M.S. in Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs



Letter to Prospective Students

Dear Prospective Students,

Welcome to the West Chester Master of Science degree in Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs.

More than likely, you are seeking out this degree program so you can make a difference in the lives of college students. If you are like me, you want to place students at the center of your work and do what you can to help them succeed! As higher education changes, so must the support programs, student services and policies change to meet the needs and wants of the current college student – especially as they relate to issues of equity and access.

The M.S. in Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs seeks to prepare student affairs professionals and higher education policy-makers to genuinely comprehend, analyze and meet those changing needs – working to assure that institutions of higher learning fulfill their stated missions as welcoming and supportive spaces for all students.

We designed this program to provide you with a theoretical foundation in higher education policy and student affairs. Each course is grounded in the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies. We have intentionally included experiential opportunities into the curriculum to allow you to put theory into practice in the field. The college campus will become your "lab," and you will have many learning experiences outside of the classroom.

I encourage you to reach out with any questions or concerns you have about the program so that I might be able to help you actualize your goals. I am happy to meet with you and answer any questions you might have. I am very excited to meet you!

  • With warmest regards,
  • Jacqueline S. Hodes signature
  • Jacqueline S. Hodes, Ed.D
  • Associate Professor, Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs
  • Department of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies
  • Email Jacqueline S. Hodes

Program Highlights

Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

The focus of this program is on preparing graduate students to work as educators, practitioners and policy-makers in student affairs, student services and higher education. The program will help students comprehend, analyze and meet the changing needs and wants of the current college student. Students will learn how to use interpersonal skills and strategic interventions, especially as they relate to issues of equity and access, that lead to success for ALL students. Employing an Action Research Methodology, graduates of this program will be prepared to analyze current higher education practices and policies and create programs, services and interventions that generate positive impact and student success.

The program is aligned with the CAS (Council on the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education) Standards and the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies.

Program Description/Courses

This program is a 39-credit program that can be completed in 2 years. Students will receive an MS degree. There is an option for students to earn a certificate in either Sustainability or Educational Technology as part of the HEPSA Program. They can do this by enrolling in 4 courses per semester and taking one Summer Internship.

The classes will be held in the evenings starting at 4:25 M-Th on the main campus.

Students are eligible for graduate assistantships on campus and in Academic Departments.

During the pre-candidacy period:

  • Students will have two internship classes and opportunities totaling 500 hours in the field. Internship 1 will focus on developing the interpersonal, listening and referral skills necessary for work in the field of higher education and student affairs. Internship 2 (Completed in EDH550/Summer) will focus on developing an understanding of strategic planning and institutional structure as well as planning for and creating policy changes.

  • All students in their first semester will take a course on Critical Action Research where they will have an opportunity to ask a question about student affairs/higher education that they would like to understand. Throughout their program they will answer that question through their course work. The capstone project will result in a publishable thesis answering that question. This process will help to position students as experts on their topic of interest as they move in to a professional or new role.

The course listing for this program is available from the Graduate Catalog.

Potential Employment

  • Residence Life and Housing
  • Academic Advising and Learning Support
  • Enrollment Management including Admissions and Financial Aid
  • Student Leadership and Involvement
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Orientation and New Student Programs
  • Student Activities
  • Student Conduct/Title IX
  • Equity Offices such as Women’s Center, Multicultural Affairs, LGBTQA Services, etc.
  • Student Services in Academic Colleges and Departments
  • Alumni Relations and Development
  • Service Learning and Volunteer Programs
  • Student Union
  • Health and Wellness
  • Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Commuter Services
  • Dining Services
  • Disability Services
  • Career Development
Apply Now Program Requirements Student Handbook


  • Diverse: Issues in Higher Education has named West Chester University’s Division of Student Affairs as one of the “Most Promising Places to Work” for 2019 & 2020.
  • Now accepting applications for Fall 2020.
  • Priority will be given to applications received by March 1st, applications submitted after March 1st will be accepted and reviewed based on available space.
  • Learn more about careers in Student Affairs
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