University of Portland Bulletin 2018-2019

Master of Arts (M.A.)

This program is an academic degree preparing candidates for work beyond the master’s level. Applicants for this degree are assigned to an academic advisor who assists in selecting the specific program of courses. The program of study is normally arranged at the beginning of the first semester of study.

Requirements for this degree include 15-18 semester hours of M.A. core courses and 18-21 semester hours of elective coursework in education and other approved graduate disciplines, for a total of 36 semester hours.

The M.A. program has two options: Option A is for candidates who wish to complete a thesis. Option B is for candidates who seek professional development and select to complete a non-thesis capstone project. Candidates who choose Option A complete 18 semester hours of M.A. core courses and 18 semester hours of elective coursework.  Candidates who choose Option B complete 15 semester hours of M.A. core courses and 21 semester hours of elective coursework.

M.A. Learning Outcomes

Candidates in the M.A. program will be able to meet outcomes of the School of Education shared values. Additionally, the core courses in the M.A. program address the following Teacher Leader Model Standards: 

Domain 1: Fostering a Collaborative Culture to Support Educator Development and Student Learning – The teacher leader is well versed in adult learning theory and uses that knowledge to create a community of collective responsibility within his or her school. In promoting this collaborative culture among fellow teachers, administrators, and other school leaders, the teacher leader ensures improvement in educator instruction and, consequently, student learning.

Domain 2: Accessing and Using Research to Improve Practice and Student Learning – The teacher leader keeps abreast of the latest research about teaching effectiveness and student learning, and implements best practices where appropriate. He or she models the use of systematic inquiry as a critical component of teachers’ ongoing learning and development. 

Domain 3: Promoting Professional Learning for Continuous Improvement – The teacher leader understands that the processes of teaching and learning are constantly evolving. The teacher leader designs and facilitates job-embedded professional development opportunities that are aligned with school improvement goals.

Domain 4: Facilitating Improvements in Instruction and Student Learning – The teacher leader possesses a deep understanding of teaching and learning, and models an attitude of continuous learning and reflective practice for colleagues. The teacher leader works collaboratively with fellow teachers to constantly improve instructional practices.

Domain 5: Promoting the Use of Assessments and Data for School and District Improvement – The teacher leader is knowledgeable about the design of assessments, both formative and summative. He or she works with colleagues to analyze data and interpret results to inform goals and to improve student learning.

Domain 6: Improving Outreach and Collaboration with Families and Community – The teacher leader understands the impact that families, cultures, and communities have on student learning. As a result, the teacher leader seeks to promote a sense of partnership among these different groups toward the common goal of excellent education.

Domain 7: Advocating for Student Learning and the Profession – The teacher leader understands the landscape of education policy and can identify key players at the local, state, and national levels. The teacher leader advocates for the teaching profession and for policies that benefit student learning.

M.A. Admission Requirements

  1. M.A. in Education Statement of Goals.
  2. Current resume.
  3. Two Graduate Recommendation Forms and letters.
  4. Official transcripts (from all previously attended academic institutions).
  5. Official GRE test score.
  6. A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university recognized by the University of Portland.
  7. An undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).
  8. International Applicants: 
    1. All foreign transcripts will be evaluated by International Student Services prior to an admission decision.
    2. Proof of financial support will be required to attend the University of Portland, but is not required for application review.
    3. In addition to the GRE, an official score from either the TOEFL (minimum score of 88) or IELTS (minimum score of 7.0) exam is required.

M.A. Degree Requirements — 36 hours

M.A. Emphasis Requirements — 18-21 hours

Emphasis option programs are constructed with the assistance of the academic advisor. The option program may include courses in education and other approved graduate disciplines.

M.A. Core Requirements — 15-18 hours

ED 550Professional Growth and Development


ED 551Social and Cultural Foundations


ED 555Teacher as Researcher


ED 558Educational Research for Improved Student Learning


ED 563Master of Arts Capstone Project



ED 599Thesis

Credit arranged.

Note: Candidates who select to complete a Thesis must enroll in ED 599: Thesis for 6 hours.