Master of Education
Advanced Studies

Total cost:

$9,500 View Tuition Details

Application due date for February 22, 2021 term: February 19

Estimated time to completion: 17 Months

Take your career further.

This program is designed to help those wanting to teach at the secondary or college level meet education requirements. With more than 10 majors and more than five Focus of Study areas, it allows you to obtain 18-credit hours in the area of your choosing.

Nationally for most Master’s of Education graduates.*

What you can expect.

  • Intentional Design With eighteen credit hours for every major, you can get the required credits to meet accreditation standards in the area you wish to teach.
  • Customizable This program offers numerous Majors and Focus of Study options—allowing you to customize the degree to suit your individual needs. For example, if you wish to teach math to adult learners, you can pair a Math Major with the Adult and Continuing Education Focus of Study.
  • Flexible Study on your schedule. Our online format allows you to plan your coursework around your life.
  • Accelerated Completion Students who have received a Certificate in Content Area Instruction at ACE can transfer these courses to fulfill the course requirements for the major.

Advanced Studies Majors

Your selected major will require 18 of your credit hours and comprise the bulk of your specialization. View the College Catalog for more details about each major.


Cognitive Science

Early Childhood Education


General Studies*


Integrated Biology

Integrated Chemistry

Integrated Physics

Integrated Science

Interdisciplinary Leadership


Social Science

*Completely customizable option for students to choose any 10 courses (30 semester credits).

Choose your focus of study.

Twelve of your semester credits will specialize in a focus area of your choice. View the College Catalog for full descriptions.

  • Adult and Continuing Education
  • Community College Leadership
  • Higher Education
  • Instructional Leadership
  • International Education
  • Online Learning and Teaching

A few of the classes you'll take.

  • EBUS5203 Management of Financial Resources 3 semester credits
  • PSYC5273 Performance of the Intellect 3 semester credits
  • EC5403 Foundations of Child Development 3 semester credits
Cathy McKay, Ed.D.

Department Chair

Cathy McKay, Ed.D.
Administrative Faculty and Chair,
Department of Professional Educational Studies
View All Faculty

A Degree You Can Count On

We are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This accreditation guarantees our programs meet certain levels of quality standards.

A Note About Licensure:

While this program provides a comprehensive understanding of the intended program outcomes, it does not lead to licensure, certification, or endorsement. ACE offers several programs that do provide a pathway to licensure, certification, or endorsement and they can be found here.


M.Ed. in Advanced Studies

Total Tuition

34 semester credits
x $235 per credit



$50 Application Fee

$1,360 Technology & Library Fee
($40 per credit)

$100 Program Conferral Fee


Total Program Cost*


Let’s find a plan that fits your budget.

Even without federal loans, there are plenty of ways to finance your education at ACE. When you’re ready to invest in yourself, explore our flexible payment and financing options. Our Student Services reps are available to help you create a workable plan whatever your financial circumstances.

View Payment Options Talk to an Enrollment Counselor

*This is an estimated value of the cost for tuition and fees. Amounts may vary depending on number of transfer credits applied to the selected program hours or program pathway credit hours, the pace and satisfactory completion of the selected program or program pathway credit hours, receipt of, or eligibility for, institutional or non-institutional scholarship and/or grant amounts, and adjustments to tuition or fees as described in the Catalog Right to Modify Tuition section.

State of California Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF)

It is a state of California requirement that a student who pays his or her tuition is required to pay a state-imposed assessment for the Student Tuition Recovery Fund. For more information and to see if you must pay the state-imposed assessment for Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) click here.

Admission Requirements

M.Ed. in Advanced Studies

ACE General Admission Requirements

  • Complete and submit all application components including the admission application, including the enrollment agreement, and payment agreement.
  • Submit the nonrefundable application fee.*
  • Provide official transcripts from a regionally accredited institution indicating successful completion of the level of education required for entry to the program.**

*The application fee is valid for one year from date of submission.
**Additional evidence may be required to fulfill state requirements, including but not limited to verification of professional experience, test scores, or an interview.

Program Admission Requirements

M.Ed. in Advanced Studies

  • Bachelor's or Highest Post-Baccalaureate degree earned
  • Minimum Grade Point Average 2.75 on a 4.0 Scale for full admission
  • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.50 on a 4.0 Scale for Provisional Admission*
  • Additional evidence may be required to fulfill state requirements, including but not limited to verification of professional experience, test scores, or an interview

*Applicants whose overall GPA, or GPA in the last 60 hours is below 2.50 will not be admitted to the degree program

International Transcript Requirements

All applicants must submit to the Admissions Office official, sealed college transcripts from each institution attended.

