Mar 04, 2024  
2013-14 NSU Graduate Catalog 
2013-14 NSU Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

The University



Northeastern State University is located in a place like no other, where the Ozark Mountains, famous for their beauty, roll gently across the land, offering a panorama of natural scenery filled with pines, oaks, dogwoods, and redbuds that blossom each spring. Nearby runs the Illinois River, cool and clear, feeding into Lake Tenkiller, a lake of deep crystal green with a shoreline of beautiful forest and spectacular rock bluffs. The countryside, river, and lake create an ideal area for a wide variety of favorite outdoor activities including backpacking, camping, horseback riding, fishing, boating, scuba diving, water skiing and many others.

Within this natural setting is the city of Tahlequah, capital of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, where the tribe’s western migration ended in 1839. Having rebuilt their civilization after their relocation, the Cherokees established a progressive system of tribal government and public education. A history so unique makes for a rich and active heritage celebrated with Native American art, crafts, and the Cherokee Village and Cherokee Heritage Center.

And in the midst of this city and surrounding countryside resides NSU with its 200-acre campus of beautiful lawns and large shade trees. NSU, founded in 1909 on the grounds of the Cherokee National Female Seminary, is a university that offers students and townspeople not only a tradition of excellent teaching, but also Broadway productions, concerts, and guest lecturers of international fame and both serious drama and fun-filled entertainment at the NSU Playhouse. NSU, Tahlequah and Tulsa metroplex, just an hour away, offer a little bit of Eden west of the Mississippi.  


Northeastern State University had its beginning in 1846 when the Cherokee National Council authorized establishment of a National Male Seminary and National Female Seminary to fulfill the stipulation in the Treaty of 1835 between the United States and the Cherokee Nation that public and higher education be provided for the Cherokees. Buildings to house the two seminaries were started in 1847 and the Cherokee National Male Seminary opened on May 6, 1851. The Cherokee National Female Seminary opened the following day. With the exception of a period between the end of the fall semester 1856 and the beginning of the fall semester 1871, these institutions were in continuous operation until 1909.

On March 6, 1909, the State Legislature of Oklahoma passed an act providing for the creation and location of Northeastern State Normal School at Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and for the purchase from the Cherokee Tribal Government of the building, land, and equipment of the Cherokee Female Seminary. The educational program of the normal school consisted of four years of high school and two years of college level study.

As previously authorized by an act of the Legislature, the State Board of Education, then the governing board of the college, took action in 1919 to change the normal school to Northeastern State Teachers College and to provide for a four-year curriculum leading to the bachelor’s degree. In 1939, the Oklahoma Legislature authorized that the name of the institution be changed to Northeastern State College.

A constitutional amendment adopted in 1941 created The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, of which Northeastern State University and all other state-supported institutions of higher education are integral parts. The system is coordinated by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

In the 1950’s, Northeastern emerged as a comprehensive state college, broadening its curriculum at the baccalaureate level to encompass liberal arts subjects and adding a fifth-year program designed to prepare master teachers for elementary and secondary schools. By the early 1970’s the functions of the institution had been broadened to include degree programs in liberal arts, business, and selected service areas. The approval of several new certificate and degree programs in non-teaching areas added a significant dimension to the role of Northeastern. In 1974, the Oklahoma Legislature authorized that the name of the institution be changed to Northeastern Oklahoma State University. The Northeastern State University College of Optometry opened in 1979 and made history when its first doctoral graduates received their degree in the spring of 1983.

The official name of the University was changed by act of the Oklahoma Legislature in 1985 to Northeastern State University. 

Mission Statement


Founded on the rich educational heritage of the Cherokee Nation, the campuses of Northeastern State University provide our diverse communities a broad array of lifelong learning, undergraduate, graduate, and professional doctoral degree programs. Through quality teaching, research and scholarly activities, service to local and professional communities, and high expectations, our dedicated faculty and staff provide a friendly learning environment where students are prepared to achieve socially responsible career and personal goals for success in a challenging global society.

 Focused Mission Statement

We empower students to be socially responsible global citizens by creating and sustaining a culture of learning and discovery. 

Vision Statement


We will be the partner of choice in eastern Oklahoma, embracing the educational, cultural and economic challenges and opportunities of our global society.

Core Values


Integrity - We model ethical and intellectual development by advancing honesty, human dignity, and accountability.

Excellence - We pursue continuous improvement individually and as a community.

Creativity - We advance knowledge by exploring new possibilities through critical inquiry and intellectual freedom.

Leadership - We have a compelling commitment to serve, inspiring and preparing others to do the same.

Collaboration - We build partnerships to create learning opportunities and promote educational and economic success.


Northeastern State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools located at 230 North LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411.  The HLC can be contacted at:  800-621-7440, 312-263-0456, or by email at  All programs offered by the University are approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (655 Research Parkway, Suite 200, Oklahoma City, OK  73104, 405-225-9100) and by the Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma (4900 Richmond Square, Suite 200, Oklahoma City, OK 73118, 405-848-3373).

In addition, NSU’s educator preparation programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, (2010 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20036-1023, 202-466-7496), and the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (3545 NW 58th St., Suite 200, Oklahoma City, OK 73112, 405-525-2612).

Northeastern State University’s College of Optometry Professional Doctoral Degree (O.D.) Program has full accreditation by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE), 243 N. Lindberg Blvd., St Louis, MO 63141, 314-991-4100.

The Master of Science program in Speech-Language Pathology is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, MD   20850-3289, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

The Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration programs offered through the College of Business and Technology are fully accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (11520 West 119th Street, Overland Park, KS 66213, 913-339-9356).  

