Program - College Student Affairs

What is unique about the Rutgers CSA program?

The CSA program faculty is comprised of nationally-known scholars and scholar-practitioners in student affairs (Drs. Hamrick, Hernandez, Blimling, Lee, Love) and augmented by experienced student affairs colleagues who provide high quality field supervision and professional mentoring to students. CSA faculty have expertise in student cultural and social identity research, spirituality, cognitive and psychosocial development, gender issues, multiculturalism, counseling, professional ethics, theory-to-practice approaches, research and assessment, academic culture, and student affairs best practices. The newly-created Rutgers CSA program takes full advantage of the vibrancy and unique opportunities of its location in the Northeastern United States. New Brunswick is near several major population centers including New York City and Philadelphia, and the area is home to a range of higher education institutions serving students and citizens from myriad backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures. Rutgers was founded in 1766 as Queens College, one of the nine original colonial colleges in the US. Rutgers is now a major research extensive, public, land-grant university enrolling 57,000 students on three campuses (New Brunswick, Camden, and Newark). The CSA program provides rich, substantive opportunities for students to customize their graduate education programs via field experiences and elective coursework.

How close is New Brunswick to New York City? to Philadelphia and other major cities?

New Brunswick is approximately 36 miles from Manhattan and 60 miles from Philadelphia. Other major cities are within a day’s driving distance: Baltimore (160 miles), Washington DC (200 miles), Boston (250 miles), Pittsburgh (350 miles), and Montreal (400 miles).

What professional positions do CSA program graduates hold?

The first class of CSA master’s students will graduate in spring 2011, and alumni placement information will be available by fall 2011.

Do CSA students spend social time together?

FLSA schedules regular social events such as dinners out for CSA students to get together and have fun outside of class! Friendships frequently develop among CSA students.

What opportunities are there for professional development? How can I get involved?

The student organization for CSA students, Future Leaders in Student Affairs (FLSA) arranges professional development workshops and publicizes other professional development opportunities that students may attend. CSA students are elected to serve on the FLSA executive board, which works to represent all CSA students and their needs and interests via general meetings, surveys, and communicating students' needs to program faculty.

CSA students are also strongly encouraged to become members of student affairs professional organizations and to attend and present at regional and national professional conferences. In addition, the Jersey Alliance is a newly-chartered state association for student affairs professionals throughout the state of New Jersey.

What field experiences are available? Can I fulfill the field experience outside of Rutgers?

A variety of field experience placements are available at Rutgers and at neighboring colleges and universities. Available field experience placements for the upcoming semester are disseminated via the Field Experiences website.  Students may also identify potential field experience sites and reach out to prospective field experience site supervisors. All field experience sites must be approved by Dr. Paul A. Herman, the Field Experience Coordinator.

What is a field experience?

Each of the required field experience placements affords CSA students the opportunity to work in other student affairs settings or units of their choosing that have been approved by the CSA faculty. Students work between 8-10 hours per week in each field experience, and these hours are ordinarily unpaid. While engaged in each Field Experience, students enroll in a supplemental seminar to foster discussion and reflection.

Do students get paid for their internships?

Internship stipends are $7,000 per academic year, paid on a twice monthly basis. Some Internships provide additional employment during the summer, and some offer on-campus housing and/or a meal plan.

Do students hold internships for the full two years? What is the policy on switching internships?

Unless stated otherwise, graduate internships are two year commitments. Students who would like to pursue a different internship after the first year must consult with their supervisor and faculty advisor before initiating the search for a new internship placement.

How many hours will I be working per week?

Internships require between 20-30 hours of work per week. Depending on the internship, evening and/or weekend hours may be required.

Are internships guaranteed to all admitted students?

Students are fully admitted into the CSA program only after they accept internship offers. Holding a graduate internship is a condition of admission to - as well as continuation in - the CSA degree program.

How do I apply for an internship?

Prospective students first must apply for admission to the CSA degree program. Applicants are screened by faculty for admission into the program, and applicants qualified for admission are invited to participate in the Interview Days event held each March. Interviews with internship supervisors are held during this event, and internship offers will be extended shortly after Interview Days. NOTE: Although internship offers may be extended early in applicants’ decision making processes, in accordance with the Council of Graduate Schools resolution, applicants have until April 15 to accept or turn down internship offers. Once a student is offered and accepts an Internship, formal admission to the Graduate School of Education is granted.

What internships are available?

CSA students have opportunities to work in many different Student Affairs areas.  Current CSA students hold internships in units that include: residence life, admissions, career services, new student orientation, diverse community affairs, international student services, study abroad, fraternity and sorority affairs, orientation, student activities, and student unions, among others.

