Frequently Asked Questions
About the Degree
What is the name of the degree I will earn by completing this program?
You will earn a Master of Science in Education degree.
What type of coursework will I be completing?
You will complete 30 credit hours of coursework plus the portfolio capstone.*
- 21 credit hours are focused on teaching pedagogy;
- 9 credit hours are elective options.
Please see the Overview of Coursework for more detailed information.
*Students must provide proof of successful completion of TFA/TNTP summer training in order for these credits to be waived and to graduate.
What is the portfolio component?
The portfolio is created in lieu of a master’s thesis and is based on experiences from classroom teaching and graduate coursework. It is a showcase of what you have learned as an educator and includes real work you and your students have done in your classroom.
Can I apply transfer credits to this program?
Yes, but the credits must meet the following requirements:
- Must have been taken in the last five years;
- Student must have earned a B or better;
- A maximum of 6 credits can transfer;
- Must be related to education;
- Must have been taken at the graduate level.
- Note: Graduate-level credits that were earned as part of a bachelor’s degree program cannot be transferred.
Applying to the Program
Who is eligible to apply to this program?
The minimum eligibility requirements are:
- Be a full-time PreK-12 teacher by the start of the academic year to which you are applying
- An undergraduate GPA of 2.5
- Be in good standing with TFA or TNTP
- TFA corps members or alumni are eligible
- TNTP teachers are eligible after their first year of teaching
What does the admissions process look like?
- Complete the online application
- Submit your transcripts for each institution you’ve attended to the admissions office
- If you have an undergraduate GPA below 3.0, you may be asked to submit additional requirements such as letters of recommendation
- You will be notified of your admission decision via email
- If admitted, you will have about one month to accept or decline your offer in the application portal
What should I include in my Letter of Intent?
The Letter of Intent is required for TFA corps members placed in Baltimore, Connecticut, DC, or Hawai’i who are applying to the master’s program. Ensure you are answering all parts of the prompt and proofread for errors. Review this document for tips on writing your Letter of Intent.
Are test scores like the GRE required?
No, test scores are not required for admission to our program.
When will I hear back about my admission decision?
Master of Science in Education: Educational Studies—Teach For America & TNTP Collaboration Programs
Enrollment: Part-Time/Full-Time Start Terms: Fall Deadlines: Varies by Region; Four rounds of application of deadlines; Applicants are encouraged to apply and complete an application as early as possible, as each application round increases in volume. Application Completion Deadline* Admission Notification Round 1 January 15 February 15 Round 2 March 1 April 1 Round 3 May 1 June 1 Round 4 June 15 July 15 Application Requirements: Online application form Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended Prospective applicants must first apply and be accepted to the TFA Program. For more information, please visit TFA's website. *Your application is considered complete once all required transcripts have been received by our admissions office.
Financing the Degree
How much will this degree cost?
The cost of the degree will vary depending on how long it takes you to complete the degree and whether you use AmeriCorps award funding or other grants/scholarships. However, you can view the the 2019–20 tuition and fees page.
If using one year of AmeriCorps* award funding: estimated $19,890
If using two years of AmeriCorps* award funding: estimated $13,795
*The costs provided above are estimates.
Are there scholarships or grants available?
Please see the Grants and Scholarships page for more information.
Is there financial aid available?
Please see the Financial Aid web page for more details.
Can I use a TEACH Grant?
TEACH grants require a four-year teaching commitment that you can qualify for by enrolling in our program. The TEACH Grant Program provides up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete coursework needed to begin a career in teaching. Among other requirements, as a condition for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must sign an agreement to teach:
- in a high-need field;
- at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families; and
- for at least four complete academic years within eight years after completing (or ceasing enrollment in) the course of study for which you received the grant.
It’s important to note that your two years of teaching while in our program do not count as a part of the four years. The count of your four years begins after you complete your time in our master’s program. However, since the grant is national, the service obligation can be completed in any high-need location, as determined by the federal government, so you would not need to stay in your current school or state. Note: If you do not meet the requirements of your service obligation, all TEACH Grants you received will be converted to Unsubsidized Direct Loans that must be repaid in full, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.
Completing the Degree
Do I need to remain in the classroom for the duration of the program?
Yes. Since our coursework requires that you have access to students, you are required to be teaching full-time in a K-12 classroom for the duration of the degree.
Do I have to teach in the same school for the duration of the program?
No, you just have to be teaching in a K-12 classroom full-time. You can be in any school- public, charter, private- in any location. Some of our students even teach internationally!
How long does it take to complete the degree?
The degree can be completed in two years. You have up to five years to complete the degree.
Do I ever need to come to Baltimore?
No, our program is 100% online and asynchronous. You will never need to come to campus and coursework is completed during the week when it works for your schedule. You submit all of your assignments by the deadline online in Blackboard.
How many hours per week will I spend doing coursework?
This will vary, but you should expect to spend 3 hours per credit hour completing coursework per week. For example, a 3 credit hour course is about 9 hours of work each week. Keep in mind, our coursework is designed to complement the work you do as a teacher. Many of your assignments will be part of your typical work as a classroom teacher.
How many classes will I take each semester?
This is up to you. Typically students take 2 to 3 classes each semester. The credit hours for each class varies, but students are usually enrolled in 5 to 9 credit hours. You are encouraged to take the number of classes that work for you and your schedule. For example, if you know you will be coaching a sport in the Spring, you may decide to only take one class that semester to ensure you are successful.
Since our program is part-time and designed for full-time teachers, taking more than 9 credit hours per semester is prohibited.
Are there courses offered during the summer?
Yes, elective courses are offered during the summer. Since the core courses require you to have access to students, we do not offer these in the summer.
Can I take courses in the summer prior to my cohort start?
No, we do not permit students to take courses in the summer prior to their cohort start. It is important that you have program information and receive support before enrolling in courses. All students are required to complete Orientation before beginning coursework, which is offered during the summer. You will also work with and get to know your advisor and learn more about the program plan and course sequence in the summer before you begin courses.
How can I ensure I am successful in this program?
Students who are successful in our program typically exhibit the following habits:
- Communicate regularly with their advisor and instructors;
- Utilize course resources such as Blackboard and syllabi;
- Log into their courses a minimum of three times per week and post multiple items on discussion boards;
- Set aside time in their schedule each week to complete coursework;
- Utilize their Hopkins email account to stay informed;
- Actively save their work and students’ work for the portfolio capstone.
After the Degree
Does this program lead to certification?
- If you are a current corps member in one of the regions listed below: You will take your certification courses at Hopkins and your region will provide your actual teaching certification.
- If you are not in one of the above regions, this program is a noncertification program — meaning that it does not lead to a teaching certificate. You should contact your state’s department of education to see what they require for certification and ask whether the coursework here is sufficient.
Can I use this degree to become a school administrator?
Each state has different requirements for school administration certificates. You will need to contact your state’s department of education to determine whether this degree will meet the requirements to become a school administrator. It’s also useful to know that the School of Education offers a school administration certificate program for Maryland-based educators. Many TFA/TNTP students take courses from this program as electives and then go on to complete the certification program after earning their MSEd degree.
Is this degree only good for those who want to stay in the classroom?
No. Our alumni are doing all kinds of work after completing their degree. The ability to choose electives that align with your interests enables you to tailor the degree to your future goals. Here are some examples of what alumni are doing:
- Classroom teachers
- Principals and vice principals
- Medical school students
- Doctorate in education students
- Law school students
- White House fellows
- School district employees
- Education nonprofit founders
- Instructional coaches
- Instructors for our program