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 September 22, 2023
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Master's in education programs prepare students for education related careers, often at the K-12 levels. If you want to enroll in a master's in education program, it could lead to credibility, competitiveness, or a higher salary.

The following page outlines the admissions process, master's in education program, and career outlook for graduates.

Popular Masters in Education Degrees

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

Online master's in education curriculums vary by school, but overall have similar core courses, structures, and career paths for enrollees.

What is an Online Master's in Education Program?

Online master's in education programs cover an array of topics including learning theories, classroom management, and educational technology. Attendees spend 1-2 years studying education to pursue careers in teaching, administration, academic research, and more.

Expect to take either live online courses or asynchronous classes. Both full-time and part-time programs are available, which can be beneficial to working professionals. Program requirements vary and may include a thesis, internship, or fieldwork.

Featured Online Education Degrees

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

Online Master's in Education Programs of 2023

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The programs listed below rank among the best one-year master's in education programs of 2023. It features data and information drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

All profiled programs hold valid accreditation from bodies including:

  • California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tennessee State Board of Education (SBE)
  • South Dakota Department of Education (SDDE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Prospective students can learn more about each learning opportunity by following the links below:

Augustana University

California State University-Bakersfield

Schreiner University

Texas Wesleyan University

Tusculum University

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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#1 Best One-Year Master’s in Education Programs

Augustana University

  • Sioux Falls, SD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
  • Master of Education
  • Accreditation: HLC, SDDE
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • View Program
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$34,934
Out-of-state
$34,934
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$35,530
Out-of-state
$35,530
Retention Rate
84%
Acceptance Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
2,019
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#2 Best One-Year Master’s in Education Programs

California State University-Bakersfield

  • Bakersfield, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
  • Online Master of Arts in Education – Curriculum and Instruction
  • Accreditation: WASC, CCTC 
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • View Program
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,176
Out-of-state
$16,680
Retention Rate
83%
Acceptance Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
11,745
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
#3 Best One-Year Master’s in Education Programs

Schreiner University

  • Kerrville, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
  •  Master's of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC 
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • View Program
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$31,938
Out-of-state
$31,938
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$22,752
Out-of-state
$22,752
Retention Rate
64%
Acceptance Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
1,244
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#4 Best One-Year Master’s in Education Programs

Texas Wesleyan University

  • Fort Worth, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
  • Online Master of Education
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • View Program
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$29,026
Out-of-state
$29,026
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$15,144
Out-of-state
$15,144
Retention Rate
64%
Acceptance Rate
47%
Students Enrolled
2,197
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
63% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Best One-Year Master’s in Education Programs

Tusculum University

  • Greeneville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, Tennessee SBE
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • View Program
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$25,350
Out-of-state
$25,350
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,200
Out-of-state
$7,200
Retention Rate
67%
Acceptance Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
1,664
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Master’s in Education Degree Options

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

  • Check Circle
    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.
  • Check Circle
    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.
  • Check Circle
    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 middle schools.
  • Check Circle
    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.
  • Check Circle
    Special Education: Attendees of 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.

Applicants to 1 year online master's in education programs should consider specializations as it will impact future career paths and a program's curriculum.

Courses in Education

Typical 1 year online master's in education programs require 30-36 credits, which are divided into core and elective courses. The below list includes some common courses for master's in education programs.

Leadership in Education

This course prepares you to handle the responsibility of leadership roles within an educational setting. You will learn how to evaluate school policies, improve policies, and communicate from a leadership position.

Classroom Management

Classroom management teaches future teachers and education workers the best practices for controlling a class. Topics include setting clear boundaries, behavioral management, and how to develop positive interventions.

Ethics

Ethics in an educational setting refers to responsible decision-making in inclusive organizations. Enrollees will examine the impact that social justice, privilege, and equity can have on ethical leadership.

Education Research Methodology

Researchers conduct studies on new education theories, curriculums and related success rates. This course teaches quantitative methods, qualitative methods, and frameworks for conducting research to improve education processes.

Cognition and Learning

This course covers the basics of human cognition and learning. Cognitive functions in relation to this degree focuses on problem-solving, motivation, and reasoning. Students will study up-to-date research and debate the impact of educator and researcher bias.

The above courses consist of a fraction of available education courses. Students can shift their learning topics towards their future goals.

Featured Online Education Degrees

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

Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Education Program

Applicants that wish to attend 1 year education master's programs must first meet the prerequisites and apply for programs. Master's in education programs require that prospective attendees have a bachelor's degree, but not all programs require the degree to be related to education. Students that apply for graduate programs may need to include one or more of the items in the list below.

  • Transcripts from undergraduate institutions
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume

You can save time by preparing documents in advance and applying for multiple programs in quick succession.

Career and Salary Outlook for Education

Education professionals with a master's in education degree can pursue roles ranging from teacher to corporate trainer. While graduates of master's in education can pursue roles outside the immediate education field, they 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.

Career and Salary Outlook for Education
Education Career Median Annual Wage (2022)
School principal $101,320
Education administrator $99,940
Career counselor $60,140
High school teacher $62,360
Librarian $61,660
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The above list consists of a portion of jobs available to master's of education degree-holders, other roles may be unrelated to the choices in this article.

Joining a Professional Organization

Workers in the education industry can join a professional organization to network, take continuing education courses, and obtain legal assistance. Education consists of many subfields, many of which have their own niche organization.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Master of education programs can cost thousands of dollars per semester. You can apply for school entry and financial aid simultaneously.

  • Scholarships: Scholarships can be awarded for various reasons and do not need to be repaid.
  • Loans: Enrollees can borrow money from a financial institution and repay it with interest.
  • Grants: Government entities may offer grants to students. Grants usually do not need repayment.

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 time until graduation.

Is it worth it to get a Master's in education?

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 their career and obtain specialized knowledge. Holders of a master's degree can stand out among peers and receive a higher salary.

What is the difference between an MS and MA in education?

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 focus on research related to education. Enrollees in MA programs will study curriculum development, testing practices, and learning development theories.

What is the highest paying M.Ed?

Master of education graduates' salaries depend heavily upon your career path. School superintendents have one of the highest salaries in the education field, with an average base salary of $140,130 according to Payscale as of August 2023. Principals, postsecondary administrators, and postsecondary teachers represent other high-paying career paths in the industry.

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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