College of Education & Human Services

Master of Science in Education (M.S. Ed.) in Educational Studies

Location: Online

Program Overview

  • Our 33 semester hour program allows you the flexibility to design a course of study to meet your personal and professional goals and complete it at your own pace.
  • We offer two options that prepared graduates to be effective professionals in public or private educational or related human service settings:
    • Professional Education
    • Language, Culture, and Education

Why Choose Educational Studies at WIU?

At a time when the ability to make data-driven, research based decisions is increasingly becoming an expected skill for master teachers, we stress the development of this critical skill as an integral part of our core graduate program across both of our ES graduate options. Of course, this is not the sole focus of our program. We offer a focus on language culture and education that pairs with the ESL endorsement sequence for licensed teachers, and the post-baccalaureate TESOL program. We also have a student designed professional education track with room for open electives. Our program is interdisciplinary in orientation, allowing the degree candidate to develop a rich grasp of central issues and problems in education from the perspective of several key disciplines including psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology. Whichever option you pursue, we think you will find the experience exhilarating and inspiring. We welcome and look forward to your participation should you choose to join us.

Possible Careers

  • Professional advancement and additional endorsement areas for P-12 teachers
  • Postsecondary and Adult Educators
  • Educational Consultants, Researchers, or Policy Analysts
  • Educational Professionals in schools, industry, non-profit, and other settings


Step 1 - Application for admittance to the Western Illinois School of Graduate Studies

To seek admission, you must formally apply to the School of Graduate Studies declaring Educational Studies as your area of study. You must meet the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and have a minimum cumulative GPA for all undergraduate work of 2.75. You will need to submit your official transcripts. The Program Coordinator will contact you for an interview once your application is complete.

Please contact the graduate coordinator with any questions about the program or the application process.

Financial Aid

Graduate Assistantships

The School of Education offers several graduate assistantships in three areas:

  • School of Education  - Open only to students seeking graduate degrees in the College of Education and Human Services, with preference given to those seeking graduate degrees in the School of Education.
  • WIU Preschool - Open only to students seeking graduate degrees in the College of Education and Human Services, with preference given to those seeking graduate degrees in the School of Education.
  • America Reads  - Open to all graduate students, with preference given to students in the School of Education. Applicants must qualify for federal work study. International students do not qualify.

These positions offer opportunities for graduate candidates to provide instructional, research, and clerical support for faculty. A graduate assistant completes at least nine semester hours of online coursework each semester and works with one or more faculty for fifteen hours each week. Graduate assistanships do not cover the cost of tuition, but graduate students in these positions do receive a monthly stipend. Assistantships are awarded for a single year, but may be renewed for one additional year. Positions are available on both the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses and require an on-campus commitment. Applications are available through the  School of Graduate Studies.

Our Faculty

The ES program faculty are comprised of scholar-practitioners representing several core disciplines including educational psychology, sociocultural studies, philosophical, and historical studies. Faculty members utilize their distinctive disciplinary orientations and accompanying methodologies to collectively address pressing educational, intellectual, and social concerns. It is the union of an unusually diverse faculty and an uncommon approach to inquiry that makes the department and its degree options interdisciplinary. More

Information for Current Students

Graduate Degree Plans

The 33 hour M.S. Ed. requires that all learners complete 21 semester hours of core coursework offered by the program as specified by the your selected option: Professional Education or Language, Culture and Education. The options are intended to serve as the basic framework for a program of study. Substitutions of coursework will only be permitted with the approval of your advisor.

After completing 9-15 hours of coursework, you will meet with the ES Graduate Advisor to complete the required degree plan form, which will list all courses you will take to complete the ES degree. As part of this discussion, you will decide which culminating project option best fits with your educational objectives, either a thesis, or a portfolion option.

  • if you choose thesis,you will select an ES faculty member to serve as your thesis chair. If they argree, you will include their name on the degree plan.
    • if student chooses portfolio, you will take an additional three credit hours of electives, to be approved by the ES Advisor.

Culminating Project Guidelines and Approval Forms

For more information, contact the Educational Studies graduate coordinator,
Dr. Carla Paciotto
Carla Paciotto

Office: WIU-Quad Cities - 1109
Phone: 309-255-1511

Voices of Alumni

"As a practicing teacher, I have found myself constantly incorporating what I have learned through the program into my daily practice. Since my first semester in the program, I have found myself more engaged and reflective about my own teaching. The renewed energy and focus I have as a result of the contagious passion and enthusiasm of my professors have launched me into a new era in my career.: -- Susan Raley

"The thing that I like most about the EDS program is the exceptional quality of the instructors. In addition to being experts of the material, the professors for the EDS program are highly skilled educators who put the theoretical work of education into classroom practice on a daily basis. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn about education from such an amazing group of educational professionals." -- Seth Knappen