College Student Development (MACSD)

The Master of Arts in College Student Development at St. Edward’s prepares you to work closely with college students, helping them grow personally and professionally in a variety of college settings, such as student life, residence life and admission.

You’ll build broad-based skills that support students’ success in college and beyond. And you’ll gain career flexibility by studying topics across the spectrum of college student development. For example, you could shift from admission to student advising, or move from residence life to student life.

Watch the video to see Program Director Rich Parsells and Amanda Golden MACSD ’16 explain how the program helps students explore their specific interests within the field of student affairs. They also share their views on the value of learning under scholar-practitioners who have firsthand experience in the field.

Master of Arts in College Student Development

Convenient Class Schedules:

The MA in College Student Development is designed to accommodate the busy schedule of working adults. Classes meet on campus every other Saturday, with an online component during the off weeks, making classes convenient for those working full-time and for those commuting from outside the Austin area. Taking two classes each semester, the MACSD is typically completed in two years.


The MA in College Student Development program is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of working adults through Saturday classes, offered in a blended format, that meet every other week.

In the MA in College Student Development program, you’ll hone vital skills such as counseling, conflict resolution, leadership and mentoring. And you’ll cultivate valuable insights into program planning and assessment, organizational behavior, human development, diversity and inclusion, and legal and ethical issues in higher education. This program emphasizes hands-on learning through practica and internships. These placements allow students to apply and observe theory in practice — and to explore their interests in a range of areas in student services.

Career paths for graduates include positions at colleges or universities — such as a student life director, international studies advisor, academic adviser or residence life director — helping students reach their full potential.

Graduates may choose to pursue doctoral studies for high-level administrative positions at colleges or universities — such as a dean of students or a vice president of student affairs. Graduates may also be interested in earning a masters degree in counseling to expand their credentials.

Course Preview:

MA in College Student Development students take courses from these groups:

Students take required courses, including Theory and Practice in College Student Development, College Student Development Services, Administration and Leadership in College Student Development, and Counseling Skills and Techniques, among others.

As the culminating experience of the MACSD program, students are required to participate in an internship or research apprenticeship in college student development. Past internships include roles as residence life specialists, student conduct specialists and student life specialists. Students have conducted research on topics such as developmental math interventions, perceived barriers to participation in study abroad programs and residential college models — research that has been utilized at local universities and community colleges. Students may complete these internship and research opportunities at St. Edward’s or at other institutions.