8: Curry School of Graduate Education

General Information | Categories of Graduate Degree Status and Program/Degree Requirements
Program Descriptions | Course Descriptions | Faculty

Professional Development | Master's Degrees | Doctoral Degrees

Master of Education Degree | Master of Teaching Degree | Education Specialist Degree

Master's Degrees

Qualified students may pursue masterís degrees which focus on two different goals: advanced training in disciplines related to education, which generally lead to a Master of Education degree (M.Ed.), or graduate programs whose primary focus is on initial graduate level licensure for prospective teachers or clinicians. The latter programs generally involve the College of Arts and Sciences and involve in-depth study of the teaching process or areas related to educational issues or health, leading to a Master of Teaching (M.T.) degree.

All masterís programs (M.Ed and M.T.) require at least 30 credits of graduate study (or more if specified by the program area). Most programs also require a practicum experience related to the area of specialization, and a culminating assessment (comprehensive examination or thesis.)

Master of Education Degree
The Master of Education degree program is designed for experienced professionals who wish to enhance their professional preparation and/or prepare for other responsibilities in education. The graduate of this program is expected to possess the professional attributes and competencies needed to qualify for a position of responsible leadership.

Admission Requirements   The student wanting to pursue the Master of Education degree must submit an application to the Office of Admission and Student Affairs of the Curry School of Education. The applicant to this degree program must:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Have a B average or better for the last two years of undergraduate study.
  3. Submit an application for admission and official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work.
  4. Submit official score reports for the Graduate Record Examination, and the Advanced Test for the School Psychology Program (scores must be less than five years old).
  5. Submit at least two letters of recommendation from professionals who can attest to his or her promise as a graduate student and professional educator.
  6. Submit a statement of professional goals.
  7. Meet any additional individual departmental or program area requirements.

Program Requirements   To earn a Master of Education degree the following minimum requirements must be met:

  1. The program requirements established by the faculty of the studentís program area must be successfully completed.
  2. Satisfactory performance on a comprehensive examination in the program area (or in some areas a thesis or project) is required.
  3. A minimum of 30 credits of graduate work must be successfully completed (additional credits are required in selected programs).
  4. At least 18 credits must be completed after admission to the program.
  5. At least 24 credits must be earned from the University of Virginia (including 18 credits on Grounds unless the program is an intact, approved off-Grounds program).
  6. Application for the degree must be submitted to the Curry School of Education during the first thirty days of the semester in which the degree is to be awarded.
  7. Registration must be on Grounds during the final semester.

Comprehensive Examinations   When nearing completion of the program of study, with the advisorís approval, the student must take a comprehensive examination in his or her area of specialization. (In some programs, a formal thesis or project may substitute for the comprehensive examination.) This examination is developed and administered in accordance with procedures determined by the department and approved by the dean. Satisfactory performance must be demonstrated before the student can be graduated. A student who fails to perform satisfactorily on the comprehensive examination may petition for one re-examination. Such a re-examination, however, cannot be taken sooner than the next semester at the scheduled administration of the comprehensive examinations. (Failure to appear to take the test, after having applied for it, constitutes one failure).

Transfer Credit   A student, with permission of the advisor, may transfer from another college or university a maximum of six graduate credits into a Master of Education or Master of Teaching degree program.

Time Limit   No requirements, including transferred credit, completed more than five years before the M.Ed. is to be awarded may be credited toward that degree. Exceptions must be approved by the advisor, department chair, and the associate dean, and are granted only when some emergency, such as illness, interrupts the studentís work. In such cases, the student may be required to validate out-of-date work by examination.

Graduate Programs Leading to an Initial Teaching License
Students who possess a baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent in a liberal arts discipline or physical education), may pursue a Master of Teaching (M.T.) degree which may also qualify them for a teacher license in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Master of Teaching Degree
The Master of Teaching (M.T.) degree is the appropriate degree for individuals who have completed a bachelorís degree and now wish to qualify for a teaching license. The M.T. programs require two years of full-time study. These degree programs include academic course work in the specialization field, and teacher education experiences leading to initial endorsement in one or more specialities. (Opportunities for applicants to correct deficiencies in liberal arts preparation may also be required based on undergraduate course work.) Contact the Office of Teacher Education for additional information.

M.T. degree programs are available in elementary education (NK-8), special education, (behavioral disorders, learning disabilities and mental retardation), health and physical education, and secondary education with specialization in English, foreign languages (French, German, Latin, Spanish), mathematics, science (biology, chemistry, earth and space science, general science, physics), or social studies (anthropology, economics, geography, government, history, psychology, sociology, social studies).

Admission Requirements   (See also Master of Education Admission Requirements) Post-graduate Master of Teaching applicants seeking teacher licensure must have a B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited institution, with the equivalent of an academic major in the arts and sciences or an appropriate discipline, and an acceptable general studies component. The general studies component should be a well-planned sequence of courses and experiences that must include theoretical and practical knowledge gained from studies in mathematics, natural science, social science, U.S./American history, English, communication, literature, and other humanities. The following are examples of acceptable courses within the specified areas: natural science, astronomy, biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics. Social science: anthropology, economics, government and foreign affairs, linguistics, psychology, sociology, and Western civilization (a course in some area of non-Western studies is also desirable). Humanities: English, literature, speech communications, public speaking, debate, drama, art, music, philosophy, religious studies, foreign literature in translation, and foreign language.

