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Master's Degree with an Emphasis in Student Affairs

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2021 Admission Process
M.Ed. Student Affairs Degree Program

(updated September 9, 2020)

ELP operates one application cycle for admission to this degree program for fall term.  All admission applications are due on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021 by 4 PM (MST).

**For the 2021 admission cycle, ELP will accept applications from individuals who are interested in a full-time graduate experience or a part-time experience.  Students who are in the full-time cohort are often on a graduate assistantship, fellowship, or scholarship.  These financial resources require students to be enrolled full-time in the degree program and do not offer tuition benefits for summer.

Students who enroll as part-time are often working full-time in a position that offers experience in student affairs and higher education.  Due to the amount of time spent in full-time employment, these students prefer to enroll in a part-time course schedule that extends their time to degree. Program Director, Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski, works with all students to accomplish their graduation goal.

Graduate Assistantship Note:  Students apply for graduate assistant opportunities at the same time as they apply for admission, except for Housing & Residential Education (HRE) assistantships. An update of U of U 2021-22 graduate assistantship opportunities will be available by Nov. 15, 2020.

These opportunities change every year.  Previously ELP has had graduates serve in assistantships in Career and Professional Services, The Bennion Center, various resource centers, Student Support Services, Campus Union Administration, Dean of Students Office, University Student Apartments, Student Orientation and Transition Services, and Utah Presents.  The assistantship program at Utah has great variety for future scholar-practitioners!

**HRE GA process is handled separately.  Learn more here:

Application Information & Deadline:  All applications must be received by Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 4:00 pm, MST.

Applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and selected applicants will be invited to interview via SKYPE, Zoom, or phone with faculty in early February.  After faculty interviews, admissions decisions will be announced and admitted students will be invited to Campus Preview Days that occur between late February to mid-March.

Campus Preview Days includes an overview of the Master’s degree with an emphasis in Student Affairs program, interaction with current students, graduates, and faculty, interviewing for graduate assistantships, and an opportunity to learn more about the U of U campus and community.  The second day of Preview Days will consist of interviews for graduate assistantships with Directors from the Division of Student Affairs, off-campus offerings, and HRE. Reminder: Applicants are asked to include graduate assistantship interests that are listed on the “Graduate Assistantship” website.

Applicants not able to travel to campus for Preview Days may schedule graduate assistantship interviews through Skype, Zoom, or a similar video program. Detailed information about the interview itinerary will be available in 2021 when invitations are extended to selected applicants.

*Selected applicants who are only pursuing a graduate assistant positions in HRE will receive an invitation from ELP to interview with the faculty in early February.  If admitted, ELP and HRE Personnel will offer further detail on graduate assistant interviews during Campus Preview Days.




Apply Yourself Link Goes Live for Fall 2020 September 2020
Application Deadline For All January 7, 4:00pm, MST, 2021
Interviews with ELP Faculty February 2021
Notification of Admissions Decision to M.Ed. Student Affairs February 2021
Campus Preview Days Late February or early March (Tentative)
In-person Interviews for Graduate Assistantships Late February or early March (Tentative)
Notification of Graduate Assistantship Offers for Division of Student Affairs & HRE Late March 2021

Application Instructions

Prospective graduate students apply for admission through the University of Utah Apply Yourself (AY) online application system (see link below). Please note that the master’s degree with an emphasis in student affairs program does not require a GRE test score.

Under the Program Information section on the AY application, first choose your program of interest, which is Educational Leadership & Policy MED. Then choose your area of emphasis – Student Affairs.

Under the Academic Interests and Background section you will need to upload the following documents:

1.      Resume that highlights professional and leadership experience.

2.      Statement of Purpose – In no more than 250 words, describe how your educational pathway has influenced your future professional and educational goals. How do you see the M.Ed. Student Affairs degree program in the department of Educational Leadership & Policy helping you to achieve these goals? (Provide specific examples that relate to the degree program and department.)

3.      Situational Essay: In no more than 500 words, what is the role of higher education and student affairs practitioners, leaders, and policymakers in addressing educational inequities and injustices in educational systems?

4.      Financial Support through Graduate Assistantships -- Applicants who enroll as full-time students are eligible to apply for graduate assistantships. Please indicate if you are interested in a graduate assistantship and communicate your top five choices from the list posted at “Graduate Assistantship” Tab on the M.Ed. Student Affairs website. This information should be emailed directly to Marilynn Howard, Academic Coordinator –  

a.      Visit the Graduate Assistantship website for a description of available graduate assistantship positions outside of HRE for Fall 2021.  it will be posted by November 15, 2020.
b.      Visit this link for assistantships in HRE:  

5.      Full or Part-time -- Please indicate whether you plan to enroll as a full- or part-time student.  The M.Ed. with an emphasis in student affairs can be completed as a full-time student in two academic years that include classes in the fall and spring semester. Required classes will not be offered in the summer term. Students commence coursework in the fall of the academic year.

6.      Letters of Recommendation -- Three recommendation letters are required as part of the ELP recommendation process. One must be from someone who can attest to your academic work, such as a professor or other faculty member. The other two may be from a previous supervisor, a colleague, or someone with knowledge of your potential as a professional in student affairs and this might include a recent/former supervisor, faculty, advisor and/or mentor.  Learn more about recommendation letters:        

All application materials are due by January 7, 2021 at 4:00 pm. MST.  Applications that are incomplete at the deadline will not be considered.  Applicants have the responsibility to ensure that all application materials are provided on or prior to application deadline.

If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact our Academic Coordinator, Marilynn Howard, at 801-581-6714 or

Apply Yourself Application Link






Last Updated: 10/9/20