Boards of Control

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education is a constitutional board of nine members appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate, with one member’s term expiring each year. This Board issues all degrees earned, determines the curricula and courses of study, prescribes academic standards, establishes student fees, and allocates funds to each institution for operation and maintenance from the legislative appropriations which are made to the board.

The Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma is a constitutional board of nine members, eight of whom are appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate. The ninth member is the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Members of the Board serve a nine-year appointment with one member’s term expiring each year. The duties and powers of this Board are to make rules and regulations governing the University, to employ all persons in the service of the University, to construct all buildings, and to authorize the purchase of equipment and supplies.

Local Control

The University is under the direction of the President who is subject to the supervision of the two boards of regents. As chief executive officer, it is the responsibility of the President to determine and to provide for the execution of all University policies and regulations. In the discharge of these duties, he is regularly assisted by the other officers and by administrators and representatives of the staff and faculty.

Mission of Graduate College

The Graduate College at Northeastern State University strives to maintain a standard of excellence in graduate education by offering quality programs that are relevant and responsive to the needs of the communities served by our institution. The Graduate College is committed to providing students an environment in which they gain knowledge in intellectual inquiry, critical analysis and creative problem solving while developing their professional integrity.  

Goals and Responsibilities of Graduate Council

The primary purpose of the Graduate Council is to act upon graduate level curricular matters that are referred to it by academic departments.

The Graduate Council is empowered, for courses numbered 5000 or higher, to approve a program proposal, reject and return a proposal to the originating department, or amend and approve the proposal. It must approve all members of the graduate faculty. Other responsibilities include program planning, curricular control, student appeals, and policy-making for the Graduate College.  

Graduate Faculty

Graduate faculty membership is restricted to full-time faculty members who hold earned doctorates or the highest terminal degree in their field of study. Graduate faculty members are appointed upon recommendation of the appropriate academic unit administrator and Graduate Dean and upon approval of the Graduate Council. Graduate faculty may teach graduate courses, serve as graduate advisors, serve on graduate committees, monitor capstone experiences, and serve on the Graduate Council.

Membership of the Graduate Council

The Graduate Council shall consist of the Dean of the Graduate College who serves as Chair, one member of the graduate faculty representing each graduate degree program, and two graduate student representatives. Each academic college and the Library shall have at least one representative member on the Council. The term of office for members of the Graduate Council is based upon a three-year rotation. A Graduate Council member may be selected for two consecutive terms, but following the second term shall not be eligible to serve until after the lapse of an intervening year.  


Duties of the Graduate Council shall include:

  • Develop and implement policies and procedures for the improvement of the operation of the Graduate College;
  • Recommend amendments to existing policies and procedures related to the Graduate College;
  • Determine outcomes of student appeals;
  • Develop and regularly review criteria for membership in the graduate faculty;
  • Review proposals for new graduate programs and for the addition, suspension and deletion of courses; and,
  • Review and assess existing graduate programs.  

Graduate Degrees and Certificate Programs

Northeastern State University confers four master’s degrees with several program options.

They are:

Master of Arts Degree
Master of Business Administration Degree
Master of Education Degree
Master of Science Degree

The University offers the following graduate certificate programs:

Reading Specialist
School Administration - Principal
School Administration - Superintendent
School Library Media Specialist
Visually Impaired teaching certificate
Writing Program Administration Certificate

Information for certification may be secured from NSU’s Teacher Certification Officer and/or from graduate faculty in the area of interest. 

Graduate Program Campus Locations


Graduate programs are offered by Northeastern State University on the following campuses.  


  M.A., Communication
  M.A., English
  M.Ed., Mathematics Education
  M.Ed., School Administration
  M.Ed., School Counseling (Application deadline Jan. 1)
  M.Ed., Science Education
  M.Ed., Teaching
  M.S., Counseling Psychology (Application deadline Jan. 1)
  M.S. Environmental Health & Safety Management
  M.S., Health and Kinesiology
  M.S., Higher Education Leadership
  M.S. Natural Science
  M.S., Speech-Language Pathology (Application deadline Feb. 12)
  M.S., Substance Abuse Counseling (Application deadline Jan 1)
  Graduate Certificate Programs*
  School Administration
  Visually Impaired teaching certificate
  Writing Program Administration


Graduate programs are offered by Northeastern State University on the Broken Arrow Campus in the following areas.

  M.A., American Studies
  M.A., English
  M.B.A., Business Administration
  M.Ed., Early Childhood
  M.Ed., Mathematics Education
  M.Ed., Reading
  M.Ed., School Administration
  M.Ed., School Counseling (Application deadline Jan. 1)
  M.Ed., Science Education
  M.Ed., Teaching
  M.S., Accounting and Financial Analysis
  M.S., Counseling Psychology (Application deadline Jan 1)
  M.S., Criminal Justice
  M.S., Higher Education Leadership
  M.S., Environmental Health & Safety Management
  M.S., Library Media and Information Technology
  M.S. Natural Science
  M.S., Substance Abuse Counseling (Application deadline Jan 1)
  Graduate Certificate Programs*
  School Administrator
  School Library Media Specialist
  Reading Specialist


Graduate programs are offered by Northeastern State University on the Muskogee Campus in the following areas.

  M.B.A., Master of Business Administration
  M.S. Nursing Education
  Graduate Certificate Programs*
  Visually Impaired teaching certificate

*Information for certification may be obtained from NSU’s Teacher Certification Officer in the College of Education and/or from graduate faculty in the area of interest.