The Best Online Master’s in Education Programs

Earning an online master’s in education (MEd) degree can open the door to a higher salary, new teaching opportunities, and the chance to branch out beyond the traditional classroom. Designed for candidates who already hold teaching certification, the MEd focuses on education philosophy, advanced teaching methods, and educational technology training.

An M.Ed. prepares graduates to become leaders in or out of the classroom … Many pursue careers as school counselors, educational specialists, principals, or professors.

Choosing a Program

Will an online Master’s in Education Program provide me with the skills I need to advance my career?

M.Ed. graduates are set to become leaders in or out of the classroom, and many choose to pursue careers as school counselors, educational specialists, principals, or professors of higher education. Opportunities for M.Ed. graduates are far-ranging and depend on an individual’s academic track. Students can choose from specializations including educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, special education, or speech and language pathology, among other options. They may also choose to concentrate on a specific level of education—such as early childhood education or adult education—or in a certain subject.

Will an online M.Ed. program work with my schedule?

Online degree programs offer flexibility and convenience, and today’s technology allows students to access coursework from their mobile devices anywhere at any time. Online curriculum is just as demanding as that covered in a classroom setting, and schools often give students the choice of completing their degree entirely online or through a hybrid online/on-campus program. An online master’s in education degree is an affordable alternative to on-campus learning, and can be completed in as few as 18 months.

Will the program help me complete my thesis?

Graduate students complete a capstone or thesis project as a demonstration of the knowledge they developed during their studies. These typically take the form of a research project, academic paper, or presentation aligning with the student’s concentration and career goals. Capstone projects are supervised by a faculty member and reflect intensive study.

What are the best Online Master’s in Education Programs?

Below, we’ve ranked the top online master’s programs in education in the United States. As part of our list, we’ve reviewed each school’s program highlights, innovative courses, and targeted learning goals to give students a better idea about which program best suits their interests. Ask an admissions specialist what career and support services they offer, and how their program prepares graduates for success in their chosen career.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1Johns Hopkins University 5/593.08%Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University offers students a world-class education regardless of where they reside. Online master's in education students can select one of five online graduate degree programs for educators, including a Doctor of Education and a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Technology for Education. Within these programs, students can pursue a degree or certificate program in five areas of emphasis:

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Special Education
  • Administration
  • Supervision and Leadership
  • Counseling and Human Development
  • Education in the Health Professions

Didactic learning for these programs may be completed online. However, some programs have a residency requirement that must be satisfied partially on-campus. Prospective students should carefully review each program's expectations and outcomes to determine if online learning is right for their needs.

Admission requirements vary program to program at this nationally ranked learning institute. For example, a handful of education degrees require the completion of the GRE or Praxis exams. Some require an interview or audition, and most also require an up-to-date resume. Students in Wisconsin, Arkansas, Minnesota and Iowa are subject to state-specific regulations, and should review these announcements prior to considering enrollment.

Online students are eligible for distance education scholarships, which are awarded based on financial need and academic merit.

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2Michigan State University 3/578.86%East Lansing, MI

Michigan State's master’s program in education allows students to concentrate in one or two specialty areas, including special education, technology and learning and sport coaching and leadership. Distance programs in education at MSU are customizable, and students will receive guidance from expert student advisors. The program is renowned for its immersive curriculum, comprising 30 credit hours of core, concentration, and electives courses. Students earning their online master’s in education must also complete a capstone seminar.

MSU requires applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have a GPA of at least 3.0. Enrollment is available year-round for courses delivered asynchronously through Desire2Learn. Online courses are taught by tenure-line faculty at MSU. Most full-time students complete the program in two and a half years, and the program must be completed within five years of enrollment.

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3Purdue University 2/572.95%West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University is one of the most internationally diverse schools in the nation, and online programs at Purdue University are just one more way for educators worldwide to connect.

