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Masters in Education Requirements

Masters in Education Requirements

The Masters in Education can have some fairly rigorous requirements at many universities. The MEd is looked upon as the academic counterpart to the Master of Arts in Teaching. A MAT is highly focused, effective in training teachers and stripped of any academic content other than teaching courses. MEd programs offer an assortment of specializations, some of which include qualification for teaching licensure and many of which are oriented to other aspects of the educational system. The MEd is called variously a Master of Science in Education or Master of Arts in Education in the United States, but traditionally the Masters in Education has been a challenging program that is still, for many students, a step towards completion of a PhD in Education or the Doctor of Education, the EdD.

General MEd Requirements

Master of Education programs are often subdivided into a set of degrees for teacher licensure and another set of "professional" degrees that include such areas of study as curriculum & instruction, educational administration, and similar operational or support functions. A teacher enrolling in a MEd program to upgrade the academic credential or to qualify for licensure as a high school teacher in a specific topic needs a bachelor's degree in education and some background in the teaching topic for the MEd.

Most of the Masters in Education degrees for teaching are thirty to forty credit programs that can be completed in three to four semesters. Perhaps a quarter of those credits will be devoted to field work, the term used for student teaching. There is also a minimum requirement for course work in the teaching subject such as mathematics or chemistry. The field work may be divided into a number of credit hours spent in an internship role, and an additional period spent teaching under the supervision of an experienced teacher.

MEd Requirements for Professional Degrees

The admission requirements for a MEd in a non-teaching field may vary from the requirements for teachers. A bachelor's degree may be required but not in education. Some fields may not specify an undergraduate field, and some may require a bachelor's in a related field. A MEd in Instructional Technology may require an IT related undergraduate degree. A Master's in Educational Administration may have prerequisites related to work experience as well as undergraduate accomplishments.

A MEd program for Educational Leadership or Education Administration may be for training principals and school superintendents, which generally requires a state license. The requirements for licensure define some of the curriculum requirements and most of the admissions requirements. Those are important issues for anyone considering a MEd for an administrative role. The same applies to degrees for Curriculum & Instruction and for School Counselor. The requirements for those licenses may lead to classes from other departments, such as psychology in the case of a counseling degree.

MEd Requirements for a PhD Program

The Masters in Education is still considered an academic stepping stone to a doctoral program, so the academic requirements may change yet again for potential doctoral students. A thesis is probably going to be required instead of an internship or some sort of capstone project. The emphasis for a PhD in Education or a EdD degree is research and teaching (at the university level), despite the fact that many high level school administrators hold a doctorate. The training for doctoral research generally begins with the Masters in Education.

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