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Michigan State University Online MA in Education

written by: lwitkop•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 2/28/2010

An online master's program is a convenient option for teacher's in the field looking for professional development. Whether you're looking for courses to renew your certification or just to improve your abilities in the classroom, MSU's online classes could be a perfect fit.

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    With the Michigan State University Online MA in Education, you can take advantage of MSU's highly-rated College of Education, no matter where you live. With a wide array of classes that can be accessed around the world at any time, the program is ideal for convenient professional development for current teachers.

    Program Basics

    MA candidates must complete 30 credits within five years to receive their degree. The 30 credits consist of:

    • Nine credits in three core courses
    • One concentration of nine credits
    • One additional concentration or nine credits of courses approved by an advisor
    • One three-credit elective

    Available Concentrations

    Elective courses include such diverse topics as Educating Immigrant Students and Teaching and Learning K-12 Social Studies.

    Application Requirements

    Official Application

    Prospective students must fill out an MSU Application for Graduate Study.


    Prospective students should have at least a 3.0 GPA from their undergraduate work. Applicants must submit an official transcript.


    Applicants must submit a current resume.

    Test Scores

    Applicants are not required to take the Graduate Record Examination, but may submit GRE scores as additional documentation to prove their suitability for the program. Those outside the United States must submit test scores attesting to their English language proficiency, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

    Letters of Recommendation

    Three letters of recommendation should accompany the application. At least one of these must be from a professor or other professional who can speak to your academic potential.

    Professional Goals Statement

    The application must include a goals statement of no more than 750 words describing what the student hopes to gain from the program, thoughts on his or her chosen concentration, and how the student views him or herself as an online learner.


    Those wishing to enter the Michigan State University Online MA in Education program may submit up to two pieces of optional documentation to demonstrate their readiness for graduate study. This can include the previously mentioned GRE scores, a writing sample, or an example of previous work with technology.

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    Online Master of Arts in Education from Michigan State University Online ProgramsIn this part of the article, we take a look at what a successful online learner will look like in Michigan State's Online Masters of Arts in Education Program. You want to be assured that you are ready for an online learning environment at the university.
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    Transfer Credits

    As with most MA programs, the MSU Online Master of Arts in Education allows students to transfer a maximum of nine credits of prior work from an accredited institution. Teachers who received their certification through MSU's program may also apply nine credits from the internship year toward the master's degree. All transfer credits must be no more than five years old.

    Lifelong Education

    MSU's online MA courses are also available to Lifelong Education students, that is, students who are not formally enrolled in a degree program. This can be a good way to take advantage of a single class for professional development purposes or to earn a specific amount of credits toward certification.

    Is It Right for You?

    Applicants should be comfortable with computers, as all assignments will be submitted online and interaction through a variety of online interfaces, such as email, message boards and chat rooms, is an essential part of the program. Students must also have regular Internet access to be able to complete assignments in a timely manner.

    Students must also consider whether they would be comfortable in an online learning environment. Although many love the convenience of online classes, completing work without the motivation of a set class time can be difficult. In addition, some students thrive on the interaction of class discussions and wouldn't want to miss this aspect of face-to-face courses.

    Finally, prospective students should consider whether the available courses and concentrations will fit their needs. Some teachers may feel better served by earning an advanced subject-specific degree over a general Master's in Education. Not every discipline is represented in the concentrations, and teachers may seek a program that offers more courses in their area. However, those who are looking for a unique way to grow as a teacher owe it to themselves to at least consider the possibilities of Michigan State University's online program.