Secondary Education

Master's Programs

The Master of Arts in Education program with a specialization in Secondary Education is designed to prepare the secondary teacher for advancement as master teacher, supervising teacher, subject matter teaching specialist, or department chairperson. Four components comprise the program of studies: core requirements and departmental requirements in humanistic and behavioral studies, theory and practice relevant to the teaching field, and academic studies in the teaching field. Total Program Units = 30.

Student Learning Outcomes

Secondary Education MA Candidates will develop as professional educators who demonstrate:

  1. REFLECTIVE PRACTICE by critically examining their subject knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and pedagogical skills to improve their diverse students’ learning;
  2. THEORETICAL UNDERSTANDING by reading, synthesizing, and evaluating educational theory and research in their field and applying research findings to their practice in diverse classroom settings;
  3. RESEARCH SKILLS by designing and conducting research ethically and effectively and presenting their findings at a professional level in oral and written forms;
  4. EDUCATIONAL AWARENESS by knowing current discipline-based and general educational issues and how those impact schools; and
  5. LEADERSHIP by influencing policy and practice in educational communities through advocacy and example

General Requirements

  1. Core Requirements (9 units)

    • SED 600 Research in Education (3)
    • SED 610 Current Issues in Education (3) 
    • SED 690 Seminar in Education (3)
  2. Required Program Options (12 units)

    See individual MA Program pages

  3. Electives (6 units)

    See individual MA Program pages

  4. Culminating Experience

    SED 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)
    SED 698 Thesis/Graduate Project (3)

Comprehensive Examination

The culminating experience for the Curriculum and Instruction option is a traditional exam. For all other options, a comprehensive exam portfolio is required.

Master's Thesis

In lieu of a comprehensive examination, a student may request to complete a Master's thesis. Based on the results of original research, a Master’s thesis substantiates a specific view as expressed in a hypothesis, a concept, or a question. Master's Thesis   A Master's thesis may synthesize existing data and/or develop new data. If choosing this culminating experience, the student must notify his or her Program Advisor during the first semester of the program. 


Courses completed more than seven years prior to the date on which all requirements for the degree are met cannot be counted to meet program requirements unless the student can show competency in the content of the outdated courses. Course validation requires departmental approval; please contact your Program Advisor for more information. A maximum of nine units taken in residency at CSUN may be validated in this manner.


Program Advisors

Graduate Coordinator

Additional information may be obtained by calling the Secondary Education Department office at 818-677-2580


Find the appropriate applications for your program on the individual program page.


You may be admitted as a graduate student in one of two categories: conditionally classified or classified. After your University application has been processed, you will be mailed an acceptance letter and a Form 1295. Form 1295 will indicate your classification.

Conditional Classification

If you are conditionally classified, it is your responsibility to fulfill the University requirements to become fully classified.

  • If you are required to take the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE), register for this exam. There is a fee for this exam.
  • If you are required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), get more information here. There is a fee to take the GRE.
  • If you are required to take both of these exams, please take the GRE first. A raw score of 3.0 or higher on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE will waive the need to take the UDWPE.
  • Please realize that these testing requirements must be fulfilled prior to taking 12 units of study in the Master's program.
  • Please email the Graduate Coordinator as soon as you receive the test results required for your full classification.


If you are classified, you need do nothing further.

Candidacy & Graduation

During your next-to-last semester of the program, you should file the Application for Graduation with the Office of Admissions and Records. Please be aware that the deadline to apply comes early in the semester—generally the first Friday in October (for spring graduation) and the first Friday in March (for fall graduation). Once your application has been processed, you will be notified by mail regarding your Advanced to Candidacy status.

Graduate students are required to be enrolled during the semester of graduation.

When a Master’s thesis is involved, the student must follow the Thesis/Graduate Project Timeline provided by Graduate Studies.