California Education Graduate Programs on Campus - K-12 & Grad Schools

Do you have a passion for education? Then no wonder you are exploring the path of pursuing a graduate teaching degree! Whether you are currently a teacher or hoping to pursue a prospective career change, you could potentially earn a masters in education, doctorate, or graduate teaching certificate to help jumpstart your career! Below, you’ll find some helpful info to get you started. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to check out some sponsored Campus K-12 Education Graduate Programs listings that may interest you.

Do I Need a Graduate Teaching Degree to Enhance My Career?[i]

That may depend on lots of factors, like the state where you work, or your specific professional goals. As you probably know, earning a bachelor’s degree is required for teachers in every state. But after that, licensure and certification requirements for teachers can vary widely! So, a teacher in Alaska may need to fulfill different requirements than a teacher in New York. (Teach.org may be one good place to look up your state’s regulations.)

In some cases, a state may require you to earn a masters in education degree in order to keep teaching. In fact, about 19% of elementary school teachers said they needed to earn a masters of education degree, and another 3% earned a post-master’s teaching certificate.[ii] Of course, you may have other potential goals in the field of education – like educational administration or leadership. 63% of secondary and elementary school administrators (like principals) earned a master’s, while 21% earned a post-master’s certificate.[iii] And finally, education college professors (those who teach the next generation of teachers!) earned a doctorate degree in 82% of cases.[iv]

What Education Graduate Programs Might I Pursue?

Good question! Let’s get familiar with some of the graduate teaching degree programs that might be available:

Education Masters Programs – As mentioned, some states may require you to earn a master’s degree in order to pursue teacher certification or licensure. i Or you may simply want to enhance your resume or deepen your knowledge. Regardless of your motivation, you may have a few potential paths to consider, such as a masters of arts in teaching or master of science in teaching program. The M.A. in teaching may cover instructional strategies and other basics, so it may be the perfect program for someone who is new to teaching and is potentially changing career paths after earning a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education. The M.S. may focus more on theory and research. You could also encounter master of education (M.Ed.) or M.A. in education programs. However, keep in mind that these program types may share overlapping areas, and that every program may have its own unique curriculum and requirements! Here are a few knowledge areas you might study in a masters of education program:

  • Curriculum design and evaluation
  • Assessment
  • Culturally-responsive teaching
  • Adolescent development
  • World languages
  • Special needs students

Program lengths, requirements and curricula vary, so be sure to check with your preferred schools to learn if their education masters program might serve your goals.

Doctor of Education Programs – Pursuing a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) program or PhD program may be another path worth considering. Pursuing a doctorate degree may help you to explore education research, scholarship, and leadership. Chances are, you may take courses in research methodologies, statistics, data analysis, and more, in order to potentially prepare for a role as a researcher. However, you might also study educational policy, instructional practice, or leadership, which might be applied to any number of potential paths, like pursuing a career as a college professor. Here are some other areas you might explore:

  • Literacy and reading
  • Mathematics education leadership
  • International education
  • Learning technologies
  • Educational psychology
  • And more!

Again, programs vary, so be sure to follow up with your chosen school.

Graduate Teaching Certificate – Earning a post-baccalaureate or post-master’s teaching certificate may be another path to teacher preparation! But what is a teaching certificate? Typically, it is a non-degree course of study that may allow you to focus on a particular area of professional interest – like instructional design or special education. Be careful not to get this type of credential confused with state teaching certification or licensure! Some education administrators iii and teachers ii may opt to earn a certificate; for example, about 13% of middle school special education teachers said they needed to earn a post-baccalaureate certificate.[v] Here are just a few potential teaching certificate programs you may be able to pursue:

  • Reading specialist
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Educational policy
  • Game-based learning
  • Teaching English as a second language
  • And more!

There are a multitude of possible graduate teaching certificate programs, so be sure to read descriptions carefully and follow up with your preferred programs to ensure they are a great fit for you!

Why Pursue Education Graduate Programs On Campus?

While online and hybrid learning may also be excellent paths to consider, there could be a few potential benefits to campus-based learning. Check them out:

  • Face-to-face learning. Learn best in an active classroom setting? Hope to observe your professor’s teaching strategies up close? Then perhaps pursuing a graduate teaching degree program on campus may be perfect for you.
  • Enjoy campus life. If you’re looking forward to potentially getting involved on campus, perhaps pursuing a more traditional grad school experience is a great choice. You may enjoy activities, student organizations, and social events.
  • Access to resources. From the library to the campus coffee shop, it may be great to have resources at your fingertips! (Hint: if your prospective school has a fitness center, even better! Teachers – particularly in elementary schools – may need lots of physical stamina![vi])
  •  Surprisingly flexible? Some (though not all) education graduate programs may offer evening and weekend courses for working students. So if life is keeping you busy, you may be able to find a program that’s perfect for your schedule.

How Do I Find Great Education Grad Schools For Me?

That’s a tough one! Since everybody may have different backgrounds and professional ambitions, there’s no one-size-fits-all graduate teaching degree program. However, it may be a good idea to spend some time evaluating prospective programs, exploring the curriculum, and talking to program representatives to learn as much as you can. Tip: make sure the school you are considering is accredited by an organization that’s recognized by the U.S. Department of Education![vii] By carefully considering your needs and career goals, you may find an education graduate program that is perfect for you!

Campus K-12 Education Graduate Programs: Ready to get going?

Below, you’ll find some Campus K-12 Education Graduate Programs program listings for education graduate programs that may interest you. You can use the menu to sort by degree type, like masters in education, or locatoin. If any Campus K-12 Education Graduate Programs catches your eye, click to read more about it and reach out to the school directly! And best of luck on your journey of teaching and learning.


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-2021.00 | [iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9032.00 | [iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1081.00 | [v] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-2053.00 | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [vii] studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider#accreditation

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