Teaching is a lucrative profession that will never go out of fashion in any generation. The rising student population creates the demand for more teachers year after year, and opportunities in the teaching profession will continue to rise steadily. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for teachers from kindergarten to high school will increase by 4% from 2019 to 2029. This projection is only for fresh, entry-level bachelor’s degree graduates. If you’re a graduate of a Master’s in Teaching program, you should expect better career opportunities!
The Master of Arts – Teaching and Master of Education are the two most popular master’s degree programs for teachers. There is also a third alternative to the MAT and MEd: the Master of Science in Teaching (MST) program.
More often than not, many resource guides imply that the MAT and MST are the same, while a few strive to point out certain distinctions between the two. Here’s our take on this: MAT is a degree program that leads students towards a career in pedagogy or teaching, while an MST program leads students to a career focused on research and administrative aspects of education.
But since the differences between the two programs aren’t defined even in colleges and universities, many students are confused and unsure which degree to choose. A lot of these institutions even suggest that these two programs are equivalent. It’s the reason why most schools don’t offer both degrees at the same time.
Even if you know what teaching career path you want to take, picking the ideal program can be confusing as both have many subjects in common. You need to take a curious and careful look at their respective coursework to ensure that you’re on the right track. However, you can do one sure thing if you choose a Master of Science in Teaching degree program: It carries the same weight as any other master’s degree for teachers, including advanced teaching strategies. Therefore, choosing a Master of Science in Teaching program would still be a wise choice. Additionally, an MST degree can qualify you for the same salary and career growth opportunities as holders of MAT and MEd degrees.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Master of Science in Teaching Degree?
A Master of Science in Teaching (MST) is an advanced academic degree designed for teachers who want to advance their careers in education and teaching. An MST program is available to bachelor’s degree graduates regardless of whether they seek a career change or educators seeking to advance their careers.
A master’s degree in teaching typically requires the completion of 30 to 40 credits of coursework and elective classes and additional supervised teaching fieldwork or a research thesis.
The Master of Arts and Master of Science in Teaching degree programs are typically intended for:
- Experienced secondary school teachers,
- Holders of a bachelor’s degree majoring in liberal arts or sciences who intend to teach in the secondary school,
- Recent college graduates who want to pursue a teaching career at the secondary level and to look to acquire a license or expertise in teaching
Courses in the Master of Science in Teaching program are focused on these areas:
- Academic Assessment
- Classroom Management
- Diversity in Learning
- Educational Leadership
- Human Development
- Literacy in Education
- Methods of Teaching
- Parents and Community Relations
- Technology in the Classroom
What are Some of the Most Common Master of Science in Teaching Concentrations?
Some schools offering Master of Science in Teaching programs specialize in Science, Mathematics, and related subjects. However, colleges and universities that offer an MST in place of an MAT program typically offer several areas of focus, including:
- Elementary Education
- Early Childhood Education
- Earth Science and Space Science
- Educational Research
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Language Arts Education
- Mathematics Education
- Middle School Education
- Science Education
- Secondary Education
- Special Education Instruction
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
- Technology in Education
What is an Online Master of Science in Teaching Degree Program?
An online Master of Science in Teaching degree program is a method of advanced education that doesn’t depend on face-to-face, on-campus classes to deliver its courses. It uses advanced communication and educational technology to conduct classes using computers connected to the internet. It enables students to attend live virtual discussions or watch videos that they can play anywhere and anytime they want.
Many schools offer distance learning services, but not all can provide quality and satisfactory learning experiences. Before you enroll in an online master of science in teaching program, be sure that the school can deliver these elements:
- Live virtual classes
- Learning management systems
- Interactive course content
- Technical support
- Mobile access
What’s the Difference Between Master of Science in Teaching and Master of Arts in Teaching?
