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M.A. Program of Studies

Credit Requirements

A minimum of 36 credits is required. Only 3 credits of EDTHP 596 (independent studies) may be counted toward the M.A. requirements. Students who wish to transfer credits from other programs must receive prior approval from the EDTHP faculty. Students in dual enrollment programs such as an integrated undergraduate degree program or the joint J.D./M.A. program can only have 9 credits (three courses) count for both programs.

Coursework must be at the 500 level or above with two exceptions:

  1. An option of taking up to three 400-level EDTHP elective courses of the required 18 credits in EDTHP.
  2. The introductory statistics course may be at the 400 level.
  3. EDTHP content courses (minimum 12 credits).
  • 500-level coursework in the EDTHP program that is not methods courses
  • Three 400-level EDTHP courses can be substituted in consultation with adviser

Required Courses:

Introduction to the EDTHP Program (3 credits)

EDTHP 500 Proseminar

Research Methods (9 credits)

EDTHP/EDLDR/HI ED 585: Research Design
EDPSY 406 or another approved statistics course
EDTHP/EDLDR/HI ED 586: Qualitative Methods OR a second quantitative methods course

Thesis Research (6 credits)

EDTHP 600 Thesis Research OR EDTHP 610 Thesis Research Off Campus

Master's Plan of Study

When a student is ready to begin thesis research, he/she should fill out an EDTHP Academic Plan for the M.A. Degree form and an EDTHP M.A. Committee form in consultation with his/her academic adviser. Both forms are found in the paper copy of your EDTHP Graduate Student Handbook as Appendix A and Appendix B, respectively, or may be obtained from the EDTHP program assistant. These forms will indicate courses already taken, courses proposed to be taken, and the names of faculty who will serve on the committee to supervise the student's program of studies (see "Master's Committee" below). Upon completion of the plan, the student will begin receiving guidance from his/her thesis adviser, who may or may not be his/her previous academic adviser.

Minimum GPA

A minimum grade point average of 3.00 for work done at Penn State is required for graduation.

Master's Committee

A committee of two faculty members (not including the department chair), selected by the student and academic adviser, will supervise the development and completion of thesis research. The committee chair, who also is the thesis adviser, must be a member of the Graduate Faculty and and EDTHP faculty member. Any Penn State faculty member with at least Assistant Professor rank may participate in the guidance and examination of master's candidates and sign master's signatory pages.

Time Limitation

A master's student may meet the degree requirements by either full-time or part-time enrollment and by attendance in any combination of semesters and summer sessions. All requirements for the degree must be met within eight years or a period spanning nine consecutive summers from the semester of admission.

Change of Degree

Master's students wishing to be admitted to the doctoral program will be considered with the same rigorous process as outside applicants during the EDTHP admissions cycle. In exceptional cases, the faculty will consider a change of degree to the doctoral program after three semesters of enrollment in the master's program.

With approval from the EDTHP faculty, master's students may submit the following alternative admission materials for consideration. These materials will be reviewed by the EDTHP admissions committee during the EDTHP admission cycle:

    1. Two letters of recommendation from within the program
    2. A writing sample
    3. A current transcript
    4. A statement of purpose that includes research interests and proposal adviser

EDTHP master's students who are seeking to enter the doctoral program will NOT receive the M.A. degree if they do not complete M.A. coursework/thesis. Students accepted into the doctoral program would transfer credits by applying online for a Change of Major/Degree to The Graduate School ( All of the credits in the unfinished M.A. program would be transferred to the doctoral program of study upon acceptance.