What are “internships” for CSA students?

Graduate internships are part-time (20-30 hours/week) positions that all CSA students must hold during their program enrollment. Internships provide full tuition remission (including out-of-state tuition for first-year students) and a stipend. Internships in Residence Life also provide housing and some meals. CSA students are responsible for payment of student fees.

How long is the program? Can students graduate early?

The Ed.M degree program requires two years of full-time enrollment (with optional summer enrollment). Sequencing of required course offerings does not permit early completion.

Do the faculty make themselves available to students?

Faculty members are available to students. Additionally, each student is assigned a faculty advisor upon acceptance to the CSA program. Other formal sources of support and information for CSA students include: graduate internship and field experience supervisors and designated peer mentors (CSA students from the previous cohort).

What is the comprehensive exam?

Each CSA student creates and presents a learning narrative and documentations of their learning as the culminating project of the degree program. The culminating projects are graded by faculty members on a “Pass/No Pass” basis. Students work with an assigned faculty advisor as they prepare their learning narratives.

What college student development theorists will students be studying?

CSA students study a range of classic and contemporary theories including psychosocial, cognitive, and identity development.

Are students allowed to take classes as a non-degree student?

Enrollment in CSA courses is open only to those students accepted into the Ed.M. degree program.

Are students allowed to take electives outside of the CSA program?

All CSA students complete nine hours of elective coursework. Elective courses must carry graduate credit, and all proposed electives must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor.

Where can I find course descriptions?

Descriptions of all CSA required courses can be found in the Graduate School of Education's College Student Affairs course catalogs.

Can students complete the program on a part-time basis? Can I keep a full-time job while I am in the program?

Full-time enrollment (a minimum of 9 credits per semester) is required. Other program requirements include a paid graduate internship (20-30 hours per week) and completion of two Field Experiences (8-10 hours per week each). Full-time, continuing employment in a student affairs position may substitute for the graduate internship requirement with CSA faculty approval, but - as with all CSA students - full-time enrollment and completion of three field experiences are required. If you have special circumstances that you would like the faculty to consider, please contact Dr. [node:1671], CSA Program Coordinator.

What are the demographics of the current students? Who is the typical CSA student?

The total CSA program enrollment is 49 students. The first-year cohort and second-year cohort groups are roughly even in size. Current CSA students come from a variety of undergraduate colleges and universities, academic majors, and work backgrounds.  The CSA program enrolls slightly more women (59%) than men (41%). Sixty-five percent identify as White, 12% as African American, 10% as Asian American or Asian Pacific Islander, and 8% as Hispanic or Puerto Rican. Enrolled students are quite diverse with respect to career aspirations, and a wide range of internship and field experience placement opportunities are available.

Are there Ph.D opportunities?

At the current time, only the Ed.M degree is offered in College Student Affairs.

Does the CSA program allow applicants to transfer in from other graduate programs? How many credits are transferrable?

Priority is given to applicants who plan to complete the full Ed.M. program at Rutgers University. Applicants who wish to transfer into the CSA program may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests for transferring academic credits earned elsewhere are considered by CSA faculty on a case-by-case basis. In accordance with GSE policy, candidates for the Master's degree must complete a minimum of 30 credits at Rutgers University.

Can I have the GRE requirement waived if I have already taken it and have a Master's?

The Graduate School of Education requires that all applicants submit GRE scores.  GRE scores are valid for five years.

Can my application still be considered if I have below a 3.0 GPA? Is there an average GRE score?

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is strongly preferred. Applicants with cumulative GPAs lower than 3.0 should provide and discuss, within the personal statement, any relevant information they would like faculty to consider during the application review process. GRE scores for current students average a few points under 500 (verbal) and just under 600 (math).

Will not having actual student affairs experience hurt my application?

Student affairs related experience (in some student-level capacity) is part of most competitive applications for admission. All applicants should demonstrate involvement on campus or other experiences that exemplify leadership skills and suggest the applicant’s understanding of and commitment to a student affairs professional career.

May students be admitted for the spring semester?

All admitted students begin the CSA program in fall semester.

Who should write my recommendation letters?

Three recommendations are required.

  • One from a faculty member who can attest to your academic abilities.
  • One from a student affairs professional who can speak to your student involvement or leadership skills.
  • The third may be from a faculty member, student affairs professional, or a work supervisor.
When is the application deadline? What are the application requirements?

The application deadline is February 1st. Priority consideration for admission is given to completed applications received by this date. Application requirements are detailed on the CSA program website. The Rutgers University Graduate & Professional Admissions website also contains helpful information for applicants.