Admissions requirements for our MS degree

Do you want to explore the field of higher education? We can give you the tools and experience necessary for a rewarding career making a difference in the lives of college students!

Earn your Master of Science in Higher Education and Student Affairs (MS HESA) degree at Binghamton University!


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Rolling decisions

The Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs in the College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) reviews applications on a rolling basis rather than after a set deadline, meaning we continue to make admission decisions until the program is full.

The earlier you submit your application, the earlier you’ll receive a decision!

  • Those wishing to be considered for fall funding should have their applications in by Feb. 1; applications received after this deadline are considered on a rolling/space available basis.
  • Applications are accepted for both fall and spring semesters.

Requirements to be eligible for graduate study

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 also must 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, the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

Regular admission requirements

To apply, you must submit the following materials: 

  1. Online graduate degree application and fee
  2. Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
  3. Two letters of recommendation
    • Ideally, one of your two letters should come from professors who know your work well and can attest to your ability to be successful in graduate level work, while the other should come from someone (such as a supervisor or advisor) who can speak knowledgeably about your choice of student affairs as a career.
  4. Personal statement
    The personal statement should be no more than 2-3 double-spaced pages and should answer the following questions. When evaluating the personal statement, the graduate admissions committee assesses the candidate's level of understanding about what Student Affairs professionals do, as well as the qualities, aspirations, experiences, and skills that are necessary to be successful in graduate school. 
    • Why do you want to pursue a Master of Science in Higher Education and Student Affairs degree?
    • When did you discover your interest in higher education as a career, what experiences inspired you to pursue a career in higher education, and how will this degree program be an important step towards achieving your personal and professional goals?
    • Why study at Binghamton University?
  5. Résumé or curriculum vitae
  6. Acknowledge the Higher Education and Student Affairs Contract (available in the online application)

For general guidelines for these materials, see the Graduate School Admission Requirements


Fast-track application for eligible students

The Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs offers a fast-track application process open to students who hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.5 or higher from an accredited United States institution of higher education. 

How to apply:

  • Prospective students who meet the requirement should apply to the Higher Education and Student Affairs 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.

International student admissions

International students must also submit the following materials: 

  • 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) 

For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Graduate School Admission Requirements website.

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend you contact with questions about program-specific requirements.

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Felony statement

Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions.

Students who have concerns about such matters are advised to contact the Department Chair of their intended academic program.