Emporia State University

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Updated August 7, 2020

Initially founded by the Kansas Legislature in 1863, Emporia State University is the state's third oldest senior public teaching institution. ESU is based on a main 234-acre campus in the quaint college town of Emporia near Flint Hills in east-central Kansas. In 2014, Emporia State enrolled more than 3,700 undergraduates and 2,200 post-graduates in its over 80 programs of study. ESU also operates a satellite location in Kansas City and delivers online classes around the nation. Emporia State University mains a low student-faculty ratio of 18:1 to provide personalized learning across its five academic divisions.

With a reputation for excellence, ESU is currently ranked as the 103rd best regional college, 37th top public school, and 38th best university for veterans in the Midwest by the U.S. News and World Report. In particular, Emporia State University is highly acclaimed for hosting America's 11th best graduate education programs. ESU is one of just four universities to be designated for "Exemplary Model Teacher Education" by Arthur Levine. Emporia State has also been named a "Great College to Work for" in the Chronicle of Higher Education and one of the prestigious Princeton Review's "Best in the Midwest" schools.

Emporia State University Accreditation Details

Emporia State University is formally accredited overall by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA), one of the six regional accrediting bodies approved by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In addition, the Teachers College has gone the extra step to receive discipline-specific accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator (CAEP), formerly the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Teaching degrees meet the standards established by the Kansas State Department of Education for licensing. Certain education programs are also given approval by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) and National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Emporia State University Application Requirements

With an acceptance rate of 60 percent, Emporia State University is a fairly selective college with some strict graduate admissions criteria. To enroll in any of the online master's programs, candidates must already hold a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school. Carrying a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate studies is mandated, but some programs will hold higher grade standards. Emporia State no longer requires GRE or MAT entrance exam scores. Those seeking enrollment in the graduate education programs should already have valid teaching licensure and at least one year of classroom experience.

Before the deadlines on February 15, June 1, and September 1, interested students should submit their application to ESU's Graduate School with the following materials:

  • Official transcripts of all college work
  • Verification of degree completion
  • Two references from supervisors or co-workers
  • The Student Disposition form
  • Three one-page essay responses
  • Payment for the $40 application fee

Tuition and Financial Aid

Graduate students earning their online education degree from Emporia State University will follow a slightly different tuition schedule. Kansas residents must pay $318.75 per credit hour to enroll in an online master's program. Non-residents living outside of Kansas must afford $436.75 per credit hour for obtaining their graduate online education degree. Online learners must also budget for $42 in electronic media fees for each course taken regardless of state residence. Thanks to the Corky Plus Tuition program, graduate students residing in select counties of Missouri and Oklahoma are able to pay in-state tuition.

According to U.S. News, 65 percent of degree-seeking students at Emporia State receive some kind of need-based financial aid. Graduate students are asked to fill out the FAFSA form to see the assistance they qualify for. Perkins, Direct, Stafford, and Graduate PLUS loans are accepted, but borrowing should be smart to avoid mountains of debt. Scholarships are abundant at ESU, including the Presidential Scholarships, Jones Foundation Scholarships, Transfer Scholarships, Single Parent with Children Scholarships, and Endly Memorial Scholarship. There's also an Educational Opportunity Fund Grant and graduate assistantships offered. If students make one of Kansas' rural opportunity zones their home after graduation, they could receive up to $15,000 in student loan repayment too.

Online Degrees Available

Through ESU Distance Education, aspiring and current educators have a wide range of online degree programs to select from to conveniently fit their busy schedule. Emporia State University currently offers one bachelor's degree, 21 master's degree, one doctoral degree, 11 teacher licensing, and four graduate certificate programs fully online. Teachers are able to achieve an optimal work-life balance by fitting their courses in 24/7 from anywhere with Internet. All online programs follow the same rigorous curriculum, but come with added convenience and SmartThinking online tutoring. Notable online education degrees include the:

M.S. Curriculum and Instruction

Featuring a dynamic 34-credit online curriculum, the M.S. Curriculum and Instruction program at ESU is designed to give licensed teachers a more solid background in curriculum development. Teachers select from three concentration areas: Curriculum Leadership, Effective Practitioner, or National Board Certification. In the PreK-12 context, teachers delve into topics on brain-based learning, cultural awareness, classroom management, educational technology, curriculum models, school leadership, and instructional design before a final practicum.

M.S. Early Childhood Education

The M.S. Early Childhood Education is an CAEP-accredited online degree at Emporia State University is structured for teachers with valid elementary level licensure who wish to work with younger children from birth through age eight without special needs. Completion of this 36-credit program will qualify individuals for the Kansas Early Childhood Unified license. Teachers will complete two clinical experiences of 150 clock hours apiece for hands-on training with infants, toddlers, and young children.

M.S. Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

Once the first online master's program of its kind to be offered online in America, the M.S. in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) at ESU is available for graduate students seeking to unlock careers in health promotion, coaching, physical education, or health research. Whether in the thesis or non-thesis track, teachers must complete at least 32 credits of web-based classes. Coursework will cover topics like applied psychology, exercise science, physiology, sport ethics, coaching, motor learning, biomechanics, sociology, and school health.

M.S. Special Education

The M.S. Special Education degree at ESU follows a fully online program of study to support the career advancement needs of special education teachers and administrators in Kansas. Within this 36-credit program, individuals can select the Adaptive Concentration or Gifted, Talented, and Creative Concentration for K-12 special education. Courses will range from behavioral interventions and school assessment to gifted education and supervised practicum. With an extra 12 credits, special education majors can add on a Certified in Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

Educators can also attend Emporia State University to receive a M.S. Education Administration, M.S. Instructional Design and Technology, M.S. Instructional Specialist, M.A. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), or M.Ed. in Teaching degree online.

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