Required Courses

All students starting the student affairs program after summer 2015 will complete the same curriculum, regardless of enrollment status (full-time or part-time). The curriculum was intentionally designed by the faculty to address the core competency areas in the student affairs profession, while also providing flexibility for students to pursue specialized areas of interested. The 42-credit curriculum includes 30 core, required credits and 12 elective credits.

30 credits of core courses

  • HGED 573: Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion in Student Affairs
  • HGED 574: Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education
  • HGED 575: Organization & Administration of Student Affairs
  • HGED 576: Student Development in Higher Education
  • HGED 578: Students in American Higher Education
  • HGED 579: Advising & Helping Skills
  • HGED 591: Supervised Field Experience
  • HGED 598: Capstone Seminar
  • RESEV 550: Educational Research
  • RESEV 597: Assessment & Evaluation

12 credits of electives
Students will work closely with their faculty advisor to identify elective courses that meet their needs and further their education as student affairs professionals. Although great leeway is given for the student and advisor to make these decisions, the faculty have provided the following guidelines:

  • 9 credits must be “content-oriented”
  • 3 credits can be a second practicum
  • Should be related to competencies
    • Student must be able to articulate connection
  • All electives and/or certificate courses must be approved by advisor on the POS

Sequence of Classes

First Year – First Semester
HGED 574: Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education               
HGED 573: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Student Affairs
RESEV 550: Educational Research

First Year – Second Semester
HGED 576: Student Development Theories
HGED 579: Advising & Helping Skills
RESEV 597: Assessment & Evaluation
HGED 591: Supervised Field Experience

Second Year – First Semester
HGED 575: Organization & Administration of Student Affairs
HGED 578: Students in American HE

Second Year – Second Semester
HGED 598: Capstone Seminar

Course descriptions can be accessed via the Iowa State course catalog

Practicum (Hg Ed 591)

Higher education 591 is offered to provide practical experiences for students interested in the student affairs field and to give them a working knowledge of the programs at Iowa State University. 

Practica may be used by students to gain exposure to fields of work never considered or that may be of interest during the next years of professional life. It is important that each practicum take into account the experience and knowledge of the participant when initially establishing the criteria for the practicum. Requirements, expectations, and deadlines for practica in student affairs can be found online.  

Portfolio (Hg Ed 598)

Portfolios are created in consultation with the HG ED 598 instructors and the student’s major professor, and the final portfolio will be shared with the student’s POS committee at the final orals meeting. The portfolio is organized according to the student affairs learner outcomes.  

Students will review the learner outcomes and assemble artifacts and documents that demonstrate development of their professional knowledge base, dispositions, and accomplishments. Materials will be arranged logically and displayed in a manner of the student’s choosing (for example, website notebook, folders).