Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) Leadership Concentration Admissions Requirements

Please review the HESA website to learn more about the program and our goals. You are encouraged to contact HESA at elrt-hesa@wmich.edu before or during your admission processMany questions about graduate assistantships, length of the program, full-and part time status, internships, where students find jobs, and more are answered under frequently asked questionsApply here.

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Generally, HESA admission is for Fall semesters only. Due to COVID-19, the priority deadline for applications and to be eligible for graduate assistantships (GAs), scholarships and other financial opportunities is now January 29, 2021. Applications are reviewed regularly; applicants can usually expect to receive notification of admission within a few weeks of submitting a completed application. 

Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis. Students who apply after the priority deadline are encouraged to contact HESA at elrt-hesa@wmich.edu regarding the review process. 

Applicants who wish to participate in the HESA leadership interview days’ program and interview for graduate assistantship should submit all admission materials, including reference forms, by January 29, 2021.  

HESA leadership interview days program

Spring 2021, due to COVID-19 HESA leadership interview days is virtual and will be held the first week of March 2021 with a variety of options to engage with HESA.  All newly admitted full and part-time students are encouraged to attend the virtual interview days session whether participating in GA interviews or not.  HESA leadership interview days is designed to help newly admitted HESA students become familiar with WMU, learn more about HESA and the curriculum, speak with faculty, staff, and current students and have the opportunity to interview for graduate assistant (GA) positions. 

Applicants who wish to participate in HESA Leadership Interview Days and interview for graduate assistantship should submit all admission materials, including reference forms, by January 29, 2021.  Admitted students will be provided additional specific information about HESA Leadership Interview Days.   In an effort to reduce virtual fatigue students will be offered GA interviews over the course of a two week period and interview directly with the GA offices.


WMU HESA Admissions Criteria

In accordance with the Western Michigan University and Graduate College policies, all applicants are expected to meet the same academic standards required for admission consideration. The minimum academic requirements vary, however, by degree level, discipline and admission type. International applicant requirements are addressed below.

  1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, indicated on an official transcript.

  2. An official transcript from the institution from which you received your Bachelor degree is required, as well as a transcript from institution(s) where any graduate level courses or degrees have been taken/completed.

  3. An overall grade point average of at least 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate work. Students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements may be considered but, if admitted, will be admitted on a conditional status with the expectation of receiving and maintaining a 3.0 GPA after the first semester and maintaining that GPA.

  4. Evidence of having met any additional admission requirements stipulated by the individual degree program.

  5. Acceptance by the academic unit offering the master's program and endorsement of the acceptance by the graduate dean.

  6. No conditional admissions will be considered for international applicants.

Master of Arts in Educational Leadership: HESA application requirements

GRE - HESA does not require exams (i.e. GRE) for admission into the master’s program. Students from any academic major are encouraged to apply. Full and part-time students are also welcomed.

GPA - The minimum GPA requirement is generally a 3.0. A student who does not meet this requirement is encouraged to speak to the faculty coordinator about their concerns. Generally we are looking for a record of improved and/or steady academic performance and we need to feel confident in your ability to not only manage challenging coursework but also the demands of a graduate assistantship and field experiences. Many times we will ask students who fall below this requirement should provide in writing an attachment to their written statement, information regarding their academic performance and anything they may have done to more recently address the previous academic issues (taken courses, etc).

The application process is online. Find us under Master of Arts in Educational Leadership - the concentration is higher education and student affairs. The application for graduate admission requires the following parts:

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HESA application instructions

  1. Resume: A resume is required and must be submitted within the online application.

  2. Written statement: Applicants will prepare a written a statement which covers the following information and attach it within the online application. The written statement is also viewed as a writing sample. In three or less, typed, double-spaced pages, address the following areas.

    • Explain why you are interested in pursuing the WMU HESA leadership master’s program

    • Address how HESA'S mission of preparing reflective, practitioner-scholars committed to the centrality of diversity and inclusiveness in higher education fits your educational and career goals;

    • Briefly discuss experiences you have had to help prepare you for the HESA program;

    • Briefly describe any challenges you anticipate if admitted to the HESA program, and how you plan to address them.

  3. Education history information and official transcripts and request for unofficial transcripts

    • List all previously attended higher education institutions.
    • An official transcript from the institution from which you received your Bachelor degree is required, as well as a transcript from institution(s) where any graduate level courses or degrees have been taken or completed.
    • All HESA applicants (including WMU graduates) are highly encouraged to submit a copy of your unofficial transcript from the institution where the undergraduate degree was awarded. The unofficial transcript can be uploaded in the application portal under the transcripts section. Submitting your unofficial transcript will help speed up review of your application; this is due to the length of time it may take to receive and process official transcripts. 
    • HESA does not require GRE test scores.
  4. Three recommendations via the WMU online recommendation form

    • Recommendations are completed through an online form.
    • Recommendations must be obtained from three different individuals in a position to address the applicant’s ability to successfully complete the HESA graduate program. View a sample of the online form here
    • Inside the online application system, applicants are asked for names, title, and contact information of three recommenders. The online system will send those individuals an email link. The recommenders will respond through the online system.
    • Although, the online application system does not require letters of recommendation to accompany the form, HESA suggests that applicants request a letter from one of the recommenders to accompany the online from.
    • Applications are considered complete once all the forms have been submitted.

Visit the higher education and student affairs website (HESA) for more information including program mission, courses and answers to frequently asked questions.

International applicants

Applications for international applicants may be due sooner to the Office of International Admissions. See below for admissions criteria. For the higher education and student affairs leadership (HESA) program, there are no conditional admissions for international applicants.

  • For international applicants, English proficiency scores may be reported within the online application system and official scores must be sent to WMU.
  • Desired minimum English language proficiency scores for this M.A. include: 6.5 on IELTS; 227 on TOEFL (CBT), 567 on TOEFL (PBT), or a 86 on TOEFL (iBt), with the following minimum subscores on the TOEFL (iBT): 20 in reading, 20 in listening, 24 in speaking, and 22 in writing.
  • No conditional admission for international applicants in HESA.

English language proficiency requirements (international applicants only) As required by WMU, international applicants must provide proof of English competency, unless they have successfully completed either four years of upper secondary school or one year of full-time tertiary (university-level) education. See WMU English language requirements for more information. There are no conditional admissions for international applicants.