Counseling, MS (Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education)

Master of Science Degree in Counseling with a concentration in Student Affairs in Higher Education

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Fully Online
  • 38
    Credits
  • $351.00
    In-State
  • $457.00
    Out-of-State

Program Overview

The online Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in Student Affairs in Higher Education is designed for individuals who are passionate about advocating for the development, wellness, and safety of students in the higher education setting. The program curriculum focuses on the modern college student experience including online and digital learning experiences, diversity and ethics in higher education settings and current issues in the field.

Students of this program gain: 

  • Preparation for work with students across traditional and distance/online education settings
  • Counseling knowledge and practices to utilize in an educational setting
  • An engaging curriculum that emphasizes evidence-based content and student development theory
  • A flexible, online learning opportunity that utilizes a cohort –style learning environment with courses taught asynchronously and synchronously

Career Outlook: As more and more individuals search for post-secondary education, the demand for education administrators is expected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic and changing educational landscape has increased the need for professionals in the digital education and mental health fields to support student success beyond the classroom.

The program is designed to prepare higher education professionals for careers in:

  • Community colleges, public and private institutions
  • Online and distance education services
  • Student Affairs roles including:
  • Advising
  • Career Services
  • Student Life
  • Admissions
  • Financial Aid
  • Multicultural Affairs
  • Online student support services
  • Many others!

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

  2. 3 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Completed coursework

    9 semester hours in behavioral sciences or closely related fields for Clinical Mental Health and Student Affairs applicants. Can be completed concurrently with the program.

  4. Previous work experience

    Work experience in a student environment or related field.

  5. A written personal statement

    Statement of Purpose, maximum of 2 pages in length double-spaced. Statement of Purpose must include reasons for pursuing the counseling profession, any relevant experience, personal career goals and why UNO's counseling program would be a good fit.

  6. 3 letters of recommendation

    Must be from persons who can speak for the candidate's professional competence and academic ability

  7. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  8. Resume/CV

  9. Taken the MAT or GRE. This requirement may be waived if the student has completed an advanced degree.

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete and submit the online application for admissions.
  2. Pay the $45 non-refundable application fee.

