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10 graduate schools offering master's degrees in education

Many teachers really can make a difference every day at work. Think back to your own education and remember the teachers who inspired you. It may not take long to envision that favorite teacher or the one who personally, dramatically, affected you. Now, you may want to become that teacher who inspires future generations, but you may have questions about how to do it. Graduate degree programs in education today offer training both for students with bachelor's degrees in non-teaching and teachers who want to expand their learning.Take a look below at our list of 10 graduate schools offering education degrees. Of course, there are many more schools offering academic programs in education than just these, but these universities came from U.S. News & World Report's Best Graduate Schools for Education and were selected for their specializations or otherwise unique offerings.

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10 Schools Offering Graduate Level Training in Education

  • Arizona State University. Founded in 1885, ASU has one of the largest undergraduate population of any college in the nation at more than 58,000 students. In contrast, the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU has just more than 900 full-time students with 80 devoted faculty members serving them. The school's specialties include educational policy, secondary teacher education and student counseling and personnel services. The university has quite a green focus, with more than 60,000 solar panels producing 15.3 megawatts around campus and 800 tons of annual recycling.
  • Teachers College, Columbia University. The Teachers College at the prestigious Columbia University in New York is ranked sixth overall in the country on the U.S. News & World Report list. Among their many specialties, the school is ranked second in the country for elementary teacher education, and with top-10 rankings for several more categories. The school has nearly 5,300 students enrolled in master's and doctorate programs, making it the largest education graduate school in America − it's also the oldest such school. Sixteen percent of the students enrolled are international, hailing from 75 different countries.
  • University of California, Berkeley. The University of California, Berkeley has 344 full-time students enrolled in its graduate education program and 29 full-time faculty members serving them. They offer three main degrees: cognition and development; language and literacy / society and culture; and policy, organization, measurement and evaluation. Students have the option of pursuing many different specializations within these degrees. The department at Berkeley was founded in 1892, and awarded its first doctorate in 1898. Over the school's history, 22 faculty members and 28 alumni have won Nobel prizes.
  • University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA offers graduate education students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and test new, innovative teaching techniques at the pre-K through 6th grade UCLA Lab School on campus and at the K-12 UCLA Community School. The school places a heavy emphasis on research beyond these opportunities and is home to respected centers like the Higher Education Research Institute and the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing. The university brought in over $1 billion in research funds in 2011 alone. UCLA is ranked third in the nation for higher education administration graduate degrees.
  • University of Maryland, College Park. Although it was originally founded as an agricultural college in 1856, this school has been ranked number one in the country for graduate education in student counseling and personnel services for 12 years running. As it is located very close to the Capitol, students may want to see how education policy is made first-hand by politicians. For students who have an even broader scope for how education can be important, international work is highly encouraged at this university. There is a dedicated website for the Office of International Initiatives, where students can find information on the Global Graduates Fellows program, visiting scholars, and how to submit proposals for international travel funds.
  • University of Oregon. Several important programs have come out of the UO College of Education, including the Positive Behavior Support System, used at more than 10,000 schools across the country, and the Youth Transition Program, used at three out of four high schools in Oregon. Programs like these were conceived at the school's 10-plus research centers, including the Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior and the Center for Electronic Studies. In addition to these distinctions, UO is also ranked third for graduate degrees in special education.
  • University of Pennsylvania. The Penn Graduate School of Education is one of the top education research schools in the country, with more than 10 research centers on campus, including the Penn Center for Educational Leadership and the National Center on Families and Fathers. The school offers PhDs, EdDs, MS degrees, MS of Education degrees, Master's of Philosophy of Education degrees and Teach for America Urban Teacher certifications. Doctoral students are sure to enjoy the 1.9:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The University of Pennsylvania dates its founding to 1740, making it roughly 36 years older than America itself.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison. The UW School of Education has quite a few accolades to its name. The school is ranked number one in the nation for graduate education in both educational psychology and curriculum and instruction, number two for education administration and supervision, and number three for elementary teacher education. Students looking to travel may enjoy the school's emphasis on international teaching, which includes placements in places ranging from Australia to Namibia. For those interested in distance education, their MS for Professional Educators is completed almost 100 percent online.
  • Utah State University. Utah State's Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) boasts a 1:1 doctoral-student-to-faculty ratio − and with only 323 full-time graduate students to its 136 graduate education faculty members, the ratio for graduate students in general is one of the best in the country. Overall, the school is rated fourth in the nation for research monies. CEHS was founded with four goals in mind: masterful teaching, research/scholarship productivity, public service and outreach and college infrastructure development.
  • Vanderbilt University. Ranked number one overall for graduate education colleges, Vanderbilt's Peabody College of Education and Human Development tops the charts. The school is also number one for graduate degrees in special education and education administration and supervision − and in the top 10 nationally for every one of its other specialties. They offer several one-year master's programs, like behavior analysis and organizational leadership. Doctoral students may be thrilled to find out that the school's PhD program is completely tuition-free for the first five years. Their alumni list boasts 10,000 plus teacher, 175 plus superintendents and 30 plus college or university presidents.

While the best education colleges may only be as good as the professors who work and inspire students there, these schools have inspired the U.S. News & World Report to give them a place on their list. If you're looking to complete a graduate degree in education, you might not regret aiming for one of these stars.

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