  • Online master's in education students can earn their degree in Learning Design and Technology entirely from home. This program teaches students about the most effective ways to disseminate information to a wide range of audiences, not just school-age students.
  • The Master of Science in Special Education is another completely online program. This curriculum is designed to prepare educators to meet the challenges of educating those with special needs. Reflective inquiry is a major focus of this program, as is the inclusion of technology and strategy in order to communicate with and assist special needs learners.

Applicants to Purdue are subject to standard admissions requirements. Students should possess a bachelor's degree and any appropriate certifications, an acceptable cumulative GPA and passing scores on standardized tests such as the GRE and GMAT.

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4University of Georgia 3/584.62%Athens, GA

University of Georgia offers a variety of MEd degrees with a concentration in a particular demographic/audience, including adult education, middle school education, and workforce education. Graduate degrees in specialty topics including music education, educational psychology, and instructional design are also available. Though specifications may vary according to specialty, generally master’s curriculum comprises general education and core courses and culminates in an applied final project/portfolio and an oral exit interview.

Distance learners at University of Georgia may transfer up to six credits into the online master’s in education program, provided the credits garnered at least a “B” grade and were earned at an accredited institution. Students must earn a total of 33 credit hours to complete the degree. Coursework is delivered online through the eLearning Commons management system. Students who follow the suggested course sequence may complete the degree within two years.

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5James Madison University 2/582.43%Harrisonburg, VA

James Madison University offers an online master’s in education with an emphasis in educational technology. Coursework in this program explores both emerging technologies in education and traditional concepts around instruction and pedagogy. Students enrolled in the program will learn common techniques of utilizing educational design and technology, as well as how to integrate such concepts into classroom instruction. The educational technology MEd degree comprises core and advanced courses in education and educational technology and a final inquiry project, totaling 36 course credit hours.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75. Students must demonstrate prior work experience and provide examples of how they currently use technology in the workplace. Placement among the 25th percentile of GRE scores is also required for admission. Coursework is delivered online through Canvas. Full-time students may complete the degree in as few as five semesters.

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6University of South Carolina – Columbia 3/573%Columbia, SC

The University of South Carolina offers two online master's in education degrees, both of which can be completed in two years' time. These 36 credit-hour programs are offered entirely online, although there may be hands-on learning components assigned at the discretion of the instructors. The Educational Administration program is designed for teachers who seek to advance from a teaching role into principal or administrative positions.

The teaching degree is unique to many other degree programs in that students partner with advisors to customize the MEd. to their interests and aptitudes. There are three required courses that deal with developing research methods and evolving as a teacher, as well as six required credit hours dedicated to a research capstone. The remainder of the electives are chosen by the student.

  • In order to apply to these programs, students should possess a bachelor's degree, satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores or evidence of three years of full-time K-12 teaching experience.
  • Applicants also need professional licensure or relevant experience for non-licensed applicants.
  • Students with National Board Certification, and those who already possess an advanced degree, may waive one or more of these qualifications.

Distance students are eligible for the same financial aid opportunities as on-campus students.

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7University of Pittsburgh 3/581.85%Pittsburgh, PA

First and foremost, an online master's in education degree from the University of Pittsburgh was designed for the working professional. The same highly regarded faculty that teaches on-campus are also the school's distance educators, instructing students in several online education master's degrees, including education programs in English, communications and mathematics.

  • In order to be admitted into any one of these 36 credit-hour programs, students must have a 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 GPA, be able to present valid transcripts and possess a degree in a related field.
  • Most of these programs offer three rolling start dates a year in spring, summer and fall.
  • Students with more specific questions are encouraged to reach out to an advisor. Typically, these programs can be completed full-time within two years.
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8The University of Tennessee – Knoxville 3/569.31%Knoxville, TN

UT Knoxville’s online master’s in education program is centered on educational technology, with available concentrations in adult education and applied educational psychology. Distance learners must complete 36 credit hours in a combination of core and concentration courses. Foundation courses in the educational technology MEd explore concepts including motivational learning, reflective practice, and meeting the needs of nontraditional and underachieving learners.

