Best Online Master’s in Teaching Programs of 2022

Aspiring educators can access multiple online programs to earn a master's in teaching. Learn about the top schools and admission requirements to get started today.

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Published on April 11, 2022 · Updated on April 25, 2022

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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of the 2017-2018 school year, 58% of public school teachers held a graduate degree. A master's in teaching can be an excellent investment for current or future educators who want to maximize both their skills and earning potential.

In these programs, students become masters of their content area and develop expertise in diverse teaching methods. Furthermore, as many public school districts use salary schedules that pay teachers with advanced degrees higher salaries, the return on investment on a master's in teaching can be high.

Many school districts are experiencing shortages, and there is significant demand in the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 10% job growth for education, training, and library positions between 2020 and 2030. This rate eclipses the average projected growth rate for all occupations during that period.

Many schools now offer online programs for current and future teachers. Read on to learn more.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Teaching Program?

A graduate degree in teaching can be an excellent fit for current public school teachers and students who know they want to become educators. The best students for these programs are often caring, empathetic, and driven. You can develop the skills and competencies you need to become a great educator over the course of a master's in teaching program.

Many online master's in teaching programs require 18-24 months of full-time study and approximately 30-36 credits. However, these requirements can vary by school. Students may be able to pursue concentrations in specific content areas like math, science, English language arts, and history.

Online master's in teaching programs that lead to state licensure must include student teaching and a practicum experience. Both of these fieldwork experiences must take place under the supervision of a licensed teacher.

In many cases, distance learners can arrange to complete these requirements at a school in their local community. The best programs provide support and assistance in finding these placement sites.

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Popular Online Master's in Teaching Programs

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

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Teaching Program?

Child and Adolescent Development

This course examines typical development at child and adolescent stages. Teaching programs often study this development through the lenses of classroom management, differentiated instruction, and educational best practices.

History and Philosophy of Education

In this course, students delve into a broad survey of history and philosophy to guide their strategies in the classroom. This course relies on different theories and current research and examines the importance of public education.

Reading and Writing in the Content Areas

In this course, future educators develop skills in creating content area literacy curricula for preK-12 students. Covered topics may include current research on reading and writing strategies.

Teaching Methods through Differentiated Instruction

Focusing primarily on secondary school, this course delves into various teaching methods and best practices that future educators can use to create the best possible classroom environment for each learner they teach.

Classroom Management

All the theory in the world doesn't matter if teachers can't effectively engage their students and run their classrooms. This course provides strategies to minimize distractions and maximize learning.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

Financial Aid Guide for Graduate Students The Student's Guide to College Loans The STudent's Guide to Financial Aid and the FAFSA

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Teaching Program?

In most cases, admission requirements for on-campus and online master's in teaching programs are the same.

Most teaching programs do not require a specific undergraduate degree, as students can develop the teaching skills they need during a graduate program.

In rare cases, schools may ask applicants to complete an interview with a member of the admissions department or a program alum.

While requirements can vary, many online master's in teaching programs ask for the following materials.

Application

Most online master's in teaching programs require prospective students to fill out an application through a school website. Application systems like the Common App and Coalition App are more common at the undergraduate level. Applicants provide basic student information like name and address.

Test Scores

While this requirement is becoming less prevalent, some schools still require students to submit GRE scores along with their application. Score minimums and thresholds vary by school, but with the right GRE prep, you can maximize your performance on test day.

Letters of Recommendation

Most online master's in teaching programs require prospective students to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation. If you have classroom experience, you can ask principals, assistant principals, or team leads to write these letters on your behalf. If you just finished a bachelor's degree, you can ask former professors.

Ask for these letters months in advance. This will give them adequate time to write strong letters and turn them in on time.

Resume and Work Experience

Some practiced-focused, part-time online master's in teaching programs are designed for practicing educators. As such, these programs often require 1-3 years of professional experience. Nevertheless, many teaching programs accept students without classroom experience. Whether or not work experience is required, most programs ask applicants to submit a resume.

Essays

Most graduate teaching programs require prospective students to submit an essay in the form of a statement of purpose or letter of intent. Some programs may also ask applicants to send in a statement of their teaching or educational philosophy. These documents are often short, ranging from 300-700 words.

