The Best Online Master’s in Education Programs

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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.

CAN I GET AN EDUCATION DEGREE ONLINE?

Several schools offers online teaching degrees. However, some online teaching programs do include on-site requirements. Read more here.

ARE ONLINE EDUCATION DEGREES RESPECTED?

Online education degrees are becoming more common and respected. Some schools don’t denote whether a degree was earned online or on-campus on a diploma. Read more here.

HOW MUCH DOES AN ONLINE EDUCATION MASTER'S DEGREE COST?

According to FinAid.org, most master’s degrees cost between $30,000 and $120,000. This varies depending on the school and program. Read more here.

HOW TO GET A MASTER'S DEGREE IN EDUCATION ONLINE

Most online master’s degree in education applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and submit standardized test scores and letters of recommendation to be considered. Read more here.

WHERE TO GET A MASTER'S DEGREE IN EDUCATION ONLINE WITH A LOW GPA?

Some schools, like Liberty University and University of the Rockies, offer master’s degrees in education online with GPA requirements of only 2.0. Read more here.

Education is one of the most rewarding careers out there, but if you want to expand your job opportunities and earn a higher salary, you need more than just your bachelor’s degree. An online Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree can help you achieve both of these goals, and let you earn your degree while maintaining your full-time job at the same time. If you have already graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education and hold a state-issued teaching license, you might be a perfect fit for an M.Ed. program.

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.

The curriculum for a Master’s in Education program will teach you educational philosophy, advanced teaching methods, and familiarize you with new classroom technology. In addition to standard classroom learning, you’ll also complete practicum sessions in real-life classrooms (student teaching) and submit a master’s thesis during the latter stages of your program.

Learn more about what you can do with an M.Ed. and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

WILL AN ONLINE M.ED. PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY TEACHING CAREER?

M.Ed. programs are designed to create educational leaders in and out of the classroom. Many degree holders become school counselors, educational specialists, and senior faculty members. The M.Ed. will also prepare students who plan to earn a doctoral education degree and pursue senior roles, such as school superintendents or professors of higher education. M.Ed. students can enhance their career prospects by earning a specialized master’s degree in areas like educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, special education, or speech and language pathology. They may also choose to concentrate on a specific educational level — such as early childhood or adult — or an academic subject, like math or social studies.

WILL AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN EDUCATION WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Online degrees are designed for flexibility and convenience. Today’s technology allows you to access lectures, readings, and other course materials using your home computer or a smart mobile device. However, online courses are just as challenging and demanding as traditional classes; students must devote several hours per week for each course in order to receive favorable grades. Many schools allow students to choose between completing their degree entirely online or through a hybrid program with online and on-campus components. Most M.Ed. programs require a commitment of at least two years, although some accelerated options may be completed in 18 months or less.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY MASTER’S IN EDUCATION?

Earning your M.Ed. is one of the best ways to advance your career in education. In many states, simply having your master’s degree in education will automatically increase your pay. In addition, a master’s degree is a requirement for more advanced teaching and education administration jobs.

With your Master’s in Education you can qualify for jobs as a lead teacher, curriculum developer, instructional designer, school counselor and education administrator. Some colleges and universities also hire teachers with their M.Ed. to teach classes at the college level.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN EDUCATION PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online M.E. programs in the United States. Our ranking is based on the courses schools offer, available specializations, student outcomes, career support services, and other criteria used to determine academic excellence. If you are considering an online master’s in education, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific M.Ed. requirements and offerings.

See Methodology
Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Enrolled Online Location Description
1 Johns Hopkins University RANKING SCORE 80.51 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 47% LOCATION Baltimore, MD

Although its School of Education wasn’t formally established until 2007, this Baltimore university has a century-long history of community engagement through education. As early as 1947, Johns Hopkins has offered flexible, part-time programs to working individuals in surrounding urban communities. An early pioneer in women’s education, the School of Education today grants over 500 degrees every year through traditional, online, and hybrid programs, including several online master’s of education tracks.

Students earning a master’s of education online can select from three programs offered in a fully-online format: education in health programs (MEHP), education studies, and technology for educators. Each concentration is a collaborative effort between the School of Education and another department or organization, such as the International Society for Technology and Education. However, all are built around one core curriculum. Program lengths range from 33 to 39 credit hours, and most students graduate in approximately two years. Some programs have highly specific prerequisite conditions for acceptance, such as the educational studies track, which offers two additional concentrations for members of Teach For America and TNTP. Current corps members and alumni of Teach For America may select the first concentration, which focuses on leadership in education. The 39-credit TNTP program takes approximately two years to complete, and is open to TNTP fellows from any state who are teaching in a school at the time of application. Focused on evidence-based teaching in the medical field, the MEHP concentration is available exclusively to individuals who hold an advanced degree in health-related professions.

Although tuition for most of Johns Hopkins’ online courses is significantly less than their traditional counterparts, fees for the MEHP tend to be higher. All distance learners, however, are eligible for (and encouraged to apply for) financial aid and scholarships.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education
Program name: Master of Science in Education
Available concentrations: School administration and supervision, reading, technology for educators, gifted education, and educational studies
Accrediting body: MSCHE
Tuition: $840/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33-39 credits
Field education requirements: Practicums and seminars

Program Length
Program length: 1-3 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall: April 1; spring: October 1; summer: February 1
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: Current CV/resume must be included with application

Contact
School phone: 1 (800) 468-6548
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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2 University of Southern California RANKING SCORE 77.87 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 25% LOCATION Los Angeles, CA

The University of Southern California has educated teachers for decades. This Los Angeles-based institution’s online master’s of arts in teaching is appropriate for teachers in any setting, including those who work at both inner-city and rural schools. The program combines the latest in K-12 pedagogical theory with hands-on, practical application. Students meet every week on USC’s virtual campus for live, face-to-face sessions.

The curriculum consists of 28 credits and can be completed in as little as one year. Participants can enroll on a part- or full-time basis and proceed at their own pace, working through asynchronous assignments and gathering for occasional video classes. Students interact regularly with classmates and professors in small classes, where the student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1. Individuals also work in actual classrooms, under the auspices of mentors, gaining teaching experience. USC’s placement team finds fieldwork options in a student’s area and assigns each degree candidate a “guiding teacher,” who leads the candidate through video-based sessions, lesson planning, rehearsal, and in-classroom work with young learners.

The curriculum explores teaching from a variety of angles, including psychological, sociological, literary, and language-based, and students can select from single-subject or multi-subject tracks. Future elementary school teachers get a broad foundation in a variety of areas, while future high school instructors go deeper into single disciplines.

USC also offers students the opportunity to prepare for the California teaching credential, although degree seekers should check with their own states to see if this route applies to their career goals. Students access coursework through the mobile learning platform 2SC, and they create online portfolios to demonstrate their skills and experience to future employers.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Arts in Teaching
Available concentrations: Single Subject Teaching (Secondary); Multiple Subject Teaching (Elementary)
Tuition: $1,800/credit both in- and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 28 credits
Program length: 1-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online and hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0
Work experience: Applicants must submit a resume.

