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MEd with an Emphasis in Student Affairs

Application Deadline: 11/28/23

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Program Information

The program of study requires 36 credits spread over 4 semesters for full-time graduate students.  Students who are part-time finish the program in 3 or 4 years and receive advising from the Program Director to develop an individual program of study.

The program has a strong emphasis on developing scholar-practitioners who are well-versed in a range of theoretical and conceptual traditions and are comfortable putting that knowledge into practice. Our nationally-recognized faculty are both scholars and leaders working to advance more equitable and just futures for higher education. Learn more about the program faculty by reviewing our bios.

Graduate Assistantships

Full-time students typically work twenty-hours per week at one of our many graduate assistantships sites across campus. In exchange, students receive full tuition benefits, health insurance, and a stipend (the minimum stipend for 2024-2025 is $24,000 for a nine-month appointment). We work closely with the Student Development and Success Office (SDSO) and assistantship supervisors to ensure that opportunities align with both the learning outcomes of the program, and the future plans of each student. Learn more about past assistantship opportunities, and our partnership with the SDSO.

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At a Glance

Program Emphasis
Higher Education
Credit Hours
36 Credits
Application Deadline
Application Fee
Degree Conferred


Priority Application deadline: Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 4 pm MST. Later applications may be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Please note that at this time our admissions cycle for full-time applicants has closed. We may. however, still be able to consider students applying for part-time enrollment (with no graduate assistantship). Please contact Marilynn Howard ( if you are interested in exploring the part-time option.

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Application Link Goes Live for Fall September 2023
Priority Application Deadline Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Interviews with ELP Faculty (for select applicants) January 2024
Notification of Admissions Decision to M.Ed. Student Affairs Early February 2024
Campus Preview Days Late February (Tentative) 2024 
Virtual Interviews for Graduate Assistantships Late Feb. or early March 2024
Notification of Graduate Assistantship Offers for Division of Student Affairs & HRE March (Tentative) 2024 

Prospective graduate students apply for admission though the University of Utah's SLATE system. Please note that the Master's degree with an emphasis in Student Affairs does not require a GRE test score.

When applying, under the Program Information section on the Slate application, first choose your program of interest, which is Educational Leadership and Policy MED, then, choose your area of emphasis, which is Student Affairs.

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

  • Resume that highlights professional and leadership experience.
  • Statement of Purpose (250 words or less) –  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.
  • Situational Essay (500 words or less):  what is the role of higher education and student affairs practitioners, leaders, and policymakers in addressing educational inequities and injustices in educational systems? 
  • Full-time 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 semesters. Students commence coursework in the fall of the academic year.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation - One letter must be from someone who can attest to your academic work, (i.e. professor or other faculty member.) Other letters may be from someone with knowledge of your potential as a professional in student affairs (i.e. recent/former supervisor, faculty, advisor and/or mentor).
  • Transcripts are requested by the Slate system. Make sure you upload all transcripts from any college experience. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable during the application phase, though you will be asked to submit official copies prior to the start of classes.

Note: We will reach out to all admitted students about graduate assistantship opportunities. While you may want to keep an eye on the Assistantships website to see what positions are available, you will not be required to identify desired placements until after admission.

The priority deadline for application materials is Tuesday, November 28, 2023 at 4:00pm (MST). After the priority deadline, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all application materials are provided on or prior to the application deadline.

(Note:  In most cases, students apply for graduate assistant opportunities at the same time as they apply for admission. Click here for updates.)

If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact our Academic Coordinator, Marilyn Howard at 801.581.6714 or



Program of Study (36 credits total)

Higher Education Core

  • ELP 6500 – Sociocultural Foundations of U.S. Higher Education
  • ELP 6570 Higher Education Finance
  • ELP 6640 Special Topics: Contemporary Issues in Diversity in Higher Education
  • ELP 6520 Leadership for Social Justice in U.S. Higher Education

Student Affairs Core

  • ELP 6620  College Student Development Theory
  • ELP 6550  Student Affairs Administration,
  • ELP 6560  College Student Retention Theory
  • ELP  6610 Introduction to Student  Affairs Assessment
  • ELP 6470 Individual & Group Intervention in Higher Education


  • ELP Elective Course (within or beyond the department)

Scholar-Practioner Experience

  • ELP 6711  Internship Class ELP 6560
  • ELP 6720  Capstone Seminar


  • Internships: Students are required to complete an internship related to their area of career focus. Internships are available in local higher education institutions as well as through professional organizations.
  • Capstone: In the final Capstone Seminar, students will develop a scholarly paper focusing on practice and scholarship with recommendations for policy, practice, and future research.  

All courses in the M.Ed. program are offered mid-late afternoon until early evening.

Info Sessions

Upcoming Information Sessions!

Looking to learn more about our MEd program? Join Dr. Watts and current students at one of our upcoming information sessions.

Virtual Sessions:

  • Monday, October 2nd. 5pm MT. Register here
  • Friday, November 3rd, 4pm MT. Register here



Dr. Paul Rubin

Marilynn Howard - Graduate Student Coordinator

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