Best One-Year Master’s in Education Programs

One year master's in education programs can help prepare students for a variety of education roles. Discover common program courses and career paths.
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Updated on June 25, 2024
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Best One Year Online Master's Degree Programs in Education

Master's in education programs prepare students for education-related careers, often at the K-12 levels. Enrolling in one could give you more credibility and competitiveness in the job market, as well as a higher salary.

Online master's in education curriculums vary by school but overall have similar core courses, structures, and career paths for enrollees. This page outlines the admissions process, the best one-year master's in education programs, and the career outlook for graduates.

Featured Online Master's in Education Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Best Online Accelerated Master's in Education Programs

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Best One-Year Master’s in Education Programs

California State University-Bakersfield

  • Bakersfield, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $473
Out-of-State | $473

Credits to Graduate: 30

California State University, Bakersfield is home to a 100% online master's in education that you can complete in just one year. This flexible and affordable graduate program facilitates the expansion of skills in the classroom and allows you to hone leadership skills vital to professional growth.

Throughout this 30-credit program, you tackle essential classes such as research methods for educational leaders, teaching for diversity and social justice, and curriculum development and transformation. You must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and an active and unencumbered teaching license.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$15,246
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,176
Out-of-state
$16,680
Retention Rate
72%
Acceptance Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
9,613
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Best One-Year Master’s in Education Programs

Heritage University

  • Toppenish, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Washington Professional Educator Standards Board

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $885
Out-of-State | $885

Credits to Graduate: 40

Based in Toppenish, Washington, Heritage University is a private institution that's home to one of the top one-year master's in education programs in the country. This program is ideal for students interested in securing their Washington State teaching credentials and offers multiple flexible academic pathways. Through both synchronous and asynchronous deliveries, you can complete this master's in teaching in just 11 months.

Throughout this 40-credit master's program, you tackle courses such as essential educational concepts, facilitating learning in math, advanced literacy, and evaluation of students with disabilities. You must submit applications to both Heritage University and to the master's in teaching preparation program.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$18,360
Out-of-state
$18,360
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,732
Out-of-state
$9,732
Retention Rate
72%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
898
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Best One-Year Master’s in Education Programs

Augustana University

  • Sioux Falls, SD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: South Dakota Department of Education

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $490
Out-of-State | $490

Credits to Graduate: 30

Established in 1860, Augustana University is a private Christian school based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Among the school's standout online programs is a flexible and affordable master's in education that you can complete in just 14 months. 

As you work through this 100% online program, you tackle core classes such as introduction to graduate research, issues in education, technology in education, and differentiation and diversity. Before graduation, you'll complete a three-credit research synthesis project.

You must submit a completed application with official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a two-to-three-page essay outlining your academic and career goals.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$34,934
Out-of-state
$34,934
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$35,716
Out-of-state
$35,716
Retention Rate
82%
Acceptance Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
2,086
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

Master's in Education Degree Options

One-year master's in education degrees may give you the option to specialize in certain educational areas. These specializations can be attached to education degrees or presented as separate master of arts programs.

  • Early Childhood Education: Early childhood education promotes the development of young children. Enrollees in this specialized major will study cultural diversity, the design of childhood educational programs, and issues with these programs. Graduates with a master's in early childhood education often design curriculums or work with children as teachers, directors, or advocates.
  • Educational Administration: This major prepares you for administrative roles in the educational field. Course topics include moral and legal decisions, budgeting, and staff recruitment. Education administration students may be required to complete coursework, internship, field experiences, or a practicum.
  • Elementary Education: Elementary education degrees prepare you to design effective teaching strategies and work with children. You'll learn curriculum design, how children develop, and basic psychology. Graduates are well-suited to teaching roles in elementary or some middle schools.
  • Higher Education: Higher education refers to postsecondary education, including colleges and universities. Graduates with a master's in higher education often pursue roles in higher education institutions in roles related to academic advising, admissions, or international education. In this subject, you'll learn about campus culture, leadership, and challenges in modern higher education. Programs aim to help students evaluate research, solutions, and theories in higher education.
  • Special Education: Students earning a master's degree with a focus on special education learn about intellectual, learning, and emotional disabilities. You'll study current practices for supporting special needs students and related curriculum shortcomings. The program tries to support and develop enrollees' communication and soft skills to better assist students. The curriculum covers legal policies, learning environments, and specialized teaching methods.

Career and Salary Outlook for Education

You can pursue roles ranging from teacher to corporate trainer. While graduates of master's in education can pursue roles outside the immediate education field, you may be required to study further to qualify for these roles. Entry-level education positions do not always need internships but can be required by graduate programs.

Median Annual Salaries for Master's in Education Graduates
Education Career Median Annual Wage (2023)
School Principal $103,460
Education Administrator $102,610
Career Counselor $61,710
High School Teacher $65,220
Librarian $64,370
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions About a Master's in Education Degree

How long will it take to get a master's in education?

A master's in education can take 1-2 years, depending upon curriculum and graduation requirements. For example, programs that have fewer credit requirements and no thesis will be shorter than a similar program with an internship or thesis requirement. Students may also attend part-time programs, which will affect the length of the program.

A master's in education requires significant financial and time investment. However, this degree can be worth the sacrifices to people interested in a career in education. You can take courses to further your career and obtain specialized knowledge. Holders of a master's degree can stand out among peers and receive a higher salary.

One-year master's in education programs can be an MS or MA. An MS in education focuses on technical and practical skills. Graduates of MS programs may pursue hands-on roles such as teacher, school leadership, or special education. MA in education programs focuses on research related to education. Enrollees in MA programs will study curriculum development, testing practices, and learning development theories.

Your salary depends heavily upon your career path. School superintendents have one of the highest salaries in the education field, with an average base salary of $145,340, according to Payscale as of May 2024. Principals, postsecondary administrators, and postsecondary teachers represent other high-paying career paths in the industry.


Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed May 2, 2024.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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