Contact
Phone: (888) 628-1872
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest

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3 North Carolina State University at Raleigh RANKING SCORE 77.61 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 31% LOCATION Raleigh, NC

Set in the Research Triangle city of Raleigh, North Carolina State University has developed one of the nation’s busiest and most comprehensive virtual campuses. The state’s flagship university offers more than 350 online courses and 90 degrees, certificates, and teacher-licensure programs through its web portal, including an online master’s in education that focuses on the sciences. This 36-credit program is suitable for traditional classroom teachers and for individuals who work in science education at places like zoos, museums, and nonprofit organizations. Applicants to this program should have two years of teaching experience.

NC State’s master’s of education in science education follows a 36-credit curriculum. Participants complete 12 credits in the core, 15 credits in general science, and three credits in the form of a research project. The program builds six more credits into an area of concentration or specialization, and students have the option of selecting one of six focus areas: middle school education, special populations, informal education, educational technology, mentoring, or a subject-specific option. Degree candidates can also create their own specialty by amassing credits in a field of their choice.

The university offers its online courses both asynchronously and in real time, ensuring that distance learners enjoy ample interaction with their professors and classmates. Courses may feature video lectures and other media, as well as discussion forums and web-based assignments. Students typically sit for proctored exams or complete tests online, completing the curriculum in two (full-time) or four (part-time) years. Four start dates throughout the year add to the flexibility of the program.

NC State also hosts an array of other graduate-level degree programs of interest to teachers, including master’s degrees in elementary education, technology education, special ed, agricultural education, secondary English and math, and middle-grade language arts.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Education in Science Education
Available concentrations: Middle School Education; Informal Education; Special Populations; Educational Technology; Mentoring
Tuition: $431/credit in-state; $1,147/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 2-4 years, depending upon full- or part-time status

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous, synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 recommended
Standardized tests: GRE, MAT
Work experience: Two years teaching

Contact
Phone: (919) 515-9030
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter; Instagram

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4 University of South Florida RANKING SCORE 76.37 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 34% LOCATION Tampa, FL

The University of South Florida, located in Tampa, has more than 40 years of experience teaching physical education, and its phys-ed curriculum can be delivered online through a combination of reading and practice. The university’s college of education and school of physical education and exercise science created its online master’s in education with working teachers in mind. The program functions best when the theories participants learn can be put into practice immediately. Students do much of their studying in virtual classrooms, but USF also expects them to carry out projects in actual schools. The university offers the degree in two tracks: one for individuals with a current teaching certificate and one for those without.

USF structured the 30-credit curriculum of its master’s in physical education around a core of eight required classes, including one “action-based research project” taken as the final class. Students select two electives to round out their program. Most of the required work relates to instructional design and learning assessment, but degree seekers also gain a foundation in research and mentoring. Electives touch on subjects like adaptive phys-ed, sports psychology, sports in society, and grant writing.

Because courses follow no designated sequence, participants can enroll any time and amass credits quickly, moving through the curriculum asynchronously. Students can earn their diplomas in two years by taking two classes at a time. USF designed much of the coursework to be project-based. Students spend time studying on their own, applying their ideas in “action” projects, and then reporting back on their observations.

USF has three start dates per year. Applicants should have a bachelor’s from an accredited university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The university does not require students to submit their GRE or Miller scores. Students who live in the 16 member states of the Southern Regional Educational Board pay in-state tuition. USF also offers an array of other online master’s in education, including a special education degree.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Arts in Physical Education
Tuition: $7,840/year in-state; $15,864/year out-of-state
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous, with field experience

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0

Contact
Phone: (813) 974-3400
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter; Instagram

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5 University of Georgia RANKING SCORE 76.34 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 11% LOCATION Athens, GA

Founded in 1785, this Athens, Georgia institution is the oldest chartered state university in the country. Today, offering over a dozen undergraduate majors and nearly one hundred graduate programs, it’s also one of the largest. Known for its comprehensive distance learning programs, UGA offers eight master’s in education online programs that focus on several subfields of adult and childhood education. Learning tracks include instructional design, human resources, middle grades education, workforce education, and educational psychology. Students on the educational psychology track can select an additional area of focus in applied cognition or gifted and creative education, depending on their personal career goals.

The university’s application requirements for an online master’s of education are highly dependent on the program, as are criteria for graduation and coursework delivery modes. Coursework is typically completed through Athena, UGA’s online course management platform. The majority of courses require applicants to hold an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, along with strong GRE scores. Length of degree programs ranges from 33 to 37 credit hours, with some requiring a practicum component. Many classes are delivered in a cohort format via eLearning Commons, the school’s online education platform. While all programs are 100% online, the learning, design, and technology curriculum offers students an incentive to attend an annual department-wide conference on campus.

Online students at UGA pay the same tuition fees as their traditional counterparts, regardless of residency, and may apply for financial aid. UGA also accepts corporate payment plans, and extends financial assistance to military personnel and veterans.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education
Program name: Master of Education
Available concentrations: Adult education; educational psychology; learning, design, and technology, instructional design and development; middle grades education; reading education; workforce education
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $629-$638/credit hour

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33-37 credit hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 1-3 years
Program start dates: Summer, fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall: July 1; spring: November 15; summer: March 1
GPA: 2.6 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT
Work experience: 2-3 years

Contact
Department phone: (706) 542-6446 Department email: [email protected] Social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook

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6 Texas A & M University-College Station RANKING SCORE 74.61 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 15% LOCATION College Station, TX

The online master’s in special education at Texas A&M University prepares students to work with young people with learning disabilities, autism, behavioral issues, and other special needs. This College Station-based university established its “SPED” program to teach instructors the best practices in pedagogy for students classified as “low-performing” and “at risk,” as well as those with more severe disabilities. Graduates leave TAMU’s online master’s degree in education ready to plan and deliver lessons at a high academic level to special-needs populations and with the skills necessary to intervene when behavioral issues arise. Graduates also learn how to identify, assess, and evaluate disabled students and integrate these young people into traditional school programs when possible.

TAMU emphasizes communication, problem solving, and collaboration throughout the program. Degree candidates can elect to pursue a master’s of arts (with no thesis option) or a master’s of science (includes a thesis). The curriculum also provides a platform for students to continue on to further study and gives participants the option of earning certification in applied behavior analysis.

Coursework includes both individual, asynchronous assignments and weekly, real-time sessions with professors and peers. Students can complete their degree entirely online. The curriculum features two classes on reading and two on behavior management and analysis, along with courses in autism, emotional disorders, transition, consultation, and assessment. SPED faculty administer three “comprehensive exams” during the course of the program, which test students on the covered subject matter. TAMU expects students to maintain a 3.0 GPA as they work through the two-year curriculum.

