The Department of Education offers full-time programs for graduates who desire either a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), a Master of Arts in Education (MAEd), or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education. Additionally, the department offers a Graduate Certificate Program in Higher Education (GCPHE) for current Washington University doctoral students.
The teacher certification master's programs are ideal for recent graduates who have few if any formal courses in education.The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is for students seeking secondary teacher certification in a specific subject area; the Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) is for students seeking elementary teacher certification. Students interested in the elementary certification program may also consider the MAEd/MSW joint-degree program with the Brown School. The Teacher Education program principles include a commitment to an equitable and just education for all students; a knowledge of both the subject(s) to be taught and best practices in pedagogy; and the enactment of the role of teacher-as-inquirer.
In addition, through University College, the department offers part-time students the opportunity to earn teacher certification (elementary and secondary) through a non-degree post-baccalaureate program; it also offers those currently working in the classroom the opportunity to earn an MAEd through evening classes. For more information about part-time programs, visit the University College – Education page of this Bulletin.
Doctoral study in education is aimed at strengthening and deepening the student's analytical understanding of education in both research and practice. The PhD in Education focuses on two main concentrations of study: Social Context & Policy Studies and Applied Psychology of Learning & Motivation. Students working toward a PhD in Education are expected to acquire an understanding of education as a complex social, cultural, moral, and political activity. They will also engage with education as a field of study with rich literature bases and strong ties to disciplinary knowledge, classroom practice, and a variety of technologies. Our faculty bring special interests and expertise to the examination of educational interactions in such contexts as schools, families, and other cultural institutions. Students are expected to acquire theoretical and empirical expertise in an area of concentration even as they demonstrate their broader understanding of educational processes and problems. Finally, students are expected to acquire methodological competence in empirical inquiry and to pursue research questions that are of interest and import for the student individually as well as for a larger educational community. Graduates of the PhD program will be prepared to join the community of professional scholars and educators who contribute to our understanding of the complexity of education.
The Graduate Certificate Program in Higher Education (GCPHE) is designed to provide an overview of historical and contemporary issues in higher education for doctoral students who wish to gain a greater understanding of higher education research, policy, assessment, and/or administrative practices. Current Washington University doctoral students who are interested in pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education may begin taking courses pursuant to the Certificate upon entry into the University.
On this page:
The Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) program for students seeking elementary teacher certification requires 48 credit units of professional education courses, which includes 8 credit units of student teaching during the final semester. The courses are typically completed in three semesters and one summer course.
- The first fall semester consists of foundation courses in education, including educational psychology and teaching reading courses.
- Spring includes the curriculum and instruction block, which involves courses in the basic subject areas as well as a field seminar requiring 50 hours of classroom experience.
- Summer consists of a course in the education and psychology of exceptional children.
- The second fall semester, which is the final semester of the program, includes 12 weeks of student teaching as well as courses for reading and creating a teaching portfolio.
After students successfully complete the program and the state-mandated certification assessments, they are eligible for initial teacher certification in Missouri for elementary education grades 1 through 6.
The Master of Arts in Teaching program for students seeking secondary teacher certification requires at least 36 units of professional education courses, including (or in addition to) 12 graduate credit units in their teaching subject area during semesters when their schedules allow. The courses are typically completed in four semesters.
- The first fall semester includes professional education courses in adolescent development and a foundations of education course, along with appropriate courses in the content area.
- The second semester includes educational psychology courses, with 30 clock-hours of classroom experience and appropriate content area courses.
- The third semester includes a field experience seminar requiring 50 clock-hours of classroom experience, one or two curriculum and instruction course(s) for the content area, a reading intervention course, and a content area course, if necessary.
- The final (fourth) semester consists of 12 to 14 weeks of student teaching (8 credit units) as well as courses for reading in the content area and a teaching-learning process course.
After students successfully complete the program and the state-mandated certification assessments, they are eligible for initial teacher certification in Missouri for their selected subject area.
Students may be certified in the following content areas:
- For grades 9 through 12: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, English, Physics, Mathematics, Social Science (e.g., history, political science, psychology, anthropology)
- For grades K through 12: Art, Dance, Foreign Language (Latin, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish). Students must fulfill specific content area requirements through either undergraduate course work and/or the 12 credit units of subject area graduate courses required for the Master of Arts in Teaching program. It is strongly suggested that students apply for a subject in which they have completed (or will complete) a bachelor's degree (or earned the credits equivalent to an undergraduate major).
Our doctoral program focuses on two main concentrations of study: Social Context & Policy Studies and Applied Psychology of Learning & Motivation. Students work closely with their mentor(s) to develop expertise in their area of interest, and this research training is supplemented by required course work in methodology and the history of education. Additional course work may be undertaken as needed. Required and elective courses provide students with a broad understanding of scholarship and research in education. Many courses have fieldwork and research components, and they are designed to prepare students for meeting the qualifying examination requirements and for dissertation research and writing. By the third year, students should be completing their courses and submitting a qualifying portfolio of written work before entering the dissertation phase of the program. Students must have a dissertation proposal approved, generally by the fourth year, before they continue with the bulk of their research and writing for the dissertation. A dissertation is then completed and defended, usually between the fifth and seventh year of study. Integrating teaching and research with scholarly development involves the doctoral candidate in the central responsibilities of the professional educator. An advantage of a small department within Arts & Sciences is that students have multiple opportunities to work closely with many of the faculty in the department. In addition, the university offers a climate that supports interdisciplinary conversations across schools, departments and programs. As Department of Education faculty, we encourage students to pursue learning experiences and contacts with faculty in other programs. Students encounter a diversity of disciplinary perspectives within and outside of the Department of Education so that they may acquire a broad understanding of the field.
Doctoral students interested in pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education must take a total of either four courses (12 total credit units) or three courses (9 total credit units) and engage in a (3-credit-unit) Mentored Experience in Higher Education (MEHE) through the Department of Education. Students will complete only one course from each of the following course groupings until their 9- or 12-credit-unit requirement has been met: (1) Foundations of Education, Assessment, and Evaluation; (2) Diversity and Inclusion in Education; and (3) Critical Issues in Higher Education. Students may elect to take a further course in Critical Issues in Higher Education or to enroll in an MEHE. After the student consults with the practicum supervisor, the MEHE will be approved by the director of graduate studies in the Department of Education. Each student must also complete a 10- to 15-page capstone paper that reflects upon and synthesizes what they have learned through their course work related to higher education issues, policies, and practices and their MEHE, if applicable. For students involved in writing original dissertation work relevant to the work in the certificate program, a chapter of their dissertation may be substituted for the capstone paper. The capstone paper will be presented to and reviewed by a panel of faculty teaching in the program and higher-education practitioners before the awarding of the graduate certificate.