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School of Education

General Information for Graduate Study

The mission of the Drake University School of Education is to be a diverse community of learners who work collaboratively to create an equitable culture of excellence, inquiry, and renewal. All undergraduate and graduate programs and services are based upon three guiding principles:

  • Belief in Academic Reflection
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Social Justice

ADMISSION. Drake does not offer any type of conditional or provisional admission to students; although, it is possible for U.S. students in some areas within our School of Education to enroll in 6-7 graduate credits prior to being fully admitted into a degree program. Students doing this should know that this does not guarantee admission to a degree program, and such students are not able to apply for loans until they are fully admitted to a degree program. Students seeking loans or other types of financial assistance must be admitted early in the term in which they wish assistance or in the term previous to the term they are seeking enrollment. Students not admitted early in the term may wish to delay enrollment or seek other methods of paying for their enrollment until they are fully admitted to a degree program. See specific admission requirements in the program information that follows.

Endorsement Only Program. In the School of Education, students who do not seek a master's degree but who wish to earn teaching licensure or add a teaching endorsement must do so at the graduate level through an Endorsement Only Program. Students must file formal graduate application to the University, provide supporting official transcripts of all prior college work, submit evidence of an acceptable undergraduate grade-point average and test scores from the Drake Writing Competency Test (DWCT), the Miller Analogies Test or the Graduate Record Examination at least three months in advance of registration. Exception to testing is given if the endorsement itself is 12 or fewer hours or the student is seeking a reading endorsement at the graduate level. Once all documents are submitted, a decision is made on the student’s application for admission. Students who are admitted into a licensure/endorsement program must maintain a minimum B grade average or 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale while in the program. Students should begin the process early to allow time for the processing of applications and Financial aid.

Reading Endorsement

Online options are available through the Drake University School of Education for most courses required for a K–8 Reading Endorsement, a 5-12 Reading Endorsement and a Reading Specialist Endorsement. For more information, contact Dr. Jill Johnson at

Gifted and Talented Endorsement

All courses necessary for the Gifted and Talented Endorsement are available online. The courses comply with the 12-hour Iowa Department of Education requirement for preparation of teachers and coordinators in gifted education programs. For more information, contact Dr. Sally Beisser at

Middle School Endorsement

The two main courses required for the Middle School Endorsement in the state of Iowa are available online. Additional courses required for the endorsement are offered in a face-to-face format on Drake’s campus. For more information, contact Tom Drake at


Drake University Extension Education is proud to partner with eight of Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs) to offer graduate credit to teachers across the state of Iowa. More than 2,100 courses are offered each year through the AEAs’ professional development departments. These professional development courses are reviewed and approved by the Drake School of Education’s Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies department.

Educators across North America and the world may also earn Drake graduate credit through our online and video correspondence courses. These courses are designed by Drake University, as well as a number of partner organizations.

Distance learning graduate courses are available in the following content areas:

Athletic Coaching
Classroom Management
Curriculum and Instruction
Online Instruction
Physical Education
Reading and Literacy

Credits from any of our distance learning offering may be applicable towards recertification or salary advancement. Refer to your state or local guidelines. A number of our offerings may be transferred into a Drake University School of Education graduate program (with adviser approval). If you have questions about transferability, check with the Extension Education Office and/or your adviser.

Extension Education and the School of Education also offers the following endorsement programs either partially or completely online.

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT: The School of Education requires 24 credit hours in residence for any graduate degree program, a minimum of 12 credit hours in residence for any licensure-only program, a minimum of six credit hours in residence for any added-endorsement program.

GRADING. Credit for degree purposes is limited to those courses passed with grades of "A," "B" or "C." Students must progress satisfactorily by maintaining a grade average of B (3.0 GPA). This average is based on all work taken for graduate credit at Drake University. When computing the average grade, Grades of D and F are considered failing and the credits do not count for degree purposes.

Upon recommendation of the graduate program adviser and approval of the Associate Dean, a graduate student may repeat one time, and only one time, any graduate course in which a grade of C or below was earned. Ordinarily, a maximum of two courses may be repeated within a program. Only the highest grade and credit hours earned are used in computing the student’s cumulative grade-point average. Lower grades removed from the computation by the student repeating a course appear on the student’s permanent record marked by a designated symbol.

