Combine classroom learning with practical, hands-on work experience in our Master of Arts graduate program in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education (SAAHE).

You’ll gain an understanding of the contemporary issues in higher education, and student affairs’ role in helping college students succeed. You’ll learn from dedicated faculty members who are not only scholars in higher education and student affairs but also practicing student affairs administrators.

When you complete this 30-credit program, which is offered by Ball State’s prestigious Teachers College and cosponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, you’ll be prepared to work in a wide range of college and university academic and student support services such as housing and residence life, admissions, student life, career centers, and student center programs.

Combine Theory with Hands-on Experience

We'll help you understand the issues facing college students today and the important role student affairs educators have in enhancing learning both in and out of the classroom.

When you complete this program you’ll understand:

  • The developmental process and needs of college students.
  • Learning and service roles of academic and student services.
  • Contemporary issues in American higher education.
  • How to apply theory to practice.
  • How to apply research, evaluation, and assessment to practice.

What’s it like to be a part of our program? Hear directly from some of our alumni.

Program Requirements


Total: 30


For a complete list of courses and their descriptions, see the course catalog.

View Catalog


The program has two tracks, a 3-semester track or a 4+ semester track.

3 Semester Track

Students in the 3-semester track have the following course loads:

  • Fall – 12 credits
  • Spring – 12 credits
  • Summer – 6 credits

All students in the 3-semester track have a graduate assistantship in one of the following administrative areas:

  • Admissions
  • Career Center*
  • Disability Services
  • Diversity and Equity Initiatives (in the Office of Student Life)*
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • Judicial Affairs (in the Office of Student Conduct)
  • Leadership Programs (in the Office of Student Life)*
  • Multicultural Center
  • Student Center Programs*
  • Services Opportunities (in the Office of Student Life)
  • Victim Services

*Occasionally a few students in some of these administrative areas may have the option of the 4+ semester track rather than the 3-semester track.

Students in the 4+ semester track take the following course loads:

Year 1

  • Fall – 9 credits
  • Spring – 9 credits

Summer – 6 credits (optional)

Year 2

  • Fall – 9 credits
  • Spring – 9 credits

All students in the 4+ semester track have a graduate assistantship in one of the following administrative areas.

  • Fraternity and Sorority Life.
  • Housing and Residence Life.

Housing and Residence Life Assistantships

If you are interested in a graduate assistantship in Housing and Residence Life as an assistant residence hall director or a resident manager in University Apartments, you must also apply to Housing and Residence Life. Learn more about the positions.

All students in this program have a graduate assistantship in the Division of Student Affairs. These assistantships are assigned, based upon applicant preference and faculty and office feedback, when an offer of admission is sent to a student. 

You’ll gain hands-on experience helping top administrators with their needs managing student life, housing, public safety, and dozens of other functions that affect the more than 20,000 students who attend Ball State.

Learn More

In exchange for 20 hours of work per week as a graduate assistant, you will receive a waiver for the majority of tuition, plus a stipend (the amount depends upon the office).

Students are responsible for a small portion of tuition and all other applicable University fees, both of which depend on the number of enrolled hours. 

Program Graduate Assistantships

As a student in our program, you’ll take classes with and receive mentorship from a faculty of expert researchers and actual Student Affairs administrators at Ball State.

Read Faculty Bios

Ball State has long had a tradition of educating student affairs administrators.

Merrill “Jack” Beyerl, former vice president for student affairs and director of the counseling center, began the program in 1965 so that professional staff would understand how to extend learning beyond the classroom and provide exceptional service in campus offices.

Since that time, more than 1,000 graduates have served private and public colleges and universities in many student affairs positions.

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in pursuing this degree? Then you will need to meet our admissions criteria and apply.

Get Started


Do you want to learn more about our program or have questions about the application process or financial aid? You may request more information by filling out our online form, or if you'd rather speak with someone directly, email us.

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