Master of Education / Master of Liberal Studies
In 2015, Sunbridge Institute established a partnership with the State University of New York’s Empire State College. This partnership enables eligible* graduates of Sunbridge’s teacher education programs to receive credits for their Sunbridge diploma toward earning a fully-accredited Master of Education degree (MEd) with a self-designed concentration in Waldorf Education, conferred by SUNY Empire State.
In 2020, the Sunbridge/SUNY Empire partnership was renewed and expanded to include the option for eligible* Sunbridge program graduates to receive credits toward earning a fully-accredited Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree (MALS) as well.
* Eligibility: All Sunbridge Institute and Sunbridge College Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher Education program students and graduates (past, current, and future) who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution are eligible to apply to these SUNY Empire master’s programs.
NOTE: While SUNY Empire State College MEd and MALS degrees are open to anyone, this pathway to a concentration in Waldorf Education is available only to those who hold a Sunbridge diploma in Waldorf Early Childhood or Elementary Teacher Education.
A division of the State University of New York, Empire State College is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. SUNY Empire State College was founded as a degree-granting institution in 1971 expressly to meet the needs of adult learners. Students are accepted regardless of whether or not they live in New York State.
Click here for an at-a-glance view of all the details, as presented by Dr. Tina Wagle at a March 2021 Info Session.
The SUNY Empire MEd (Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction) program is made up of a total of ten courses (30 credits). Four of these courses (12 credits) are electives reflecting the individual focus of the degree. As of September 2020, these 12 elective credits—comprising the entire Waldorf Education concentration—will be awarded to any enrolled SUNY Empire MEd student who provides documentation of having earned a Sunbridge College certificate or Sunbridge Institute diploma in Waldorf Early Childhood or Elementary teacher education.
The remaining MEd six courses (18 credits) are fulfilled through SUNY Empire coursework: four of these courses constitute core requirements for the MEd degree and the other two courses comprise the research/design and execution of your final capstone project. These six SUNY Empire courses are conducted fully online.
The SUNY Empire MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies) program provides two options: For those students interested in a thesis-based final project (and perhaps eventual doctoral study), the program is comprised of 36 credits which includes a 3-credit methodology course and an additional elective. The 30-credit option (the choice of most students) is more professionally-oriented and does not include the methods course or the additional elective. Twelve elective credits—comprising the entire Waldorf Education concentration—will be awarded to any MALS student who provides documentation of having earned a Sunbridge College certificate or Sunbridge Institute diploma in Waldorf Early Childhood or Elementary teacher education. Read here to learn about the elective credits applied for Sunbridge’s coursework. This program includes 2-3 residency weekends (currently held virtually) to augment the online coursework.
The SUNY Empire portion of the MEd program (that is, the six required SUNY Empire courses, including capstone project) is comprised of six terms of coursework (spring/summer/fall) that are typically undertaken over the course of two years. The SUNY Empire portion of the MALS program follows either of these enrollment sequences. Both the MEd and the MALS programs offer a fall and spring start. There is a six-year completion window for both programs.
Application and acceptance to the SUNY Empire State College MEd or MALS program is separate from application and acceptance to Sunbridge Institute’s Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher Education programs.
All SUNY Empire State College tuition and fees apply and are in addition to Sunbridge tuition. Financial Aid is available from each institution separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it matter if I graduated from a Sunbridge part-time or full-time program, or when I attended Sunbridge?
Documentation of graduation from any full-time or part-time Early Childhood or Elementary Teacher Education program offered by Sunbridge College or Sunbridge Institute, regardless of year, fulfills the 12-credit elective requirement for a self-designed Waldorf concentration of the SUNY Empire MEd or MALS program.
If I am accepted to Sunbridge, will I automatically be accepted to SUNY Empire?
Applications to Sunbridge and SUNY Empire are completely separate and are assessed individually.
When should I apply to SUNY Empire?
You may apply to and enroll in the SUNY Empire State College MEd or MALS program at any point before or after you have begun or completed your Sunbridge teacher education program. Keep in mind that SUNY Empire will award you credit for your Sunbridge teacher education program only after you complete that Sunbridge program and receive your diploma, so if you are pursuing your SUNY master’s degree before your Sunbridge graduation (or perhaps before you have even enrolled in Sunbridge), be sure to register only for the MEd or MALS required (core) courses and tell your Empire State advisor that you plan on incorporating the Sunbridge Professional Learning Evaluation Process (PLE), so that you don’t sign up for any of the courses that will eventually be covered by those PLE credits (that is, the elective credits you will be awarded for your Waldorf Education concentration through your Sunbridge diploma).
When can I begin my SUNY Empire studies?
You may begin taking your SUNY Empire State required courses in either the fall or the spring term.
Can I take longer—or less—than two years (six terms) to complete the SUNY Empire portion of the program?
Yes, but you must complete your SUNY Empire course requirements within six years of taking your first SUNY Empire course.
I Can I enroll in SUNY Empire before I begin my Sunbridge program?
Yes. Start with the required core courses, and be sure to tell your Empire State advisor that you plan to incorporate Sunbridge PLE, to be certain you don’t take any of the courses that would eventually be covered by that credit.
Will the MEd program lead to New York State teaching certification?
The SUNY Empire MEd does not lead directly to New York State teaching certification, but may fulfill the NYS graduate degree requirement for NYS teachers. Contact SUNY Empire State College directly for more information.
How does the Sunbridge/SUNY Empire program partnership compare to other master’s programs in Waldorf Education?
We believe that Sunbridge’s partnership with SUNY Empire offers those seeking a master’s degree in education or liberal studies with a concentration in Waldorf Education the best of both worlds. As a Sunbridge student you are afforded the opportunity to be part of a comprehensive, world-renowned Waldorf teacher education program, establishing important, real-time relationships with classmates and faculty who are also part of the Waldorf movement. Our low-residency program format allows you to reap the many benefits of progressing between study in your Sunbridge classroom and your practical work in a Waldorf classroom. As a SUNY Empire student you have the opportunity to be part of a broader academic conversation and earn an advanced degree conferred by a highly-regarded New York State university. The online format of the SUNY Empire program allows you to conveniently fit your master’s studies into your personal and professional life. We believe you will find the SUNY Empire coursework and experience to be a valuable complement to your Sunbridge program.
Can you tell me more about SUNY Empire State College?
SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees and then-SUNY Chancellor and future US Commissioner of Education and President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Ernest L. Boyer (who later became a Waldorf grandparent!), as a distinctive statewide SUNY institution focused on nontraditional teaching and learning. Empire State College is dedicated to enabling motivated adults, regardless of geography or life circumstance, to manage and master a rigorous academic program and earn a degree.
Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the College serves mostly working adults pursuing associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees on-site at 35 locations in New York State and abroad, as well as online. Forty-plus years after its founding, the College continues its commitment to valuing learning gained from life and work experience. Over the years, many Sunbridge students have earned their undergraduate degree through enrollment in SUNY Empire State College; through this newly-established partnership between the two institutions, Sunbridge students may now enroll in SUNY Empire State College to earn their graduate degree.
Mission Statement: SUNY Empire State College’s dedicated faculty and staff use innovative, alternative and flexible approaches to higher education that transform people and communities by providing rigorous programs that connect individuals’ unique and diverse lives to their personal learning goals.
Inquire about the Sunbridge/SUNY Empire State partnership.
Once you are ready to apply, SUNY Empire will waive the orientation fee and offer a $100 scholarship upon acceptance. Please contact Linda Ogden-Wolgemuth for applicable coupon code.
For More Information
For more information, please visit the following SUNY Empire State College website pages: