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Overview and Mission

History of Graduate Studies

Graduate programs have been available at La Salle from the earliest days of its existence. The more modern development of graduate education on our campus began in 1950 in response to the needs of the sponsoring religious congregation, the Christian Brothers. That year saw the introduction of the master’s program in religion, initially introduced to train the young Brothers in theology.

With the growth of the institution since the late 1940s, and the added distinction of university status granted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1984, the graduate programs have grown in diversity. In 1998, La Salle introduced its first doctoral program—a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. The University now offers a variety of doctoral, master’s and graduate certificate programs in face-to-face, hybrid, and online formats for the convenience of its students.

Graduate Studies Mission Statement

As a Catholic institution in the Lasallian tradition, our graduate programs educate students with theoretical and practical knowledge. These programs enhance the students’ depth of knowledge in their discipline, develop professional competencies, prepare them for career growth, and foster an appreciation of lifelong learning. The faculty and staff engage in mentoring relationships with the students, and in modeling and encouraging excellence as scholars and practitioners. Enriched by personal attention, collaborative practice, and sound ethical principles, our students are prepared to make a significant contribution to global welfare.

Standards for Graduate Studies

Graduate education is not wholly distinct from undergraduate education, because all education is a continuous process of personal development. Neither are graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral levels entirely identical. Some programs have an academic research orientation while others are more practice oriented. However, all graduate programs require the development of sophisticated and complex skills in students, and are also more demanding than seminars or sessions for which graduate credit is not conferred. In general, they place more emphasis on students’ abilities to critically analyze facts and theories, to make independent judgments based on objective data, to aptly communicate what has been learned, and to synthesize new ideas to make sound decisions. All graduate programs at La Salle are expected to emphasize these more advanced skills. In graduate work at La Salle, all students are expected to:

  • Think critically;
  • Engage in higher-order intellectual ability by applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating concepts;
  • Understand both historical and current issues and approaches to their discipline;
  • Demonstrate mastery of the body of knowledge, theories, and skills necessary to function as a professional in their discipline;
  • Apply ethical, discipline-based and professional standards;
  • Identify and use primary sources of information appropriate to their discipline;
  • Participate in the creation of knowledge to advance theory and practice in their discipline for those students involved in doctoral studies;
  • Work independently and collaboratively with faculty and/or other students;
  • Evidence proficiency in oral and written communication skill;
  • Contribute substantially to courses through rigorous assessments of learning goals.