Master of Arts degree in Postsecondary Educational Leadership and Student Affairs

This master's program is designed for student affairs practitionersthose who want to commit to supporting students through their college experiences from compassionate, culturally competent, and holistic perspectives. The program emphasizes integration of curricular and co-curricular learning, responsible practice of leadership in a justice-centered and global environment, and student learning centeredness.

The program utilizes leadership theories to educate students to become savvy consumers of policy, practice, and research to apply ethical, evidence-based decision-making to promote access, equity, inclusion, justice and quality student development and learning.

Quick Program Facts

Program Focus
Student learning and

Face-to-face, on-campus

Financial Assistance
Scolarships, financial aid

Program Length
2 years (full-time)
2 ½-3 years (part-time)

Capstone Requirement
Reflective Learning Portfolio 

Credits Required to Graduate

Faculty to Student Ratio

Average Cohort Size
20 students

Average # of Applicants/Year

Professional Development: Graduate Assistantships Available


We aspire to prepare compassionate and competent educational leader-practitioners who advocate for institutional equity and support the holistic success of students within postsecondary education.

Program Goals

The Postsecondary Educational Leadership with a specialization in Student Affairs (PELSA) Program is committed to supporting students by preparing them to:

  1. Enter and advance in entry-level careers.
  2. Become grounded in the theoretical foundations of student learning, development, and success.
  3. Apply theory to practice to positively influence student success.
  4. Embody equity-mindedness, social justice, and mindful, compassionate leadership to transform educational contexts.

View curriculum and degree learning outcomes.


Fall 2024 Admissions

SDSU will begin accepting applications for fall 2024 on October 1, 2023. 


Contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Brayan Astorga

General Questions

Brayan Astorga (he/him/his/él)

[email protected]

Contact Brayan for general inquiries, to arrange a meeting with faculty or current students, or to sit in on a class.



Stephanie Kearney

[email protected]

Contact Stephanie for admissions inquiries including application deadlines, requirements, and materials.

Marissa Vasquez

Faculty Director

Marissa Vasquez, Ed.D. (she/her/hers)

Program Director and Graduate Adviser

[email protected]

For any other inquiries, contact the program faculty director.