Applicants to the distance MEd program at UT Knoxville must submit a resume, writing sample, statement of goals, and three rating (assessment) forms, completed by professional and/or personal references. Students who take two courses per term in six consecutive terms may be eligible to complete the program in two years. Coursework is delivered synchronously through Blackboard.

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9University of Massachusetts – Amherst 3/575.09%Amherst, MA

Thanks to a partnership between colleges at the University of Massachusetts, education students can earn 12 education graduate degrees and certificates online or in a hybrid environment.

  • Regardless of the campus, and no matter the student's state of residence, distance learners always pay the same in-state tuition at UMass.
  • Programs vary greatly, and students should investigate the admission requirements, curriculum and course criteria for any course that suits their individual needs.

Some programs, such as the Master of Education in Instructional Design, are offered in a hybrid format. This degree focuses on the instructional design process, adult learning theory, communication, technology and the study of different organizations. All but two of its 12 courses can be completed through distance learning.

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10California State University – Fullerton 2/555.72%Fullerton, CA

California State University offers five online master's degrees to education students. Each degree is aimed at equipping teachers with the latest technology and methodology needed to create effective curriculum models in the modern classroom:

  • M.S. in Education Technology
  • M.S. in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction/li>
  • M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology
  • M.S. in Reading
  • M.S. in Secondary Education

A master's degree in educational administration is also available as a hybrid program, offered fully online with the exception of on-campus visits three Saturdays each semester. This degree is designed to prepare educators to step up into leadership roles in the K-12 school systems.

Admissions requirements to Fullerton's online and on-campus graduate programs are consistent throughout the Education Dept. Advisers recommend applicants possess a bachelor's degree, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 and GRE scores.

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11Louisiana State University 1/567.39%Baton Rouge, LA

LSU offers an online master’s in education in two areas of study, as well as an online graduate certificate in human resource education workforce development. Degree options include either an MA in education with an emphasis in higher education or an MEd in educational leadership, comprising a total of 12 or 13 courses, respectively. Master’s-level core coursework in education at LSU Online explores instruction, research, and creation and implementation of study theories in the field. Students may be required to complete an internship or supervised instruction experience as part of the course sequence.

Applicants must submit GRE scores and letters of recommendation, in addition to standard application materials. Prospective MEd students are also required to have at least two years of teaching experience. Coursework is delivered in asynchronous sessions through Moodle. Each online course is seven weeks in length; most students are able to complete an online master’s program in education in 15 months or less.

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12Virginia Commonwealth University 3/559.18%Richmond, VA

Virginia Commonwealth offers a master’s in education online for K-12 education as well as a post-master’s certificate, both in a reading specialist concentration. Distance learning programs at VCU feature the same endorsement criteria necessary to become K-12 reading specialists in the state of Virginia. The degree program comprises 33 total course credit hours, including 30 online hours and a one-time three-credit internship residency, which is completed on campus. The certificate consists of 24 credit hours of combined reading content and electives courses.

Applicants are required to submit a personal statement and three reference letters with their transcripts and application fee. Graduate students must complete a reading portfolio or final project as approved by their academic advisor to finish the program. Coursework is delivered online through Blackboard. Each online course is worth three course credits, and students must maintain a grade of “C” or above in each course to remain in good standing.

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13Indiana University – Bloomington 3/577.64%Bloomington, IN

Indiana University's online curriculum offers five education master's degree programs for distance students, along with eight graduate certificates and one doctoral program online.

  • The length of each program varies. The Masters in Adult Education, for example, is a 36 credit-hour program that takes most students three years or more to complete.
  • Admissions requirements vary by program, but students with cumulative undergraduate GPAs of less than 3.2 should be prepared to submit GRE scores to supplement their applications.

