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Course Requirements and Schedules

You can view current course requirements on the MSEd homepage. It takes 15 units (40 semester hours) to complete the degree in Elementary Teaching or Secondary Teaching, and 12 units (32 semester hours) to complete the degree in Educational Studies or Learning Sciences. Degree requirements can shift over time. Plantastic is programmed in such a way that you know which degree rules apply to you. Still, you may find it worthwhile to review our policy regarding what happens when requirements change, which can be found in the Curriculum section of the Student Handbook

2022-23 Course Schedule: 2022-2023-MSED_course_schedule.pdf

2023-24 Course Schedule: 2023-2024-MSED_course_schedule.pdf

You can also view course schedules on the MSEd program website. 

Note concerning course units:

  • Most MS_ED courses with numbers ending in -0 are 1.0 unit. The Student Teaching in Multilingual & Multicultural Contexts courses (485-0, 486-0, 487-0, and 488-0) are 2.0 units each.
  • Most MS_ED courses with numbers ending in -1, -2, or -3 are 0.5 units.
  • 1 unit is the equivalent of 2-and-2/3 semester hours.

Degree Requirements and Course Descriptions:

Degree requirements for each concentration can be found in the Curriculum section of the Student Handbook.  Course descriptions can be found in Appendix A: Course Descriptions of the Student Handbook.

In addition to the degree requirements listed above, students in the pre-service tracks (Elementary Teaching and Secondary Teaching) may have additional content-area licensure requirements. Please see the Licensure page for more details.


Before registering for the first time, you must have an approved plan in our online advising system, Plantastic ( You can login with your netid and netid password. From there, entering a new plan should be easy -- just select your start term, and then use the pulldown menus to select your classes. Plantastic knows which degree rules apply to you and will not allow you to submit a plan unless it is valid (meaning that it fulfills all the degree requirements). When you submit your plan, your advisor will be notified. Your advisor will then either approve the plan or reject it. A plan is not active until after an advisor has approved it. 

It's also a good idea to check Plantastic each quarter before registering to make sure that you are following your plan. If you need to make changes, you can do so -- just click "revise this plan." Again, the changes will go to your advisor for approval.

If you plan to take a class outside the MS_ED department, select "Other" for the course. Classes that are listed as graduate-level in CAESAR (most 300-level classes and all 400-level classes) can be counted as a graduate-level elective toward your degree. To make sure that Plantastic knows you are counting a class as a degree elective, make sure to select "Other Degree." For 100- and 200-level deficiency courses, you should select "Other Non-Degree" -- those classes are purely for undergraduate credit, and cannot be counted toward the MSEd degree.

Note: if you know the course number of an "Other Degree" or "Other Non-Degree" course, be sure to include the entire course number in Plantastic (for example, THEATRE 312-A or THEATRE 312-1, not just THEATRE 312). 

CAESAR (Computer Aided Enrollment Student Activated Registration)

Once you have verified your plan in Plantastic, you may register by going to CAESAR ( On the login page, you will see links to the registrar's website, which lists important dates and policies, as well as a link with instructions on using CAESAR. There are tip sheets available with detailed instructions on how to use CAESAR ( Below, we mention a couple of important issues that come up for MSEd students.

Course Career is important (a.k.a. why can't I find a content-area class?) 

By default, when you login to Caesar, your course career should be "Education Graduate." This is where you will find all of your MSED classes. However, you may need to take classes from other departments -- this may require you to change the course career when running your search. If you are looking for undergraduate classes in the "day school" to fulfill content-area licensure requirements, change your course career to "Undergraduate." If you are looking for undergraduate classes in the School of Professional Studies (formerly the School of Continuing Studies) to fulfill content-area licensure requirements, change your course career to "SPS Undergraduate."

