Master's students in College Student Affairs participate in a professional development workshop

College Student Affairs (M.Ed.)

With increased attention on the value of a college degree, a need has developed for experts who can help students navigate the challenges of higher education and promote their successful degree completion.

Degrees & Offerings
  • M.Ed.
Program Contact
M.Ed. Educational Leadership and College Student Affairs, Associate Professor
illustration of Carver Hall

Help college students succeed in and out of the classroom - and beyond.

Become an expert at helping college students navigate the challenges of higher education and help them reach greater heights. Our College Student Affairs master’s program blends faculty expertise with scholarship, practical experiences and opportunities to fully engage with the student affairs profession in a strong, inclusive student community.

We need people who can make a difference!

  • Do you like to work with college students?
  • Do you like being involved and engaged on your college campus?
  • Do you want to build dynamic, engaging, and supportive college environments?
  • Are you interested in helping college students succeed outside of the classroom?
  • Do you want to promote college student learning and development?

We can help you become one of those people! Students from all undergraduate majors become successful Student Affairs educators.

We face a changing society.

Faced with the pressing need for distance learning, virtual student out-of-classroom experiences, and readily available online interactions with CSA professionals, our program prepares you to help meet the needs of busy college students facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the pandemic. This cutting-edge approach is balanced by our core philosophy of providing hands-on experience to address the growing demand for attention to learning in all areas of the college experience along with creating a dynamic, inclusive, and supportive campus experience with exemplary collaboration skills and conflict management communication. 

What we offer

  • Faculty commitment to lowering students’ costs by utilizing Affordable Educational Resources (AER) for high-quality course materials
  • Personal, dedicated faculty with lengthy careers in student affairs work
  • Strong, inclusive, supportive student community and alumni network
  • Support for campus and professional engagement
  • Variety of field experiences at Bloomsburg, locally, and nationally
  • CAS standards-compliant curriculum for students from any academic major

Courses and Curriculum

The College Student Affairs program in the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership degree offers a unique blend of coursework that prepares students for careers as student affairs educators. Courses may be available face-to-face, on-line, or as hybrid classes to enable students to engage in summer experiences outside of the local area. Students can earn the 39-credit degree in four semesters as a full-time student (9 to 12 credit hours per term) and may begin the graduate program in the fall or spring terms. As a key element of the program, students complete 6 credits (two semesters of 3 credits) of supervised Field Experience.

Total Credits Required = 39 (9 Core credits + 6 Research Core credits + 24 CSA credits) 

Core Coursework – 9 credit hours

EDL 500 - Introduction to Educational Leadership- 3 credits

EDL 501 - Organizational Behavior and Program Development- 3 credits

EDL 524 - Ethical, Legal and Leadership Issues in CSA 3 credits

Research Core– 6 credit hours

EDL 590 - Educational Research and Writing- 3 credits

EDL 523 - Assessment and The College Student Experience- 3 credits

College Student Affairs track – 24 credit hours

EDL 520- Professional Helping in CSA- 3 credits

EDL 521- Student Development Theory- 3 credits

EDL 522- Foundations and Functions of CSA- 3 credits

COUNSEL 510 - Group Counseling and Leadership Skills- 3 credits

COUNSEL 525 - Multicultural Counseling- 3 credits

EDL 599 - Field Experience in CSA- 6 credits (3-credit course completed twice)

Elective approved by Program Coordinator – 3 credits

COUNSEL 510 - Group Counseling and Leadership Skills
Examines group processes and their application to counseling. This course also offers practical experiences in facilitating and leading support groups in an educational organization. Students will also participate as a member in a group setting. Prerequisites: COUNSEL.500 or COUNSEL.501.

COUNSEL 525 - Multicultural Counseling
Focuses students' attention to the presence of personal resistance, biases, prejudices, stereotypes, judgmental thought processes, and racist tendencies in society and how that affects practicing counselors and student affairs professionals. The development of knowledge and understanding regarding characteristics and concerns of diverse populations, the attitudes and behaviors affected by dominant group membership, and the individual and group approaches/interventions appropriate within the multicultural helping settings will be explored. The course will also provide students with a comprehensive overview of the theoretical approach concerning knowledge, awareness, skills, and attitudes toward seeking mental health services that counselors and student affairs professionals will need in order to demonstrate multicultural competence. May be offered in traditional and distance education formats. Prerequisites: None.

