Educational Administration - Student Affairs Administration

Educational Administration - Student Affairs Administration Master of Arts (M.A.)

Program Length

2 years




On Campus

GRE/Entrance Exam

Not Required

Application Process

Learning the research interests and expertise areas of potential faculty advisors, particularly at the doctoral level, is an important consideration for prospective students. We encourage prospective applicants to learn about faculty advisors via the links below and through the “Meet our Team” link on the “About EDAD” tab.” Based on capacity, the following faculty members serve as advisors in this program:

Toward the Future of Student Affairs

College students today, the subjects they learn, and the learning environment are continually changing. Student affairs professionals must not only be familiar with promising practices for supporting students today, but they must be prepared to visualize the future and create programs, services, and policies for that evolving reality. The Master of Arts (MA) in educational administration with a specialization in student affairs administration offers students the opportunity to grow their understanding of various student experiences and be the future leaders of the profession. They learn approaches to advising students, planning programs, and developing policies through a deep exploration of current literature, applying theory to practical situations, and implementing solutions that account for the diversity of the student body and the importance of equity in education.

The Nebraska Difference

We’ve built a program aligned with CAS Standards and ACPA/NASPA competencies. Students connect their own lived experiences in college and professional experiences with a deep understanding of the research on college student experiences and the higher education environment. Students complete a paid assistantship, which is a learning lab where students make meaning of current research discussed in the classroom through hands-on experience in offices across campus. The cohort structure allows students to develop strong relationships with each other and full-time program faculty.

We prepare the future leaders in student affairs by mentoring how to serve a wide diversity of college students and how to implement policies and practices in higher education to serve the full breadth of students. We do this in part by encouraging students to complete original research on their interests. We call it The Nebraska Difference.

Our Unique Program


  • Students learn from faculty who conduct and share leading research on contemporary challenges and opportunities in higher education. These scholars have devoted their careers to teaching, researching, discovering, and sharing what works in higher education administration.
  • Students also learn from faculty with decades of combined experience as higher education administrators and leaders who have lived and breathed the work of directors, coordinators, and supervisors at a variety of higher education institutions.

Courses and Schedule

  • Full time students take this program while completing a part time assistantship that pays tuition, health benefits, and a small stipend.
  • Courses meet in person daily either from 2-5 pm or 4-7pm.
  • Student complete this program in two years.

Individual Attention, Support, & Hands-on Learning

  • Students apply student development theory and other current research to their unique work environments while building supportive relationships with faculty and colleagues. Students leave the program with an expanded network of support, connections, and perspective.
  • Multiple opportunities to grow through additional learning opportunities such as the Women in Educational Leadership Conference (WELC), the Critical Issues Forum, and the Sybouts Student Research Symposium.

From Day One

  • With a thorough background in theory and experience with its application, our graduates are Day-One-Ready for student affairs positions like multicultural affairs, student involvement, residence life, academic advising, campus recreation, career services, and many more.

Launching Your Journey

Program Curriculum

The student affairs administration specialization is an on-campus program, beginning in the fall semester, designed for students that will be enrolled full-time for two consecutive academic years and hold graduate assistantships

This program is a unique, two-year (full-time students) master's preparation program for student affairs professionals. Students complete and defend a thesis (Option 1) or complete six credit hours of electives (Option 3) and a capstone.

If accepted you receive:

  • Close interactions and mentor relationships formed with professors
  • The tight bond you have with your cohort and the others in the program, built-in friends and support system from the start

Students who are awarded a graduate assistantship receive:

  • Full tuition waiver and stipend
  • Majority of premiums of a comprehensive health insurance program covered

