Higher Education in Student Affairs Graduate Application Process
Graduate Application Form: The online form is available through our Graduate Admissions Office.
Statement of Purpose: The statement of purpose is your opportunity to share your personal and professional hopes, dreams, and disappointments that motivate and bring you to this promising moment of applying for admission to the Salem State HESA program. We explicitly ask our applicants not to relive their trauma (“poor” academic performance, “bad” semester, traumatic life events, etc.) in their statements of purpose for admissions purposes. We understand that life circumstances impact everyone, including college students, and an individual’s past isn’t just a summation of the circumstances that caused the trauma, but represents the renewed hope and purpose an applicant may have in pursuing a career in student affairs through our HESA program.
In no more than 750 words, consider crafting a statement of purpose that responds to the following prompts.
What personal and professional experiences have influenced you in the past and now lead you to seek admission to the HESA program at Salem State?
What are your long-term professional goals, and how might the HESA program help you achieve them?
Identify one important issue within the field of higher education or student affairs and explain why this issue is important.
Is there any other information that you think would help the admissions committee to evaluate your application? (Optional)
It is important you synthesize your statement as a cohesive essay rather than respond to each prompt individually. Additionally, we recognize that you may seek guidance from family members, mentors, supervisors, and peers to review your essay, who are often well-intentioned when providing feedback. However, when possible, we prefer and invite you to consider not burdening them with this extra labor. Instead, share your essay as is to allow HESA faculty to appreciate your narrative without potential influence from others with respect to content as well as writing style and clarity of ideas.
Resumé: A current/up-to-date resumé that reflects your academic and co-curricular experiences and achievements must be included with the application.
Letters of Reference: At this time three letters of professional reference are required for your application to be considered complete. When submitting the application, you must be prepared to provide the names and email addresses of three individuals with whom you have/had an academic and/or professional relationship.
Reference letters providers will receive an email with a unique link to complete their reference form, upload their letters, and submit their reference directly to Salem State.
We recommend you seek reference providers who are able to provide positive letters highlighting your academic, co-curricular, and leadership accomplishments and can offer an informed assessment of your application to pursue graduate education as well as a career in student affairs.
We recommend sharing your plans to apply to the program with your reference letter providers early in the application process (no later than January 1), which gives your references two weeks to complete their recommendations to ensure that their letters are received in a timely manner to avoid delays
Your reference letter providers may appreciate having your statement of purpose, your resume, and knowing the program priority deadline so they can submit their letters on time.
The Graduate Admissions Office only forwards completed applications for review by the HESA admissions committee.
Letters written by friends, family members, peers, therapists, or acquaintances are not appropriate and will not be considered.
Official Transcripts: Applicants must request official transcripts or transcript evaluations to be directly sent to Salem State. When possible, we recommend that you request electronic transcripts from all previous institutions be sent directly to email@example.com. Click here to follow more specific instructions on how to submit transcripts.
Non-refundable Application Fee: A $50 non-refundable application fee is required for reviewing your application.
We understand that the application fee may present a financial barrier to apply to the program. To mitigate the burden, the Graduate Admissions Office automatically waives the fee periodically. Check their website for specific dates or contact the HESA program coordinator to request an application fee waiver.
International Applicants: In addition to the above-required material, international applicants must peruse the following sections to ensure that these additional documents are submitted to ensure timely review of their application and matriculation into the program:
Note to international applicants: The program coordinator is unfortunately unable to provide initial individual assessment of admissibility to the program without a completed application.
Upon admission to the HESA program, an international student programs coordinator from Salem State’s Center for International Education (CIE) will contact you. International students must document their ability to meet all educational and living expenses for the first year of their intended study before CIE can issue a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status (Form I-20) per immigration regulations. Although you must only show proof for the first year of study, funding must be available for your entire course of study from your personal or sponsored funding sources. International students are NOT eligible for financial aid and U.S. Federal immigration regulations severely restrict international student employment so students should not expect to subsidize their studies by earning income in the United States.
Important Dates and Process (General Cohort)
Priority application deadline is January 15. Applications received after January 15 and prior to July 31 are accepted on a rolling basis for the upcoming fall semester for general (Student Affairs) cohort.
Your application will not be reviewed until after the priority date, irrespective of when you applied to the program.
After the Graduate Admissions Office forwards your complete application, the HESA admissions committee will review your application.
Upon review, you will be invited to HESA Visit Days for academic program admission and assistantship interviews.
Following the academic admission interview, admissions recommendations are made by the HESA program coordinator to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. You should expect to receive a final decision from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the Office of Graduate Admissions within a week of your interview.
Assistantship offers are made after assistantship interviews
Students matriculate into the HESA program (student affairs cohort) only into the upcoming Fall semester.
Important Dates and Process (Executive Cohort)
Priority application deadline is January 15. Applications received after January 15 and prior to April 1 are accepted on a rolling basis for the upcoming Summer semester for the Higher Education Leadership (executive) cohort.
Your application will be reviewed on a rolling basis till April 1.
After the Graduate Admissions Office forwards your complete application, the HESA admissions committee reviews your application.
Upon review, you will be invited to schedule an academic program admission interview.
Following the academic program admission interview, admissions recommendations are made by the HESA program coordinator to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. You should expect to receive a final decision from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the Office of Graduate Admissions within a week of your interview.
Students matriculate into the HESA program (higher education leadership cohort) only into the upcoming Summer semester.
At the discretion of the program coordinator, matriculation may be delayed till the Fall semester to ensure appropriate cohort size.
HESA Assistantship Opportunities
In collaboration with various student services offices at Salem State, the HESA program offers several on-campus graduate assistantships in different student affairs functional areas. Designed to be learning opportunities while developing specific functional area skills, future Salem State HESA students can apply and interview for these positions as part of Visit Days. HESA assistantships provide several benefits including:
Tuition remission for up to nine credits in Fall and Spring semesters. Students are responsible for all university fees.
20 hours per week each semester (Fall and Spring, excluding Winter, Spring, and Summer breaks) at $15.50 - $16.50 per hour. Schedules are subject to agreement between the graduate assistant and their supervisor.
Certain assistantship positions (Graduate Resident Director, Community Standards, Student Life Operations) provide additional benefits such as room and board (see position descriptions for details).
The HESA assistantship interviews are scheduled to synchronize with the HESA academic program admissions timeline. While these are two separate processes, they occur at the same time as part of Visit Days and are both coordinated through the HESA program. HESA assistantships are awarded only to students who have been admitted into the program. Students are not required to have an assistantship for admission to the program, but are highly encouraged to secure one to gain experience and increase future employment prospects.
For students seeking admission to the HESA program and on-campus assistantships for Fall 2023, below are important dates:
Virtual academic admission and assistantship interviews: February 6-17, 2023
In-Person academic admission and assistantship interviews: TBD
Work in a variety of on-campus student affairs/services offices to support student success and retention efforts.
Tuition remission (excluding fees) for nine credits in the fall and spring terms, and a stipend ($15.50-$16.50 per hour for 20 hours per week).