The university is currently pursuing authorization in Alabama, D.C., Kentucky, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Oregon. If you are a resident of one of these states, confirm your eligibility with an admissions counselor. At this time, students residing in Arkansas are ineligible for attendance at IU.

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14California State University – Fresno 2/552.36%Fresno, CA

California State University, Fresno -- also known as Fresno State -- offers a Master of Arts, Teaching (M.A.T.), designed for distance learners who are credentialed teachers, practicing professionally in a classroom setting. The program comprises 30 course credit hours in subjects such as social justice and the multicultural classroom, critical pedagogy, and practitioner research. All candidates are required to complete a capstone experience; an additional thesis or final survey course is also required, depending on the student’s track of study.

M.A.T. program applicants must submit proof of current teaching credentials along with their graduate application. Distance learners may be eligible to transfer up to nine post-bacc credits toward their online master’s in education at Fresno State. Online coursework is delivered through Blackboard, and students are required to attend one face-to-face meeting on campus during the course of the program. M.A.T. candidates complete the online program at Fresno State as part of a cohort system, completing three consecutive semesters alongside the same peers and classmates.

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15Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota 4/564.6%Winona, MN

Saint Mary’s offers a master's in education online with a specialization in either curriculum and instruction, culturally responsive teaching (CRT), or gifted inclusive education (GIE). Each MA education concentration comprises 15 credits, offered in blended format and completed by students in a cohort group. Regardless of specialty, universal core coursework included in all degrees explores technology integration in the classroom, current educational theory, and modern knowledge of child growth and development. In addition to online courses, weekly face-to-face meetings are required to complete the degree at various Minnesota locations.

Applicants must submit a resume, personal statement and two letters of reference, intended to demonstrate academic potential and prior work experience. Online coursework in the blended-format program is delivered through Blackboard, in conjunction with the on-campus component. Upcoming local cohort enrollment opportunities for potential students are frequently posted on

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16Webster University 4/563.64%Saint Louis, MO

Webster University offers a handful of online graduate-level education degrees, including the Master of Arts in Education and Innovation, which can be completed on a thesis 36 credits) or non-thesis (33 credits) track.

  • This degree places focus on keeping educators present and up-to-date on teaching technologies and trends in learning.
  • Other degrees place focus on specific areas of education, such as social sciences or English as a second language.

In order to be considered for admission, students need a bachelor's degree from an accredited program and a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA on their most recent 60 credit hours of coursework.

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17University of Central Florida 2/569.7%Orlando, FL

The University of Central Florida's "Exceptional Student Education" master's degree is designed for teachers who have already been certified in the education of special needs K-12 students. The program curriculum prepares educators to become advocates and champions for both disabled and gifted students and their families.

  • The degree is awarded after students are able to pass a comprehensive final exam.
  • Online master's in education students select either a thesis or non-thesis track; the program is 33 credit-hours in total.
  • Prior to enrolling, prospective students must either show proof of having a current Florida Professional Teaching Certificate in Exceptional Education or be able to show they have completed all requirements for said certificate.

Currently, UCF cannot provide distance learning to students who reside in Minnesota. The college is also restricted in Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Tennessee.

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18Grand Valley State University 3/564.94%Allendale, MI

Grand Valley State’s online MEd in educational technology is a recent addition to the university’s comprehensive selection of education degrees and certificate programs. The distance learning program comprises a combination of social foundation and emphasis area courses and electives. Students who already hold certification may choose a capstone, practicum, or research project in lieu of electives courses. Coursework stresses curriculum integration, use of technology in K-12 settings, and web-based and online instructional development.

GVSU applicants are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or a prior master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. They must submit three professional academic or professional recommendations along with standard graduate application materials, as well. Distance learners may transfer up to six credits towards the online degree. Coursework for the master's in education online is delivered through Blackboard.

