Jun 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Educational Program, Degrees, and Certificates

McDaniel College awards two graduate degrees: the Master of Liberal Arts; and the Master of Science and a number of graduate certificates.

The Master of Liberal Arts program extends the College’s long tradition in the study of the liberal arts at the baccalaureate level. The M.L.A. degree is a balanced program that incorporates varied liberal arts fields.

The Master of Science programs are designed to enrich the background of individuals in an area of specialization. In addition to the depth of study provided by the area of specialization, there is a breadth of educational experience provided by selection of course work in supporting fields and the liberal arts to complement the program.

McDaniel College faculty recognize the benefits and rewards of working with a diverse population. Students of all ages, interests, and professions are encouraged to apply for graduate study. Over 1,300 individuals are attending graduate classes on campus, off campus, and online during any one semester. Most graduate students commute to these classes from surrounding Maryland counties, as well as nearby Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, Northeast Maryland, and northern Virginia. Our programs primarily offer online and hybrid delivery. However, McDaniel also offers off-campus cohorts at the request of our school partners. 

Most courses are conducted online using both synchronous and asynchronous delivery.  Hybrid courses require up to 50% of their attendance on campus with classes offered in the evenings. These formats accommodate the majority of employed graduate students who attend on a part-time basis. 

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate programs are available in the following areas:

Master of Liberal Arts


The Liberal Arts (MLA)  program consists of nine, three-credit courses and a three-credit final project for a total of 30 credit hours. Although there are required courses, the program’s primary feature is that graduate students are expected to design their own program of study. This flexibility allows students to pursue courses that best reflect their personal and professional interests. The program requirements are listed in the Program of Study section of this catalog.

Master of Science


The Master of Science program is available in the following areas:



By following specially designed and approved sequences of courses, graduate students may meet Maryland State Department of Education and Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements for certification in the following fields:


Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Programs

Research Theory and Practice


The graduate mission emphasizes the development of knowledge and critical thinking that is based on current research, theory and practice within a field of study. Course work will include both core and elective courses that promote value for, balance of and interdependence among these approaches and help students to consistently apply them in their work. Some courses will emphasize foundational knowledge and dominant theories, others will promote critical thinking and research methodologies to answer important questions. Still others will apply that knowledge to solve current problems.

Capstone Experiences and Comprehensive Examinations


All Master’s Degree programs include a culminating experience designed to encourage students to consolidate and integrate what they have learned throughout their program of study. In general, students should participate in this experience after completing most if not all of their coursework and any required practica or internships, preferably during the final semester before earning the degree.

At the time of publication the following programs require students to prepare a portfolio documenting the fulfillment of program objectives: , Human Resources Development, Reading Specialist, Special Education, School Administration and Teaching. MLA students complete a final project, and most remaining programs require a comprehensive exam.

Comprehensive examinations are administered by the College once each semester during the months of March, July, and October for master’s degree students who are completing their programs in which the comprehensive exam is a requirement. Exams are scheduled on a Saturday and the specific date is available for a given semester through the Self-service.

There is a $150 testing fee payable prior to the exam date.  Anyone registering for the comprehensive exam after the deadline must have approval and may be assessed a late fee of $35.  If you have registered for the comprehensive exam and withdraw within 10 days of the exam, you will forfeit the $150 testing fee.

The registration deadlines for comprehensive exams are:

  • Spring:      February 1st
  • Summer:   June 1st
  • Fall:          September 1st

Study guide information will be sent to your McDaniel College email.  You must be registered to receive access to the study guide.

Students will receive notification of the testing time and room assignment approximately ten days prior to the exam.

Comprehensive exams are graded using an anonymous review process. This review can result in a pass, fail or a request for a conference in which responses will be explained or justified. Notification about results will be sent no more than four weeks after the exam is given. The comprehensive exam can be taken no more than three times.

Emergency Date Policy:  The emergency date unless otherwise noted will be one week after the published date for the comprehensive exam and will be invoked by the College should a designated site be closed or delayed in opening for any unforeseen reason.  This date has been published in the College Calendar and it is expected that students would be able to attend should it be necessary to invoke the established emergency date.

When feasible students will be notified with as much advanced notice as possible, but it is the students’ responsibility to call 410/857-2500 or 866/962-4723 for the most current information.

Thesis Option for Master of Science Students


Students are encouraged to consider writing a thesis as part of their program. This option is particularly valuable for students considering the pursuit of a doctorate or those with a well-defined research interest. Successful completion of the thesis may be used instead of the comprehensive exam or portfolio and 3 credits earned from work on the thesis may count toward the student’s program of study.

Recent thesis topics:

The Comparison of Second Language Learning (CUR)

The Effect of Mathematics Resource Teachers on Student Achievement in Title I Schools (ELE)

The Effects of an Adapted Interactive Writing Program on Children’s Phonological Awareness, Print Concepts, Alphabetic Knowledge, Phonics and Word Recognition Skills, and Orthographic Knowledge in an Urban Classroom (RDG)

Effects of Direct Vocabulary Instruction on Content-Related Vocabulary in a Primary Classroom (RDG)

Does Participation in the Carroll County Outdoor School Program Impact The Responsible Environmental Behavior of Its Participants? (EDL)

The Effect of Specialized Teaching in the Area of Mathematics on the Mathematics Achievement of Fifth Graders (ELE)

Does Gender and Student Attitude Effect Mathematics Achievement? (ELE)

The Effect of Instruction in Deaf Studies on the Self-Esteem of Deaf Students (DED)

Graduate students who elect to write theses should discuss this option with their graduate program coordinators early in their program. The graduate program coordinator and the student will submit an abstract of the proposal and suggested names of committee members to the Dean of Graduate & Professional Studies. After approval is received, the graduate student will register for the thesis using the Graduate Registration Form. To register use the department code (DED, EDU, GRN, KIN, RDS, TSL) and the course number 590.

Additional information is available from the program coordinators and the Thesis Handbook.

Additional Location of Study

McDaniel College offers an additional instruction location at the MCEA Conference Center, Rockville, Maryland, where we may offer classes in the following programs:

  • Master of Science in Innovations in Teaching and Learning
  • Master of Science in Elementary Education
  • Post Baccalaureate Certificate Administrator I
  • Post Baccalaureate Certificate Equity and Excellence