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Master of Science in Education curriculum overview:

The Master of Science in Education’s curriculum builds on educators’ teaching skills and professional excellence by expanding their practical and theoretical knowledge of teaching/learning process, increasing their knowledge of content information and materials and showing their commitment to professional excellence and leadership.

The MS in Ed Curriculum arc has three strands. The first strand is the Education Core. This builds on and develops educators’ understanding of educational theories, practices, research, ethics, and professional best practices.

The second strand is the content core. Students use the content core to focus on their area of interest and develop rich understanding and exposure to the material as well as gaining valuable experience working with content scholars.

The third strand is the capstone. For the capstone, students may opt for an advanced professional specialty proficiency documentation or work with faculty on a professional project or thesis. Non-licensed teachers have the option of participating in comprehensive exams.

Your plan of study:

Once admitted to Master of Science in Education, you will work with an advisor to plan the courses you will take and how you will complete the academic requirements of the program. By filing this Program Plan (PDF form of MSED only), you have a road map for completing your degree and clarity on what to expect.

Courses for the Master of Science in Education program

Professional Education Core:

[Link to course descriptions] [Link to program plans] [Link to real time class availability]

  • ED 603 Thesis, Professional Project or Field Study (terms and hours to be arranged)
  • ED 611 Theories of Teaching and Learning (3)
  • ED 632 Cultural, Social, and Philosophical Issues in Education (3)
  • ED 633 Research and Writing (3) – Prerequisite: ED 611
  • ED 635 Action Research (3) – Prerequisite: ED 633
  • ED 636 Leadership and Policy in a Diverse Society (3) – Prerequisite: ED 635
  • ED 637 Advanced Content Pedagogy or course as approved by your advisor
  • CSE 610 Computers in Education (3) or CSE 624 Internet for Educators (3)

Content Core-18 credits

The following interest areas or endorsements are available. Please select the interest area or endorsement that best fits your needs. To confirm your faculty advisor(s), please contact Emily Pahlke in the College of Education, 503-838-8675 or email

Please note: Special Education Initial endorsement is available at WOU through a different master’s degree.

The Content Core is 18 credit hours of coursework in advanced content/specialty from the following programs:

Student’s advisors plan this portion of the degree along with the student. Students may continue graduate level work in their academic areas or additional endorsement courses may be added. Students seeking to complete a new authorization level or endorsement within the 18 credit hours portion of the program are required to complete a 90 clock hour practicum in the appropriate authorization level or endorsement. Endorsements are offered in ESOL, Bilingual/ESOL, Early Childhood or Reading.

*All students holding a current teaching license at the time of application are required to complete a 3-credit ED 609 practicum. Your advisor will help you with arrangements.

Exit Electives-6 credits

  • Option 1: Advanced Professional Specialty Proficiency Documentation (for licensed teachers)
    • ED 617 Professional Inquiry in Education (3)
    • ED 609 Professional Inquiry in Education Practicum (3)
  • Option 2: Thesis or Professional Project or Field Study (6 credits) (for both licensed and non-licensed teachers)
    • ED 603 (or HE 603 or CSE 603, depending on content area)
  • Option 3: Comprehensive Exams (for non-licensed teachers only)
    • Students choose 6 credits of electives with their advisor

Course Sequence

Course rotation for MS in Education:

Coming soon…under development.

ED 603 Thesis, Professional Project or Field Study Terms and hours to be arranged.

ED 611 Theories of Teaching and Learning (3)
Applies key concepts, models, and strategies related to different theories of learning, including behaviorist, cognitive and socio-cultural perspectives. Students will examine epistemological frameworks, issues of transfer, social and cultural influences, as well as motivation and engagement to design powerful learning experiences. Will also learn key concepts, models, and strategies related to language acquisition and to cognitive, social, and emotional development.

ED 632 Cultural, Social, and Philosophical Issues in Education (3)
Examines issues of learning and culture from a variety of philosophical perspectives, linking practice to theory and ideology. Students will frame their teaching and learning experiences by examining the role of culture in schooling and learning, specifically addressing issues surrounding diversity, and critical perspectives in education.

ED 633 Research and Writing (3)
Students will examine the traditions and theories of both quantitative and qualitative research and evaluate methods, findings, and implication of research studies. Students will produce and critique scholarly writing. Prerequisite: ED 611

ED 635 Action Research (3)
Introduces students to the principles and processes of action research, a form of self-reflective inquiry by practitioners on their own practice. The goals of action research are to better understand and to improve practice. Students develop skills in data collection, analysis, interpretation, as well as the oral and written presentation of research. Prerequisite: ED 633

ED 636 Leadership and Policy in a Diverse Society (3)
Students will analyze current educational policy and potential leadership within multiple contexts.
Emphasizing local, national and global trends, this course will help students explore issues of diversity and the socio-political constructs of schooling. Prerequisite: ED 635

CSE 610 Computers in Education (3)
Course follows two distinct strands of activity: a theoretical/philosophical analysis of the underpinnings of technology use; and hands-on skill development in the use of hardware and software.

CSE 624 Internet for Educators (3)
Course will relate to a number of topics/issues germane to the use of Internet technologies in
schools/classrooms/media centers. Students will become knowledgeable about the practical, theoretical and philosophical implications of using the Internet in education.



If you haven’t found the information you need or are still not sure where to direct your question, contact Dr. Adele Schepige- College of Education, Graduate Programs Coordinator, or 503-838-8485