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Master of Science in College Student Development

Kansas State University’s College Student Development program is designed to prepare students for work in student affairs units in higher education institutions and to assist students with meeting the professional entry-level requirements in the field.

The official title of this degree that was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents is M.S. in Counseling and Student Development.


A minimum of 39 graduate credit hours are required in the program. Students complete 30 hours of core requirements and also select one of three options. The advising option is most appropriate for those intending primarily to provide developmental advising within a college or university. The administration option is more appropriate for those intending to work in student affairs in higher education or manage student services. The student services in intercollegiate athletics option is appropriate for those who wish to pursue a career working with college student athletes.

Core requirements (30 credit hours)

Options (Select one)

A. Advising option (9 credit hours)

B. Administration option (9 credit hours)

C. Student services in intercollegiate athletics option (9 credit hours)

All students in the College Student Development program also complete a comprehensive exam, covering most of the required coursework, during their last semester in the program.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the historical, philosophical, ethical, and cultural foundations of higher education, of student characteristics, and of the effects of college on students.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge and application of theories and principles of student development, individual and group interventions, and the organization and administration of student affairs.
  3. Students will demonstrate knowledge of assessment, evaluation, and research.
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate, synthesize, and communicate information pertinent to college student development.
  5. Students will demonstrate ethical and professional attitudes and behaviors in oral and written academic work and in other forms of communication.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to graduate study is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the faculty in the graduate program. Applicants seeking admission to this master’s degree program must submit the information noted below. Before starting the online application, gather all information and documents for all of the admission requirements so that they can be uploaded into the application system. All materials must be received before review will begin.

  • A completed online Graduate School Application
    • Go to the Kansas State University Graduate School home page and click on “Apply Now.” Follow the prompts for completing the application process.
    • Application Deadlines:
      • U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents – Applications are accepted throughout the year.
      • International Students – The online application, application fee, test scores, transcripts, financial documents, and all required application materials need to be submitted by the following dates:
        • January 1 for fall (August) enrollment
        • August 1 for spring (January) enrollment
        • December 1 for summer (June) enrollment
  • Graduate School Application Fee
    • Domestic Students – A $65 application fee is required for all domestic students; the application will not be processed without this fee. The fee can be paid by credit card when completing the online application.
    • International Students – A $75 application fee is required; the application will not be processed without this fee. The fee can be paid by credit card when completing the online application.
  • Official Transcripts
    • You must upload into the online application system a scanned copy (PDF preferred) of the official transcript(s) from each college or university where you received your bachelor's degree(s) and completed any post baccalaureate course work or degrees. Transcripts become part of your records at Kansas State University and cannot be returned. Please be aware that printouts from university student portals are not considered a copy of your official transcript. If you are admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript for GPA and degree conferral verification from the institution(s) where you received your degree(s) and completed any post-baccalaureate credits. Students whose transcripts are not in English must furnish a translation by an appropriate authority. Failure to list any colleges or universities attended may result in dismissal from the university. For consideration for regular admission, applicants must have a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in their junior and senior years of the bachelor’s program. Those with GPA’s between 2.65 and 2.99 may be considered for probationary admission if it can be demonstrated that there is potential for success in the graduate program. This potential is demonstrated, in part, on the basis of results from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
  • Statement of Goals and Professional Experience
    • You must upload into the online application system a 1-2 page, double-spaced statement that includes the following information:
      • Career and professional goals and aspirations, and how being accepted to the program will benefit the goals and aspirations;
      • The reason for interest in seeking the master’s degree in college student development;
      • Evidence of motivation, leadership, and strong work ethic; and
      • Professional experiences that support application.
    • The paper is to be well written and thoughtfully presented. For resources to help with writing the paper, see the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).
  • A Professional Resume or Vita
    • You must upload into the online application system a professional resume or vita that includes previous academic degrees, past and present employment, professional activities and roles, and other pertinent information.
  • English Language Proficiency
    • To demonstrate competence in the English language, an official report of scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System - academic exam (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE) must be sent to Kansas State University for all applicants whose primary language is not English. Enter your scores in the online application and upload the report of your scores. Learn more about English proficiency requirements at: http://www.k-state.edu/grad/admissions/application-process/international/

International applicants must meet the same academic standards for admission as those required of domestic students. When applying for admission, international applicants must provide an Affidavit of Financial Support and documentation of English language proficiency. Detailed information about these issues is provided at the following website: http://www.k-state.edu/grad/admissions/application-process/international

In some cases, a student may wish to take a course(s) prior to being admitted in a degree program. In these cases, a person must be admitted as a non-degree student. No more than nine credit hours earned as a non-degree student may be applied toward an advanced degree. However, successful completion of any hours taken as a non-degree student does not guarantee admission into the program. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial assistance. A faculty advisor is not assigned to non-degree students.


If interested in learning more about various careers in student affairs, a helpful essay can be found on these sites:





The Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) has developed functional areas standards for higher education programs. The M.S. in College Student Development program meets the general curriculum policies of the CAS Standards.

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Master of Science (M.S.)


Special Education, Counseling, and Student Affairs

Course Delivery:

Manhattan Campus
Some courses available Online



Tuition Information:

See the Cashiers and Student Accounts website for tuition and fee schedules.

See the College of Education Graduate Assistantships page for detailed information and application procedures about graduate assistantships available in the College of Education.

Additional Information

Program Booklet (PDF)

Related Programs

Master of Science in Academic Advising

Doctor of Philosophy in Student Affairs in Higher Education

Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership in Academic Advising