The most successful candidates have experience working with individuals with disabilities, preferably in a teaching capacity, and an aptitude for leadership. TAMU does not require applicants to the SPED program to submit their GRE scores.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master’s in Special Education
Tuition: $422/credit in-state; $847/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: No minimum, but recommended 3.0 on last 60 hours of undergraduate work
Work experience: Not required but highly recommended

Contact
Phone: (979) 845-1833
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook

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7 Gratz College RANKING SCORE 74.42 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 100% LOCATION Melrose Park, PA

Located in the Philadelphia suburb of Melrose Park, Gratz College is the nation’s oldest independent college for Jewish studies. The school also offers a master’s of education online program that includes an array of specialties. These include Jewish ed, creativity and technology, safe schools, early childhood education, and dimensions in identity, which takes a holistic look at learners and how life beyond the classroom might be affecting their studies. Participants can also pick and choose from these focus areas to create a track that better fits their own professional needs. Additional certificates in creativity and tech, management, and distinguished learning and teaching are also available.

The 30-credit program is well-suited for working teachers and requires most degree candidates to have a teaching certificate. The program structures its curriculum around three core courses, which explore instructional design, legal and ethical issues in the contemporary classroom, and effective learning assessment. Students then add five courses in their concentration area and six electives, allowing them to further customize their program. Specialization areas provide degree seekers the opportunity to build portfolios in areas like leadership, technology in the classroom, and behavioral and social issues in modern schools. The early childhood education track adheres to standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Gratz delivers coursework in eight-week, accelerated sessions, and most classes follow an asynchronous format. Participants can pursue their degrees entirely online on a full- or part-time basis, taking home a diploma in two to four years depending on their course load.

Applicants must submit all undergraduate transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation (academic and professional), and a personal statement detailing how they plan to use their degree. They must also include a photocopy of a valid teaching certificate.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Arts in Education
Available concentrations: Early Childhood Education; Creativity & Technology; Dimensions in Identity; Integrated Curriculum; Safe Schools; Jewish Instructional Education
Tuition: $389/credit for both in-state and out-of-state students
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 2-4 years

Delivery
Format: Online and hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: A teaching certificate is required

Contact
Phone: (215) 635-7300 x140
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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8 University of Central Florida RANKING SCORE 73.89 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 40% LOCATION Orlando, FL

With over 64,000 students enrolled every year, this Orlando institution is one of the largest universities in the United States. Boasting ten regional campuses in addition to the Orlando campus complex, the student body includes individuals from 153 countries and all 50 states. For the past 20 years, UCF has also extended its online education program to students around the world. Offering more than 60 fully-online degree and certificate programs, including five online master’s degrees in education, UCF has earned a reputation for providing some of the best accredited online programs in the nation.

At UCF, students can earn an online master’s of education in applied learning and instruction, career and technical education, educational leadership, exceptional student education, or instructional design and technology. Degree programs vary in length from 30 to 45 credit hours, depending on concentration. Some programs offer thesis as well as non-thesis options for completion, while all students must pass a comprehensive examination before graduation. Admission requirements also differ between program concentrations. Some, such as the exceptional student education track, are designed for those who have already received teaching certifications, while others are interdisciplinary and offer room for curriculum customization.

Taught using a cohort model, UCF’s online courses consist of web-based instruction and collaboration, streaming digital video, or a combination of both. The university offers distance learners assistance through a variety of online resources, including career services and access to UCF’s digital library. The school waives campus resource fees for online students, who are also eligible to apply for financial aid and scholarships.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education and Human Performance; School of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
Program name: Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: In-state: $327/credit hour; out-of-state: $1,152/credit hour

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall: July 15; spring: December 1; summer: April 15
GPA: Minimum 3.0 minimum over final 60 undergraduate credits

Contact
School phone: 1 (855) 903-8576
School email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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9 California State University-Fullerton RANKING SCORE 71.13 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 37% LOCATION Fullerton, CA

CSUF’s College of Education is the only university teacher preparation institution in Orange County accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Offering one hybrid and six fully-online master’s of education programs, the school is known for its academic rigor and emphasis on community outreach. CSUF is also renowned for its commitment to diversity, and was one of the first institutions to be included in the AACTE Network’s initiative to increase teaching certification among black and Hispanic men. 66.7% of students in the Ed.D. program come from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

CSUF offers online master’s of education programs in educational technology, reading education, special education, instructional design, elementary instruction, and secondary education. An MS in educational leadership is also available as a hybrid program. Students on an elementary curriculum and instruction track can further specialize in one of six concentrations, including diversity, math and science, and professional inquiry and practice. Those in the secondary education program may select an optional concentration, although these courses are typically offered in a hybrid format. Degree program lengths, credit requirements, and course formats vary according to concentration, with most of the master’s in education online programs taking between one and two years to complete.

While most schools offer a non-licensure master’s of education online, those enrolled in CSUF’s literacy and reading track will complete coursework required to earn specialized credentials. Coursework in the special education concentration is also designed to prepare students for preliminary credential programs, and may confer added authorizations upon eligible students.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education
Program name: Master of Science in Education
Available concentrations: Educational technology, educational leadership, elementary curriculum and instruction, secondary education (high school & middle school), instructional design and technology, reading education, special education
Accrediting body: WASC
Tuition: $6,738/academic year

Delivery
Format: Online (reading education concentration is hybrid)
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 29-30

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 1-3
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 3.0 over last 60 undergraduate credits
Work experience: 3 years of teaching experience

Contact
Department phone: (657) 278-3411
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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10 Purdue University RANKING SCORE 71.07 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 21% LOCATION West Lafayette, IN

Notable for its Nobel prize-winning faculty members, this university in West Lafayette, Indiana counts astronaut Neil Armstrong among its alumni. With over 500 research labs and institutes, Purdue has built a solid reputation as one of the best schools for science, engineering, and math in the United States. In recent decades, the university has extended its academically rigorous degree programs into the world of digital learning. Current offerings include two MSEd programs for those who want to earn their master’s of education online.

Students in the 33-credit MSEd in learning design and technology program learn to combine cutting-edge techniques in multimedia design with classic and emerging pedagogical theories as they develop a portfolio for later use in the workforce. This fully-online program is open to individuals from all educational and professional backgrounds, although applicants must complete a telephone interview with an admissions advisor. The MSEd in special education program offers a curriculum aligned with EdTPA, an assessment organization that ensures educators are teaching effectively and to standard. Emphasizing intervention and teaching techniques for severely disabled students, this program prepares future educators to assess and support students with special needs through appropriate instructional programs. Several tracks are available, including a master’s only option and a master’s with special education licensure.

Both online master’s of education programs are taught asynchronously through a virtual classroom interface. Coursework is identical in rigor and subject matter to that of traditional classes, and instructors are the same faculty members who teach on campus.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education
Program name: Master of Science in Education
Available concentrations: Learning design and technology, special education
Accrediting body: NCASC
Tuition: In-state: $329/credit hour; out-of-state: $650/credit hour

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33 credit hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Varies (contact an admissions counselor)
Standardized tests: GRE
Work experience: Professional letters of reference are required

Contact
Department phone: (765) 494-2341
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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11 San Diego State University RANKING SCORE 70.66 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 6% LOCATION San Diego, CA

San Diego State University offers a technology-focused online master’s in educational leadership through its College Of Extended Studies. SDSU designed this program for teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators who want to better integrate technology into their districts at the classroom, school, and district level. The program consists of 10 courses, which full-time learners can finish in 15 months. The program is taught through a cohort format and includes IT, leadership, and teaching components.

