Masters in Teacher Education Programs

Ready to learn what Masters In Teacher Education Programs have to offer you? From improving teaching methods, and understanding the policies and attitudes of a top professional teacher, to bringing more versatility to your career, Teacher Education Masters Degree Programs offer many possibilities to explore.

Masters in Teacher Education

If you already have your initial teaching license, you may be ready to combine your love of teaching with an enjoyment of art, music, reading, science or even physical education. Or, you may be required by your state to have a master’s degree in education. In either case, earning a graduate degree has the potential to result in licensure renewal, possiblel salary boost, and a broader level of expertise in teaching best practices. Read on to take a look inside a Masters Program for teachers.

Teacher Education Masters Career Options - Masters in Teacher Education

Masters in Teacher Education Degree Program Essentials

First of all, there are different models for Teacher education Programs, depending on whether you are:

  • An aspiring teacher
  • Looking for initial teacher licensure
  • An experienced teacher

You will probably find that graduate teacher education programs are tailored to the mid-career or working educator, and that the programs for initial licensure are for non-teachers who hold a Bachelor’s degree in another subject and aspire to teach.

FUN FACT: Some states require high school teachers to earn a master’s degree after earning their teaching certification[i].

written by Rana Waxman

How Long is a Masters in Teacher Education Program?

Earning a Masters degree in Education may take between 2 and 3 years to complete, although this may differ with online degree programs. You might find some online Master's degrees that might be earned in as few as 12 to 18 months. It is always a good idea to request information from the grad school you are considering, especially since each program may have unique prerequisites to fulfill prior to enrollment, or vary depending on whether you are a full or part-time student. Curious about different the different types of masters for teachers?

Different Masters in Teacher Education Degrees

There are different types of Masters degrees in education, the Master of Arts, Masters of Education and the Masters of Science. How do you choose from the different masters in teacher education programs?

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree is usually geared for initial teacher licensure and may emphasize practical teaching skills and on teaching specific subjects. This type of program really focuses on advancement of your teaching career; learning pedagogical theory and hands-on implementation.

The Masters in Education (M.Ed) degree is different, and designed for experienced educators. It usually provides more in-depth instruction aimed at preparing teachers for new leadership roles. If you are a certified teacher, or an aspiring teacher you may still continue teaching in the classroom, or pursue a major that takes you into another area (Curriculum and instruction, counselor education or educational administration for instance).

Master of Arts in Education degree programs focus on in-classroom teaching, and students often choose an area to concentrate on

Master of Science in education degree programs might be a great fit if you are keen on educational research.

Finding the ‘right’ Masters in Teacher Education Program: Tips

Choosing a graduate teacher education program may seem daunting, but if you go about it systematically, you can simplify things for yourself. A helpful resource might be Teach.Org as well as requesting information from prospective colleges and universities.

Choose a Program Format: On-Campus or Online?

First of all, with the choices out there, do you want a distance learning program or do you prefer the social learning environment of a real classroom? Online teacher education programs may suit working teachers trying to balance work in the day with study in evenings and on weekends. But, don’t assume that all campus programs are during the day. Masters programs for teachers may be offered during times that it is convenient to attend as well.

Sometimes one format makes most sense to you, whether it is just easier to do your courses online, or just more motivating to be onsite. In either case, you can use these criteria to search on In fact, you can narrow things down with a location search – use the city, state, or country tabs to filter results for graduate schools in a specific area.

Which Concentration Interests You?

From the subject selection, you can see that there are plenty of opportunities to refine your teaching skills in different areas, such as masters in physical education, teaching art, teaching science or even teaching English as a second language. Some of the other listings you might encounter could include: MSEd in Literacy, Masters in Reading Education, Master of Natural Sciences Education or Master of Art and Design Education.

DID YOU KNOW? Some states require middle school teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification.[ii]

Check Each Teacher Education Program For Their Curriculum

Broadly speaking, masters programs for teachers might include some common themes. Best to check with each graduate school, and measure their curriculum with your own goals.  Some of the components of your curriculum might include topics such as:

  • Foundational Knowledge (philosophy and history or education)
  • Educational Psychology
  • Sociology of Education
  • Skills for assessing student-learning
  • Content-area/methods/skills related to your subject (art, music, math)
  • Practice in classroom
  • Supervised field observations
  • Student teaching
  • Internship

Licenses, Certifications, Registrations for Teaching Professionals

It is really important to check with the state you plan to teach in since certification and licensing varies. Here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Typically to receive certification a period of fieldwork or student teaching is required.
  • Some states require teachers to complete annual professional development courses to maintain their license
  • Requirements may vary depending on the school system: public or private

Potential Career Paths

To a certain extent, the more you learn the more you are able to teach. Some states do require teachers to hold a master’s degree, so the degree may be associated with new opportunities although not a guarantee of employment. Potential career paths for graduates with masters in teacher education degrees might include:

  • Post-secondary Teachers (at community colleges)
  • Middle School Teachers
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • High School Teacher

Take The Next Step

While an undergraduate degree may be sufficient for some teaching jobs, some states require all teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification. So, take the next step and look inside a Masters in Teaching Education Program to refine your skills, broaden your knowledge base, and cultivate your teaching niche or simply add versatility to your resume.

Sources: [i] | [ii] | other sources: |

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