HESA students, campus buildings and views of the mountains

COVID-19 Information and Updates

Due to the current global pandemic, the HESA admissions and interview process will be held virtually. We prioritize the safety and well-being of our prospective students, current students, staff, and faculty in our decisions. Given these adjustments, our aim is to still offer an enriching experience for candidates to learn more about HESA and our campus partners. More information will be added as we continue to adapt to the changing situation.

Application Process

Admission to the HESA program is highly competitive and applications for Fall matriculation are due December 1. Admission is based on the candidate's academic accomplishments and potential for successful graduate work, knowledge of higher education issues, exposure to student affairs, professional readiness, and commitment to the higher education and student affairs field. The HESA admissions committee assesses a candidate's potential for successful completion of the degree program and ability to function effectively as a professional in a college and university setting. 

The admission process includes submitting items requested in the Graduate College application packet, and participating in an academic program interview with HESA faculty. Each of these items is described below.


Application Packet

Applications to the HESA program are processed by the UVM Graduate College via an online admissions process. This process includes the documents that are listed below. 

Applications must be received by December 1 for full consideration and Fall matriculation. Applicants are strongly advised to submit all materials (e.g., transcripts, recommendations, resume) by or before the deadline to receive a full and timely review.

Through your admissions account set up in the Graduate College, you can check whether your application is complete and all materials (e.g., recommendations, transcripts) have been submitted. Your application will not be reviewed by the admissions committee until it is complete.

Graduate Application Form

The online application form is available at the Graduate College.

Statement of Purpose

Please do not do both. The Graduate College has a separate statement of purpose.  HESA requires just the one as stated here:

The HESA statement of purpose offers the applicant an opportunity to respond to a writing prompt crafted by the HESA faculty. Applicants’ statements will be reviewed for insight regarding their commitment to the field, as well as clarity of expression and grammatical construction. Select a quote that embodies a critical moment in your life and, in 500-1000 words, reflect upon your aspirations and promise for pursuing the student affairs profession as a University of Vermont HESA.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted directly to UVM by individuals who have an academic or professional relationship with the applicant. These individuals must be well acquainted with the applicant’s accomplishments and potential for becoming an effective student affairs professional as well as readiness for graduate study. For applicants seeking to attend graduate school immediately after graduation from an undergraduate institution, at least two of these letters should be from an instructor/faculty member. Please do not include letters written by friends, family friends, therapists, or acquaintances. We recommend that applicants contact their recommenders early in the process to avoid delays in UVM receiving letters. The HESA admissions committee only reviews complete application packets. 

All letters of recommendation should accompany the application to arrive by December 1.  We allow a small buffer of a couple of days to allow for arrival and processing.  

Unofficial College Transcripts

To reduce the significant financial burden endured by applicants during the application process, unofficial college transcripts will be accepted for initial application review and on- campus academic interview. If offered admission into the program, applicants must submit official transcripts of course work (undergraduate and graduate) from every college and/or university attended to complete the admissions process. 

Resume/Curricula Vitae (CV)

An up-to-date resume that attests to the applicant’s education, work and volunteer experience should be included in the application packet.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

UVM’s Graduate College requires that applicants whose native or first language is not English must submit TOEFL test scores for admissions. Minimum acceptable scores for admission to the Graduate College at the University of Vermont: Internet based = 80, Computer based = 213, and Paper based = 550. Minimum acceptable scores for a student receiving funding at the University of Vermont: Internet based = 100, Computer based = 250, and Paper based = 600. 

Application Fee

$65, paid with submission of online application.

Please Note: Applications completed after the December 1 deadline cannot be guaranteed a full-review in time for invitation to an on-campus academic program interview with HESA faculty. All application materials must be submitted online through the Graduate College admissions portal. GREs are not required for academic admissions to the UVM HESA program or for applicants seeking an assistantship or university funding through financial aid.


Information on COVID-19 Changes for Interviews:

Due to the current pandemic, interviews will be held virtually. More information on the specifics of this process will be announced soon.

Traditionally, HESA interviews involve a one-and-a-half day interview and program orientation session held for students who pass the initial academic application screening. Attendance for invited candidates is required for admission consideration into the HESA program.  Invitations for the interview and program orientation sessions are issued approximately three weeks prior to the first session.

Activities during these interview sessions include:

  • an extensive welcome and academic program orientation including curriculum, program goals, and faculty,

  • an academic interview with a HESA faculty member,

  • meetings with current students, University administrators, and alumnx,

  • orientation to the Division of Student Affairs, and

  • assistantship and employment interview(s).

If you have any additional questions, contact the HESA office.

Funding Pathways

There are several funding pathways for the HESA program including: graduate assistantships, professional positions for HESA students, employment positions at UVM and other Burlington institutions, and scholarships. These opportunities allow for more flexibility for students to complete the program within their desired timeline for full-time and part-time options while receiving financial support in various capacities. More information about these funding pathways and application process are available on the Department of Student Affairs (DOSA) website

Please Note: Academic program admissions interviews are coordinated by HESA faculty. Interviews for graduate assistantship and professional positions for HESA students are coordinated by Department of Student Affairs (DOSA) staff. These are two separate processes that occur at the same time, and both are coordinated by the HESA admissions committee.


Feel free to contact the HESA Program with any questions. We look forward to reviewing your application!

HESA Funding Pathways

2021 Interview Dates

Interviews for 2021 admission will be held virtually in February 2021. More details will be posted soon.