Liberty University is also featured in our ranking Top 10 Online Master’s in Education Degrees.
Liberty University is one of the largest religious colleges in the United States. Established in 1971, it operated under the guidance of Reverend Jerry Falwell for a number of years. Known as Lynchburg Baptist College for many years, it took its name from the city where its campus sat. It later used the name Liberty Baptist College before becoming a university in the 1980s, which led to the school adopting its current name. Though the university experienced some financial issues over the years, donations from Falwell and former students helped it stay afloat.
The university introduced one of the first distance education programs in the state during the early 1980s. Students could enroll in select classes and receive videotapes sent to their homes. They could then watch those tapes and view the same lectures that traditional students watched on the campus. The popularity of that program led to Liberty introducing an online distance education system. Students can now complete full degree programs through Liberty Online. U.S. News & World Report and Forbes both rank Liberty as one of the best American colleges. The university also ranks as one of the largest colleges in terms of size and as one of the best online schools. Liberty has an enrollment of around 15,000 traditional students and more than 100,000 online students.
Online Masters in Education
Liberty University offers an online Masters in Education that is a hybrid program. While most of the work that students do takes place online, they must also attend some sessions on the university’s Virginia campus. Students spend one week taking classes on the campus and meeting with other students and their professors. The university offers weekend intensives for those who work full-time jobs and students who have less time.
This program features 36 credits of classes and some fieldwork. Students have the option of doing an internship at a local school or doing a student teaching experience. The university recommends the student teaching experience for those entering the program with less experience. Students can also choose a concentration in administration and supervision, which teaches students about working with the community and the ethics of working in a school system. This concentration features classes like School Finance & Management, Curriculum & Methods for the Middle School and Principles of Behavior Management.
Students can also earn a math specialist endorsement or a reading specialist endorsement. Both of these endorsements can help students find work as tutors or teachers. They’ll take classes relating to the education of students and the techniques that they can use with their students. The university also allows students to take courses connected to what they want to teach, including history, social studies, math and life sciences. The Liberty University program is unique because it can prepare students to work in private and religious schools that let them use their faith on a daily basis.
Liberty University Accreditation Details
Unlike other religious colleges that only have national accreditation or religious accreditation, Liberty has the regional accreditation that allows students to use federal financial aid. That accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Liberty also sought accreditation for some of its degree programs and received accreditation for its nursing, law and computer science programs. It also has accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which applies to both its undergrad and graduate education programs.
Liberty University Application Requirements
Each Liberty University graduate program has its own admissions and application requirements. Those applying to the Master of Education program can either submit an online application or talk to an admissions counselor. The counselor will fill out all the information that the university needs after speaking to a student, which lets that individual skip the online application requirement. Though there is a $50 application fee, the university will waive this fee if the student is in the military. Veterans and the spouses and children of military personnel also qualify for a fee waiver.
Students can fax their unofficial transcripts to the university as part of the application process, but Liberty asks for an official transcript before the student enrolls. This transcript must come sealed and through the mail. It should show that the student has a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school and that the student maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The unofficial transcript must show the names of the last 105 credits of classes the student took and the grades received in each class. Liberty requires that students applying to a dual program submit applications to each program. The university must receive official transcripts from students before the start of a student’s first semester.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Liberty University understands that some students have less free time than others, which is why it charges different rates based on the number of classes that its students take. Part-time students can take up to 11 credits of classes in a semester and pay $615 per credit hour. Full-time students take 12 or more credits in a semester and pay $565 per credit hour. Online classes cost more because of the technology and related fees that those students pay. They’ll still have access to resources that they can use online and in their homes.
The university is a popular choice among military students because the university allows students to take classes while working on a military base in any part of the world. Military students qualify for a discount that reduces their tuition down to just $275 per credit hour. They pay the same rate as full-time or part-time students.
Discounts are also available for students who work for one of the university’s partner corporations. All students can use the FAFSA and apply for financial aid to pay their tuition costs. Once a student submits the FAFSA, the university will create a unique financial aid package designed around that individual’s specific needs.
Liberty offers a variety of scholarships for both online and traditional graduate students. Some of these scholarships go to students who work as police officers and those who work in other fields. Students can also qualify for scholarships based on where they live or what they want to study. Liberty University also offers a program for vocational and ministry workers that reduces their tuition rates by 15%.