Online Master of Education

Become a Teacher That Makes an Even Greater Impact

The University of San Diego’s online Master of Education (MEd) degree program prepares students with the knowledge and skills they need to enhance their teaching — with an emphasis on 21st century skills, equity and social justice, classroom inquiry and a professional response to the Common Core Standards.

This 100% online Master of Education program is offered through USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences‘ partnership with the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. The University of San Diego Department of Learning and Teaching faculty has designed the online Master of Education program with several specialization options, so that you can hone in on your area of interest on your own time, by joining our online learning community.

The specializations offered through USD’s Master of Education degree program provide a strong researched-based curricular foundation with immediate practical classroom applications. Specializations include:

Who is the MEd Degree For?

The online Master of Education program is designed for experienced educators who seek to become designers of learning and enhance their skills.

The program is designed for practicing K-12 teachers with a minimum of two years of teaching experience from a wide variety of classroom settings, including public district, charter, independent or non-traditional schools. This diversity of backgrounds allows students to leverage knowledge, experience and real-world applications from their peers to enrich learning throughout the program.

Learning Outcomes

In addition to the graduate learning outcomes shared across all of USD’s Master-level programs, the curriculum is designed to achieve the following program learning outcomes:

  1. Students demonstrate specialized field knowledge as they integrate knowledge and technology across content areas and use differing perspectives to engage all learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
  2. Students apply theories of learning, instruction, and motivation relating to the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, physical, and moral development of all learners; evidenced by developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences implemented in an inclusive learning environment.
  3. Students incorporate assessment and technology in their planning and instructional strategies as a means of obtaining continual feedback used to improve student learning, classroom management strategies, and pedagogical approaches.
  4. Students utilize and generate meaningful research on pedagogical practices, student learning, and educational issues and policies to actively investigate and consider new ideas that will improve teaching and learning and advance the profession.
  5. Students explore effective approaches for creating inclusive learning environments that are welcoming and accepting of diverse learners and students with learning differences who, because of gender, language, cultural background, differing ability levels, disabilities, learning approaches, and/or socioeconomic status may have academic needs that require varied instructional strategies to ensure their learning.
  6. Students engage in critical reflection on how their own frames of reference and potential biases impact expectations for and relationships with learners and their families.

To learn more about the program’s goals and learning outcomes click here.

Degree Requirements

The online Masters of Education program consists of five foundation courses including a capstone action research project as well as five specialization courses, for a total of 10 courses equal to 30 credits. Full course descriptions can be viewed by clicking on your area of specialization below.

Core courses:

  • Social Justice and Educational Equity (EDUC 520)
  • Cognition and Learning (EDUC 521)
  • Educational Research Methodology (EDUC 522)
  • Qualitative Methods in Educational Research (EDUC 523)
  • Capstone Seminar (EDUC 550)

To view additional courses by specialization, click on your area of interest below:

Why Choose the University of San Diego

  • Top 40 nationally ranked university
  • Immersive and unique career-building education
  • 100% online = flexibility for working professionals
  • Complete the degree in 20 months


Frequently Asked Questions

Does the online Master of Education program include a preliminary licensure or does it lead to a teaching credential?
It does not. Our program requires that students have two years of teaching experience. As a result, most students already have a teaching credential or they work in roles that do not require a teaching credential.

Is the online Master of Education program open to students from outside the United States?
Yes! We have students and alumni from all over the world.

Is specific standardized testing like the GRE required for acceptance to the Master of Education program?
No, the GRE is not a requirement. The admissions committee takes a comprehensive look and approach when reviewing all applications.

Is it possible to be accepted into the program and work through the courses without being a teacher at the same time?
While you do not have to be a teacher simultaneously, you do have to have access to a classroom in order to apply what you’ve learned. Our program focuses on helping to provide skills that educators can apply immediately in their classrooms or places of work.

Are all online master's degree programs accredited by CATE?
No. However, USD is accredited by CATE (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation) and regionally accredited by WASC (the Western Association of Schools and Colleges). Regional accreditation is a very important consideration when deciding on a program because it is the most widely accepted in terms of transfer credit and eligibility for employer tuition assistance programs. It is typically awarded to degree-oriented, non-profit or state-owned institutions (as opposed to for-profit schools or religious schools that offer vocational or technical training).

Does the program provide a certification for special education teachers?
If you choose the Special Education and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) specialization, you will learn a wealth of knowledge that in most cases is more in-depth than special education certification programs.

Do you need to have a science or math background to be accepted into the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) specialization?
No. At USD we are committed to helping close the STEAM gap. When reviewing applications, we look for individuals who demonstrate a commitment or passion for the field.

Ready to Take the Next Step in Your Career?

Top 9 Reasons to Get Your Master of Education Degree
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Master of Education
Online Master of Education Graduate
Class of 2015
"I gained so much more within my teaching pedagogy. Through the STEAM concentration, everything I learned was readily applicable in my classroom. Also, USD's focus on social justice allowed me to take risks to teach beyond academics. I feel more confident as an educator. I fell in love with action research, and grew into a reflective practitioner."
Curtis Taylor , MEd in STEAM
Online Master of Education Graduate
Class of 2015
"Great teachers, great curriculum and the materials that they choose are really thought out. It's made me a better person."
Melissa Diaz Cisneros, MEd in STEAM
Online Master of Education Graduate
Class of 2015
"This program will give you the inspiration, the spark that you need to rekindle that fire of passion."
Jen Gagner, MEd in Curriculum and Instruction
Online Master of Education Graduate
Class of 2015
"It's been the best experience of my life."
Rudy Escobar, MEd in STEAM



Curriculum & Instruction

Literacy & Digital Learning

Inclusive Learning (UDL)

School Leadership