The educational leadership program focuses on pedagogy and teaching ideas related to technology and education from around the world. Classes delve into a variety of subjects, including school improvement through the lens technology, the architecture of technology, and modern school administration.

Professors in this leadership program are renowned for their work in instructional leadership, architectural technology, and program evaluation. All classes are offered asynchronously with weekly synchronous office hours. Participants often interact with their cohort members through chat rooms and by engaging in collaborative projects. Because the majority of students currently hold teaching positions, degree candidates often learn from each other as well as from their instructors.

California graduates may pursue their administrative credential by completing additional courses. SDSU also offers an online, graduate-level induction program for contracted, multi-subject teachers, as well as an add-on, reading-literacy authorization program. Applicants must submit all college transcripts, a professional resume, a video describing their educational beliefs, and GRE scores.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Specialization in PreK-12
Tuition: $598/credit
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 15 months

Delivery
Format: Online and hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: GRE
Work experience: Working teachers preferred

Contact
Phone: (619) 594-2566
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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12 Michigan State University RANKING SCORE 70.56 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 24% LOCATION East Lansing, MI

Founded in 1855 in East Lansing, Michigan State University was originally conceived as an agricultural college. Today, MSU offers more than 200 programs of study, including numerous online and hybrid degree programs designed with busy people and working professionals in mind. Ideal for classroom teachers, school administrators, coaches, and adult educators, MSU’s College of Education offers a fully-online master’s of education program for those who want to take their career in education to the next level.

This 30 credit hour program offers six concentrations in literacy education, P-16 school leadership, science and mathematics education, special education, technology and learning, and sport leadership. Instead of completing a thesis, students are required to participate in a capstone seminar, in which they develop and exhibit an online portfolio prior to graduation. Courses are taught in an accelerated cohort format, with lectures and coursework delivered through Desire2Learn, MSU’s online learning portal. Most students are able to earn their degree in around two and a half years, taking one to two courses per semester.

While residents of Kentucky may not apply to MSU’s online master’s programs in education, the school offers a flat tuition for distance learners in and out of state. Additionally, students enrolled in at least five credit hours of courses are eligible to apply for financial aid and scholarships. Although the program does not confer graduates with teaching certification, individuals seeking licensure can apply for a recommendation or endorsement through the School of Education. Faculty advisors are available to assist students with the certification application process, as well as with many academic and financial aspects of the online master’s program. Students are assigned an academic advisor upon acceptance to the program.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education
Program name: Master of Arts in Education
Available concentrations: Literacy education, P-12 School and postsecondary leadership, science and mathematics education, special education, sport coaching and leadership, technology and learning
Accrediting body: NCACS
Tuition: $699/credit hour

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall: June 1; spring: October 1; summer: March 1
GPA: Minimum 3.0

Contact
School phone: (517) 355-1825
School email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook

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13 American University RANKING SCORE 70.51 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 20% LOCATION Washington, DC

Based in the District of Columbia, American University ranks as one of the nation’s top universities, especially in the field of education. American offers several comprehensive and customizable online education master’s programs, and the school has also won recognition from the prestigious Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The university’s school of education hosts a master’s of arts in teaching program where students can specialize in elementary or secondary education in a wide variety of fields, including the performing arts, physical education, Spanish, French, English, math, social studies, and the sciences. The university set up the program to prepare graduates for direct entry into classroom teaching positions within five semesters. No previous teaching experience is required.

American expects participants to enroll in at least two courses per semester and complete the program within two years. Most classes feature asynchronous work and at least one live, weekly meeting where students gather in a virtual classroom for interactive and collaborative sessions. Although the program does not require enrollees to have a teaching certificate, many do; these individuals are encouraged to continue teaching as they pursue their degrees. The curriculum itself has been recognized for its progressive nature, cultural sensitivity, and focus on cultivating community in educational settings.

Students who already work full-time as teachers can waive three of the student-teaching credit requirements. Others will need to accumulate more than 600 hours of classroom experience. The university works with online learners to help them find a school in their local areas.

Graduates leave with a professional electronic teaching portfolio and complete the Praxis II exam. The program meets the requirements for licensure in the District of Columbia, although prospective teachers should check credentialing specifics in the states where they intend to work. American requires undergraduate transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a resume, but students do not need to submit their GRE scores. American’s school of education also offers online master’s of arts degrees in special education and education policy and leadership.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Arts in Teaching
Available concentrations: Elementary Education; K-12 Education in Art, Performing Arts,
Physical Education, Spanish, French; Secondary Education in English, Math, Social Studies, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics
Tuition: $1,642/credit
Credit requirements: 30-36 credits
Program length: 20 months

Delivery
Format: Online and hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.3 minimum
Work experience: No teaching experience is required

Contact
Phone: (202) 885-3720
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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14 University of Pittsburgh RANKING SCORE 70.40 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 11% LOCATION Pittsburgh, PA

The University of Pittsburgh has taught teachers for more than a century, and this Pennsylvania institution recently expanded its web-based programming. The university’s school of education has its own online campus, offering a full slate of graduate-level degree programs, including master’s of education degrees in elementary education, English and communications, mathematics, and high-school social studies.

Although the curriculum of each program differs somewhat, they all require students to earn 36 credits; these can be pursued entirely online through predominately asynchronous coursework. Most tracks share a common core, consisting of six credits in education and society and psychology of learning. Individuals also take a class in research methodology. From there, students diverge onto their own paths, typically adding nine credits in their field and six more elective credits. Some degrees also require more teaching experience than others. Pitt grants as many as 18 credits to degree candidates who already earned a graduate-level degree or certification elsewhere. The school of education requires all students to take a comprehensive, take-home examination before graduation. Students also create a presentation, which they present to the faculty. Additionally, some of the tracks award students who earned a teaching certificate at Pitt advanced standing.

Some of the aforementioned education programs have prerequisites. For example, the secondary social studies master’s program requires applicants to hold a teaching certificate. Alternatively, to enroll in the math program, online learners only need a baccalaureate degree in a related field.

Pitt’s rolling admissions policy means students can apply and enroll at their convenience. Applicants must submit proof of an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA, three letters of recommendation, and a written statement describing their career goals and objectives. The university also sponsors a virtual open house for prospective candidates.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Education
Available concentrations: Elementary Education; English and Communications; Mathematics Education; Secondary Social Studies Education
Tuition: $898/credit in-state; $1,512/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online and hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: Teacher certification is required for some specializations

Contact
Phone: (412) 648-9499
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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15 Florida International University RANKING SCORE 69.95 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 37% LOCATION Miami, FL

Florida International University’s online master’s in education prepares special ed teachers to work with children who need additional help, including those with learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, and kids on the autism spectrum. This 36-credit program emphasizes multicultural sensitivity, and graduates leave with an autism endorsement. Teachers broaden their base of knowledge in modern classroom techniques, build leadership skills for effective supervision, and learn how to use the latest assistive technologies. FIU created its curriculum for students who either already hold a teaching certificate in exceptional student education or recently passed their certification exam and are awaiting endorsement. Enrollees should also have access to a K-12 classroom, where they can work on an action project to earn their degree.

