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The Master of Arts in Education

Course Requirements for the Master's Degree: 30 units

Continuous enrollment is required. At the discretion of the academic program, a maximum of 30 percent of the units counted toward the degree requirements may be special session credit earned in non-matriculated status combined with all transfer coursework.  This applies to special session credit earned through Open University, or in courses offered for academic credit through the Center for Regional and Continuing Education.

Graduate 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 Master's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

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. Please see options below.

Master of Arts in Education Degree Options

The Curriculum and Instruction Option 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.

The Educational Leadership and Administration Option provides professional preparation for school leadership. This MA option includes the California Preliminary Administrative Services Credential and is a 36 unit program. Courses address communication skills, curriculum, supervision, management of funds and facilities, law, personnel, instructional leadership, and other administrative functions.

The General MA in Education provides specific advising pathways. See advisor for details.

Admission and Advancement in the MA in Education

To be admitted to the MA in Education, students must hold an acceptable baccalaureate from an accredited institution and have attained grade point averages of at least 2.5 overall, 2.75 in the last 60 units, and 3.0 in the last 30 units. Students must also pass the Initial Education Writing Assessment sent to them at the time of application for admission. Students meeting these requirements will be admitted to Classified Status.

Students who do not meet all requirements above may be admitted to Conditionally Classified status to address needs through additional preparation. Conditionally Classified students will complete 12 units of courses designated by the department's Graduate Coordinator with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and will satisfy any program specified criteria for admission to Classified Status.

Graduate students having Classified Status can apply for Advancement to Candidate status after successfully completing 15 units of program courses, including EDMA 610 (Introduction to Inquiry in Education), with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, the second writing proficiency assessment, and filing a master's degree program plan. Students submit an application for Advancement to Candidate status to their MA advisor/committee chair. Approval of the department's Graduate Coordinator is also required.

For additional information, see the Graduate Education section of this catalog and check with department offices in the School of Education.

Requirements for the Master's Degree:

Requirements for the Master's Degree in Education are established by the School of Education, the student's master's advisory committee, and the Office of Graduate Studies. They include:

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of a minimum of 30 units of 400/500/600-level courses as follows:

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

(b) At least 18 units required for the degree in 600-level courses.

(c) A maximum of 30 percent of the units counted toward the degree requirements may be Open University or other special session credit earned in non-matriculated status combined with all transfer coursework.

(d) Not more than a total of 10 units of Independent Study (EDMA 697) and Master's Project (EDMA 699P) or Master's Thesis (EDMA 699T) may be applied to the degree. The Master's Project (EDMA 699P) or Master's Thesis (EDMA 699T) may not be more than 6 units.

(e) Completion of required courses: an educational foundations course, EDMA 600 (3.0 units) and an educational research course, EDMA 610.

(f) Completion of a culminating activity, courses associated with that culminating activity, and approval by the MA advisor and the department graduate coordinator. The specific culminating activity is determined in consultation with assigned advisor and/or student's masters committee.

Thesis or project: students complete EDMA 611 and EDMA 699T or EDMA 699P.

Comprehensive examination: students complete EDMA 696 or EDMA 696P.

(g) Completion of courses prescribed for the option.

(h) 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. Recommendation for the degree by the department graduate coordinator and the Graduate Coordinators Committee 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.

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

Graduate Requirement in Writing Proficiency:

Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.

Students in the MA in Education program demonstrate writing proficiency through a combination of exercises beginning with the Initial Education Writing Assessment, submitted as part of the program application process, and continuing throughout the program. Specifically, with the application for Advancement to Candidate status, students submit a selected EDMA 610 writing assignment and a second writing assignment specified by program option faculty. These assignments are evaluated to determine graduate level writing proficiency.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study - 697, Comprehensive Examination - 696, Master's Project - 699P, and Master's Thesis - 699T) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (400/500-level courses), AB/No Credit (600-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 697, 696, 699P, 699T 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 minimum 3.0 grade point average in each of the following three categories: all course work taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master's program; all course work taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses on the approved master's degree program.

Graduate Advising Requirement:

Advising is recommended each semester for MA in Education students. Upon admission to the program, graduate students are assigned a faculty advisor. Graduate students are encouraged to meet with their assigned advisors as they begin their program and each semester thereafter. The School of Education Graduate Coordinator oversees the MA in Education faculty advisors. All forms and approvals requiring the signature of the graduate coordinator must be processed by the department housing the advising option.

Catalog Cycle:15