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The Master of Science in Secondary Education is an online degree program designed to provide new and veteran classroom teachers with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and vision of education in terms of theory, research and practice.

Program highlights:

  • The program is 33 credit hours
  • Graduates may be eligible to for the Class AA Mississippi Educator License. Check with the state department of education where you plan to teach for licensing requirements as they vary by state.
  • Areas of concentration for K-12 or 7-12th grade teachers include:
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • English/Language Arts
    • (K-12) Foreign Language
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • (K-12) Physical Education
    • Reading
    • Social Studies
    • Other (See Advisor)
Who should pursue this degree?

Teachers who want to enhance their teaching skills with advanced training and/or specialize in a certain subject area. If you do not already have a bachelor’s degree in education and are looking to make a career change, the Secondary Teacher Alternate Route program may be just right for you.

The Master of Science in Secondary Education requires 33 semester hours of graduate coursework beyond the bachelor's degree and successful completion of a comprehensive examination. The degree can be completed almost entirely online via distance learning from virtually anywhere in the United States. Students have the option of completing some coursework face-to-face on campus as well as via distance.

We are no longer able to place students in Georgia for an internship.

Program Structure

What kind of license will I receive?

Program graduates may be eligible to be recommended for the Class AA Mississippi Educator License.


What courses will I take?

Students completing the Master of Science in Secondary Education program will complete these courses:

  • EDF 8363 Functions and Methods of Research
  • EDS 8243 Advanced Planning and Managing
  • EDS 8613 Middle and Secondary School Curriculum
  • EDS 8653 Issues of Accountability
  • EDS 8663 Improving Instruction
  • EDS 8683 Dispositions and Reflection
  • RDG Elect. Any 3-hour RDG course
  • Education Electives 3-6 hours any EDE, EDS, EDX, RDG
  • Content Area Electives 6-9 hours

What subjects can I teach?

Degree program participants can select a K-12 or 7-12th grade concentration in one of the following areas:

  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • English/Language Arts
  • (K-12) Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • (K-12) Physical Education
  • Reading
  • Social Studies
  • Other (See Advisor)

Admissions Process

To apply for a Master's degree program in secondary education at MSU, you must first have a teaching license in your chosen area of study.

Domestic/International Classified Admissions

  1. Submit online application. You will choose Online Education as your campus.
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Three letters of recommendation
    • You will be asked to submit three names and three email addresses of individuals you are using as references. Once you click submit, these individuals will be sent an email from MSU, which will provide a link to an online form for completing their recommendations.
  4. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international students.
  5. Copy of teaching certificate or verification of eligibility for licensure
  6. One official transcript showing bachelor’s degree or progress toward degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
  7. One official transcript showing ALL work after bachelor’s degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
    • Electronic transcripts should be sent to: gradapps@grad.msstate.edu Mississippi State University, Graduate School. Only one copy of an electronic transcript is required.
    • Paper Transcripts Address (USPS):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      P.O. Box G
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
    • Physical Street Address (for DHL, Fed Ex, UPS, DHS, etc.):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      175 President Circle
      116 Allen Hall
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
  8. Payment of $60 non-refundable application processing fee for domestic students.
    Payment of $80 non-refundable application processing fee for international students.
  9. Once you are admitted, you will receive an email with complete instructions on registering for classes and contacting your advisor.

Required Courses

EDF 8363 Functions and Methods of Research
Three hours lecture. The function of research in the development and conduct of the educational program; research methods and techniques in education and the contributions of research to public education; rules and principles governing evidence and conclusions.


EDS 8243 Advanced Planning and Managing
Three hours lecture. An advanced study of variables contributing to efficiency and competency in planning for teacher-learner activities and the creation and maintenance of positive learning environments.


EDS 8613 Middle and Secondary School Curriculum
Three hours lecture. Principles of curriculum construction as they apply to the middle and secondary schools for the various subject areas.


EDS 8653 Issues of Accountability
(Prerequisite: EPY 3253 or EPY 6313 or permission of instructor)Three hours lecture. Study of critical educational issues in school-based accountability. Particular attention will be given to the impact accountability has on student learning in the classroom.


EDS 8663 Improving Instruction
Three hours lecture. Field based. An exploration of classroom-based inquiry, exploration, and action research as means of improving teaching and learning in secondary schools


EDS 8683 Dispositions and Reflection
(Prerequisite: EDS 8623 or permission of instructor) Three hours lecture. Study of teaching behavior and reflective practices as catalysts for instructional improvement.

Comprehensive Exam

The Master’s Written Comprehensive Examination is a graduation requirement and is taken during the last semester of enrollment in the degree program. The Comprehensive Exam requires you to synthesize and apply your learning from courses in the program of study. In general, you should use the readings and professional resources from your courses to prepare for the exam as well as to respond to exam prompts.

You are not expected to do extensive outside research and reading to prepare for the exam; however, you may want to engage in additional reading/research if there are areas on the study guide with which you are unfamiliar. The exam consists of four areas, administered in two sessions of equal time.

Each four-hour session includes two prompts, which should be answered using an extended essay format. The exam is offered once each semester. The CISE Graduate Handbook gives specific information about dates to register for and take the exam.


Contact Information

Photo of Anusha Rijal

Anusha Rijal

Online Education

  • Coordinator
Missy Hopper Headshot

Missy Hopper

Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education

  • Graduate Coordinator, Secondary Education