Master's Degree Options for Teachers

Sep 11, 2017

There are a number of master's degree paths available to students looking to pursue teaching, and many of them are catered to specific interests. Be sure to read the article below to find out more about these programs.

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Aspiring teachers can pursue a Master of Education or a Master of Art in Teaching, both of which are offered in a number of specializations. These include special education, curriculum and instruction, and others that will be discussed in this article.

Master of Education vs. Master of Arts in Teaching

Master of Education

A Master of Education degree program can often be completed in as little as one year, though an average program length is two years. Programs are available through both on-campus learning and online education. Students are usually required to possess a bachelor's degree and to take the GRE and submit their scores, though a minimum GPA is not generally required. Coursework in these programs differs depending on the specialization, but it can include curriculum development, teaching strategies, inclusive education, and educational leadership. In addition to teaching positions, a Master of Education program could prepare students for administrative or other leadership positions.

Master of Arts in Teaching

A Master of Arts in Teaching degree program typically focuses more on classroom teaching. Taking between one and two years to complete, and available both on-campus and online, Master of Arts in Teaching programs may include specializations in various subjects, such as social studies or math. Curriculum topics might include adolescent learning and development, diversity in education, foundations of teaching, or classroom management. Admission requirements may include possession of a bachelor's degree, minimum GPA and GRE scores, and official transcripts.

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Program Information for Master's Degree Options for Teachers

Master of Education in Special Education

A Master of Education in Special Education degree program teaches students how to guide children with special needs through methods such as group work and individual instruction. Courses may include applied behavior analysis, strategies for individuals with disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders. The program, which typically takes about two years to complete, requires an undergraduate degree and may require GRE testing or a minimum GPA to be considered for admission.

Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Students in this Master of Education degree program path focus on the profession of teaching itself, including how the classroom and its tools can create a meaningful learning environment. To enter this program, students may need a minimum GPA or to submit GRE scores, and will require an undergraduate degree. Theories and trends in curriculum, the social role of teachers, and diversity in the classroom are a couple of courses which may appear in this two-year program's curriculum.

Master of Education in Higher Education

Designed for students interested in becoming administrators or working with public policy in education at the college or university level, the program looks at how to be an effective leader in the field of education, as well as the financial end of the educational system. This master's degree program may be completed in as little as one year, and will introduce courses on topics like governmental education policy, the economics of higher education, and inclusive education. A bachelor's degree and submission of GRE scores may be required for admission, as well as a specified GPA.

Master of Education in School Leadership

A master's degree in school leadership can prepare students for a broader leadership, administrative, or managerial role in PreK-12 educational institutions by focusing on legal aspects of education and educational theories. For entry, an undergraduate degree is required, and a minimum GPA score and GRE scores may also be necessary. Courses taught in the curriculum could include school law, educational leadership, curriculum development, and human resources. The program generally takes about two years.

Master of Education in Counseling

Counseling master's degree programs will explore the intricacies of providing mental health, behavioral health, and addiction counseling to school-age children and college-age young adults. Coursework will focus on psychology, ethics and counseling techniques, and may consist of courses such as childhood counseling, strategies of prevention, and psychotherapy with adolescents. The program could be completed in one year and requires an undergraduate degree. Minimum GPA scores and GRE requirements may also apply.

Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education

Students who pursue this degree will learn about how to teach children with learning disabilities and how to cater education to their individual needs. This program instructs on how to assess students with special needs and to develop a suitable classroom and educational environment. Subjects included in the curriculum might include foundation of literacy, behavioral management, and instructional strategies in special education. Typical admission requirements include a bachelor's degree, minimum GPA score and possible GRE requirements.

Master of Arts in Teaching in Social Studies Education

This program is intended to prepare students teach in the field of social studies, which includes history, political science, economics, and many other social science topics. Students will develop an understanding of these areas while learning how to effectively communicate them to a classroom. A minimum GPA or GRE score and bachelor's degree in a related field may be required for admission to the program. Coursework may include classroom management, historical literacy, and adolescent development.

Master of Arts in Teaching in English Education

An English education master's program focuses on the teaching of English literature and the development of student writing skills. A number of courses in English literature may be required as part of the program curriculum. Other coursework could include classroom management, teaching middle and high school English, and lesson design. To be admitted, it is likely required to have a bachelor's degree in a related field and to have earned a minimum GPA or GRE score. Some programs can be completed in a year.

There are numerous Master of Education and Master of Arts in Teaching degree options, including programs in counseling, special education, English education, and higher education administration, which can prepare students for a career in teaching or an education-related field. Many can be completed in two years or less, and most have similar admission requirements, such as a bachelor's degree and GRE scores.

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