Graduate Education Mission Statement and Learning Outcomes
Graduate Education Mission Statement
Graduate Education’s mission is to develop competence in students so that, in their specialized fields of study, they demonstrate leadership and make significant contributions, develop the skills necessary for advanced research and/or applications, and apply a Christian humanist conscience to ethical problems.
As an extension of its mission, the University offers opportunities to pursue advanced study in several areas, many of them multi-disciplinary in nature. The programs enable the students to acquire depth in selected disciplines, reach advanced competency, and explore connectivity between specialized studies and human endeavors.
The first graduate program, the Master of Science in Nursing, was introduced in the fall of 1984. It was followed by the Master of Science in Information Systems in the fall of 1988.
In the summer of 1989, five Master of Education degrees were introduced in the areas of chemistry, computers in education, computer science, English, and mathematics. In the subsequent, new programs have been added in biology, TESOL with ESL certificate, special education (degree only, additional, and initial certification), elementary education (degree only, additional, and initial certification). Degrees in computers in education and computer science have evolved into technology in education K-12 with instructional technology specialist certificate, our first distance learning program.
The offering of the Master of Business Administration program started in the fall of 1991. The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program began in the fall of 1997, and the Master of Art in Criminal Justice commenced in the winter of 2005.
A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) was approved in May 2011 and enrolled its first class in January 2012.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program received approval by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) to enroll its charter class in September 2014. Full initial accreditation of the program from CAPTE was granted in April 2017. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at DeSales University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: email@example.com; website: http://www.capteonline.org.
The Master of Fine Art in Creative Writing and Publishing was approved in the spring of 2018 and will enroll its first class in January of 2019.
The Master of Education in Higher Education was approved in the fall of 2019 and enrolled its first class in January of 2020.
The Graduate Division, as a University entity, was established in 1991, and it consists of faculty and administration that teach and direct the scholarly activities of the post-baccalaureate students.
Graduate Education Learning Outcomes
The University specifies that its graduate programs will enable its students to demonstrate:
- specialized competence in a field of study, so that graduates will provide leadership and make significant contributions to their fields,
- the skills necessary for advanced research/application in their specialized fields, and
- an enhanced formation of a Christian conscience as it applies to the ethical problems in their fields of interest.
Credit Hour Policy
The U.S. Department of Education (34 CFR Section 600.2) defines “credit hour” as:
“…an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
- one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or,
- at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (22 Pa. Code Section 31.21) states that a “semester hour represents a unit of curricular material that normally can be taught in a minimum of 14 hours of classroom instruction, plus appropriate outside preparation or the equivalent as determined by the faculty.”
Minimum Amount Of Student Activity Per Credit For Face-To-Face Classroom Instruction
||Minimum Contact Time per Week
||Minimum Instructional Time for 14
||Weeks Minimum Out-of-Class Student Work per Week
||Minimum Out-Of-Class Student Work for 14 Weeks
||Total of Contact and Out-Of-Class Student Work For 14 Weeks
DeSales University Credit Hour Policy
The number of credits is included with each course description in the Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate Catalog. DeSales University complies with the above standards for the assignment of credit hours as established by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, DeSales University is in compliance with policies set forth by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, using acceptable and consistent methods for assigning credit hours to all courses and programs of study and conforming to commonly accepted practice in higher education. Information about the number of credits, meeting dates and times, classroom location, and mode of delivery is published online and made available to students prior to registration.
Unit of measurement
All DeSales University undergraduate and graduate courses are assigned credits as a unit of measurement for curricular material regardless of time frame or mode of delivery. A credit is the equivalent of one hour (50 minutes) of face-to-face classroom instruction per week for a semester of approximately 15 weeks. There is an expectation of two hours of outside study by the student for each hour of classroom instruction.
Outside Study Activities
Outside study activities may include readings, review of notes, written assignments or journals, group projects, preparation for quizzes or exams, vocal or instrumental practice, rehearsal for dramatic productions, quantitative problem solving, literature research, theatrical rehearsal, creation of lesson plans, review of films and/or dramatic productions, preparation for presentations, lab reports, preparation for clinical experiences, or other assigned work as appropriate to the student learning outcomes of the course.
Academic Period and Instructional Time
The traditional undergraduate academic year consists of a fall and spring semester that are approximately 15 weeks in length with an additional week for final examinations. One credit is awarded for one hour (50 minutes) of classroom instruction per week for the semester of approximately 15 weeks with a minimum of 14 hours of instruction. If a course meets for three 50-minute class periods or two 75-minute class periods per week, it is said to be a three-credit course and has a minimum of 42 hours of classroom instruction.