Courses You’ll Take

Course Information

Note: Some courses may be offered synchronously

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
COUN 8950Organization, Administration and Leadership in Higher Education3
This course will provide an analysis of leadership, management, and organizational theory and practice in US higher education with particular emphasis on student affairs/student development. An examination of current practices of management will include human, fiscal, and physical resource management. This course is required for all students who are seeking a master's degree (M.S.) in Student Affairs in Higher Education.
COUN 8980Digital Learning: Policy, Programming & Systems3
This course provides an introduction to digital learning in higher education. Within this broad topic, we will examine digital learning organizational structures and institutional support; relevant policy guiding digital education in postsecondary education; examine key technology systems that support and empower digital courses; and understand the student affairs practitioner’s role in shaping programming and approaches to reach the digital learner. We will focus on understanding a digital student’s perspective and needs; an institution’s approach and prioritization; and a student affairs practitioner’s knowledge and options related to supporting and advancing digital learning in higher education.
COUN 8810Law and Ethics in Higher Education and Student Affairs3
This introductory course is designed to ground future student affairs practitioners in the guiding ethical and legal standards and principles of higher education administrators and student affairs professionals. The course will examine ethical and legal principles through evidence-based readings, discussion/lecture, case studies, exams, and projects. The course will also challenge students to examine their personal values and beliefs and their potential influence on future decision-making responses as a student affairs professional.
COUN 8820Crisis and Emergency Management in Higher Education3
This course will highlight the present higher education atmosphere and cover characteristics and attitudes of contemporary "traditional" and "non-traditional" college students. Further, this course will cover crisis in college settings and highlight basic crisis intervention strategies. Major topics covered will include the impact of college environments on students, current issues and concerns, and implications for delivery of student services.
COUN 8830Current Issues in Higher Education and Student Affairs1
This course involves a detailed exploration of current events and issues related to Student Affairs and Higher Education. The higher education ecological environment will be explored and issues pertaining to students will be investigated within the context of the current higher educational landscape. Finally, the college campus’s social, political, and physical landscapes will be discussed and current events facing student affairs and higher education professionals will be examined in order to provide students with information on conflicting perspectives related to relevant issues across academia and higher education as a whole.
COUN 8450Internship in Student Affairs in Higher Education4
This course serves as an internship in Student Affairs in Higher Education - counseling and is designed to provide practical, day-to-day, work experience (under supervision) in various areas within student personnel services. The areas of specialization are selected by the student: i.e., admissions, financial aid, placement, careers, counseling, testing, student organizations, a residence hall, student center activities, etc. The SAHE COUN 8450 course (Internship I, II, & III if necessary) provides opportunities for students to demonstrate competence with increasingly complex and diverse client caseloads. SAHE COUN 8450 interns will provide direct and indirect counseling and student affairs services under the supervision of UNO Counseling Department instructors and licensed mental health professionals at their respective internship sites. Internship experiences may include working in diverse settings related to higher education, focusing on both personal and professional development. In particular, attention is given to the continued development and refinement of counseling skills, skills directly related to working in student affairs and higher education settings, and the provision of ethically and culturally competent counseling services to diverse students/clients.
COUN 8006Student Development Theories 3
This course is designed to allow candidates to pursue independent study of a topic under the direction and guidance of a faculty member. Topics studied and the nature of the learning activities are mutually agreed upon by the candidate and instructor. This course will prepare graduate (or undergraduate) candidates as dedicated practitioners, reflective scholars, and responsible citizens who can meet the challenges of their profession in a changing world.
COUN 8030Counseling Practices3
The major purpose of Counseling 8030 is to assist students in skill development as noted in Ivey's Intentional Interviewing and Counseling Model. Candidates practice, develop and improve counseling skills in an environment of professional and constructive criticism. Candidates will continue to develop counseling skills through additional coursework leading to practicum and internship experiences.
COUN 8850The College Student Experience3
The major purpose of Counseling 8030 is to assist students in skill development as noted in Ivey's Intentional Interviewing and Counseling Model. Candidates practice, develop and improve counseling skills in an environment of professional and constructive criticism. Candidates will continue to develop counseling skills through additional coursework leading to practicum and internship experiences.
COUN 8930History of Higher Education and Student Affairs3
This course will examine a range of topics relevant to understanding and working in higher education institutions. Specific topics will include the purpose of higher education, accessibility and student diversity issues, financial and legal factors, extracurricular activities, and issues related to faculty and staff experiences.
COUN 8150Student and Student Personnel Work in Higher Education3
An overview of the characteristics of college students and their interaction with campus environmental influences. The impact of student personnel work is considered as it affects personality growth, social development and career planning by college students.
COUN 8940Diversity and Wellness in Issues in Higher Education3
This course is an exploration of holistic wellness and of power, privilege, social identities, social justice theories and multicultural issues and practices within the context of higher education. We begin by offering foundational definitions of terminology used throughout the course and delve into understanding systems of oppression, privilege, power, and activism through a holistic wellness lens. We then explore and discuss specific social identities, returning again to think about identity through a social justice lens.
Choose 1 of the following:3
COUN 8010 Introduction to Research | EDL 8010 Introductory Research Methods

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour

Tuition
$351.00
Fees
$50.75
Total
$401.75

3 Credit Hours

Tuition
$1053.00
Fees
$152.25
Total
$1205.25

Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour

Tuition
$457.00
Fees
$50.75
Total
$507.75

3 Credit Hours

Tuition
$1371.00
Fees
$152.25
Total
$1523.25
About Faculty

University of Nebraska online courses are taught by expert faculty who embody the qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience. Students learn from faculty with a variety of backgrounds, many of whom are published researchers in their fields. NU faculty who teach online do so in a way that optimizes learning within the online modality and because technology enables students to access education they may otherwise may not be able to pursue.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall semester deadlineMar 01