Master of Arts (or Science) in Teaching vs Master of Education

There are various graduate degree programs available to educators. Some people believe they are  interchangeable, but there are several important differences to the degrees. Understanding these differences can help you select the best education option to advance your career.

Below we cover some basic differences between a Master’s of Education and a Master of Arts/Master of Science in Teaching. These degrees often vary considerably by school and by state, please confirm any program meets your specific needs before you start your master’s degree.

Master’s of Education

A  Master’s of Education gives you the ability to develop your career opportunities both inside and outside the classroom and discover a number of fields in education including leadership, curriculum & instruction and special ed. The Master’s of Education typically emphases practical, field-based experiences that help you comprehend and critically appraise education practices and offers strategies that can be instantly applied to your service. Coursework frequently covers the theory, research, history and psychology of education both generally and within a concentration.

Master of Arts or Master of Science

A Master of Arts or Master of Science (M.A. or M.S.) often has graduate courses both in education and in a content specific discipline like history, English or mathematics. Some of these degree programs will require a thesis. A Master of Arts or Master of Science is useful for both licensed and non-licensed educators. The coursework typically encourages mastery of an education discipline as the focus of the degree, while also creating an understanding of the foundational theories of learning. Coursework can also focus on curriculum development and theory, testing and measurements and educational research in a specific content area.