Official Transcripts

College programs require prospective students to submit official transcripts from previously attended schools. Master's in teaching programs generally ask applicants to submit official transcripts from their undergraduate education. If you have completed some graduate coursework, you should submit those transcripts as well since you may be able to earn transfer credits.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Teaching Degree?

Career Outlook

Because of shortages in many school systems and the importance of the profession, teachers are often in high demand. Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects 8% job growth for high school teachers and 7% job growth for middle school teachers. These rates are comparable to the average projected growth rate for all careers during that decade.

Salary potential varies by school district. Most districts use a salary schedule to determine how much they pay each teacher. Teachers with advanced degrees and years of experience earn the highest wages. As such, a master's in teaching can often lead to a significant pay boost for classroom teaching.

See where a master's in teaching can take you. Learn more about education careers.

Career Paths

High School Teacher

High school teachers usually teach 4-5 lessons per day in their specific content area to students in grades 9-12. They may also write letters of recommendation, supervise clubs, coach sports, and informally mentor certain students. These professionals need a bachelor's degree, although a master's degree can lead to higher salaries. To work in public schools, teachers need a state-issued license.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $62,870

Middle School Teacher

These professionals teach several lessons per day in a content area. They work with students in grades 5-8. Like high school teachers, middle school teachers need a bachelor's degree, although a master's degree leads to higher salaries. To work in public schools, middle school teachers need a state-issued license.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $60,810

Instructional Coordinator

Instructional coordinators design curricula and lessons for entire schools and school districts. They may also visit individual classrooms to help implement their curricula and coach teachers. These positions usually require a master's degree and several years of experience as a successful classroom teacher.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $66,970

Postsecondary Teacher

With a master's degree in teaching, graduates may be qualified to teach courses at two-year community colleges. Degree-holders may be able to teach education courses to college students in adjunct roles. Positions at four-year schools typically require a terminal degree in the field.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $80,560

Principal

With master's degrees, classroom teachers may eventually be able to advance to assistant principal and principal roles. These positions typically require several years of experience as a classroom teacher or instructional coordinator. Some districts and schools may also prefer candidates who hold a doctor of education (Ed.D.) for these positions.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $98,490

Teaching Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Teaching Careers Special Education Careers Child Development Careers

Continuing Education

After completing a master's in teaching, your first step in terms of continuing education should be passing the appropriate PRAXIS test and gaining state licensure. Without taking this step, you cannot teach in public school classrooms. However, if you prefer, you can teach in private schools without holding state licensure.

Public school teachers must complete a certain number of professional development hours each year to renew their licenses. They can complete this requirement through conferences, online courses, and various other means. Teaching involves lifelong learning, and since pedagogical methods and best practices frequently change, practicing educators must commit to staying current in their field.

If they want to leave the classroom and enter administration, teachers might consider earning a master's degree in educational administration or an Ed.D. Principal and assistant principals make significantly more money than classroom teachers, and after several years service, many teachers seek out these positions.

How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Teaching Program?

Cost

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public institutions charged an average of $12,170 for graduate programs during the 2018-2019 academic year. Private institutions charged an average of $25,930. Keep in mind that the true cost can vary since online students save on certain fees.

Program Format

Prospective online students should determine whether they would most benefit from synchronous or asynchronous learning.

Synchronous course delivery provides structure and peer interaction through live, scheduled online sessions. Asynchronous programs provide flexibility, allowing students to listen to recordings of class sessions when it best fits into their schedule.

Learners should also consider whether they want to enroll full time or part time.

Location

Even if you attend college online, it could make sense to choose a school in your area. Online master's in teaching programs that lead to licensure must include supervised student teaching and practicum experiences, which future teachers must complete at schools.

If you live near your college, you may receive help in finding a local school where you can complete these requirements.

Accreditation

Make sure to attend a school that is accredited. These schools have completed a rigorous third-party evaluation process. You cannot receive federal financial aid unless you attend an accredited school. Furthermore, keep an eye out for programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, which focuses only on teaching programs.

Student Support

Student support can make your journey through an online master's in teaching program much smoother. Before you enroll, check to see if your chosen program offers mentorship opportunities, internship placements, networking events, and other student services.

