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Higher Education - Master’s Program

students in the classroomOpportunity

The Master of Education (MEd) in Student Development in Higher Education prepares entry level professionals for a variety of positions in student affairs in postsecondary education in increasingly diverse and technologically advanced colleges and universities. Master’s level academic coursework provides solid theoretical and practical grounding for understanding the student services profession in the context of colleges and universities as complex organizations including: student development, sociocultural identity differences/diversity, ethical professional practice, research, and technological competence. The practical implications of coursework are explored through class discussions of application, internship experiences, and graduate assistantships in a variety of campus offices.

The Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) degrees allow proven students seeking a research-based masters degree to complete a thesis in lieu of the Capstone Seminar. Students may apply to transfer into the MA or MS program after completing 18 hours of coursework in the MEd program including EDS 510 and EDS 521. The application also requires a proposed research focus and signatures of three faculty sponsors.


Theory-to-Practice Internships provide the opportunity for hands-on experience in a student affairs setting, designed to provide a broad and in-depth perspective of higher education administration. All students must complete a minimum of one internship.

Intern opportunities are available in various offices on the UMaine campus, in the community, and at other public and private colleges and universities in areas such as career development, student activities and community life, admissions, residential life, student health, multicultural programming, financial aid, tutoring and other student-centered services and programs.


Students work collaboratively to enrich their learning experiences and to promote their chosen profession while making a meaningful contribution to the campus and community. The Student Development Association is an active organization that fosters professional growth and national networking opportunities. For example, the association and its members sponsor professional development programs, attend professional conferences, and publish in professional journals.

The Program

The 36-credit hour graduate program centers around 18 hours of core courses emphasizing the latest theory, contemporary issues and best practice in student development and the functioning of colleges and universities. Twelve hours focus on individual specialization, and six on assessment and research. All students participate in a capstone seminar in student affairs, which provides a culminating, integrating, research-based experience.

The academic program encompasses all the components of the CAS standards.

Student Development Core – 18 hours

  • Developmental Theory in Higher Education
  • Seminar in Higher Education Issues
  • Higher Education and the Law
  • Higher Education Internship
  • Capstone Seminar in Student Affairs

students workingAssessment/Research Core – 6 hours

  • Assessing the Impact of College on Students
  • Statistical Methods in Education

concentration – 12 hours

An area of emphasis specific to the student’s interests. Options include educational leadership, counseling, women’s studies, disability studies, and individualized areas that have been designed with the adviser, for example, around international programs, multiculturalism, athletics, theatre arts, and outdoor education.

Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.)

The College of Education and Human Development provides an option for a Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) providing a cohesive program of professional development beyond the master’s level for educational specialists. The program of study is individually planned by the student and his or her advisor. A minimum of 30 semester hours of work beyond the master’s level is required to earn the C.A.S. Candidates must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours in professional education coursework at the 500- and/or 600-level at the University of Maine. All work for the C.A.S. must be completed within a six year period. A master’s degree in the C.A.S. subject matter is required for admission to the program.

The program will typically include a concentration of courses in the student’s area of interest and at least two research courses.

Download the Handbook for the Master’s Program on (PDF)

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