Student Affairs Emphasis, M.Ed.

Being a student affairs graduate student at the Iowa State University School of Education means you are pursuing a Master’s of Education degree with student affairs as your graduate study program of choice. When you choose a student affairs emphasis, you’ll help college students learn and grow outside of the classroom in areas such as admissions, residence life, career services, and more.

Our student affairs program draws in students from all over the country because of our outstanding curriculum, nationally recognized faculty, and exceptional practical experience.


ISU student affairs graduates pursue a Master of Education degree with a specialization in student affairs. The program offers:

  • A balanced approach to learning and practical experience to help you develop skills for working effectively wherever your student affairs adventure takes you. Through a required assistantship students actively practice the work they are learning about in the curriculum.
  • A focus on student development with a social justice overlay. Social justice is not just a broad theme, our program addresses social justice issues as they affect college students and gives themthe tools and experience to succeed and thrive in their profession.
  • A strong emphasis on knowing yourself and on being sensitive to diverse populations.
  • Active practitioner faculty who can share the wisdom that comes from being currently engaged in their practice.


The M.Ed. in Student Affairs is a non-thesis option. A thesis option, that allows for much of the same coursework as the student affairs degree with a greater emphasis on research, is available in higher education.

Program Outcomes

After completing the student affairs master’s program, you will be:

  • A scholarly practitioner: During your program, you will learn to integrate classroom and experiential knowledge. Required assistantship and practicum experiences provide opportunities for students to actively practice the work of student affairs; faculty members encourage students to allow their practical experiences to inform classroom discussions.
  • A socially just practitioner: Our curriculum and our faculty place great value on the importance of social justice in student affairs. During your courses, you will study social justice issues that affect college students. You will learn the tools to help all students succeed in college.
  • A reflexive practitioner: We emphasize the importance of self-reflection and self-knowledge as student affairs professionals. You will have ample opportunities to reflect on experiences and learnings throughout the program.
  • An active practitioner: You will be strongly encouraged to engage with regional and national professional organizations during your time with us. Our faculty and the student affairs professionals model this level of involvement in their own professional lives; engaging with professional organizations allows another venue for us all to share our experiences and learn from those of others.

Need More Information?

Graduate support specialist