Graduate programs at Xavier University began in 1933 in response to requests from persons in the New Orleans area who wished an opportunity to pursue graduate studies. Since that time, Xavier’s Graduate Programs have provided quality programs that foster the core values of scholarship, service and societal improvement consistent with Xavier’s unique mission. Academic achievement, professional practices and ethics are stressed in each discipline.
Scholarship, teaching and service are integral to the student’s educational experience at Xavier and beyond the classroom into the community at large. As part of the educational experience, Xavier’s Graduate Programs encourage faculty-student and student-student relationships in an effort to cultivate respect for the individual and foster human development.
The following degrees are offered at Xavier: the Master of Arts, the Master of Arts in Teaching, the Master of Theology and the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. The programs focus on the disciplines of education, leadership, counseling, and theology.
Education and Counseling Programs
Graduate course work for the Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Curriculum and Instruction is offered in the Division of Education and Counseling. Areas of specialization are listed below. In addition, programs are also offered for initial Louisiana teacher certification through the M.A.T. program (Master of Arts in Teaching).
Master of Arts - This program is offered in the following areas, with several specializations within each area for those applicants who possess a valid teaching certificate:
- Educational Leadership - Professional preparation in Educational Leadership is offered with specialization in the following area:
- Educational Leadership - building-level K - 12 certification track, and
- Educational Leadership - non-certification track.
- Curriculum and Instruction - Professional preparation for leadership in Curriculum and Instruction is offered in the following specialized areas:
- Counseling - Professional preparation is offered for counselors to work in schools, post-secondary educational settings, and mental health facilities. Counseling programs meet all requirements for state certification and academic requirements for licensure. The specializations are:
- School Counseling, and
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Master of Arts in Teaching - This program is offered in the following areas for those applicants who are seeking certification and who have passed the appropriate PRAXIS examinations:
Doctoral Degree Program
Graduate course work for the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, with a focus on School Turnaround and the Urban Community, is offered in the Division of Education and Counseling.
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
The first doctorate in the College of Arts and Sciences emanated from Xavier faculty members who assisted with the development of a statewide school turnaround program. Xavier’s program in educational leadership is designed to prepare visionary leaders who are socially just, promote reflection, and foster transformation in an ever-changing profession. This action-oriented program is designed for practitioners who are advancing in their fields and understand the need for a terminal degree. Unlike other doctoral programs in educational leadership, Xavier’s program focuses on the urban community and school turnaround.
The Graduate course work for the Master of Theology degree is offered by the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS).
Master of Theology
The IBCS’ Master of Theology Program, begun at Xavier in 1980, is the only graduate program in the United States for the study of Black Catholic Theology and Pastoral Ministry. As such, the Th.M. degree program offers courses that focus on the integration of the Roman Catholic religious traditions and the distinct experience of African Americans and people of the African diaspora residing in the United States. In addition, the program assists students in integrating theory and praxis, theology and pastoral ministry for sound personal growth, for building up the life of faith, and for effective ministry.
The Graduate Degree program blends rigorous academic and personal learning. The program equips students with methodological tools for critical understanding, analysis, and evaluation.
Graduate Program Policies
The following policies apply to all Xavier graduate programs.
Applicants are admitted to a graduate program on a full-time or part-time basis. Candidates for admission must submit a formal application according to the procedures outlined below. The formal application includes an application fee, official transcripts from all undergraduate and, where applicable, all post-baccalaureate institutions where courses were taken; two confidential recommendations (three for Th.M. students); a sample research study (doctoral candidates only); and official test results from either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Test scores older than five years are not accepted. Additional requirements are:
A minimum score of 280 (the combined score from the verbal and quantitative sections) on the GRE or a minimum score of 380 on the MAT is acceptable.
A degree from a regionally-accredited college or university which reflects an overall minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.5 is required.
Applications must be made by the following dates:
- Fall Semester - July 1
- Spring Semester -December 1
- Summer Sessions - May 1
In addition, applicants for certifying programs must submit passing scores from the appropriate PRAXIS examinations or a valid teaching certificate where applicable.
A minimum score of 294 (the combined score from verbal and quantitative sections) on the GRE or a minimum score of 391 on the MAT is acceptable.
A degree from a regionally-accredited college or university which reflects an overall minimum graduate grade point average of 3.0 is required.
The doctoral program is built on the cohort learning model and only admits new students for the fall semester. Applications must be made by March 1.
