Masters in Education Options

NMSU College of Education’s School of Teacher Preparation, Administration and Leadership (TPAL) offers  three options for the Masters of Arts in Education:

Notes:  Please carefully read this page and all relevant documents

  • Applying for the MA or MAT Program in Education

      • Apply to the NMSU Graduate School
      • After creating your account you will want to select “Education” to indicate to the Graduate School that you are applying for the “MA in Education” or the “MAT in Education” which are both part of the School of Teacher Preparation, Administration and Leadership (TPAL.
      • Include a letter of interest, within the online application, describing your willingness to participate in the MA program. In your letter: 1.) provide the reason you are pursuing a Master’s Degree; 2.) explain your area of interest; and 3.) inform the director of TPAL of your teaching experience and/or teaching goals.
      • 3 Recommendation letters required.
      • For best consideration to the MA in Education it is requested that you submit your application before Nov. 15th for Spring admission and March 15th for Summer and Fall admission. Applications submitted after these dates will be accepted and reviewed, however guaranteeing admission from the Graduate School and securing financial aid may be limited.
      • For the MA in Education or the MAT Program, you do NOT need to: take the GRE
      • The MA in Education in the Program Area of Early Childhood Education (ECED) is entirely on-line and requires an additional application step. For more information, contact the School of Teacher Preparation, Administration and Leadership.

      Once You Are Accepted

      • Meet with your Advisor (as noted in your letter of acceptance) and complete your Preliminary Program plan
      • Read the MA/MAT Handbook and NMSU Graduate Catalog (you are obliged to know and follow all the rules that apply to you)
      • Follow the MA Program Checklist from the MA/MAT Handbook
      • Get to know our faculty
      • After your first 12 hours of classes, fill-out the “Program of Study” form with the assistance of your Advisor

  • The MA Comprehensive Exam or Thesis


    • To Register for the master’s exam: 
      • REGISTRATION for the Fall 2021 exam will take place beginning September 1, 2021  and will close on Friday, September 24, 2021 at 5 pm. * Due to COVID-19 please email all documents to
      • Access and follow the MA EXAM Checklist complete the required forms and deliver to the TPAL office in OH RM 302  by the registration deadline. Late and Early registrations will NOT be accepted.  If you are outside of the Las Cruces area and need to send the documents electronically, please submit the complete packet (all documents from checklist), within the registration dates,
      • Take the MA Exit Survey
      • Complete an NMSU Star Degree Audit
      • Complete the Registration Form and submit it with your other MA exam documents. (Click and download the MA exam registration)
      • Distance Ed students follow guideline for obtaining a proctor. (Spring 2020 Proctor)
    • When the Exam is offered (Face to Face): *All Fall exams will be online due to COVID-19*
      • Fall: The 2nd Friday of October in Fall (October 08, 2021; 8:30 am – 12:30 pm)
      • Spring: The 2nd Friday of March in Spring (March 12, 2021; 8:30 am- 12:30 pm)
      • Summer: The last Friday of June in Summer (June 26, 2020; 8:30 am- 12:30 pm)
    • When the Exam is offered (Distance Ed): *All Fall exams will be online due to COVID-19*
      • Fall: The 2nd Friday of October in Fall (October 08, 2021; 8:30 am – 12:30 pm) *Date will be same as F2F*
      • Spring: Pick one of the two (*Date will be same as F2F- NO Proctor Needed) 
      • Summer: Pick one of the two (June 24, 2020 or June 25, 2020)
    • Master’s Exam Details for Preparation:

     Additional MA Exam information

    • You must take the MA Exam your final/last semester of course work for your program.
    • There are only 2 attempts allowed to take the master’s exam.
    • Both attempts must be completed within a year’s time from your final/last semester in your program.
    • No student will be allowed to take the master’s exam after a year’s time from final/last semester in your program.
    • All courses must meet the graduate school requirements and must be 7 years or less to fulfill your program.
    • For students not enrolled, please contact the department to register for a 1 credit course.

    The MA Thesis

    • If you are interested in conducting an MA Thesis instead of taking the MA Comprehensive Exam, read the applicable sections of the NMSU Graduate Catalog, meet with your Adviser and meet with the Associate Director for Graduate Programs for more information
    • An MA Thesis is similar to a Doctoral Dissertation (you conduct, analyze and write-up a research study), but is it slightly smaller in scale
    • It will take more than one semester to complete
    • It is great preparation if you intend to earn a doctorate in the future


  • Programs & Alternative Licensure

    • For complete details about all of our MA in Education (C&I) Program and Program Areas, please see the MA/MAT Handbook
    • If you are seeking information on the alternative licensure process and want to set up an appointment please contact:
      • Dr. Cecilia Hernandez (575) 646-1256 O’Donnell Hall Rm 101E
  • Graduate Assistantships

    • Carefully read the information on our Graduate Assistantship web page
    • Fill-out and turn-in, along with your résumé, the Graduate Assistant Application GA APPLICATION form to the TPAL Office (OH 302)
    • GA appointments are decided by the Director and usually made for the full regular academic school year (fall/spring)
  • Resources