Master Of Education (MEd) in Higher Education in Student Affairs

Salem State's Master of Education in Higher Education in Students Affairs (HESA) prepares students for professional careers in student affairs at public and private colleges and universities. 

We are the only public institution in the Greater Boston area to offer a MEd in HESA. A highlight of our curriculum is the inclusion of two required internships, providing students with practical skills and extensive professional experience as part of their graduate studies. The culminating experience for those enrolled in the HESA program is a professional e-portfolio in which students can document and reflect on their achievements in ten professional competency areas as framed by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).Through a comprehensive curriculum and faculty who are committed to student success, our program is designed to equip emerging leaders with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the changing environment and shifting demographics of higher education.

Program Highlights

The MEd in Higher Education in Student Affairs (HESA) is designed to be completed in two years and provides students with both theoretical and practical perspectives on college student learning and development, multiculturalism, and higher education organizations. This is a cohort-based program with applicants able to choose one of two cohorts: 1) the general cohort, a traditional classroom based format with classes held three nights per week; or 2) the executive cohort, a hybrid format with classes held online and on select Saturdays. While the formats differ, the curriculum for both cohorts is identical.

Facts and Figures

  • Cohort-based program with two format options available: traditional or hybrid
  • The HESA executive (hybrid) cohort is ideal for individuals who work full-time in higher education as well as professionals seeking a career change. Approximately 30% of HESA students work full-time.
  • Most students are enrolled full-time and complete the program in two years, including summer coursework.
  • Learn from faculty with deep experience as full-time higher education administrators, bringing real-world experience to the classroom.
  • Faculty research interests include: accessibility of higher education, retention of students of color, student leadership development, higher education leadership, student affairs administration, and how marginalized identities impact educational opportunity and academic achievement in secondary and higher education.


The MEd in HESA prepares students for a variety of employment opportunities at institutions of higher education. HESA alumni hold positions in residence life, student activities, judicial affairs, multicultural affairs, international student services, academic and personal advisement, fi nancial aid, career services, and admissions. Graduates of our program have a 99 percent employment rate in a student affairs professional position. In addition, numerous HESA alumni have enjoyed success in the pursuit of a doctoral degree.

Graduate Assistantships

The opportunity to gain professional experience that aligns with graduate coursework is a key feature of the HESA program. In addition to the two required internships, many HESA students secure graduate assistantships at Salem State or at one of the 54 colleges and universities in the greater Boston area. These assistantships may offer tuition remission, stipends and/or housing. Please see the HESA application website for more information on HESA graduate  assistantship opportunities.

Program specific admission information