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Can you get Into Graduate School of Education with a Philosophy Degree?

RyanjingleRyanjingle Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
I'm interested in entering an education administration masters program, could I get some information on what it takes to get accepted? Is a philosophy degree accepted? Thanks!

Replies to: Can you get Into Graduate School of Education with a Philosophy Degree?

  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 1,851 Forum Champion

    I majored in English at Williams, without taking a single education class (there were none), and then got a substantial scholarship to Teachers College, Columbia University. (My master’s degree was in elementary education. I picked up my administrative certification later.) This was years ago, but:
    As an educational administrator myself, I hire teachers all the time who majored in one of the liberal arts as undergrads and then got a master’s degree in education.

    The easiest way to find out the requirements for the masters’ program that interests you is to go onto the grad school’s website and look! (In the unlikely event that you can’t find the info you need online, then call the graduate school.)

    I do not recommend going into educational administration without teaching first. You need to be credible with those you will supervise by having experienced life as a teacher. Besides, the advertisements for many educational administration jobs list either a preference or a requirement of having taught first, sometimes even listing a minimum such as at least five years of teaching.

    Good luck!
  • RyanjingleRyanjingle Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    That helped so much thank you! That is the exact path I'm interested in taking. Thank you thank you thank you
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,923 Senior Member
    @Ryanjingle Your cannot go straight into an educational administration master's program to gain certification to become a building leader. That is a post-grad program. First you would need to get your master's in education (initial certification). Once you've taught for a minimum of two years or so, you can then apply for administrative programs that would allow you to become a principal and obtain certification.

    However, there are other master's programs out there that are more concerned with educational policy and advocacy. They do not lead to certification and are more government policy or non-profit oriented. Those programs would allow you to apply as long as you have a BA degree in any field.
  • RyanjingleRyanjingle Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    @TheGreyKing Does it matter where I do my undergraduate work? If I end up going to a top 25 school but don't do so well, is that better than going to a less accredited school and doing outstanding? Thanks so much
  • RyanjingleRyanjingle Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Interesting, okay. Yeah, I'm interested in educational policy as well but teaching elementary or high school, then going into administration sounds great. Are these administrative programs you speak of at universities? @uskoolfish
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,923 Senior Member
    In general education master's programs are not that academically challenging to get into. I would say a 3.0 would get you into most regional schools. I would shoot for a 3.25 to 3.50 to get into schools like NYU or Teachers College. You will also need to take your GRE or equivalent. Lots of teachers attend state schools, so prestige isn't really that much of a factor.
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,923 Senior Member
    @Ryanjingle This master's program is geared towards policy--not for teacher certification: https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/alt/edleadership/politics/

    To become a teacher, it depends on the area that you want to teach, although with a degree in philosophy elementary ed will be the easiest to obtain since you do not have a major that lends itself to a secondary specialization. Most schools will have two pathways in grad schools--one for students who have an education background and one for those with BA's in other fields who are going for initial certification and have not taken education classes. You will need to do the initial certification route.

    Once you obtain your master's/ certification in education and teach a few years, you could apply to a program like this to become an administrator in a school building:

    I am using NYU as an example since my two d's attended for undergrad and their master's. But there are many programs nation-wide, and I would personally suggest attending a school in the state you wish to work in, so that it is easier to obtain certification.
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 1,851 Forum Champion
    edited April 8
    For your undergrad work, attend any college that appeals to you. I am sure that my having gone to Williams helped me get the scholarship (and I guess my GRE score helped too), but admission to grad schools of education is relatively easy. The school administrators who work with me did their undergrad work at a wide range of schools, from competitive private colleges to competitive NY state colleges to less competitive NY state colleges to less competitive private colleges. The private colleges were both in and out of state. You can reach your goal from almost any four year college.

    But your undergrad education should be a goal in and of itself. If you value education enough to want to teach, you probably value it enough to want to learn. Go somewhere where you will be intellectually stimulated and challenged and grow and develop across those four years.

