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Master's Degree in Secondary Education: Program and Licensure Info

Master's degree programs in secondary education are for both licensed teachers who are seeking to further their training and to students with bachelor's degrees in any field who are looking to earn certification as a secondary school teacher.

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Essential Information

Prerequisites for a master's degree require a bachelor's degree. Some students will have a bachelor's degree in education while others will have a bachelor's degree in a specific field they would like to teach in.

In a master's degree program in secondary education, students generally choose a concentration in the subject in which they wish to teach, such as English or mathematics. Courses cover teaching methods, child and adolescent development, and curriculum planning. Students working to meet licensure requirements must complete a period of student teaching. Licensed teachers working towards their master's may be required to research and present a project.

All states require that public school teachers hold at least a bachelor's degree and have completed an accredited teacher training program. This teacher training can be part of a master's degree program. They also must pass a licensing examination. In some states, teachers must obtain a master's degree within a certain period after licensing. Some programs allow students to take many courses online.


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Master's Degree in Secondary Education

A master's degree program in education with a secondary education emphasis prepares graduates to work in middle, junior, and high schools as teachers or administrators. Students can select an area of focus, such as science, music, or literacy. Master's students learn how to understand the complex issues faced by students, apply their knowledge of psychology and sociology to the learning environment and develop and monitor curricula to meet the needs of their school.

Graduates of master's degree programs in secondary education should be able to competently disseminate information in a classroom environment. They might also need to counsel children through specific learning processes and evaluate current programs to improve efficiency. Some of the courses that teach this wide skill set include:

  • Education philosophy
  • Learning and cognition
  • Psychology of teaching
  • Critical thinking
  • Instructional proficiency
  • Curriculum theory and development

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that jobs for teachers in secondary schools could increase 6% from 2014 to 2024. School teachers in secondary education, other than special education and vocational teachers, earned a median annual salary of $60,440 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education Information

Licensing is required for all secondary teachers in the public school system in the U.S. The eligibility criteria for licensing varies; most states require that teachers possess at least a bachelor's degree and have some formal teacher training. Qualifications usually also include having practical teaching experience. To obtain a license or state certification, teachers need to pass subject-specific and/or multi-subject exams. Many states require teachers to earn a master's degree within a specific period after obtaining a license.

A master's degree in secondary education allows current teachers to improve their teaching skills. It also allows those that want to enter the teaching profession, but have a bachelor's degree in something besides education, to enter the secondary education field and become a teacher.

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