General Education Graduate Programs & Graduate Schools

General Education Graduate Programs are designed to prepare students for potential careers as teachers, scholars, and administrators in the field of education. Although the focus of many graduate degrees in general education is for teacher preparation, there are also programs that offer different types of training for aspiring researchers and professionals. Students may learn to enhance their critical thinking skills as well as to develop and deliver curriculum for both private and public sectors. If you are interested in Education as a career and want to take courses that are centered around your specific goals, a General Ed graduate degree is worth considering!

General Education Graduate Programs: Essentials

General Education Graduate Programs are offered at the Masters, Certificate and Doctorate levels. If you are a professional in the field of education and wish to potentially advance your career, a graduate-level degree is required for many positions. In fact, some states require teachers to complete a graduate-level degree after earning their teaching certification.[i]If you already hold a Bachelor’s degree but it is not in Education, a master’s degree from a state-approved initial licensure program is another possible path to teaching.

General Education Graduate Degree Admissions Requirements

As university admissions policies vary, one of the convenient ways to find out about them is to use the green ‘request info’ tab once you have found a program that interests you. Many general education master’s degree programs are for individuals who hold a teacher’s certificate or an undergraduate degree in the field in which they plan to teach. Whether you are able to pursue your master’s degree in education before obtaining your teaching certification depends on the state you live in. Your best bet is to contact your state’s education department for more information. Most commonly, a Ph.D. is required to teach at the post-secondary level and admission is for students who hold a master’s degree.[ii]


A master’s or higher degree is often required for Postsecondary Education Administrators (BLS). [iii]

Potential General Education Curriculum

Graduate curriculums are very likely to vary between schools and may reflect the type of program you are in, although master’s programs often require a student teaching internshipor practicum. Sometimes the term ‘General Education’ refers to the educational foundation of essential skills, knowledge, theory and practices that are geared for teachers to take into their classrooms. There is usually a core curriculum of courses (e.g. effective communication, computer literacy). Around these students are able to take courses in a wide range of academic instruction in composition, mathematics, social science, natural science, humanities, fine arts, and student success. Other courses may include:

  • Leadership
  • Administration
  • Education Specialization Courses
  • Education Policy
  • Curriculum Development
  • Pedagogical Theories

Concentration Areas in General Education

Students may be able to fine tune their studies by choosing electives or a concentration area. Some of the more ‘specialized areas’ in General Education Graduate Programs may include:

  • A focus on education management
  • A focus on community education (e.g. youth programs or public health)
  • Teaching English to Students of other Languages (TESOL)
  • Teaching around the world
  • Developing curriculum and education programs for audiences beyond the classroom
  • Reading literacy skills

Why Pursue a Graduate Degree in General Education?

Instead of focusing on one type of education, such as teaching and curriculum, General Education Graduate degrees often provide you with the tools to fill a variety of educational roles.General education degree programs focus on research, writing, and pedagogical skills and they do so in an interdisciplinary context. Some programs offer opportunities to do part or all of the degree work abroad and most have an academic path to earn your teachers license.

Choosing Your Program Format: Campus, Online or Hybrid?

General Education Graduate Degree Programs are available in different formats so that you can choose the option that best meets your scheduling needs and vocational ambitions. Use the filters on to search by location, degree level, and program format (on-campus, online, or hybrid). Campus programs offer the most interaction of the learning methods, and give you the opportunity for hands-on learning. You can be very specific with your search parameters and look for General Education graduate schools by city, state or country. In terms of distance-learning, online programs typically offer some scheduling flexibility, as you log into a course management system instead of attending classes onsite. Hybrid programs are blended online, meaning low residency campus visits paired with online courses.


The U. S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education(NCATE) as a professional accrediting body for teacher preparation. The NCATE accredits schools, colleges, and departments of education in U.S. colleges and universities, as well as non-university entities that prepare educators for P-12 schools.[iv]

Take the Next Step

Whether you are interested in incorporating technology into your curriculum, refining your teaching methods, or researching educational theories, start browsing through the sponsored listings on Some of the choices that might appeal to you could include: Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Master of Education in Inclusion Education, M.A. in Education with Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential or Qualitative Research, Graduate Certificate.

Sources: [i] |[ii] |[iii] |[iv]

  • Northcentral University

  • Walden University