Masters Degree in Education
Earning a Masters degree in Education is an academic choice that has the potential to improve your teaching methods, fine-tune specialized teaching skills, and help you become a qualified and exemplary leader in the classroom.
Many Masters in Education (M.Ed.) Programs are designed for experienced educators and may improve your ability to assist students in your current classroom as well as potentially open doors to new career opportunities.
Many students choose to earn a specialized Masters degree in education by pursuing a major such as: curriculum and instruction, school counseling, school psychology, administration, special education, and higher education. Other students use the M.Ed as a preparatory degree for a doctoral degree such as the Ed.D. or the Ph.D. in education.
Masters Degree in Education Requirements
Master's degrees in education programs commonly require students to complete a research thesis under the guidance of a faculty member; on-site or fieldwork requirements are also common. Applicants to Masters in Education programs must also have a bachelor's degree to be eligible for admission; this may need to be a Bachelors in Education or a related field.
Some states require teachers to have a master's degree in education. In other states, teachers enroll in Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs for professional development. In either case, the program generally consists of approximately 30-45 credit hours and might result in salary increases and/or licensure renewal. The typical Master’s degree in education takes 2 to 3 years to complete, though some universities offer online Master’s degrees that can be earned in as few as 12 to 18 months, or even just 1 year M.Ed. programs.
FUN FACT: Often, high school teachers are required to complete annual professional development classes to maintain their license. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree in education after receiving their certification[i].
Campus-based M.Ed. or Online Masters Degree in Education?
Students have the option of attending on-site graduate school or earning an online masters degree in education. If you learn more from being in class than reading textbooks and spending your time on a computer, you may want to consider a traditional campus-based program. If you are a self-motivated learner, however, an online Masters in education program could be a perfect fit for your busy lifestyle. Distance-learning is often popular among working teachers who don't want to leave the tenure track while they advance their own education. Some graduate schools also offer hybrid programs. These combine the convenience of online learning with on-campus coursework.
Whatever your personal preference, GradSchools.com has easy-to-use search tools. Locate M.Ed. Programs by city, state, or country if you are looking into traditional campus programs, or search the directory for online masters in education programs. Some of the listings that you might find may include: Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology, Master of Science in School Counseling, Master of Education in Special Education, Research Methodology M.A., MEd., or Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration.
Types of Masters Degree in Education Programs
As you review different M.Ed. program offerings, it’s important to understand the difference in degrees.
A Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is geared more toward initial teacher licensure and focuses on practical classroom skills and teaching specific subjects.
A Master’s in Education (M.Ed.) is generally geared for experienced educators and provides more in-depth instruction designed to prepare teachers for new leadership roles.
A Master of Science in Education and Master of Arts in Education are similar to the M.Ed.
Masters Degree in Education Program Concentrations & Curriculum
Masters in education programs come in a wide variety of degree concentrations. Some of the most common concentrations include:
- Adult Education/Adult Learning Master Programs
- Masters in Curriculum and Instruction
- Early Childhood Education Masters Programs
- Educational Leadership & Administration
- Education Technology & Online Learning Programs
- Educational and School Psychology Programs
- Masters in Environmental Education
- Masters in ESL | TESOL
- General Education Masters Programs
- Higher Education Masters Programs
- International Education Masters Programs
- K-12 Education Masters Programs
- Special & Gifted Education Masters Programs
- Masters of Teacher Education Programs
Curriculums differ from program to program, but most Masters degree in education programs will include instruction on educational policy, school and community partnerships, classroom management, theories of teaching and learning, and educational leadership.
Which M.Ed Program is Right For You?
Deepening your knowledge in a particular area should definitely align with your interests.
Do you dream of working abroad? According to the BLS, “opportunities abound for qualified teachers to work abroad.”[ii] Look into ESL/TESOL masters programs.
Are you hoping to become Dean of Students, a High School Principal, or move away from teaching to designing educational programs? If so, you might choose Educational Technology, Education Leadership & Administration, or Masters in Curriculum & Instruction programs.
If you enjoy psychology and counseling, Masters programs in Educational and School Psychology programs will prepare you for roles such as guidance counselor or school psychologist.
Licensing and Credentials For Education Professionals
Bear in mind that some fields require more than a Masters degree in Education. Furthermore, because licensing requirements and career outlook varies so much between states, we recommend verifying the individual prerequisites for your state for more information on job outlook, average salary and licensing requirements. You can check a site such as the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE).
