Degrees & Programs

Secondary Education

Help students get on track for academic and professional success. Students enter middle school with the foundations in place to take on more intensive studies in math, science, social sciences, writing, languages, and the arts. At the same time, their minds and bodies are changing rapidly, affecting the ways they absorb, process, and retain information.

We can prepare you for a position as a professional classroom teacher, supervising teacher, or department chairperson in middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools.

Overview

We can help you develop the knowledge and skills to effectively teach adolescents and early adolescents during this critical period in their emotional, intellectual, and biological development. The IU School of Education is ranked #12 in Secondary Teacher Education by U.S. News & World Report.

Our faculty are leading researchers in issues related to secondary education, including adolescent psychology and human development. We also place a strong emphasis on developing expert subject level knowledge and practical classroom experience.

We encourage all secondary education students to consider joining our Community of Teachers seminar. This community of undergraduate and graduate education students explores common issues in a seminar setting. As a participant, you'll also work with an experienced mentor teacher for additional field experiences.

Degrees

The School of Education offers the following degrees in secondary education:

M.S.Ed. in Secondary Education (General Track)

Practicing middle school and high school teachers can build their skills and knowledge to take on supervisory and leadership roles. If you are transitioning to teaching from another field, you can earn certification through the General Education track of the M.S. in Secondary Education. You may also pursue this degree if you have recently completed your bachelor’s degree.

This 36-credit hour program focuses on curriculum studies, adolescent development and psychology, and the theoretical foundations of education practice. It includes a practicum option depending on your future education and career focus. You may pursue the master’s degree after completing the graduate certification requirements and apply those graduate course credits to the master’s program. The program is offered on the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses.

Degree Requirements

Course descriptions and complete degree requirements can be found in the IU School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

General Curriculum (3 cr.)

  • J500 Instruction in the Context of Curriculum

Specialized Studies (15 cr.)

Select course from inside or outside of the School of Education. Courses should have a unified focus and the approval of your advisor.

Foundational Areas & Inquiry Skills (3 cr. minimum)

Select at least one of the following courses:

  • P510 Psychology in Teaching
  • P516 Adolescent Development
  • P540 Learning and Cognition in Education
  • H504 History of American Education
  • H510 Foundations of Educational Inquiry
  • H520 Education and Social Issues
  • H525 Anthropology of Education
  • H530 Philosophy of Education
  • H538 Critical Thinking and Education
  • H540 Sociology of Education

Electives (9 cr.)

Select courses that complement your program from inside or outside the School of Education with the approval of your advisor.

Thesis or Practicum Option (6 cr.)

Practicum proposals and thesis topics must be selected with the approval of your advisor. Practica must extend over at least two semesters or one semester and a regular summer session. Six hours of course work may be taken instead of the practicum option with the approval of your advisor.

Ed.S. in Secondary Education

The Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) is an advanced graduate program that enables students to develop an educational specialization with emphasis on practice. If you’ve earned a master’s degree and want to continue your studies, the 65-credit hour Specialist in Secondary Education prepares you for roles as a supervisory instructor, departmental chairperson, or administrator.

You’ll study theory, curriculum development, and work to apply research findings to real-world classroom practices. This flexible program enables you to focus on a specific content area, such as mathematics, science, art, social studies, special education or curriculum development, instruction, or other topics in secondary education.

Degree Requirements

Course descriptions and complete degree requirements can be found in the IU School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

Major (24 cr.)

This is the area of specialization. Eighteen of these credit hours must be taken at the Bloomington or Indianapolis campus. Each program area office has a document that specifies courses to be taken in this category.

Minor (9 cr.)

The minor area should complement the major, and should consist of courses that in combination form a cohesive entity. The minor courses must be outside of the major area of study and may be from inside or outside the School of Education. The minor committee member must approve the selection of courses in this category.

Research/Inquiry (3 cr.)

See a list of approved inquiry courses »

Substantive Core Perspective (9 cr.)

The substantive core perspective is intended to add breadth to programs and to insure exposure to educational foundations. The following are examples of appropriate areas of study within the substantive core perspective: history, philosophy, and sociology of education; anthropological, economic, and political perspectives of education; curriculum theory.

A list of approved courses is available in the Education Graduate Studies Office in Bloomington. Six credit hours of the substantive core perspective must be in areas outside the major.

Electives (20 cr.)

Elective courses must be approved by the advisory committee. They must be relevant to the program. A total of 21 credit hours in each Ed.S. program must be taken outside the major area.

Capstone Project or Comprehensive Examination

A substantial project or a comprehensive examination constitutes the culmination of the Ed.S. program. A project normally requires a written manuscript describing the project. Projects vary from program to program.

Practical Experience

Ed.S. students must have demonstrated successful practical experience in order to be eligible for graduation. This experience may be in the form of work experience prior to or during the program of studies, or it may be accomplished through practicum and internship courses taken during the program.

Final Meeting

A final meeting of the advisory committee is required, wherein the student's entire program, including the project manuscript or comprehensive examination results, are reviewed. If the committee is satisfied that all program requirements have been successfully completed, the student is recommended for graduation.

Ed.D. in Curriculum Studies (Secondary Education Track)

If you’re an educator who has already completed your master’s degree, the 60-credit hour Ed.D. in Curriculum Studies prepares you to move into leadership roles in K-12 schools. You’ll participate in independent research under the mentorship of a faculty advisor to develop new approaches to classroom management, curriculum development, and other issues. You’ll also explore cultural studies, issues in school reform, and evaluation of educational programs. This program is available on the Bloomington campus only.

Degree Requirements

Course descriptions and complete degree requirements can be found in the IU School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

At the completion of your course work and before you begin your dissertation, you will need to pass a qualifying exam, in the form of portfolio of work and an oral examination.

Inquiry Core (9 cr.)

The inquiry core includes a survey course in research methodologies and beginning courses in statistics, measurement, program evaluation, or in ethnographic, qualitative, quantitative, and historical research methods. See a complete list of approved inquiry core courses from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Major (27 cr.)

At least three (3) credit hours must be in an inquiry linkage course. (No early inquiry experience course is required.)

Minor (9 cr.)

  • At least nine (9) credit hours of course work will be taken in an area of study outside of science and science education. The minor must complement the major. The committee member representing the minor field must approve the selection of courses in the minor area.
  • An interdepartmental/interdisciplinary minor is also possible. In this case, the student must submit a written description of the theme of the minor, an explanation of the contribution of each course to that theme, and a rationale for the selection of the minor representative.

Dissertation (9 cr.)

The focus of the dissertation is on data collection and analysis for the purpose of answering practical questions in the field. Course work will include:

  • At least three (3) credit hours of J795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation
  • At least six (6) credit hours of J799 Doctoral Thesis in Curriculum and Instruction
Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies (Secondary Education Track)

This 90-credit hour degree prepares you for a career as a university educator and researcher. You’ll develop a deep understanding of how to construct both quantitative and qualitative research studies, with a focus on statistical techniques, field research, and cultural anthropology. You’ll also study the history and philosophy of education theory and explore teacher effectiveness. This program is available on the Bloomington campus only.

Download the Curriculum Studies doctoral handbook »

Degree Requirements

Course descriptions and complete degree requirements can be found in the IU School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

Inquiry Core (9-15 cr.)

See a list of approved inquiry courses.

The inquiry core includes a survey course in research methodologies (e.g., Y520) and beginning courses in statistics, measurement, program evaluation, or in ethnographic, qualitative, quantitative, and historical research methods. Inquiry core courses are to lay a rudimentary methodological foundation for applied inquiry courses in the major, and for dissertation research.

Major (36 cr. minimum)

There is substantial flexibility in the major. Courses from related areas of study may be included in the major component if their relevance to the major can be demonstrated and if committee approval can be secured.

In addition to the inquiry core course work, six (6) credit hours of inquiry course work are required in the major. One of these inquiry courses must be an early inquiry experience, during which a student carries out an actual research project, including the collection and analysis of data to answer a research question, and the writing of a research manuscript. This research is to be prior to the dissertation and not a direct part of the dissertation research. The early inquiry experience may be implemented through an independent study course (e.g., a 590 course), through a master's thesis (a 599 course), or through a departmental research seminar. Each student must carry out an independent research project. The research manuscript that results from this study must be read and approved by the student's advisory committee.

The second of the two major area inquiry courses is an inquiry linkage course. This is a course in which research relevant to the major field of specialization is studied. Such study, however, focuses more on the research design and methodology of research in the major area than on the findings of the research. Analyzing and critiquing the research methodology are of primary importance in this experience. Each department has a research seminar or a specialized research methodology course for this purpose. The inquiry core courses normally should be completed prior to taking inquiry courses in the major.

Minor (12 cr. minimum)

The minor must complement the major. The committee member representing the minor field must approve the selection of courses in the minor area. An interdepartmental (interdisciplinary) minor is also possible. In this case the student must submit a written description of the theme of the minor, an explanation of the contribution of each course to that theme, and a rationale for the selection of the minor representative.

Electives or Second Minor (6–18 cr)

The electives category is designated to allow students freedom in course selection. This is also the place to put foundations courses. Each program area has specified courses in foundations, substantive core perspective, or other areas outside the major and minor, which are required for breadth. Courses that may fall into this category are those needed to meet the doctoral program requirement for 27 credit hours outside of the major program area. (This ordinarily includes the 12 credit hours of minor course work, and the 9 or more credit hours of inquiry core courses.)

Dissertation (15 cr. minimum)

  • C795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation* (3 cr.)
  • C799 Doctoral Thesis (12 cr. minimum)
Faculty

Our faculty includes leading authors and researchers in the field of secondary education. Their research interests include curriculum theory and practice, teacher-student relations, ethics and religion, how secondary students understand history, and how that understanding affects their ability to become active participants in a democratic society.

Careers

Career options for secondary education students run the gamut from teaching in middle and high schools to teaching education at the university level. If you’re new to teaching, our education careers advisors can help you with your job search. If you’re looking for a higher education position, the sites below offer a good idea of the opportunities available to you:

Contact

For further information about the M.S.Ed. in Secondary Education (General Track), please contact:

Dr. David J. Flinders, Coordinator
W.W. Wright Education Building, Rm. 3131
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1006
Phone: (812) 856-8189
Email: dflinder@indiana.edu