Application process

A page within Student Affairs Administration, Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.)

Virtual Information Sessions

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M.S.Ed. Virtual Information Sessions: Click here

  • Wednesday, November 29 at 7:00 pm (CST)
  • Monday, December 11 at 7:30 pm (CST)

Student Affairs Administration, Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.)

Applications open on November 1, 2023 and the priority consideration deadline is February 1, 2024. The application process takes some time to complete, so we encourage folks to begin the process well in advance of the Feb 1 date, if possible.  We continue to accept applications after Feb 1 until all cohort spots are filled. See this overview of the application process.

To meet our field experience requirement, students must work at least half-time in higher education/student affairs while enrolled in our degree program. Those who are not already working in higher education / student affairs typically apply for graduate assistantship / internship (GA/GSI) positions at UW La Crosse or our partner institutions to meet this field experience requirement.  GA/GSI interviews are embedded in our overall application process, so no separate or additional applications are required. 

New cohorts start classes each summer (late May) and fall (early September). In addition to our asynchronous online program (where students typically take 2 courses each summer, fall, spring - ideal for those working full-time), we have our campus-based blended programs (blend of in-person, live virtual, and online courses) for those in graduate positions at UW La Crosse or our partner institutions.

Those who wish to apply as non-degree seeking students (to take a course or two) may contact our M.S.Ed. Program Director at  Those who wish to apply for our master's degree program can keep reading below for more information.

Admission Requirements

We seek students with a variety of personal, academic, and professional backgrounds and interests. Experiences in social justice, equity, inclusion, or diversity are valued. Applicants should have:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • An undergraduate cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 2.85 on a 4.00 scale
    • or a GPA of 3.00 in the last half of all undergraduate work; 
    • or a GPA of 3.00 for no less than 12 semester credits of graduate study at another accredited graduate school.

Students who do not meet the GPA requirement are still encouraged to apply. GPA is only one indicator of a student's potential; the department considers many other factors. The GRE is NOT required.

How to apply

We encourage you to make contact with our program director to introduce yourself and ask any questions you might have about the program. This contact also helps to alert us to your interest in the program. Complete the form below to get the process started!

Becki Elkins  Profile of Becki Elkins

Associate Professor
345C Morris Hall

Specialty areas:

Higher education organization and governance; higher education history; student affairs law and policy; assessment of student learning and program efficiency; social class identity; and college students in recovery.

  • Follow the link to the UW System application. Register as a new user, unless you already have an account.
  • The email you enter on this application will be used to send you important information related to completing your graduate school application. You should use an email address that you monitor on a regular basis. 
  • There is a $56 UW System application fee, which you can pay online at the time of application. Alternatively, you can send a check (payable to UWL) to the address below.  *Application fee assistance is available to McNair Scholars. 

Graduate Admissions Office
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601

*This program also offers application fee grants to current Americorps volunteers and those with severe financial hardships. Please see the program application for more information.

NOTE: The UW System application may ask you to upload a resume or submit a personal statement, upload unofficial transcripts, or share information that helps establish whether you are a WI resident for reporting purposes. Please feel free to SKIP the resume and personal statement sections, as you'll upload those and other materials in the Applicant Dashboard.  

Watch your email

Following UW System Application submission, you will receive two emails.

The first email is an invitation to your WINGS Student Center and includes information about your NETID/WINGS Username.  Access your WINGS Student Center to check the status of your application fee and transcripts.

The second email provides login information for your Applicant Dashboard. This email will be sent within 3 business days of submission of your UW system application; you may need to check your junk/spam email folders.  You will use your Applicant Dashboard to submit the supplemental application materials described below (including reference requests) for this program. If you have problems with the Applicant Dashboard, please contact

WINGS (example) 

Applicant Dashboard (example)

WINGS example App Dashboard example

Request that ALL previously attended institutions of higher education send official transcripts to the UWL Admissions Office. This includes college level courses taken while in high school. If you enrolled in fewer than 10 undergraduate semester credits at an institution, you do not have to send an official transcript unless the courses completed are prerequisites for the graduate program. Additional transcripts may be required at the university or graduate program's discretion. All graduate transcripts must be submitted. UWL accepts transcripts mailed directly from the issuing institution(s) or through an electronic secure document sending service. Transcripts should be sent to:

UWL Admissions Office
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601

  • Applicants can check transcript status via their WINGS account.
  • Applicants who are current UWL undergraduate students/alumni do not need to request formal transcripts for UWL coursework. Admissions can access your UWL transcript.
  • It may take a week or more for transcripts to be received/uploaded to your application file. Please plan accordingly in order to meet application deadlines. 

All supplemental application materials and information listed below will be submitted via your Applicant Dashboard. You will receive an email invitation to login to your Applicant Dashboard within 3 business days of UW System Application submission. Contact with questions.

Please upload a resume (1-2 pages) to the Applicant Dashboard. Your resume, ideally in an MS Word or PDF format, should include your educational background and relevant experience. If you also uploaded a resume as part of the UW System application, please share it again in the Applicant Dashboard.

