Program Overview

The University of Southern California offers a Masters of Education in Advanced Instruction degree. The curriculum consists of 32 credit hours allowing full-time students to complete the program in about a year, or 2-3 years as a part-time student. There are four different concentrations that students may choose: Differing Abilities (Elementary and Secondary), Elementary STEM, Secondary STEM, and Secondary Humanities.

The M.Ed. Advanced Instruction degree is ideal for students who want to learn about different methods of addressing the problems of practice, and helps improve learning and achievement in the classroom. The curriculum is designed around these key areas of research: curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, reflection and inquiry, critical thinking and disclosure, environment, advocacy, instructional technology, and instructional leadership.  

The Differing Abilities concentration is designed for K-12 teachers who want to build attentiveness and help meet the needs of both special needs and gifted education students.

The Elementary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) concentration is for K-12 teachers who want to expand their knowledge and application in math and science. The curriculum focuses on teaching students how to practice model-based reasoning techniques, to teach and facilitate creative and innovative thinking, and to challenge students to solve real-world problems through modeling processes.

The Secondary STEM concentration is meant for grades 6-12 teachers who want to expand their knowledge and application in math and science. The curriculum focuses on teaching students how to learn in a holistic approach about science and math, which allows them to understand the complexity and tie all of the elements together.

The Secondary Humanities concentration is ideal for teaches of 6-12th grade who want to expand their knowledge and application in English (language arts) and social science. The curriculum focuses on teaching students how to enable their students to become effective critical thinkers and problem solvers.

Additionally, students have the opportunity to earn the Education Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate Disabilities. Students who are interested in this must complete an additional six credits if pursuing ME in Differing Abilities, which includes one 3-credit course and Guided Practice. For all other ME Advanced Instruction students, an additional 12 credits must be completed, which includes three 3-credit courses and a guided practice. Students must already have a valid teaching credential to be eligible to earn this teaching credential. The courses include: Collaboration, Families, and Case Management, Establishing and Maintaining an Effective Classroom Strategy, and Guided Practice Mild to Moderate Disabilities.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Master

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission    


    At least two years of work experience as a teacher, counselor, psychologist, or other school-based personnel is required for admission to the program

    School Overview

    Recognized as a leading research facility with global networks, USC supports online learning through USC Online. Students benefit from online flexible degree programs, yet complete the same academic rigor and standards of on-campus degrees.

    More than 80 online degree programs accommodate working professionals and nontraditional students. Degrees include, but are not limited to, fields of study in business, management, psychology, education, dentistry, gerontology, engineering, medicine, social work, and public policy. 

    Students communicate with peers and faculty in real time via online sessions, and faculty work with students to coordinate service learning and internship opportunities in regions near to the student’s residence.

    Online students also have access to USC resources, including financial aid. Master’s programs typically require about two years to complete, while students can complete certificate programs in one year.


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