Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

Online master's in secondary education programs can prepare you for a slew of teaching and administrator positions. Here are the top online programs.
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Updated on May 28, 2024
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Best Online Master's Degree Programs in Secondary Education

An online master's in secondary education can give you the necessary skills and training to obtain a teaching license to pursue a variety of teaching and administrative roles in secondary education.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects over 67,000 openings for high school teachers each year, on average, between 2022 and 2032. The BLS also projects over 19,000 openings for instructional coordinators and over 20,000 openings for school principals each year, on average, during that time span.

Keep reading to learn what you need to know about earning this degree.

Featured Online Master's in Secondary Education Programs

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

Best Online Master's in Secondary 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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#1 Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

Georgia College & State University

  • Milledgeville, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $294
Out-of-State | $1,047

Credits to Graduate: 36

Georgia College and State University's online M.A.T. in secondary teacher education includes graduate coursework, field experiences and an internship. The program prepares students for teaching certification. It covers grades 6-12 or P-12, for subjects like biology, business, art, and Spanish.

The curriculum integrates five strands of study: technology, classroom inquiry, content area uses, literacy skills, and diversity. Finishing the program may lead to T-5 certification in Georgia. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,508
Out-of-state
$26,688
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,292
Out-of-state
$18,846
Retention Rate
78%
Acceptance Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
6,763
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

McDaniel College

  • Westminster, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $548
Out-of-State | $548

Semester Hours: 33

McDaniel College's online M.S. in secondary education program tailors to certified teachers interested in upskilling. This program aims to enhance teaching skills, expand content knowledge, and provide increased opportunities within school districts for certified teachers.

It offers the flexibility to choose an academic focus from various certificate programs. Students also have the option to add endorsements to their teaching certificate, such as in administration and instructional leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$46,336
Out-of-state
$46,336
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,468
Out-of-state
$9,468
Retention Rate
72%
Acceptance Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
3,053
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#3 Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

Goucher College

  • Baltimore, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $545
Out-of-State | $545

Credits to Graduate: 40-44

Goucher College's online M.A.T. is a certification program that trains college graduates to enter the teaching profession. Students gain knowledge and skills to teach general and/or special education. 

The curriculum focuses on meeting modern standards of teaching. These standards include planning, management, teaching practices, assessments, and professionalism. You can get certified in several areas, such as elementary education (grades 1-6), special education (grades 6-12), and secondary (grades 7-12, content specific). Total required credits may change depending on your certification area.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$48,000
Out-of-state
$48,000
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,180
Out-of-state
$9,180
Retention Rate
80%
Acceptance Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
1,917
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#4 Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

Citadel Military College of South Carolina

  • Charleston, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $695
Out-of-State | $1,020

Credits to Graduate: 32-36

The Citadel Military College of South Carolina offers an online M.A. in teaching for secondary education. It is for professionals who are not certified but want to start a teaching career. The program offers five areas of specialization. They are: biology and general science, English, math, physical education (grades K-12), and social studies.

Each specialization has different requirements for prerequisites, core classes and education classes. For example, the biology specialization includes lab work in ecology and chemistry. Social studies has courses in cultural anthropology and historiography.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,356
Out-of-state
$30,857
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,740
Out-of-state
$18,390
Retention Rate
86%
Acceptance Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
3,693
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

Drake University

  • Des Moines, IA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $520
Out-of-State | $520

Credits to Graduate: 32

Drake University's M.S. in education for effective teaching provides leadership skills for educators, both in and out of the classroom. Drake graduates frequently go on to become teacher leaders or master teachers. They can also be instructional coaches, content specialists, or curriculum developers.

The program focuses on innovative pedagogical methods applicable in the classroom. It also offers Iowa-based endorsements for reading specialists and talented and gifted. Developing effective teaching, research, leading instruction and collaboration skills are also emphasized. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$45,734
Out-of-state
$45,734
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,738
Out-of-state
$11,738
Retention Rate
84%
Acceptance Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
4,875
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#6 Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

New York University

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $2,101
Out-of-State | $2,101

Credits to Graduate: 36

The online M.A.T. in secondary education at New York University is a one-year, combined residency and degree program. It prepares you to teach English, math, science, or social studies for grades 7-12. You can also teach in special education for grades 7-12. Online classes are in the evening, twice per week. 

NYU's program is for new teachers. It mixes learning theory with hands-on practice to help develop your skills, knowledge, and confidence. Degree options vary by location. The residency locations with partner schools are in New York City, Upstate and Central New York, and Washington, D.C.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$53,770
Out-of-state
$53,770
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$35,982
Out-of-state
$35,982
Retention Rate
94%
Acceptance Rate
13%
Students Enrolled
58,226
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#7 Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

University of Alabama

  • Tuscaloosa, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $440
Out-of-State | $440

Credits to Graduate: 30

The University of Alabama's online M.A. in secondary education with science certification is built for busy professionals who wish to grow their science knowledge and apply new concepts in teaching. Graduates may be eligible for master's level teacher certification in biology, chemistry, physics or general science for grades 6-12.