Full-time, Half-time, and Part-time

"Full-time" refers to taking 3.0 or more units (most classes are 1 unit) in a quarter. "Half-time" is exactly half of full-time -- 1.5 units. "Part-time" is anything less than full-time (so half-time is always part-time, but part-time is not necessarily half-time). These levels are important for a handful of reasons: 

  • A student must be enrolled full-time in order to: 
    • maintain visa eligibility
    • maintain athletic eligibility
  • A student must be enrolled half-time (or more) in order to:
    • maintain eligibility for federal student loans 

Taking five units requires a "Registration Overload Form"

By default, Caesar will only let you register for four units in a given quarter. If you wish to take a fifth unit, you must complete a registration overload form (Registration Overload.pdf ) and email it to (or fax it to 847-467-2495). If your fifth unit is also an SPS class, just submit a dual registration form (see below), but be sure to note on it that it is a fifth class; we can approve the overload and the dual registration on a single form. If the fifth class will not be an SPS class, we recommend that you save one of the larger required MSED classes (like a class in the master's project sequence) for that final slot, as those courses are less likely to close on you while we are waiting for the registrar to process the form. Smaller MSED courses (particularly electives or those offered multiple times throughout the year) might close, and we have absolutely no control over courses outside the MSED department. 

Taking content-area licensure classes in the “Day School” or School of Professional Studies

If you want to sign up for a content-area licensure class in the “day school" and are asked for a permission number, you must contact the appropriate department to get it — we cannot issue permission numbers for non-MSEd classes. Once you have the permission number, you can register directly through CAESAR. You can find contact information for various departments at

If you want to take a content-area licensure class in the School of Professional Studies (formerly the School of Continuing Studies), you must fill out a Dual Registration Request:

It’s easy to tell “day school” and SPS (formerly SCS) classes apart by looking at the class number. SPS classes have letters after the dash, while “day school” classes have numbers. For example, MATH 220-CN is an SPS class, while MATH 220-0 is a “day school” class. Regardless of whether you are looking at the “day school” version or the SPS version, both will fulfill the same content-area licensure requirement — both MATH 220-CN and MATH 220-0 are Differential Calculus of One Variable Functions.

You can still look up all of the SPS course information on CAESAR, but you have to use the dual registration form to register.

Kellogg classes for non-Kellogg students

Each quarter, a limited number of Kellogg classes are made available for non-Kellogg students to register. Kellogg has an extremely restricted registration window each quarter (typically 5 days), and there is a special registration process that must be followed. The available classes are communicated to the MSEd program shortly before the registration window opens, typically at the very end of the quarter immediately preceding the classes to be offered. Please speak to your advisor if you are interested in the potential of taking Kellogg coursework. 

Change of Registration Period (Add/drop week)

The first few school days of each quarter are considered the Change of Registration period or "add/drop week." During the academic year (fall, winter, and spring), add/drop week is the first five school days of the quarter. Because summer session is shorter, the add/drop "week" is actually only the first three school days of the quarter. (In both cases, this amounts to 10% of the quarter.) During this period, you can add or drop classes without any penalty to your student account. If you drop a class during add/drop week, any tuition paid for that class will be refunded. If you drop a class after add/drop week is over, the tuition will not be refunded. Since most of our classes only meet once a week, you pretty much only have one class meeting before add/drop week ends. The moral of this story: if you are going to drop a class, make up your mind quickly.

If you miss the regular add period and need to add a class after add/drop week ends, and you have the permission of the instructor to do so, we can still get you registered for a class via a registration exception form (REF) (registration-exception.pdf ). Please note that this is a form of last resort - please do everything in your power to register during the regular registration windows. We will not process a late add form without instructor consent. 

Withdrawing vs. Dropping

As noted above, you may drop courses directly in CAESAR, but remember that there is no tuition refund if you drop after add/drop week ends. You can only drop to a minimum enrollment of 1 within CAESAR.

Dropping your enrollment all the way to 0 is considered withdrawing, and requires that you fill out a Term Withdrawal Request (Graduate) form. Withdrawing does not need to be permanent. If you know for certain that you will be back in the next quarter, indicate that in the form, and we will make sure the registrar keeps your record open. If you need to be gone for longer than a quarter, we will close your record, but you can always re-open it by sending in a re-entry ("FRET") form.

While there is no tuition refund for dropping classes after add/drop week ends, there is a partial refund for completely withdrawing after add/drop week. The exact amount of the refund (100%, 75%, or 50%) depends on precisely how much of the quarter has elapsed. The university refund schedule can be viewed at