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The Master of Arts in Education

Program Mission

The mission of the Master of Arts in Education is to address educational challenges in the belief that School of Education faculty, students, and educational partners will make a difference in the lives of those who learn and teach. The program instills respect for educational research and applications and a commitment to contribute to the heritage of scholarship in the field. The graduate program strives to improve the quality of education at all levels, to promote equality of opportunity for all learners, and to enhance the contributions that education makes to local communities and to society in general.

General Overview

The MA in Education is a professional degree that allows the candidate to study in depth a specific area of interest related to teaching and learning. The MA program provides an opportunity to study both theoretical and pragmatic issues and the interrelationships among these. The degree is designed to enhance the professional abilities of the career professional and to provide advanced preparation for those seeking degrees beyond the MA. MA in Education programs are available in both the Department of Professional Studies in Education and the Department of Education. Please see options and advising patterns below.

Master’s Degree Option and  Patterns

The Curriculum and Instruction Option is a multidisciplinary program that helps educators broaden their knowledge of learning and the educational concepts, and advance their ability to develop curriculum and plan instruction for the improvement of learning. Contact the department of Education for a program planning guide.

The Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners Option is designed to develop a knowledge base and leadership skills that will prepare candidates to address the critical pedagogical and linguistic needs of California’s diverse student population—including specially designed academic instruction in English and English language development—and to promote sensitivity to multicultural issues in education. Contact either the Department of Education or the Department of Professional Studies in Education for a program planning guide.

The Reading/Language Arts Option is designed to prepare teachers for leadership positions related to the teaching of reading/language arts in K-14 settings. Courses focus on issues of language development; child or adolescent literature; diagnosis and treatment of learner needs, including clinical practice; knowledge of issues and research. Most courses may be applied to a California Reading/Language Arts Specialist Credential. Contact the Department of Professional Studies in Education for information.

The Special Education (Education Specialist) Option incorporates current master’s degree requirements, courses from Level II and the Resource Specialist Certificate, and other options from which the candidate may select. One plan includes the thesis, a second plan includes a creative project, and a third includes research work and oral and written examinations. All inquiries and planning should be made directly with special education faculty. Contact the Department of Professional Studies in Education for information.

The Advising Pattern in Educational Administration provides professional preparation for school leadership. Courses address communication skills, curriculum, supervision, management of funds and facilities, law, personnel, instructional leadership, and other administrative functions. Contact the Department of Education for a program planning guide.

Requirements for the Master’s Degree:

Requirements for the Master’s Degree in Education are established by the department, the graduate student’s master’s advisory committee, and the Office of Graduate Programs. They include:

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of a minimum of 30 units of 200/300-level courses as follows:

(a) At least 18 units in the discipline of Education.

(b) At least 18 of the units required for the degree in 300-level courses.

(c) Not more than 9 semester units of approved graduate-level transfer and/or extension credit.

(d) Not more than a total of 10 units of Independent Study (EDMA 398) and Master’s Study (EDMA 399) may be applied to the degree; and not more than 6 units of Master’s Study (EDMA 399) may be applied to the degree.

(e) Completion of required courses (normally 12 units).

One course selected from the series:
EDMA 303-307  Foundations    3.0

Three courses required:
EDMA 335A     Intro to Inquiry in Education     3.0
EDMA 335B     Research Sem in Education    3.0
EDMA 399    Master’s Thesis/Proj.        3.0-6.0

EDMA 398 Comprehensive Examination or EDMA 335C Synthesizing Experience in Education (or other approved culminating activity) may be elected in lieu of EDMA 399 in some options. Selection of appropriate culminating activity will be made in consultation with the student’s master’s advisory committee and the approval of the department’s graduate coordinator.

Enroll in EDMA 335C, 398, or 399 in the semester when the work is in progress.

(f) Completion of 18 units of courses related to your program option or advising pattern.

(g) Master’s degree students are required to be enrolled continuously from the time they begin their program until the degree is awarded. Continuous enrollment may be maintained either through registration   as a matriculated student or through adjunct enrollment. See “Regulations Governing Graduate Students” for a full description of continuous enrollment.

2. Meeting the literacy requirement: Students in the MA in Education program demonstrate writing competence by submitting a rationale for their program plan and by completing EDMA 335A.

3. Satisfactory completion of an MA program culminating activity.

4. Approval of the culminating activity by the students MA adviser and the department graduate coordinator.

5. Recommendation for the degree by the department graduate coordinator and the Graduate Council on behalf of the faculty of the university. All forms and approvals requiring the signature of the graduate coordinator must be processed by the department housing the option   or advising pattern.

Admission and Progress:

It is the student’s responsibility to meet all requirements and submit application forms for changes in graduate status. Forms for advancement to classified status and candidacy are available from the Office of Graduate Programs and the department offices. Forms must be submitted to the appropriate graduate coordinator for approval.

Graduate Programs Time Limit:

All requirements for the degree are to be completed within seven years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree. See “Graduate Education” in The University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:

1. An acceptable baccalaureate from an accredited institution, or an equivalent approved by the Office of Graduate Programs.
2. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in “Admission to Master’s Degree Programs” in The University Catalog.
3. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Programs.

Students admitted to Conditionally Classified status also must file with the department graduate coordinator a Preliminary Program Plan and a statement describing their rationale for the program plan. These documents must be approved by the program coordinator of the option or advising pattern selected.

Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:

Usually no fewer than 9 units or more than 15 units may be taken before admission to Classified Status. In addition to the requirements above, you need to:

1. Successfully complete EDMA 335A: Intro to Inquiry in Education.
2. Form your master’s advisory committee.
3. Obtain approval of your master’s degree program plan in consultation with your master’s advisory committee and file the plan with the department graduate coordinator. Include a rationale statement for
the program plan.

Prerequisites for Advancement to Candidacy:

Graduate students having Classified Status and who have completed one-half of their approved program can apply for advancement to candidacy. In addition to the requirements above, you need to obtain the approval of your master’s advisory committee (with committee signatures) for your culminating activity and file the proposal with the department graduate coordinator. When applicable, approval for using human subjects must be secured before the proposal is filed.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study — EDMA 398 and Master’s Study — EDMA 399) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (200-level courses), AB/No Credit (300-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only.

A maximum of 10 units combined of ABC/No Credit, AB/No Credit, and Credit/No Credit grades may be used on the approved program (including EDMA 398, EDMA 399, and courses outside the major). While grading standards are determined by individual programs and instructors, it is also the policy of the university that unsatisfactory grades may be given when work fails to reflect achievement of the high standards, including high writing standards, expected of students pursuing graduate study.

Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all courses on the approved master’s degree program as well as in all courses taken subsequent to admission to conditionally classified status.

Graduate Advising Recommended

Advising is recommended each semester for MA in Education students. Upon admittance to the program, graduate students are encouraged to consult with the graduate coordinator of the department which houses their program option or advising pattern.

It is important for you to do this as early as possible. The department graduate or program coordinator helps you in identifying and selecting an MA adviser. All forms and approvals requiring the signature of the graduate coordinator must be processed by the department housing the advising pattern or option.