The mark “I” (Incomplete) indicates a student has not submitted all evidence required for a final grade. The student must make satisfactory arrangements with the instructor to complete the work by the end of the next semester of enrollment (excluding enrollment in summer terms). The instructor writes out the conditions that must be met to remove the incomplete. As a component of these conditions, the instructor may demand an accelerated deadline (e.g., the midterm of the following semester) or may provide an extended deadline if special circumstances warrant (e.g., a semester abroad, student teaching, etc.). The instructor will indicate the final grade for the course in the event the work is not completed. The change of grade from an “I” can be done by an instructor prior to the end of the next semester. At the end of the next semester (excluding enrollment in summer terms), the grade change form is filed with the Associate Dean of the Drake School of Education. A copy is also given to the student. Marks of incomplete are changed to a final grade either by the instructor (upon completion of the work) or automatically by the Office of Student Records (if the work is not completed after one semester has passed). Marks of incomplete are not computed in the grade point average.

The mark of “IP” (In Progress) may be given in certain courses where special conditions make the grade of Incomplete unrepresentative of the status of the students at the close of the semester. The grade of “IP” is appropriate only when the coursework could not be finished during the semester for the entire class (e.g., internships, practicums, or courses that do not fit the standard academic calendar; fieldwork or research presentations that may take place after a semester has ended; theses or dissertations; or other special situations where coursework extends beyond one semester). A grade of “IP” must be changed to a final grade by the instructor by the end of the next semester. The instructor must indicate to the appropriate dean’s office in what courses students will be assigned an “IP.” A student may not graduate/earn a degree from Drake University with an "I" (Incomplete) or an "IP" (In Progress) notation on his/her transcript.

GRADUATE GRADE POINT AVERAGE. All students who are admitted into a graduate program, licensure program, or an endorsement program must maintain a minimum B grade average or 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale while in the program. Students who have a cumulative grade point of less than 3.0 will be placed on probation. If the G.P.A. has not risen about 3.0 in two semesters, the student will be terminated from the program. A candidate for a graduate Ed.D. must complete a program of study with at least a 3.5 grade-point average. Graduate students enrolled in 100-199 numbered courses approved for graduate credit are required to do extra work and exhibit a higher degree of competency than students taking the courses for undergraduate credit.

Curricula Modification

Modifications of the required curricula may be made only on the recommendation of the student’s adviser and the dean of the college or school. Reasons for such modification include: (a) transferring from another college or university; (b) bypassing of basic courses by scoring satisfactorily on special examinations.

Credit is given only for courses in which the student has been regularly enrolled or for courses in which the student has scored satisfactorily on special examinations. A student who receives a satisfactory score on a special examination receives credit for the course but does not receive a letter grade.

Adding/Dropping a Course

A student may add a course through the end of the first five class days of each semester or, in the case of a short course beginning later in the semester, may add the course before the second class-meeting of the course.

The time during which a student may drop from a class with no mark of ‘W’ recorded and a full tuition refund (if appropriate) is as follows:

  • Courses offered in a standard format during the fall or spring semester – intent to drop must be submitted to the college/school dean’s office or to the Office of Student Records by the end of the 10th business day after the start of the semester.
  • Summer courses – intent to drop must be submitted to the college/school dean’s office or to the Office of Student Records by the end of the first business day following the first meeting of the course.
  • Weekend courses - intent to drop must be submitted to the college/school dean’s office or to the Office of Student Records as follows:
    • Classes that start with an evening session: by noon the day following the first evening session.
    • Classes that start with a full day session: by the end of the first day of class.
  • Online courses: the drop schedule conforms to requirements for corresponding term lengths; e.g. in courses that are scheduled in a standard semester format intent to drop must be submitted by the end of the 10th business day after the start of the semester. In classes scheduled to last for 3 to 6 weeks, intent to drop must be submitted by the end of the second business day after the class begins.

Intent to drop must be filed using the procedures specified for the type of course and term in which it is offered:

  • For courses meeting during the day on campus, intent to drop a course must be filed with the college/school dean’s office or with the Office of Student Records and Academic Services by the time specified above.
  • For online courses and weekend courses intent to drop may be handled in one of the following ways (the intent must be in text form):
    • Submit a notice of intent to drop to the instructor.
    • Send an email to the Office of Student Records or to the office of the dean of the college in which the course is offered.

Attendance records will be used to verify attendance dates.

Withdrawal from a Course

When a student withdraws from a class after the “no W drop date” as specified above, but before the midpoint of the semester (or midpoint of a course that meets less than a full semester), the administrative mark of “W” is officially recorded. A student may withdraw from a course after the midpoint of the semester (or the midpoint of a course that meets less than a full semester), only if the instructor or dean’s office finds extenuating circumstances that would make the assignment of the “W” appropriate. In cases of withdrawal from a course after the midpoint of the semester where extenuating circumstances were not identified, the instructor of the course will be responsible for assigning the grade earned by the student in that course.

