Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Education degree in College Student Development and Administration (CSDA) is a graduate program that focuses on educating and training professionals to work in post-secondary institutions. The CSDA program promotes the integration of theory to practice utilizing a student development emphasis. Students develop a theoretical background and complement their classroom experience with practical work experience. The program is designed to facilitate entry into a variety of college student development and administration positions and to provide current and relevant information through the use of full-time practicing professions who instruct the program. Some of the many areas in which students may choose to specialize their preparations or to seek positions upon graduation include: residence life/housing, admissions/registration, financial aid, academic skills, counseling/testing, placement/career advising, student development, student life, student activities/programs/centers, or similar support services.


Admission to graduate study does not constitute admission to the College Student Development and Administration program. Students are admitted once each year for the full semester. Application deadline is February 1. Procedures for admission to the program are as follows:

  1. Completion of the CSDA Program Application and Personal Data Sheet.
  2. Submission of three letters of recommendation from recent supervisors and/or undergraduate advisers.
  3. Submission of a personal writing sample on a current issue in higher education.
  4. An interview either on campus or by telephone with the admissions committee.

Note: Enrollment in CSDA courses is restricted to graduate students in the CSDA program, unless given special permission by the program director.

Graduate students in the CSDA program have the following options from which to choose to complete their course of study: thesis, seminar paper, or comprehensive examination.

(35 - 38 credits) Credits
SDA 702 Student Development Theory I 2
SDA 703 Advising and Helping Relationships 2
SDA 705 Higher Education and the Student Personnel Function 3
SDA 708 Multicultural Groups, Special Populations and Environmental Interactions 3
SDA 710 Administration in Higher Education 2
SDA 715 Student Development Theory II 3
SDA 730 Legal Issues in Student Affairs 2
SDA 740 Organization Theory and Behavior 3
SDA 761 Research and Evaluation 3-4*
SDA 775 Student Affairs Administrative Practicum 2**
SDA 776 Student Affairs Programming Practicum 2**
SDA 781 College Student Development and Administration Internship 3**
SDA 790 Capstone Seminar 2
SDA 799 Research: Master's Thesis 4
Electives (agreed upon by student and adviser) 3-4
  Total Credits 35-38

* Three credits for those students who choose the thesis or comprehensive examination option; four credits for those students who choose the seminar paper.

**Students with prior/current experience in higher education may have one required experience waived (775, 776, or 781) contingent upon submitting required documentation and receiving program director's approval.