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

Grace WessonName - Grace Wesson

Hometown - Cincinnati, Ohio

Undergraduate Institution - Northern Kentucky University

Graduate Assistantship - Fraternity and Sorority Life

Anticipated Graduation - 2024

Why did you choose to continue pursuing education after graduation?
From being an involved undergraduate student I found a knack for working in student affairs and found a passion for reassessing organizations and systems so they can best serve the students involved in them. My hope it to work in student co-curricular education and student advocacy to be able to pour into the next several generations of college students.

Sydney MillerName - Sydney Miller

Hometown - Louisville, KY

Undergraduate Institution - University of Louisville

Graduate Assistant - University Career Center

Graduated - 2022

Why did you choose to continue pursuing education after graduation?
I choose to continue pursuing education specifically in college student personnel because I’ve always wanted to work on a college campus and deeply wanted to continue my student working position in undergrad as a peer advisor. I knew I wanted to work with student success, programming, mentoring and students but didn’t fully know the path I should take. I then talked to my advisor, and she told me about the CSP program and the many different career paths I could take with a CSP degree. I decided to apply my last semester of undergrad and was accepted and has been one of my best decisions yet. I hope with my master’s degree, I will be able to either pursue academic advising or college and career counseling for high schoolers.

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:
    Graduate School
    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.
  • Students for whom English is not their primary language must show English language proficiency by successfully completing one of the following: Note: International students who have earned a degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. are not required to complete the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo.

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

This program are open to all eligible students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.

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 May 31. Please check with the department prior to applying.

If you have questions about applying to the program, please email gradadm@louisville.edu or call the Office of Graduate Student Success at 502-852-7697.


Amy Hirschy, 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

Associate 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, Ph.D., Bellarmine University
Director of Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Retention

Glenn Gittings, Ph.D., University of Louisville
Chief of Staff, School of Medicine
Interests: Doctoral student socialization and persistence, higher education history, student affairs fundraising, and parent & family relations to college students

Alyssa Murphy, University of Louisville
Director of Student-Athlete Leadership & Development

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

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://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.