Teacher Education and Higher Education

Higher Education, M.Ed., concentration in Student Affairs Administration

Graduate Program infobutton

The M.Ed. in Higher Education (Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education—SAAHE) is a 42-credit hour, cohort-based program with a focus on Student Affairs and Student Learning and Development and a pedagogical approach/philosophy of theory-to-practice and classroom engagement. Our program is a residential (face-to-face) program designed to be completed in 2 years as a full-time student (however, we do have part-time students who typically complete our program within 3-4 years, depending on how they design their curriculum). Our program is designed to prepare entry-level professionals to work in student affairs and student services at higher education institutions. We do not currently have any concentrations within our curriculum. The curriculum closely follows the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies as well as the CAS Standards for graduate professional preparation.

We are a diverse community of scholar-researchers, leaders, and educators who have joined together in order to develop effective and principled leadership, to promote transformative learning, and to advance and disseminate cutting-edge knowledge that addresses problems of theory and practice in the fields of higher education and student affairs. The M.Ed. in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education prepares entry-level college student educators to implement holistic, transformative, and integrated learning experiences in colleges, universities, and other postsecondary settings.


Program Contact

Dr. Brad Johnson


Recent News from SAAHE

Program Overview

Refer to the UNCG Course Catalog for specific descriptions on each of the following courses.

Fall Year One

  • HED 601: Foundations of College Student Affairs Administration
  • HED 602: Student Development Theory in Higher Education
  • HED 603: Effects of College on Students
  • Supporting Course (If Needed)

Spring Year One

  • HED 609: Student Development Theory II
  • CED 613: Helping Relationships for Non-Majors
  • Supporting/Elective Course required
  • Supporting/Elective Course (If Needed)

Fall Year Two

  • HED 610: Legal Issues in Higher Education
  • HED 663: Planning Programs in Postsecondary Education
  • HED 690: Internship & Professionalism in Student Affairs
  • Supporting/Elective Course

Spring Year Two

  • HED 606: Organization & Administration of Student Affairs
  • HED 608: Leadership in Higher Education
  • HED 612: Current Issues in Higher Education (Capstone)

Comprehensive Portfolio

There is no thesis requirement or comprehensive exam for SAAHE. Previously, the capstone requirement was a comprehensive exam; however, the faculty redesigned the capstone requirement for SAAHE to better reflect and assess the learning process that occurs during graduate education.

As a result, a portfolio system, based on the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies was designed. Artifacts (products) for a student’s portfolio are developed during the course of the curriculum and is reviewed by faculty during the semester of graduation.

Clearance of a student’s portfolio serves as the capstone event to recommending a student for graduation.

Application Process

The Graduate School provides extensive information about the admissions process; everything from general requires, how to apply, deadlines, and a list of supplemental documents required. Review the Guide to Graduate Admissions, attend a Facebook Live information session, or contact Dr. Brad Johnson for additional information and answers to your questions.

General Information

  • There is a priority application deadline of January 15.
  • Apply Now!

Application Process Components

The application process consists of the following components:

Step 1

Complete the online application.

Step 2

Provide transcripts for all institutions attended

Step 3

Provide a Personal Statement

  • Structure your personal statement into 3 parts
    • Past – What led you to decide to pursue graduate study in student affairs and higher education?
    • Present – Why specifically UNCG’s program? What sets this program apart for you? What can UNCG provide to specifically fit your graduate education needs?
    • Future – What do you want to do once you graduate? What functional area (housing/residence life, orientation, activities, etc.) and/or type of student (underrepresented, first-generation, etc.)
  • If your undergraduate GPA is below a 2.7, this is the area that we recommend you talk about what factors affected why your GPA is below 2.7
  • Keep your personal statement to no more than 2-3 pages double-spaced.
  • Because we no longer require GRE scores, we will more closely review your personal statement and utilize this as a sample of your academic writing.

Step 4

Provide 2 letters of recommendation:

  • 1 letter from a faculty who knows your academic work well and who can essentially attest to your ability to be successful at completing graduate-level work
  • 1 letter from a supervisor (preferably in Student Affairs) who can attest to your ability to be a successful professional within Student Affairs

Please do not submit a letter of recommendation from any of the following (and yes, we have had these submitted before):

  • Relatives
  • Pastor, priest, rabbi, minister, Sunday School teacher, etc.
  • Roommates or best friends
  • Therapist or physicians

Step 5

Provide a current/updated Resume

Previous Applicant Demographics

Take a look at our records to see information about our applicants from Fall 2015 until now.

