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M.S. in College Student Affairs

The M.S. in College Student Affairs is designed to prepare students for the expanded roles and responsibilities of student affairs professionals in today's diverse college and university educational environments. Students will learn and experience the practical application of the knowledge base and skillsets of student affairs administration. The program is designed for students who are interested in a career in student affairs, and for those currently working in student affairs who seek to advance their own personal knowledge and professional credentials. The M.S. program consists of a 12 course (36 credits) sequence that places emphasis on  Student Affairs in Higher Education.

Program Format

The M.S. program is offered residentially. Students may enroll full or part-time, taking six to nine credit hours per term. Students who enroll in 3 courses per term can expect to complete the program in five terms. Part-time students can expect to complete the program in three years. Summer attendance is mandatory.

The Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice accepts applications to the Master's and Graduate Certificate programs from any person who possesses or is in the process of completing a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university. Applicants must complete all bachelor's degree requirements before beginning graduate studies.

Criteria for acceptance into the M.S. and Graduate Certificate programs in College Student Affairs include high-level undergraduate academic performance and/or relevant current working experience; a life passion or practical interest in using skills and theories in specific settings after graduation; the ability to think clearly in challenging interactions; tolerant, nonjudgmental attitudes and open-mindedness toward different types of people; and the ability to combine assessment skills with compassion and fairness.

  1. Complete online application form
  2. Nonrefundable application fee of US $50
  3. Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Official transcripts from all schools attended and/or agency evaluation of foreign degree.
  4. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher in last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework or a master's degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better.
  5. Please briefly explain (500-1000 words) why you are interested in the program to which you are applying, as well as your professional goals, your assessment of your abilities to manage the challenges of graduate school, and any other information you would like to provide. The personal statement helps us get to know you beyond the objective data provided in review of your course grades and other objective information. It also demonstrates your ability to communicate your thoughts in a professional, organized and succinct manner.
  6. A sample of academic writing. It can be an academic paper, submitted journal writing, or a piece of professional writing. There is not a specific length requirement for this paper.
  7. Two academic or professional letters of recommendation written in the past six months.
  8. A resume or curriculum vita.
  9. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score (if applicable)
  10. An interview may be required for admission to the program.

Admissions Offer Disclaimer

Please note that NSU reserves the right to rescind or place conditions upon admissions offers should information become available that calls into question an admitted student’s academic performance or character, including that which reflects a violation of NSU’s Code of Student Conduct.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must meet the program admissions criteria. Up to nine graduate credits may be transferred into this program. The courses that may be transferred into the program will be determined on a case by case basis and must be deemed comparable in level, content, and rigor to those within the M.S. in College Student Affairs program.

International Students

Foreign nationals who reside outside the U.S. at the time of application, and whose native language is not English, must present evidence of proficiency in English by satisfactorily completing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Score requirements are the same as undergraduate admission and are as follows: minimum paper score = 550; minimum computerized score = 213; minimum internet score=79). A score of 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (ILETS) exam is accepted in lieu of the TOEFL.

Applicants who have attended foreign universities or colleges are required to have their academic credentials evaluated for U.S. institutional equivalence. International students are encouraged to contact the Office of International Student Services at (954) 262-7240 or 800-541-6682, ext. 27240, or by emailing International Students or visiting the International Students webpage.

To ensure that your application is complete, please use the checklist below and follow the detailed instructions provided for each item. All documents that are submitted to the University will need to include your name on each page. NSU recommends that you start the application process at least 1-2 months prior to the deadline date. Note: Documents should be submitted in Word (.docx, .doc) or Acrobat (.pdf) formats only.

International students are encouraged to contact the Office of International Students and Scholars at (954) 262-7240 or 800-541-6682, ext. 27240 or by email at intl@nova.edu.

Checklist

  1. Complete online application form
  2. Non refundable application fee of US $50
  3. An admissions essay, 500 - 1000 words. This essay should tell us why are interested in the program to which you are applying, as well as your professional goals, your assessment of your abilities to manage the challenges of graduate school, and any other information you would like to provide.
  4. A sample of academic writing
  5. A resume or curriculum vita
  6. Two letters of recommendation, written within the past year
  7. Official transcripts from all colleges or universities you attended need to be mailed directly to Enrollment Processing Services (EPS), including agency evaluation of foreign degrees for determination of U.S. equivalence (including Canadian transcripts). International Students should visit International Students for further information.**
  8. International Student applicants should submit TOEFL scores, if applicable.
  9. International Students should visit the Requirements for Obtaining an I-20 for further information.**

Deadline

The deadline indicates the date by which the university must receive ALL application materials.

