Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Interactive State Certification Map | Admissions Requirements | UNE Academic Catalog

The online, 30-credit, Master of Science in Education (MSEd) program at UNE is designed to help students broaden their thinking in education through a range of educational and leadership topics that include diversity & inclusion, educational ethics, online learning, and literacy.

Educational systems have become complex reflections of society due to their facilitation of essential services ranging from social services to economic development. To meet the needs of ever-diversifying stakeholders, successful leaders must learn how to demonstrate ethics, morals, and inclusivity in their everyday work.

Students will complete the five core courses of the curriculum that urges them to critically investigate how American social structures affect the overall educational system. Students will then be able to personalize their degree by selecting their own five electives to complete the Master of Science in Education (MSEd) degree. This flexible offering allows students to tailor their course plan based on their specific career goals and educational interests.

Who Should Enroll in the Master of Science in Education (MSEd) Program

The Master of Science in Education (MSEd) program is designed for individuals interested in advancing their career, knowledge, or skill set in the education field. Individuals do NOT need to be currently employed in an educational setting to apply, however, do need access to a classroom setting in order to complete assignments. Our MSEd program is ideal for individuals in a variety of scenarios, including:

  1. Current or aspiring educators looking to advance their career, knowledge, and skills in education.
  2. Professionals working within all K-12 educational organizations.
  3. Career Changers who have an interest in working in a K-12 educational setting in the future.

    *It is important to note that this degree does not lead to an initial teacher certification.

Program Highlights

  • 30-credit hour program
  • Complete your degree in just under two years
  • 100% online – no campus visits required
  • Customizable pathways based on educational goals & interests
  • No GRE Required
  • Dynamic faculty of practitioners, researchers, and educators
  • Regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE)

If you have specific questions regarding your goals for earning your Master of Science in Education (MSEd), please contact our enrollment team at or 800-994-2804. You can also check your state’s Department of Education certification requirements with our interactive map.

Master of Science in Education Curriculum

Note: Please review the UNE Academic Catalog for the full and most up-to-date course descriptions and program information.

Core Courses

This course explores the theories of differentiated instruction and its relationship to neuroscience. Within the course, educators analyze differentiation theories and incorporate differentiation strategies into the design of units and lessons in their own educational settings. Collegial reflection regarding the use of these differentiation strategies as well as reflecting on how differentiation is used to meet the needs of diverse learners will be a major component of the course.

Educational systems have evolved into complex reflections of society, providing a system of essential services. These systems partner with other community functions in areas from economic development to social supports. Successful leaders within these systems must demonstrate ethical and moral leadership to meet the complex needs that ever-diversifying stakeholders require.

This course will explore the importance of ethics in educational leadership. Participants will explore leadership frameworks that focus on personal values, beliefs, ethics, and leadership styles. They will apply such frameworks by forming personalized courses of action. Participants will also be challenged to collaborate with peers when applying ethical decision-making strategies to educational scenarios.

This course centers on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Participants will create a framework for diversity and inclusion through engagement with the literature and theories on social identity in the historic context of America. We will examine how individual differences, institutional systems, and social assumptions contribute to or inhibit cultural pluralism. Major emphasis will be placed on building skills in critical analyses of social structures, interrogating our personal and professional praxis, and expanding our knowledge base to promote social justice.

In this course, educators will explore action research within their own work setting. Educators will formulate a problem statement, conduct a literature review, design a study, identify which data to collect, conduct the study, analyze data, report the results of the analysis, and develop an action plan. The resulting product will be a professional quality action research report. Through a systematic and collaborative process, participants will utilize action research to reflect, analyze and enhance their professional practice. Educators will also develop technical writing skills which are important for professional communication, grant-writing, and administrative reporting tasks.

This course develops reflective practices that assist participants in exploring both professional and personal growth that has occurred throughout the University of New England’s MSEd program. Participants will utilize organizational tools to create a digital portfolio that reflects self-directed learning within their program experiences.

Note: This curriculum applies to all students who enroll starting in Summer 2021. Students who enrolled in previous semesters are required to take EDU 600 and 615. The descriptions for these two courses can be found here.



Students will select five electives. Below you will find the list of courses:

Course Descriptions

Educational Leadership

This course enhances classroom-based experiences by linking them with professional research skills. Educators in this course will learn to locate and critically review a wide range of professional resources, articulate knowledge from a research-based framework, and collaborate with their peers on navigating school cultures.This course highlights the roles and responsibilities of leaders in a school setting.