    And uskoolfish is correct that you will need to be aware of certification requirements in the state where you want to teach and be sure that you meet them. If you plan to teach high school, your subject major may matter, so look into that. You could always double major in philosophy and whatever subject you would be teaching, or look at what the requirements are for your desired certification in the state where you want to live— a friend of mine went to the College of Human Ecology at Cornell, which does not have a math major, and then became a math teacher, so there must be some other way to meet the requirements at the grad school level in NY, so you should look up the certification info in your state. For elem ed— my area of expertise— you could major in absolutely anything, as long as you meet the state’s certification requirements. I met my certification requirements during graduate school.

    Have a great time studying philosophy and many other subjects as an undergrad!
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,923 Senior Member
    I am also in NY state. @TheGreyKing is right that you might want to look into taking undergraduate classes in a subject area you might want to teach (if you’d prefer secondary education to elementary or want more flexibility.) To be certified in a subject area in NY state, you only need 24 credits in that subject. It’s not necessary that you have a second major. You would need to research this, to see if there are other requirements for specific degrees areas. Some pathways require math, science, language or history classes, etc. (for example) in addition to a subject area concentration and education master’s degree. The more classes you can take as an undergrad, the better. It will save you additional time and money.

    I have my BA in English. I had a career in marketing communications and decided to pursue education as a second career. I got initial certification in both elementary ed and English after completing my MS degree in elementary ed and passing content area tests in both areas. I later took more credits to be able to gain additional certification in Reading (N to 12.)

    But keep in mind that different states have different certification requirements. If you go to college out of state, it will be your responsibility to obtain certification and understand requirements.
  • zannahzannah Registered User Posts: 1,088 Senior Member
    Seems very practical to earn some sort of teaching credential before applying to grad school in education. There may even be programs that combine teaching and an academic area to earn a graduate degree. The philosophy of the school may be an important factor. You may want to look at joint programs. Getting into graduate school is not the issue to me. Instead, lack of teaching experience can be a barrier to employment as a administrator who must work constantly with teachers, parents, students, etc. who may be suspicious of an administrator without classroom experience. You could find yourself frustrated and disappointed if you don't understand how education works.
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,923 Senior Member
    One will not be accepted into a grad program to become an administrator (ie. principal) without an education masters, certification as a teacher and teaching experience.

    One can get a masters to study the history, politics and policies of education that will allow you to practice advocacy or work for a non- profit or private organization in the education field. For that masters, one can can apply with any undergrad degree and I’m sure a good program would provide some field/ internship experience.

  • RyanjingleRyanjingle Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    i see, i see. This is alot of information to refer back to guys thank you so much. I'm also concerned over how id pick up my first job teaching elementary (or whatever I choose to do) after i get that masters degree. Do you usually hook students up with internships?
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,923 Senior Member
    Student teaching—necessary to get your teaching degree and certification—is like an internship. Schools help with job placement and preparing students for certification. Once certified, you can apply for jobs on- line through school districts, do mailings to schools you are interested in or hit the pavement and visit schools during the summer delivering your resume in person.

    You should spend time researching yourself to get a better sense of what schools offer and what their expectations are. You’ll find a lot of info if you take the time to read websites in depth. Good luck exploring your options!
  • RyanjingleRyanjingle Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    @uskoolfish @TheGreyKing Hey guys, I have a question that I can't really find answered on the internet maybe you could help out. Can one teach English or philosophy at a community college by way of getting a masters in education? How much more different would the requirements be if I were to go that route rather than the teaching of elementary or high school student route? Thanks!
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,923 Senior Member
    Teaching in a university or college generally requires a terminal degree in that topic. Meaning the highest degree offered. In the case of English or Philosophy, that would mean a PHD in English or Philosophy. The only way one is hired to teach without the terminal degree is that people in PHD programs often have teaching responsibilities and will teach as adjuncts at that university. Perhaps you could teach at some community colleges with just a masters degree (in English or philosophy), but not with while pursuing a masters, and not with an Education degree.

    To teach on a secondary (HS) level, you need to have certification in a subject area and need to attend specific education programs. The programs that grant those education degrees are not the same masters programs that someone going for a PHD in English would attend.
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