Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education

Teaching, Learning and Teacher EducationMaster of Arts (M.A.)

Explore the relationships between teacher content knowledge and pedagogical understandings, and examine the changing needs of Nebraska, the United States, and other parts of the world through multiple lenses. Students in our Master’s programs gain critical understandings of teacher education and professional development in the humanities and sciences, including mathematics, English, science, and social studies; they examine issues of the day in connection to multiculturalism and multilingualism, transnationalism, educational reform, policy implementation, second language acquisition, literacy instruction and assessment, language and culture, foreign language education, and innovative learning technologies.

Master of Arts (M.A.)

We seek to prepare scholars whose work will influence educational change in local, regional, national, and global settings. Our Master of Arts programs serve professional educators at all stages of their careers from initial certification to advanced research and professional development practices. Faculty members who teach in the program combine deep research knowledge with K-16 classroom experiences to challenge graduate students and educators to be innovative in their teaching, learning, and professional practices across diverse educational settings.

Faculty engage graduate students in meaningful research, teaching, and service opportunities that help students reach their goals as professionals. We offer a combination of on-campus classes, synchronous hybrid classes, and online asynchronous classes that can be effectively tailored to meet the professional demands of our master degree students. Graduate students purposefully craft their Master's experience with their faculty mentors.

The Online Pathway to TLTE’s M.A.

Interested in taking some or all of your M.A. courses online? We have a new pathway for you to complete your master degree entirely online. Go at your own speed to complete your degree with four-semester or a seven-semester plan.

Interested in earning your Initial Teaching Certificate with your Master of Arts (M.A.):

Prospective graduate students interested in pursuing initial teacher certification must submit the M.A. degree application and the appropriate initial certification application. Both applications are required for admission into the M.A. degree option leading to initial teaching certification, and each application requires different documentation and review by our TLTE graduate faculty and certification officers.  

Memorandum of Courses


  • 30 - 36 credit hours
  • Students will work closely with a faculty advisor to select graduate level courses, which may be taken within TLTE or other departments as long as they meet MA requirements.

Required Courses (6 hours)

  • TEAC 800 Inquiry: Teaching and Learning (3 credits)
  • TEAC 801 Curriculum Inquiry (3 credits)

Optional Specializations

Rolling Admissions and Monthly Review Deadline:
the first Monday of each month August through May

Application Requirements

  • Undergraduate GPA equivalent to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A good match between your goals and the department’s ability to address those goals
  • A completed application submitted to the UNL Office of Graduate Studies which includes the following:
    • Resumé
    • Three (3) Recommenders
    • Application Essay
      The Graduate Admissions Committee looks closely at the applicant’s goals in the application essay for further evidence of your meeting the admissions criteria. A well-written essay is crucial to admissions decisions. This application essay is a concise statement in which you address clearly why you want to pursue graduate studies at the master’s level at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In this essay you should address clearly:
      • Your academic and/or professional goals and how the master’s degree in Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education will enable you to meet these.
      • Your academic strengths, with specific attention to your background in higher education and how this qualifies you for graduate study at a major university.
      • Any professional experience, knowledge, and skills you possess and how these further qualify you for graduate study at a major university.
      • This statement should be between 700–1000 words.

*Please note that a complete background check may be required upon admission to the program. Many institutions today require a criminal history background check before an individual is allowed to work, volunteer, conduct research or collect data within their facility. CEHS students who are required in their program to go into daycare facilities, schools, hospitals, or other community agencies must complete a background check before CEHS can place them in these facilities.

Only completed application files will be reviewed. Following the review process, you will be informed in writing of the admission decision.

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Master's Degree Options

View the master's degree overview and milestones on the Graduate Studies website.

The NU Graduate College offers master's degrees under two Options, except in a few departments where such a choice is not feasible.

For Options A & B
  • No courses older than 10 years will apply toward master's degree requirements at UNL.
  • A written or oral comprehensive examination is required.
  • Courses open only to graduate students are those numbered at the 900 level, or at the 800 level without counterparts at the 400 level or below.

Option A
  • Thesis required
  • Minimum of 30 credit hours, including 6 - 10 credit hours of thesis
  • At least one half of the credit hours required for the degree, including thesis, must be TLTE (TEAC) courses
  • At least 8 credit hours, excluding thesis, must be graduate-only courses
  • May include a minor of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department

Option B
  • Thesis not required
  • 36 credit hours
  • At least one half of the credit hours required for the degree must be TLTE (TEAC) courses
  • At least 15 credit hours must be graduate-only courses
  • May include a minor of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department

Change of Option

Students may change their declared Option at any time during the program of study with written approval from the advisor, the Chair of the Graduate Committee in the student’s major, and the Dean for Graduate Studies. The only exception to this policy is that students may not change from Option A to Option B if certification of full-time status has been utilized.

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Jenelle Reeves

Jenelle Reeves
Graduate Chair

Joelle Tangen

Graduate Project Associate