Class format

Two smiling female students in class

Graduate programs class format

Messiah’s graduate coursework is conducted primarily online. Some programs are fully online while others offer a hybrid format that combines online courses with several weeklong on-campus sessions. Most of our programs were created with working professionals in mind, to help balance studies, career, family and personal life. Other programs, such as occupational therapy, are full-time traditional programs.


Students meet at a physical location during scheduled meeting times for the duration of the course.

The following graduate programs are offered in a traditional format:
Athletic training
Nutrition and dietetics with dietetic intership
Occupational therapy
Physical therapy


Most of Messiah’s graduate programs are conducted in a hybrid format which combines face-to-face meetings and class sessions that are synchronous (use of a learning management system and other technologies to deliver real-time online lectures and discussions to students remotely) and/or asynchronous (use of a learning management system and other technologies to deliver recorded online lectures and materials for students at remote locations at any time). Messiah’s hybrid courses are pre-dominantly online with a few one-week intense courses that are held on campus.

Intensive courses are named for their concentrated meeting time and immersive learning experience within a short period of time. Typical models provide students the opportunity to attend class in a face-to-face environment eight hours a day for five days. In addition to the work taking place during the week, course readings and work are assigned prior to and following the face-to-face experience.

The following graduate programs are offered in a hybrid format:
Higher education
Music conducting


Students access all course materials online through a learning management system: there are no requirements for face-to-face sessions. During online courses, students connect with professors and classmates via webcams, discussion forums, and communicate both synchronously (live) and asynchronously (recorded) during each course. Class sizes are kept intentionally small, creating an intimate and quality learning experience. Faculty members use Canvas as a learning management system to deliver online graduate courses. Watch a video about Canvas or review this website for additional information.

The following graduate programs are offered in an online format:
Business and leadership
Music education

* Students who pursue the PDE certification in special education (PreK-8 or 7-12) as a part of the M.Ed. degree or as a non-degree option must come to campus for some one-week intensive courses. All other education graduate programs can be completed entirely online.