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

See this overview of our 2019-2020 process to learn more about the typical application process. We typically admit students just once per year.

Applications open October 1 and the priority consideration deadline is February 1.

Students must work at least half-time in higher education/student affairs while enrolled in our courses.  

The online cohort is primarily for those already working at least half-time in higher education/student affairs, seeking a part-time student experience. New cohorts start each summer term (late May). Online students who are not yet working in the field can apply for graduate internship positions with our partner institutions.

The on-campus cohort is primarily for those seeking a full-time student experience with a part time graduate assistant or intern position.  Students apply for graduate assistant positions as part of the general admissions process.  

Applications for Summer 2021 (online) and Fall 2021 (on-campus) will open in October 2020. Those who wish to apply as non-degree seeking students should contact our Program Director at tsvoboda@uwlax.edu.  

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
345 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 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 financial hardships.  Please contact the program director for more information.

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 gradstudies@uwlax.edu.

WINGS (example) 

Applicant Dashboard (example)

WINGS example.png App Dashboard example.png
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 gradstudies@uwlax.edu 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.

Personal statement expanding section

Please upload a personal statement (2-4 pages, double-spaced) to the Applicant Dashboard.  Your statement, ideally in an MS Word or PDF format, should address the following prompts:

  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 the on-campus or online program.  If you are seeking a graduate assistantship or internship, explain which positions interest you most.

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 gradstudies@uwlax.edu with questions.

Program application form expanding section

The link below is from our 2019-2020 application season.  A new program application form will be available by October 1, 2020 for those seeking to begin online in May 2021 or on-campus in September 2021.

The program application allows you to share additional information, such as your preferred name, interview availability, and position interests.  Please download, complete, and upload with other application materials in the Applicant Dashboard. 


Selection process expanding section

In the past, students have been invited to interview with us at:

  • Visit Day at UW-La Crosse on the 2nd Thursday in February
  • Oshkosh Placement Exchange, or 
  • Virtually, as arranged between candidates, faculty and, if applicable, assistantship or internship providers.

Visit Day has include both academic program interviews and assistantship or internship interviews. The Oshkosh Placement Exchange (OPE) is designed mostly, but not exclusively, for those seeking positions in residence life. At OPE, we will conduct information sessions and program interviews for those who may be applying for positions at any number of institutions.

Students are not required to attend Visit Day(s) or OPE in order to be considered for our program, as we will conduct interviews virtually, as needed.

We do not yet know if the COVID-19 pandemic will prevent us from any on-campus visit programs during the 2020-2021 academic year for Summer 2021 or Fall 2021 admission to the online and on-campus programs, respectively.  More information will be posted after the application opens again on October 1, 2020.

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

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  intladmissions@uwlax.edu 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 become available
  • January 2021 – Virtual interviews begin for those applying to online cohort
  • February 1, 2021 – Applications received by this date receive priority consideration.
  • 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.  
  • April 2021 - Students will receive offers to start our online program in May 2021 or our on-campus program in September 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.