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Master's in Education Online Emphasis Areas

Tailor Your MS in Education Online Experience


7 Emphasis Areas

2 Years

35–40 Credit Hours

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Choose a Custom MS in Education Online Degree

There is considerable demand for new professionals in the education field. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an average of more than 857,000 new positions will be available in this field every year from 2022–2032.1 Take the lead in this field with Southwest Minnesota State University’s online master’s in education degree program and gain the expert-level skills required to advance your career.

This master’s in education program allows you to customize your learning experience with seven career-focused areas of emphasis. Choose from teaching, learning, and leadership; technology for training and learning; K–12 reading, teaching English as a second language (ESL); sports leadership; English; or mathematics. Your emphasis area will enhance your level of expertise and marketability as an education professional with options for preparing for licensure in Minnesota.

Emphasis Area Details

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MS in Education Online Emphasis Areas

SMSU’s online master’s in education program includes areas of emphasis that focus on several in-demand areas of the field. Choose the emphasis that best aligns with your professional goals and gain the expertise you need for ongoing success in your career.

2 Years | 15 Credit Hours

Discover what it takes to be a leader inside and outside the classroom.

Course Highlights

  • ED 621: Critical Theory of Educational Systems
  • ED 626: Democracy, Diversity, and Leadership
  • ED 634: Educators as Change Agents

2 Years | 15 Credit Hours

Gain experience with the latest educational technology and learn to utilize new tech as a classroom teaching tool.

Course Highlights

  • ED 535: Media Production for Training and Learning
  • ED 582: Best Practices in Online Teaching
  • ED 584: Collaborative Technology in the Learning and Industry Environments

2 Years | 15 Credit Hours

Develop the expertise to teach literacy in diverse classrooms and prepare for licensure in Minnesota.

Course Highlights

  • ED 546: Advanced Developmental Reading Methods and Research
  • ED 547: Teaching of Literacy
  • ED 550: Reading Assessment and Evaluation

2 Years | 27 Credit Hours

Explore second language acquisition, learn innovative techniques for teaching ESL in diverse classrooms, and prepare for Minnesota licensure.

Course Highlights

  • ED 502: Early Literacy and Linguistics and Lab
  • TESL 532: Understanding Second Language Acquisition
  • TESL 534: Second Language Literacy and Linguistics

2 Years | 15 Credit Hours

Become an expert in academic sports leadership and customize your learning experience with a strand in either coaching and teaching, leadership and management, or sales and marketing.

Course Highlights

  • PE 578: Recreation and Sport Management
  • PE 588: Legal Aspects in Recreation and Sport
  • MBA 660: Legal and Ethical Environment of Management

2 Years | 18 Credit Hours

Explore effective methods for teaching English writing, literacy, and literature in K–12 classrooms.

Course Highlights

  • ENG 675: Rhetoric, Literacy, and the Teaching of Writing
  • ENG 680: Autoethnography and the Teaching of Writing
  • LIT 632: A Survey of American Literature in All Its Diversity

2 Years | 15 Credit Hours

Explore effective methods for teaching a variety of mathematics concepts in K–12 classrooms.

Course Highlights

  • MATH 510: Advanced Number Theory
  • MATH 515: Advanced Discrete Mathematics
  • MATH 550: Real Analysis

Master’s in Education Online Courses for Tomorrow’s Classroom Leaders

SMSU’s online master’s degree in education program includes 19 online courses for 35–40 credits. The total number of credits you’ll complete will vary based on the emphasis area you choose. After finishing the online master’s in education degree program, you’ll have the credentials to succeed as a leader in education with options to pursue licensure in Minnesota.

Curriculum Details

Career Outlook: Opportunities for Master’s in Education Graduates

Earning your master’s degree in education online with SMSU positions you to seek advanced roles and increase your earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals with master’s degrees earned an average of $11,908 more per year than those with only a bachelor’s degree in 2022. Additionally, professionals with master’s degrees benefitted from higher employment rates.2

Explore the career paths for SMSU’s master’s in education online graduates:

  • ESL teacher: $58,590 median annual salary1
  • High school teacher: $62,360 median annual salary1
  • Kindergarten and elementary school teacher: $61,620 median annual salary1
  • Middle school teacher: $61,810 median annual salary1
  • Physical education teacher: $50,973 average annual salary3
  • Technical education teacher: $61,450 median annual salary1


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Educational Instruction and Library Occupations, at (visited October 13, 2023).
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Outlook, Education Pays, at (visited October 13, 2023).
  3. Payscale, Average Physical Education Teacher Salary, at (visited October 13, 2023).