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19Lindenwood University 3/549.72%Saint Charles, MO

Lindenwood University’s education degree places emphasis in educational technology. Students earning their online master’s in education will learn about researching current trends and issues in the field, as well as education-oriented web-based software and applications and principles of instructional design. Coursework in the accelerated program comprises 33 credit hours, ending with a student project to demonstrate acquired skills and competencies.

Applicants to Lindenwood’s online MA in education are required to submit a personal statement and letters of recommendation in addition to their graduate application packet. Most online courses are eight weeks long, and distance learners who take two courses at a time can complete the program in two years or less. Online coursework is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system.

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20University of Wyoming 1/554%Laramie, WY

University of Wyoming offers an online master's in education with an emphasis in instructional technology. Distance learners will take courses in instructional technology and design, theory of change and multimedia development, and more. Students are required to complete 36 credit hours, and may select six electives courses of their choice, three of which must be from within UW’s instructional technology department. The university also offers an online instruction certificate program.

Applicants to UW’s distance programs are required to submit a resume, personal statement, academic essay, and three letters of recommendation with their transcripts. Though most coursework may be accessed online through the Wyo student portal, master’s candidates in the instructional technology education program must attend a one-time capstone event on campus to complete the degree. The program provides accelerated learning options to distance learners, and may be completed in two years or less.

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21The University of Arizona 3/560.26%Tucson, AZ

UA Online offers two options for its online MA in special education, with an emphasis in either behavior support or disabilities. Distance learners in the disabilities track may further focus their coursework by choosing a concentration in challenging behavior, Autism spectrum disorder, sensory impairments, or gifted students. Whichever area of concentration they choose, students complete 36 credit hours in a combination of core and specialty courses, typically including a master’s report or final project.

Applicants have two enrollment opportunities per academic year. Prospective students should have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA, and must also satisfy a prerequisite course in foundation of special education and rehabilitation. Coursework is delivered through Desire2Learn.

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22California State University – San Bernardino 2/547.96%San Bernardino, CA

CalState-San Bernadino offers an online master's in education with a teacher leadership option. Students in the online master’s education program will take core education courses, as well as specialty courses in numerous subjects, including organizational leadership, learning/teaching, technology leadership, and inclusive education. Coursework spans three consecutive sessions, one in the fall and two in the spring semester. The 48-unit MA degree culminates in a comprehensive examination course.

Applicants are required to hold teaching certification, as well as a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 GPA. They must also complete an entrance writing assignment and submit a statement of purpose along with three letters of recommendation. Coursework is delivered through Blackboard. The program may be completed in roughly 15 months, or 14 consecutive terms following the academic year.

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23Quinnipiac University 5/575.96%Hamden, CT

Quinnipiac University offers degree programs in both instructional design and teacher leadership. Instructional design students may further tailor their study track by choosing one of the following specialities:

  • Design and development of online learning
  • Technology for the K-12 classroom
  • Instructional design for corporate or nonprofit environments

Teacher leadership students may choose to specialize in literacy leadership, mathematics leadership, or program involvement leadership. Each degree comprises 30-32 credit hours, including core courses in learning theory, educational materials, and embracing classroom diversity.

Prospective distance learners at Quinnipiac must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a GPA of at least 3.0. Applicants are also required to submit a resume, letter of intent, and two letters of recommendation with their transcripts. Courses are delivered asynchronously through Blackboard. Quinnipiac offers a special 10% tuition discount to active duty military servicepersons and veterans.

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24Central Michigan University 3/555.54%Mount Pleasant, MI

Central Michigan University offers an online master's in education in two available concentrations and additional specializations. Students may choose the curriculum and instruction concentration, with further emphasis in either instruction or reading, or the training and development concentration. Each concentration requires 33 and 30 credits, respectively. Curriculum and instruction students must also complete additional emphasis coursework. Regardless of concentration, a seminar course is also required to complete the degree.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7 for consideration. Though coursework is completed primarily online through Blackboard, distance learners may have the option to complete their graduate seminar, or capstone course, through a hybrid format on campus. Online courses are available in accelerated 8-, 12- and 16-week sessions.

