Student Affairs Internship Program

The Student Affairs Internship Program, a partnership between the School of Education Department of Leadership Studies and the Division of Student Life at USF, offers opportunities for USF graduate students in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) MA program to gain invaluable work experience in student affairs and an ability to contribute to the Jesuit mission and goals of the institution.

Internship experiences are 9-10 months in duration and require that students work an average of 18-25 hours/week in an assigned department. Experience can be gained in a variety of settings including student housing, cultural centers, student activities, leadership, orientation, academic support services, student conduct, greek life, and more.

Placement Questions: Contact the program at

Students within the Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program engage in rigorous academic curriculum with practicum experiences in various areas of student life. Every HESA course is infused with an examination of equity and a passion for social justice. Class conversations and coursework focus on improving access to higher education for first generation and low-income students.

The HESA program prepares students for a professional career in student affairs and leadership in higher education. SAIP is an important component of this preparation for many of our students to further their professional experience and opportunities to network with colleagues at USF and at our partner institutions. The program trains professionals to understand issues of equity and social justice in higher education while thinking critically about how to transform organizations to improve educational outcomes for all students.

The internship program experience is intended to support praxis (the integration of theoretical and research coursework through reflection) within the context of student affairs in higher education. 

Through SAIP, graduate interns will

  • Practical Experience: Gain practical experience in one, or more, functional area(s) of student affairs.
  • Discernment: Develop the skills to engage in professional and personal growth by reflecting on how their identities shape the multiple aspects of their experience in the field of student affairs.
  • Critical Student Affairs Knowledge: Become familiar with foundational knowledge, literature and associations within the field of student affairs through an equity and social justice lens. 
  • Career Preparation: Be provided opportunities to refine skills and develop materials for the job search that help the intern maintain authenticity and integrity. 

Internship experiences aim to develop skills guided by ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies Rubric (2016), a joint publication by two professional associations of the field: ACPA (College Student Educators International) and NASPA (Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education). 

The ten competency categories are:

  1. Advising and Supporting
  2. Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
  3. Law, Policy, and Governance
  4. Leadership
  5. Organizational and Human Resources
  6. Personal and Ethical Foundations
  7. Social Justice and Inclusion
  8. Student Learning and Development
  9. Technology
  10. Values, Philosophy, and History

The following are examples of the kinds of positions students have occupied during the 2021-2022 academic year and at which institutions:

Dominican University

  • Student Organizations and Leadership Coordinator

Stanford University

  • Disability Empowerment Hub Program Coordinator
  • Inclusion, Community, and Integrative Learning Program Coordinator

University of California, Berkeley

  • Graduate Assistant for Orientation

University of San Francisco

  • Assistant Residence Director
  • Black Achievement Success and Engagement
  • Campus Activities, Student Leadership & Engagement
  • Graduate Coordinator for Operations, Cultural Centers
  • McGrath Institute for Jesuit Catholic Education, Department of Leadership Studies
  • New Student & Family Programs
  • Residential Operations Manager
  • Engage USF, McCarthy Center
  • Graduate Coordinator for Student Development and Advising, Cultural Centers
  • Leadership Programs, Student Leadership & Engagement
  • Student Engagement Intern to Student Engagement Unit-Division of Student Life
  • Student Government, Student Leadership & Engagement

Internship Placement Timeline for the 2022-2023 Academic Year

January 7: SAIP Application Opens

February 4: SAIP Application Closes

February 7-24: Application Review and First Round Interviews

March 4-9: Second Round Interviews

March 21: Notification of Internship Offers

March 28 - onward: Round Two Placement Process (Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.)


Application for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

Applications are no longer accepted at this time.

Available Internships for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

All internships have been filled.

Updated: September 8, 2021