Financial Assistance

SAAHE offers financial assistance to students in the form of tuition scholarships (waivers) (in-state and out-of-state) and tuition assistance; however, SAAHE is provided a limited number of scholarships (waivers) each year to cover both cohorts of master’s students. Scholarships (waivers) and assistance are tied to GAs; therefore, in order to receive tuition scholarships (waivers) or tuition assistance, a student must receive a stipend from a GA. Tuition scholarships (waivers) /assistance only cover tuition costs; students are responsible for covering the cost of student fees. On average, fees each semester average being approximately $1,500 +/-. The Cashier’s website provides information on tuition and fees, payment deadlines, payment plans, student loans, refund process, etc.

Out-of-state students are asked to apply for in-state (NC) residency for their second year in an effort to provide the out-of-state tuition scholarships (waivers) they received their first year to incoming new students. There is the possibility that out-of-state students would not receive their in-state waiver for their second year of study; however, they would not lose their out-of-state waiver for their second year.

To put waivers in perspective, in-state students receive 1 scholarship (waiver) whereas out-of-state students receive almost 3 scholarships (waivers) in order to cover tuition costs.


SAAHE hosts SPARK (SAAHE Professional & Academic Recruitment Kick-Off), its Preview Weekend/Recruitment event each Spring. SPARK is a 2-day event (Sunday & Monday) where applicants meet with faculty members and current students, learn more about the program and the curriculum, tour the Greensboro area and the UNCG campus, have dinner with faculty and students, and interview with employers who are offering graduate assistantships (GAs) for the upcoming academic year.

Prior to SPARK, invitees will be directed to a website to review available GA job descriptions. Likewise, employers offering GAs will be directed to another website to review résumés of SPARK attendees. Students and employers will be asked to submit their top 8-10 preferences for jobs and students that each would like to interview at SPARK. The faculty will collect those preferences and build interview schedules for each attendee and employer. Interviews for GAs typically occur on Monday from 8am-12:30pm.

At the end of interviews, employers will submit a new list of who they would like to offer their GA position; likewise, at the end of SPARK, students will be asked to submit a new list of GA positions for which they wish to be considered. Faculty will then take all preferences and develop offers of informal admission to the program (official admission offer comes directly from the Graduate School as a result of faculty recommendation) based on how employers and students rank one another. GAs provide valuable experience for students as they prepare to enter the field of student affairs and higher education upon graduation; however, it is important to note that a prospective student does not have to have a GA to enroll in SPAHE. Tuition waivers or tuition assistance offers are tied to GAs; therefore, if one does not have a GA through SAAHE, tuition waivers or assistance cannot be offered from our program.

This academic year, SPARK will be held February 13-14, 2021. Attendance at SPARK is by invitation only.

Student Organizations

Chi Signma Alpha Student Affairs Honorary

Higher Education Student Association (HESA)

Our Faculty

We are a diverse community of scholar-researchers, leaders, and educators who have joined together in order to develop effective and principled leadership, to promote transformative learning, and to advance and disseminate cutting-edge knowledge that addresses problems of theory and practice in the fields of higher education and student affairs. Get to know our faculty, their areas of research, and professional connections by browsing our faculty directory.

Our Students

Learn more about our program by meeting our cohorts, checking out this year’s orientation schedule, reviewing our SAAHE resources folder, and seeing the success of our alumni.

Career Opportunities

SAAHE students gain excellent theory-to-practice experience through graduate assistantships at institutions including UNCG, Salem College, Wake Forest University, Guilford College, Winston-Salem State University, and the UNC School of the Arts. In addition, students complete a 150-hour internship in another position, frequently through the ACUHO-I, NODA, NACA, or ACUI summer internship programs or through a self-design internship. The job placement rate for graduates is has averaged out over the years to be approximately 90% or more within 6 months of graduation.


Click the links below to get more information about specific program and graduate student resources:

  • SAAHEpedia – The SAAHEpedia is a document compiled by students for students. This document serves as a guide for SAAHE students and provides a wealth of resources, information, and advice for graduate studens at UNCG.
  • The Graduate School Resources – The UNC Greensboro Graduate School has a variety of resources available to graduate students. This source contains information regarding graduate funding, student life, and professional development.

SAAHE Alumni

Learn more about our Alumni, including current and previous job placements and where they are around the world.

Follow us on social media!

Gender Diversity Statement

The M.Ed. in Higher Education (Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education) program, in collaboration with LEARN’s Gender Diversity Working Group, is committed to affirming the lives of and promoting social justice for Trans and Non-Binary people. We have created a comprehensive toolkit that is intended to be an accessible document for gender diverse students (this is inclusive of transgender, gender non-binary, gender non-conforming, and queer) students, and all who support them within and beyond the university.

Our goal is for every student in the School of Education (SOE) to be able to focus on their studies and not on student debt. A variety of financial aid is available to our students, including scholarships based on academic merit and financial need. We invite you to explore the many scholarship opportunities offered in the School of Education.