A master’s degree in education (M.Ed) is a general education secondary degree that typically can focus on curriculum/instruction, counseling and administration (see below). For teachers in some states, such as NY and MA, getting your master’s in education is required to earn significant advancement opportunities. In most US states, you need to have your master’s degree in education to become a school principal or a school counselor.
Areas of focus:
- Curriculum and instruction: Focuses on teaching and learning so that you can be prepared with advanced principles of classroom teaching.
- Counselor education/school counseling: This area of study will be what you will focus on to become a mental health professional at a elementary, middle or high school, and to work towards your state license as a mental health counselor.
- Preparation for Ed.D/Ph.D.: Study of specific educational subjects and engage in research to prepare for doctoral studies. This is regarded as the broadest area of study for a master’s in education.
A big benefit of a master’s in education is that it can be done entirely online. Also, many school districts will provide you with a supplementary salary increase as you are completing your advanced degree.
General Education Job Description
If you get a master’s in education, you will have significantly more job options than with merely your bachelor’s degree. For example, you could possibly become a school administrator, a school counselor, a specialist in a specific education subject, a director of curriculum or an evaluation director. You also will be prepared with your master’s to continue your education and receive your doctorate.
Master’s in General Education Requirements
You will need a bachelor’s degree to be admitted into a Master’s in Education program. You do not have to necessarily have a bachelor’s degree in education, however. Most universities will prefer to see a bachelor’s degree in education, history, or a related major, such as mathematics if you want to have a master’s emphasis on math. For some schools, a bachelor’s in another major can be an asset.
There is no set GPA requirement to be accepted for a master’s in education program. The university will be more interested in the overall study focus of your bachelor’s degree.
You do not have to be an active teacher with a teacher’s certificate to get your master’s. There are many non-certified people with a bachelor’s degree who choose to later pursue their master’s in education and get their teacher’s certificate.
Some general subject areas of your master’s curriculum may include:
- Classroom management theory and practice
- Teaching strategies
- Effective methodologies for language arts and social studies teaching
Career and Salary Outlook for Educators with Master’s in General Education
Getting your master’s degree in general education can increase your annual salary by as much as $10,000 per year. Obviously, this will add up to a significant raise over time.
Generally, people with a general master’s in education will earn a median starting salary of $46,800 to $49,950 per year. This depends upon where they live, the exact position and how long they have worked in the school district.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that a teacher with a master’s degree or higher can earn a mean salary of $64,000.
Online Programs for Master’s in General Education
Today there are many online master’s programs in education. You can in many cases complete this degree in its entirety without ever actually stepping into a classroom. Many online master’s degrees will allow you to focus on teacher education, higher education, special education, learning technologies, or specific subject fields.
General Education Scholarships
- Gates Millennium Scholars Program -The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian Pacific Islander American**, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline area of interest. Continuing Gates Millennium Scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.
- Harvard – Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant -Candidates in the Graduate Program in Mathematics for Teaching who intend to teach full time in a high-need field at a public or private elementary or secondary school that is designated as a low-income school may qualify for the TEACH Grant Program. As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least 4 academic years within 8 calendar years of completing the program of study. If you fail to complete this service obligation, all amounts of TEACH Grants that you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000 per academic year for full-time students (the amount will be less for part-time students) with an aggregate limit of $8,000.
General Education Link Resources