M.Ed. in Counseling & Personnel Services (College Student Personnel)

The Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in College Student Personnel is designed to prepare prospective professionals for positions in student affairs administration in institutions of higher education.

Theory and practice are critically important components of the program, all of which share a common focus--preparation of professionals knowledgeable about adult student development and administration in college student personnel settings.

Students are required to pursue a logical sequence of study that permits a well-balanced preparation in theory, research, and field experiences in students affairs practice, including knowledge of current roles and functions of college student personnel professionals as well as historical perspective of the field's development.


The mission of the College Student Personnel program is to prepare scholar practitioners for student affairs roles in which they promote student learning and development and advocate on behalf of students to enhance postsecondary success. Through the curriculum, internships, and partnerships within a diverse, metropolitan community, CSP students advance college readiness and success.The CSP program is designed to meet the standards and guidelines established for master's level student affairs administration by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).

We prepare students to:

  • Advocate to support college student success
  • Lead effectively in multiple, diverse communities
  • Serve as scholar practitioners addressing the needs of community
  • Engage as active professional association members

Student Testimonials

Nicholas WrightName - Nicholas Wright

Hometown - Cerulean, Kentucky

Undergraduate Institution - University of Louisville

Graduate Assistantship - Note Taker Coordinator, Disability Resource Center

Graduation Date - May 2018

Why did you choose to attend the University of Louisville?
I chose to attend the University of Louisville to explore the world on my own. I needed to mature as an individual and the University of Louisville gave me the resources to do so. I knew that the University of Louisville was the most diverse university in the state of Kentucky but, no one truly realizes what that means until they get here. I truly enjoy everyone’s different qualities, thoughts, and ideas that they bring to the conversation. Although we are different every student has one commonality, we are all striving to further our education. This environment is inclusive to all, faculty and staff do their best to make everyone feel comfortable at this University. With the multitude of opportunities that are available at the University of Louisville I had to take advantage of them and consider the University of Louisville home. read more . . .

Why did you choose to continue pursuing education after graduation at the University of Louisville?
My passion for the University of Louisville is what kept me here to further my education. I was well invested in this university and I just couldn’t let it go. I knew the professional staff very well in student affairs from my involvement in various organizations. They enlightened me that this wasn’t only an extracurricular activity, this can be a career. With this career every day I will be helping people grow as individuals and emerging leaders. By taking advantage of the opportunities in my undergraduate career at the University of Louisville I knew that the opportunities were limitless, they just don’t stop when you graduate. I am proud that I am devoted to the University of Louisville and I can call this my University.

What are your career goals in College Student Personnel?
My passion lies in inclusiveness and leadership. I believe that everyone should have a sense of belonging, especially in their University. There can be a way for everyone to work together to achieve a common goal. I believe in everyone being treated fairly and justly. College education has to be something available for everyone who is willing to work for it, not just the privileged. The University of Louisville has given me opportunities to do more than I ever thought was possible in the category of leadership. The community here continues to motivate me to reach my full potential in all areas. I plan to gain professional experience in the area of student affairs and eventually pursue an Ed. D. in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development. After I achieve this accomplishment, along with my experience in student affairs, I hope to work as Dean of Students. With this title I will be able to impact a large amount of students in positive ways. The College Student Personnel program continues to equip me with the knowledge I need to achieve my goals.

What is your favorite part about the CSP program?
My favorite part about the College Student Personnel program is the support. Learning no longer feels like an obligation, it feels like an opportunity and I do everything I can to take advantage of that opportunity. The professors, supervisors, staff, students, and community are all a part of the College Student Personnel program because they are what make up student affairs. Knowing every day I attend class, an athletic game, or an event on campus I gain knowledge that helps me in my field and I use this knowledge daily, not just on exams. From your cohort to your professors, everyone wants you to be a successful individual and make an impact on this field. This isn’t something that will end when I graduate but, will indeed continue for the rest of my life now that I have made student affairs my career.