2022 Best Accredited Online Master's in Teaching Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1 Online College in Georgia

Brenau University

School Information
Location Gainesville, Georgia
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 46%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $755
Out of State | $755

Credits to Graduate
34-48

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Aspiring educators can earn an online master's in teaching at Brenau University. Students typically earn their degree in three years with full-time attendance. Brenau University offers multiple concentrations, including special education, middle grades education in language arts and social studies, middle grades education in math and science, and teaching in secondary education.  

Core courses may include understanding and managing learners, instructional practices and assessment, and computer literacy in education. Students must complete clinical or capstone experiences to graduate. School admissions require a 3.0 GPA at minimum. 

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#2 Online College in Kentucky

Campbellsville University

School Information
Location Campbellsville, Kentucky
Admission Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 36%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 77% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $419
Out of State | $419

Credits to Graduate
30-48

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Campbellsville University offers a master's in teaching for students interested in earning their degree at a distance. Students can access multiple concentrations, including special education, health and physical education, secondary education - middle grades, high school education, elementary education, early childhood education, and TESOL. 

Campbellsville University offers both non-thesis and thesis tracks. School admissions requires an academic writing sample, a 2.9 GPA at minimum, and GRE scores. Students with a 3.2 GPA or higher qualify to waive the GRE requirement. 

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#3 Online College in Louisiana

Louisiana Tech University

School Information
Location Ruston, Louisiana
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 60%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Hybrid | Scheduled Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,075
Out of State | $1075

Credits to Graduate
30-39

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

College of Education at Louisiana Tech University offers an online master's in teaching for nontraditional learners. While students complete most coursework online, this program does require in-person attendance once a month on Saturdays.

Concentrations include early childhood education, elementary education, general special education mild/moderate, middle school education, secondary education, and special education for the visually impared. School admissions requires a 2.5 GPA at minimum and Praxis Core exams. Students with a minimum 22 ACT score or 1130 SAT score may waive the Praxis I. 

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#4 Online College in Alabama

University of West Alabama

School Information
Location Livingston, Alabama
Admission Rate 35%
Graduation Rate 35%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 77% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $429
Out of State | $429

Credits to Graduate
33-37

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

The University of West Alabama offers an online master's in teaching. Concentrations include biology, history, English, mathematics, physical education, science, and social studies. While students complete most coursework online, the College of Education requires 18 hours of field coursework. 

Notable courses include life-span development and learning, counseling multicultural populations, techniques of educational research, and advanced educational psychology. Students must earn a 3.0 GPA at minimum to graduate. School admissions require a professional background check. 

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#5 Online College in Kansas

Ottawa University-Kansas City

School Information
Location Overland Park, Kansas
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $465
Out of State | $465

Credits to Graduate
36 credits 

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Ottawa University offers a master's in teaching online that prepares graduates to work with students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Courses include foundation of ethical practices in education, arts and wellness in the elementary classroom, integrated teaching in elementary science and math, and foundation of exceptionality. 

School admissions requires a 3.0 GPA at minimum, a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and letters of recommendation. The admissions committee also requires a 300-500 word essay discussing students' professional experiences.

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#6 Online College in North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

School Information
Location Pembroke, North Carolina
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 41%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $307.58
Out of State | $1,000.02

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

UNC Pembroke offers a master's in teaching for nontraditional students online. Concentrations include special education, elementary education, middle grades mathematics, mathematics education 9-12, art, and science education. Coursework includes advanced study of exceptional children, curriculum design and best practices, curriculum development and evaluation, and statistics probability for the secondary math teacher.

While students complete coursework online, this program does require a culminating clinical experience in a public school setting. School admissions requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, a 2.75 GPA at minimum, and a 150-250 word statement that outlines students' teaching philosophy. 

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#7 Online College in Iowa

Northwestern College

School Information
Location Orange City, Iowa
Admission Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $340
Out of State | $340

Credits to Graduate
30-33

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

Northwestern College offers an online master's in teaching that requires no in-person attendance. Students can choose from three concentrations, including early childhood, history, and special education. Courses include trends and issues in 21st century education, communication and collaborative partnerships, behavior and social interventions of learners, a master's in education capstone. 

