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Master of Education

The MED program offers specialization strands in special education, English language learners (ELL), and principal/program administrator.

Why Saint Martin's University?

An education degree from Saint Martin's University opens doors because of the stellar reputation of our program and our graduates. We've designed our schedule to work with yours, and with the only non-cohort based program in the area, you won't be locked into a fixed schedule. We currently offer our MED program on our Main campus in Lacey, and the special education and English language learner strands are also offered at our location on Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM).

Federal aid

Federal financial aid is available for graduate students who will be enrolled at least half time and are citizens, or eligible non-citizens, of the USA. Most federal aid for graduate students is in the form of direct loans. 

For more details about federal aid eligibility and the different types of aid available for graduate and professional studies visit studentaid.gov.

Graduate assistantships

Saint Martin’s University offers a limited number of graduate assistantships to graduate students. Contact the Office of the Provost for more information.

Master of Education Requirements

A total of 32 to 41 credit hours are required for the degree, depending on the strand and exit option chosen.

The MED program has four components that students must complete in order to earn their degree: core requirements, advancement to candidacy, specialization strands and electives, and exit options.

Required courses (11 hours)

  • MED 559: Intro to Exceptionality (2)  -OR-  MED 561: Instructional Strategies for Exceptional Learners (2) (Your advisor will guide the selection based on your previous coursework.)
  • MED 601: Educational Research Methods I (3) 
  • MED 605: Diversity and Social Context in the Classroom: Theory & Practice (3) 
  • MED 607: Foundations for Educational Practice (3)

A student working toward a Master of Education degree must apply for and be accepted as a degree candidate.

To be a degree candidate, the student must meet the minimum requirements below and the student's advisor must recommend him or her for advancement to candidacy. Students must also submit a signed Application for Admission to Candidacy Form to the College of Education and Counseling.

  1. Completion of 15 credit hours of graduate study
  2. Good academic standing
  3. Minimum GPA of 3.0
  4. Completion of MED 601 or enrollment in the class during the semester the application is submitted
  5. Formation of the supervisory committee


  • English as a second language / English language learner:  18 strand credits, 32-36 total credits
  • Principal/program administrator: 21 strand credits, 35 to 41 total credits
  • Special Education: 18 strand credits, 36 total credits

Detailed course listings for strands and electives can be found in the graduate academic catalog.

The MED program offers a thesis or non-thesis option for the completion of the degree.

Thesis or Project

(3 credit hours)
Written thesis or project with oral defense.


(3 to 6 credit hours)

  • Capstone Course - MED 698: Integrating Theory and Practice in Education (3 credit hours)
  • one additional graduate-level elective course in education for a minimum of 36 allowable credits

What are the differences between the MED and the MIT program?
The MED program is designed for educators who already have a teaching credential and are looking for a master's degree to further develop their skills and knowledge. The MIT program is designed for those looking to become certified as teachers while earning a master's degree.

Can credits from another university be transferred to the MED program?
Nine semester hours of graduate work may be taken at another institution and transferred, provided the work fits the program plan, is recommended by the program advisor and is approved by the director of master's programs in education. Students applying for admission to the program may request to have prior graduate study considered for transfer into the program.

Master of Education at a Glance

Master (4+1)
Program Type
4+1 Accelerated
Master’s Degree
Main (Lacey)
Type of Instruction
In Person
College of Education and Counseling
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4+1 program

Are you looking for a program that gives a competitive edge and lines you up for excellence in your educational career? The Education 4 + 1 program creates a unique, accelerated pathway to teaching, earning a master's degree with your bachelor's degree.

Academic excellence

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Education College of Distinction

Saint Martin's was named an Education College of Distinction for 2024-25.

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Catholic school special tuition program

The Saint Martin's University Catholic school special tuition program will provide a 50 percent occupational special tuition to full-time religious and lay teachers, and principals and paraprofessionals of Catholic schools which are under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Seattle. This special tuition will apply to students accepted to any College of Education and Counseling educator preparation program. Individuals who are employed on a part-time basis may be eligible for partial funding.

To be eligible for the above special tuition, individuals must be fully accepted into the undergraduate teacher education program, the certification-only program, the Master in Teaching Program or the Master of Education Program. Please note that the special tuition for each semester (including summer) is based on the University academic year tuition rate.

Saint Martin's University reserves the right to limit the number of Catholic school special tuition program participants in any particular course or program. It is understood that students will be admitted on a "space available" basis. It is likewise understood that this tuition grant program is not retroactive.

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Steps for applying for the Catholic school special tuition program

Complete an application for admission to Saint Martin's University College of Education at least six weeks before classes begin.

After acceptance into the College of Education, complete the application for the special tuition and mail to: the College of Education, Saint Martin's University, 5000 Abbey Way SE, Lacey, WA 98503

Application for this special tuition must be submitted at least two weeks before the academic session in which a course is being offered.

Application for Catholic School Special Tuition 

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College of Education and Counseling

The College of Education and Counseling is committed to educating dynamic, engaged, and culturally responsive leaders. Our graduates step into their schools, organizations, government agencies and nonprofits ready to engage with their communities in a way that honors and celebrates diversity in the spirit of Benedictine values. Join us in this important work - grounded in mission and driven by a vision of equitable education for all!

Next steps

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