Jun 17, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024

Education, M.Ed.

College of Public Affairs and Education

Julka Hall 170
(216) 687-4625


Programs leading to the Master of Education are divided into three broad categories: leadership, counseling and adult learning, and curriculum and instruction. Graduates work as administrators, educators, counselors, and researchers in a variety of education and human services contexts. The college offers a number of specializations in the Master of Education as well as licenses, endorsements or certificates that may be completed prior to finishing a degree. Specializations, licenses and certificates in each category are listed below:


Provides conceptual, technical, and theoretical knowledge in the human resources area needed to assume K-12 principalship or other entry-level administrative positions. Key areas explored in the program are curriculum, supervision, guidance, personnel administration, community relations, school management, and school law. Specializations include:

Leadership licenses include:

Counseling and Adult Learning and Development

Counseling programs prepare counselors to work in clinical mental health or school settings. Programs emphasize a clinical orientation, focusing on theory and skills in counseling (individual, group, and family), assessment, human behavior and development, diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders, intervention methods, lifestyle and career development, legal and ethical responsibilities, and service-delivery systems. The adult learning program prepares adult educators to work in a variety of adult education venues providing job-related training and development or offering professional education seminars. Specializations include:

Counseling licenses include:

  • Professional Counselor
  • School Counselor

Counseling/Adult Learning and Development certificates include:

Curriculum and Instruction

Offers initial licensure or advanced preparation for K-12 teaching of a particular grade level, content, or student population. Programs leading to licensure or endorsement require students to follow a prescribed program of study. Students working on a general Curriculum and Instruction degree may work with an advisor to develop an individualized plan by completing core requirements and a specialization sequence tailored to individual goals.

Licensure, endorsements, and certificates include:

Faculty Research and Publications

College of Public Affairs and Education faculty members pursue a wide variety of research in six major areas:

  • Equity issues, including race and ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic disadvantage.
  • Educational/developmental consequences for special needs populations frequently associated with urban environments, including high-risk and premature infants; preschool populations; juvenile delinquents; mentally challenged, learning disabled, and behavior-disordered children; and gifted and talented students from low socio-economic, racially, and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
  • Urban educational programs, including teaching English to speakers of other languages, literacy, and mathematics competencies, classroom management and discipline, social skills training, management of urban schools, counseling special urban populations, early childhood interventions (Head Start and day care), Reading Recovery, teacher induction programs, health, wellness, and physical education.
  • Problems of adults in contemporary urban society, including stress, sport law, sports management, exercise science, health, and leisure-time uses.
  • Foundations of urban education, including life-span development and learning, comparative educational policy, curriculum/methods, teacher education, history of education, and guidance and counseling in schools and the community.
  • Legal issues in education and major educational policy issues.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.


All K-12 teaching licensure and endorsement programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Counseling programs (clinical mental health and school counseling) are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Financial Assistance

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available in each department, in the Dean’s Office, and through funded projects. Graduate assistants have teaching, research, instructional support and/or institutional support responsibilities for which they receive financial support. For applications and information, contact the departments directly.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Education requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework at the 500 level or above satisfying the content requirements listed below and fulfilling the College of Graduate Studies grade policies. 

An undergraduate student who is pursuing a baccalaureate degree at Cleveland State University may take one or more (maximum of nine credit hours) graduate courses, at the 500 level only, if the student meets all of the following conditions:

  • The student must be within thirty credits of graduation;
  • The student must have an overall grade-point average of 2.75 or better through the preceding semester;
  • The student must have a 3.0 or better grade-point average in the major field;
  • The student must obtain permission from his or her advisor, the instructor of the course, and the department chair, via signatures on the Undergraduate Request for Graduate Course form.

Credit for graduate-level courses completed as a CSU undergraduate-up to a maximum of nine credits for courses in which the grade received is B or above-may be applied at a later point to a graduate degree program provided that the credit was not used to satisfy baccalaureate degree requirements. Internal transfer of credit is subject to transfer credit regulations and procedures.

Specializations leading to external credentials such as licensure or endorsement stipulate specific courses to be taken and may involve additional credits beyond the 30 credit minimum as noted in the individual specialization pages. Some specializations also stipulate specific prerequisites that must be completed. Prerequisite courses taken at the graduate level may count toward the 30-credit requirement for the degree.


(30 credits minimum, consisting of the following categories. Programs leading to licensure may require additional credits beyond 30.)


(12 credits, demonstrating content that the college considers foundational to the advanced study in education. Depending on selected specialization, different courses may be required to satisfy one or more core areas)

  • Research/inquiry
  • Educational policy, history, and social context
  • Human development
  • Theory and practice


(9-33 credits focusing on the contexts, theories, and methods specific to a chosen area of specialization. Some specialization courses may be identified as suitable to satisfy CORE requirements.)


(0-9 credits, chosen to broaden one’s knowledge base, explore an additional credential by taking introductory courses in a different specialization, or engaging in deeper study of particular issues through special topics offerings)

Exit Requirement

(0-6 credits, depending on specialization. Options are listed and described below.) 

