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
    • Graduate students in TPAL often pursue additional graduate certificates, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees following the completion of their current program. For instance, students completing a graduate certificate program often transition into an associated master's degree within their field of study. In most cases, graduate students are welcome to pursue concurrent and/or subsequent programs. Please note that you must submit a new application to the NMSU Graduate School in order to be considered for admittance into a concurrent or subsequent graduate program. When submitting a concurrent or subsequent graduate application, please notify your advisor or program coordinator right away so that the proper coordination of your new application can be completed. 

  • Curriculum & Instruction/Special Education MA Exam or Thesis

        • Registration is now open for the Spring 2024 Master's Exam for C&I/SPED students who are completing their degrees in spring and graduating in May 2024. 
        • Please note that you must apply for graduation during your final semester of taking the MA Exam. Friday January 26this the Spring 2024 deadline for students to apply for their degree.
        • Registration for the C&I/SPED MA Exam is open and will close on Friday March 22, 2024.
        • The C&I/SPED MA Exams will be administered remotely on Friday March 29, 2024, from 8:00am to 12:00pm MST.  


        To Register for the C&I/SPED Master’s Exam: 

        Please complete the following three (or four) documents and submit them in a single email to Dr. Rick Marlatt ( Once you have submitted these registration documents, your information will be reviewed, and you will be contacted via email if any further information or documentation is needed. Please email all documents, materials, and questions pertaining to your MA Exam Registration to Dr. Marlatt ( Please reach out to your academic advisor with any questions you may have about your degree completion. 

        Please submit the MA Exam Registration Form

        Please submit the MA Exam Registration Checklist

        Please submit an updated Degree Audit Check

        Please submit an updated Degree Audit Exception Form if necessary


        For Resources in Preparation for the C&I/SPED Master’s Exam:

        MA Exam Link

        C&I MA Exam

        SPED MA Exam

        MA Exam Scoring Rubric

        MA Exam Materials


        Additional C&I/SPED Exam Information:

        • Please note that in order to sit for your MA exam, you will need to be enrolled in at least one credit hour of coursework during your final semester. If you have completed all required coursework and need to register for one credit hour, please enroll in one credit hour of EDUC 5992 with Dr. Marlatt.
          • The Spring 2024 EDUC 5992 CRN for Main Campus students is 45919.
          • The Spring 2024 EDUC 5992 CRN for NMSU Global students is 47875.
        • Please note that you must apply for graduation during your final semester of taking the MA Exam. Friday January 26this the Spring 2024 deadline for students to apply for their degree. Please be mindful of all important dates and deadlines on the NMSU Academic Calendar:
        • If you are unsure whether or not you are graduating this semester or have question about what coursework you may need, please reach out to your academic advisor.
        • There are only 2 attempts allowed to take the master’s exam. Both attempts mustbe 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.


        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