It’s a good question, but the answer to it varies from one school to another. While several schools consider these two programs as equivalent, they aren’t truly the same. Generally, the difference between these degree programs can be seen when comparing the school’s academic requirements. These are some of the more apparent differences between them:
- Schools offering Master of Science in Teaching require students to do more technical work and submit a thesis, while schools offering Master of Arts in Teaching require students to complete fieldwork requirements.
- Some schools consider the MST a research degree, while others see the MAT as a program leading to a degree in practical teaching.
- Some schools offering MST require students to complete higher-level courses, while the ones that offer MAT require students to focus on courses related to education.
Distinguishing an MST from MAT can be a bit confusing. But the only way to get what you want from a school’s MST or MAT program is to read and understand their program guides.
Is Master of Science in Teaching the same as the Master of Science in Education?
The way schools name their degrees can sometimes be frustrating, but the answer to this question is “maybe.” Some schools that offer Master of Science in Education design their program towards a career in research or administrative jobs in education. As we have already stated, many Master of Science in Teaching programs have this same focus, making their MST program identical to some schools’ Master of Science in Education or Master of Education programs.
If you decide to pursue a master’s degree in teaching or education, never rely on a school’s naming conventions. Always take a close and careful look at each college or university’s program’s requirements and projected outcomes before applying for admission.
What can I do with a Master of Science in Teaching Degree?
While most MST programs are designed to prepare students to advance their teaching careers, not all MST programs are focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. An MST degree doesn’t necessarily make you a high-school math or science teacher, as there are career options you can take that don’t require you to become a licensed teacher. With an MST degree, you’ll qualify for several non-teaching positions, including:
- Academic advisor
- Corporate trainer
- Curriculum consultant
- Curriculum developer
- Education consultant
- Education policy analyst
- Talented program director
- Instructional designer
- Literacy specialist
- Museum educator
- Private tutor
- Standardized test developer
- Test prep specialist
- Textbook author
Will I Earn More with a Master of Science in Teaching Degree?
It is almost certain that you will earn more after completing an MST degree. Approximately 88% of big school districts in the U.S. automatically offer a salary increase, stipends, or bonuses to teachers with a master’s degree. Current teachers who are holders of a master’s degree earn 10 to 20% higher than teachers holding a bachelor’s degree.
BEST ONLINE MASTER’S OF SCIENCE IN TEACHING GRADUATE SCHOOLS
The list of colleges and universities with MST programs is relatively short, so the list of top Master of Science in Teaching programs is brief. Here’s a list of the four best online Master’s of Science in Teaching graduate schools in 2021:
Drexel University School of Education
: 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
: (215) 895-2000
Whether you want to work as a teacher in the state of Pennsylvania, or you want to pursue advanced knowledge to boost your career in the field of education, Drexel University’s master’s degree program in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum can equip you with the skills you need to succeed. This degree program is designed to prepare you for a career in K-12 teaching and other educational settings.
Drexler University’s Master of Science in Teaching program trains teachers to develop working instructional strategies and implement these accordingly.
Standout Features of Drexel University’s Online Master’s Degree in Teaching and Master’s Degree in Education
Drexel University’s online master’s degree programs provide students with identical curricula and outcomes as its on-campus programs. The same faculty also deliver online classes that the school uses in physical classrooms.
Drexel’s online programs are designed to equip you, the student, with more flexibility to allow you to obtain a master’s degree without disrupting your work. Take note, however, that even if all coursework is online, you still need to participate in field activities that must be completed on-site.
- To qualify for admission to Drexler University’s master’s degrees in teaching and education programs, you need to comply with the following requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
- An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0
- A completed online application
- Official transcripts from other colleges or universities you’ve previously attended
- Two letters of recommendation
- Your current resume
- A personal statement or essay
Drexel University was the first university to have a fully wireless campus. It is also the first to require students to use microcomputers.
Fordham University Graduate School of Education
: W. 60th Street, 45 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023
: (212) 636-6400
The online Master of Science in Teaching (MST) degree program offered at Fordham University Graduate School of Education is designed for aspiring educators to acquire initial teacher certification. It is intended to equip students with the knowledge, strategies, and skills to attain classroom success.