Alli LakeName - Alli Lake

Hometown - Lexington, Kentucky

Undergraduate Institution - Centre College, Biology and Spanish

Graduate Assistantship - Leadership and Service, Office of Student Involvement

Graduation Date - May 2017

Why did you choose to attend the University of Louisville?
When I began exploring Graduate programs, I was immediately attracted to the College Student Personnel program based on its reputation in the region as a premiere program for Student Affairs professionals. After visiting numerous programs, I was confident that the CSP program was the right fit for me. Not only does it provide students with a comprehensive overview of the field of Higher Education, it prepares new professionals for the challenges and obstacles they may face in the future. From the moment I began the program I have been welcomed by faculty and staff, and have been provided with numerous opportunities to enhance my education both in and out of the classroom. read more . . .

What are your career goals and how does the CSP program support them?
My passion lies in student leadership and community service, as well as first year and sophomore programming. I enjoy working with emerging leaders on campus and assisting students through transitions by providing them with opportunities to get involved. Eventually, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Higher Education or Leadership, and hope to work as a Director or Dean of Students.

The College Student Personnel program has provided me with a variety of opportunities that will assist me in being a competent student affairs professional. In addition to a solid theoretical foundation, I have gained numerous internship and volunteer experiences which have allowed me to have hands-on experience working in various functional areas and institution types. Additionally, my experience with GAPSA (the Graduate Association for Professionals in Student Affairs) has provided me with networking opportunities, professional development experiences, and leadership skills that supplement my work in and outside the classroom. I am confident that my experiences in the CSP program have prepared me to be successful upon graduation.

What professional associations are you involved in?
I am currently involved in the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) as a member of SACSA’s Newest Committee. I also serve as an ACPA Ambassador for Graduate Students and New Professionals for the 2016-2017 school year, and am a member of both ACPA and CPAK, our state chapter. I attended the 2015 SACSA and CPAK conferences and presented at SACSA in 2016. I have also attended the Student Affairs Summit at IUPUI and the Kentucky Collegiate Leadership Conference, and am the current president of the Graduate Association for Professionals in Student Affairs (GAPSA) at U of L.

What internships have you completed?
My first internship experience was at Bellarmine University, a small, private, liberal arts institution in Louisville. In this internship, I worked with the Director of Student Activities for Orientation and Leadership to plan the 12th Annual Women in Leadership Conference. My second internship was in the Office of First Year Initiatives at U of L working with Orientation, Welcome Week, and the Book in Common programs. Currently, I am working with the Director of Parent and Family Programs and Special Projects to help coordinate Family Weekend and the 40th Anniversary Student Affairs Celebration events that will happen on campus this fall. I am also working with the Professional Development Committee at UofL to plan the Winter Leadership Institute, an annual professional development conference for faculty and staff that takes place in December.

What is your favorite part about the CSP program?
My cohort! I have loved getting to know my fellow students in the program and appreciate the support that they provide to me and to each other. We experience the program and the difficulties of working in Higher Education together, and have frequent discussions about the changing nature of our field. We also challenge each other to leave our comfort zones and expand our way of thinking about current issues. My experience in the program would not have been the same without them!

Course PrefixCourse #Course TitleCredit Hours
Core Professional Area (total 30 hours)
ELFH600Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics3
ECPY660Introduction to Student Personnel Work3
ECPY661Theories of College Student Development3
ECPY623Helping Skills for Student Affairs Professionals3
ECPY662Student Affairs Programs, Policies, and Practices3
ECPY663Multicultural and Diversity Issues3
ECPY664College Student Sub-Cultures3
ECPY670Career Counseling3
ECPY761Program Development & Evaluation in Student Affairs or Program Evaluation in ELFH3
Mid-Point Assessment: Prior to Internship in College Student
Personnel Services: Must complete ECPY 660
ECPY681Internship in College Student Personnel Services3
College Student Personnel Concentration (total 9 hours)
ECPY681Internship in College Student Personnel Services3
ELFH682The Organization and Administration of Higher Education Institutions3
ECPY695Capstone Seminar in College Personnel Work3
Professional Elective (3 hours)
TBD, per advisor’s approval3
Minimum total hours:

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must submit an online application for admission to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

  • The minimum requirement for admission is the baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. Minimum overall GPA of 2.75, or 2.75 on the last 60 undergraduate hours, is required. Applicants are required to submit all official transcripts from all colleges attended as verification of coursework and degree(s).

    Applicants who have attended a college or university outside of the United States are also required to submit an evaluation of their transcript through either WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators). Please note that transcript evaluations can sometimes take several weeks.

