M.A. vs. M.Ed.

It is critical that applicants to the ECPS Program Areas indicate whether they wish to be considered for a M.A. (Master of Arts) or a M.Ed. (Master of Education) degree.

To help you decide on a graduate degree path, check out the brief description of the differences:

M.A. Degree

Mainly intended for students interested in conducting a research study or who wish, upon graduation, to assume a research position or to proceed to doctoral level studies. Accordingly, the M.A. program is designed specifically as a research degree, with students required to carry out and complete an independent research project (Master’s Thesis). Completion of a master’s thesis is viewed as a prerequisite for the pursuit of doctoral studies in most institutions.

Transfers between closely related master’s programs (M.A.Sc. to M.Sc., M.A. to M.Ed.) are permitted with an academic justification from the Graduate Program advisor or department head.

Transfers between master’s programs involving a change of discipline should be treated as new admissions.

M.Ed. Degree

Specifically designed as a practitioner’s degree, for students who wish to acquire the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to work in a professional field. As a professional degree, the M.Ed. is intended for students who wish, upon graduation, to assume positions of leadership in a practical setting or positions requiring more advanced study than that available at the bachelor’s level (e.g., as an instructional technologist or as a district resource teacher). The M.Ed. is not a research degree in the sense that the student is not required to carry out and defend an independent research project. However, the M.Ed. program is nevertheless research-based in that consideration of educationally relevant research constitutes a major focus of study and students are normally required to take a number of research-relevant courses (e.g., statistics courses). Some M.Ed. programs require students to complete a graduating seminar and portfolio (EPSE 590) as part of program requirements.