August 12 (Late applications are reviewed based on space availability)

Fall Semester - August start

After applying, what happens next?

After the Office of Graduate Admissions has received the completed application for admission (with supplemental documents), the admissions file is submitted to a faculty committee for review. Depending on the time of year and the intended semester, the faculty review process may take five to ten business days. However, the process will be longer if the faculty committee requires additional information for review and/or an admissions interview.1

At any time during the review process, applicants may check their status online via the application portal. Once a decision has been made, notification is sent via email to the address on file.

Supplemental Information**

Resident alien students are required to submit a copy of their Resident Alien card. International Students who reside outside the United States at the time of application, and whose native language is not English, must present evidence of proficiency in English by satisfactorily completing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a 213 on the computer-based test or 79-80 on the Internet-based test. For a full list of English proficiency tests that are accepted by the university, please visit International Students. Test scores must be submitted to the admissions office. For a TOEFL application information, visit the website at TOEFL or write to

TOEFL
Educational Testing Services
Princeton, New Jersey 08540
(609) 771-7100

Applicants who have attended foreign universities or colleges are required to have their academic credentials evaluated for U.S. institutional equivalence. While there are several credential evaluators, the most widely used companies are listed below or visit NACES.

World Education Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 745
Old Chelsea Station
New York, New York
10113-0745
(212) 966-6311
www.wes.org

Josef Silny & Associates
7101 SW 102nd Avenue
Miami, Florida 33173
(305) 273-1616
www.jsilny.com

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203-3470
(414) 289-3400
www.ece.org

International students are encouraged to contact the Office of International Student Services at (954) 262-7240 or 800-541-6682, ext. 27240, or by email International Students or visit the International Students webpage.

1All newly submitted admission documents are sent to a centralized university processing center. Depending on the time of year, additional days may be added to the overall processing time.

Courses

CSPA 5001 - The 21st Century College Student (3 credits)

An examination is made of students in higher education to prepare professionals for the various groups they will serve. Focus is given to the ever-changing student clientele, its subgroups and cultures. Along with student development theories, student characteristics, attitudes, values and broad issues regarding their participation in the educational experience will be explored. 

CSPA 5002 - Current Issues and Trends in Higher Education (3 credits)

Staying abreast of current issues and trends in higher education is critical to becoming a competent student affairs educator. This course is designed to expose students to a variety of current issues and trends in higher education that have a dramatic impact on the student affairs profession and on our work as student affairs educators. Strategies to address major issues will be discussed. 

CSPA 5003 - The College Student and the Law (3 credits)

Increasingly the courts play a pivotal role in the lives of student affairs practitioners. From student judicial cases to Supreme Court decisions on activity fees, a broadbased understanding of the law related to higher education is essential. This course will examine the impact of the legal system on both public and private colleges and universities as well as explore model student codes of conduct. 

CSPA 5004 - Administration in College Student Affairs Work (3 credits)

This course will examine attributes, skills and institutional conditions within student personnel work that impact effective administration. Some of the major areas to be explored include personnel practices, supervision, budget, finance, program development, short/long range planning, and internal and external governing bodies. An interactive course design will allow for hands-on practical applications and the development of well-grounded practitioners. 

CSPA 5006 - Student and Adult Development in College (3 credits)

This course will focus on developing an understanding of students' intellectual, cognitive, social, moral, and identity development during the college years. Issues related to adult student development in the college setting will also be explored. Student development theories, research and current practices related to student development will be presented. 

CSPA 5007 - Research Design & Assessment in Student Affairs (3 credits)

This course focuses on the development of applied research skills appropriate for social sciences, including basic research tools, assessment, social science research, and current research in the field. It provides the opportunity for students to learn about the conceptualization and writing of a student affairs assessment or research project.

CSPA 5040 - Communication Dynamics in Dispute Resolution: The Human Factor (3 credits)

This course presents communication theories relevant to conflict resolution as well as theories about understanding, analyzing, and managing conflict. The course focuses on the human and emotional aspects of conflict, and includes the influence of gender and culture. This course is pragmatic as well as theoretical, and presents communication and conflict resolution models in a practice-based approach. 

CSPA 5100 - Mediation Theory and Practice (3 credits)

This course examines theories, methods, and techniques of mediation. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of mediation skills. Prerequisite: CSPA 5040.

