Student Affairs

Student Affairs Online Post-baccalaureate Certificate

About the Student Affairs certificate

Prepare for a career providing student services in a college or university setting.

College is more than a place to earn a degree. Once you’ve graduated, it can be the setting for a fulfilling career. Position yourself for employment as a student affairs professional with this 100% online student affairs certificate from California University of Pennsylvania.

Professionals in student affairs – sometimes known as student services or student development – support the academic and personal growth of students who are attending a college or university. Cal U’s online student affairs certificate program is designed to:

  • Provide the knowledge and skills necessary for an entry-level position in the field of student services.
  • Assist those currently working in student affairs to strengthen their knowledge base and earn a professional credential.

Meet the unique needs of traditional and nontraditional college students.

Cal U’s student affairs certificate program instills the commitment, skills, attitudes, values and self-awareness needed to offer quality student affairs services at colleges and universities.

This nine-credit certificate program, designed for college graduates, enhances your understanding of the characteristics, learning and developmental needs of college students, so you are better prepared to provide effective advising and support services.

In addition, you’ll explore the impact of the higher education environment on traditional and nontraditional students. And you’ll gain expertise in the administration of student affairs programs, including strategies for organizing, staffing and funding.

The certificate can be earned as a stand-alone credential or in conjunction with a degree program.



Grounded in counseling: Coursework for the graduate-level certificate in student affairs is provided by Cal U’s counselor education program, which has a top reputation in Pennsylvania and is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). This is your assurance that this online certificate program meets the highest academic standards.

Online convenience: The student affairs certificate at Cal U was developed with busy professionals in mind. Courses for this in-demand certificate program begin in summer and are delivered 100% online, so you can complete your assignments any time, anywhere – even while working full time and meeting other professional and personal commitments. Complete the certificate in just one summer term, beginning in June.

Learn more about applying


Number of credits required to complete the online student affairs certificate.
Typical starting salary for a student affairs specialist, according to
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Program Benefits

The online student affairs certificate program at Cal U allows you to build competency in these core areas:

  • The philosophical, legal and ethical foundations of the field of student affairs.
  • The functions and practices of student services units in college or university settings.
  • College student development and learning.
  • Student affairs administration.
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Graduate Outcomes

 Graduates of Cal U’s student affairs certificate program are prepared to excel in careers in a variety of collegiate settings, including:

  • Student housing and residential life.
  • Student union management and student leadership.
  • New student orientation.
  • Admissions and financial aid.
  • Student success and retention.
  • Counseling, career services and multicultural support services.

Student Affairs Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

This nine-credit certificate is designed for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree and who are seeking an additional credential as they pursue a career in student services or student affairs. Note: Courses will not certify you as a professional counselor but may be utilized for additional credits towards licensure (LPC) or for continuing education credits (NCC). For more information, check with your state licensing board for counselors.


Course Credits
CED 777  Student Affairs Services in Higher Education 3
CED 778  The College Student and Higher Education Environment 3
CED 779  Administration of Student Services in Higher Education 3
Total 9


Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Certificate: Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.90 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.90 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited institution
  • Interview may be required
  • One-page resume of work and education may be required


Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Certificate: Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.90 will be reviewed for a decision
    • Interview may be required
    • One-page resume of work and education may be required

Provisional Admission:

Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

How to Apply:

  • Complete the Graduate School Application
  • Submit the non-refundable $35 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcripts to:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Box 91
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419

For additional information:

Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:

All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.

Related Programs
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Create connections

Faculty in this certificate program have experience not only in counselor education, and student development, but also in online instructional strategies and techniques. They utilize videos, PowerPoint presentations and online forums to enhance learning, and they encourage you to connect with your professors and peers via email, discussion groups and chat rooms. While completing the certificate, you’ll build a network of individuals who share your interests and career goals.

Cal U campus

Affordable, high-quality learning

Cal U’s Global Online programs have received numerous awards for online education. Your online student affairs certificate program meets the same high academic standards as Cal U’s on-campus programs. Costs are affordable; Global Online students do not pay fees for on-campus services, and most pay a reduced, competitive, out-of-state tuition rate.

Student Affairs Faculty

Dr. Grafton Eliason

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Dr. Elizabeth Gruber

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Dr. Robert Mehalik
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Jeff L. Samide

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Dr. Jacqueline Walsh

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