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Secondary Education, MEd

Department: School of Teacher Education and Leadership
College: Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services

Secondary Education

About This Degree

The graduate program in secondary education is designed for people who desire to improve their competencies as educators. It provides teachers with opportunities to acquire additional knowledge in professional education and in their teaching specialties. The program offers courses dealing with topics of practical interest, such as classroom management, measurement and evaluation, curriculum development, and advanced teaching methods, all classes in which direct classroom application is the main focus.

Students may choose to study in an additional area:

  • Gifted and talented
  • ESL (MEd only)
  • English/language arts
  • Mathematics
  • Middle school
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Social studies

The Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services ranks in the top 2% of all graduate colleges of education nationwide, and the college is also ranked third in the nation in total research dollars received, according to “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” U.S. News & World Report.

While the MS and the MA (which includes a language requirement) are traditional master’s degrees, ideal for students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree, the MEd is designed for students who desire to work in the field of education. This includes school personnel as well as individuals who are involved in education-related activities in industry and other areas.

Peace Corps Master's International Program:s

Students have an option to participate in the Peace Corps Master’s International Program. To participate in this program, students must first be accepted into the Peace Corps. Once accepted, students may apply to the secondary education MEd program. Students take one year of classes toward the secondary education MEd degree. Then they spend approximately two years assigned to a country for Peace Corps field service, and upon their return, they complete an additional year at Utah State University to earn the master’s degree. The Peace Corps is particularly interested in students with backgrounds in education.


  • MEd - Logan Campus , Regional Campuses (Beaver, Bicknell, Blanding, Brigham City, Castle Dale, Cortez, Delta, Ephraim, Grantsville, Ignacio, Junction, Kanab, Kaysville, Milford, Moab, Montezuma Creek, Monticello, Monument Valley, Nephi, Orem, Panguitch, Price, Richfield, Roosevelt (Uintah Basin), Salt Lake, St George, Tooele, Tremonton, Vernal (Uintah Basin), Wendover)

Distance Education

USU also partners with the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) to offer an alternative route to licensure to help hired secondary education teachers earn licensure. Students must have a bachelor’s degree in a subject taught in secondary education, be determined eligible by the USOE, find employment as a teacher, and then apply to graduate school at USU. Recommendation for licensure comes from the USOE. Utah State University simply provides most of the coursework (USOE Pedagogical Knowledge Requirements) and the opportunity to earn an MEd in secondary education. Courses are delivered at various locations throughout Utah through USU’s Regional Campuses.

Graduates generally continue on in their teaching careers in schools. Additionally, graduates may also pursue leadership positions in private and public K-12 organizations.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must have a standard secondary teaching certificate and have completed at least one year of successful secondary education teaching. Students who do not meet those requirements, however, can pursue the department’s secondary graduate route to licensure program. For this, they must have a bachelor’s degree in a licensable area, as determined by the state. Additionally, in this program students must choose between science, mathematics, and ESL.

Application Requirements:

  • Fill out the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on in the GRE or MAT
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher during most recent 60 semester hours
  • Provide a copy of your transcript
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
  • Recommendation by department screening committee

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Admissions Deadlines

The secondary education program has rolling admission, meaning applications are accepted at all times, and students are admitted depending upon available space in the program.

Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

Students receive the MS or MA by pursuing the following plan option:

  • In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.

Students can receive the MEd by pursuing one of two options:

  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.
  • A second option, Plan C, does not involve a thesis or a defense meeting and is comprised of coursework only.

Most students in the department pursue the Plan C option.

Financial Assistance

Graduate assistantships (teaching or research) for full-time graduate students are available. For the best chance to be awarded an assistantship, applicants should have their applications completed by the end of February.

A variety of additional funding opportunities are available, including fellowships, scholarships, tuition awards, and travel support. Additionally, students may be eligible for subsidized health insurance through qualifying assistantships.

Program Requirements

Click here to see course requirements for the Master of Education.

MEd Plan B students are required to pass an oral exam to be taken at the end of the program. Typically, half of the exam is devoted to a presentation and discussion of the student's master’s project or portfolio and the other half of the exam focuses on information that every master teacher should know. If a student fails the exam, they may retake it once.

MEd Plan C studentd are required to pass a culminating experience which is developed by the student’s advisor to meet the needs of the student from the following options:

  • Culminating interview with the advisor
  • Oral comprehensive examination under the supervision of the advisor
  • Written comprehensive examination under the supervision of the advisor
  • Another culminating experience developed by the student and advisor and approved by the department head


Michael Freeman
Associate Dean
Office: EDUC 114
Phone: (435) 797-1474
Email: michael.freeman@usu.edu

Krista Terrell
Staff Assistant
Office: EDUC 385
Phone: (435) 797-1473
Email: krista.terrell@usu.edu


James Barta, PhD, University of Oregon
Associate Dept. Head, Regional Campus and Distance Education
Area: Early childhood, mathematics
Office: USU Salt Lake education center
Phone: (801) 646-5570
Email: jim.barta@usu.edu

Amy Bingham Brown, EdD, Florida Atlantic University
Assistant Professor
Area: Elementary mathematics
Office: USU Tooele campus
Phone: (813) 765-1842
Email: amy.bingham@usu.edu

