CPS Academic Programs


The University of West Georgia offers a graduate program in College Student Affairs. This is a concentration within the Counselor Education & College Student Affairs program located in the Department of Clinical and Professional Studies. Courses will be taught by both full-time faculty and practitioners, with meaningful assistantships in the Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.  The CSA program uses the CAS Standards and ACPA/NASPA professional competencies for student affairs practitioners as guidelines for program development and assessment. 


To prepare and develop the next generation of student affairs professionals.


The UWG College Student Affairs program will prepare graduate students for careers serving students in higher education by providing opportunities to:

  • Develop advising and helping skills
  • Develop competencies as outlined by the NASPA/ACPA Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Practitioners
  • Understand and appreciate the student development experience and student diversity in higher education
  • Understand the historical and theoretical context of higher education
  • Understand and apply the practice-to-theory-to-practice model
  • Gain focused practical experience through assistantships, internships, and practica to prepare graduates for successful careers in higher education

Program Description

The College Student Affairs program at the University of West Georgia is unique due to the benefits we provide to students as well as the relationships you're able to gain attending our program. The University of West Georgia College Student Affairs program guarantees an assistantship upon full admission. Therefore, there is no additional application process and when you interview with faculty for admission, prospective students are also interviewing with prospective employers. Along with an assistantship, the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management provides $300 in travel funds that is matched by Graduate Students home department within the Division. This means students receive $600 in travel funds to attend professional conferences.

Students are also encouraged to visit with other professionals on our campus to help expand their network. We are a mid-size institution with a small school feel. We encourage students to meet the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or have coffee with the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students. The layers are minimal here at UWG. Our partnership with Student Affairs and Enrollment Management has become seamless in order to provide our students with the best experience possible.

Finally, from a curricular standpoint, our program is a counseling program with an emphasis in College Student Affairs. Our students graduate our program with the skills they need to not only be successful administrators, but also have the skills to work with trouble students. Today, troubled students are becoming more and more prominent on our college campuses and it is becoming vital for student affairs professionals to have some counseling skills. Our program will provide our graduates with the skills they need to help distressed students and be able to appropriately refer them to other professionals.

For more information regarding assistantships, plan of study, and other requirements, please visit http://www.westga.edu/csa

Method of Delivery

Due to the residential nature, and experiential requirement, a majority of classes are taught face-to-face. Some classes are offered online, especially during the summer. This method of delivery allows students to travel during the summer to gain additional experiences at other institutions. For a complete list of courses and descriptions, please review the courses tab.


Credit & Transfer

Total semester hours required to earn a degree: 42
Maximum Hours Transferable into program: 6

Tuition & Fees

The College Student Affairs program requires students hold either a Graduate Assistantship or Fulltime position in higher education. The Graduate Assistantship provides a full tuition waiver for in and out-of-state students and monthly stipend. Students are responsible for all other fees.

For the most up-to-date and accurate cost information, see the Bursar's Office website at http://www.westga.edu/bursar/.


Program is mostly in class with some online work (about 25% online/75% face-to-face). The courses below include core courses as well as potential electives. You can find a current plan of study here.


Counseling Theories - CEPD-6131

Description: An introduction to selected, prominent counseling theories with emphasis placed upon short-term therapies. Focus is on relating theory to practice and on comparing and contrasting the key concepts, techniques, counselor and client roles, counselor-client relationships, methods of assessment and the contributions and limitations of each theory.

Introduction to Counseling Practice - CEPD-6140

Description: An overview of basic, therapeutic interviewing skill building through practice and feedback to develop personal strengths in counseling. This course also provides students with an orientation to professional counseling organizations, the developmental history of the counseling profession, as well as ethical, legal and professional issues.

Group Counseling - CEPD-6160

Description: Studies that provide both theoretical and experiential understandings of group purpose, development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group approaches. This course also includes 10 hours of experience as a group member.

Foundations of College Student Affairs - CEPD-6170

Description: This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of student affairs and its role within the context of American higher education. The course will examine the philosophical, historical, and theoretical foundations of the profession, and students will learn about the cultural and organizational contexts of student affairs work. It will introduce students to the various functional areas within student affairs, diversity of institutional types and student populations, and contemporary issues of the profession, and provide them with a broad foundation of knowledge to which subsequent study, practitioner skills, and research strategies may be added.

Theories of College Student Development - CEPD-6172

Description: This course will introduce students to human development theories that most affect college students. The course will examine psychosocial, cognitive, structural and typological theories, with a focus on learning to use theory to improve our work with students. It also examines how race, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and religious beliefs can influence development.

Higher Education Administration - CEPD-6174

Description: This course provides a comprehensive introduction to higher education, with an emphasis on understanding the practical skills necessary to be a successful administrator.