Please upload a personal statement to the Applicant Dashboard. Your statement, ideally in an MS Word or PDF format, should address both of the following prompts in 2-4 pages (total, not per question):

  1. Describe an important issue in higher education and its effect on students.  
  2. Explain why you want to earn a master’s degree in student affairs administration and why you are specifically interested in the SAA program at UWL.

In response to the second question, explain why you are interested in campus-based blended or online courses (and if online, whether you prefer asynchronous, synchronous, or a blend). If you are seeking a graduate assistantship or internship, explain which areas / campuses interest you most.

In the UW System Application, you will be prompted for an essay. In that application, you're welcome to share "I will upload my statement to the Applicant Dashboard."  If you already added an essay to your UW System Application, please still upload a personal statement to the Applicant Dashboard, making sure you respond to the questions above.

Two letters of recommendation addressing your academic and/or professional background and potential are required. 

You will submit your recommendation request(s) using the Applicant Dashboard by providing the name and email address for each reference. The system will automatically send the reference an email, including a link through which their recommendation should be uploaded to your application file. Your reference(s) should receive the emailed link within one business day of your request.

It is your responsibility to notify your reference(s) of the emailed request (they may need to check spam/junk folders) and provide information regarding deadlines for completion of the recommendation. 

You will be able to monitor the status of your recommendation requests, resend requests, and change reference information on Applicant Dashboard. Please contact with questions.

The 2024 program application allows you to share additional information, such as your preferred course format(s), and - for those seeking graduate assistant or intern positions - preferred campus / functional area. Please complete and upload to the Applicant Dashboard. 


For 2023 admissions, we will invite those who move past the first round of review based on application materials alone to participate in our Virtual Visit and/or Virtual Interviews.

  • Virtual Interviews are primarily for students already working full-time in the field, but also to accommodate those unable to attend our Virtual Visit (below). These 1-hour group interviews include time with faculty and either current students or recent alumni. 
  • Virtual Visit is planned for Thursday, February 16, 2023, from 11a-2p central time
    • Designed for those seeking graduate assistantship (GA) and graduate student internship (GSI) positions, though all are welcome
    • Includes program interviews in small groups with faculty and current students
    • Allows students to confirm GA/GSI positions they want to be considered for, so we can schedule GA/GSI virtual interviews to occur late Feb - early Mar.
    • Candidates can add/delete/change positions of interest at the Virtual Visit, and will be asked to rank order all interested areas after their final GA/GSI interview.

Please direct any questions about the process to or the M.S.Ed. Program Director, Dr. Becki Elkins at

If you would like to arrange a campus visit, contact us at

* Special note regarding F-1/J-1 Visas: UW-La Crosse (UWL) is unable to issue immigration documents for an F-1/J-1 visa to international students in either the online or blended versions of this program [8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)]. International students must have a valid visa that permits online study in the U.S. If you have further questions please contact UWL's International Education & Engagement (IEE) at We welcome applications from international students interested in completing the program online, from outside the US. 

In addition to the application requirements listed above, international applications will need to submit the following items:

  • Transcript information: As noted above, official, certified or attested transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended must be submitted. Additionally, documents issued in languages other than English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
  • Proof of English language proficiency: Non-native English speakers must submit evidence of one the following language proficiency requirements for admission:
    • TOEFL score (within last 2 years) of at least 79 iBT or 550 pBT - Institution Code: 1914
    • IELTS score (within last 2 years) of at least 6.0
    • Duolingo English Test (DET) score of at least 110
    • 60 PTE score
    • A bachelor’s or higher degree from UWL or another approved institution where English is the sole language of instruction.
      • Degree must be earned within two years of expected enrollment in this UWL graduate program.
      • Applicant must have attended the institution for a minimum of two years.
  • Proof of funding: Submit a bank statement and completed Affidavit of Support form.
    • Applicants who require F-2 visas for dependents (spouse and/or children) must submit additional proof of funding and passport copies for each dependent.

  • Passport information: Submit a photocopy of the photo page of your passport. 

Please contact International Admissions at if you have questions.  Each of the items listed in this section "Additional requirements for international applicants" can be sent directly to the UWL Admissions Office.

UWL Admissions Office
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601


It may take a number of weeks to complete a graduate program application.  Specifically, you need to allow sufficient time for transcripts and recommendations to be received. Please plan accordingly.

Below are the deadlines for our admission cycle. 

  • November 1, 2023 - Applications become available.
  • January, 2024 - Virtual interviews may begin for those already working at least half-time in higher education.
  • February 1, 2024 - Applications received by this date receive priority consideration. (Applications should be started at least a week before then to allow for processing time). Applications received after this date will continue to be accepted and reviewed until all cohort spots are filled.
  • February-March - Academic program and graduate assistant/intern (GA/GSI) interviews occur. 
    • The Virtual Visit (academic program interviews) is scheduled for 11am-2pm on Thursday, February 15, 2024.
    • Select candidates seeking graduate assistant/intern positions will then interview for GA/GSI roles from Feb. 16 - Mar. 4.  
  • March 17, 2024 - Our first round of offers will be sent no later than this date. Students seeking to start summer classes have until March 30 to respond; students seeking to start fall classes have until April 15 to respond.
  • Late May - Summer classes begin for those in online cohorts.
  • Early September - Fall classes begin for those in our campus-based blended cohort.