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Educational Administration and Foundations - College Student Personnel Administration

The College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) master's degree program provides students with the practical and theoretical knowledge necessary to enable them to perform the roles of administrator, advisor, and programmer in student affairs and higher education administration. After completing the program, a master's graduate will have acquired the skills, knowledge, values, and commitment necessary to succeed at entry- to mid-level student affairs positions in public and private colleges and universities.

Students in the program reflect the increasing diversity of today's college campuses with respect to race, ethnicity, orientation, gender, and age. The College Student Personnel Administration program includes students who are recent graduates, career enhancers, and persons seeking a career change. Full-time enrollment is preferred and recommended, yet the program is flexible enough for those students who wish to attend part-time.

University Admission Requirements

A student applying to a master's program must:

  • have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
  • have a minimum 2.8 GPA (on a scale in which an A is a 4.0) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work
  • present official transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. Transcripts can be emailed from the university to or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Office of Admissions, 201 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 2200, Normal, IL 61790-2200

International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.

Additional Program Admission Requirements

A student applying to this program must:

  • have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for either the last 60 hours of your undergraduate coursework or any previous work in a master's program. If your GPA is below 3.0, you must submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. A 3.0 GPA is required to hold a graduate assistantship.
  • submit a current resume
  • submit a statement describing your career objectives (minimum 750 words, typed and doubled-spaced) addressing the following points:
    • Why are you interested in pursuing the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program?
    • What experiences have you had that prepared you for academic work in the CSPA program?
    • What are your short and long-range career goals?
    • How will the CSPA program help you meet those goals?
    • What qualities and characteristics do you possess that make you a strong candidate for admission to the CSPA program?
  • submit two letters of reference: One from a faculty member who can speak to your academic accomplishments, and one from a faculty or staff member or supervisor who is familiar with your work ethic and leadership abilities.

The Department may request an interview with the admissions committee before final admissions decisions are made. The program will contact applicants with whom they desire an interview.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline
Fall  January 6, 2017 

Graduate Assistantship Information

The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.


To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,

  • be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
  • be in good-standing
  • be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).


Graduate assistants receive

  • monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
  • a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
  • a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment

Cost & Funding

See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from continuous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.

Graduate Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Marcia Escott Hickrod  DeGarmo 340B   (309) 438-7951 
2016-08-30T13:46:29.206-05:00 2016