Top Summer Programs for Graduate Students in Student Affairs and Higher Education

These programs are some of the more popular internship opportunities for graduate students in the fields of student affairs and higher education.

This past summer, I served as an intern at Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI). Specifically, I held the title of Leadership Programs Intern in the Office of Student Involvement under the Division of Student Affairs. I was very fortunate to work with an amazing team of student affairs professionals and interact with some unforgettable students during a short period of time. I recommend every graduate student in higher education or student affairs to obtain a summer internship, especially at another institution, possibly in another region of the country.

Below are quick links to a few of the most popular internship opportunities in these fields; some of the dates have not been updated yet, but the rest of the information provided remains accurate.

* Indicates there’s a cost associated with the internship program

I personally applied for internship positions with IUPUI, ACUHO-I, NODA, and the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors. Many people have asked me why I applied for positions with NODA and ACUHO-I since there’s a cost associated with their programs.  Yes, there is a chance an applicant may pay to apply for a NODA or ACUHO-I internship and not get one. I understand and acknowledge this situation is essentially like a person paying for a temporary job that is not guaranteed to them. However, I encourage every graduate student to realize the money you spend to apply for one of these programs should be viewed as an investment in your future career, one that comes with an opportunity to possibly be interviewed by dozens of institutions.

Obviously, you can tell what the end result was for me. However, the process of actually getting the IUPUI internship was not an easy task. From my personal experiences, I was able to have at least two interviews every other day from multiple institutions for two months. Submitting the application, constantly tailoring my cover letter to each position, receiving the first interview, possibly receiving a second interview, and following up with each interviewer when I was not chosen as an intern were all part of the process that many don’t like to talk about. Nonetheless, it was all worth it since the process provided me with some great conversations, some awesome feedback, and more knowledge about the different kinds of institutions there are across the country.

I will never forget my experiences at IUPUI, and as I prepare to endure a search for a full-time position instead of an internship, I will make sure I apply everything I have learned from my experiences as a graduate student. Come next June, I will not only have a master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration, but I will also have a job to complement it!

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grad school grad school summer programs graduate students graduate studies graduate summer programs higher education student affairs student affairs administration

About Kevin Wright

Kevin Wright is a first-generation graduate student from Las Vegas, Nevada, and earned his master's in Student Affairs Administration from Lewis & Clark College in 2016. Kevin graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2014, where he studied Communication Studies with a minor in Sociology. His hobbies include traveling, networking, going to concerts, and endlessly watching Netflix. Kevin aspires to become a college president so he can advocate for more affordability and accessibility for students wanting to pursue higher education.


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