Are You Passionate About a Specific Area of Education?

Do you find joy in teaching others to overcome reading difficulties, or in helping English language learners comprehend the material? If so, consider how you would like to customize your degree with a specialization.

Our specialization areas provide a focus for your graduate program of study. Specifically, half (15 semester hours*) of your courses are taken in your specialization area within the 30-semester-hour requirement for the degree.

*25 hours are required for the special education specialization.

The four specializations offered with the Master of Education program are:

MAT students at an elementary school, standing outside

Principal License

Our Principal License specialization will equip you with the skills, knowledge and vision needed to be a school administrator.

If you wish to be recommended for an Oregon Principal License, you must meet additional conditions that are not required in the Principal License program:

  • Admission into the Principal License program (this requires a minimum of three years of verifiable full-time classroom teaching experience)
  • Administrative Practicum at both the elementary and secondary levels

You may be concurrently admitted into both the Master of Education program and the Principal License program provided you have the three years of classroom teaching experience.

student teacher reads with young student

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Our English as a Second Language/Bilingual (ESOL) specialization program will equip you to meet the needs of the increasing English Language Learner population. Courses are designed to increase pedagogy, methodology, and cultural awareness related to instruction for ELL students in elementary or secondary school.

Here’s some info you should know about the specialization:

Student and teacher at a table reading a book together


The reading specialization program will prepare you for specialized work in diagnosing reading difficulties and improving reading instruction in your own classroom, or as a reading specialist in a school at either the early childhood/elementary or at middle level/high school levels.

Here’s some info you should know about the specialization:

  • You may declare reading as a specialization within your Master of Education program or complete the specialization courses as an endorsement-only candidate to be recommended for a reading endorsement on their teaching license.
  • In addition to the course requirements, including a practicum, reading endorsement candidates must also successfully complete the Praxis Reading Specialist Exam in order to be recommended for licensure.
  • The coursework for this specialty has been designed not only to provide a broad base of understanding about successful reading methods, programs and assessments, but also to prepare you to successfully complete the Reading Specialist Exam.
MAT student works in classroom at desk with young students

Special Education

The Special Education (SPED) specialization is a practitioner’s program, with each course organized to provide the pre-service and in-service candidate with hands-on training and quality classroom learning experiences.

Here’s some info you should know about the specialization:

Course Requirements for Specializations

For reading and ESOL, half (15 semester hours) of your courses are taken in your specialization area within the 30-semester-hour requirement for the degree. For the special education specialization 25 hours are required.


Kipp Wilfong

Kipp Wilfong

Admissions Counselor, Graduate Education Programs