Education and Behavioral Science Studies, Master of Arts in Education (042)


Program Coordinator

Janet L. Applin,, (270) 745-4335

This is an interdisciplinary program designed for qualified graduate students who wish to do advanced study of education (in a general sense) or behavioral sciences (in a general sense) but whose career goals are not addressed by existing programs at Western Kentucky University. The program is a flexible one that allows a faculty advisor to individually tailor a program of studies for a student who wants to pursue graduate study in an area of education or behavioral sciences for which the university does not presently offer a program. Completion of this program does not lead to initial or advanced certification by Kentucky's Education Professional Standards Board, nor does it lead to certification or licensure in counseling or psychology.

Program Admission

Applicants must meet minimum Graduate School requirements for admission. Applicants may be considered for admission if they have a GPA of 3.0 in the last 30 hours of coursework, undergraduate and graduate.

Upon admission, applicants will be required to complete an applicant statement form that describes the applicant's professional/career goals, including a discussion of how the applicant believes completing the MAE in Education and Behavioral Science Studies will contribute to the realization of these goals. 

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (30 hours)

A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate level course work is required for the non-thesis option; 24 hours of course work is required for the thesis option. All students must pass a final comprehensive examination or complete the thesis option. Non-thesis students must pass comprehensive exams as exit criteria for the program.  Selection of courses for each category of the core will be determined by the program advisor, based on an evaluation of the student's professional needs and goals.

Required Courses
EDFN 500Research Methods (or advisor approved equivalent)3
Professional Foundations Course3
Strategies/Methodologies of Education or Behavioral Sciences Course3
Developmental Issues Course3
Professional Development Course 1, 23
EDU 595Directed Study in Education or Behavioral Sciences 23
Select an option below12
Total Hours30

Or other practicum or seminar course requiring field-based, practical application approved in advance by advisor.


A thesis may be substituted for the Professional Development and Capstone Course requirements. Students who elect the thesis option will enroll in 6 hours of EDU 599 or other thesis course, with approval of the thesis director.

Education Studies Option

Select 3 hours of advisor-approved pedagogy-related, strategies, or methods course3
Select 9 hours of content courses 19
Total Hours12

 Courses from non-education fields must be approved by advisor.

Behavioral Science Studies Option

Courses selected with advisor approval from Counseling, Psychology, Applied Human Sciences, Sociology, Social Work, or other behavioral science areas. 112
Total Hours12

 Students must have prior departmental approval to enroll in the courses.