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Master of Science (MS in Education): Degree Overview

A master's degree program in education is typically aimed at experienced professionals who want to improve their instructional skills in a specific subject or pursue positions of leadership in the field.

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Essential Information

In a Master of Science (MS) in Education program. Students may also explore how to create more efficient learning environments and study concepts in education reform, personnel administration, school economics and educational policy. Programs may offer specializations such as mathematics education, curriculum design, reading instruction, leadership in education, special education and gifted program education. Many programs require students to participate in field experiences or complete a thesis project prior to graduation.

To be admitted into a Master of Science degree program in education, an individual must possess a bachelor's degree. Some programs require that applicants be state-certified to teach. The coursework may be offered online, during the summer or in the evenings, because many of the programs are geared toward teachers. These programs typically take two years to complete.


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  • Counseling and Guidance
  • Curriculum and Instruction
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  • Philosophical Foundations of Education
  • Special Education
  • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
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  • Teaching Assistant

MS in Education

In MS programs in education, popular topics for courses include:

  • Leadership in Education
  • Classroom diversity
  • Educational effectiveness
  • Classroom management
  • Faculty administration
  • Gifted academics
  • Curriculum design

Popular Career Options

Graduates may earn the proper credentials to teach in an elementary, middle school or high school or advance their careers toward administrative positions in schools or district offices. Career titles may include:

  • Special education teacher
  • Gifted teacher
  • Principal
  • Reading specialist
  • New teacher mentor
  • Curriculum developer

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), instructional coordinators are projected to see 7% job growth from 2014 to 2024, while postsecondary education administrators are expected to have a 9% growth in employment. Coordinators earned a mean annual salary of $64,870 in 2015, and elementary and secondary administrators made a mean annual income of $92,940, based on BLS data.

Continuing Education

Individuals can expand their career opportunities by enrolling in graduate certificate programs. Certificates could include educational technology, special education, reading specialist and English language learning instruction. Graduates interested in educational research can pursue Ph.D. degrees. Areas of concentration could include mathematics, literacy or general learning. Those interested in careers in administration can pursue Ph.D. degrees with specializations in school organization. Earning a Ph.D. could also qualify graduates to teach at the university level.

Overall, whether you are looking to augment your current teaching skills, specialize in a particular subject or redirect your career toward educational administration, an MS in Education program can provide the theoretical training and practical experience you need to become a better educator.

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