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M. Ed. Cohort Student Handbook

Welcome to the M.Ed. Cohort Program!  You will very quickly be brought into a vibrant online learning community that will support and enhance your professional development experience.  The Cohort Program adheres to CEHSP College Graduate Program policies.  Procedures and policies specific to the Cohort Program are outlined in this handbook.   

Master of Education Degree Requirements

Minimum degree requirements are established by the CEHSP Graduate Programs Office. Exceptions must be recommended by the graduate committee and approved by Graduate Program Council.  Specific application of these requirements to the Cohort program are indented following relevant criteria. 

  • Candidates must complete a minimum of 30 semester credits, 5000-level or above, which have not been used to fulfill an undergraduate requirement, or 4000-level that have been approved for graduate credit through the Graduate School. All courses toward a graduate degree must have been taken after the awarding of the baccalaureate degree and must have been registered for graduate credit.
      • The Cohort Program requires core courses make up 24 of the required 30 credits.  Substitutions or waivers of core courses will not be considered.  This core curriculum is effective Fall 2008. [Students admitted prior to Fall 2008 will follow the program plan in place at the time of admission.]
  • At least 20 credits must be completed at UMD including core courses as specified by the program.
  • No more than 12 semester degree credits may be taken prior to admission in the program, and such credit must be earned within five years prior to admission to the program.
      • The minimum six credits of electives may be transferred from other programs and/or institutions.  Electives are selected by the candidate and approved by the graduate committee to support career goals and objectives. Transfer courses may be used to meet this component of the program. No more than 3 credits earned for professional development courses may be used in the program.
  • Use of credit earned more than five years prior to admission must be (1) validated (see credit validation process); (2) recommended by the Committee; and (3) approved by the Collegiate Graduate Program Council. 
  • All credit must be completed within seven years of admission. Any course completed more than seven years before completion of the program must be validated by a CEHSP / UMD faculty member in the content area, recommended by the Committee, and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies (M.Ed.).
  • A minimum of 20 credits must be taken for A-F grades.
  • A minimum 2.8 cumulative grade point average is required for the M.Ed. to be conferred.

Academic Progress Standards

Students are admitted to a Cohort and must enroll in all core courses with the Cohort.  Students unable to register for the scheduled courses in a term, whether for personal or academic reasons, should submit a request in writing to the Graduate Program Office for admission to a subsequent cohort. 

In order to register continuously with the Cohort of initial admission, students must pass Educ 7001 with a minimum grade of "B."  Educ 7001 with a grade less than "B," or any other required course with a grade less than "C-," must be repeated in order to remain active in the program.  The cohort model requires that any student who has to repeat a course must request admission to a subsequent cohort. 

Students who request and are granted an Incomplete grade for any course will have a registration hold and will not be able to register more than one term beyond the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned. 

Continuous Enrollment

Once admitted, students must maintain continuous enrollment in every fall and spring semester until the degree is conferred.   There is no minimum number of credits, but you must be enrolled in at least one course.  To implement this policy for students who have already registered in all required courses, or who elect to stop out for a term, students can maintain continuous enrollment with EHS 0799, CEHSP Masters Active Status.  This is a zero-credit class; no tuition will be charged.  However, you will be assessed the internet/email access fee.  UMD email is the official mode of communication for the University; you should check it regularly so you don't miss important deadlines.

In order to avoid late registration fees, you must register in course work, or EHS 0799, BEFORE the first day of the semester. Initial registration on or after the first day of a semester results in a late registration fee.

You must be enrolled in regular course work, or EHS 0799, by the end of the second week of the semester or you will be discontinued from the program.  If you become inactive, re-entry to the M.Ed. program will require a new application, application fee, and new program plan.

Delivery Mode

The Cohort Program is delivered through an online learning community, with one weekend, face-to-face meeting scheduled each semester.  The dates for all four meetings are scheduled prior to the deadline for admission to each cohort.  Attendance at face-to-face meetings is required; there will be absolutely no exceptions for the first-semester meetings.  Excused absence for subsequent semesters is at the discretion of the instructor.  Online instruction is asynchronous, although faculty may schedule synchronous online meetings; dates will be scheduled prior to the beginning of the semester. 


The Director of Garduate Studies (DGS) will serve as the advisor for all cohort members during the first year of their program. The DGS will assist students with orientation to the program, general academic advising during the first year of the cohort, and consultation on electives that will be accepted in the program.  The DGS - M.Ed. will also pre-approve transfer credits prior to or during admission (form), when requested by the student. 

During the second year of the program each student will work closely with the instructor of the Educ 7001 course.  Along with the instrucotr of the final semester course, EHS 5990 students will work closely with both to complete their final research project.  This work on the final project will be integrated into the coursework, with the expectation that the research will be completed by the end of the 4th semester.

Program Plan

The Program Plan needs to be submitted to the DGS Assistant by the end of the first semester in the program.  The Plan is signed by the student, and the Director of Graduate Studies (m.Ed.) indicating final approval.  The Program Plan outlines all course work that will be completed for the degree. If independent study is part of the program, at least a general topic area must be indicated in the program plan. Failure to file a Program Plan will result in a hold on registration.  Any changes to the program must be approved by the M.Ed. Director on a Plan Addendum. 

Recommendation for Degree

A Recommendation for Degree must be signed and filed in the Graduate Program Office for degree clearance. This must be the original form with signatures, not faxed or emailed; this is the only form that is permanently archived. The degree clearance process verifies that all credits approved as the student's program plan (or addendums) have been completed, the minimum g.p.a. has been met, all independent study has been documented, and official transcripts for all transfer work are on file. Student will be advised of any discrepancies that must be resolved before the degree is cleared with the Registrar.

Other Forms

Pre-Approval of Electives

Students applying to the program whose matriculation depends on whether transfer credit is accepted, or students who want to enroll in elective courses before the graduate committee is formed, may seek pre-approval of electives.

Program Plan Addendum

Any changes to the Program Plan, prior to or at the time of submission of degree clearance papers, must be documented by addendum, signed by the student, and approved by all members of the Committee.

Independent Study Contract

An Independent Study Contract must be filed for any independent study or readings course that is part of the program plan for a CEHSP graduate degree. It must be submitted before permission numbers (from the Graduate Program Office) for registration are released.

Final Project

At the completion of the two year program students will have written a five-chapter research paper documenting their final research project.  The planning, data collection, and writing will all take place in the context of the coursework each semester.  The attached Word document describes in detail the five-chapter document that will represent the culmination of this work.

Research Chapters