Are you looking into education graduate programs? Whether you’re interested in becoming a better teacher for your students through graduate education, becoming more competitive in the workplace, pursuing a new career specialty, or moving in a new direction professionally, earning your master’s in teaching, doctorate in education, or another related credential, might be a huge step in the right direction.
Choosing Your Education Graduate Degree Program
Great teachers may have a number of motivations for seeking out graduate education. This is reflected in the variety of unique program options that might be offered. Whether you want to earn your master’s in teaching, Ph.D. in education, or a graduate certificate, with the diversity of potential programs, identifying the ones that meet your academic and professional needs might seem like a challenge.
Teaching and Education Master’s Degree Programs
Interested in earning your master’s of education? Earning master’s degrees in education or teaching might be a great way not only to build your expertise as a teacher within the classroom, but also to position yourself competitively outside of it in a variety of ways. With the number of potential education master’s programs, narrowing down your options may be an important step. While this may not be an exhaustive list, here are three types of master’s degrees in education that might be awarded upon completion of a program:
- Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) – These programs might be a great choice if you want to focus on your teaching skills. M.A.T. programs may focus on topics related to pedagogy, and be oriented toward classroom teaching roles.
- Master of Education (M.Ed.) – These programs may encompass a broader spectrum, depending on the program in question and your goals as a student. You might be able to focus on topics like pedagogy, counseling, or administration, making these programs a potential option for a variety of career goals.[i]
- M.S. in Education – These programs, like the M.Ed., may also be available in a variety of forms, but may be a good choice for students intending to pursue research or go on to complete doctoral programs.
Those aren’t the only considerations for choosing education master’s programs to apply to, however. Within each degree type offered, you might find a variety of unique perspectives and concentration options. This means that you might be able to find a program specific to what you need, whether that’s a focus, for example, on pedagogy, reading, literacy, mathematics, or the needs of a specific underserved population. Identifying the right balance of degree type and focal topic might help you to find great programs closely aligned with your needs.
Education Doctoral Programs & Schools
Are you getting ready to earn a doctorate in education? While these degrees might have a variety of potential applications in the field, education doctoral programs may be oriented broadly toward roles related to conducting and applying research, leadership, university education, and other related responsibilities and positions. Similar to master’s programs, doctoral programs in education might award a few different types of degrees. Some of the more common ones you may encounter are:
- Ph.D. in Education Programs – In Education, Ph.D. programs (or Doctorate of Philosophy) might be an especially good choice for those interested in conducting research in and about education, which schools, districts and organizations might apply in strategic decision making.
- Ed.D. Programs – Ed.D. programs (or Doctor of Education) might be a good option for you if you’re looking to occupy a more direct leadership role within an education organization, such as a school or district at the administrative level, and might focus on interpreting and applying education research in the real world.
Of course, the above descriptions may vary between programs and individuals, and individuals holding either credential might occupy a variety of positions throughout the spectrum of research, leadership, and higher education. Other influencing factors might be the course of study at a particular institution, an individual student’s concentration or focus area; and the degree preference, if any, within your organization or in your area.
Also similar to master’s programs, programs to earn your doctorate in education might be further differentiated by the course or topic of study. Students might choose to pursue narrower concentrations such as ESL, topics related to special education, specific underserved populations, or other potential subjects. As individual programs may vary, both by concentration and degree type, and other potential factors, when evaluating programs to earn your doctorate in education, make sure you follow up with the schools you may be considering for additional information.
Earn Your Education Graduate Certificates
Education graduate certificates might be a great option for you if your primary motivation is to learn or develop certain skills. Whether your intention is to expand your expertise to be more effective in your current position, or to position yourself for a new one, graduate certificates may provide a more focused option for your higher education. This may allow you to complete your program a little more quickly than earning a full degree.
As with master’s and doctoral programs, a variety of graduate certificate programs may be offered. The type of certificate awarded, as well as the topic of focus, may vary between individual programs, ranging from more generalized programs to highly specific courses of study. The specifics of each program may vary, so remember to follow up with the ones you are considering for more information when deciding where to apply.
Education Graduate Degree Program Formats
Fitting your education into your life might be a big part of your academic success. Finding the right education graduate program that caters to your learning style, while remaining convenient enough to balance home and work with your studies might have a big effect on your ability to succeed in your chosen program. Luckily, a variety of education graduate programs at all levels may be available in several convenient formats.
On Campus Education Graduate Programs
Interested in on campus education graduate programs? Studying in a campus program might offer some benefits to support your learning experience. Some of the advantage of studying in a physical classroom are the stability of setting and schedule, the opportunity to get to know your professors in person, not to mention discussing and collaborating with your peers.
Studying in a campus program might also make it possible for you to take advantage of facilities and services such as libraries, research assistance, gyms, technology labs, tutoring, academic and career advisement, and more. You might also embrace networking opportunities with peers and faculty, and more. All this might even be found within a convenient, commutable distance from home or work, if you are looking for local options.
The specific facilities, services and other features of campus programs may vary between school and location, so remember to follow up for additional information.
Online Education Graduate Degrees
Need a more flexible option to balance your professional career with your academic goals? Online programs may be a great option for you. Studying in an online program may include some similar benefits to classroom learning, with the addition of increased flexibility. These programs may take several forms.
- Synchronous online education programs may aim to incorporate some of the qualities of the physical classroom, by asking that students be logged into online course modules at specific times each week to attend live streamed lectures or discussions.
- Asynchronous online education programs might emphasize flexibility. Rather than asking students to be present at specific times, these programs may allow students to complete course activities each week at times that work for them.
Some programs may additionally combine both synchronous and asynchronous courses, allowing students greater diversity of classes and class formats to choose from. Online programs may also offer some similar benefits to campus programs like academic and career advisement, and some library services such as scholarly journal databases. The specific services offered might vary between programs and institutions, so be sure to inquire with your prospective online programs for additional information.
Hybrid Education Graduate Programs
Caught between the advantages of campus and online learning? You might want to consider earning your graduate degree in education in a hybrid program. Hybrid graduate programs may be the marriage between the flexibility of online learning and the stability—and facilities—of a campus program you’re looking for.
This might be accomplished in a variety of ways. In some cases, online courses might be listed alongside campus based ones, allowing you to choose types of courses that work with your schedule each semester. In other cases, such as low-residency programs, you might spend the majority of the semester taking online courses, with one or several on-campus residencies at regular intervals.
The specific ways in which a hybrid program might be laid out may vary, as may the campus and online services provided alongside the classes. As with on campus and online programs, make sure you follow up with the schools you’re interested in for more information.
Find & Apply to Your Education Graduate Degree Program Today
If you’re ready to find the perfect education graduate program, GradSchools.com is ready to help. We’ve collected a list of great programs you might be interested in. If you would like to narrow this list down a bit more, you can add filters such as your preferred program level (master’s, doctorate, or graduate certificate) or format, and even narrow down by location if necessary. Once you’re happy with your selections, get started reading up on programs, and click through to reach out to the ones you’re interested in for more information or to begin the application process.