Teaching and Learning

Degree: Master of Arts in Educational Studies

Ashley Jackson, Graduated 2016

When I started the Teaching and Learning program in 2015, I didn’t know I wanted to pursue a doctoral degree in education; I really just wanted to become a better teacher and mentor for students in science classrooms. I knew I liked research, and I was able to join Dr. Vilma Mesa’s research group in my first year.

I learned so much working with experienced doctoral students and under the guidance a researcher as awesome as Dr. Mesa. I was also fortunate to have an amazing advisor, Dr. Leah Bricker, who always encouraged me to pursue my interests and supported me throughout my time in the program. When I expressed interest in doing research for my internship, Dr. Bricker did not hesitate to connect me with giants in the field of science education.


I completed my internship in Washington, DC at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Working with Dr. Jo Ellen Roseman and her team on Project 2061 gave me so much insight into what it meant to be an educational researcher and also gave me the confidence to apply to the University of Michigan doctoral program in science education.


I am enjoying my time as a first year doctoral student at the University of Michigan! I could not have done it without the investment of the people in this department.

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The Teaching and Learning thread prepares educators for a variety of roles in teacher professional development, curriculum leadership in schools and local education authorities, and curriculum and materials development. Designed to be customized according to the student’s goals and interests, the thread offers access the academic and professional resources at the university within the context of an intimate and supportive master's program. Core faculty include tenured, clinical, and adjunct practitioner professors who are committed to teaching and to offering one-on-one advising and mentoring support.

The thread is distinctive in several ways:

1. Students work with theory and research that supports sound curricular and instructional practices. They gain the knowledge necessary to assess theory and research with a critical eye towards improving teaching and learning in classrooms, communities, and organizations.

2. With the support and one-on-one mentorship of a faculty advisor, students design a plan of study to address their goals and interests. The plan includes a core of knowledge and skills, combined with cross-disciplinary and elective courses in educational research, business and nonprofit management, social work and other fields.

3. Students use what they are learning in a supervised, semester-long internship experience either at the university or in educational organizations and companies in the local community.

Academic Focus

The thread looks for independent, self-directed students who want the flexibility to design a personal course of study using the resources of the School of Education and the wider university. Join a diverse cohort of students who share commitments to understanding and improving schools, teaching, and learning.

Career Preparation

This thread prepares students for a variety of career paths, including entry- or mid-level professional positions in schools and educational organizations such as: 

Graduates also pursue doctoral degrees in education, psychology, and related fields at institutions such as Harvard Graduate School of Education, Georgetown University, and the University of Sheffield, UK.

Plan of Study

Please view the Course Planning Guide for details on course and credit requirements, including information about electives and the internship. We also invite you to review this list of Course Descriptions to become familiar with the types of master's-level courses offered in Educational Studies. It is important to note that course availability varies from year to year. This list is intended as a starting point for working with your faculty advisor to develop your program.

Courses are offered fall term (September-December), winter term (January-April) and spring half term (May-June). Full-time students typically complete the program in 10 months. Part-time students, including University of Michigan employees, are welcome. Please be aware that all courses are offered in person on the U-M Ann Arbor campus and at present, we are not able to accommodate students who are only available for evening, weekend, or summer courses.

Explore Your Fit

To express your interest in the program and be put in contact with the Educational Studies MA Recruitment Coordinator, please complete this short form.

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To inquire about the master's program as a prospective student, click here.

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