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25Western Carolina University 2/558.29%Cullowhee, NC

Western Carolina University offers two online master’s in education degrees with distinct optional emphasis areas. Students who have a prior education degree and are licensed may opt for the 30-33-credit MA.Ed. degree, which offers available emphasis in gifted creative and innovative education, mild to moderate disabilities, or severe/profound disabilities.

Non-licensed students who do not have an education degree may select the M.A.T. program, which offers concurrent academic and licensure training. M.A.T. candidates may choose to specialize in either adapted curriculum or general curriculum, and are required to satisfy 39-42 hours of graduate study to complete the degree. Both programs require completion of an exit portfolio.

Applicants to the programs must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and an overall GPA of at least 2.85. Submission of a written essay and three letters of recommendation are also required. Coursework is accessible through Blackboard, with additional non-degree course options available to students seeking only licensure or professional education in the field. Students with academic experience and/or licensure in an area not related to education may be required to take prerequisite courses as a condition of enrollment.

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U.S. Teacher Education

In all public schools, and most private schools, teachers who earn their M.Ed., including through an online master’s in education program, automatically qualify for a higher salary bracket. A full 96% of the 112 major U.S. school districts included in the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) Teacher Contract Database pay teachers with MA degrees more than those with just BA degrees.

Even amongst teachers in their first year of teaching, teachers with a master’s earned an average of $6,750 more in 2012. Teachers with fifteen years of experience earn $10,000 more annually with a master’s degree. After twenty years, graduate-trained teachers earn an average of 20% more than those without advanced degrees.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Education Graduates

Schools will always need well-trained and educated teachers. Whether they work in the classroom or in administration, graduates from a quality master’s in education online program have the practical and theoretical knowledge needed to achieve their professional goals and help their students succeed.

In some states, teachers with a master’s degree in education may be eligible for higher pay than those holding a bachelor’s. According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, 13 states follow a teacher salary schedule. This allows educators to earn more over time, and affords those with advanced degrees the opportunity to earn salaries above their colleagues. Among the 13 states, the average difference in annual salary between bachelor’s and master’s degree holders was $4,695 over the 2014-15 school year.

Based on their specialization, teachers with a master’s degree may pursue employment in a number of areas. They can remain in K-12 classrooms, work with special education students, or become school principals. Below are a few of the employment opportunities available for teachers with an MEd.

Postsecondary Administrator: Most administrative positions in academia require a master’s degree. Educators aspiring to be deans, registrars, student services administrators, or faculty researchers at a college or university can begin their career by earning a MEd. Advancement in some positions may require a PhD, though this is not always the case.

Training & Development Manager: This corporate education position requires a master’s degree. Managers develop and execute training programs for corporate employees, and may supervise a staff of training specialists. Educators who prefer a corporate environment may enjoy this type of work; many corporate trainers also travel extensively. Corporate trainers are common across industries, but are particularly prevalent in management, finance, insurance, and scientific services. Professionals who began their careers in human resources or business may also be drawn to this program.

Postsecondary Teacher: Postsecondary teachers educate students at community colleges, universities, technical schools, and career colleges. The position requires at least a master’s degree, and often a PhD. In addition to managing a class load, teachers also conduct research, publish new scholarship, and advise students. Depending on the subject matter at hand, you may need to obtain additional credentials in a specialty area. Most educators in this role eventually earn a PhD and aspire to tenured professorship.

K-12 Principal: Principals at elementary, middle, or high schools monitor all daily operations within a school. They must oversee the school’s curriculum, human resources, finance, administrative functions, and educational resource management. Most principals began their careers as teachers, later earning a master’s in educational leadership or administration. Professionals from related fields like counseling may also pursue a principalship. Principals who work in public schools are required by most states to hold licensure.