Student Affairs Practicum - CEPD-6175

Description: Students will spend 150 hours in a supervised work experience in a higher education setting, designed for them to gain exposure to both the breadth and depth of student affairs work. The experience will include work with individual students and groups of students in: program planning, implementation, and evaluation; staff training, advising, or supervision; and administrative functions or processes. May be repeated for credit.

Legal Issues in Higher Education - CEPD-6176

Description: This course will introduce students to legal and ethical issues confronting student affairs practitioners, including key concepts, federal law, and court cases.

The American College Student - CEPD-6178

Description: This course will introduce students to the theoretical and research literature with respect to student characteristics and the effects of college on students.

Capstone Seminar: Student Affairs - CEPD-6179

Description: This seminar is designed to promote the integration of the core curriculum and practitioner experiences of the master's degree program in College Student Affairs and to prepare students for their transition to professional positions within student affairs upon graduation. Students will develop and present a professional portfolio.

Career Theory and Intervention - CEPD-7112

Description: This course is designed to help students in a master's level or higher curriculum become competent in the use of educational and occupational information in counseling-related activities. Particular emphasis will be placed on how information is processed in planning, establishing and managing careers from a life-span perspective.

Multicultural Counseling - CEPD-7138

Description: An examination of selected issues relevant to understanding multicultural lifespan differences, counseling process and practice.

Advocacy and Leadership - CEPD-7145

Description: This course emphasizes 'theory to practice' by providing experiences that allow students to assess and develop their personal leadership while emphasizing the values, knowledge and skills required for effective advocacy and brokering of services through consultation and collaboration Special emphasis is placed on the development of skills in planning, organizing, coordinating and delivering programs that generate systematic change. Use of data to identify needs, remove barriers and mobilize resources from schools and communities in order to increase options for students and clients are primary themes throughout the course.

Research and Program Evaluation - CEPD-7152

Description: This course is designed to provide counselors with the research knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate individual and group counseling interventions, as well as educational programs. An emphasis will be placed on the collection and use of quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate programs. Counselors in training will also learn how to communicate data and findings to others to effect change and to act as advocates for students/clients.

Substance Abuse Counseling - CEPD-7155

Description: This course is designed for counselors and other human service providers working in a variety of settings, including schools, community agencies, private practices, and hospitals. Topics covered include the classification of drugs and their effects on users; various models of addiction; the use of assessment, diagnosis, and prevention strategies with individuals, families, and groups; relapse prevention; and legal, ethical and multicultural issues associated with addictions work.


This describes the general information about faculty for this program.

Guidelines for Admittance

  • All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
  • Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process.
  • International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
  • Official transcripts from a regionally or nationally accredited institution are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Admissions Office.

Program-specific Admittance Guidelines

Admission Criteria

  • 2.7 undergraduate GPA
  • Minimum GRE score before August 1, 2011
    • Composite score of 800
    • 400 Verbal
    • 400 Quantitative
    • 3.5 Writing 
  • Minimum GRE score after August 1, 2011
    • Composite score of 286 
    • 146 verbal
    • 140 quantitative
    • 3.5 Writing
  • Two letters of recommendation (i.e., one from a faculty member and one from a current or former supervisor or professional colleague)
  • Written personal narrative describing the reasons for applying to the program, an analysis of personal strengths and weaknesses related to career goals and anticipated benefits from the program.
  • Résumé
  • Interview with program faculty

For more information on admissions requirements, please visit our program site.

Application Deadlines

Admission: Fall

Priority Application Deadline: February 1st

Interview: March

Notification of Acceptance: April

Admission Process Checklist

The Graduate Studies Application Process checklist is available here


Program Information or Questions:

Dr. Matt Varga
Assistant Professor
CSA Program Coordinator
(678) 839-6160
Education Annex: 243 

Application Questions or Status:

Chiffon Baulding
Graduate Studies Records Coordinator
(678) 839-6105


The College Student Affairs priority deadline is February 1st. However, we continue to review applications until all assistantship positions are filled.

Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines: 

Learning Objectives

Graduates will demonstrate:

  1. An understanding of the historical, philosophical, ethical, cultural, and research foundations of higher education that informs student affairs practice;
  2. The ability to apply ethical principles to practice; 
  3. An understanding of, and respect for, human diversity and the special needs of minority students;
  4. The ability to apply basic counseling skills and appropriate development theory to understand, support, and advocate for student learning and development;
  5. Knowledge of the impact of student characteristics and collegiate environment on student learning and learning opportunities;
  6. Knowledge and skills required to design and evaluate effective educational interventions for individuals and groups;
  7. The ability apply leadership, organizational, and management practices that assist institutions in accomplishing their mission; and
  8. The ability to identify and apply assessment, evaluation, and research skills in an ethical and legal manner.