Deborah Byrnes, PhD, Arizona State University
Area: Social studies education
Office: EDUC 399
Phone: (435) 797-0372
Email: deborah.byrnes@usu.edu

Steven Camicia, PhD, University of Washington
Assistant Professor
Area: Social studies education
Office: EDUC 390
Phone: (435) 797-0390
Email: steven.camicia@usu.edu

Todd Campbell, PhD, University of Iowa
Associate Professor, Graduate Program Coordinator
Area: Science education
Office: EDUC 331
Phone: (435) 797-7038
Email: todd.campbell@usu.edu

Kay Camperell, PhD, University of Wisconsin
Associate Professor
Area: Literacy
Office: EDUC 337
Phone: (435) 797-2501
Email: kay.camperell@usu.edu

Sarah Clark, PhD, Utah State University
Assistant Professor
Area: Literacy
Office: EDUC 396
Phone: (435) 797-0370
Email: sarah.clark@usu.edu

Barbara DeBoer, PhD, Utah State University
Clinical Assistant Professor
Area: Early childhood education
Office: EDUC 397
Phone: (435) 797-0372
Email: barbara.deboer@usu.edu

Martha Dever, EdD, University of Northern Colorado
Professor, Associate Dean
Area: Early childhood education
Office: EDUC 385
Phone: (435) 797-2225
Email: martha.dever@usu.edu

James Dorward, PhD, University of Oregon
Professor/Associate Dean for Research, Math Education
Area: Mathematics
Office: EDUC 453
Phone: (435) 797-1471
Email: jim.dorward@usu.edu

Parker Fawson, EdD, Brigham Young University
Area: Literacy
Office: EBLS 235
Phone: (435) 797-0866
Email: parker.fawson@usu.edu

Laura Foley, EdD, Utah State University
Assistant Professor
Area: Literacy
Office: USU Uintah Basin campus
Phone: (435) 722-1765
Email: laura.foley@usu.edu

Barry Franklin, PhD, University of Wisconsin
Area: Curriculum theory
Office: EDUC 340
Phone: (435) 797-1836
Email: barry.franklin@usu.edu

Michael Freeman, PhD, University of Wyoming
Associate Dean
Area: Educational leadership
Office: EDUC 114
Phone: (435) 797-1474
Email: michael.freeman@usu.edu

Scott Hunsaker, PhD, University of Virginia
Associate Professor
Area: Gifted and talented, foundations
Office: EDUC 386
Phone: (435) 797-0386
Email: scott.hunsaker@usu.edu

Francine Johnson, PhD, Stanford University
Associate Dean, Teacher Education
Area: Gifted and talented, supervision
Office: EDUC 101
Phone: (435) 797-2714
Email: francine.johnson@usu.edu

Cindy Jones, PhD, Utah State University
Assistant Professor
Area: Literacy
Office: EBLS 236
Phone: (435) 797-7027
Email: cindy.jones@usu.edu

Sherry Marx, PhD, University of Texas
Assistant Professor
Area: ESL, multicultural issues, qualitative methods
Office: EDUC 341
Phone: (435) 797-2227
Email: sherry.marx@usu.edu

Patricia Moyer-Packenham, PhD, University of North Carolina
Area: Mathematics
Office: EDUC 394
Phone: (435) 797-0394
Email: patricia.moyer-packenham@usu.edu

Patricio Ortiz, PhD, University of Texas
Assistant Professor
Area: ESL, multicultural education
Office: EDUC 339
Phone: (435) 797-3946
Email: patricio.ortiz@usu.edu

Sylvia Read, PhD, Utah State University
Associate Professor and Associate Department Head
Area: Language arts
Office: EDUC 382
Phone: (435) 797-0382
Email: sylvia.read@usu.edu

Ray Reutzel, PhD, University of Wyoming
Emma Eccles Jones Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor
Area: Early childhood literacy
Office: EBLS 139 A
Phone: (435) 797-8631
Email: ray.reutzel@usu.edu

Cinthya Saavedra, PhD, Texas A&M University
Assistant Professor
Area: Early childhood education, ESL
Office: EDUC 392
Phone: (435) 797-0392
Email: cinthya.saavedra@usu.edu

Susan Turner, PhD, Brigham Young University
Assistant Professor
Area: Leadership
Office: EDUC 334
Phone: (435) 797-3947
Email: susan.turner@usu.edu

Martha Whitaker, PhD, University of Utah
Associate Professor
Area: Foundations, supervision
Office: EDUC 384
Phone: (435) 797-0384
Email: martha.whitaker@usu.edu

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

Under the broad discipline of education, there are many professional organizations specific to different areas of interest and expertise. Students are encouraged to become members of organizations that are relevant to their area of study.

Labs, Centers, Research

Center for Persons with Disabilities: The CPD is a nationally recognized research center that joins the expertise of researchers and faculty with community partners to address the most difficult challenges facing persons with disabilities and their families. Research addresses issues that cross fields ranging from biomedicine to education. In clinical experiences, learners join teams of professionals, family members, and individuals with disabilities to deliver services and supports.

Center for the School of the Future: The CSF is a research center dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of education by identifying effective educational practices and supporting their dissemination and adoption in local circumstances.

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