FIU designed its master’s of arts in special education program for completion in a single year, and participants typically take four courses each semester. Classes run in six, accelerated, eight-week sessions per year. Coursework is formatted asynchronously. The curriculum consists of eight core courses and four related to autism.

Core classes investigate a variety of subjects, like the foundations of educational research, instructional tech, issues and trends in special education, and cultural diversity in the exceptional learner population. Autism coursework looks at the needs of these students, the assessment skills and strategies necessary to work with autistic children, and behavioral management and support of learners on the spectrum. A practicum rounds out the requirements. The program boasts a great deal of interaction between FIU’s faculty and online students, and participants typically put in eight to 12 hours per week per course.

Applicants must send their undergraduate transcripts, proof of teacher certification, resume, statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation (at least one of which must be from an academic source). Distance students also complete an online orientation course.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Science in Special Education: Autism Endorsement
Tuition: $508/credit
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum on last 60 hours of upper division coursework
Work experience: Applicants must have a teaching certificate (or a letter of eligibility and a passing score on the Teacher Certification Examination)

Contact
Phone: (855) 348-6654
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter; Instagram

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16 Clemson University RANKING SCORE 69.31 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 23% LOCATION Clemson, SC

Clemson University, located in northwest South Carolina, holds accreditation from many agencies, including the CAEP and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs. The school also boasts a 100% licensure pass rate for its graduated administrators and counselors. Clemson’s college of education features a popular virtual campus, which offers an array of graduate-level degrees to working teachers. These include a master’s of education online program, which allows students to specialize in experiential education for early childhood, STEAM, or instructional coaching. This program does not lead to initial teacher certification but is meant for current teachers.

Clemson offers its master’s of education in teaching and learning program entirely online in an asynchronous format, giving working teachers the opportunity to advance professionally while continuing to teach. The 30-credit curriculum consists of two parts: 18 credits in core pedagogical coursework and 12 credits in an area of specialization. New cohorts enroll each summer, embarking on an 18-month journey toward graduation.

Students move through the degree plan, one class at a time, in accelerated, seven-week terms. Additionally, summers consist of five-week terms where students typically take two classes. The program requires a classroom-based research practicum and culminates in a capstone project. Distance learners participate in an online orientation module to acclimate to the Canvas learning management system before they start taking formal classes.

Clemson’s college of education requires applicants to have an undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Alternatively, applicants can be among the top 50% of scorers on the GRE or Miller Analogies Test. Students must supply a current resume that includes teaching experience, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation (at least two of which must be related to the applicant’s teaching experience).


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Education in Teaching and Learning
Available concentrations: STEAM; Experiential Learning for Early Childhood; Instructional Coaching
Tuition: $721/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: Top 50% in GRE or MAT
Work experience: Applicants should be working educators

Contact
Phone: (864) 656-4444
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter; Instagram

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17 Virginia International University RANKING SCORE 69.09 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 70% LOCATION Fairfax, VA

Located in the city of Fairfax, Virginia International University opened its doors in 1998 and began offering web-based degrees about a decade later. Today, the growing university hosts more than a dozen online programs, including online master’s degrees in education. VIU’s master’s of education program has a secondary-education emphasis, and students can select from three concentration areas: English as a second language, math, and science. Due to the school’s international focus, the program has a strong global feel, and participants hail from countries around the world. A board of advisors vettes the 39-credit curriculum to ensure it stays current, teaching students the latest in pedagogy. Participants pursue their degrees online, and full-time learners typically graduate in four semesters. VIU requires no teaching experience, and applicants from any undergraduate background may apply. However, the university recommends that participants have a bachelor’s degree related to their area of concentration.

The curriculum divides roughly in half between core coursework and concentration classes. The core explores educational theory, diversity, classroom management, class psychology, and secondary instruction. Five additional classes immerse students in their area of specialization. Learners also complete a portfolio, which consists of two writing samples, career preparation documents, and a concentration application. This portfolio should reflect a student’s practicum experience, where they work in classrooms to gain valuable, first-hand teaching experience. These internships correspond to a student’s selected area of concentration. As an example, the English as a second language practicum includes 225 hours of experience in a bilingual classroom.

Professors deliver all classes asynchronously in an accelerated, eight-week format. There are six start dates each year and VIU accepts online students on a rolling basis. Applicants must provide their undergraduate transcripts (with a GPA of 2.5 or higher), a resume, two letters of recommendation related to a candidate’s academic abilities, and a 500-word statement of purpose.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Education
Available concentrations: English as a Second Language; Math; Science
Tuition: $508/credit
Credit requirements: 39 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online and hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 514-6848
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter; Instagram

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18 Mississippi College RANKING SCORE 68.53 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 34% LOCATION Clinton, MS

Mississippi College is the oldest institution of higher learning in the Magnolia State. The school offers online master’s degrees in education that follow a Christian perspective on pedagogy. Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), these programs can be completed entirely online with no required visits to the university’s campus in Clinton. The college’s Baptist traditions infuse all of its programming, giving the core curriculum a strong basis in faith. Mississippi College believes that teaching is a ministry and a calling. Students can select from graduate degrees in special education, elementary education, educational leadership, and curriculum and instruction. Each program requires degree candidates to hold a current teaching certificate and earn a minimum of 30 credits. Students in the educational leadership track must take additional classes, totaling 39 credits.

The program delivers coursework in accelerated, seven-week terms and uses an asynchronous format. Students can enroll at six start dates per year, and ambitious individuals can finish their online master’s in education program in 12 months or fewer. All programs have differing requirements but typically begin with a few core classes before moving into specialized study. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in each program, and each track concludes with a comprehensive exam that tests a degree candidate’s overall knowledge and suitability for master’s credentials. Degree candidates who earn a GPA of 3.75 or higher can waive the comprehensive exam requirements.

The educational leadership concentration requires 300 hours of a focused internship and 360 hours of clinical work. Most programs result in an upgrade from a Class A license to a Class AA license, and graduates of the educational leadership program also gain a K-12 administrator endorsement.

