The Master of Education
(M.Ed., MAEd., or Ed.M.) is a postgraduate academic master's degree awarded by universities in a large number of countries. This degree in education often includes the following majors: curriculum and instruction, counseling, and administration. The Master of Education is a degree conferred by institutions of higher education, usually, though not always, for educators advancing in their field. For classroom teachers in some states, including Massachusetts and New York, a Masters degree is required to earn professional license . In most states a Masters degree or higher is required for a principalship or school counseling position.
Categories of study
Typical programs branch into one of several categories:
Curriculum and Instruction
This is typically the area to advance knowledge of, and professional practice in, teaching and learning. Coursework in this field generally focuses on teaching, public service, and scholarship. Often at the Master's level, Curriculum and Instruction majors (or Curriculum and Teaching at some schools) participate in educational research. This major is designed often for preparation to enter educational careers in schools, including classroom teaching.
This is typically the area where students study to become mental health professionals and work toward state licensure in mental health counseling. Typically state licensure requires 90 credit hours on a quarter system.
This is typically the area where students study in preparation to take on a building principalship . Candidates in this area study educational law, building/community issues, and faculty leadership. Programs also exist under this degree title to train administrators for institutions of higher education.Many institutions have recently established graduate programs in Educational Leadership which emphasise the study of community building in schools.
This is typically the area where teachers study in preparation to enter school counseling. Candidates in this area study psychology, social work issues, and law.
Neuroscience Interdisciplinary Degree in Education
Harvard University is notable for having an interdisciplinary neuroscience master's degree given as an Ed.M. though this degree, depending on the student's class choices, may have no more than an hour or so in an overview course on education. Education, in this case, denotes the learning process in humans versus the profession or institution of education.
This is typically the area where teachers are increasing their knowledge in their specific field or branching to another area within teaching. Some examples are: Anything subject related (English, Maths, Social Studies, Science, etc) or school areas (elementary, secondary, or special education). This is the usual path of study for teachers looking to maintain certification or move into a more marketable bracket.
Higher Education and Student Affairs
Coursework in this area is aimed at the study of colleges and universities (Higher Ed) or the administrative operations of higher education (student affairs) in specific programatic elements. Ordinarily, the only requirement for admission to this type of program is an undergraduate degree.
Typically serves individuals 18 years or older. Some classes, such as adult literacy, high school diploma programs, English as a Second Language, parent education, and some job training classes are sponsored by the government. Others, such as art and dance classes are fee-based. A B.Ed.
degree or teacher's certificate is not usually a requirement for admission to an adult education program.
This is typically the area where teachers study for continuing work into the doctoral programs. Candidates in this area would tackle specific educational issues and often get into educational research in preparation for Doctoral work. This is the broadest area of Masters work for education.
Use in America
Most states and provinces require a Master's-level degree and the certificate that goes with that work to be hired for educational administration (principal
, assistant or vice-principal
, dean, consultant, etc.) or for Licensure as a Professional Counselor (i.e., caseworker, therapist, community counselor, rehabilitation counselor). For licensure as a Professional Counselor one needs a M.Ed. in Counseling and an approved internship in which half the time of the internship must be in direct service to the client. For the superintendent level in educational administration, typically that requires doctoral
-level work to be completed. Another issue is that most states require continuing course work in order for counselors (especially since new CACREP requirements were implemented) to maintain their licensure. Admission into a Master's-level program typically requires a Bachelors degree
, or B.Ed.
) in Education and several years' experience in an educational or mental health setting. Education programs tend to have strict standards to stay in the program and often take more time to complete than other programs.