Potential Careers for M.Ed. Graduates
Popular fields for graduates with a Masters degree in education include:
- School Counseling (Guidance Counselor, School Psychologist)
- School Administration (Principal, Assistant Principal)
- Adult Education (College Professor, Lecturer)
- Special Education Coordinator
- Career and Technical Education Teachers
- High School, Middle School, Elementary or Postsecondary Educators
- Instructional Coordinators
- Kindergarten Teachers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for postsecondary teachers was $70,790 in May 2014, and the job outlook is favorable; employment growth is projected at 13% from 2014 to 2024[iii]
Ready to Pursue a Masters in Education?
Whether you wish to understand the learning needs of autistic students, oversee student services and academics, or design instructional curriculums, there is a Masters in Education program to bring you to the next level in teaching. Take some time to review the exciting M.Ed. program offerings on GradSchools.com today!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm | [ii] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2006/fall/art01.pdf | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm | other sources: bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm
- Weston, MAWeston, MA
In an effort to address the universal need for special education teachers, this program strongly focuses on classroom inclusion. During this one-year accelerated program, students learn the skills to develop innovative methods and sound educationa...
Full Sail University
- Paxton, MAPaxton, MA
Anna Maria CollegeUpcoming Start Date: January 02, 2019
Anna Maria's Master of Education program is for adults with a baccalaureate degree who want to become licensed teachers and teachers who want to earn their Professional Teacher License. Anna Maria College offers four Master Degree programs that will qua...
New York Institute Of Technology
Track 1: Instructional Technology for Educator The Master's Program in Instructional Technology develops expertise in the use of leading edge media and technology for teaching and learning. Graduates of the program work as master teachers in P-12 class...
- Old Westbury, NY
- New York City, NY
Pennsylvania State University
Expand your ability to support students with special needs by earning a Penn State Masters in Special Education online. Emphases in Academic and Behavioral Supports, Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism tailor the 32-credit program to match your goals.
- Pomona, NJPomona, NJ
The Master of Arts in Education consists of four major components to enhance classroom teaching and provide professional development: content, pedagogy, research, and electives.
California State University, Northridge
Prepare to create educational courses and programs for corporate clients, higher ed institutions and many other industries with an online Master’s in Instructional Design. Graduates also earn a Certificate in Instructional Games and Simulations – no extra...
Colorado Christian University
The Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction (MACI) at Colorado Christian University provides students with the tools to enhance their professional careers in teaching, training, administration, and curriculum development. MACI is designed to fur...
Colorado State University
Become a better adult educator in postsecondary, community, and corporate settings when you earn your master’s degree in adult education and training online from Colorado State University.
- Plainfield, VTPlainfield, VT
In Goddard’s Master of Arts in Education, you choose your topic of inquiry and design a program of study based on how you learn best and what your study can contribute most to you and your community...
University of Colorado - Boulder
The MA in Curriculum & Instruction (C&I): Math & Science Education Program is designed to support teachers who are interested in developing greater understanding and expertise in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science.
- Springfield, MASpringfield, MA
Western New England University
The Master of Arts in English for Teachers is an inspiring, engaging, and challenging program that emphasizes breadth and depth of subject matter, as it deepens passion for language arts and literature...
- Tampa, FLTampa, FL
Nova Southeastern University
Counseling, M.S. - SchoolUpcoming Start Date: January 07, 2019
The master’s degree in Counseling with a School Counseling concentration (48 credit hours) provides training to individuals seeking positions as school counselors in Pre-K to 12 grade school systems...
- Jacksonville, FL
- Palm Beach Gardens, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Miami, FL
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
California Institute of Integral Studies
The online Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness programs are dedicated to re-imagining the human species as a mutually enhancing member of the Earth community...
- San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis Obispo, CA
California State University, Cal Poly
The M.S. in Special Education enables students to succeed as special day class teachers, resource specialists, inclusion specialists, or autism specialists...
- San Luis Obispo, CA
- Louisville, KYLouisville, KY
University of Louisville
Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration online degree for higher ed administration professionals. Specializations include Teaching & Learning, Policy & Equity, and Administration.
- Newton, MANewton, MA
William James College
The 1-year Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program is designed for working professionals who want to support children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities. Evening classes and fieldwork prepare you to take BCBA exams.
- Newton, MA
- Teaneck, NJTeaneck, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University
This 38-credit graduate program is offered for licensed teachers seeking to develop expertise in working with pupils with learning disabilities or other handicapping conditions.
- Teaneck, NJ
- Rochester, NYRochester, NY
Rochester Institute of Technology
The MS degree in secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing prepares students to meet the national nee...
- Rochester, NY
- Costa Mesa, CACosta Mesa, CA
Vanguard offers the training necessary to make you one of Southern California’s most sought-after teachers...
- Brooklyn, NYBrooklyn, NY
Graduate art and design education offers three program options in which students are able to integrate their interests in teaching with their studio/creative practice.