CSPA 6140 - Facilitation Theory and Practice (3 credits)

This course develops students' skills in working with groups. It incorporates theories and models of group dynamics, facilitation, and group development, as well as workshop development and delivery. This course uses a practice-based approach, including role-plays and workshop presentations.

CSPA 6130 - Practicum I (3 credits)

This supervised practicum experience offers students the opportunity to explore a breadth of student affairs functions thereby gaining exposure, knowledge and experience in the variety of services and programs that make up a college/university division of student affairs. Students may select to generally explore all of the functional departments within the division, or select specific functions they wish to learn more about: residential life, housing, career services, student union, student activities, leadership development, recreation and wellness, volunteer services, special events, judicial programs, and the office of the dean of students. By experiencing the -big picture' of the functions, programs and services of the division of student affairs, students will have the opportunity to be exposed to the numerous professional positions and opportunities available to them upon graduation.

CSPA 6160 - Practicum II (3 credits)

This supervised practicum experience offers students the opportunity to gain in-depth exposure, knowledge and practical experience in a selected area of specialization in student affairs that supports their professional goals, and will assist them in being prepared to work in a professional student affairs position in a college or university upon graduation. Students may select to focus their experience in: residence life (including conflict resolution and mediation services), housing, career services, student union, student activities, student leadership training and development, recreation and wellness, volunteer services, student judicial affairs, special events, orientation, and professional program student services. Students may elect to complete this phase of their practicum experience at Nova Southeastern University or at another college or university. Prerequisite:</strong CSPA 6130.

CSPA 6350 - Capstone in Student Affairs (3 credits)

The Capstone is designed to be taken at the end of the program. It will provide the unique opportunity for students to focus on the applied practice of student affairs, utilizing theories, research, and practice. The course is designed to incorporate both previous course work, and experiences in the program. Students will be challenged to apply their knowledge to practical problems they are likely to encounter as college student affairs professionals. Prerequisite: CSPA 5001, 5002, 5003, 5004, 5006, 5007, 5040, 6140, 6130, 6160. Course Frequency: As Needed.

Degree Plans

Following is a sample degree plan for full-time students who begin their studies in Fall term. Degree plans will be developed during a student's first term and modified based on student enrollment date and pace of study.

Degree Plan: 36 credit hours

YEAR 1
Fall (September) CSPA 5001 - The 21st Century College Student CSPA 5004 - Administration in College Student Affairs Work CSPA 5040 - Human Factors
Winter (January) CSPA 5002 - Current Issues and Trends in Higher Education CSPA 5006 - Student and Adult Development in College CSPA 6140 - Facilitation Theory and Practice
Summer (April) CSPA 5003 - The College Student and the Law CSPA 6130 - Practicum I
YEAR 2
Fall (September) CSPA 6160 - Practicum II CSPA 5007 - Research Design & Assessment in Student Affairs
Winter (January) CSPA 5100 - Mediation Theory & Practice CSPA 6350 - Capstone in Student Affairs
Summer (April) Graduation
To complete the M.S. in College Student Affairs, students must complete a total of 130 hours of practicum. Students are responsible for documenting practicum hours, and must have these hours verified and signed by an on-site supervisor. The practicum experience is designed to provide students with an experiential opportunity to utilize student affairs theory and practice within a diversity of professional settings. Students will have the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts within a practical framework.

Students complete two practicums during their course of study. Practicum I offers students the opportunity to explore a breadth of student affairs functions and gain exposure, knowledge and experience in the variety of programs and services that make up a college/university division of student affairs: residential life, housing, career services, student union, student activities, leadership development, recreation and wellness, volunteer services, special events, judicial programs and the office of the dean of students.

Practicum II will offer students the opportunity to gain in-depth exposure, knowledge and experience in a selected area of specialization in student affairs that supports their professional goals and prepares them to work in a professional student affairs position. Practicum II has a specific focus on career development in the College Student Affairs profession. Practicum experiences may take place at Nova Southeastern University or another college or university.

Some practicum sites require a background check before the practicum placement can begin. Generally, the background check is at the student's expense and should be done as soon as possible before the practicum term.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships will be available in the diverse functions within the Office of Student Affairs at NSU to residential students enrolled full-time in the CSA program.

Assistantships are 12-month appointments and offer partial tuition remission, a stipend, meal plan, and housing for those living on campus. Students accepted to the full-time CSA program may apply for a Graduate Assistantship position by contacting Dr. Brad Williams, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies. Additional information on the Assistantships can be found at http://www.nova.edu/studentaffairs/assistantships/index.html.

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