The university’s MST program encompasses five different specializations. You may choose one of these focus areas to align with the age and demographic of the students you desire to teach. The MST at Fordham University is established to equip aspiring teachers with skills to mentor kids from birth through the sixth grade. As a teacher, you will teach children social, emotional, and academic lessons based on different backgrounds.
The major areas of specialization of Fordham University’s Master of Science in Teaching degree program are:
1. Early Childhood Education Track
Also called the MST in early education, the Early childhood Education Track is designed to equip aspiring teachers with skills to teach children from birth to grade 2.
This program requires 36 credit hours and takes two years to complete.
2. Early Childhood Special Education Track
This is another Master of Science in Teaching specialization that aims to provide aspiring educators with skills to teach children from birth to grade 2 with special or general education.
This track aims to equip you with teaching theories and skills you will need to adjust to or resolve contemporary issues that may arise in your classroom. Additionally, this specialization teaches you to develop the ability to modify traditional teaching methods and acquire behavior management and social-emotional development skills.
This specialization requires 45 credit hours. It can also be completed in a little over two years.
3. Childhood Education Track
This MST specialization is designed for aspiring educators who teach children from grade one to grade six.
This track can provide you with coursework centered on child development, and it aims to equip you with instructional practices for elementary classrooms. You will also be required to undergo a field activity wherein you will be tasked to apply what you’ve learned – in your chosen community.
This specialization requires 36 credit hours and takes two years to complete.
4. Childhood Special Education Track
Fordham University’s MST in Childhood Special Education is designed to equip aspiring educators with the ability to teach grade one to grade six children with special needs or disabilities.
Students taking the childhood special education track are trained to create a classroom atmosphere suitable for children with special needs, where they can learn and develop.
This online program requires 45 credit hours, and it takes a little over two years to complete.
5. Childhood and Early Childhood Education Track
Fordham University’s MST in Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education is a dual-certificate program intended to prepare educators to teach children from birth to the sixth grade.
This specialization will make you adept at teaching children via rigorous coursework in these areas:
- Mastering the different stages of a Child’s Development
- Exploring Techniques to formulate solutions to problems that could arise in connection with the children’s development
- Learning effective ways to make children receptive and responsive to you as their teacher
This online MST track requires 45 credit hours and more than two years to complete.
If you desire to be a part of Fordham University’s Master of Science in Teaching degree programs, you need to comply with their requirements for admission. These are:
- A bachelor’s degree,
- An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (minimum),
- A completed online application,
- An application fee,
- Submit the following documents:
- Recent resume or curriculum vitae
- Personal statement
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- GRE score – the test should be taken at least one month before the application deadline.
Standout Features of Fordham University’s Master of Science in Teaching Degree Program
Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education strives to create an inclusive, dynamic, intellectual, and reflective community that generates knowledge and promotes excellence. They uphold the highest standards of education, cultural diversity, individual differences, and community relations. The university is committed to creating national and international educational communities and vows to serve these regardless of race, cultural background, religion, and ethnicity.
Approximately 91% of Fordham University’s graduates are employed in New York State schools. Upon evaluation in 2016, these graduates received either an effective or highly effective rating for their performance.
University of Illinois Chicago College of Education
: 1040 W. Harrison St., Chicago, IL 60607
: (312) 355-0575
The University of Illinois Chicago’s Master of Education program is designed for aspiring educators and researchers who want to impact Chicago’s communities. Their master’s and graduate students work with communities to discover new knowledge and make real, positive changes in the field.
The University of Chicago offers the following master’s degree programs in education:
- MEd Early Childhood Education
- MEd Educational Policy Studies
- MEd Educational Studies
- MEd Language, Literacies & Learning
- MEd MESA – Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics & Assessment
- MEd MESA Online – Online version of Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics & Assessment
- MEd Science Education
- MEd Special Education
- MEd Urban Higher Education
- MEd Youth Development
All of the University of Illinois Chicago’s master’s degree programs are offered part-time. However, only two of these are available online. These programs are:
- MEd Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics & Assessment Online – This award-winning master’s of education in measurement, evaluation, statistics, and assessment program is offered 100% online. It is designed to equip students with educational and social science research skills.
