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Master's in College Student Personnel

OCPA 2019

Program Code: ME6275

Contact Us at HESA to learn how to join our 2024 cohort!

The graduate degree program in College Student Personnel (CSP) is a long-established, nationally respected, full-time, cohort-based program, that takes two academic years to complete. The history of the CSP program can be traced back to the mid-1960s when the program began as a specialization in the counseling program. In recent decades individuals from across the U.S. as well as other countries come to Ohio University to study in the Masters in College Student Personnel program. Approximately 20-25 students enroll each year in this cohort-based program. Our graduates have consistently attained significant leadership positions in colleges, universities, and professional associations for decades. 

The Master's in College Student Personnel curriculum integrates theory and practice, blending courses in student development theory, student affairs administration, counseling, and higher education with hands-on experience in student affairs offices at Ohio University and neighboring institutions. The program requires the equivalent of two years of full-time study and follows national standards for professional education, while also personalizing study to meet individual needs.

All students in the CSP program hold graduate assistantships with our partners in the Division of Student Affairs or other divisions across Ohio University. Admission to the program and the GA assignment are independent decisions.

About the CSP Program

Standards and Guidelines

The curriculum in the Ohio University College Student Personnel program has been developed to meet the standards and guidelines of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. The standards for Master's Level Student Affairs Administration preparation programs have been used to guide a curriculum that also incorporates elements unique to the Ohio University CSP program. Additionally, the faculty has designed the curriculum to align with the ACPA/NASPA Student Affairs Competencies.

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Students will comprehend realistically the different aspects of the student affairs profession.
  2. Students will analyze fundamental student affairs competency areas, including the structure and function of higher education, student development theories, diversity, organization/administration, and assessment/evaluation.
  3. Students will apply leadership skills, interpersonal/helping skills, and scholarship skills to be student affairs professionals.
  4. Students will integrate their developing professional networks, their mentorship experiences, their assistantship/practicum experiences, and their academic experiences into their unique career development

Program Philosophy and Objectives

For over 40 years, our CSP students have embraced the mission of learning how to enrich the student experience. The program offers knowledge and skills in a distinctive community setting, and a learning-living laboratory for studying and enhancing the undergraduate experience. The core values that guide the mission are:

  • "Community" as a mutually empowering learning environment
  • "Diversity" as more than the tolerance of difference but a commitment to equity, justice, and affirmation
  • "Individuality" as an expression of personal human growth and dignity
  • "Holism" as the synergy that must take place between the ideas and activities, the heads and hearts of our learners
  • "Service" as an unwavering devotion to the development of human potential
  • ­"Learning" as the primary reason for the existence of institutions of higher education

The program attempts to fulfill its Mission by:

  • Providing a core of theory, skills, values, and attitudes to help our graduates enrich the student experience
  • Developing an understanding of higher education, student affairs functions, college student development, and educational research
  • Assisting students in developing their professional competencies through field experiences that are sequenced appropriately with theory-oriented courses

Alumni Map and Job Placement Rate (close to 100%)

Alumni Map of the United States showing where graduates have been hired.

Faculty Diversity Statements

CSP Partner--The Division of Student Affairs (DOSA)

The OHIO Division of Student Affairs will ensure that a framework of equity and social justice is embedded into its day-to-day work.

The Graduate Assistant (GA) is expected to be inclusive, equity-oriented, and diversity-aware, which aligns with the institution’s expectations of diversity and inclusion. We seek a candidate committed to working with people holding similar or different world views while advocating for the inclusion of all people.  

The DOSA website highlights that equity and social justice is our strategic priority and delineates our progress toward those values.

Curriculum Overview

Enriching the student experience ­is the theme of our Master's Degree Program in College Student Personnel (CSP). The program offers knowledge and skills that help our graduates enrich student learning. Distinctive elements of our CSP program include the opportunity to have two unique practicum experiences in addition to the graduate assistantship and "specialized courses in College Student Affairs". 

The program prepares promising entry-level professionals for direct service positions in various higher education settings by helping them attain the necessary skills to assume leadership positions. Most of our students attend full-time, gaining professional experience through graduate assistantships. Full-time students with assistantships usually take two years to complete the program.

The Ohio University College Student Personnel Program has a strong, collaborative relationship with the partner divisions and departments across campus. CSP students are involved as graduate assistants, interns, and practicum students.  They also serve on department, college, and division committees and participate in professional development programs annually. University partners participate in the professional development and educational preparation of CSP Master's Degree students. Student affairs administrators are also frequently asked to share their expertise as guest speakers in CSP core courses. Ohio University is fortunate to have strong relationships with well-respected and nationally awarded departments and divisions (e.g., The Division of Student Affairs) whose professionals are committed to partnership in the development of future student affairs professionals.

Academic Admissions Process

The application process for master’s degree study in College Student Personnel requires acceptance to the academic program and a graduate assistantship offer for full consideration.  To start the process of applying to the program please pay close attention to the items below.

  1. GOOD NEWS! No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required.
  2. Completed Online Graduate Admissions Application and an application fee of $50. 
  3. Submit: 
    • Transcripts of undergraduate institutions attended
    • Autobiographical Sketch/Personal Statement (2-3 pages, double-spaced) - The autobiographical sketch provides a sample of your writing. It should tell us about you as an applicant and address important factors in your life journey that have shaped your interest in CSP and brought you to apply to this program.
    • Three letters of recommendation (the requests for your letters of recommendation will be available when you submit your application)
    • A current résumé or curriculum vitae
  4. After reviewing your admissions materials, students will be required to attend a virtual one-on-one interview with a program faculty member. These interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis as applications are submitted. 

GA Application Process

Apply Now!

For further information, contact:

Higher Education and Student Affairs 
Patton Hall 432