Student Affairs in Higher Education Master of Science (M.S.) in Student Affairs in Higher Education

Requirements and Curriculum


You are required to complete 45 graduate credit hours. During the course of study, there is one practicum experience that challenges you to apply learned skills to different professional settings. You and your advisor work together to choose an appropriate practicum setting.

Throughout the program you compile a portfolio that depicts professional competencies gained and its contents will be assessed as your final project of the program. The comprehensive portfolio includes items such as:

  • A personal statement on your philosophy
  • Values and goals as they relate to the student affairs profession
  • A vita or resume
  • Reflection essays on your learning, development, performance, and academic assessments related to professional competencies established in the field of student affairs
  • A professional development plan

You contribute to the portfolio throughout the program, culminating in a final defense in your last semester.


The SAHE degree comprises a variety of courses introducing you to all facets of the profession. Courses are offered Fall, Spring, and Summer, so you can choose how many and which courses fit your work and family schedule.

It is recommended that EDRM 663 is taken in the first semester of classes. You are required to take at least six credits worth of electives during the course of your studies. Most graduate courses offered through Colorado State University Online qualify as electives for your degree, though all are subject to advisor approval.

Sample Curriculum Timeline

Three-Year Completion*

Year One


Year Two

  • EDHE 677 – Law in Student Affairs (3 cr.)
  • EDRM 664 – Autoethnography & Reflective Practice II (1 cr.)
    (if not taken in spring, take in summer)
  • EDRM 665 – Qualitative Methods in Student Affairs (2 cr.)

Year Three

  • EDHE 678 – Capstone in Student Affairs (2 cr.)
    Offered first 8 weeks of semester.
  • EDRM 664B – Autoethnography & Reflective Practice II (1 cr.)
  • Elective credits or additional practicum (recommended)

Practicum Courses

Two credits of EDUC 686A are required. Enrollment in practicum is not permitted during the first two semesters.

Elective Courses

A minimum of six elective credits are required. Students may enroll in elective courses during any semester. Please note that courses may be cancelled due to low enrollment. Courses from other graduate programs may also be used as elective options. One additional practicum (equivalent to two credits) may count toward fulfilling the elective requirement. Please consult with your advisor.

* Students who need a longer timeline to degree should work with their advisor on an appropriate course plan.

** Course sequencing does not meet minimum 5-credit requirement for financial aid. Students should consider enrolling in practicum (EDUC 686A) or elective credit during these semesters.

What Next?

- Footer - Landing