  • In practice, for weekend students the end of the second full weekend accounts for 67% of the direct instructional time of a course. Withdrawal anytime between the start of day 2 of the first weekend and the end of day 2 of the second weekend should result in a ‘W’ on the academic record. Notices of intent to withdraw that are received after the second full weekend but prior to the third full weekend can be backdated in the system as appropriate to reflect the actual date that intent was submitted, and to meet this standard regarding aid eligibility.

Individual colleges and schools may have additional academic regulations that are stated under the ‘‘Specific Regulations’’ of that college or school in the catalog. Information on the academic regulations of the Law School appear in the Law School Student Handbook at

Withdrawal: The Impact On Financial Aid

Tuition Adjustments Based on Enrollment Changes (other than complete withdrawals)
A reduction of credit hour enrollment within the time specified for dropping without a mark of ‘W’ for the term length and type of course may occur without tuition penalty. After the “no W drop date”, a change from full-time to part-time status or a reduction in credit-hour enrollment, other than a complete withdrawal, will not change tuition charges. For example, a student enrolled full-time will receive no tuition adjustment if he or she drops below full-time enrollment after the no ‘W’ drop date.” Tuition adjustments for increased enrollment continue throughout the term.

Financial Aid Adjustments

Changes in Enrollment (other than complete withdrawals)
Financial aid may be adjusted until the “no W drop date” based upon changes in enrollment and changes in tuition and fees. Eligibility for financial aid for increased enrollment is not "automatically" calculated with an enrollment change. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Planning to discuss changes in enrollment and financial aid eligibility.

A student who withdraws from courses, repeats courses, receives incompletes in courses or takes noncredit courses may not be able to complete the number of credit hours required for satisfactory progress; therefore, the student may be jeopardizing his/her financial aid by withdrawing from or repeating courses, receiving incompletes in courses or taking noncredit courses.

A student may withdraw from the University at any time during a semester, up to and including the last day of class, by obtaining the consent of the dean of the college or school in which the student is enrolled. The application for withdrawal must document the extenuating circumstances that form the basis for the requested withdrawal, such as a serious illness or a family emergency.

Upon approval of the withdrawal, the student’s transcript records the courses in which the student was enrolled that semester as well as the notation “Withdrew” and the date of the withdrawal. If the student leaves the University without obtaining the consent of the dean of the student’s college or school, the student’s transcript records the courses in which the student was enrolled that semester and the grades assigned by the instructors.

Students who are working to pay all or most of their expenses in college are advised not to carry more than 12 credit hours each semester. Students who are below a 2.00 GPA for the previous semester may be required, at the discretion of the dean of the college or school, to carry proportionately reduced programs.
Individual colleges and schools may have additional academic regulations that are stated under the ‘‘Specific Regulations’’ of that college or school in the catalog. The academic regulations for graduate students are stated in the Graduate Catalog. Information on the academic regulations of the Law School may be obtained by writing to the dean of the Law School.

TRANSFER OF CREDIT. Graduate course credits may be considered for transfer that are within five years precedingadmission for programs in the School of Education, completed with at least "B" grade, and directly related to the student’s Drake graduate program and recommended by the adviser.

Master’s programs: A maximum transfer of one-third of the course credits in a master’s program (299-Graduate Project hours excluded) may be considered if they meet the foregoing requirements. Specialist program: The same maximum number of credits for transfer can be considered, except that such credits in addition to the foregoing requirements must have been earned after having completed a master’s degree program.

Drake University Graduate Catalog 2006-08 Page -24- Doctoral programs: See sections of this catalog regarding doctoral programs and transfer of credit for such programs.

Although credits are not transferable, non-graded workshops and seminars from accredited graduate schools may in some cases be used for waivers of up to six hours of Drake graduate credit. This allows consideration of graduate workshops and seminars where “S” for Satisfactory or “CR” for Credit have been designated on a transcript. Waivers for such credit are limited to a maximum of six hours of credit out of the total transfer of credit limitation for the particular degree program. This same waiver of credit provision for a Drake master’s program also is available for consideration of graduate credits from an undergraduate college without graduate degree programs, provided approval for offering graduate credits on a limited basis has been given that college by the regional accrediting association.