This course provides the overarching context for the educational leadership focus area. Educators consider theories and practices relating to effective and ethical leadership in educational settings. Topics include diagnosing the work environment, decision-making, problem-solving, strategic planning, and human resource development. Students will reflect on their own leadership, observe and analyze other leaders, and explore how the theories and practices that relate to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (formerly ISLLC).

This course provides a foundation of the legal underpinnings of the American education system and explores how legal decisions have had an effect on an educational system that covers lifelong learning. Specific legal principles relating to church/state issues, tort liability, teacher responsibilities, student rights and administrative concerns such as contracts and collective bargaining are examined. Participants will analyze case studies to apply their understanding and create a compendium of the laws unique to the states in which they work.

Regardless of how beneficial a desired change may seem, new initiatives are often difficult to implement. Each educational setting has its own culture, and innovations and changes that are incompatible with the prevailing climate may elicit resistance and hostility. The course examines change theory; studies case histories of successful and not so successful change efforts; and reviews change strategies to equip students with skills for introducing effective reforms.

Supervision and evaluation strategies need to support teachers’ growth into strong, competent professionals. This course examines requirements of educational leaders engaged in supervising and evaluating educational personnel, and explores new directions and procedures currently under development. Emphasis is given to understanding the theory behind the practice, strengths and weaknesses of varying methods, and hands-on applications. Drawing on knowledge of developmental stages and multiple styles of learning and teaching, participants consider such practices as peer evaluations, self-evaluations, portfolios, and mentoring.

School leaders must also be “lead teachers.” Participants will explore current models for curriculum design to ensure that instructional materials meet appropriate mandates for content and learning goals, and which also address students’ diverse needs, abilities, and experiences. Learning theories and styles are included, as are topics relating to curriculum theory and assessment.

The course traces the historical background and development of school finance acts and examines the intent, concepts, and relationship inherent in these acts. Processes by which state subsidies are computed, allocated and distributed are considered. Budget and expenditure practices in relation to these acts are illustrated. Emphasis is placed on helping students develop a clear conceptual understanding of the overall methods by which state aid is provided to local school systems. Readings, research, and other assignments are designed to acquaint students with school finance practices in their respective states.

This course will include an overview of organizational theories and systems; the inclusion of organizational theory in the educational change process; the functions, objectives, development, and assessment of strategic plans; and the relationship between strategic planning and budget development.

Special Education

Laws, regulations, and judicial decisions relating to the education of students with special needs are discussed. Methods of conflict resolution, mediation, and ethical standards are examined. Students will be required to apply what they learn as they analyze real-life case scenarios.

This course introduces students to the use of technology in the education of individuals with special needs. Methods and techniques for evaluation and determination of appropriate uses of technology are included. A range of assistive technologies are covered as well as teaching strategies that support the implementation of technologies. Using technology in universally-designed educational environments is examined. Participants will be expected to have access to and use selected teaching and learning technologies with students with disabilities.

This course focuses on assessment approaches for identifying students with disabilities and assessing progress toward learning goals and standards. Participants examine formal assessment tools and procedures used in the diagnosis of disabilities and identification of the instructional and behavioral needs of students. Participants will explore a range of student strengths and exceptionalities as they determine best educational practices to meet the needs of all learners in the least restrictive setting.

This course focuses on methods and strategies for teaching students with special needs. Current issues of concern, learning standards, promising practices, behavioral strategies, and methods for individualizing, differentiating, creating, and providing universally designed instruction are covered. Participants will be expected to conduct observations in schools and plan and implement instructional activities with students with disabilities. Participants can pursue an elementary or secondary strand.

*EDU 723 meets the “Teaching Exceptional Students in the Regular Classroom” requirement for the State of Maine.

This course will help participants identify and prioritize essential behavioral skills in their work with students. They will explore how to model, teach, and nurture behavioral skills and analyze differentiation strategies at Tier 1 of a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support model and prepare for intervention and monitoring at Tier 2 and 3. The course will engage participants in addressing factors that influence a school’s response to behavioral considerations such as available resources, parent collaboration, and school and community culture. This is a new course in development in 2019 and this description is subject to change.

This course will focus on the use of data to create inclusive environments for all students. Participants in this course will apply the components of the Continuous School Improvement Framework (Plan-Implement- Evaluate-Improve). Participants will use data readily available in their classroom, school, or district. Several protocols for analysis will be used. Themes will include using data to support a shared vision and using data to examine school core values.