Graduate Degree Procedures
- Education and Counseling students: Make all inquiries regarding your application to the Director of Graduate Admissions, Division of Education and Counseling.
- Theology students: Make all inquiries regarding your application to the Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies.
- Complete application for admission by the published deadlines. Education and Counseling students should send all information to the Director of Graduate Admissions, Division of Education and Counseling; Theology students should send all information to the Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies.
- Pay application fee.
- Send an official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate credits from college or university awarding degree(s), directly to the appropriate office.
- Ascertain that recommendations by two persons qualified to appraise scholastic aptitude and professional potential are on file in the Division of Education and Counseling or the IBCS Office (Theology). Theology students must also submit a third letter of reference from a person qualified to appraise professional or ministerial promise.
- Confirm that the test results for the GRE or MAT are on file in the appropriate office.
- Confirm that scores from the appropriate PRAXIS examinations are on file in the Division of Education and Counseling. (Education and Counseling students only)
- Complete health clearance requirements.
- Candidacy (Master candidates only) Apply for and achieve advancement to candidacy. To be eligible the student must have:
- Removed all deficiencies for full admission, if applicable.
- Successfully completed 12 course credits of graduate work at Xavier University.
- Earned a grade point average of not less than 3.0.
- Theology students must pass a qualifying exam.
- Attain status of candidacy (Master’s candidates only) from the Graduate Programs Council.
- Ordinarily, complete all requirements for the degree within a seven-year period, which begins with registration for the first graduate course.
- The maximum number of course credits per semester for full-time students is nine (six course credits are usually recommended).
- A student who is employed full-time ordinarily can register for a maximum of six course credits per semester.
- Maintain a “B” (3.0) average.
- The final requirement for master degree candidates is to pass the Comprehensive Final Examination or write a thesis. Comprehensives may be taken after or during the semester in which the candidate is registered for the last three semester hours of credit or successfully completes the thesis option.
- The final requirement for doctoral degree candidates is to conduct original research, which culminates in a dissertation
- Complete graduation arrangements for Commencement which is held at the end of the Spring semester for Education and Counseling students and at the end of the summer session for Theology students.
- Education and Counseling students:
- Apply to the Division of Education and Counseling/Graduate Programs for a diploma before November 1.
- Order hood, cap and gown before December 1.
- Pay the graduation fee. Students are encouraged to be present for the conferring of the Master’s Degree.
- Request to receive the degree in absentia is to be made in writing to the Chair of the Division of Education and Counseling at least four weeks before commencement. An additional fee is required.
- Theology students:
- Apply to the Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies the summer prior to intended graduation.
- Order hood, cap and gown before May 1 prior to graduation.
- Pay a graduation fee.
- Graduates are expected to be present for the conferring of the Master’s Degree at the end of the summer session.
Transcripts submitted for admission purposes must be official copies sent directly from the originating school or college. Education and Counseling student transcripts should be sent to the Director of Graduate Admissions in the Division of Education and Counseling. Master of Theology student transcripts should be sent to the Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies. Unofficial transcripts submitted by the applicant are not acceptable for admission purposes.
Admission to a Degree Program
Full Acceptance - An applicant is granted full acceptance provided all admission requirements have been completed: GRE or MAT score; official transcript of baccalaureate degree, and post-baccalaureate degree if appliciable; two professional, confidential recommendations (Theology students must also submit a third letter of reference from a person qualified to appraise professional or ministerial promise), and approval by the Director of the appropriate graduate program. In addition, Education students must submit Praxis scores, if applicable; Theology students must complete a personal interview; and doctoral students must submit a sample research study.
Conditional Acceptance - An applicant may be granted conditional acceptance when he/she does not meet one or more of the full admission requirements. A student admitted conditionally will have that condition(s) identified by the Director of the appropriate graduate program. Any conditional acceptance must be removed within the first year of enrollment. The applicant, who is conditionally accepted, may accumulate no more than nine hours of graduate credits.
Applicants who have been given full acceptance to Graduate Studies may defer their admission for up to two semesters by notifying the Director of the appropriate graduate program in writing. They may apply in writing for reactivation of their application status any time during the deferred time period.
Students in education and counseling who have not attended for one year or who wish to change their status in the Graduate program may apply for readmission by completing a formal readmission form and gaining approval from the Chairperson of the Division of Education and Counseling.
Admission of International Students
For information about Admission of International Students, please see the general Admission - International Students section of this Catalog.