EDL 500 - Introduction to Educational Leadership
Focuses on examination of the functions and tasks of educational administration. Issues include the evolving school and college setting; the meaning, development, and work of school and college administrators; educational systems analysis; school and college personnel administration; administrative and organizational behavior; and career ladders in educational administration. Three hours lecture per week. May be offered in traditional and distance education formats. This course satisfies PDE guidelines for Inclusive Classrooms and Standards Aligned System (SAS). Three hours lecture per week. Perquisite: None.

EDL 501 - Organizational Behavior and Program Development
Explores the various attributes and impacts of organizational behavior with a core focus on effectively creating programs and leading change within an organization. Main topics included are: vision, mission, communication, conflict, renewal, accountability, power, building capacity, change, culture, and professional development. Using needs assessment data for action planning for effective program implementation is established. May be offered in traditional and distance education formats. Three hours lecture per week. Prerequisites: None.

EDL 520- Professional Helping in College Student Affairs
Exposes students to components of professional helping with a specific focus on the college setting and the college student. Incorporating active use of helping skills, students will apply a three-stage helping model to interactions with college students. In addition, the topics of student mental health, multicultural competence, student diversity, reflective practice, facilitation of discussion, crisis counseling, and legal and ethical issues will be examined. May be offered in traditional and distance education formats. Three hours lecture per week. Prerequisites: None.

EDL 521- Student Development Theory
Examines and critiques theories of college student development and how college shapes the formation of one's identity. In keeping with our scholar-practitioner mode, this course also considers how these theories are applied in a contemporary college setting. This course serves as a foundation for all college student affairs coursework and subsequent field experiences. May be offered in traditional and distance education formats. Three hours lecture per week. Prerequisites: None.

EDL 522- Foundations and Functions of College Student Affairs
Provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of college student affairs and its role in American higher education. This course examines the underpinnings of the college student affairs profession specifically, and higher education generally, including history, philosophy, roles, and functions. Students will also explore college student characteristics, analyze the influence of organizational type and culture on college students and the nature of student affairs work, and consider essential partnerships with stakeholders in college student affairs work. May be offered in traditional and distance education formats. Prerequisites: None.

EDL 523 - Assessment and The College Student Experience
Provides a comprehensive examination of the experiences of postsecondary students including the nature and characteristics of the population, the effects and outcomes of college, the roles and responsibilities of student affairs practitioners in measuring programmatic outcomes, and step-by-step procedures for assessing learning outcomes. May be offered in traditional and distance education formats. Three hours lecture per week. Prerequisites: None.

EDL 524 - Ethical, Legal and Leadership Issues in College Student Affairs
Examines and critiques an array of contemporary and historical issues in college student affairs specifically and higher education in general. This course has a special focus on ethical, legal and leadership issues and how these concepts relate to and influence various issues in college student affairs. May be offered in traditional and distance education formats. Prerequisites: None.

EDL 590 - Educational Research and Writing
Surveys various concepts, theories and methods related to research conducted in an educational setting. Students will review, analyze, critique and design research using quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods strategies. Critical analysis of existing research literature and research ethics are also presented. Students will develop and refine their educational writing through course assignments and completion of a comprehensive and professionally relevant final paper. May be offered in traditional and distance education formats. Prerequisites: None.

EDL 599 - Field Experience in College Student Affairs
Exposes students to a comprehensive, pre-professional experience spanning two academic semesters for advanced graduate students in the College Student Affairs specialty within the counseling program. Students must complete 150 hours (per term) of supervised professional level work in a college student affairs department. Graduate students are required to secure their own field placement, which must be approved in advance by the instructor or the program coordinator, as appropriate. Periodic seminars, either online or in person, will be conducted to complement the practical experience. May be offered in traditional and distance education formats. Prerequisites: None.

Admissions Information

Applicants must satisfy the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies.  Standardized tests are not required for admission to the College Student Affairs program.

A complete application includes:

  1. A completed graduate school application. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts (minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA for full admission. Provisional admission may be possible with a GPA between 2.7 and 2.99.)
  2. A 500-word admission essay. A core value of the College Student Affairs program concerns the ability to reflect on our academic endeavors, our practical experiences, and our progress toward professional competence. The essay provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your current abilities as a reflective practitioner. Please choose either prompt A or prompt B and respond in the form of a well-written essay of no more than 500 words. Move beyond description and critically reflect on the meaning of the experience.

    Prompt A: Describe an experience that influenced your development in college, what you learned from that experience, and how you might use that lesson to support current college students.

    Prompt B: Provide insight into an important life experience that may be mentioned in your application materials (as a line in your resume, for instance, or an academic struggle you faced) but deserves further explanation.

