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Master of Arts
Specialized Studies in Education

The MA program in Specialized Studies in Education is designed for individuals who are interested in studying education – specifically contemporary teaching and educational theories, principles, and practices and the social context of these aspects of education – but are not interested in obtaining initial teacher certification credentials.

Teacher at whiteboard

Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Specialized Studies in Education

Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

The Specialized Studies in Education degree is ideal for community organizers, after-school program leaders, non-profit education providers, social entrepreneurs, and advocates for children and families who are passionate about transforming society through education but who want to work in non-classroom or non-formal classroom settings.

This degree will prepare you to:

  • Apply contemporary political, economic, historical, and social theories of teaching and learning and related research to real world educational settings in local, national, or global contexts 
  • Investigate complex educational problems by recognizing that all education is contextual in time and place and involves people with multiple and intersecting identities
  • Identify ways to address complex educational problems by drawing on qualitative and quantitative research to outline possible strategies and solutions

Our flexible curriculum will enable you to explore your professional interests and build a specialized and coherent program of study with your advisor that fits your professional goals in education. You'll have the opportunity to draw from the wide array of courses offered in Steinhardt and across the University, or focus on a specific area of interest.

Your course work will help you build a strong foundation in schools and schooling, teachers and teaching, and learners and learning by studying historical, sociological, economic, and political foundations of education in the United States and beyond. You will also develop the skills to analyze and address educational problems in broad contexts and learn to apply theories to real-world educational practices and settings.

Your master's degree will prepare you to pursue roles including:

  • Curriculum designer and developer
  • Assessment/educational standards designer and instructor 
  • After-school coordinator
  • Museum education evaluator
  • Non-teaching administrative employee in city, state and federal educational agencies, such as departments of education and school district offices
  • Educator or administrator in non-formal settings, such as science halls and community centers

This degree does not lead to teacher certification.