Transient Student Status
The Division of Education and Counseling and the Institute for Black Catholic Studies will consider applicants from graduate students for the Transient Student category if they meet the following criteria:
- Applicant must be currently registered in an accredited graduate school.
- Applicant must submit a current official transcript from the graduate school along with a letter of good standing from the Dean of the graduate school.
- Courses taken at Xavier University must be approved by the Director of the appropriate graduate program.
Applications for admission to the summer sessions are due by May 1. The following policies are in force during the summer session:
- The university reserves the right to cancel any summer course for which fewer than eight students have enrolled.
- Students are classified as full-time students in the summer session if they enroll for three or more credit hours.
- Students who register after the registration period will be required to pay a late registration fee. Students will not be allowed to register after the second day of classes.
- An official withdrawal from a class must be approved in writing by the Director of the appropriate graduate program prior to the end of the second week in a five-week session, or before the end of the first week in a three-week session.
Orientation and Advisement
The faculty and staff of the Division of Education and Counseling are charged with the orientation and advisement of the Education and Counseling students in their concentrations. New students to the education and counseling programs are notified in writing, at the time of their acceptance, of the time and place to begin their registration. Advisors inform students of University and Graduate policies and procedures and assist in course selection. Students usually retain the same advisor until they complete their program.
Advising of Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) graduate students occurs during the on-campus final registration period. Designated advisors review and approve students’ selected classes according to their program of study. The orientation program for IBCS students is held on Sunday, before the Opening Mass of the Holy Spirit, when students and faculty gather at a central location to meet with the program directors. Students and faculty also meet the program staff members and are informed of the University’s and the Graduate policies and procedures, the location of key buildings on campus, and activities schedules. Students and faculty form small groups led by a continuing student who serves as a mentor.
Xavier University is a private institution and charges tuition accordingly. In-service personnel in educational institutions receive a tuition discount that is subject to change without notice. Questions about other forms of financial assistance should be directed to the Director of the appropriate graduate program. All inquiries about financial aid should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid.
Request for Transcript
Transcripts of a student’s academic record will be issued upon written application to the Registrar and payment of the fee at least one week in advance of the date the record is needed, provided that all financial obligations to the university, including Federal Loan repayments, are cleared. No transcripts will be issued during the period of registration or the period of final examinations.
Fees and Expenses
For information about Division of Education and Counseling Fees and Expenses, please see the Tuition and Fees section of this Catalog. For information about the Master of Theology Program fees and expenses, please see the IBCS website http://www.xula.edu/ibcs.
Specific Requirements for Education and Counseling Students
- English Writing Competency Requirements
All education and counseling graduate students are required to demonstrate competency in written English. Candidates must submit a writing sample with the application for admission. If competency in written English is not demonstrated, candidates will be required to enroll in GENG 5150 - Advanced Writing , during the first semester it is offered after being admitted into a graduate program or, in some cases, use the Writing Center. The Chair of the Division of Education and Counseling will inform candidates as to which option they are required to complete.
- Comprehensive Examinations
A written comprehensive examination is required of every master’s degree candidate who does not choose the option to write a thesis. An oral examination may also be required if the faculty deem it necessary. Comprehensive examinations may be taken after or during the term in which the candidate for the degree is registered for the last three hours of credit. In the latter case, the student must have completed all core courses and the required courses in the area of concentration.
The written comprehensive examination is designed to test the candidate’s mastery of his or her major field and not simply the course material. A student who fails his/her comprehensive examination the first time must meet with his/her advisor before registering to take the comprehensive examination the second time. A student who fails the comprehensive examination a second time must complete three credit hours as assigned by his/her advisor before the third attempt. Any student failing the comprehensive examination the third time will be disqualified as a candidate for a degree from Xavier University in that discipline.
All MAT candidates must take and pass the appropriate Praxis PLT to satisfy the University requirement for comprehensive examinations. Educational Leadership majors seeking certification must take and pass the School Leaders Licensure Exam (SLLA) to satisfy the University requirement for comprehensive examinations.
All students pursuing the Master of Arts in Counseling must take the program’s exit examination prior to beginning Internship II. Students pursuing the specialization in Clinical Mental Health must pass the exit examination. All students pursuing the specialization in School Counseling must take the Professional School Counselor (0421/5421) PRAXIS examination, as well as the exit examination, and must receive a passing score on at least one of the national examinations. Students are required to pass an oral clinical defense prior to graduation.