    With thanks to Miami University and the University of Connecticut for their essay prompt ideas.
  3. A current resume
  4. Contact information for two references – Provide the names, titles, relationship, and contact information for a person who can address the applicant’s ability to complete graduate-level work (typically a faculty member) and the second from someone who can speak to the applicant’s potential as a student affairs educator.
  5. An interview with a CSA faculty member to discuss your professional goals, evaluate your academic record, and clarify program philosophy and requirements.

The application process is competitive, and candidates are evaluated based on verbal communication, confidence, alignment with program goals, academic and professional potential, and other criteria. We have a rolling application deadline; completed applications are reviewed as they are received. However, early application is preferred, particularly for candidates interested in a graduate assistantship.

Applications for CSA-related GA positions are made directly to the relevant department. Completion of the application form is not necessary. You can speak with Mark Bauman, Program Coordinator, for information about available GA positions and Graduate Assistantship Interview Day.

Starting Academic Term Preferred Submission Date
January November 1
August February 1

Application materials should be uploaded with your online application. Or, you can log back into your online application after submission to upload materials to your Supplemental Form. All uploads MUST be in PDF format; the system will not allow other formats. Paper versions of academic transcripts can be mailed to: Graduate Admissions, Bloomsburg University, 161 Arts and Administration Building, 400 E. Second Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815.


Bloomsburg Initial - B -  inside a keystone shape

Practical Learning

At Commonwealth University - Bloomsburg, we value our students having hands-on experience. Within the College Student Affairs program, our students strive to experience multiple institutional cultures across various functional areas and departments. As part of the academic program, students also complete two field experiences, working in a student affairs department. These opportunities provide an enriched and diverse experience that sets students up for career success.


A Graduate Assistantship (GA) is a financial package awarded to qualified graduate students in exchange for research or administrative duties at Commonwealth U - Bloomsburg. Historically, all eligible CSA students have held graduate assistantship (GA) positions. In addition to helping you fund your graduate education, a GA is a terrific way to get practical experience in student affairs, advance your skills and employment prospects, and help you figure out what sort of work setting best suits you.

Field Experiences

The field experience is a required academic, credit-bearing element of the CSA program and an important mechanism for the application of theory-to-practice. Sometimes called a practicum or internship, this is the capstone experience for the CSA program and is designed to be an educational and developmental experience. The objective is to help the student gain knowledge and skills in a student affairs area and within a postsecondary institution while putting “theory to practice” and exemplifying the scholar-practitioner philosophy. This is a unique opportunity for the student who has the benefit of guidance from a faculty member and a site supervisor who both have the student’s educational interests in mind. During the field experience students are to be thought of and treated as entry-level professional practitioners.

Our students’ partner with professionals at Commonwealth U - Bloomsburg and other institutions to offer students a robust and professional level supervised experience.

Professional Engagement

Students are encouraged to engage with the larger field of College Student Affairs:

  • Attend a local, state, or regional, or national professional conference
  • Propose and present an educational session at a professional conference—by yourself, with a classmate, with a CSA faculty member, with a student affairs practitioner. The School of Graduate Studies and College of Education provide some financial support (with a completed application) for graduate students who present at conferences
  • Volunteer for professional association committee work (sometimes called Commissions or Knowledge Communities)
  • Write a blog post or a regular blog series like Bloomsburg University Explore
  • Apply to become an ACPA Ambassador or NASPA G.A.P. affiliate
  • Assist a faculty member with their research

Bloomsburg University Explore Blog

Honor Societies

Chi Sigma Alpha is a student affairs academic and professional international honor society, which promotes and recognizes excellence in academics, research, and service to the student affairs profession. The Bloomsburg chapter of Chi Sigma Alpha was established in 2013, and offers a variety of social events, service opportunities, and leadership activities for its members.

The Husky Difference

CSA Grad Alumni
are employed in higher ed within one year of graduation.
Grad Assistantships
in 40 departments and four universities

Applying to this Program (Graduate)


  • Application Process

    Review the step-by-step application process for graduate school at BU.

  • Apply Now

    Begin your application online.

  • Contact Us

    If you have questions, we have answers. Contact us today!

Explore More

  • Grad Assistantships

    Help finance your grad degree. Gain professional experience. Grow your network.

  • Tuition and Fees

    Earning an advanced degree is an investment in your future. See just how affordable BU's Grad School can be for you.

  • Financial Aid

    Our Financial Aid team is your guide to navigating the aid process for your graduate degree at BU.

Program Contacts