- MEd Special Education – The University of Illinois Chicago offers a Master of Education Special Education degree program in face-to-face, online or hybrid formats. It is intended for licensed teachers who aspire to add Moderate Special Education to their existing license. It aims to equip aspiring educators to identify and support the cognitive and psycho-social needs of students with mild learning disabilities.
There’s a shortage of special education teachers not only in Chicago but in the entire country. Forty-nine states in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, report shortages of special educators to the U.S. Department of Education.
To help compensate for this shortage, the University of Illinois Chicago accepts aspiring teachers even if they’re new to teaching and current teachers who want to pursue a career in special education.
Standout Features of University of Illinois Chicago’s Master of Education Degree Program
The University of Illinois Chicago’s Master of Education degree program is strengthened by its faculty’s talents and its strong commitment to student success. The university shows these through unceasing faculty support and flexibility of course schedules.
Committed to diversity, the University of Illinois Chicago is one of the country’s top five most diverse campuses. The university is also one of the top providers of access to underrepresented students among the country’s public colleges and universities.
University of Southern California Rossier School of Education
: 3470 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089
: (888) 628-1872
Master of Arts in Teaching (Online)
Master of Arts in Teaching – TESOL or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Online)
Master of Education in School Counseling (Online)
Master of Education – Enrollment Management and Policy (Online)
Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology (Online)
The University of California Rossier School of Education offers several master’s degree programs in teaching and education, but only the ones we’ve listed here are offered online. These are:
- Master of Arts in Teaching – It’s a degree program designed to equip aspiring educators to acquire a mastery of teaching skills for K-12.
- Master of Education – Learning Design and Technology – It’s a master’s degree program designed to help working professionals develop skills in designing, managing, and evaluating instructional programs.
- Master of Education – Enrollment Management and Policy – This master’s degree program is designed to develop your confidence and leadership skills in formulating enrollment planning and student retention strategies.
- Master of Education – School Counseling – This is a top-rank master’s degree program offered by USC Rossier School of Education. It is designed for students aspiring for a counselor’s position in a K-12 setting. It aims to accomplish two things: 1) unravel the challenges affecting modern schools, and 2) focus on a child’s well-being by supporting their academic and emotional needs.
- Master of Arts in Teaching – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages online (MAT–TESOL online) – This degree program is designed to equip you with knowledge and culturally acceptable ways to teach English to speakers of other languages.
If you wish to qualify for admission to one of USC Rossier School of Education’s master’s of education programs, here’s the list of requirements for your compliance:
- A completed online application,
- Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities you’ve previously attended,
- Your recent resume or curriculum vitae,
- An essay stating your personal, professional, and educational views and show your ability to organize and communicate your thoughts in writing,
- A statement that relates your interest in your chosen program and the reasons why you want to become a teacher,
- A 250-word essay that explains how your values align with USC Rossier’s mission,
- A 250-word optional essay in case you want to tell more about your personal/professional history,
- Official documentation of your compliance to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) basic skills requirement,
- Two letters of recommendation from your supervisor or former instructor to vouch for your potential to succeed in a master’s-level coursework,
- Payment of a $90 application fee or submission of an approved waiver request.
Standout Features of the University of California Rossier School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Education Degree Programs
The USC Rossier School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Education degree programs are intended to develop and sharpen your skills as an educator. It aims to equip you with the ability to make positive changes whether you’re in a classroom or business organization.
USC’s online Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Education degree programs have the same admission criteria and quality as their on-campus programs. All of these online degree programs are guaranteed to help you build a successful career in education and related fields.
About 91% of USC Rossier School of Education’s alumni declared that their USC Rossier education prepared them to be more effective in their careers.