The ACCESS academic schedule consists of 11 sessions throughout the calendar year. The majority of the courses run for eight weeks, but ACCESS also offers a winter minimester that runs for 3 weeks, summer sessions that run for 6 weeks, and 4-5 credit courses (e.g., Natural Science courses) that run for 12-14 weeks. Courses are offered either as hybrid or completely online and meet the same number of hours as equivalent full-semester courses by requiring more frequent meetings, longer meeting times, asynchronous/synchronous online meetings, and/or utilizing instructional equivalencies (described below under online and hybrid courses).
The academic year for the DPT, MEd, MFA, and MSPAS programs consists of fall, spring, and summer sessions that are typically 14 to 16 weeks in length. The academic year for the MBA, MCJ, MSIS, MSN, and DNP programs consists of fall, winter, spring, and summer sessions. The fall, winter, and spring sessions are typically 12 weeks in length, and the summer session is 6 weeks in length. Regardless of whether the graduate programs consist of three or four sessions per year, courses meet the same number of hours as equivalent full-semester courses by requiring more frequent meetings, longer meeting times, asynchronous/synchronous online meetings, and/or utilizing instructional equivalencies.
Assignment of credit hours for each course is determined by the program/major based on the amount of work required to achieve the course’s student learning outcomes. Undergraduate and graduate students are provided with a course syllabus that conforms with the DeSales’ “Credit Hour Policy.” Faculty are required to submit to Division Heads all course syllabi prior to the start of the semester/session allowing time for review and approval. Final review and approval is made by the dean of undergraduate education for undergraduate courses and the dean of graduate education for graduate courses. In addition, existing courses are evaluated for compliance with federal and state regulations during each program’s five-year self-study and assessment or as a component of the accreditation process for those with external accreditors.
New Course and Approvals
For the approval of a new course, the “Petition to Present a New Undergraduate (Graduate) Course” is completed by a faculty member and approved by the chair of the major (if applicable), department chair (if applicable), and division head, and is reviewed for compliance by the dean of undergraduate education for undergraduate courses and by the dean of graduate education for graduate courses. This petition must be accompanied by a syllabus which conforms to the “Instructions for Drafting a Course Syllabus” and to the “Credit Hour Policy.” New courses that request inclusion within the core curriculum must receive additional approval from the General Education Core Curriculum Committee.
Below are the general guidelines for assigning credit hours to a particular method of instruction.
Face-to-Face Classroom Instruction
Face-to-face courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs utilize lectures, discussions, demonstrations, or other methods of instruction. DeSales University’s traditional academic year consists of a fall and spring semester that are approximately 15 weeks in length with an additional week for final examinations. One credit is awarded for one hour (50 minutes) of classroom instruction per week for the semester with a minimum of 14 hours of instruction.
Online and Hybrid Courses
Through a combination of in-class contact hours and online activities, online or hybrid courses must provide the “instructional equivalent” of the number of in-class contact hours delivered in a traditional classroom setting. In the case of a fully online class, all of the instructional hours are calculated through “instructional equivalencies.” DeSales’ formal policy (Documentation of Instructional Equivalency Hours for Online and Hybrid Courses) as well as guidance for instructors (Instructional Equivalency Calculation - Guidance for Instructors and Course Developers) are posted for the university community on the MyDSU portal under “Policies & Procedures” in the “Distance Education and Instructional Technology” folder. Online and hybrid courses have the same quality, assessment, learning outcomes, requirements, etc. as courses offered face-to-face. Templates are used for consistency of syllabi across multiple versions of the same course and in the organization of content in Blackboard. A thorough review process is in place whereby the appropriate division head or department chair examines the course syllabus for each online or hybrid course to ensure that the content and rigor is equivalent to that of any classes with the same course number that are offered in the traditional face-toface classroom setting. Additionally, the Distance Education and Instructional Technology Department reviews each course for proper set-up and use of technology in Blackboard. Instructors are contacted to update or enhance course material as needed.
A Flex class is a class in which all live (synchronous) class sessions may be, at the student’s discretion, experienced either in the traditional physical classroom or remotely through web-based video conferencing technology. A Flex student may choose to experience all, some, or none of the live sessions remotely. Students may vary their attendance mode without prior notice from class meeting to class meeting. Additional information about Flex class variations, administrative standards, and behavior standards for remote students is included in the Flex Class Policy available in MyDSU or from the Distance Education and Instructional Technology Department.
