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How do I get a Master's Degree in Education?

K. Testa
K. Testa

In order to earn a master’s degree in education, there are certain academic requirements that usually must be completed prior to applying to graduate school. A common prerequisite is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in education or a similar field. People who intend to teach particular classroom subjects, such as mathematics or a foreign language, often major in these subjects as undergraduates. For those pursuing advanced teaching positions, graduate program applicants are normally expected to have gained a certain amount of practical classroom experience as well. Administrative careers are also a popular option for education professionals who choose to obtain a master’s degree.

Many schools offer a master’s degree in education, and their application requirements may vary from one program to another. Most graduate schools require an entrance exam, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)®. Typically, people must also complete an admissions application, which frequently includes an essay. In addition, graduate programs often consider undergraduate transcripts, recommendations, personal interviews, and other relevant test scores when considering candidates for admission.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

There are several types of programs to choose from when pursuing a master’s degree in education. For example, many traditional universities have graduate schools of education. Some of them expect students to attend classes on campus, while others offer online or distance learning options for people who need a more flexible schedule. Regardless of the type of program, it is usually advisable to choose an accredited institution. Doing so can help demonstrate a program’s credibility to an employer when applying for a professional position.

Once accepted into a master’s degree program, students usually must complete a requisite number of courses and assignments. Typical final assignments could include exams and possibly a master’s thesis. Other programs require students to gain additional practical experience, such as supervised or assistant teaching in a classroom. The time it takes to obtain a master’s degree in education can vary, but many programs range from two to three years.

There are many potential career options for someone with a master’s degree in education. The type of graduate program that he or she chooses probably will depend on the area of specialization he or she wants to pursue. For example, someone interested in working primarily with young children might get a master’s degree in early childhood or special education. There are also various administrative career opportunities available to those with a master’s degree in higher education or education administration.

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