- Thesis Requirements – Masters
A student may choose the option of writing a thesis in lieu of a written comprehensive examination, but not a required Praxis exam. However, the student must enroll in EDCI/EDAD 7500 - Thesis - for three hours of graduate credit the semester prior to his/her last semester. The grade will be posted at the end of the next semester.
Specific Requirements for Master of Theology Students
This program is intended for college graduates who desire a holistic, inter-disciplinary Black Catholic Theological program to prepare them to participate in the Catholic Christian mission in the Black community as a theologically and culturally competent ordained, religious or lay ecclesial minister. It is also intended for graduate students or ministers on sabbatical who wish to enrich their general theological studies by exploring the Catholic theological tradition and its particular meanings for the social and spiritual experience of Black peoples in the United States and the broader Pan African World.
The program blends rigorous academic work with experiential learning and equips students with methodological tools for critical study, understanding, analysis, and evaluation. At the same time, the program assists students in integrating theory and praxis, theology and pastoral ministry. Such integration should lead to an intellectually grounded faith, sound personal growth, and effective ministry that contribute to the continual building of the life of the faith Community.
The Master of Theology (Th.M.) degree program currently offers two tracks that enable students to focus their studies within a specific academic discipline: Track 1 - Urban Catholic Education/Catechesis. This track prepares students currently working as or seeking future employment and or ministry opportunities as teachers, religious educator, or directors of religious education. Track 2 - Word & Worship (Liturgy & Preaching.) This track prepares students both lay and ordained to serve as liturgists, pastoral ministers, pastoral musicians or preachers within ecclesial settings.
As an integral part of its programs, the Institute expects students to fully participate in all aspects of community life, liturgical experiences, the formation program, cultural events, shared meals, and collaborative study groups which are all part of the Institute “experience.” To facilitate the realization of these goals, all participants are strongly encouraged to live on campus during the summer session.
- Written Qualifying and Comprehensive Examinations
A written qualifying examination is required of every candidate for a master’s degree. Ordinarily students must take this exam after successfully completing IBTH 5010 and two to three additional core course in the Master’s Program. The qualifying exam serves as an opportunity for a detailed review of material encountered in those courses designed as the Core and Area Requirements for the Th.M. Degree Program. An oral examination may also be required if the faculty deem it necessary.
Comprehensive examinations are taken after the completion of all degree requirements, i.e., course work, research paper and practicum. The comprehensive is an oral exam that reviews the student’s comprehension of his/her theological studies and their implication for pastoral practice. It is usually administered during the term in which the candidate for the degree is registered for graduation and/or the last three hours of credit. In the latter case, the student must have completed all core courses in the area of concentration. The written comprehensive examination is designed to test the candidate’s mastery of his or her major field as indicated by his/her research topic and practicum.
Thesis (Major Research Paper)
The thesis should be an in-depth study by the student on a topic agreed upon with the Research Advisor. It is an independent project, but the Degree Faculty recommends strongly that, whenever possible, it be related to the Practicum. Students are strongly encouraged to design and prepare the thesis or major research paper so that it provides the theological and theoretical foundation for the Practicum project. The signed comments of two (2) readers awarding the grade are to be filed in the Office of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies. The student should refer to the IBCS Handbook of Policies, Procedures, and Information for the Master’s Degree, An Interdisciplinary Degree in Pastoral Studies for specific details on planning and completing the major research paper.
Students may do two types of praxis projects:
- Practicum Plan A entails supervised work in the Black community, and it represents an initiative directed toward systemic change in pastoral ministry among Black Catholics.
- Practicum Plan B requires the student to complete an historical essay integrating oral history and archival research.
The student should refer to the IBCS Handbook of Policies, Procedures, and Information for the Master’s Degree in Theology, An Interdisciplinary Degree in Pastoral Studies for specific details on planning, completing and evaluating the Practicum.
- Oral Comprehensive Exam
The purpose of the Oral Comprehensive Examination is to provide a structured opportunity for the student to demonstrate her or his integration of learning and insights form course work, the Practicum Project, and the Major Research Paper. More broadly, the goal of the Examination is to allow the student to illustrate how the Practicum experience is related to the educational work of the IBCS. At the same time, the student must be prepared to demonstrate the practical effect and benefits of the project for the larger Black community, and for other ministers serving the Black community. The student should refer to the IBCS Handbook of Policies, Procedures, and Information for the Master’s Degree in Theology, An Interdisciplinary Degree in Pastoral Studies for specific details on the Oral Comprehensive Examination.