Liberty University is a private religious college that has an affiliation with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia. Evangelist Jerry Falwell saw the need for a college in Virginia that would prepare students for their future careers while also installing in them the importance of their religious beliefs. He raised enough money to open the Lynchburg Baptist College in the early 1970s. This campus would later become Liberty Baptist College before finally becoming Liberty University in 1984. Though Falwell later passed away, the university still uses some of the tenants he devised and still requires that students follow The Liberty Way. This refers to its rules of conduct, and all students receive a copy when they enroll. It prohibits students from drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs and engaging in other activities that violate the university’s regulations.
The university’s campus is home to a number of special buildings. The Jerry Falwell Library provided students with all the resources they might need for their classes and features hundreds of computers and its own food court too. The Integrated Learning Resource Center has computers and other services available for students. The historic Carter Glass Mansion also sits on the campus of this Virginia university too. Liberty University is also one of the only colleges in the world to ever sponsor a race car. U.S. News & World Report ranked Liberty as one of the top 80 colleges in the American south.
Though other religious institutions often seek accreditation from religious organizations, Liberty University has regional accreditation from one of the most reputable organizations. Its accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This lets you know that the university places a high level of importance on educational requirements and that it instills standards in students that will better prepare them for their future endeavors. Liberty University is also one of the few religious colleges that has specialty accreditation too. The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education accredited its athletic training program, and it has accreditation for its accounting and business programs from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Other accreditation for its counseling and other programs comes from:
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
- Commission for the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Virginia Department of Education
- American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOA-COCA)
- Association of Christian Schools International (ASCI)
- American Bar Association
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- Commission on Sport Management Education (COSMA)
- National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
All prospective students applying to one of the graduate programs offered by Liberty University must complete and submit the online application. The university allows students to print off this application and send it through the mail, but they must include a check or money order to cover the $50 application fee. Those who apply online can pay the fee with a debit or credit card. The application will ask if you completed an undergrad degree or if you are in the process of earning your degree, when you graduated or will graduate, the courses you took and whether you currently have a teaching license.
After the university accepts your application, it will wait until you submit the rest of your documents before processing it. You must fax a copy of your most recent transcript to the university, or scan and email a copy of that transcript. Liberty University is one of the only colleges in the country that does not require you to submit an official transcript. You can apply with an unofficial copy and then submit an official copy later. Liberty University also requires that prospective grad students submit proof they attended a college or university with regional or national accreditation and that they maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. You must also show that you completed your bachelor’s degree before classes start.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Liberty University charges separate rates for grad students based on whether they enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. Part-time students are those who take eight credit hours or less of classes in a single semester. Those students pay tuition fees of $615 per credit hour. Full-time students who take nine or more credits hours in a semester pay $595 per credit hour. Students are also responsible for paying all their own individual expenses, including transportation to and from campus, off-campus housing and textbooks.
The university recommends that students file the FAFSA and contact the financial aid office to learn about other opportunities available to them, including scholarships and payment plans. There are separate scholarship and financial aid opportunities available for students taking all of their classes online. All Liberty University students may receive grants and loans as well. Its financial aid office can also help students learn more about private student loans and how they can apply for financial assistance through private lenders.
Master of Arts in Teaching – Special Education
The Master of Arts in Teaching – Special Education is a program that Liberty University offers for those who want to work with special needs students. Students enrolled in this program qualify for the TEACH grant and may qualify for the HOPE program, which forgives their student loans after they work in a specific part of the country for several years or more. This accredited program also ranks among the top online teaching programs, though some students may prefer taking classes on campus instead of over the internet. Those who enroll in the online format must agree to attend several three-hours intensive sessions to meet the residency requirements of the program.
Many of the students who enroll in this program already work as teachers, and Liberty University actually awards qualifying students with course credit for their experiences. You can submit a portfolio that shows some of your past work, take short online courses for credit or take an exam that tests your knowledge and skills. While you can enroll immediately after finishing an undergrad program, the university will verify that you have a teaching license that is valid and in good standing with the state. Liberty University will also admit students who have teaching licenses from states other than Virginia.