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Earn a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education

SFA’s Master of Arts in Student Affairs and Higher Education provides a strong foundation in the profession and practice of student affairs. It offers opportunities to develop expertise in the various areas within the field, including programming, student activities, program evaluation and assessment along with administration, finance, and legal and ethical standards. Students also study the developmental stages of college students and ways to enhance the college experience. The fieldwork component of the program offers students the opportunity to apply what they have learned. 

Candidates in the master's program in Student Affairs and Higher Education complete a 42-hour curriculum that includes coursework specific to student affairs such as college student development, leadership, administration and finance, ethical and legal issues, research and program evaluation, as well as a six-hour practicum. 

This graduate program prepares students to work in the following student affairs fields:

  • Academic advising
  • Admissions 
  • Campus activities 
  • Campus recreation programs 
  • Disability services 
  • Financial aid 
  • Greek life 
  • Judicial affairs 
  • Learning assistance programs 
  • Multicultural affairs 
  • Residence life/housing 
  • Service learning 
  • Student center/student union 
  • Student engagement 
  • Student leadership  

Become a Student Affairs Graduate Assistant 

Each year, SFA’s Department of Student Life employees 5-10 graduate assistants who gain valuable career experience work alongside our professional staff while earning their master’s degree in student life and higher education. Their duties vary among departments but typically include advising university-sponsored organizations, planning large-scale events and annual programs, implementing new initiatives, mentoring undergraduates, and completing research and assessment activities. 

Student Affairs Graduate Assistant positions are posted each spring semester, and qualified applicants are invited to participate in an all-day interview process designed to match candidates with available positions for the following academic year. 

Benefits of Student Affairs Graduate Assistantships

  • Professional training opportunities, including a year-long development series planned by the professional staff (budgeting, risk management, diversity and inclusion, advising and supporting student leaders, ethics, networking, resume building, and interview skills); 
  • Involvement in professional associations such as National Association for Campus Activities, National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, NODA-The Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education and Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators; 
  • Covered expenses for travel accommodations, meals and fees when attending conferences and other off-campus events; and 
  • Opportunities to network with student affairs professionals, university administrators, state leadership, performing artists, guest speakers, and others. 

Student Affairs Graduate Student Minimum Qualifications

  • Admitted or current SFA graduate student with a grade-point average of at least 3.0; 
  • Skilled at managing multiple projects simultaneously with varying deadlines; 
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively with a diverse group of students; 
  • Proficiency with several social media platforms; and 
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team. 

Types of Graduate Assistantships Available

Center for Career and Professional Development Graduate Assistantships

GAs working within the Center for Career and Professional Development support its mission to empower SFA students and alumni to achieve life-long career success through individualized career-development assistance, programming, and events designed to serve a diverse audience with diverse needs. For more information, email April Place, assistant director. 

Student Engagement Graduate Assistantships

Student Engagement GAs plan and support numerous student organizations, events and programs across campus. Areas of focus include connection and involvement opportunities, SFA spirit and traditions, and leadership and service initiatives. For more information, email Lacey Folsom, director.

Student Life Graduate Assistantships

Student Life GAs work closely with leadership and support staff on broad initiatives within the Department of Student Life, which comprises career services, student engagement, student publications, orientation and transition programs, and Student Government Association. For more information, email Shelby DeWitt, administrative assistant. 

Orientation and Transition Programs Graduate Assistantships

Orientation and Transition Programs GAs supports the professional staff and play an active role in developing and implementing New Student Orientation, Transfer Orientation, Weeks of Welcome, family programs, and related projects and initiatives. For more information, email Kate Childress, assistant director. 


Student Life

Physical Address:
222 Vista Drive
Baker Pattillo Student Center
Room 3.105

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13021, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962