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Notre Dame de Namur University

School of Education and Psychology

Belmont , CA


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Notre Dame de Namur University


Graduate Degrees in Education and Leadership at Notre Dame de Namur

Notre Dame de Namur University is a Catholic, not for profit, coeducational institution serving approximately 1,700 students from diverse backgrounds. Established in 1851 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, NDNU is the third-oldest college in California. The university is fully accredited and offers a rich variety of programs for working adults to complete their bachelor's, master's, or credentials in the evening, during the weekend or online.

As a Master's University dedicated to higher learning, NDNU is proud to deliver good value, innovative faculty mentorship, extensive professional networks, and a diverse population. The San Francisco Bay Area's successful business leaders, educators, artists, and community organizers choose to build their professional skills and develop their careers through NDNU.

When students enroll at NDNU, they're joining an impressive network of professionals and an academic community that supports students' personal and career growth. Take advantage of personalized staff and faculty advising tailored to student needs. Built-in flexibility allows students to schedule classes around work and personal commitments, with the opportunity to start programs when they want-or pause when they need. Most classes meet just once a week giving students the freedom to take one or more classes each semester.

Education Programs Overview

The School of Education at Notre Dame de Namur University has earned a reputation for excellence in teacher education. Many of the teachers, specialists, and administrators currently working in the Bay Area are the product of a Notre Dame de Namur education. At the core of their credential program is personalized attention and individualized counseling, field orientation of programs, and successful placement of graduates. All credential programs were re-accredited in 2010. Their master's students receive personalized instruction and mentoring, ensuring that the program supports students in their efforts to accomplish their personal and professional goals.

The following graduate degrees are offered: Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed) with concentrations in curriculum and instruction, and disciplinary studies; Master of Arts in Special Education (MA); Master of Arts in School Administration (MA) and MA TESOL (online only). Notre Dame de Namur University also offers four Teaching Credentials for individuals who are interested in working on their master's and credentials at the same time.

Master of Arts in Education

The Master of Arts in Education program offers students the option of pursuing one of two emphases: curriculum and instruction or disciplinary studies. Students who want the concentration in curriculum and instruction enroll in four courses designed to enhance their skills in curriculum development and assessment. Students who want the concentration in disciplinary studies enroll in four graduate courses within the relevant discipline to deepen their knowledge and skill in one subject area: art, business, English, or music.

The goal of this degree program is to build the capacity of educators to promote social justice in the context of their schools and communities through improved teaching practice, curriculum development and assessment, program planning and school-based research.

Master of Arts in Special Education

NDNU's Education Specialist Credential in Special Education and Master of Arts in Special Education programs prepare students to teach in special education settings in public and private schools. Mild/Moderate credential holders teach students in resource specialist programs, students in special day classes for learning disabilities and some full inclusion students. Moderate/Severe credential holders will be able to teach students in grades K-12 whose needs are more severe. Students may pursue a special education credential whether or not they have a regular education credential.

A program plan is coordinated for every student by the program director. Mild/Moderate credential holders are able to teach students in Resource Specialist Program classes (K-12) and students in special day classes for learning disabilities. Moderate/Severe credential holders are able to teach students in grades K-12 whose needs are more severe. Candidates may be hired by school districts to serve as paid interns while earning the credential.

In addition to course work, a capstone project in the form of a practitioner researcher portfolio is required to complete the MA program in Special Education.

Master of Arts in School Administration

The Master of Arts in School Administration degree is offered in conjunction with the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program. It prepares students to serve as administrators (in roles such as superintendent, deputy superintendent, associate superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal, supervisor, consultant, coordinator, or an equivalent intermediate-level administrative position) in public and private schools and districts.

NDNU's Preliminary Administrative Services Credential and Master of Arts in School Administration is a 30-unit combined program. Twelve units are taken in leadership, management, finance, and human resources. Four courses (including practica) are required in the educational administration field work component. The two additional courses are in curriculum development and assessment.

Faculty at the Forefront

Faculty members with diverse academic expertise and practical experience lead NDNU's master's degree programs. They individualize program content to help each student reach his or her personal and professional goals, and they serve as mentors for field experience, research, and career advancement.

Caryl Hodges, Dean of the School of Education and Psychology has more than 30 years' experience in teaching and administration ranging from the early childhood to graduate levels. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association of University Women, the California Council on Teacher Education, the Independent California College and University Council on the Education of Teachers, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Grants, scholarships, payment options, and student loan opportunities are available to graduate students of Notre Dame de Namur University who establish financial need by completing the financial aid process, and who also meet all program eligibility criteria.

Campus and Surroundings

The historic 50-acre campus is located 30 minutes south of San Francisco in Silicon Valley. The area is the heart of one of the country's most exciting areas for professional growth and personal enrichment with some of the most beautiful landscapes in North America.

The San Francisco Bay Area is a world leader for innovation in technology, social change, culture, and cuisine. The university is ideally situated for students to enjoy the career, cultural, outdoor and recreational opportunities of the region.

NDNU is conveniently located within one mile of bus, train, and major freeways, and 30 minutes from three international airports. The location is ideal for easy access for students residing on campus or commuting to class -- day or night.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Science (MS)
Master of Arts (MA)

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
Distance learning programs available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Thesis Required for some
Capstone project (for some programs)



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline August 1st Not reported No
Spring deadline December 1st Not reported No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Requirements Minimum GPA of 2.5, interview

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 550
TOEFL IBT score: 79

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
Not Reported
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Male (24%)
Female (75%)

Location & Contact

Address 1500 Ralston Avenue
Belmont, CA  94002-1908
United States
Contact Caryl Hodges
Dean, School of Education and Psychology
Phone: 650-508-3493