Laboratory Components of Courses
Laboratories are components of particular face-to-face courses. The laboratory portion of a course is the “hands on” component that supports the didactic (classroom) component of the course. Generally, one credit is awarded for two or three hours of laboratory per week. MSN laboratory courses are one credit hour for 75 hours of laboratory. Online laboratories provide the instructional equivalent of the number of in-class contact hours.
Internships are supervised learning experiences that take place outside the classroom for which academic credit may be granted. Internship applications are reviewed and approved by the director of the Career Development Center and the student’s faculty supervisor. Internships are limited to students with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and are ordinarily limited to three credits per semester. Internship applications for more than three credits must also be approved by the student’s division head and the dean of undergraduate education (for traditional undergraduate students) or the dean of lifelong learning (for ACCESS students). Internships are graded pass-fail. Credits awarded are based on the following total hours worked during the internship:
|Number of Total Hours
Worked During Internship
||135 to 150 hours
||270 to 300 hours
||405 to 450 hours
||540 to 600 hours
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires 170 hours of supervised clinical field hours prior to student teaching. Education students seeking certification complete a series of supervised, 1-credit clinical field courses that, when combined, meet the 170 hour requirement. PDE requires a 14-week in-school experience for completion of program requirements for student teaching. During the 14-week in-school experience, 12 credits are awarded for a minimum of 64 days of student teaching.
Independent study courses permit a student to study independently and periodically with a faculty member. Independent study proposals are reviewed and approved by the faculty supervisor, the department chair (or division head), and the dean of undergraduate education for undergraduate students and by the faculty supervisor, program director, and dean of graduate education for graduate students. Credit hours are assigned based on the amount of academic activity associated with the course, the faculty supervision, and the amount of outside study (defined above under outside study activities). Most independent study courses are approved for 3 credit hours.
At times a student may wish to take a course which is listed in the undergraduate or graduate catalog but which is not scheduled to be offered in a given semester. The student may ask a full-time faculty member (usually one who has previously taught the course) if he/she is willing to offer the course tutorially. Tutorials must match the minimum instructional time and minimum out-of-class student work per week assigned for faceto- face classroom instruction. Tutorial proposals are reviewed and approved by the advisor, the department chair (or division head), and the dean of undergraduate education for undergraduate students and by the advisor, program director, and dean of graduate education for graduate students.
Supervised Clinical Experience
For the Physician Assistant, Nursing, and Physical Therapy graduate programs, credit for clinical experience is generally determined by their specific accrediting agencies.
Practicum/Studio Courses, Applied Music, and Ensembles
Practicum/studio courses, applied music lessons, and ensembles in the Division of Performing Arts (theatre, dance, tv/film) are assigned credits based on the learning outcomes and student workload expectations within a specified period of academically-engaged time as determined by the program/major.
Research in Natural Science Department
During research courses, students conduct research in collaboration with a faculty member who has expertise in the subject matter. In the Natural Science Department (biology, chemistry, and biochemistry-molecular biology), one credit is awarded for a minimum time commitment of 3 hours per week for at least 14 weeks.
Academic Affairs Committee - Graduate Education
The Academic Affairs Committee - Graduate Education advises the president and provost on matters of graduate academic policy, regulations, curriculum, and the library. The committee is composed of the dean of graduate education, the directors of the graduate programs, one faculty member from each division of the University, and two graduate students. The duties of the committee include evaluation and review of the University’s graduate academic policies, regulations, curriculum, and library resources.
The chair of the Academic Affairs Committee - Graduate Education is elected annually.
Most graduate and undergraduate programs are available at the Main Campus located in Center Valley, Pa. Administrative and faculty offices are also housed here. DeSales University also offers an extensive portfolio of programs that can be completed entirely online.
Immaculata University Campus
Courses leading toward an MBA degree are offered at the Immaculata University Campus. Additional information may be obtained from the MBA office.
Counseling Psychology and Human Services Programs
Under a cooperative agreement, Chestnut Hill College offers the Master of Science in Clinical and Counseling Psychology at the DeSales University main campus. Learn more at www.chc.edu/desales
Master of Social Work Program
Under a cooperative agreement, Marywood University offers a Master of Social Work at the DeSales University main campus. Learn more at www.marywood.edu/ssw
Accreditations and Approvals
DeSales University is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education. Documentation describing this accreditation and approval is available for review in the office of academic affairs upon request.
