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MS - Educational Studies (Individualized Interdisciplinary Program of Study Option)

This Master of Science (MS) in Education with a concentration in Educational Studies program option is designed for educators interested in developing a customized course of study that reflects their personal career goals. This program is intended for students who already possess certification in their field or who do not require certification.The goal of this program is to allow students to develop expertise in one or two areas of education while also retaining a broad focus on educational practice and systems. There are two pathways for completing the degree requirements.

One pathway allows educators to undertake in-depth study in a particular area of specialization. It requires the following common core of courses, which are consistent with the core required in  other School of Education MS programs:

881.622 Advanced Instructional Strategies
Students review recent research on effective instruction and explore advanced classroom strategies and techniques designed to enhance their effectiveness in meeting the needs of diverse populations of learners. Examples include direct instruction, cooperative learning, dimensions of learning, creative problem solving, and applications of technology to thinking and learning. Students develop expert teaching skills and learn to diagnose and deliver instructional strategies that are most appropriate in specific circumstances.
881.611 Action Research for School Improvement
Students explore the role of the educator as an action researcher, with special emphasis on formulating and refining research questions as well as on selecting appropriate methodologies for classroom or school-based research. Students review research as a tool for assessing and improving teaching/learning environments.
855.610 Seminar in Teacher Leadership
Students in the final year present and evaluate their projects and plans for implementing change in their work environments. In addition, participants examine selected topics and current issues in educational leadership.

The remainder of the program includes a 15-credit concentration and nine credits of electives designed in consultation with the program adviser.

The second pathway allows students to combine two graduate certificates into a master's degree to meet their professional development goals. For example, educators interested in leading schools in an urban environment could combine the Urban Education and School Administration and Supervision certificates. Those interested in leadership roles inside the classroom might combine the School Administration and Supervision with Data-Based Decision Making and Organizational Improvement certificates.

Consult our full list of graduate certificate programs to see what combinations might appeal to you.

The second pathway includes a bridge capstone course, Seminar in Teacher Leadership (see 855.610 above), that ties together the two certificates. Students are advised to complete one certificate before starting the second.

Admissions Requirements

  • Completion of online application
  • Submission of application fee
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (Cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or better)
  • Essay
  • A current resume or CV
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Selected applicants who meet the entrance requirements may be invited to interview

Prospective students planning to apply to the individualized, interdisciplinary MS Ed Studies program option should consult with a program adviser about which pathway best meets their needs before they apply. Prospective students planning on completing one or two graduate certificates as part of their program of study should apply for admission into the certificate(s) at the same time they apply to the master’s program. As part of the application process, applicants must write an essay describing how the program will contribute towards their future plans. The essay for admission into the two-certificate pathway must address how the certificates will work together to foster the prospective student's future plans; and admission to the master’s program is contingent upon admission to the two certificates. Students interested in the two-certificate pathway must apply for admission into the master’s program before starting the second certificate.

For more information on the application process, please view the SOE Admissions webpage.


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Dr. Eric Rice

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Kyuanna Napper