Applicants must submit their college transcripts. Mississippi offers pay-by-the-course tuition, which makes its online education master’s program one of the most affordable in the country. The college also boasts 24/7 technical support for its distance learners.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Education
Available concentrations: Special Education; Elementary Education; Educational Leadership; Curriculum and Instruction
Tuition: $365-$383/credit
Credit requirements: 30-39 credits
Program length: 10-12 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Work experience: Applicants must have a current teaching license

Contact
Phone: (844) 351-6654
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter; Instagram; Pinterest

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19 Columbia International University RANKING SCORE 68.33 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 62% LOCATION Columbia, SC

Columbia International University has delivered Christ-centered educations for over a century. This South Carolina institution sees its mission as world evangelization, and the internet has given the school a larger platform for its Christian degree programs. CIU offers a variety of degrees in ministry, business, and education, ranging from the associate to the graduate level. For example, working teachers can pursue a master’s degree in education online. Applicants to this program should have at least two years of teaching experience, although the university may consider applicants with fewer than two years of experience on a case-by-case basis.

CIU’s master’s of education program has won endorsements for its content from the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Higher Education Approval Program (HEAP). Students can select from two tracks, depending upon their career ambitions. Those interested in classroom teaching can enroll in the instruction and learning track, while individuals interested in leadership positions can choose the educational administration track. Graduates who meet the requisites can pursue ACSI teaching and administrative certification.

CIU incorporates biblical principles into the curriculum of its master’s of education program. Core competencies include creating Christian curricula and bringing Christ into the classroom wherever possible. Program participants work their way through 33 credits of material and must maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA throughout the program. Students must also earn a “C” or higher in all of their classes.

CIU divides coursework into three areas. Students complete four foundation classes, including Chapel I (which does not count toward credit requirements); four core courses; and four more classes in a concentration area. The university allows participants to pursue both tracks simultaneously, but they must add an additional three classes to do so. Degree seekers with enough classroom experience can waive the nine-hour student teaching requirement and substitute a one-credit portfolio. Professors structure classes asynchronously with no specific meeting times, and all coursework is conducted online with no required visits to South Carolina. Students take an orientation during their first semester.

Candidates must submit their baccalaureate transcripts, which should include a GPA of 2.7 or higher, GRE scores that rate above the 50th percentile, and a letter of recommendation from a church leader. CIU carefully screens applicants, only admitting students who exhibit “appropriate” moral and Christian character. Additionally, CIU allows students to transfer in up to 49% of their credits.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Education
Available concentrations: Educational Administration; Instruction and Learning
Tuition: $550/credit
Credit requirements: 33 credits
Program length: 2-4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.7 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE, scored in the 50th percentile or better
Work experience: 2 years of work experience in education is recommended

Contact
Phone: (803) 807-5329
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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20 University of Houston-Clear Lake RANKING SCORE 68.27 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 36% LOCATION Houston, TX

The University of Houston-Clear Lake emphasizes student-centered programming. Online students enrolled in the school's master of science in educational management program earn certifications or co-certifications in principal, reading, special education, or master technology. Students pursue a mix of professional and administration core classes, including school law, applied statistics, and technology courses. They must also complete a culminating capstone experience prior to graduation. The program is accredited by both NCATE and CAEP.

Taught in eight-week terms across five sessions per year, this 30-credit hour online master’s in education can be completed in just 15 months if taken on the accelerated track. For further flexibility, learners may take the program entirely online or as a hybrid with some on campus instruction. Some concentrations, like principal, are offered on campus or as hybrid programs only. They may also feature field work requirements. The school delivers all online coursework through Blackboard. UHCL offers online students access to academic advising and technical support. The school’s New Teachers Online provides recent graduates with help and assistance from faculty.

The school administers three admissions deadlines/enrollment dates per year: one in the fall, the next in the spring, and the final one in summer. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Those applicants who earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher do not need to submit GRE scores. Texas residents pay lower tuition than their out-of-state counterparts, but all online students are eligible for financial aid by filling out the FAFSA in a timely manner. Learners applying to begin the school's master’s of education online program in the fall should submit the FAFSA by March 1. Financial aid packages include a number of merit- and need-based scholarships designed especially for education students.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education
Program name: Master of Science in Educational Management and Principal Certification
Accrediting body: NCATE
Tuition: In-state $286/credit; out-of-state $485/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 15 months

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.75-3.0
Standardized tests: GRE (waived for applicants with minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0)
Work experience: Valid Texas teaching certificate required

Contact
School phone: (281) 283-7600
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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21 Azusa Pacific University RANKING SCORE 67.49 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 25% LOCATION Azusa, CA

Azusa Pacific University offers six online master’s programs in education. The M.A.Ed. school librarianship program is offered in conjunction with the online Teacher Librarian Services credential. Graduates go on to serve as library and media specialists who are recognized as experts in the state of California, where Azusa’s campus is located. The 36-unit program may be completed in a year and a half.

APU's M.A.Ed. in special education is a 42-to-45-unit program designed for students interested in an emphasis in autism spectrum disorders. The program takes between 18 and 24 months to complete and does not lead to a teaching credential. In addition to being a great fit for community college instructors or private school administrators, the program is an excellent resource for attorneys who wish to pursue special education law or serve their communities as due process hearing officers.

Azusa’s 36-unit online MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is designed for students interested in language acquisition theory, grammar, pronunciation, intercultural communication and sociolinguistics, language assessment, and language-development research. The MA in educational technology is available entirely online to students who are interesting in developing curricula that integrate technology and techniques in digital teaching. Alternatively, students may pursue the school's MA in educational leadership, which leads to the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC).

The university plans to launch a 30-unit MA in art education in spring 2018, a low-residency program aimed at artists who enjoy teaching. While most of its courses will be available entirely online, students will be required to attend two, one-week summer intensive practicums at APU’s main campus in Azusa.

Tuition rates vary by program, but are the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. The school expects applicants to have earned a GPA of at least 3.0 in their accredited undergraduate work.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education
Program name: Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Education
Available concentrations: Master of arts - educational leadership, educational technology; Master of arts in education - school librarianship, special education
Accrediting body: WSCUC
Tuition: $637-$698/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (educational leadership concentration only)
Credit requirements: 30-45 credits
Field education requirements: Varies, depending on concentration

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 3.0 (2.5-2.9 minimum GPA will be considered with additional demonstrations of competency)
Work experience: Recommended

Contact
Department phone: (626) 815-6018
Program director email: [email protected]: Kathleen Bacer
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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22 The University of West Florida RANKING SCORE 67.04 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 100% LOCATION Pensacola, FL

The University of West Florida has grown to educate over 13,000 students per year since its founding in 1963. It offers four online master's in education programs: curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, reading, and instructional design and technology.

UWF's curriculum and instruction program consists of 36 credits of leadership and investigative classes. Students who pursue this program may concentrate in elementary, middle level, or secondary education. Each concentration is accredited by NCATE. The 33-credit educational leadership program is designed for students who wish to pursue careers as Florida school administrators and supervisory roles, including as principal and district administrator. The school recommends a professional teacher certification for admission into this program. Applicants without certification have to complete additional requirements such as ESOL and reading competency. The 36-credit reading program fuses literary research with applications in the classroom. Students in the instructional design and technology program take 36 credits and may concentrate in human performance technology or distance learning. Alternatively, they may pursue this degree with a specialization in technology leadership.

