The CSSA program is rooted in social justice, setting a framework for graduates to deliver equitable and accessible student services programs and services, promote student learning, facilitate community development, and lead response to emerging campus issues.

Required Courses for All Students

A major in College Student Services Administration is generally completed in two to three academic years and requires a minimum of 54 graduate credits. Please note that assistantship guidelines require that all students employed as Graduate Assistants (GTAs or GRAs) with the University register for a minimum of 12 credits per academic term (summers excluded). Given this, full-time students with GAs will graduate with more than the 54 required credits.


40 Credits of Core Courses

  • CSSA 510: Internship in College Student Services (9)
  • CSSA 513: Research & Assessment in Higher Education (3)
  • CSSA 520: Multicultural Issues in Higher Education (3)
  • CSSA 530: Fundamentals of Counseling (3)
  • CSSA 548: History of Higher Education (3)
  • CSSA 551: Programs and Functions in College Student Services (3)
  • CSSA 552: Principles and Theories of Student Development I (3)
  • CSSA 553: Principles and Theories of Student Development II (3)
  • CSSA 554: Legal Issues in Higher Education (3)
  • CSSA 557: Professional Development in College Student Services Administration (1)
  • CSSA 558: Organization and Administration of College Student Services (3)
  • CSSA 574: Budget and Finance (3)

 15 Credits of Elective Courses 

  • CSSA 502: Independent or Special Studies (1-3)
  • CSSA 503: Thesis (3-9)
  • CSSA 505: Reading & Conference General (1-6)
  • CSSA 505: Reading & Conference Portfolio (1-6)
  • CSSA 506: Projects (1-3)
  • CSSA 549: Globalization in Higher Education (3)
    • Academic Advising (1)
    • Disability Issues (2)
    • Transitions (3)
  • Other Electives within SLCS or other Dept/Program (3)

Master of Education (Ed.M.)

This first degree option, the Master of Education (Ed.M.), is earned through successful completion of all required program coursework and successful completion and defense of a capstone portfolio. The capstone portfolio is a cumulative, comprehensive, and reflective form of student assessment. Completing a portfolio requires that the student address each program competency in a comprehensive, meaningful, and creative way. The portfolio “product” can be shared in any number of formats, including, but not limited to: writings, pictures, audio or video clips, and electronic media (websites, CDs, PowerPoint documents, etc.). No specific format is required or preferred. Students are asked to utilize the format that is most compatible and appropriate given their strengths and learning. Students are strongly encouraged to develop and assemble numerous and diverse artifacts in meeting the competencies on an ongoing basis. Final portfolios are distributed to and evaluated in writing by a committee just prior to the last term of coursework. A public, formal committee meeting with oral presentation and defense serves as the second method of evaluation.

Master of Science (M.S.)

The second degree option, the Master of Science (M.S.), is earned through the successful completion of all required program coursework and successful completion and defense of a thesis. In addition to the required coursework and the thesis, students pursuing the M.S. degree must also demonstrate adequate evidence of competence and learning in each of the nine CSSA competency areas. Demonstration of this evidence may take the form of an extended/detailed competency plan with select work samples or other methods approved by the major professor. This demonstration need not be a portfolio, but it should still show adequate evidence of competency mastery. The thesis research should be significantly reflected in the demonstration.