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

Applications opened on October 1, 2020, and the priority consideration deadline is February 1, 2021. 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. And, GA/GSI interviews are embedded in our overall application process.  

New cohorts start each summer (late May) and fall term (early September). In addition to our asynchronous online program (where students take 2 courses each summer, fall, spring - ideal for those working full-time), we are debuting a new blended/flex program (blend of in-person, live virtual, and online courses) for those in graduate positions at UW La Crosse or our partner institutions starting Fall 2021.

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 degree programs 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

Contact the graduate program director expanding section

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!

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

Tori Svoboda  Profile of Tori Svoboda  Meet with me  Office hours

Associate Professor
345F Morris Hall

Specialty areas:

intersections of gender, racial/ethnic, and social class identities; orientation, transition and retention programs; program assessment; budget management; supervision; social justice education

Submit a UW System application expanding section
  • 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 tuition 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
Submit transcripts expanding section

Request that ALL previously attended institutions of higher education send official transcripts to the UWL Admissions Office.  This includes transcripts for courses taken for college credit during high school. 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.
Log in to Applicant Dashboard to submit supplemental application materials expanding section

All supplemental application materials listed below (including recommendation requests) 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.

Resume expanding section

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.

Personal statement expanding section

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 on-campus 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.

Recommendation letters expanding section

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.

Program application form expanding section

The 2021 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. 


Selection process expanding section

In the past, we have conducted virtual individual interviews for those already working in the field and held an on-campus Visit Day where we conducted both academic program AND graduate assistant (GA) / graduate student intern (GSI) interviews. Given the uncertainties of the pandemic, we are:

  1. Moving all selection activities to a virtual format, and spreading GA/GSI interviews out over a period of 2 weeks to avoid online exhaustion
  2. Asking students seeking GA/GSI roles about general interests in our program application, rather than asking them to pick specific jobs at the time of application.  We will have a more complete list of confirmed/anticipated positions in late January 2021, and will ask candidates to confirm their interests before scheduling GA/GSI interviews.

For 2021 admissions, we will invite those who move past the first round of review based on application materials alone to participate in Virtual Visit Day and/or Virtual Interviews.

  • Virtual Interviews for students already working full-time in the field may begin as early as January 2021.
    • Includes time with faculty and recent alumni, typically 45 minutes
  • Virtual Visit Day is planned for Thursday, February 18, 2021, from 11a-1p 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 Feb 22 - Mar 5.

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

Additional requirements for international students expanding section

In addition to the application requirements listed above, international applicants 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
    • 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


Below are the deadlines for our next admission cycle.  

  • October 2020 - Applications became available
  • January 2021 – Virtual interviews began for those already working at least half-time in higher education.
  • February 1, 2021 – Applications received by this date receive priority consideration.  (NOTE:  To meet this deadline, we encourage you to start the UW System application a week earlier, so you have ample time to gain access to the Applicant Dashboard)
  • February-March, 2021 - Select candidates are invited to interview for the program and, if they aren't already working in the field, related assistantships or internships. 
    • Virtual Visit Day is planned for February 18, 2021, from 11am-1pm.  We invite select candidates seeking graduate assistant/intern positions to this event, where we conduct program interviews and confirm GA/intern interviews that will occur from Feb. 20 - Mar 5.  More details will be shared with those invited to participate.
    • Select candidates who are already working in higher education, or those seeking grad positions who cannot be available for Visit Day, may be scheduled for 45-minute virtual interviews that include one faculty member and a recent alum.
  • March 15, 2021 - Students can begin to receive offers to start summer classes on May 24, 2021 or fall classes on September 7, 2021.
  • ALL application materials must be received by the deadline.
    • Please be aware that it may take a number of weeks to complete a graduate program application.  Specifically, you will want to allow additional time for the receipt of transcripts and recommendations. Please plan accordingly.