Master Programs for Teachers with Course Summaries

Dec 07, 2009

Master of Teaching programs train students without teaching experience to become professional educators. Licensed teachers looking to advance their careers can enroll in Master of Education programs.

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Essential Information

Students who are interested in earning a master's degree in teaching have a few options from which to choose, the most popular of which are a Master of Teaching (MIT) and a Master of Education (M.Ed). For either choice applicants generally have to apply to the graduate school they are interested in attending and to the individual department in which the master program is housed.

Admission departments may expect submission of GRE or MAT test scores, a state skills test, a curriculum vitae or resume, proof of teaching licensure, a personal statement, letters of recommendation and an interview. Once enrolled in the degree program, students are required to complete field experiences and research projects in addition to classes.

Fieldwork and research projects are required for both programs.

Master of Teaching

A Master of Teaching program allows students to apply their undergraduate majors in an endorsable discipline, such as English, mathematics, or history to a career in education. Students in MIT programs can choose from various endorsements, such as K-8, secondary school, special education or reading. Many programs offer a cohort format; classes are taught by a team of experienced instructors and students learn together in a collaborative environment. Completion of field experiences and a portfolio project are usually required.

Students in MIT programs work on their degrees and state licensure simultaneously. The following classes are common in MIT curricula:

  • Teaching art and culture
  • Curriculum and instruction for primary school
  • Curriculum and instruction for middle and secondary school
  • Multicultural education
  • Adolescent development and education
  • Instructional technology

Master of Education

Master of Education degree programs cater to practicing teachers who want to further develop their professional skills or take on leadership roles in education administration. Students select a specialization, such as curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, instructional technology or English language learners. Depending on the specialization, students can obtain endorsements, like principal licensure. Other requirements may include completion of an internship in addition to an examination or thesis.

The coursework in M.Ed. programs varies widely according to the student's specialization. The following classes are part of the core curriculum in many M.Ed. programs:

  • Research methods in education
  • Issues in contemporary education
  • Curriculum development
  • Diversity and education
  • Classroom behavior and management
  • Psychology of learning

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Career opportunities for elementary, middle school, and secondary teachers are expected to increase about 6% from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( The median annual salary ranged from $51,640 for kindergarten teachers to $57,200 for secondary school teachers in May 2015. Graduates of M.Ed. programs who are transitioning to education administration positions in K-12 education can expect 6% job growth. Primary and secondary school administrators earned a median annual wage of $90,410 in May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

There are two degree levels in education beyond the master's degree. Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree programs usually offer different areas of specialization to suit students' career goals and interests. There are also a variety of Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) and Ph.D. programs. These programs generally prepare educators for positions in education administration at the school or district.

Master's programs in teaching may come in the forms of Master of Education and Master of Teaching degrees. Some programs allow students to specialize in certain areas of the field, with graduates of these programs often going into both teaching and school administration positions.

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