

There are several opportunities for you to serve as a graduate assistant (GA) while pursing your graduate degree. Serving as a GA will require you work on-campus (20-hours a week). The benefit of serving as a GA is that you gain field experience, your tuition is paid (18-hours an academic year), and you earn a monthly stipend.

The SAA program hires several GAs a year to serve as a Teaching Graduate Assistant (TGA) to serve as an instructor of our first-year student success courses (TECH 1001 and/or TECH 1013). To learn more about the TGA opportunity, please review the position description below:

Teaching Graduate Assistant for SAA Position Description

You may also be interested in serving as a GA within our Division of Student Affairs. You can learn more about their opportunities by reviewing their website below:

Division of Student Affairs Graduate Assistantship Opportunities


Collegiate Advising Certificate

The 15-hour program includes coursework in Student Affairs Administration (SAA), specifically advising, that prepares individuals who are entering the field of collegiate advising in order to expand their knowledge.

Is this certificate right for me?

This certificate will provide a benefit to experienced advisors who wish to enhance their knowledge or will give those with an interest in serving in an advising role the skills and competencies they need to be effective.  The curriculum will also introduce students to advising in broad terms and will give them exposure to the main types of advising that is common in higher education institutions.

Admission Requirements

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.


The certificate is a 15-hour program which is typically completed in two semesters or less and  courses can be completed online. In addition, an advising related practicum experience in higher education is also required. 

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hear from our program alumni

Jospeph Gilgour (2007)

President of Mineral Area College in Park Hills, MO

Story: I am currently president of Mineral Area College in Park Hills, MO.  I can honestly say I would not be where I am today without Arkansas Tech University.  I lived in a rural area with no access to graduate studies and the online program through ATU was perfect for my schedule.  Graduate course work through ATU helped me understand my calling in life and my passion for student success and higher education.

Brennae Benda Wright (2014)

Director of Alumni & Annual Giving Programming at the University of Texas at Dallas.  

Story: I have been at UT Dallas for 6.5 years currently and started in an entry level events coordinator position with our university events team. Through some reorganization at the university, I was able to gain experience in fundraising and alumni relations from which after a couple of years as an events coordinator, I made the switch to an assistant director of the annual giving team. While a part of annual giving, my knowledge of the inner workings of a university (gained from SAA) was vital in fostering relationships across campus with several offices and in turn allowed my team to become better fundraisers for our students and the campus. I have had the opportunity to become the director of annual giving and most recently take on the director of alumni and annual giving programming responsibilities and I attribute much of this growth to my education and ability to both know the different offices and their value to campus and the Dallas-Fort Worth community as well as first-hand understand the importance higher education plays in our society. My education and experience as a graduate assistant with campus life and athletics, while at Tech, I believe gave me an edge to not only succeed in my field, but also lead a team to do the same. 

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