Position Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate
Postsecondary Administrator $88,390 9%
Training & Development Manager $101,930 7%
Postsecondary Teacher $70,790 13%
K-12 Principal $89,540 6%

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

Teacher Salaries: Bachelor’s vs. Master’s Degree

On top of higher earnings, teachers who hold their M.Ed. can more easily transition into senior and administrative positions in education. An educator who aspires, for example, to a position as a principal or school counselor might pursue an M.Ed. in Educational Administration. An instructor interested in learning how to best reach disabled students might seek out an M.Ed. with a concentration in special education. While there are many specializations available, the goal of any campus or online master’s in education program is to graduate competent, experienced educators.
Jobs for educators from the Pre-K to the community college level are slated to climb steadily over the next decade, increasing by 12% by 2022. Teachers with advanced degrees will be strategically positioned to take advantage of this growing demand.

Professional Organizations

There are as many professional and student organizations for teachers as there are subjects taught in school. Below is a short list of general organizations that graduates students can use as resources. Talk to your professors or student resources officers about associations specific to your interests.

  • The National Council on Teacher Quality: This organization works towards creating new policies to ensure the quality of education teachers instill on their students and the quality of the environments in which educators work.
  • The National Educational Association: Working to improve public education, from preschool to graduate studies, the NEA provides resources on the latest educational acts, methods to find funding, and tools for creating lesson plans and strategies.
  • The Association of American Educators: This non-union organization provides educators with the resources and tools needed to focus education on student achievement.

How Our Top Online Master’s in Education Programs Stack Up

Financing Your Online Master’s in Education

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, the need for financial aid is still a reality for most students. But rest assured, loans aren’t your only option. Explore our collection of financial aid resources or dig into one of the following guides to read more about financing your education.

Scholarships for Education Majors

We’ve curated a list of 43 scholarships and grants specifically for education majors. With over $170,000 in available rewards, take the time to learn how you can access free money for your online teaching degree.

An Overview of Financial Aid

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options savvy students can use to reduce the total costs of their education.

Understanding the FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first and most crucial step for any student seeking financial aid. Follow our step-by-step guide for answers to frequently asked questions.

Financial Aid for Online College Students

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place and funding opportunities for online students.

Scholarships for Single Parents

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for single parents looking for a more secure financial future for their children. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships for these hard-working parents.

Financial Aid for Veterans and Active Military

Millions in education benefits are available for veterans and active members of the military. Unfortunately, much of this goes unused. Find out if you’re entitled to help with college and start planning for your future.


The methodology behind our rankings is grounded in statistical data and a few consistently applied guiding principles. Our 2016 rankings reflect the most recent data compiled from IPEDS and the College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Our goal is to objectively assess relative quality based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities. The following criteria was used to make these assessments:

Minimum Requirements

  • Must offer master’s degree in education, 100% online.
  • Must be an accredited public or private not-for-profit school.

Ranking Factors


  • Admissions Rate – 25%: Indicates selectivity, favoring lower rates.
  • Enrollment Rates – 15%: Indicates desirability, favoring higher rates.
  • Retention Rate – 15%: Indicates perceived quality (i.e. students are getting what they expect), favoring higher rates.
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate – 25%: Indicates academic outcomes, favoring higher rates.
  • Completions – 20%: Number of graduates earning their master’s degree in education.


  • Average Net Price – 40%: Indicates average actual dollars spent earning a degree, favoring lower cost.
  • Loan Default Rate – 40%: Indicates students’ ability to pay for loans after graduation, favoring lower rates.
  • Student:Faculty Ratio – 20%: Indicates relative resources per student, favoring lower ratios.


  • Percentage of Graduate Programs Offered Online – 40%: Indicates school’s experience with and resources spent on online graduate programming.
  • Graduate School Enrollment – 40%: Soft indicator for resources dedicated to graduate education.
  • Percentage of Programs Offered at the Graduate Level – 20%: Indicates school’s experience with and resources spent on graduate programming, favoring higher participation.