About Our Program

The HESA master's program is focused on developing reflective practitioners in student affairs. The courses and experiences are diverse and reflect the best of contemporary student affairs practice. In addition, our program meets all of the requirements and expectations set forth by the Council for the Advancement and Standards in Higher Education (CAS Standards).

The 36-credit-hour HESA curriculum leads to a Master of Arts (MA) degree. Each year, HESA admits a cohort of approximately 18 to 20 students into the program. These students complete the core academic classes together over their two years of study. In addition, students have a variety of elective graduate courses that are offered through the Department of Educational Leadership or through another department. Students who are working full-time in higher education and related roles may also enroll in the HESA program on a part-time basis, completing the plan of study over six semesters. 

All full-time students are encouraged to hold graduate assistantships to provide the professional and practical experience that allows students to apply theory to practice. We also welcome students who currently work full-time in a higher education and student affairs or aligned role and who wish to further their education with a master's degree. UConn's graduate assistant compensation package is among the most competitive in the nation, featuring a full tuition waiver, highly subsidized medical and dental benefits, as well as an exceptional stipend. More information on UConn's graduate assistantship packages can be found at our Graduate Assistant page and the Graduate School website.

HESA Students talk at a 2018 gallery walk.HESA Graduates Core Competencies and Outcomes

The HESA program is a reflective, practitioner based educational experience. Graduates of our program experience a learning environment that combines classroom instruction with graduate assistantships and practicum (internship) experiences. This curriculum promotes mastery of essential skills that enable exemplary professionals to:

  • Apply research and theories to promote success of college students
  • Create programs that foster student learning, such as teaching college students or facilitating leadership experiences
  • Work effectively advising and helping individual students and student groups
  • HESA students examine an exhibit on white fragility in 2018.Demonstrate an understanding of multicultural issues and competencies in higher education and act in ways that promote inclusive practice
  • Integrate an understanding of the context of higher education, including the history and organization of the student affairs profession, legal principles, and the academic mission of colleges and universities
  • Manage and develop resources, including program budgets, staff, information technologies, and strategic plans
  • Solve problems that require effective communication, thoughtful decision making, coping with ambiguity, and managing conflict
  • Assess genuine professional issues by interpreting and applying qualitative and quantitative research techniques and by developing evaluations of programs and services
  • Develop a professional identity based on ethical principles, career goals, and careful reflection