  • Transcripts that are international and/or not in English must be evaluated through an NACES-recommended agency.
  • Texas applicants may only submit evaluations from agencies approved by the Texas Education Agency.
  • International applicants must request the course-by-course evaluation. The evaluation report must show that the non-U.S. education is equivalent to the education/accreditation level required for the program.

English as a Second Language Applicants

All applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in the English language as demonstrated in one of three ways:

  1. Submission of an official transcript showing a degree from a United States secondary school or regionally accredited college/university.

  2. Submission of an official minimum score on the paper or internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams.
    • The minimum TOEFL score required for the internet-based version is 80, and the paper-based version requires a minimum TOEFL score of 20 for each of the three skills: Reading, Listening, and, Writing.

    • The minimum IELTS score required is 6.5. Note: IELTS is not acceptable for Texas programs leading to certification.

    • The testing agency must send test scores directly to American College of Education.
  3. Applicants to the Texas Educational Leadership program whose first language is not English must submit a minimum scaled score of 24 for speaking, 22 for listening, 22 for reading, and 21 for writing from the Internet-Based TOEFL (IBT) or evidence of an undergraduate or graduate degree earned at an institution of higher education in a country outside of the United States listed in Figure: 19 TAC §230.11(b)(5)(C).


M.Ed. in Advanced Studies

Explore the classes you'll take to fulfill this program's 34 semester credit requirement. For more information, a complete list of requirements, and course options, see the College Catalog.

Research Courses (3 semester credits)

This course enables students to become informed consumers of research and to develop skills to prepare them to carry out action research in their schools and organizations. An emphasis is placed on providing students with knowledge they can apply in determining whether particular research findings are relevant to their leadership and instructional practices and to distinguish between trustworthy and non-trustworthy research. The course places action research within the context of various types of research and examines research in terms of basic concepts and various purposes, methods, data, and paradigms. Emphasis is placed on how research can become a vital and relevant tool for educational and organizational leaders.

Teaching/Learning Core Courses (1 semester credit)

The Capstone Experience is designed for candidates to demonstrate and document the impact of their knowledge and competencies gained throughout, and as a result of studies related to the Advanced Studies program.

Focus of Study

Customize this degree by choosing a four-course Focus of Study to fulfill the remaining 12 semester credits.

Adult and Continuing Education (12 semester credits)

This course examines the theory and research of andragogy, with an emphasis on the historical influences, practical applications, and critical analysis. Topics include fields of practice, schools of thought, clarification of concepts, and emerging issues and challenges.
This course examines a variety of learning and teaching strategies to enhance adult learning. Students analyze methods suited for adult learning in different settings, apply knowledge of adult learning theories, and explore ways in which adults learn critical thinking.
This course focuses on theories and processes of measuring student learning in post-secondary educational settings to evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs. Students explore accreditation procedures and standards, instructional approaches, engagement strategies, and management of instructional environments.
This course provides an introduction to the historical developments, theoretical perspectives, fundamental approaches, and real-world practices of evaluating adult learners. Students learn to apply a variety of methods to assess learning outcomes effectively and to analyze assessment data to improve teaching and learning.

Community College Leadership (12 semester credits)

Community colleges depend upon models of finance and funding which influence approaches to student engagement. This course explores the impact on operating costs related to a self-service cafeteria style delivery of services contrasted with other models, including a guided pathway option. By comparing cost per student with cost for successful completion, students investigate the merits of changing economic models.
This course addresses the function and purpose of community colleges from a current-to-future perspective, evaluating what has worked with what could be potentially be needed to encourage students to successfully complete a degree of study. Issues related to student choice, credit transfer to four-year programs, and alignment of program outcomes with student goals and assessment are explored.
Faculty and student engagement is related to relationships focused on mission and vision. This course explores critical topics related to governance, building trust through demonstrated integrity, supporting practice founded on policies while addressing crossfunctional teams supporting collaboration and inquiry.
This course investigates critical issues and concerns, emerging roles and functions, and influencing factors helping to redefine the nature of higher education. Societal shifts are probed to determine relevancy. Trends in technology and instructional delivery become the frame for forecasting the possible future of higher education.

