Communication and Education EdM

Master of Education in Communication & Education


This program uses methods of the social sciences, encompassing both qualitative and quantitative approaches to the study of communication and education. It asks in particular how education and other social systems change under the impact of new media. Faculty members and students pursue three broad areas of inquiry, enabling them to: 

  • Reflect on the historical effects of media and on the cultural uses of developments such as face-to-face speech, writing, printing, photography, film, radio, television, computers, and networked multimedia; 
  • Use anthropological and linguistic methods to study how the diverse forms of communication, literacy, information processing, and cognition condition educational practice; and
  • Explore positive and negative effects of media on social relations and develop strategies for using information and communication technologies to improve conditions of education and life.

In the course of completing a degree, the student should expect to attend closely to both technical artifacts and human activity; that is, both to material systems of communication in which technologies are the primary interest and to interpersonal, direct communication dynamics in which unmediated exchanges, face-to-face, are the subject of inquiry. A major theme for continuous reflection should be the diverse ways in which the modes of communication condition the meanings actually, and potentially, communicated—particularly through the wide variety of digital means available to us.

Two students in conversation outside of Teachers College

Admissions Information

Master of Education

  • Points/Credits: 60
  • Entry Terms: Spring/Summer/Fall

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): January 15
  • Summer/Fall (Final): April 15

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • None

Course Requirements

Master of Education (60 Points)

Communication and Education (TECM)

The Communication and Education degree program relies primarily on social science inquiry to understand, interpret, and shape how information, communication technologies and new media influence culture and education, including areas such as literacy, social justice, youth development, and teacher education.

This program uses a broad range of methods -- including both qualitative and quantitative approaches -- to study the intersections of communication and learning. It asks, in particular, how education and other social systems change under the impact of emerging media. The program encourages students to: 

  • Reflect on the historical, cultural and social impact of a wide range of media
  • Leverage relevant research methods and modes of inquiry to better understand how communication and media use shape learning practices
  • Attend closely to both technological artifacts and human activity, reflecting on the diverse ways in which modes of communication condition the meanings actually, and potentially, communicated—particularly through the wide variety of digital means available to us.

Students graduating from the program in Communication and Education have pursued a wide variety of career paths, in accordance with their goals and interests. Some of these include: 

  • Teaching and research positions in higher education;
  • Working in schools, museums or other educational institutions to leverage new media technologies in effective and empowering ways;
  • Conducting formative and evaluative research on the use of media in/for learning, both within classrooms and beyond;
  • Designing and implementing innovations in the use of new media for educational, social or civic purposes; or
  • Working in government or nonprofit settings to shape the conversation around new media and learning through research and policy work.


Master of Education (60 points required)

An Ed.M. degree represents roughly the equivalent of two years of full-time study. It serves for some to mark progress toward a doctorate and for others to initiate intermediate professional qualifications for students who have previously completed a master’s degree at Teachers College or another institution. Up to 30 points of graduate credit earned elsewhere may be counted toward the minimum 60-point requirement. Ed.M. candidates who have completed an M.A. in CMLTD or an equivalent program should select further courses to broaden and deepen their mastery of the field. Those who are transferring a significant number of points from a different specialty toward the Ed.M. should include a selection of CMLTD core program courses in their remaining coursework. In addition to completing the minimum course requirements and developing a skill specialization, candidates for the Ed.M. degree culminate their work through a research or development project submitted to the faculty.

Master of Education (Ed.M.) programs are offered in Communication and Instructional Technology and Media. In each of these Ed.M. programs, students must take coursework totaling at least 60 points. The following are required of all Ed.M. students:

Core Requirement: (1 point)

  • MSTU 4000 Core Seminar in Communication, Computing, and Technology (1 point)

Foundational Knowledge: At least three areas must be represented. (9 points)

  • Cognitive Issues and Technology
    • MSTU 4133 Cognition and Computers
    • MSTU 4088 Introduction to Learning Sciences and Educational Technology
  • Social Issues and Technology
    • MSTU 4005 Equity, Ethical, and Social Issues in Educational Technology
    • MSTU 4020 Social and Communicative Aspects of the Internet
  • Cultural Issues and Technology
    • MSTU 4028 Technology and Culture
    • MSTU 5002 Culture, Media, and Education
  • Educational Practice and Design
    • MSTU 4001 Technology and School Change
    • MSTU 4050 Online Schools and Online Schooling K-12
    • MSTU 4083 Instructional Design of Educational Technology

Research Methods and Design: (3 points)

Students must complete one research method or research design course offered either in or outside the CMLTD program. Suggested courses include the following:

  • HUDM 4122 Probability and Statistical Inference
  • ITSF 5000 Methods of inquiry: Ethnography and Participant Observation
  • MSTU 5025 Researching Technology in Educational Environments
  • MSTU 5001 Assessing the Impact of Technology In Schools

Breadth Requirement: (6 points)

All students must complete 6 points at Teachers College outside of the Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design Program (that is, courses with a prefix other than MSTU). Suggested: HUDM 4120 Basic concepts in statistics; ITSF 5000 Methods of inquiry-Ethnography and participant observation; and/or other basic research/inquiry courses without an MSTU prefix.

Additional Requirements: for Ed.M. students in Communication and Education (TECM)

  • MSTU 4016 The History of Communication
  • MSTU 5606 Readings in Communication Theory and Social Thought I
  • 35 points of additional MSTU courses
  • Other courses chosen in consultation with an advisor

Integrative Ed.M. Project

The Integrative Ed.M. Project is a research or development project that should result from independent effort equivalent to that of a 3-point course. Like the M.A. integrative project, it should provide tangible evidence of a student’s skills and strengths and should represent the student’s interests, as well as display the specialized skills developed for the degree.

Students accepted for a doctoral program should earn the Ed.M. as an integral part of their doctoral work. However, the Ed.M. can be far more than a stepping stone to a doctorate. It allows for great flexibility, and students can use it to lay a strong foundation for significant positions of leadership that demand high levels of skill but do not require doctoral-level academic certification. For instance, students can put together a very effective 60-point program dealing with “school media for curriculum innovation.” In a similar way, one can develop a very strong grounding in educational software development through the Ed.M. degree. It can serve many purposes. One needs to think through one’s aspirations and use the scope of the Ed.M. program to build academic and experiential foundations in accordance with one’s achievement goals.

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