Enhance your skills as a master educator with Mercyhurst University’s online master’s in Teaching Excellence. Designed for certified teachers in grades K-12, this program offers a highly innovative and customizable path to a master’s degree while also allowing you to fulfill your ACT 48 requirements. One of the fastest and most flexible programs in the region, the master’s in Teaching Excellence incorporates evidence-based pedagogy, professional development, and educational scholarship so you can pursue a master’s degree personalized to your personal and professional goals and interests, or the recommendations of your school district. 

In addition to the course courses and electives in this program, students can receive credit toward their master’s from PLS 3rd Learning coursework, teaching experience, coursework for PDE endorsements, or transfer credits from other graduate programs. 

Program Overview

  • Options: Master’s (with optional principal certification, PDE endorsements, and/or PLS microcredentials)
  • Location(s): Online
  • Credits: 30 (minimum)
  • Duration: Minimum 1 year
  • Cost: $530 per credit (for Mercyhurst alumni, Pennsylvania teachers, and U.S. veterans)
  • Deadline: Rolling admissions (May 1 for those applying for the Principal Leadership concentration)
  • Start term(s): Summer (preferred, mandatory for the Principal Leadership concentration), Fall, or Spring semester
  • Careers: Teaching, principal/education administration, developmental disability services

Course Requirements

The master’s in Teaching Excellence is a 30-credit (minimum) program. All students complete a set of five core courses, which focus on the theoretical underpinnings of education, innovative pedagogy to meet the demands of diverse learners, and analysis and conduction of educational research:

  • EDSE 500 Foundation of Pedagogy & Practice
  • EDSE 610 21st Century Literacies
  • EDU 670 Internship
  • EDSP 502 Educational Research
  • EDSE 676 Thesis

The remaining five courses for the master’s (15 credits minimum) can be fulfilled through:

Admissions Requirements

To apply for the master’s in Teaching Excellence, please provide the following:

  • A completed (free) online application
  • All official transcripts from accredited higher education institutions
  • A personal statement of 300-500 words outlining the student’s personal, professional and educational goals
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • One recommendation from a supervisor, teaching colleague, or college faculty member (requested electronically via a widget in the application)

Degree Completion Plan

Earn your master’s in Teaching Excellence in as little as one year!

Summer Semester (12 credits)

Mini 5

  • EDSE 500
  • Elective

Mini 6

  • EDSE 610 or elective
  • Elective

Fall Semester (9 credits)

Mini 1

  • Elective
  • EDSP 502 (semester-long course)

Mini 2

  • EDU 670
  • EDSP 502 (semester-long course)

Spring Semester (9 credits)

Mini 3

  • EDSE 610 or elective
  • EDSE 676 (semester-long course)

Mini 4

  • Elective
  • EDSE 676 (semester-long course)

Flexible Scheduling and Online Courses

Teachers have a lot of demands on their time, and when you consider family and other personal responsibilities, it might seem like there’s not much time for grad school. That’s why our master’s in Teaching Excellence offers flexible scheduling for graduate coursework—in addition to credit for work you’ve already completed and the chance to simultaneously satisfy ACT 48 requirements. 

You can enroll in the program at the start of summer, and complete the majority of your credits during the summer months. All coursework is offered fully online during half-semester Minis (approximately eight weeks). Even better, you never need to complete more than one course at a time, making it easier to balance your graduate coursework with your teaching responsibilities and life demands. 

Cost and Financial Aid

The Master of Science in Teaching Excellence is one of the most affordable programs of its kind in the Erie region and across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Currently, teachers working in schools operating within Pennsylvania, or teachers who are U.S. veterans (regardless of where they teach), are eligible for our inaugural pricing for corporate partners tuition rate: $530 per credit, plus an $80 distance learning fee per course. Standard per-semester registration and IT fees ($185) also apply. After fees, the cost of our program is lower than that of other regional institutions. 

Certified teachers can also save money toward the program’s cost via:

  • Credit for eligible PLS coursework
  • Teaching experience credit after one year of teaching (up to six credits; portfolio-based)
  • Graduate transfer credits for equivalent coursework (up to nine credits)

Students not fitting the in-state or veteran profile will pay the standard graduate tuition rate outlined on the cost and financial aid page.


Contact Us

Amy Burniston
Chair, Graduate Secondary Education
Office: Hirt 300D
Phone: 814-824-2437
Email: aburniston@mercyhurst.edu

Kseniya Kampova
Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Phone: 814-824-3384
Email: kkampova@mercyhurst.edu