Degree overview
The master’s degree in student development in higher education (M.Ed.) at the University of Maine prepares entry-level professionals for positions in postsecondary student affairs. The program provides solid theoretical and practical grounding for student services jobs in increasingly diverse and technologically advanced colleges and universities. Our students come to understand institutions of higher learning as complex organizations, with classes focused on student development, socio-cultural identity differences/diversity, ethical professional practice, research and technological competence. In addition, many students explore the practical implications of coursework through internships and graduate assistant positions in a variety of UMaine campus offices.

Careers in Higher Education
Our graduates have gone on to work in a number of positions in higher education at a variety of institutions, including jobs in academic advising, campus activities and programs, student conduct, residence life, career services and more.

Program delivery
The 36-credit hour master’s program is designed around guidelines established by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, and consists of three major components:

  • Student development in higher education core (18 credit hours) provides a base of knowledge about colleges and universities and student development as a field.
  • Research core (6 credit hours) provides a basic understanding of assessment, research design and statistical methods for conducting and/or interpreting research.
  • Individual concentration (12 credit hours) covers an area of emphasis specific to the student’s interests. Options include: educational leadership; women’s, sexuality or gender studies; and an individualized option.

The UMaine College of Education and Human Development also offers a Certificate of Advanced Study program that is individually planned by the student and his or her advisor. A minimum of 30 semester hours past a master’s degree 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. A master’s degree in the C.A.S. subject matter is required for admission.

To apply
Prospective students are encouraged to submit their application to the University of Maine Graduate School by Dec. 1 in order to receive priority consideration for assistantship positions. Assistantships are available for full-time students, and assistantship applications are built in to the overall application process. Higher education faculty and staff work closely with departments across the UMaine campus to offer a variety of assistantship opportunities.

Application Requirements:

  • UMaine Graduate School application
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • At least one letter of recommendation from a faculty member
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Scholarly writing sample, 3-5 pages

The student development in higher education program does not require the submission of standardized test scores. Students with a GPA lower than 3.0 are encouraged to submit either GRE or MAT scores.

Higher Education faculty

Elizabeth Allan, Ph.D., Professor, Program Coordinator
Suzanne Estler, Ph.D., Associate Professor Emerita
Susan K. Gardner, Ph. D., Professor
Kathleen Gillon, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor
Leah Hakkola, Ph.D., Assistant Professor