Courses include computer-based instruction, modern secondary school programs, and improving science instruction. Applications require the following: 

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • A valid bachelor's level professional educator certificate in general science (6-12), biology (6-12), chemistry (6-12), or physics (6-12)
  • An overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$10,780
Out-of-state
$30,250
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,780
Out-of-state
$30,250
Retention Rate
89%
Acceptance Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
38,316
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#8 Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

University of Maine

  • Orono, ME
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $567
Out-of-State | $567

Credits to Graduate: 36

The University of Maine's M.A.T. in secondary education is an accelerated program combining a teacher licensure with a master's degree. The program is for professionals with an undergraduate degree who want to teach at the secondary level.

The program's content areas include math, life science, physical science, English, and social studies. Graduates of the program are ready to teach in grades 7-12. Faculty have expertise in a variety of educational situations, from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to rural and urban school settings.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$11,640
Out-of-state
$33,240
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,738
Out-of-state
$29,214
Retention Rate
76%
Acceptance Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
12,657
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#9 Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne

  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $535
Out-of-State | $535

Credits to Graduate: 30

The University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne's online M.A.T. in teaching is a two-year program for those seeking a teaching license, career advancement, or skill improvement in non-school settings. Licensure and non-licensure pathways are available for secondary and elementary education. 

The program runs asynchronously, with eight-week or 16-week terms. This includes a 16-week practicum and 16-week clinical internship, both of which count toward the capstones for the degree. Franciscan traditions and values are woven into USF's education programs. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$32,230
Out-of-state
$32,230
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$12,418
Out-of-state
$12,418
Retention Rate
74%
Acceptance Rate
99%
Students Enrolled
2,196
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#10 Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

Ball State University

  • Muncie, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $451
Out-of-State | $451 

Credits to Graduate: 30

Ball State University offers an M.A. in secondary education for current or future teachers. There are four concentrations to align with individual career goals: education core, secondary teaching license, content or special area teaching, and dual credit teaching credential. 

BSU's program focuses on developing skills in key areas, such as pedagogy, curriculum, educational technology, multicultural education, and educational research. The flexible online format allows for completion in as few as four or five semesters. Also, students can earn graduate certificates in diversity, curriculum, middle level education, and educational technology.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,628
Out-of-state
$26,862
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,482
Out-of-state
$25,938
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
20,319
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
60% 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.

Ranking Methodology Summary

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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.

What Can You Expect From an Online Master's in Secondary Education?

Traditionally, a master's in secondary education consists of 30-45 credits and will take you 1-2 years to finish. Coursework can include topics in pedagogy, curriculum-building, educational research, and educational technology.

While many programs offer secondary education as a specialization within a broader education degree program, some schools allow you to focus exclusively on secondary education for your entire degree.

Some schools also offer the option to add a concentration to your degree to prepare you for a specific career path. Concentration options include special education, international education, second language education, and curriculum and policy studies.

Though courses vary across programs, common classes included in an online master's program in secondary education include:

  • Educational Psychology
  • Adolescent Learning and Development
  • Teaching Diverse Classrooms
  • Interdisciplinary Instruction
  • Teaching Methods

Benefits of Earning Your Master's in Secondary Education Online

There are several benefits to earning your degree online including increased flexibility and the ability to take classes from a variety of institutions, not just those closest to your location.

Other advantages of online degree programs include:

  • Keeping up with existing commitments
  • Taking advantage of employer incentives or partnerships
  • Saving money by avoiding on-campus expenses like parking fees
  • Pursuing a specific field of interest only available online

What Can You Do With a Master's in Secondary Education?

A master's in secondary education can unlock a variety of careers in teaching, administration, and leadership. While growth in these careers is dependent on local and state government funding, increased student enrollments could sustain the demand for these roles.

Possible Careers for Master's in Secondary Education Graduates
Job Title Median Annual Salary (May 2023)
Career and Technical Education Teachers $63,580
Instructional Coordinator $74,620
High School Principal $103,460
High School Teacher $65,220
Special Education Teachers $65,910
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions About an Online Master's in Secondary Education

Is an online master's in secondary education worth it?

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Yes, an online master's in secondary education can be worth it if you want to pursue a career in education including teaching or administrative roles. You can also use a master's degree in secondary education as a next step before you pursue a doctoral degree in a related field.

How long does a master's in secondary education take?

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The average master's in secondary education program consists of 30-45 credits and typically takes you 1-2 years to complete. However, the specific timeline can vary depending on the curriculum, program requirements, and whether you opt to study full time or part time.

How much money will you make with a master's in secondary education?

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Salaries for careers in education can vary depending on location, employer, experience, and credentials. According to the BLS, high school teachers made a median annual wage of $65,220 in May 2023. The top 10% earned more than $106,380, and the bottom 10% earned less than $48,040.

California, New York, and Washington are the highest-paying states for high school teaching, all paying an annual mean wage of over $94,000.


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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