A Master of Science in Teaching (MST) degree is specially designed for prospective teachers seeking initial teacher certification, or current teachers looking advance themselves within the classroom with a masters in teaching. An M.S.T is open to graduates who have no prior learning in the education field and seek a career change, or are currently educators and seek a master's degree in teaching.
MST programs focus on blending learning theory with hands-on, field-based teaching experiences. Prominent themes can include:
Advancements in educational technology built online programs to be better suited than ever for 21st-century learning. Basic computer hardware features provide the ability to quickly and easily watch video, as well as “Web 2.0” structures that allow for discussions and exams – these are all basic technologies that most people have access to, and the best online master’s degree programs put these technologies to good use.
MST degree candidates can earn specialized certification in teaching artcourses for all ages, and may require extension coursework for special education certification. 30 college credits in the arts is an expected pre-requisite.
Art Education for Students with Disabilities (K-12)
Physical Science Education (6-12)
MST degree candidates can earn specialized certification in teaching science courses for adolescent students, and may require extension coursework for special education certification. 30 college credits in the science field of choice is an expected pre-requisite.
A TESOL masters of science in teaching offers prospective teachers an opportunity to specialize in teaching english to non-native speakers and may require extension coursework in advanced ESL education techniques and methodologies.
While a Master of Arts in Teaching is a more popular degree choice, a Master of Science in Teaching paves the way for newcomers to the education field, providing the coursework to earn a teacher certification while developing a prospective teacher’s knowledge of educational philosophies and pedagogy skills. An M.S in Teaching can be age group specific and/or subject specialized.
An MA in Teaching is a degree designed for both current and prospective K–12 teachers who are looking to either obtain their initial teaching license or who are looking for additional certification as a means of career advancement inside the classroom. Read more about earning an MAT degree here.
The curriculum of an online MST is nearly identical to that of a traditional MST program pursued on campus. MST coursework focuses on grade level and subject area, including multiple subject certification for elementary education degrees and/or subject-specific certification (like the concentration areas listed above).
Fieldwork is especially critical to the curriculum, acting as a major focal point for learning outside the classroom.
Requirements for an Online MST
As mentioned above, while working educators can pursue their Master of Science in Teaching degree, the program itself is designed to accommodate students who do not have any previous teaching experience. Therefore, both online and traditional MST programs do not require students to have completed prerequisite courses in education. Minimum admissions standards typically only include a bachelor’s degree or greater from an accredited institution of higher education.
Examination requirements include either the GRE or Millers Analogy Test (MAT).
MST certification typically requires 30-36 credits until completion, with an option of taking additional credits to earn dual certification.
Online or Traditional: Which Program is Right for You?
Online MST vs. Traditional MST Coursework
A key difference between traditional and online MST degree programs is the coursework experience and concentration options. Depending on the program you enroll in, your experience will vary, but the best programs shouldn’t differ drastically in terms of their coursework.
Much like the distinction between in-class assignments and homework in a traditional on-campus program, online programs have synchronous and asynchronous elements.
Synchronous elements require real-time interaction through tools like text chat, voice chat and video conferencing.
Asynchronous elements can be addressed at your leisure, like reading documents, viewing presentations, listening to audio files or watching videos.
E-mails, discussion boards, social networks, collaborative documents and e-portfolios are also asynchronous elements. Like homework in a regular classroom, these offline components support the online curriculum. You’ll be expected to have watched lectures and completed homework assignments prior to attending live class sessions so you’re ready to participate in discussions and other in-class activities.
While most states do not require educational professionals to hold an advanced degree, there are a number of benefits to earning your MST. Having an advanced degree, both inside and outside the classroom, provides you with greater career options and the opportunity to earn a higher salary.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2016, common job titles and employment figures for MST-related occupations include: