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Masters Degree in K-12 Education: Program Information

A master's degree program in K-12 education incorporates instruction on the best teaching practices for different levels of students. You'll learn how to create and implement coursework, assess student progress and integrate technology into the classroom.

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Essential Information

Many K-12 education programs offer initial teacher training courses, while others are aimed at licensed teachers seeking career advancement or additional teaching credentials. Master's degree programs in K-12 education are often available online, on-campus or in a hybrid combination format. Most programs take two years to complete.

Students pursuing a graduate degree in K-12 education usually don't face education prerequisites beyond a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Some programs may require a student to already possess a valid teaching license. Student teaching in an elementary or secondary school classroom is often a requirement for graduation.


Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
  • Teaching, Adults
  • Teaching, Elementary
  • Teaching, High School
  • Teaching, Junior High
  • Teaching, Kindergarten and Preschool
  • Teaching, Waldorf and Steiner Education
  • Teaching, Young Children

Masters Degree in K-12 Education

Master of Education (Ed.M.) degree programs generally require completion of about 45 credits with 30 credits of coursework in subjects like instructional strategies and teacher leadership and 15 credits from elective courses. Some of the curriculum common to many of these programs can include:

  • Teacher as communicator
  • Content reading, writing and communication for secondary schools
  • Methods of teaching adolescents
  • Curriculum and instruction in secondary schools
  • Learning disabilities
  • Technology in education

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment opportunities for educators can fluctuate according to the location, grade level, and subject taught. Job openings for kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school teachers are expected to grow by approximately 6% between the years of 2014 and 2024. The BLS reported in 2015 that K-12 teachers earned median annual salaries ranging from $54,890 to $57,200.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates from a Master of Education program are normally certified and licensed teachers and can apply for admission to a doctorate degree program in education or a related field. All states require that teachers be licensed to teach in public schools, which usually requires passing a competency examination. Continuing education opportunities also exist through professional organizations like the National Education Association (www.nea.org), the National Center for Alternative Certification (www.teach-now.org) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (www.nbpts.org).

Anyone interested in a career as an educator from the kindergarten to the high school level should look into master's degree programs in K-12 education. These graduate programs are offered both for currently licensed teachers and for those seeking initial licensure.

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