  • EDAD 879 Introduction to Student Affairs Current professional issues related to the organization and administration of student personnel within higher education. Exploration of research literature, some field experiences, and in-depth examination of special topics.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 842 College Students in America This course is designed to provide students an understanding of a broad range of facts and issues pertaining to undergraduate college students in America.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 800 Foundations of Research & Methods of Inquiry in Educational Administration A written report is required. Investigation and analysis of current problems in education administration and supervision.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 880 Student Affairs Seminar Student Affairs Program cohort members meet to discuss and review current issues in order to become more familiar with special topics related to professional practice and best practice in the field of student affairs.
    • Credit Hours: 1
  • EDAD 843 Counseling Principles for Educational Leaders This is an introductory level counseling course designed specifically for educational administrators. It is not intended to prepare individuals to become professional counseling practitioners. It offers a broad overview of counsel principles. This is a theory-to-practice course.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 840 College Student Development Introduction to human development theories; psychosocial, cognitive, and structural theories, with a focus on learning to use theory to improve skills in working with students.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 838 Program Evaluation and Assessment of Student Affairs Review of a variety resources used to evaluate programs and assess student learning in student affairs programs. Presentation of theory and practice with various tools for the assessment and evaluation of student affairs programs.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • OR
  • Thesis students take another research course with advisor permission.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 998: Student Affairs Internship
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 910 The Higher Education Environment Universities are adaptive, living systems interacting with their environment. Equips participants with the skills required to analyze and assess the environment of higher education institutions. Environment concepts, components and structures are studied together with analysis techniques and methodological approaches to future.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 836 Leadership Management and Supervision in Student Affairs Introduction to classic and contemporary administrative theory as applied to educational organizations. The theoretical nature of the course content is relevant to those with an interest in a broad variety of educational institutions. General organizational theory, organizational models, historical schools of administrative theory, authority, power, motivation, and leadership. Frequently students are involved in studying problems of practice as a means of testing theory.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 899 Master’s Thesis (option 1) OR Elective in consultation with advisor (option 3)
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 891 Student Affairs Capstone
    • Credit Hours: 1-2
  • EDAD 925 Law and Higher Ed Examination of legal principles applicable to higher education institutions. Overview of the legal system, higher education institutions as legal entities, authority for governance and administration, faculty rights and responsibilities, student rights and responsibilities, institutional and personal liability, and other selected issues.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 832 Higher Education in America History and development of America's colleges and universities and a study of some recent trends and problems in higher education.
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • EDAD 899 Master’s Thesis (option 1) OR Elective in consultation with advisor (option 3)
    • Credit Hours: 3
  • Complete a capstone if not writing a thesis.

Frequently Asked Questions

"Honestly, I would like to give a huge kudos to the EDAD faculty and staff for all that they did for my cohort and myself. They had so many plans as far as bringing in people who have gone through the job search process as well as talking about life after graduation. It was a huge learning experience both in and out of the classroom. Each day I was figuring myself out as a professional due to course work, classroom conversations, and my assistantship. Then COVID happened. The professors did everything that they could to provide resources for us while also making adjustments of their own. They truly have our best interest at heart."

Ashely Swift, Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life at Mississippi State University

"Coming from a smaller size undergraduate institution, I was a little overwhelmed with the size of UNL and how things worked differently from what I was use to. I like that my professors especially Dr. Rumann and Dr. Bondi helped with my adjust to UNL by always being available to discuss concerns that I had or just being that listening ear. I love how open EDAD is to new ideas to use for future programs and encouraging graduate students to step outside of their comfort-zone."

Mya' Lesley-Drakeford, Coordinator of Diversity & Multicultural Retention at Lamar University

Application Process

The application deadline for Fall admission is January 15

Faculty members are experienced administrators, curriculum specialists, and college administrators who are dedicated to preparing students for rewarding and fulfilling careers in educational administration.

The M.A. program offers students the opportunity to give special attention to their interest in Student Affairs Administration through on-campus study.

Students admitted to the program with a specialization in student affairs have the opportunity to apply for assistantships through various offices on campus.

Graduate Admission Requirements
  • Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • One set of transcripts.
  • If the student’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.
  • If International: upload copies of all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certificates, diplomas, and degrees plus certified English translations.
    • Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certified records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certified copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.
  • If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
  • Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.
Major Admission Requirements

The following materials should also be submitted by January 15:

  • Personal Statement: Address why you are applying to this program, explicitly state three things you hope to gain from the program. (max 500 words or 3 minutes)
  • Respond to one of the following questions (max 500 words or 3 minutes)
    • A) One purpose of the program is to prepare educators to support a wide variety of students. What are some specific things you have done to create a positive and equitable environment among people you work with or in your community?
    • B) Describe one meaningful experience where what you knew previously was challenged. Share what you learned about yourself and others from that experience.
  • Resume
  • Review current faculty and their reserach areas.
  • Applicants may be contacted for a virtual interview in late January or early February to help us with admission decisions.
  • Note: We will have a virtual informational welcome on February 25, 2025 for applicants are accepted into the program. Also, visit days and graduate assistantship interviews will be March 3-6 for virtual events and March 7, 2025 for in-person.

*For the personal statement, essay, and additional questions a written statement, video, or image can be provided as the method of response. If you chose to provide an image, you may want to include a 1- page statement or a 1-minute video explaining what it means to you.