Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Secondary Education (M.A.)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Degree and Program Requirements

Program Overview

A master’s in secondary education provides the opportunity to study STEM or literacy education in greater depth. Specifically designed for the practicing educator, specializing in Science, Technology and Math (STEM) is ideal for teachers interested in enhancing their knowledge and skills necessary for designing, implementing, and evaluating integrated STEM lessons in their classrooms. The Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach specialization prepares current teachers to use research-proven literacy practices and programs to effectively teach students and adults. Graduates can expect to become leaders in their schools related to effective STEM or literacy instruction. Learn more at usd.edu/tre or usd.edu/online-seed.


Master of Arts, Secondary Education Non-Thesis option

-Thesis is also available. Four credit hours of thesis are required in lieu of an elective.

STEM Education Specialization

Elective courses (12 credit hours)

Accelerated Master’s Program: B.S.Ed., B.A. or B.S./M.A. with STEM Education specialization

Approved to start Summer 2024.

Up to 12 credits applied toward the B.S.Ed., B.A., or B.S. program may be used to satisfy graduate credit in the STEM Education specializations of the M.A. ELED or SEED programs. This accelerated option is available only to those currently enrolled in a USD B.S.Ed., B.A. ,or B.S. program.

The following restrictions apply:

  1. Dual-listed courses taken at the 500-level can be applied to both the B.A. or B.S. and M.A. degrees. Dual-listed courses must be taken at the 500-level.
  2. The student must apply to, and be admitted to, the accelerated program prior to taking courses to be credited toward the accelerated program.
  3. No courses taken prior to admission to the accelerated program may be counted toward an accelerated graduate degree.
  4. Courses that are “double counted” must be approved by the program coordinator for inclusion in the program of study prior to registration for the course or the credits will not be applied toward the accelerated graduate degree.
  5. Only courses taken at the student’s home institution are eligible for accelerated program credit. No transferred courses from other institutions will be allowed to count toward the accelerated master’s degree.
  6. Students admitted to the accelerated M.A. Program may be allowed to register for all courses included in his/her program of study and these credit hours may apply to both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.

Master of Arts Secondary Education, Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach Non-thesis option: Total 30 credit hours

Students in this program are required to take the Praxis Exam for Reading Specialists as an additional graduation requirement.

Note: Thesis is also available. Four credit hours of thesis are required in lieu of an elective.

Supporting Area Coursework


* Students who have not completed middle level reading methods (MLED 460) or secondary reading and content literacy (SEED 450) course or equivalent secondary reading methods courses, will be required to complete one of the courses at the 500-level. Students who have completed this content, will enroll in an elective approved by the advisor.

General Application Requirements

  1. Completed application
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcripts*
  4. Letters of recommendation*
  5. Statement of purpose
  6. Resume/CV*

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. This list is not all-inclusive, to view specific program requirements and submission deadlines, follow the “Admissions Information” hyperlink at the top of this page OR visit the specific program/dept. page found here: link.usd.edu/grad-catalog

Distance Program Leading to Professional Licensure

Location Matters. This program is designed to meet the educational requirements for a professional license or certification and allows students to enroll in at least one course through distance education during the first semester. Pursuant to Federal Regulations, the program may only admit students who are located in states where the program meets the educational requirements for professional licensure or who attest in writing that they intend to seek licensure or employment in a state where the program meets those requirements. As part of your application to this program, you will be asked to provide additional information regarding your location to assist the program in determining your eligibility for admission. 

If you have questions regarding licensure, we encourage you to contact a program representative prior to submitting your admission application, as the application fee is non-refundable. For more information, visit USD’s Licensure-Track Programs page for links to the USD program websites and state licensure board websites. 

Additionally, this program is authorized to offer supervised field study experiences (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) in South Dakota. Please be aware that there may be some restrictions on your ability to engage in supervised field study outside of South Dakota. If you have questions regarding supervised field study, please contact a program representative. 

Distance education courses or programs will not be offered outside of the United States without prior written approval from the University, which may be withheld for any reason. If you are taking distance courses while physically located outsides of the United States, it is your responsibility to confirm the following: (a) if the country will recognize an online degree; (b) whether the program meets licensure or certification requirements in the country including the availability of supervised field study opportunities in the country; and (c) if the country charges any additional taxes, withholdings or fees associated with online distance education programs.


Division of Teacher Residency and Education
605-658-6639 | tre@usd.edu | usd.edu/tre

Graduate Admissions 
605-658-6140 | gradadmissions@usd.edu  | usd.edu/grad


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Degree and Program Requirements