College Student Personnel (M.S.E.)

Become a leader, an educator and an organizer in higher education through our College Student Personnel program. We provide the practice, theoretical perspectives and appropriate experience you need to excel. We follow the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education established by our professional organizations, and our coursework emphasizes professional development, experience in working with individuals and groups of students, and designs of campus environments. We know how important experience is for future success, which is why we give you real-life opportunities. You will complete three internships at surrounding colleges and universities. Many students also hold graduate assistantships in the Office of Student Development to aid with their tuition expense and develop expertise.

Please visit the College Student Personnel program website >>

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the College Student Personnel program should submit the following information in addition to the online application:

  1. Official academic records of all previously attended colleges or universities must be submitted directly from the colleges or universities to the Office of Graduate Admission Processing. Hand-carried transcripts, official copies marked Issued to Student and unofficial copies are not acceptable.
  2. Three letters of recommendation from professors or employers.
  3. A personal statement.
  4. Results from the GRE or MAT are required for applicants with an undergraduate grade-point average below 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.
  5. Essay Responses (See Below)

Additional requirements apply for international students.

Applicants must have attained an undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.  Applicants who have less than a 2.75 cumulative GPA may be admitted if they achieve a raw score of 40 or higher or a scaled score of 396 or higher on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or scaled scores of 149 or higher on the verbal ability and 4.0 or higher on the analytical writing sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).  For tests administrations prior to August 1, 2011, a scaled score of 430 or higher on the analytical ability section is required.  

Once an applicant has successfully met the required admission criteria outlined above, there will be a faculty review. Following faculty review of these materials, the applicant may be invited to interview with department faculty.

Essay Instructions

Please provide typed responses to the following essay questions. Type your name and the question at the top of the sheet with your answer. Limit your answer to one single-spaced page for each question. Submit your responses via e-mail at or mail your responses to:

Office of Graduate Admission Processing
University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-1301

  1. Why are you interested in pursuing a master's degree in the college student personnel program?
  2. Answer two of the following questions:
    1. What role would you play in a community of learners?
    2. Select three major issues facing higher education (or students in higher education). Describe the issues and why you think they should be of concern.
    3. Do you have a philosophy of education? If so, what is it?

Academic Requirements

Program requirements can be found in the online Catalog. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take me to complete the degree?
Full-time students complete the program in five semesters (two academic years plus one summer of course work). Part-time students may take three or more years to complete the program.

What can I do with a degree in college student personnel?
Our program prepares students to work in a variety of roles within higher education settings. Most of our graduates work in areas that provide direct services to students such as residence life, student activities, academic advising, career services, international student services, and fraternity and sorority life.

Are there graduate assistantships available on campus?
A number of graduate assistantships are available for students in the college student personnel or higher education administration programs. Assistantships are available in residence life, student activities, alcohol and other drug education, educational and special programs, fraternity and sorority life, and admission. Contact the department chair for more information.

What are the internships? What do they require?
Students will complete three 100-hour internships in a college or university setting. Internships provide an opportunity for students to explore additional service areas within higher education and to add to their skills. Students are encouraged to complete at least one of these internships off campus. Students may begin internships in their second semester.

As a private university, is the program at UD different from what I might find at a public university?
The University of Dayton provides a unique setting to obtain a degree in college student personnel. Few private universities in the country offer a program in college student personnel. Our program allows for students to understand the unique experience of working at a private, mission-driven university. Yet, because of our size, we have a number of "public" characteristics. A number of the students in our program work at local public colleges and universities, and most of our students complete an internship at a public institution. Our students develop a sophisticated understanding of the differing needs and opportunities at public and private colleges and universities.

Where can I get more information about the program?
Please visit the College Student Personnel program website >>

Can I apply for a graduate assistantship?
Yes! Learn more >>