Asynchronous courses follow an eight-week format. School admissions requires a 3.0 GPA, a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and a valid teaching license. 

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#8 Online College in Mississippi

Delta State University

School Information
Location Cleveland, Mississippi
Admission Rate 94%
Graduation Rate 39%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $455
Out of State | $455

Credits to Graduate
30-33

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Delta State University offers a master's in teaching online for students who benefit from nontraditional classroom settings. Students can choose between a track in elementary education or secondary education. While students take classes completely online, Delta State University does require two semesters of field experience work for students without a license. 

School admissions requires Praxis core exams for both concentrations. Elementary education majors also need to provide Praxis Specialty Area scores and Praxis Foundations of Reading. Other requirements include a 2.75 GPA at minimum, a 250-word essay about students' teaching interests, and a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. 

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#9 Online College in Massachusetts

Fitchburg State University

School Information
Location Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 58%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $372
Out of State | $372

Credits to Graduate
36

Program Information
Program Accreditation | New England Commission on Higher Education

Fitchburg State University offers a master's in teaching online for working professionals who already hold a teaching license. Notable courses include using data to improve student learning, reading and writing in the content areas, law for the educator, and strategies for creating a positive learning environment. 

Online courses follow a seven-week format. School admissions requires a 2.8 GPA at minimum, a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, one-page essay, and a resume with professional experience in the field. 

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#10 Online College in Louisiana

University of Louisiana at Monroe

School Information
Location Monroe, Louisiana
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $500
Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate
36-45

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an online master's in teaching for licensed practitioners working in the field. Students can choose from multiple concentrations, including elementary education, secondary education, elementary mild to moderate special education, and secondary mild to moderate special education. 

School admissions requires a 2.75 GPA at minimum,  a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and Praxis I and II scores. Students with a 22 or higher on the ACT or a 1030 or higher on the SAT qualify to waive the Praxis I score requirement. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Teaching Programs

Is a master's in teaching worth it? true

Yes. While the value of any degree is subjective, if you know you want to teach, a master's in teaching provides a high return on investment.

Because of district salary schedules, teachers who hold master's degrees usually earn higher salaries than bachelor's degree-holders with the same amount of experience.

Furthermore, a master's degree can lead to higher-paying, challenging, and rewarding careers as principals and administrators. Keep in mind that these positions usually require significant experience in the classroom.

What can I do with a master's in teaching? true

Graduates with a master's degree in teaching can teach in public schools, private schools, middle schools, and high schools. With additional years of experience, they can also qualify for leadership positions like instructional coordinator, assistant principal, and principal.

If master's degree-holders no longer want to work in schools, they may be able to find work as training and development managers in corporate and business settings. These professionals create skills development programs for employees of those businesses and corporations.

Are teaching graduates in high demand? true

Yes. The BLS projects 10% job growth for education, training, and library positions between 2020 and 2030, which eclipses the average projected growth rate for all careers during that period (8%).

Demand varies by location and by school district. For example, federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants provide tuition assistance to students who commit to teaching in a high-need field like math, foreign language, reading, science, or special education after they graduate.

How much money can I make with a master's in teaching?

Salary potential for teachers depends on years of experience, education level, and school district. Most districts maintain salary schedules that determine how much money teachers make based on experience and education. Check with prospective school districts before accepting a job.

According to the BLS, as of May 2020, high school teachers earned a median annual salary of $62,870, while middle school teachers made a median annual wage of $60,810. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers earned a median annual wage of $60,660.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a master's in teaching?

According to the BLS, principals earned a median annual salary of $98,490, as of May 2020. While graduates with a master's degree in teaching are technically qualified for these positions, most schools prefer candidates with years of experience of classroom teaching. Furthermore, some schools prefer candidates who hold doctoral degrees in education.

Salary potential for principals also varies based on location and school district. According to the BLS, private school principals earn lower median annual wages than public school principals.

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We've ranked the best online master's in education programs. Learn how you can advance your career by earning a master's in education online. We've ranked the top online master's in K-12 education programs. Compare schools by cost and convenience. Earn your master's degree online. We've ranked the top online master's in K-12 education programs. Compare schools by cost and convenience. Earn your master's degree online.

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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