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Educational Leadership

Student Affairs Administration

MA in Student Affairs Administration

Lewis & Clark’s Master of Arts in Student Affairs Administration prepares graduates to address issues of social justice, access, equity, inclusion, and diversity within institutions of higher education. Through theory and practical experience, students learn to be responsive leaders who remove barriers to success, advocate for full and equal participation of all students, and support organizational change.

Why student affairs?

A social justice focus

Rather than focus on student affairs as “customer service,” we focus on the ways that learning and development occur beyond the classroom, in all dimensions of life on a college campus. Our graduates foster understanding and respect for diversity and become advocates for the full and equal participation of all students in higher education, removing barriers to success. They embody a professional identity that demonstrates a commitment to legal, ethical, and professional responsibilities of the student affairs profession.

Our cohort program

You will complete courses in rigorous, small-group settings, together with a small cohort of your peers. This structure provides extensive support for students during the program, and leads to lifetime friendships and extensive professional networks.

The practioner-scholar model

Our program integrates theory with practical experience through coursework and two supervised practica that give you hands-on experience and valuable feedback on your developing professional skills.

Students are also encouraged to apply for available graduate assistantships.


Through coursework, your practica, and a capstone project, you will learn about student development and leadership, organizational management, legal issues, professional ethics, assessment, advising, and equity, among other topics. Sample courses include:

  • Equity and Social Justice in Higher Education
  • Student Development Theory I and II
  • Critical Pedagogies in Student Affairs Practice

View the sequence of study.

National standards

The curriculum of the MA in Student Affairs Administration is designed to prepare students in the 2010 Professional Competency Areas jointly developed by the ACPA and NASPA, which set out the “broad professional knowledge, skills, and, in some cases, attitudes expected of student affairs professionals.” These include:

  • Advising and Helping
  • Assessment, Evaluation and Research
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Ethical Professional Practice
  • Human and Organizational Resources
  • Law, Policy and Governance
  • Leadership
  • Personal Foundations
  • Student Learning and Development


Program Details

Total credit hours: 39 semester hours
Program start date: September (July 15 or August 1 for students with graduate student worker positions)
Program length: Two years (part time 3-year option available). Classes are scheduled in evenings and weekends to accommodate working professionals.
View the program of study
about available graduate student assistantship positions

Contact faculty coordinator Anna Gonzalez with questions about the program.

Student Spotlight

  • Gavin Holdgreiwe

    “Through training, resources, and support, good Student Affairs inspires and empowers students to achieve more than they ever thought possible.” #CSAM17

  • Julian Steele

    “Student Affairs brings the entire campus to life as a cohesive learning environment, creating spaces and opportunities for students to develop into responsible, engaged citizens.” #CSAM17

  • Arianna Figueroa

    “Student Affairs gives students space to explore their potential in a multitude of ways.  It advances the meaning of leadership and advocates for changes on campus towards equality.” #CSAM17

  • Miiko Taylor

    “Student Affairs develops the full potential of students by creating pathways to apply knowledge from the classroom to the world around them.” #CSAM17

  • Lainie Sowell

    “While the classroom prepares students to be scholars and professionals, programming and support from student affairs prepares students to be productive citizens in their communities, both locally and globally.” #CSAM17

Alumni Spotlight

  • Connor Adams

    “As a result of this program I have become a more critical thinker, asking more intellectual questions that lead to stimulating conversation topics. This program has also allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself to think about social issues in the world and higher education differently.”