Student Affairs Administration (MS)

Program Overview

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The Master of Science in Student Affairs Administration degree program is suited for those who wish to pursue careers in higher education. The program is grounded in both student development theory and the concept of theory-to-practice-to-theory. Thus, an underlying goal of the program is to prepare professionals who have working knowledge of how student development theory is used in practice and how practice serves to inform future theory development.

The program seeks to prepare administrative leaders and personnel who are comfortable working with people of diverse backgrounds in positions that require decision-makers to respond to department/unit situations while taking into consideration how their decisions impact other systems (such as departments and/or divisions) within the institution.

The 45 minimum credit-hour program serves the needs of students who desire to pursue graduate studies in either full- or part-time tracks. The curriculum includes 15 credit hours of core student affairs required coursework, a 3-credit hour research methods course, 24 credits of electives and a minimum 3-credit hour internship.

Students who are pursuing a bachelor of arts within Harpur or a bachelor of science in Human Development are eligible to complete the MS SAA program in a 4+1 accelerated format. Please check out the program website for more information.

Degrees Offered

  • MS in Student Affairs Administration

Dual Degrees Offered

  • MS in Student Affairs Administration (Dual Degree with MPA in Public Administration)
  • MS in Student Affairs Administration (Dual Degree with MSW in Social Work)

Internships, Research Opportunities and More

Through the program, students complete internships, which give opportunities to apply theory and acquire practical skills while working under the guidance of experienced practitioners. Students often also seek out graduate assistantships — which provide additional practical experiences, as well as financial support packages — through the offices in the Binghamton University Division of Student Affairs. These internships and graduate assistantships help students to explore specific areas of interest within the field of student affairs administration. The faculty encourages involvement and participation in professional organizations, conferences and trainings, which further immerse students in the field while they are completing their graduate studies.

The program also supports the Student Affairs Graduate Association (SAGA). This student-led organization aims to provide support and services that encourage personal, professional and community development to current students and alumni.

After You Graduate

Graduates of the program are prepared to enter careers in the full range of the field of student affairs: academic advising, admissions and enrollment management, career development and placement, financial aid, health services, judicial affairs, multicultural affairs, non-traditional and commuter student services, residential life, services for students with disabilities, and student development and involvement. Coupled with sufficient professional experience, the program may also serve as the foundation for students wishing to become deans of students or vice presidents for student affairs.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • The letters should come from instructors or professors who can attest to your academic ability for graduate study. If you have been out of college for at least three years, you may submit current letters of reference from employment supervisors or others affiliated with your employment who can attest to their ability to perform successfully and professionally and to the likelihood of success in a graduate program.
  • Personal statement
    • The personal statement should be 2 to 3 pages and should specifically address the your interest in the program, career goals, and current skills and experiences relative to your current or intended career in student affairs.
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • A completed copy of the Student Affairs Administration Contract (available in the online application)
  • GRE scores are not required

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic/Duolingo* scores)
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2023 application cycle.

Fast-Track Application for Eligible Students:

The Department of Student Affairs Administration offers a fast-track application process open to students who hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Prospective students who meet the requirement should apply to the Student Affairs Administration program by submitting the online application, appropriate transcripts, a personal statement and résumé. No letters of recommendation are required. Interested students must email Margaret Gates, director of admissions and student services, at

Class Profile

Total Enrollment: 60


Degree Fall Spring
Student Affairs Administration (MS)Rolling (February 1 Funding)Rolling (October 15 Funding)

Accelerated/4+1 Degrees

You may also be interested in our accelerated/4+1 degree programs which allow students to complete their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just 5 years!

For more information, visit the Student Affairs Administration website.