Program Requirements   The following requirements for a Master of Teaching degree must be met.

  1. The Elementary and Special Education Program includes the following courses in education, plus specific courses in the area of teaching specialization (12-18 credits).

    For all specialities:
    EDLF 501Learning and Development3
    EDLF 345Introduction to Educational Technology2
    EDIS 388Field Experience2
    EDIS 501Curriculum and Instruction2
    EDIS 500The Exceptional Learner1
    EDIS 488Field Practicum2
    EDIS 502Instruction and Assessment2
    EDIS 587Seminar in Teaching Methods3
    EDIS 586Seminar: Multicultural and Health Issues3
    EDIS 588Teaching Associateship6-12
    EDLF 710Contemporary Education Issues3
    EDIS 788Field Project3

    Students pursuing endorsement in elementary education or special education must also take:
    EDIS 530Language Skills Block6
    EDIS 531Reasoning Skills Block (for elementary majors only)6

    Students pursuing endorsement in special education must also take:
    EDIS 510-513Characteristics of Exceptional People6
    EDIS 514Curriculum for Exceptional Children2
    EDIS 508Teaching Exceptional Children2
    EDIS 504Assessment Techniques for Exceptional Children3
    EDIS 705Behavior Management3
    Students pursuing endorsement in physical education should contact the program area director in physical education, or the Office of Admission for additional information.

  2. The secondary programs require:
    EDLF 345Introduction to Educational Technology2
    EDIS 500Exceptional Learner3
    EDIS 704Positive Classroom Discipline3
    EDIS 502.2Instruction and Assessment: Secondary Education2
    EDIS 488Field Experience2
    EDLF 501Learning and Development3
    EDLF 710Contemporary Education Issues3
    EDIS 586Seminar: Multicultural and Health Topics1
    EDIS 587Seminar: Teaching Methods3
    EDIS 588Teaching Associateship6-12
    EDIS 788Field Project3
    Course work in subject area
    Course work in subject area pedagogy
  3. Teaching Associateship   In addition to required courses, individuals must complete a student teaching practicum (teaching associateship) in which they demonstrate an ability to integrate the theoretical concepts of education with academic material in a practical teaching experience. This associateship is normally one entire semester in length (EDIS 588: 12 credits).
  4. Transfer Credit   A maximum of six transfer credits may be counted toward the M.T. degree. All such credit must be approved by the advisor and the Director of Teacher Education.
  5. Time Limit   No requirements completed more than five years before the M.T. is to be awarded may be credited toward this degree. In special cases, an extension may be granted for emergency circumstances when approved by the advisor, Director of Teacher Education and the deanís office.
  6. Field Project/Comprehensive Examination   All M.T. candidates must complete a field project. In special cases, a masterís comprehensive examination may be required.
  7. Satisfactory Academic Performance in M.T. Programs   All courses required for the B.A. degree or teaching speciality taken at or below the 400 level may be successfully completed with a passing grade of D- or better. Courses in the major must reflect a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. Courses taken at the 500 level or above require a minimum grade of B- or better. 500-level courses in which a student has performed below the level of B- must be retaken or a substitute professional course taken to replace the deficiency. Course substitution or retaking a course must be approved by the advisor and the Office of Teacher Education. Program deficiencies may require that the student be suspended from the program.
  8. PRAXIS Examinations   All individuals completing M.T. programs for initial licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia must qualify by passing the Praxis I and II exams. Taking the Praxis exams and appropriate specialty tests are graduation requirements for all M.T. students. This is both a graduation and licensure requirement.
  9. Application for the Degree   Application for the degree must be submitted to the Curry School of Education during the first week the semester in which the degree is to be awarded.

Education Specialist Degree
The Education Specialist degree, a planned 30-credit (minimum) post-masterís program, 24 credits of which must be taken on Grounds, and 18 credits which must be taken after admission. In this program candidates are expected to attain (1) a broad and systematic understanding of professional education, (2) a definitive knowledge of a particular field of specialization, and (3) an ability to integrate and apply theoretical concepts of education in an actual educational context. This program is designed for the accomplished, experienced practitioner with specific professional aspirations. It is not designed for those who wish to pursue a research emphasis as a prelude to doctoral study. The Ed.S. degree may be pursued in the following areas:

Administration and Supervision
Counselor Education
Curriculum and Instruction
Higher Education
Instructional Technology
Special Education

Program Requirements   To earn an Education Specialist degree, the following minimum requirements must be met:

  1. The Ed.S. is a planned 30-credit (minimum) post-masterís program, 24 credits of which must be taken on Grounds, and 18 credits of which must be taken after admission to the program. At least 60 credits of graduate work must be completed prior to the awarding of the Ed.S. degree. Exceptions can be filed with the associate dean for programs which combine the M.Ed./Ed.S. requirements, and for programs which are based on a masterís degree of more than 30 credits.
  2. All program requirements for the degree established by the individual department and program area must be met.
  3. The student must pass a comprehensive written examination of eight to ten hours which may include questions on related areas of study, as well as questions on the studentís field of specialization.
  4. No requirements, including transferred credit, completed more than eight years before the Ed.S. is to be awarded may be credited toward that degree. Exceptions to this rule must be approved by the advisor, the department chair, and the dean, and is granted only when some emergency, such as illness, interrupts the studentís work. In such cases, the student may be required to validate out-of-date work by examination.


Continue to: Doctoral Degrees
Return to: Chapter 8 Index