Master of Education
Description of Program
The MEd program is designed for students focused on developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for leadership roles within diverse fields of PK12, higher education, and adult learning environments. Students in this program will critically analyze a broad range of theories, current trends, practices, and knowledge specific to their discipline. Each specialization prepares graduate students for making informed, ethical decisions and improvements to current educational, organizational, and societal issues.
- Examine educational issues to make informed, ethical decisions and recommendations in diverse instructional and organizational settings.
- Apply professional skills, dispositions, and technology options for leading and educating diverse groups.
- Analyze current research, theories, and instructional practices in educational and organizational environments.
- Communicate with diverse audiences about educational theories, research, and practices.
- Investigate evidence-based solutions for addressing educational, organizational, and societal issues.
Basis for Admissions
In addition to general requirements for admission to the MEd program, applicants to the MEd program with specialization in PK-12 Principal Leadership must have:
- A prior GPA of 2.5 or better,
- A public school teaching license/certificate,
- A minimum of 3 years’ successful, full-time teaching experience, and
- Additional requirements as specified in the NCU PLCS Application form.
The Master of Education (MEd) requires 30 credit hours for degree completion (36 credit hours if enrolled in the PK-12 Principal Leadership specialization that prepares candidates to meet Arizona State certification requirements). Students who are considering any degree program are strongly encouraged to check specific state requirements carefully to be sure any degree program they consider will be accepted for purposes of certification or recertification, promotion, or advancement on school district salary schedules.
The MEd program includes 15 credit hours of foundational courses. The foundational courses are taken by all students regardless of their undergraduate degree to form and strengthen fundamental business skills. The next 12 credit hours in the program encapsulate a specialization aligned with a student’s career goals and interests. Specialization courses must be appropriate to the student’s degree program. Students end the program with a 3 credit-hour capstone course.
The MEd degree program has the following graduation requirements:
- A minimum of 18 credit hours (36 credit hours for the PK-12 Principal Leadership Specialization) of graduate instruction must be completed through NCU.
- Successful completion of any PK-12 core course signature assignments with a “B” or better. (Signature assignments in all PL specialization courses must also be completed with a “B” or better.)
- Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University. (The PL specialization does not permit transfer credit.)
- The PL certification specialization has additional degree requirements. Please see the PL Handbook for specific information.
The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the Master of Education for graduate course work completed at an external accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better. See the Transfer Credit Policy for additional information. (This does not apply to the specialization in PK-12 Principal Leadership, in which case all courses must be taken at NCU for certification purposes.)
Time to Completion
NCU allows 5 years to complete all 30 credit hour master’s programs.
Normal time to completion for this program is 40 months.
Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most NCU students are working adults balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic and finance advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.
The normal time disclosed above reflects the experience of students who may have entered under different program requirements. In the quest for continuous improvement, academic leadership has revised the program to optimize curriculum and pace, facilitate student learning, and improve chances for success. Therefore, the program is now designed for students enrolling today to take advantage of these revised course structures, lengths, and schedules. New students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for this program, and applying no transfer credits, can expect to finish in as little as 15 months.
Students who are unable to complete a degree program within the stated time limits are dismissed. If a student believes they have extenuating circumstances they may document the circumstances and send a request for consideration to their respective School Dean or designee. Exceptions to the policy are determined on a case-by-case basis and are granted only once.
Additional MEd Information
For the specialization in PK-12 Principal Leadership (PL), which prepares candidates for certification as Arizona PK-12 public school principals, the required courses must be taken in the following sequence:
Candidate Schedule Planning: If the course pair of PL -5035 and PL -5016 falls during a summer vacation when planning the program schedule, and summer school supervision/curriculum work is not possible, the course pair of PL -5035 and PL -5016 may be exchanged with the course pair of PL -5004 and PL -5013 in the course planning sequence.
PK-12 Principal Leadership Specialization
This specialization is designed to prepare candidates to be eligible for institutional recommendation for PK-12 principal certification in the State of Arizona. This preparation is intended for individuals interested in earning a graduate degree and in seeking an administrative certification to work as principals or assistant/associate principals in PK-12 (i.e. PK-2, K-3, K-6, K-8, 7-12) school settings or in other educational settings wherein a graduate degree and PK-12 administrative certification are required.
Specialization Courses - 15 Credit Hours
Candidates will take the courses below. If additional graduate courses beyond the 36 credits are needed to meet state-specific PK-12 principal certification requirements, they may be taken at NCU in addition to the 36 required credits, or transferred into the program with permission.
Additional specific information is available in the Principal Leadership Handbook.