Master’s Programs in Educational Curriculum and Instruction
The Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) or Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree in elementary education and secondary education. The program of study at the master’s degree level is designed to increase the professional competency of the classroom teacher and to provide the coursework necessary to meet standards of teaching licensure at this advanced level. The master’s degree programs require admission to a particular program, completion and submission of the application form for a master’s degree at least one semester in advance of the date of graduation, successful completion of the comprehensive examination, and completion of all coursework requirements.
Admission to master’s programs offered in the content area of curriculum and instruction is selective. To be considered for regular admission to a master’s degree program, an applicant must have
- an academic record reflecting a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) for the last two years of undergraduate study;
- official results from a national standardized achievement/aptitude test predictive of the ability to complete a graduate program successfully. These include the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (all sections)or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT); or the Praxis II: Content Area Examination;
- three letters of recommendation sent to the department from professionals in the field of education who are qualified to assess the applicant’s readiness for graduate study;
- a letter of intent (describe reasons for pursuing a master’s degree); also serves as a writing sample;
- a professional resumé; and
- a copy of educator license.
The department reviews qualified applicants for graduate work throughout the academic year. Members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Admission to master’s programs is contingent on the approval of the Departmental Graduate Committee, department chair, the dean of the college, and the dean of the Graduate School. An applicant who fails to meet the criteria for regular admission may be considered for conditional admission on an individual basis. Students accepted on a conditional basis MUST obtain grades of B or better on the first nine (9) hours of specified coursework 500-level or higher or all coursework taken while completing this nine-hour requirement. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the department chair or the graduate coordinator when conditional status is to be removed.
Additional requirements may be specified based on the applicant's deficiencies.
All graduate programs require a 3.0 GPA or better for graduation. No course with a grade lower than "C" will count toward the degree.
Substitutions for required courses must be approved in advance and in writing by the graduate coordinator or the department chair. Transfer credit (see general master's degree requirements ) must have prior approval by the graduate coordinator or department chair. In addition to the above requirements, the individual must pass comprehensive examinations. Each student is allowed only two attempts to pass comprehensive examinations. Each student should register with the department’s graduate secretary for comprehensive examinations one semester prior to the examination. It is the responsibility of the student to keep abreast of the dates and times of the comprehensive exams. Comprehensive exams are administered over each semester: the fourth Friday of October, February, and June.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study form to the Graduate School by the end of the first semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
All faculty holding regular or associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy or training information.
A comprehensive exam is required for all master's students.
*Courses required for Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI), a graduate certificate program offered through The University of Southern Mississippi.
TMI is a pathway to teacher licensure outside the traditional, accredited programs. A bachelor's degree and acceptable PRAXIS I and II scores are required for admission to the TMI program. Candidates are required to take 9 hours (CIS 603 , REF 632 , CIS 700 ) offered during the summer semester intended to introduce the candidate to fundamentals of teaching. After completing the 9 hours, the candidate must secure a teaching position in a Mississippi school and register for a supervised internship (CIS 694 ).
Because the twelve (12) hours taken to complete the TMI program are embedded in the Master of Arts in Teacher degree plan, candidates must meet admission citeria for the MAT.