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Master of Education Graduate Degrees

Education is a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary field that encompasses areas of focus including administration, teaching, mentorship, and counseling. Graduates with a master’s in education create and foster systems, policies, practices, and environments that enable students to grow and develop.

What are the course requirements for a master’s in education?

A master of education degree usually requires one to two years of coursework. Students typically begin by choosing a concentration, such as arts education, physical education, student affairs, school counseling, leadership, or administration, and then move on to explore various intellectual and professional interests within those areas of focus.

While specific course requirements vary by concentration, the core curriculum offerings for a master’s in education provide foundations in:

  • History and theory of education 
  • Curriculum theories and practice 
  • Language and literacy in the classroom 
  • Issues and trends in education 
  • Psychology of teaching and learning

Beyond classwork, field experience will also be a requirement for teacher preparation programs (which can include things like student-teaching, internships, and classroom observations) as well as for other education-focused master’s degrees (which may involve internships designed to prepare you for administrative or support roles).

Most graduate education programs post course offerings online. Carefully reviewing a program’s curriculum will give you a clearer sense of how your graduate education will be structured, and what you can expect to learn. Comparing curricula will also help you determine which graduate program may be the best fit for your interests.

Education Grad Programs on Idealist

What can I do with a master’s in education?

While many students of education plan to be teachers, education programs also allow you to pursue career opportunities in public policy, museums, human resources departments, private schools, and community centers. Job titles that you may qualify for as a master of education graduate include:

  • School counselor or school nutritionist
  • Assistant principal, principal, school district administrator, district curriculum specialist, or superintendent
  • Special education teacher
  • K-12 teacher
  • Assessment specialist or reading specialist
  • Music teacher, physical education coach, bilingual education specialist
  • Director of educational programs for a nonprofit, museum, hospital, community center, or summer camp
  • Media specialist/school librarian
  • Education policy advisor 
  • Textbook writer or editor

What are the degree options for a master’s in education?

Master of science in education (MSEd): This degree is offered in many disciplines and can be tailored to your particular interests. You can focus on a specific role, such as school administration; specialize in populations, such as adolescent or special education; or focus on subject areas such as math, art, science, and literacy.

Master of arts in teaching (MAT) and master in teaching (MIT): This track leads to a teaching certification, and is perfect if you’re hoping to transition into a teaching career without a prior education degree.

Master of education (EdM or MEd): If you’re an experienced professional looking for advanced coursework in a particular subject, a theoretical background for understanding professional experiences, or a way to hone your educational skills, an EdM or MEd degree might be a good next step.

Doctor of education (EdD): If you aspire to school administration and leadership positions, such as principal or superintendent, then this research degree is for you. 

Doctor of philosophy (PhD): This degree is the way to go if you’re interested in a career in academia (teaching and researching at the university level) or high-level nonprofit, think tank, and government roles.

What do master’s in education graduate students say?

Sofia Dias next to a quote praising her MAT program.
Maile Yee next to a quote of her praising her MAT program.
Kenneth Chargois next to a quote of him raising his MAT program.