    Please have transcripts sent to:
    School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
    University of Louisville
    Louisville, KY 40292

    If transcripts are sent electronically,
    please have them sent to the following e-mail: gradadm @ louisville.edu

  • Each applicant is required to submit at least two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to the applicant's academic and/or professional capabilities and potential. Please list the email addresses for two recommenders in the online application. Recommenders will receive instructions and forms that they will complete online.
  • Students without GRE scores may be admitted based upon the strength of the other components in their application package (undergraduate and graduate GPAs, letters of recommendation, professional goal statement, and work experience).
  • Prospective students must submit a professional goal statement [PDF] appropriate to their stated area of concentration for admission to the degree program. Please upload the cover sheet (see link) along with your goal statement, to the on-line application.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants from countries in which English is not the native language. Students holding a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited institution in the United States are exempt from this requirement.

Faculty may require interviews in addition to written credentials as part of the admission process.

The CSP faculty are genuine, passionate and accomplished; The curriculum is strong and the opportunities for practical, professional experiences are countless. But, it was the cohesive community that is characteristic of UofL's CSP program that sold me. I couldn't have made a better choice.

Lindsay Peters, College Student Personnel Student

Application Deadlines

Spring Term Admission: October 1

Fall and Summer Term Admission: March 1. Initial review will occur after February 1 for all complete applications submitted by February 1. An additional review will occur after March 1 for all additional complete applications submitted by March 1.

Note: If spaces are available in the program after the March 1 deadline, fall applications will be considered until June 15. Please check with the department prior to applying.

If you have questions about applying to the program, please email gradadm@louisville.edu or call Education Advising and Student Services at 502-852-5597.


Susan Longerbeam, Program Coordinator
Department of Counseling and Human Development
College of Education & Human Development
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Program Faculty

amy hirschyAmy S. Hirschy, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Assistant Professor


Areas of Research and/or Professional Interest: college student persistence and retention theories; student success in and outside the classroom; socialization to the student affairs profession; normative structures in student affairs.

Susan LongerbeamSusan Diana Longerbeam, Ph.D., University of Maryland

Associate Professor

Areas of Research and/or Professional Interest: Dr. Longerbeam's scholarship focuses on faculty and student culture, campus climate and student learning and success in higher education. Dr. Longerbeam serves at the national level on the NASPA Faculty Council, and is an ACPA Diamond Honoree and ACPA Emerging Scholar.

Adjunct Faculty

Geoff Bailey, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Executive Director, REACH
gkbail01 @ exchange.louisville.edu
Interests: Learning centers, persistence and retention, assessment, self-efficacy

Dwayne Compton, Ed.D., University of Louisville
Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Diversity
dwayne.compton @ louisville.edu
Interests: Emotional Intelligence, Academic Success for Black Males, Diversification of the P-12 Teacher Workforce, and Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives.

Tamekka Cornelius, M.Ed., Norton Healthcare, Norton University
Inclusion Program Manager
Interests: Black feminist theory, mentorship, representative bureaucracy, women in the workforce, intersectionality

Glenn Gittings, Ph.D., University of Louisville
Director – Special Programs & Parents Association
Interests: Doctoral student socialization and persistence, higher education history, student affairs fundraising, and parent & family relations to college students

Katie Partin, Ph.D., University of Louisville
Assistant Director, Office of Institutional Effectiveness
Interests: assessment, accreditation and accountability, first-year and transfer student success, socialization to the student affairs profession, student affairs administration

Kathy Pendleton, Ph.D., University of Louisville
Director of Student Advocacy
Interests: Adult students with children, first generation college students, retention

Gale S. Rhodes, Ed.D., University of Louisville

Associate Provost and Executive Director
Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning
gale.rhodes @ louisville.edu
Interests: Women's issues and work, diversity, teaching and learning, retention

Angela B. Taylor, Ph.D., University of Louisville
Assistant Dean of Students
Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities
Angela.taylor @ louisville.edu
Interests: Second year students, first generation college students, women’s issues, new professionals in student affairs

Opportunities for Graduates

Graduates have secured employment in administrative positions in various student affairs areas including: vice presidents for student life and deans of students; directors of residence life, residence hall complexes, and college/university unions; coordinators of student activities, orientation, leadership development, judicial affairs, and Greek Life; counselors in the areas of admissions, financial aid and career services; and advising positions with international students, students with disabilities, and academic services for athletes. After continuing their education to complete a doctorate, some students have also obtained faculty positions.