This course will deepen participants’ understanding of the factors that affect a learner’s ability to access their education. Participants will explore the current research in neuroscience and its connection to social and emotional learning. Participants will review and understand practical strategies to address the social and emotional learning needs of all learners and develop a social and emotional learning plan including the development of self-regulation skills in all learners. This is a new course in development in 2019 and this description is subject to change.

This course explores Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as foundational inclusive practice. It addresses the elements of effective design for learning variability across educational settings including those found in K-12, higher education, and corporate environments. Participants will practice designing meaningful learning experiences that meet the needs of every learner.


This course will address the foundational knowledge that teachers of literacy need in order to understand the reading and writing process for students. In this course, teachers will be exposed to major theories, research, and best practices in the literacy field. Teachers will be asked to draw upon this theoretical and practical knowledge to think about issues of instructional practice. Through engaging inquiry experiences, teachers will become active participants in developing a strong foundational base for literacy instruction for all learners in their classrooms.

This course focuses on the use of assessments in determining a student’s reading and/or writing skills. Teachers will examine, create, evaluate, and reflect on a variety of literacy assessments as they are directly connected to data-driven instruction and student literacy achievement. Each course module will engage teachers in becoming familiar with a range of assessments and how to use data from these assessments in developing lessons and activities that will allow students to learn subject content as well as develop and deepen literacy skills. Teachers will be engaged in the research around assessments as well as how to modify assessments and instruction based on assessments to meet the needs of diverse learners.

This course focuses on research-based study skills and strategies for providing literacy instruction within the classroom content area. Educators will learn to integrate literacy and study skills instruction in their classrooms while designing reading assignments that afford students access to the concepts in the text. Concepts and strategies presented are relevant to the needs of ESL students.

The reading-writing connection will be the focus of the course. Educators will have the opportunity to explore this connection through the examination and application of successful instructional strategies and activities. Educators, regardless of the level or content they teach, will be provided with tools that will help to maintain learners’ literacy development as they read and write to learn or learn to read and write.

This course will address how to engage in differentiated literacy practices to meet the needs of diverse learners. Educators will be immersed in the foundational knowledge that will aid them in creating effective instruction that will assist students who need support in their literacy development. The readings and coursework will explore how to approach literacy challenges from the classroom and school levels in a systematic way as well as incorporating a culturally responsive approach to pedagogy.

This course will focus on the leadership skills that the professional will need as a Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach. Specifically, this course will explore the coaching relationship and how to work collaboratively to plan, implement, and supervise literacy programs at the individual, classroom, school, and district-wide level. Focus will also be on facilitating a literate environment, working with literacy in a diverse society, and developing leadership skills. This course will also fulfill the requirements that many states have for course work in Administration and Supervision of Language Arts Programs.

This course goes into more depth specifically about meeting the needs of students whose native language is not English. Topics will include emergent literacy, individual student differences and similarities, first and second language acquisition and development, emergent and experienced reading and writing development, multiple test sources, text analysis, process writing, assessment techniques, portfolio assessment, classroom organization and management, whole language classrooms, language arts materials, and effective instructional strategies. This course will help to prepare future Reading Specialists to work with this growing population and support teachers who have students from different linguistic backgrounds.

This course is designed to straddle the disciplines of regular and special education. Students will explore the implementation of multi-tier approaches to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs and ways to differentiate instruction. The course attends to the collaboration that takes places between regular and special education teachers when assessing and planning instruction for all students in an inclusive setting.


Interprofessional Electives

Master of Science in Education students also have the option to take electives from our other online graduate programs. A full list of these interprofessional courses can be found here:

Shared Interprofessional Course List


New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) logo

Accreditation is a review of the quality of educational institutions and programs. In the United States, accreditation is a major way that the public knows that an institution or program provides a high-quality education. The University of New England is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Learn more »


Master of Science in Education Learning Outcomes

Students will learn to:

  • Apply leadership frameworks that focus on personal values, beliefs, ethics, and leadership styles.
  • Address the full range of motivation and differentiation issues encountered in today’s educational systems.
  • Promote social justice using principles of diversity and inclusion.
  • Analyze and conduct research relevant to their teaching or administrative interests.
  • Document professional development in the program via an electronic portfolio of coursework.
  • Develop online collaborative relationships with peers.

Suggested next steps:

  1. Admissions requirements – Master of Science in Education
  2. Commonly asked questions for the online master’s program
  3. Interactive U.S. map of certification requirements
  4. Review our other MSEd degree options



If you have any questions about the graduate programs in Education coursework or the program requirements, please speak to one of our enrollment counselors at the email or phone number below.