Applicants to all four programs must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.0. The reading and instructional design programs require test scores from the GRE, GMAT, or MAT. The school's curriculum and educational leadership programs will only accept scores from the GRE or MAT.

Due to complex regulations, certain state restrictions apply. Students from Wisconsin may not enroll in the educational leadership program. Students from Alabama may be ineligible to receive Alabama certifications. Students in Minnesota may not enroll in any online programs. Other restrictions apply as well. Please check the full list of online authorizations.

Out-of-state tuition costs more than its in-state counterpart, but students may apply for a tuition waiver that can reduce their tuition between 90% and 100%. The program is approved by the State of Florida and leads to an Educational Leadership Certification.


Program Overview
Department: Teacher Education and Educational Leadership
Program name: Master of Education in Educational Leadership Certification online, offered as an M.Ed.
Available concentrations: Curriculum and Instruction
Tuition: Program cost: Partnership Rate - $386.50 per credit hour; Non-Partnership Rate - $416.50 per credit hour

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33 credits
Internship: Requires a 3 credit Principalship internship which may be completed near the student’s place of residence

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: 18 months; 30 hours
Program start dates: Year round

Admission Requirements
GPA: Minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA
Work experience: 3 years of teaching experience
Test Scores: GRE or MAT scores at or above 50th percentile if GPA is below 3.0

Contact
Department phone: (850) 474-2745
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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23 University of St Thomas RANKING SCORE 66.98 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 30% LOCATION Houston, TX

A Catholic institution based in the city of Houston, the University of St. Thomas offers an online master’s of education that can be tuned to a teacher’s interests. The program features six different tracks, some of which allow for a large degree of customization. Students can pursue their degrees entirely online through asynchronous coursework or combine distance classes with face-to-face meetings in a hybrid format. The university designed its master’s of education program to benefit a range of professionals, including teachers, specialist instructors, school leaders, and professional counselors. These degrees uphold St. Thomas’ Catholic ideals of social justice and ethics.

Students can choose from tracks in counselor education, curriculum and instruction, dual language instruction, educational leadership, generalist, and special education. The curriculum of each concentration begins with two core classes in research and educational foundations. Students must accrue at least 36 credits and amass two years of teaching experience to earn their degrees.

Each track features different options and requirements. Distance learners interested in administrative positions, for example, can specialize in Catholic schools, private institutions, or special education. Those in the curriculum and instruction track can pursue gifted or special populations credentials. The Council of Educator Preparation Programs (CAEP) accredits both the educational leadership and school counselor concentrations. Additionally, the educational leadership track readies students to sit for the Texas Principal Exam.

Applicants must submit their baccalaureate or advanced-degree transcripts, which should reflect a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and a 200- to 300-word essay detailing how a master’s degree will help them reach their career goals. Candidates with a GPA below 3.0 can can win admission if they have satisfactory GRE or MAT scores.

We are committed to the Catholic intellectual tradition and the dialogue between faith and reason. By pursing excellence in teaching scholarship, and service, we embody and instill in our students the core values of t our founders the Basillian Fathers: goodness, discipline and knowledge. Our M.Ed. programs which have been offered online since 2010 educate students to think critically, communicate effectively, succeed professionally, and lead ethically. The online community is supported with instructor and technical support, access to multiple resources and a collaborative online community.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Education
Available concentrations: Counselor Education; Curriculum and Instruction; Dual Language Instruction; Educational Leadership; Generalist; Special Education; Educational Technology (beginning Fall 2018)
Tuition: $832/credit
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 2-4 years
Field Experience: Practicum for counseling program; internship for principal program.

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE is required for students whose GPA is lower than 3.0
Work experience: Some tracks require at least two years of previous teaching experience

Contact
Phone: (713) 942-5998
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter; Instagram

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24 University of South Carolina-Columbia RANKING SCORE 66.71 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 30% LOCATION Columbia, SC

For 200 years, the University of South Carolina has offered comprehensive, affordable degree programs from its campus in Columbia, the state's capitol. A top research university renowned for its innovative approaches to learning and study, USC has always been at the forefront of online education development.

The College of Education is the only college in the State of South Carolina accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The college is also a member of the National Network for Education Renewal and the American Association of Colleges of Education. The College of Education currently offers four online graduate degrees, including an online master’s of education in teaching and a master’s of education in educational administration.

In these degree programs, you will receive dynamic, high-quality instruction that will prepare you to excel in your career. The on-campus professors have transformed their face-to-face curriculum specifically for the e-learning environment to ensure that you receive the same level of impactful instruction that is delivered in a face-to-face setting.

The two masters programs range from 30-36 credit hours and take 18-24 months to complete and vary in focus, curriculum, and application requirements. The Master of Education in educational administration is designed for certified educators interested in becoming school principals or other administrators. Coursework emphasizes leadership in instructional, supervision, legal, and financial aspects of school administration. The M.Ed in teaching is for practicing teachers who wish to enhance their professional teaching practice or are seeking career advancement. The program includes participation in action research in which students identify, research, and find solutions to issues in their school or school district. Students select a 15-hour specialization from multicultural contexts in education, literacy and reading, and project-based learning. Teaching program applicants may provide proof of professional experience in lieu of GRE scores.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education
Program name: Master of Education
Available majors: Teaching, educational administration
Accrediting body: SACSCOC and CAEP
Tuition: Total program tuition and fees: SC Certified Teachers: $18,616; All Other Applicants: $19,939

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Teaching certification (educational administration concentration only)
Credit requirements: 30 credits (M.Ed. in Teaching), 36 credits (M.Ed. in Educational Administration)
Field education requirements: Practicum (educational administration concentration only)

Program Length
Program options: Full or part time (typically two courses per semester)
Program length: 18 months (M.Ed. in Teaching), 24 months (M.Ed. in Educational Administration)
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline (can vary by year): Fall: July 1; Spring: November 8; summer: March 1
GPA: Minimum 2.5 (educational administration concentration only)
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT
Work experience: 3 years (educational administration concentration only)

Contact
Department phone: (803) 777-6732
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

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25 University of San Diego RANKING SCORE 66.35 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 18% LOCATION San Diego, CA

The online master’s degrees in education offered by the University of San Diego emphasize equity and social justice, state-of-the-art teaching skills, classroom exploration, and a professional approach to Common Core standards. Fully accredited by the NCATE, these programs give aspiring teachers a wealth of specialization options. Program participants can select from master’s of education online tracks in STEAM, curriculum and instruction, literacy and digital learning, school leadership, and special education and universal design. USD’s department of teaching and learning delivers each of these tracks in conjunction with the university’s division of professional and continuing education. Programs combine a strong curriculum with immediate practical applications in the classroom. Practicing teachers from public, private, charter, independent, and non-traditional schools can all benefit from USD’s offerings.

USD designed its MEd program for students with at least two years of teaching experience. Each education track consists of five foundational courses and five in the selected area of focus. The average degree candidate completes the 30-credit curriculum in 20 months. Coursework is delivered asynchronously.

