An English Education Master's Degree With Interdisciplinary Options

This flexible, online Education Master of Arts in Teaching – English Education Emphasis degree is rooted in an understanding of language and literacy in the context of an English curriculum.

  • You can choose from a variety of cognate options to tailor the program to your interests, build on previous coursework, and investigate teaching challenges that you have experienced in your classroom.
  • If you already have a master's degree already, the Composition and Literary Studies Graduate Certificate option will prepare you to teach college-level English courses (read more below).

No matter which cognate you choose, you will be prepared to:

  • Link language development and literacy acquisition to English teaching and curriculum.
  • Implement new developments in teaching English to secondary students, including leaner-centered pedagogies, multi-modal literacy and multi-modal pedagogy, inquiry based curriculum, the alignment of cognition and motivation, etc.
  • Implement strategies for adapting English instruction to meet the needs of individual students including students with disabilities and culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Strengths of this program include:

  • Multiple options: the Course of Study tab below details the cognate options and how you can mix and match them to suit your needs.
  • Practical teaching strategies: courses in the program offer both theory and practical teaching strategies. You will also complete an applied project that can benefit your students, your school and your career path.
  • Flexibility and convenience: you can start this online program any term, and take as many or as few courses as you like. Many students will finish in about two years, but you can finish faster or take up to five years. Most students can complete this program fully online.

Reach Your Teaching Career Goals

The primary benefit of this master's degree is the customized course of study you will build to support your teaching philosophy and your students' learning. You'll access, analyze and apply best practices from a range of topics that impact secondary classrooms (and K-12 classrooms if you choose our Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Education cognate).

What challenges are you facing in the classroom? What teaching practices do you want to explore? Take your teaching to the next level with a program that you design for your needs.

Teach Dual Enrollment & College-Level English

Students who complete this master's degree via cognates #1 and #2 (see Course of Study tab below), or who take the Composition & Literary Studies Graduate Certificate, will fulfill the eligibility requirements for instructors of some college-level English courses. You will be eligible to teach college and university courses in English – including concurrent/dual enrollment courses (in which students earn both high school and college credit in the same course).

Composition and Literary Studies Graduate Certificate Program

Teachers who possess a master's degree who just want to pursue eligibility to teach college-level English courses can take the Composition and Literary Studies Graduate Certificate.

The certificate consists of the same coursework (18 credit hours) as cognate 1 of the master's degree. Tuition is the same as the master's program, and you will be in the same online courses. Contact the Program Coordinator with any questions.

English department information about the program

Official certificate listing in catalog

Checkmark over books icon to highlight the program details tabs below

This unique Master of Arts in Teaching degree blends English Education with interdisciplinary options that will help you build your graduate education to fit your teaching interests and needs. Most students will be able to complete this program fully online. Learn more about the variety of cognate options below.

You can complete this program in two years if you take two courses per term (Summer, Fall and Spring). But you can choose to enroll in more or fewer courses each term based on your schedule, as long as you complete the requirements within 5 years. Note: if you take two or more courses in one term, you will be eligible for federal financial aid.


Master's Degree Requirements (30 Credit Hours)

To see the upcoming courses, visit this program's Current Students page.

Required Courses (12 Credit Hours)

Choose two from the following Courses:

Cognate (18 Total Credit Hours)

You will direct your own program outcomes by building the course mix that suits your needs. You will select six total courses to complete these 18 credit hours. There are three options for choosing your coursework:

  • You can select a single cognate (see the list below) for all six courses.
  • You can select three courses each from two different cognates.
  • You can create your own interdisciplinary cognate in collaboration with your advisor. You will submit a proposal detailing your desired courses and how they will be applicable to your final project.
Cognate Areas

*** Cognates #1 and #2 also fulfill the HLC content coursework qualification to teach dual/concurrent enrollment (and some college-level) English courses. ***

  1. Composition and Literary Studies – Note: this cognate provides coursework specifically tailored to prepare you to teach common dual enrollment and first-year college English courses.
  2. Literature, Film, Writing – Note: this cognate is not yet available online, but can be taken on-campus in Greeley (see Costs & Aid tab).
  3. Culturally & Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Education – Note: with this cognate, you can also earn your CLD Endorsement with one additional course substitution.
  4. Literacy
  5. Special Education Block
  6. Psychology
  7. Statistics & Research Methods – Note: only a portion of this cognate can be completed online; it can be part of a split cognate, or you can take some of the coursework on campus (see Costs & Aid tab).
  8. Curriculum Studies
  9. Technology, Innovation and Pedagogy

See the courses included in each cognate: English Education Course Descriptions by Cognate


Applied Project

You will also complete an applied project as part of this program. This project may include curriculum design, a professional portfolio, or a teacher inquiry research project. You will work with your MAT advisor to design the project, and you will be encouraged to employ academic research to address questions you have about your students’ learning (or your own learning).


For full details, see the official program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog.

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