Are test scores (GRE or MAT) required of all applicants?

No. As of fall 2020, GRE/MAT scores are no longer required (pending final university approval). However, submitting the test score still remains an option if you believe it would strengthen your applicating; for instance, if you had some low grades on your undergraduate transcript, you may choose to submit GRE or MAT scores to help substantiate your academic ability and potential.

Can I begin the program in the spring and/or summer?

The M.Ed. program begins each year in the fall. Applications must be received by the priority deadline (January 15) or secondary deadline (March 1) for consideration to enter the program in the fall. Students are not admitted mid-year into the program.

Can I take classes part-time or full-time?

Many students in the program are working part-time or full-time and thus may take classes part-time (2 courses each fall and spring) or full-time (3 courses each fall and spring). Summer courses, when available, can also help students stay on track to graduate in a timely manner. We do not recommend students take one course per semester because it significantly extends time to degree.

Can I take courses in the program as a post-baccalaureate student?

If the instructor provides permission and space is available in the course, yes. However, some courses (e.g. ADMN 6100, ADMN 8110) are intended for students already admitted to the program. Also, taking a class as a post-bacc student does not guarantee or help one’s admissions chances to the program. Priority in course registration goes to current program students and an instructor may ask that you drop a course if you are a post-bacc student and a current program student needs the course.

Can I take more than 9 hours (3 classes) per semester?

According to the university, a course load of 9 semester hours constitutes a normal full semester program for a graduate student. This is lower than the normal undergraduate load because of the extensive reading, independent thinking, and individual research required of graduate students. Generally, graduate students should not register for more than 12 semester hours during a semester.

The program recommends that students start with a course load of 6 hours (if taking classes part-time) or 9 hours (if taking classes full-time) to see how they manage the workload; then they can adjust the course load in subsequent semesters if needed. Because the program requires 30 hours, it is very possible to graduate in a year and a half by taking 9 hours each long semester and one summer class. A year and a half (or more) also affords students opportunities to complete at least one graduate assistantship, internship, etc. that you can make you more marketable for positions in higher education after graduation. This is particularly true for students entering directly after graduation with an undergraduate degree, as graduate assistantships are among the best ways to demonstrate your readiness to enter a professional position once you have your master's degree.

Does this program lead to administrative licensure?

No, this program does not lead to any licensure or certification. Visit the MSA program for information on becoming a licensed K-12 school administrator:

How can I find funds to pay for the program?

Students in the program finance their education through a combination of means depending on their individual circumstances, including through scholarships and grants, employment income (part-time or full-time), employer tuition assistance (including for UNC System employees), and loans. The admissions application is not an application for scholarships, grants, or loans, which must be pursued separately by students. Additional information is available at:

I am currently in another master’s program. Can I transfer specific classes/credits to this program?

If you apply and are admitted to the program, you can request up to 6 hours of credit to be considered for transfer credit if those credits have not been applied to another earned degree (i.e. you have not already earned a master’s degree using those credits) and the courses must apply to the program curriculum and be approved by the program faculty. 

I am currently in another master’s program. Can I transfer to this program?

If you are interested in entering the program, you would need to go through the standard application/admissions process, as there is not a transfer process into the program.

Is it necessary that I work in higher education in a part-time (graduate assistantship) or full-time role?

All students in the program should plan to gain relevant professional experience in higher education by working in the field either part-time (graduate assistantship) or full-time during their time in the degree program. The master’s degree alone without relevant work experience in higher education is not sufficient to be competitive in the job market for positions in higher education post-graduation. Experience as an undergraduate student alone will not make you competitive for positions. UNC Charlotte and other local colleges/universities offer a variety of graduate assistantships each year. Learn more about this process here:

Is it necessary to have a particular undergraduate major to pursue this master’s program?

No; students in our program come from a variety of fields and disciplines.

May I speak with a current student in the program?

Yes, please let the program director know of your interest to connect with a current student by emailing

My application is complete; is it under review?

An application is not marked as complete until the Graduate School has received and verified all components of the application package, including recommendations, official transcripts, and test score reports.

My GPA or test scores are too low. Should I still apply?

We review applications holistically, taking into account all aspects of the application package, including transcripts, test scores (optional), recommendations, statement of purpose, and resume. If other aspects of your application are strong and help balance out a low GPA or test scores, we will still be happy to consider your application for admission.

What is the process of applying for graduate assistantships?

Admission to the master’s degree program is a separate process independent of your application to graduate assistantships or any other work opportunities. Once admitted to the program, sign up on a Hire-a-Niner to search for and apply for open graduate assistant opportunities. We recommend you apply for all positions for which you are eligible as graduate assistant hiring processes are highly competitive. Admission to the program does not constitute a guarantee of an assistantship. Learn more about graduate assistantships here:

What kinds of jobs are graduates likely to pursue?

This program primarily focuses on higher education administration and those wishing to pursue administrative careers in colleges and universities in areas such as student affairs, academic advising/support, residence life, admissions, etc.

When are classes offered? Are any classes offered online?

Most classes are offered one evening a week on the UNC Charlotte campus with a start time of 5:30 p.m. Some courses are available during the summer. Many classes also include an online component that takes the place of several weekly meetings during the semester. Some other courses students might encounter (for example, as electives) are offered 100% online or may be offered at other time during the day if taken in other departments. In general, there is a strong face-to-face course component in the M.Ed. program.

Will this program prepare me to teach as a faculty member in a college/university?

No. If you would like to teach within a specific field/discipline, it is generally required that you hold a master’s degree or doctoral degree with at least 18 graduate credit hours within the specific field/discipline. For instance, if you would like teach psychology at the college level, you should pursue graduate work in psychology. There is not typically undergraduate coursework in educational leadership/higher education so this degree will not prepare you to teach undergraduates. The one exception is that higher education administrators often teach a general course (such as student success, first-year experience, university 101) in addition to their full-time administrative roles and a master’s degree is required but does not typically need to be in a specific field/discipline.