All graduate programs are explicitly approved for veterans’ education under the provisions of Title 38, United States Code, Section 2675.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice, the Master of Science in Nursing, and Advanced Practice Post-Graduate Certificate programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA)
The Master of Business Administration program is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at DeSales University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.
Graduate Transfer Policy
The following regulations govern the transfer of graduate credits into DeSales University. In all cases, transfer courses must be documented by an official transcript. In some cases, additional information, including syllabi, course descriptions, or other supporting materials may be required at the discretion of the program.
- Any graduate-level courses taken at institutions accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and West Association of Schools and Colleges) are eligible for transfer consideration at DeSales University if the courses are meant to be transferable, are completed with a grade of B or higher, and are consistent with the mission and philosophy of DeSales University and its graduate education learning outcomes.
- Some graduate programs function with a cohort model.In these cases, transfer students are not considered for an individual cohort once that cohort is initiated.
- Transferability of graduate courses is dependent upon the equivalency of these courses to existing courses within the DeSales University graduate program. The program director makes the primary determination of this equivalency and forwards this recommendation to the dean of graduate education.
- Graduate courses are ordinarily considered for transfer if they have been taken in the 7-year period before acceptance into DeSales University. Individual programs may establish more stringent criteria for currency. Please see the specific literature published by each program for more details.
- A maximum of 9 credits may be transferred into any graduate program. Individual programs may establish limits below 9 credits. Please see the specific literature published by each program for more details.
- Only credit is transferred. The grades for transfer courses are not calculated in the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA) at DeSales. Once courses have been transferred, they become part of the student’s permanent record at DeSales University and cannot be removed.
- Courses not using traditional letter grades (A-F) will be considered for transfer at the discretion of a program director and may require the submission of additional documentation detailing successful completion.
- Courses taught online or in a hybrid format will be accepted assuming they meet the criteria above.
- Individual graduate programs may establish more stringent criteria for consideration of course transferability. These criteria are listed under the individual headings of each program.
- The dean of graduate education is responsible for the final determination of the acceptance or denial of transfer credit. This decision is considered final.
Graduate Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Credit Policy
DeSales University may grant credits to graduate students based upon assessment of prior learning. The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (M.C.J.), Master of Science in Information Systems (M.S.I.S.), Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), and Master of Education (M.Ed.) offer this option. The Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.), and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.P.A.S.) do not offer this option.
In addition to the following general provisions, please consult the specific program entry in the Graduate Catalogue for considerations which are specific to each program.
The following general provisions are required for any request for PLA consideration:
- The applicant for PLA credits must have applied to and have been fully accepted as a regular graduate student at the time of PLA credit review.
- Graduate Programs do not grant PLA credits based upon portfolio review.
- Requests for PLA credits must be approved by the Department Chair (if applicable), Graduate Program Director, and the Dean of Graduate Education. Programs which have specialized content specialists may require an additional level of review. Please see the specific program entry in the Graduate Catalogue for more information.
- Training or non-credit course work must have been completed post-baccalaureate.
- Training or non-credit course work must equal 45 hours or greater of face-to-face or hybrid learning per eligible credit (unless otherwise approved by the Graduate Program Director, and Department Chair, if applicable).
- Training or non-credit course work must have been completed within the last six years at the time of application in order to be considered for credit transfer.
- Each program may limit PLA eligibility per specific accreditation standards.
- Training or non-credit course work must closely replicate a course in the Graduate Catalogue current at the time of application. The number of credits assigned to the course will be the maximum number of PLA credits that may be approved.
- Training or non-credit course work must be of equal rigor as the parallel graduate course. An assessment of content mastery may be required in some cases in order to receive credit.
- A maximum number of credits that can be accepted into the graduate program will be nine credits. All transferred credits and PLA credits will be included in the nine credit maximum.
- The application for approval of PLA credit must include documentation that certifies (a) the content of the training and/or non-credit course work, (b) the number of hours of training and/or work, and (c) verification of the completion of the training and/or work must. The documentation must come from the host institution of the original training and/or work.
- The fee required for the PLA Approval process will be charged per credit. Please consult http://www.desales.edu/home/admissions-financial-aid/costs-financial-aid/graduate/tuition-fees for the current fee.
Grievance Procedures for Section 504 and ADA
The University has an internal grievance procedure providing prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and their implementing regulations.