Higher Education (12 semester credits)

This course investigates critical issues and concerns, emerging roles and functions, and influencing factors helping to redefine the nature of higher education. Societal shifts are probed to determine relevancy. Trends in technology and instructional delivery become the frame for forecasting the possible future of higher education.
Focused on examining statutory and regulatory compliance issues impacting institutions, this course is designed to heighten analytical skills to ensure an understanding of the intricacies influencing higher education in today's climate of globalization. The interrelationship between law and policy is explored through the use of case studies, partnerships, and community relationship serving to establish a context for practice with the governance of an organization.
This course considers how to strategically manage human, financial, and data resources. Strategic thinking, planning, and development establish effective ways to 1) strengthen working relationships, 2) engage in financial practices which contain costs and advance the mission of an institution and 3) utilize data for continuous improvement. By comparing and evaluating institutional advancement strategies, activities are assessed to determine how they complement strategic priorities and goals, build and enhance program relevance, and add practical value.
Dependent upon function and service, student affairs influences the relationship between adult learning and instructional outcomes. Leadership practices, as seen through theoretical lens, explore personnel issues, student support, success, and retention, and assessment options which guide decision-making. Consideration is given to ways student perspectives shape the college experience and how these can be leveraged for change.

Instructional Leadership (12 semester credits)

This course focuses on theories and processes of measuring student learning in post-secondary educational settings to evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs. Students explore accreditation procedures and standards, instructional approaches, engagement strategies, and management of instructional environments.
This course focuses on the improvement of curriculum, instruction, and student achievement throughout diverse school and organizational settings. To make these improvements, leaders must first develop the skill set and knowledge base necessary to build leadership capacity among staff members. Instructional leaders can then collaboratively set learner-centered goals to promote higher levels of student progress, achievement, and post-secondary and college and career readiness.
This course promotes the concept of leaders serving as role models of professional development for their staffs to achieve higher levels of performance within the organization. To do so, leaders must utilize effective strategies, programs, and services based on data-driven decisions and the needs of stakeholders in the organizational community. Emphasis is placed on the impact of relevant, high-quality, job-embedded, differentiated, technology-integrated professional learning opportunities aligned to organizational goals. The course also prepares leaders to serve as advocates for sufficient preparation, time, and support for colleagues to work collaboratively in job-embedded professional learning.
This course explores leadership models to increase teacher leadership through collaboration, mentoring, and shared governance within school organizations. Participants will engage in self-evaluation to identify their leadership qualities and capacity for leadership activity, to improve professional practices positively impacting student achievement. Participants will engage in critical thinking and problem-solving skills to navigate demands from multiple stakeholders and become advocates for continuous school improvement.

International Education (12 semester credits)

This course provides an overview of education from a global perspective, including international development theories, as well as key international development policies and frameworks impacting education, including Education for All, the Millennium Development Goals, Post-2015 Agenda as well as key protocols developed by the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations. Leaders will also explore the complexities of international aid, refugee education and post-conflict environments. Professionals will have the opportunity to apply what they learn in the course by developing policy briefs, and conducting qualitative and quantitative analyses.
This course explores the role of international organizations, international aid agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and global foundations in the provision of education internationally, with a focus on developing countries. After looking at guiding frameworks and financing issues in the LEAD6243/LEAD5003 course, students will move on to look at programs, initiatives, and implementation of education programs in a wide variety of contexts (formal, informal and non-formal).
This course explores international migration - at the international, transnational, and local levels - and its impact on education systems. Challenges for teaching, learning and administration will all be explored. Leaders will have the opportunity to examine different cases and conduct comparative research to explore the impact of migration on education, as well as strategies to deliver high quality education in diverse learning environments.
Leaders will examine in this course some of the major international programs and initiatives in education, such as study abroad, the International Baccalaureate in K-12 education and the Bologna Accord in the area of higher education. With an emphasis on applied learning, students will explore pedagogies, theories, curricula and strategies that are applied to meet the needs of intercultural and multicultural learning environments. Significant attention will be given to the application of technology, including mobile technology; students will have the opportunity explore the use of educational technology in both developing and developed country contexts.

Online Learning and Teaching (12 semester credits)

Students will compare theories of teaching and learning with applications to online instruction. Content includes emerging technology and use of Open Educational Resources.
Students will critique research on social presence and best practices for connecting online with students or colleagues, as well as best practices for social media use within education organizations.
Students will implement and assess the concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for accessible online courses and compare models of instructional design.
Students will demonstrate effective online teaching and assessment; analyze and compare Learning Management Systems; and advocate for professional organizations which provide continuing development for online educators.