Leadership: Student Affairs in Higher Education, MA

Student Affairs in Higher Education

Leadership, MA

Program Delivery

On Campus

Total Credits

36 Credits

About the Program

Leadership: Student Affairs in Higher Education, MA

The MA in Leadership with a concentration in Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) is designed to develop transformational leaders in student affairs operations in colleges and universities. The weekend-based program occurs mainly on Saturdays, with integrated online professional development opportunities. The program emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values embedded throughout the curriculum. Leadership coursework is organized around foundational studies, professional studies, and supervised practice.

Focus of Study

As an active participant in these programs, you will:

  • develop as a leader through an expanded self-knowledge and worldview
  • develop student affairs competencies and leadership strategies
  • learn how to guide a professional team as you integrate data-informed assessment
  • learn and apply foundational concepts, theories, and strategies for student success broadly
  • explore the political and social implications of higher education
  • examine and evaluate conditions for a diverse, democratic, and multicultural campus community
  • acquire the confidence necessary to ignite and inspire others

Warren Bennis has written that "True leaders demonstrate a balance of competence, virtue, and vision." It is our mission to guide you in developing all three.

Program Requirements

The program requires students to go through 36 credits of course work and fulfill 100-hours of practicum work.  Students are also required to submit a culminating portfolio. 

Program Coursework

Year 1SummerLEAD 5010: Personal and Professional Development in Student Affairs in Higher Education
Fall LEAD 5030: Vision, Values, and Leadership in Student Affairs in Higher Education
LEAD 5610: Social and Cultural Foundations of Higher Education
SpringLEAD 5260: College Student Development Theories
LEAD 5210: Counseling and Helping Skills in Higher Education
Year 2SummerLEAD 5280: Legal & Ethical Issues in Higher Education
LEAD 5700: Introduction to Research & Statistics (Online Asynchronous)
FallLEAD 5110: Culturally Responsive Practices in Higher Education
LEAD 5310: Student Services Program Development & Evaluation
SpringLEAD 5290: Budgeting & Finance of Student Affairs in Higher Education
LEAD 6000: International Study of Higher Education
LEAD 7000: Master's Research Laboratory in Leadership
LEAD 6830: Practicum for Student Affairs in Higher Education

For details on program coursework, please visit the Academic Catalog.

Admission Details

For details on the program's admission process, please visit the Admission Details page.

In summary, the following is required for admission to the SAHE MA program

  • Application and fee
  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • 1 reference letter or rating form
  • Transcripts
  • Interview (offered to all applicants)

If you are interested in participating in the GA selection process, please apply early (by Dec 15th).


SAHE Ireland Trip

Study Abroad Opportunities

Occurring biennially, students have studied abroad in Ireland (2013, 2023), Italy (2015), London, Paris, Amsterdam (2017), and Japan (2018). Through the course, students visit a variety of higher education institutions in the host countries to learn about the administration of higher education, the practice of student affairs work, and local history, culture, and politics.

The next study abroad course is in 2025, the location is to Spain.

Travel Tour Experience (non-credit professional development)

The SAHE Travel Tour is a biennial domestic travel experience (non-credit) where SAHE students travel outside of Colorado to visit institutions and explore diverse professional opportunities. Since 2016, the SAHE program has explored the American Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah - 2016), Los Angeles (2018), New Orleans tour (2020) and San Diego (2024). As one student attested, "it was such a great experience getting to visit 3 different institution types and really feel how their vibes differed, and the different way that institutions support students."

Professional Development Sessions Offered on Campus

Monthly professional development sessions are provided for students to prepare them for transitions during and after the SAHE program experience. These include:

  • Mock Interview Night for Graduating Students
  • Engaging in Professional Development and Professional Association Involvement
  • Cover Letter Workshop
  • Doctoral Student Panel
  • Creating Inclusive Communities
  • Transitioning from Graduate School
  • Using Your Summer Wisely

Practicum Opportunities 

Practical Experience:
A 100-hour practicum experience in higher education is a requirement of the SAHE program. Students choose a site based on their learning and professional goals. The SAHE program has strong connections to area campuses and recent students have completed their practicum at UCCS as well as nearby institutions, including Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College, University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University-Pueblo, the Air Force Academy, and Regis University.

Below are ongoing practicum experiences that are available to students. Students may also create agreements with other departments and other campuses based on their goals.

SAHE Graduate Assistantship (GA) Opportunities

Application Due Date: Friday, February 9, 2024. Check back in January for the most up to date positions posted.

 An updated list of GA positions will be posted to this website periodically, so please check back to see updates. The following application materials will be required for the GA application.

  • Fill out the following form before Friday, February 9, 2024
  • Name each file with your last name and document name
  • Goals Statement with the following sections:
    • ½ -page single-space response: Why do you want to enter the field of student affairs and what impact do you hope to have?
    • 1-page single-space response: Describe your greatest strengths and how you apply them in work settings.
    • ½-page single-space response: What are your career goals in student affairs?
    • Any additional materials requested in specific GA position descriptions
Additional Important Dates:
  • Reserve Friday, February 23, 2024, from 12-5 pm MST for GA Interviews, which will be conducted virtually.
  • Initial offers for GA positions will be sent by Monday, March 4, 2024.
Current GA Positions at UCCS:
Current GA Positions at Other Institutions: 

Note about Graduate Assistantship Expectations:

Graduate Assistant positions during your graduate program are a stepping stone into professional roles and responsibilities in the field of student affairs. GAs will be given experience and developmental opportunities through the practical administrative and student support experience. As such, students who choose to pursue a GA position during the SAHE program at UCCS are expected to prioritize the GA position as part of the learning experience.

Current Student Profiles

SAHE Cohort of 2025
See our current students below. 

News and Newsletters

Fall 2024 Program Announcement

The SAHE program is now a part of the Western Regional Graduate Program!
Students from 14 Western States* can receive in-state Colorado tuition rates when pursuing their Master’s in Leadership with a concentration in Student Affairs in Higher Education at UCCS.

Summer 2024 Cohort Applications Due: May 15
Apply as soon as possible for Graduate Assistantship and additional scholarship opportunities.

For additional information on the Western Regional Graduate Program, please contact Dr. Phillip Morris at pmorris@uccs.edu

*Applicable States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Guam, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Keep up with all things SAHE through our Newsletters!

Alumni Highlights

SAHE Graduation

Please follow the link below to read more about our alumni and their accomplishments.