Section 504 states that “no otherwise qualified individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance” (PL 93-112, 1973).
Complaints should be addressed to the Section 504 Compliance Officer designated to coordinate ADA compliance efforts:
Mr. Peter Rautzhan
Associate Vice President for Administration and Planning
Section 504 Compliance Officer
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
- The complaint should be filed in writing. The complaint should contain the name and the address of the person filing it, and briefly describe the alleged violation of the regulations.
- A complaint should be filed within 60 days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation.
- An investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow a filing of complaint, conducted by the Section 504 Compliance Officer. This investigation shall be informal but thorough, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, the opportunity to submit evidence relative to a complaint.
- A written determination report as to the validity of the complaint and the description of the resolution, if any, shall be issued by the Section 504 Compliance Officer and a copy of the report shall be forwarded to the complainant no later than 60 days after the complaint is filed.
- The Section 504 Compliance Officer shall maintain the files and records of the University relating to the complaints filed.
- The complainant can request a reconsideration of the case in instances where he or she is dissatisfied with the resolution. Request for reconsideration should be submitted in writing within fourteen (14) days of the receipt of the determination report to the provost of the University.
- The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed here shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of an ADA complaint with the responsible federal department or agency. Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.
- The procedure shall not be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons to meet appropriate due process standards.
Tuition and Fees
A complete list of Graduate Tuition and Fees may be found at: https://www.desales.edu/admissions-financial-aid/graduate-admissions-aid/graduate-tuition-fees. Click on “Tuition & Fees” in the menu on the left.
Office of Graduate Admissions
It is the mission of the Office of Graduate Admissions to recruit, admit, and enroll a highly qualified and diverse graduate student population whose educational experience will be enhanced through the mission of the University; to provide the highest quality service to prospective and enrolled students, as well as the University community and global partners within higher education; and to promote the University’s graduate programs accurately and honestly.
DeSales University’s graduate programs operate on a rolling admissions basis, except for the physician assistant program, doctor of nursing practice program, nurse practitioner programs, and doctor of physical therapy program whose applicants must apply by a deadline determined by the program. Each graduate program has specific admissions processes unique to the individual program. To apply, please review the program-specific admissions requirements listed within the catalog or online.
International applicants (regardless of citizenship) for whom English is a second language must submit English proficiency test scores as part of their application.
Please note that graduate admissions requires the following minimum scores on the TOEFL, IELTS, or the Cambridge English Language Assessment: Advanced (CAE):
||104 total score, with a minimum of 26 in all subscales
||7.5 total score, with a minimum of 8 in speaking, 7 in reading and listening, 6.5 in writing
||C1 or higher
||90 total score; with a minimum of 25 speaking, 23 writing, and 21 reading and listening
||6.5 total score; with a minimum of 7.5 in speaking, 6 in writing, 6.5 in reading, and listening
||B2 or higher
Language skills assessment and other exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis by the admissions committee. An official copy of test results must be sent by the testing agency directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions at DeSales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA 18034.
Visit the following websites for up-to-date information:
An international student (F1 visa) may pursue graduate studies upon satisfying the following requirements:
- Submission of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts from foreign institutions evaluated by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES); sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA 18034
- Submission of English proficiency scores; meet the conditions described in the English competency section
- Submission of all other graduate admissions supplemental items
- Acceptance into a graduate program
Upon acceptance into the program, the student must satisfy the following requirements:
- Meet with the Designated School Official (DSO) upon receiving acceptance into a graduate program.
- Provide proof of sufficient resources to cover educational and personal expenses while staying in the United States to the Director of Graduate Admissions/DSO. No scholarship or financial aid is available.
- Obtain an F-1 Student Visa or transfer existing Form I-20 from another institution, under the advisement of the Director of Graduate Admissions/DSO.
- Maintain F-1 student status, including registering for a full-time course load each regular semester; online courses are limited to three credits per session toward a full course of study in each academic term
- Attend class on a regular basis with academic progression throughout the course
- The Director of Graduate Admissions/DSO will provide a detailed list of the requirements upon student initially arriving on-campus.
Upon receipt and review of all required admissions materials, applicants are notified of their admissions status. DeSales University accepts applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, or disability.
To assist in graduate school research, prospective students are welcome to schedule an appointment with the director of graduate admissions to learn more about opportunities for graduate study at the University.
Director of Graduate Admissions/Designated School Official (DSO)
610.282.1100 ext. 1768