Program Description

This accelerated Master’s program provides a high quality, affordable and accessible graduate program for qualified students whose opportunities for seeking appropriate level employment, career advancement, and personal and professional enrichment will be enhanced by a Master’s Degree.  The MPS structure and curricular design emphasize learning directly relevant to professional employment.  The MPS includes Areas of Emphasis (AoE), such as Organizational Leadership (OL) and Justice Leadership (JL) that focus on various for-profit and non-profit professional fields.

Master of Professional Studies Areas of Emphasis

Descriptions and Coursework

  • Organizational Leadership

    Courses and Format for MPS-Organizational Leadership:

    The MPS-OL degree is 30 credit hours and can be completed within 14 months:  12 hours of Core Courses, 12 hours Area of Emphasis courses, and 6 hours Area of Emphasis Elective courses.   All of the Core courses and most of the Area of Emphasis courses will be accelerated Saturday classes at the Highlands Center. Other courses will be offered online, also in an accelerated format.  Incoming students will be allowed to transfer in up to 6 graduate credit hours if those course hours are from accredited institutions and are relevant to the specific area of emphasis. The following is a list of the MPS-OL courses for degree completion.

    Core Courses (required)

    • MPS 500 – Rhetoric, Reasoning and Communication
    • MPS 501 – Professionalism in Ethics in the Digital Age
    • MPS 502 – Organizational Dynamics
    • MPS 503 – Methods of Applied Research

    Areas of Emphasis Courses (required)

    • MPS 504 – History of Modern Leadership
    • MPS 505 – Essentials of Leadership Operations                                                              
    • MPS 506 – Legal Environments of Organizational Leadership                                       
    • MPS 507 – Applied Research Project (Must have completed MPS 503)

    Electives (any 2 required)

    • MPS 508 – Leading Organizational Change, Creativity and Diversity in a Global Economy
    • MPS 509 – Organizational Risk Assessment and Decision-Making                                
    • MPS 510 – Understanding Leadership through Biography
    • MPS 511 – Current Issues in Leadership
    • MPS 578 – Special Topics in Professional Studies
  • Justice Leadership

    Courses and Format for MPS- Justice Leadership

    The MPS-JL Program is designed for working professionals in the various fields of law enforcement and justice administration who wish to further their education in the field of Justice Leadership.  Many criminal justice agencies, such as the WV State Probation Department, require graduate level education for career development and advancement. Individuals employed in such agencies, however, often have difficulty completing traditional university based programs.  This Justice Leadership Program fills this need by offering a weekend program that focuses on relevant history and theory, research, ethics, and recognized best practices for leadership in the criminal justice system.  It also provides a program that meets the needs of the working professionals and prepares them for continuing their advancement in the criminal justice system. Incoming students will be allowed to transfer in up to 6 graduate credit hours if those course hours are from accredited institutions and are relevant to the specific area of emphasis.

    Core Courses (Required)

    • MPS 500: Rhetoric, Reasoning and Communication
    • MPS 501: Professionalism and Ethics in the Digital Age
    • MPS 502: Organizational Dynamics

    Area of Emphasis Courses (Required)

    • MPS 512: Administration of Criminal Justice
    • MPS 513: Leadership in Criminal Justice
    • MPS 514: Legal and Legislative Issue in Criminal Justice
    • MPS 515: Research Methods in Criminal Justice

    Elective Courses (any 5 Required)

    • MPS 516: Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
    • MPS 517: Criminology & Criminal Justice System
    • MPS 518: Criminal Justice Management
    • MPS 519: Supervision and Programming
    • MPS 520: Assessment Tools and Motivational Interviewing
    • MPS 521: Corrections and Correctional Design
    • MPS 522: Community Relations in the Public Sector
    • MPS 523: Interpersonal Violence
    • MPS 524: Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention
    • MPS 525: Computer and Data Applications in Criminal Justice
    • MPS 526: Crisis Management
    • MPS 527: Technology and the Criminal Justice System
    • MPS 528: Special Populations and Supervision
    • MPS 578: Special Topics

Flexible Schedule

The MPS can be completed in as little as 14 months if the student aims to complete the program in a short amount of time.  Students with a large amount of responsibilities (work, family, etc) outside of coursework can take fewer classes to meet their individual academic needs.
Job Market

Career Opportunities

Those with a MPS Organizational Leadership area of emphasis can find a career in Management and Supervision in profit, non-profit, private, and government organizations and agencies.
A Master of Professional Studies with an emphasis in Justice Leadership is for those working in
  • Law Enforcement/Police Officers
  • Probation Officers
  • Juvenile Probation Officers
  • Parole Officers
  • Correctional Counselors
  • Pretrial Service Officers
  • Social Workers
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Highlands Center


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Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor's Degree from an Accredited Institution
  • 2.5 GPA
  • There is not a deadline for admission to the program. Courses start year-round for students looking to start right away.
Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Students seeking financial aid will need to complete a FAFSA and fill out the appropriate WLU forms. Students must be taking at least 2 courses (6 hours) per traditional semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) to qualify for financial aid.


MPS-OL is 30 credit hours to complete the degree, MPS-JL is 36 credit hours to complete the degree. In-state tuition is $375 per credit hour; out-of-state tuition is $584 per credit hour.
Faculty Bios


MPS Faculty provide real world professional experience in their fields which they integrate into their courses.

Additional Information

If you have any additional questions about the program please do not hesitate to contact us at the Highlands Center 304-217-2800 or use the contact form below.

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