When formally admitted to a master’s degree program at Drake University, a student may request adviser’s and dean’s approval for transfer of appropriate extension (off- campus) credits from another institution prior to any enrollment in such courses. (Request detailed information from your assigned adviser.) Off-campus credits from another institution cannot be applied to the Drake specialist or doctoral degrees. See the Time Limits section in this catalog regarding applications of credits or waivers.

Drake University has special procedures for courses with certain Iowa colleges and school systems concerning limited credit arrangements for individual students. Inquiries regarding any such arrangements should be directed to the student’s graduate adviser.

All arrangements under this Transfer of Credit section must be recommended by the student’s adviser, meet limitations and requirements for a particular degree, and be approved by the department or college/school. See the Time Limits section regarding possible application of transfer credits or waivers.

TIME LIMITS FOR SCHOOL OF EDUCATION: All requirements for a master’s or specialist degree, including special departmental requirements, must be met within five years from the candidate’s formal admission to the graduate program. A one- year extension for completion without additional course requirements may be granted on written request of the candidate with recommendation of the adviser and the approval of the Associate Dean. All requirements for a doctorate in education must be met within ten years from the candidate’s formal admission to the program.

If, on a candidacy petition by the candidate, the departmental adviser and dean approve extension beyond six years, course credits that are more than six but no more than 10 years old at the time the candidate is admitted for the degree may be credited for degree purposes at one-half original value.

Petitions for special consideration must be filed within one year beyond the time limit for completion of a degree.

CONTINUOUS GRADUATION. During any given semester or summer session, a graduate student must give early notice to the college/school and the appropriate department of intent to graduate. If the student is certified to have met all graduation requirements, this is reported to the Office of Student Records. The following month, a diploma is mailed. Commencement ceremony is held once each year in May.

CANDIDACY FOR A DEGREE In most programs, students wishing to earn a master’s or specialist degree at Drake University must file a formal petition for admission to candidacy. Doctoral students in the School of Education also file such a petition in the form of a "Doctoral Plan of Work" approved by committee. (See doctoral requirements.)

The Candidacy Petition should be filed during the first two weeks of the fall or spring semester, or during the first week of the summer session, depending upon the candidate’s eligibility as defined below. The petition should be filed in the term when the total credit hours of enrollment in the degree program reaches 12.

All graduate students admitted to work toward a degree must be qualified with respect to candidacy requirements at the normal point for candidacy (upon completion of 12 hours of graduate credit in a program), or further enrollment is not permitted. Exceptions must have approval of the Associate Dean.

To be eligible for approval as a candidate in a program, each applicant must meet all of the following conditions:

1. Be fully admissible to graduate studies with full graduate status, which includes completion of all prerequisite courses. (See Program Requirements that follow.) 2. Have completed at least 12 hours of acceptable graduate credit with at least a B average (3.0) and with no incompletes in courses. (See individual programs for exceptions.) 3. File a complete program for the degree that carries the approval signature of the graduate adviser. This statement contains a list of courses yet to be completed for the degree.

The School of Education faculty and staff cooperate with continuing education courses offered by the 12 Area Education Agencies of Iowa. These agencies employ staff development and content area specialists who offer courses each fall, spring and summer. In most instances, courses carry an option to receive from one to three credits through the Continuing Education/Extension Education Division.

For a more complete listing of Continuing Education degree programs, distance learning classes, special events and links to the Area Education Agencies, use the following Web site: /edex/

The School of Education requires all graduate students to maintain a minimum overall grade-point average of at least 3.0. If a student's GPA falls below 3.0, the student is placed on academic probation and a letter to that effect is mailed to the student by the Associate Dean. Students placed on academic probation must raise their GPA to 3.0 within the next semester of registration to continue in any graduate program offered by the School of Education. Failure to maintain a 3.0 after two consecutive semesters will result in suspension from the student’s graduate program. This policy applies to all post-baccalaureate programs offered by the School of Education. Additional criteria may be required within specific programs.

Several programs are available to students with bachelor's degrees who wish initial teaching licensure or additional endorsements. Persons wishing to enroll in licensure-only or additional endorsement programs must follow the same admissions procedures for Master’s Degree candidates if the endorsement equals 12 hours or more. Students who have less than 12 hours to finish an endorsement program of 12 hours or more must also follow the steps of the Admissions Requirements to Master’s Degree. Please see specifics under Endorsement Only Program.

Students can pursue careers in a wide variety of educational and leadership settings. The combination of cohort course study and individualized study allows each student freedom to prepare for changing career opportunities.

University Events
University News
August 17, 2018
Neil M. Gorsuch, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, gave a special lecture to approximately 350 Drake Law students, faculty, and staff on Aug. 16.