Graduate Programs

Master of Arts

in Education

Master of Arts in Education

The Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) program at WLU is a 30 credit hour program that includes 12 credit hours of required education common core courses and 18 credit hours of courses in the student’s area of emphasis. Courses are scheduled in two eight-week terms during the fall and spring semesters, and two six-week terms during the summer. Our personal-touch program maximizes flexibility and connection, offering both online and face-to-face courses that meet once a week at 5:00 p.m. Our distance-friendly program allows any student, to join their classes remotely through Zoom. 

Our missions is to empower our graduate students to serve as productive, creative leaders in schools and the community through an innovative and researched-based program of professional education.

Areas of Emphasis:

Choose from one or more of the 6 areas of study within the program. Each area includes 12 credit hours of required common core courses and 18 credit hours  in an area of emphasis.

Reading Specialist

Expand your knowledge and skills pertaining to literacy using multi-sensory based instructional methods. Completion of this track along with passing the state licensure test can result in West Virginia certification as a Reading Specialist.

Leadership in Education Administration

Gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to serve as a school principal, supervisor of general instruction, or superintendent.

Community and Organizational Leadership

Preparing professionals for leadership positions by providing a deeper understanding of why and how great leaders flourish in society. 


Multi-Categorical Special Education

A comprehensive overview of special education and wishing to develop the practical knowledge and skills to educate students with learning and intellectual disabilities, attention, and emotional disorders.

Leadership in Disability Services

Designed for anyone who seeks a leadership role or additional preparation for working with individuals with disabilities.

Innovative Instruction

Educators who desire to learn innovative, research-based instructional methods and create classrooms that prepare PK-12 students for their future. 

Sports Leadership and Coaching

For Athletic Administrators or Coaches working or desiring to work in school, university, and community sports programs. Coursework is  online.

Visual Art Education

This area is designed for students who are looking to improve their knowledge and skills of visual art education teaching and learning practice. Coursework is online.

Instructional Design for Learning

With the need and desire for online and remote learning on the rise, the instructional designer’s role is crucial in providing consistent, engaging, and aligned courses regardless of delivery method.

Alternative Certification

WLU provides approved online coursework. Program participants must possess a minimum of a 2.75 overall cumulative GPA and a valid Substitute Teaching Permit issued by the WVDE to be approved for enrollment in this coursework option. Participants must successfully complete EDUC 518 with a grade of “B” or higher to receive qualifying credit towards licensure and provide documentation to the WVDE. As part of successfully completing the course, West Liberty University requires that participants be fully responsible for meeting clinical experience requirements which include, but are not limited to, achieving a grade of 80% on the West Virginia Teacher Performance Assessment (WVTPA). Program participants may not complete their teacher performance assessment and clinical placement(s) outside of West Virginia. Generally, candidates complete the program within one semester, but the maximum amount of time allowed is one year. For complete cost and coursework details, please contact Dr. Richard Whitehead at

A partnership between the five-county school systems in the Northern WV Panhandle and WLU under the supervision of the West Virginia Board of Education, this alternative program is designed for qualified persons who desire to become licensed teachers in West Virginia. The courses required for Alternative Certification can lead toward the Masters of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) degree. (Additional WV Counties interested in collaboration with WLU’s Alterative Certification Program should contact Dr. Nicole Ennis:

Required Courses:

  • EDUC 516 Classroom Teaching (Fall II)
  • EDUC 520 Trends and Issues in Education (Spring II)
  • READ 563 Multisensory Teaching Methods (for elementary teachers – Fall II) OR READ 575 Advanced Literacy Instruction (for secondary teachers – Summer II)

For Multi-Categorical Special Education Certification:

  • SPED 548 Advanced Assessment and Instruction for Students with Emotional Behavioral Disorders (Spring II)
  • SPED 555 Advanced Assessment and Instruction for Students with Learning Disabilities (Spring I)

For more information about WV licensure for teacher certification, go to:

WV Licensure Testing Directory
Educator Certification


The MAEd program also offers courses to prepare licensed teachers for endorsements through the West Virginia Department of Education. These endorsement programs can be taken in conjunction with the MAEd degree, as preparation for a licensure exam, or as professional development units. Endorsements are offered in the areas of:

Certificate Programs

The MAEd program also offers courses to prepare licensed teachers. Certificates are offered in the areas of:

Admissions Requirements​

  • Official transcripts of any bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a 2.5 GPA. (Reading Specialist, Special Education, and Leadership in Ed Administration requires a 3.0 GPA)
  • Start the Program in January, March, May, June, August, or October


In-state or out-of-state: ONE RATE! MAEd domestic students pay one rate per credit hour for tuition, so whether you live in West Virginia or are an out-of-state student, your tuition will be the same rate. For more information on Tuition please visit our Business Office Webpage.  

Gainful Employment Disclosure

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges to disclose specific information to students in a certificate program. This is called a Gainful Employment Disclosure.

Your Future as an Educator

Percent Change in Employment 2028

All OccupationsAll Occupations5%

Teachers, non-High SchoolTeachers, non-High School4%

High School TeachersHigh School Teachers4%

Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Rising student enrollment should increase demand for high school teachers, but employment growth will vary by region.



Dr. Nicole Ennis
MAEdProgram Director

Main Hall 308B
227 WLU Highlands Center

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Make a gift to the Graduate Studies Program by clicking here!