What is the Difference Between a Master’s in Education and a Master’s in Teaching?

masters in education vs masters in teaching

Although there are many honorable occupations you could choose, teaching may be one of the best. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that many teachers play a primary role in preparing their students to become well-informed citizens who make positive contributions to the world.

If you are planning on becoming a teacher, you may find that there are many programs you can enter. While this is certainly the case, you should think critically about the differences between the programs so that you can select the one that is right for you. Two programs which you may want to learn more about are the Masters in Education and the Masters in Teaching. Here are the basics regarding each program:

Master’s in Teaching

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With a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), your primary focus will be advancing your teaching career. Generally, individuals who want to work directly with their students in a hands-on setting pursue this degree. To prepare you to teach, the MAT places primacy on your completion of advanced level coursework within a specific subject. This helps to further develop your expertise. Additionally, the MAT program places emphasis on both pedagogical theory and the implementation of it. In short, the MAT program teaches you how to be an effective teacher by emphasizing important aspects of teaching such as stylistic approaches, methodology, and more. In many cases, MAT coursework will include assigning you to a classroom where you can work as a student teacher. This will give you the hands-on experience necessary to prepare you for the real world of teaching.

Master’s in Education

Although the Master’s in Education is similar to the Master’s in Teaching in that both place primacy on the educational sector, there are differences between the two. Namely, the Master’s in Education is designed to help the student move beyond the sphere of the classroom and in to the education system. Oftentimes, individuals who are already certified to teach will pursue an M.Ed and still teach. Once they attain the M.Ed, however, they will have a wider range of options within their chosen field.

Components of the Master’s In Education

Graduate-level courses can be categorized in terms of general and specialty. Some examples of general M.Ed programs would be Early Childhood Education, Middle School Education, and Secondary Education. The M.Ed also includes several different program specialties you can select from to further develop your educational expertise. The general focuses are curriculum and instruction, counselor education, and educational administration.

The curriculum and instruction component of the M.Ed places emphasis upon teaching and learning. This component is helpful for individuals who want to advance their career through the acquisition of knowledge about educational theory. The M.Ed of Curriculum and Instruction is based primarily on three things:

  • teaching
  • scholarship
  • public service

In addition to the curriculum and instruction component of the M.Ed program, you can pursue specialization in counselor education. This specialization is perfect for individuals who want to become the school’s guidance counselor. You might also opt for educational administration, which would prepare you to become a principal or high level administrator. The coursework for educational administration focuses on:

  • building and community issues
  • educational law
  • faculty leadership


Once you recognize the differences between the Master’s in Education and Master’s in Teaching, you will be able to determine which program is right for you. Each program offers specific benefits and prepares you to go into a unique sector of education, so be sure you examine all of your options before you make your final decision. In so doing, you’ll be sure to enjoy your career upon completing your degree.

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