Graduate Assistantships and Internships in Student Affairs

The College Student Personnel program partners with Student Affairs professionals in the Louisville and Southern Indiana region through department and graduate assistant positions and internship opportunities.

Financial Aid

In addition to the financial aid opportunities offered by the University, the College of Education & Human Development also has information about financial aid.

Other financial aid opportunities available include graduate assistantships and other employment opportunities.

Fannie Cox, Outreach & Reference Librarian


Graduate travel fund information


Scholarship information from SREB


What types of jobs can I get with a degree in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in College Student Personnel (CSP)?

Graduates of the program find employment in colleges and universities as entry-level student affair practitioners. Examples include: Admissions Counselor, Financial Aid Advisor, Academic Advisor, Resident Director, Coordinator of Student Activities, Greek Advisor, Career Counselor, Student Leadership Programs Coordinator, International Student Advisor, and Service Learning Coordinator. These provide only a few examples. For more information on job opportunities in student affairs, take a look at http://jobs.studentaffairs.com, http://chronicle.com/jobs/, or www.higheredjobs.com.

What types of credentialing are available to someone with a degree in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in College Student Personnel?

The field of student affairs administration does not have a formal licensure or certification process. The master's degree is the entry-level credential for employment in this field. The University of Louisville's CSP program meets or exceeds the standards set by the Council on the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education for professional preparation programs.

How long does it take to complete the 42-credit hour M.Ed. in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in College Student Personnel?

Students enroll in the CSP program both full- and part-time. Students enrolled full-time (9-12 credit hours per semester) can complete the program in 4-5 semesters (approximately 2 years). For part-time students, completion of the program depends upon the number of credit hours taken per semester. Most part-time students complete the program in approximately 3 years. Because certain courses need to be taken in sequence, a student should meet with her/his faculty advisor early in the program to develop a course of study in order to graduate by a designated semester. Students may choose to complete some courses during the summer term.

What is the difference between the M.Ed in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in College Student Personnel and the M.A. in Higher Education offered by the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development?

The master's program in CSP prepares a student for administrative positions in student affairs according to standards embraced by the student affairs profession as set forth by the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS Standards). The program focuses on the skills, competencies, knowledge, and experience needed to work effectively with college students, to be an effective educator in the out-of-class curriculum of the college or university, and to competently administer student affairs programs and services. The length and content of the program are determined by the CAS standards; the design of the program and the curriculum is intended to meet appropriate educational objectives and to prepare our graduates to be competitive with graduates from other CAS compliant graduate programs.

The master's program in Higher Education offered through the ELFH department is “intended for those already employed or seeking to be employed in staff or administrative positions in colleges and universities.” There is also an Instruction concentration which is “intended for those employed or preparing for employment in higher education faculty positions, wishing to develop skills in teaching and research on teaching.” The Higher Education program does not focus on the area of student affairs administration and does not follow the CAS standards for master's level preparation in student affairs.

Additional information about the Higher Education Administration program can be found here:

Can I engage in work in the field of student affairs while I'm a student in the program?

Although the master's degree is a criterion for most entry-level jobs in the field of student affairs, there are some institutions that will employ bachelor's level practitioners, especially if they are pursuing a graduate degree in CPS with the College Student Personnel (CSP) concentration. A number of students in the CSP program are enrolled part-time and are working full-time at a college or university in student affairs or related area. Some are in staff positions seeking to move to professional positions, while others have obtained an entry-level professional position and are seeking to obtain the appropriate education in order to be maximally effective in their positions or to be able to advance in the field.

Students in the CSP concentration also work in the field of student affairs through graduate assistantship positions or internship positions as part of their academic coursework.

I have some credit hours from another program/university. Can the credit be transferred?

Once you are admitted to the program, you may request to transfer up to 6 credit hours if your UofL advisor approves the request. Transfer requests are then submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

I am currently working and I am not sure how many classes I will be able to take each term. Do I have to be a full-time student?

The M.Ed. in Counseling and Personnel Services with the CSP concentration is designed for both full-time and part-time students. Full-time students can complete the program in approximately two years. Part-time students can finish in approximately three years. Students may choose to complete some courses during the summer term.