  • Capstone course (0 additional credits since taken as part of specialization)
  • Comprehensive Examination (0 credits)
  • Project (1 to 6 credits)
  • Thesis (1 to 6 credits)
  • Licensure Examination (0 credits, counseling students only)

Admission Information

In addition to the admission requirements of the College of Graduate Studies, some specialization areas have additional admission requirements as described more fully in the catalog page related to that specialization. Graduate candidates pursuing a teaching license through the Ohio Department of Education must satisfy the following admission requirements:

  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Candidates admitted as a non-degree graduate student must earn a GPA or 3.0 or above after completing 12 graduate credit hours, including EDB 601  with a grade of B- or better, and satisfying all other licensure program admissions to be admitted into a licensure program. A score at the 50% percentile on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination on each section will also fulfill the GPA requirement.
  • Background check. All prospective licensure candidates must pay for an initial BCI/FBI check at the time of their initial visit to the Education Student Services Center (except for MUST and international students, who are required to have a BCI/FBI check prior to starting their first field experience). Throughout their licensure program, candidates are required to pay for and complete additional BCI/FBI fingerprinting checks to ensure that a valid report is always on file with the Office of Field Services as required for field placement. Prospective candidates with criminal records indicating convicted offenses considered by the Ohio Department of Education to be “absolute bars” to licensure will be denied acceptance to the college and any registration permissions for subsequent semesters will be revoked. Prospective candidates with criminal records indicating convicted offenses eligible for rehabilitation will be referred to the Ohio Department of Education Office of Professional Conduct to determine whether they will be able to obtain a teaching license.
  • Post-baccalaureate and graduate candidates who complete all academic content courses prior to CSU professional coursework (e.g. adolescent/young adult or middle grades licensure areas) must take and pass the relevant Ohio Assessments for Educators content knowledge assessment prior to admission. Candidates who need to take content courses at Cleveland State are allowed to take content knowledge assessments prior to student teaching.

For all college M.Ed. programs that do not lead to a teaching license through the Ohio Department of Education, candidates must satisfy one of the following:

  • A score at the 50th percentile on the Miller Analogies Test or on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of Graduate Record Examination.
  • Undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.75 (3.0 if the baccalaureate degree is more than six years old at the time of application)
  • Completion of twelve or more semester credits of Cleveland State graduate coursework (including EDB 601  or EXS 601 ) AND received a grade of B- or better in EDB 601  or EXS 601  with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 and grades of B or better in the other courses

Graduate Licensure Admission

An individual with a baccalaureate degree from a college or university with full academic accreditation who is seeking a State of Ohio teaching or license without a degree may apply for licensure-only admission status. Candidates for graduate licensure-only must satisfy the same admission requirements as degree-seeking candidates.

Program of Study

Upon formal admission to the College, students must prepare a Program of Study, showing all coursework and other aspects of the master’s program, with the assistance of an assigned advisor. The Program of Study should be developed in consultation with a faculty advisor at the beginning of the student’s program and forwarded to the Education Student Services Center. No elective courses should be taken without the faculty advisor’s approval. Any subsequent changes in the student’s program should be approved, in advance, by the faculty advisor and recorded on the approved Program of Study form on file in the Education Student Services Center.

Exit Requirement

Completion of a Master’s degree signifies the gaining of new knowledge and the ability to synthesize and apply this knowledge in practical settings. For this reason, every M.Ed. program includes an exit requirement. There are four ways to satisfy the exit requirement for the Master’s degree, although not all options are available for all specializations. See the requirements for individual specializations for additional information.

Capstone Course Option

Some specialization areas require a capstone course, which involves the application of knowledge gained throughout the program and some demonstration of this application. The capstone course may include a clinical component, the assembly of a portfolio of work, or the completion of a substantial research project. Students must successfully complete a capstone course with a grade of B or better. If unsuccessful, students may discuss with their advisor whether they may complete one of the other three exit requirements (comprehensive exam, project, or thesis), to finish degree requirements.

Comprehensive Examination Option

The written comprehensive examination is prepared, administered, and evaluated by the student’s department. The examination is usually taken in the final semester of enrollment. Students must be registered for at least one credit hour during the semester in which they take the examination, have a program of study on file in the Education Student Services Center, and must have filed an application for graduation (see the Application for Graduation section in this Catalog). When the student’s completed examination has been evaluated, the department chair certifies the results to the Associate Dean. Should the student’s comprehensive examination be judged unsatisfactory, the student is permitted to take a second examination within one year of the first test date. A third examination is not permitted.

Project/Thesis Option

The thesis must be a written, in-depth, scholarly investigation of a specific area related to the specialization. The project is usually a manuscript that documents the application of theory to practice and demonstrates the student’s capacity for evaluation and synthesis. Students must be registered for thesis/project credit each semester (excluding summer unless they are graduating during that semester) until the thesis or project is completed. In some instances, other media (e.g., film, videotape, computer program) may constitute the major product, but these must be accompanied by written documentation, explaining the application, value, and limitations of the product. In all cases, a project must include references to related works and must be presented in a form consistent with research publications in the field of specialization.

Licensure Examination Option (counseling students only)

Counseling students may use the National Counselor Examination (NCE) for Clinical Mental Health Counseling or the Ohio Assessment for Educators (OAE) exam for School Counselors as their exit option. If selecting this option for the exit requirement, candidates must provide a copy of a passing score report to the Education Student Services Center. The test must be taken and passed during the final internship. Students who do not pass the exam during the internship must change their graduation to the term they plan to take and pass the exam and submit passing results no later than the last day of instruction of the graduation term. Students who do not successfully pass the exam may complete one of the other exit requirements.

Core Courses

Programs of study for individual specializations may identify specific courses to satisfy core requirements. If a program of study does not explicitly identify a specific course to satisfy the core, candidates may select courses for which they are eligible from the following lists.

4. Theory and practice