Core classes discuss research, social justice, how students learn, and qualitative methods. Students also take a seminar that synthesizes the research skills and knowledge they gained during the program. All online students begin with a zero-credit master’s of education orientation class. Distance learners can transfer in up to six credits from an approved program.

USD requires applicants to submit their transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate institutions, which must include a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.75 or higher. The university also requires two letters of recommendation and a personal interview. Accepted students who apply by a certain deadline receive a free iPad.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master’s of Education
Available concentrations: Curriculum and Instruction; Inclusive Learning; Literacy and Digital Learning; School Leadership; STEAM
Tuition: $710/credit
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 20 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE is optional
Work experience: Two years of previous teaching experience

Contact
Phone: (619) 260-4580
Email: [email protected]
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With an online master’s in education, students receive the same quality education as on-campus students with added flexibility. It’s important to note the similarities and differences between programs before applying.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE IN EDUCATION

Concentration Description Careers This Concentration Prepares For
Curriculum and Instruction An online master’s program in education focuses on the theory and practice of lesson design, delivery, and assessment in the context of today’s rapidly-changing educational climate. Coursework emphasizes development of instructional practices, curriculum design in reference to common core standards, and self-examination of teaching methods. Instructional coordinator, principal, teacher trainer, and additional opportunities with government agencies and non-profits.
Bilingual Education An online master’s degree in education with a concentration in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) provides skills for working with ESL/bilingual students in K-12 schools. A typical program focuses on language pedagogy and acquisition theory, as well as strategies for managing the unique issues bilingual students face. Teaching ESOL in K-12 schools or other informal environments.
Adult Education A master’s in education online program with a concentration in adult education focuses on research on lifelong learning. The program focuses on teaching techniques to train adult learners for success in the workplace. It’s an option for students who love teaching but want to move out of the classroom and into the corporate world. Corporate trainer, career educator, and post-secondary instructor.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE IN EDUCATION

When selecting an online master’s degree in education, it’s important to remember that curricula offerings will differ from school to school. Students should always keep their personal career goals in mind when researching a program. There are a number of general courses that online master’s in education programs tend to offer which are listed below.

  • Cognition & Learning: An investigation into the conditions that influence learning and how the learning process occurs. Students become better educators, equipped with the knowledge of how to enrich their classroom’s learning environment.
  • Media Literacy: Students focus on ways of applying technology and teaching new media literacy skills in the classroom. Through exploring the education advantages and problems that digital content can present, students prepare to incorporate technology into their job as a K-12 educator.
  • Strategies of Classroom Supervision: Students learn techniques for managing behavior and promoting self-direction and autonomy in the classroom. Strategies for supervising or coaching other teachers are also covered. This course is suited for students with teacher leadership aspirations.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN EDUCATION?

An online master’s degree in education is meant to be completed in two to three years (30 to 45 credit hours). Many universities are flexible in terms of how many credits need to be taken per semester in order to accommodate working professionals. A large number of programs also offer options for additional certifications or licenses that could add extra time.

Another factor that influences the duration of a program is whether or not it is taught in a cohort or individual format. Cohort programs have students complete coursework together with a small group of their peers, and they may only begin the program at certain times of the year. Individually paced program allow students more freedom. They are able to take as many credits per term as they desire, sometimes finishing the program faster than average. Students should keep their own learning style in mind when selecting a cohort or individually paced program.

CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES A MASTER’S IN EDUCATION PREPARES FOR

  • School Counselor License: Students who want to work one-on-one as a mentor to students in the K-12 school system have the possibility to get licensed as a school counselor. The licensing process differs from state to state but generally includes the completion of an internship with an experienced counselor and an examination.
  • Principal/Administrative Certification: Educational leadership graduates may be interested in completing the certification process to become a school principal. Candidates are, on average, required to complete a practical internship demonstrating their abilities as an administrator in a school. Performance is assessed along the way and a final examination may also be required.

When selecting a school for an online master’s in education, pay attention to the school’s accrediting body. Accreditation is a guarantee that a school adheres to academic standards and that a degree earned there will be recognized by employers. School accreditation comes in either regional or national accreditation form. Regional accreditation is more popular as it is generally considered to be more prestigious. The credits earned at regionally accredited schools are commonly accepted when transferring from colleges. Nationally accredited schools have merits of their own, such as relaxed admittance policies and lower costs, but students should check that an M. Ed. from a nationally accredited school will make them eligible to receive an educator’s license in their state.

When looking for an accredited online master’s in education, students should focus their search on schools accredited by bodies such as the Distance Education and Training Council or an education specific accreditation agency, such as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

The two organizations that also play a major part in accreditation are the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Both organizations ensure that schools adhere to the highest standards of academic excellence by certifying the quality of accrediting agencies. If a school has an accreditation that is DOE or CHEA certified, it’s a good sign that a degree earned there will be recognized. Check the DOE’s and CHEA’s websites for a list of all accredited schools.

Job Placement: M.Ed. vs Bachelor of Education

Although a bachelor’s degree can help you obtain entry-level teaching positions, the employment rates are much more favorable for teachers who receive a master’s. A recent report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) found that professional educators with a graduate degree faced a 1.9% unemployment rate. By comparison, the unemployment rate for teachers with a bachelor’s degree and some professional experience is 3.9%, and 5.4% for recent graduates without experience.

Education Specialty Unemployment Rate for Recent College Graduates (%) Unemployment Rate for Experienced College Graduates (%) Unemployment Rate for Graduate Degree Holders (%)
General Education 6.0% 4.1% 2.4%
Elementary Education 4.8% 3.4% 1.7%
Physical & Health Education 3.7% 2.2%
Special Needs Education 4.5% 2.0%
Language & Drama Education 4.2% 2.2%
Art & Music Education 3.7% 2.2%

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW)

Earning a Living

In addition to higher job placement rates, teachers who earn a master’s degree usually qualify for a higher salary bracket than those who complete their education with a bachelor’s degree. According to the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), 96% of the 112 major school districts in the U.S. pay teachers a higher salary if they hold a master’s degree, and the National Center on Education Statistics found that teachers with a master’s earned a median salary of $57,831 during the 2011-12 academic year; teachers with bachelor’s degrees earned a median salary of $46,343 during the same timeframe. Below, you’ll find a graph illustrating the salary differences between teachers with bachelor’s and master’s degrees over the course of their respective careers.

Source: The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

As the graph shows, first-year teachers with a master’s degree earned approximately $6,750 more per year than their colleagues. The pay gap between these two groups increases incrementally over time. After 15 years, teachers with a master’s earn roughly $10,000 more annually, and those with 20 years in the field will make 20% more than bachelor’s holders with identical experience. On top of increased earnings, teachers with a specialized master’s degree in education can transition easily into senior or administrative positions. Using data from PayScale, the table below features the median annual salaries for master’s-holding teachers in seven different educational professions.

Professional Title Median Annual Salary
Elementary School Teacher $49,506
High School Teacher $51,785
Special Education Teacher (Preschool, Kindergarten and Elementary) $46,876
Middle School Teacher $52,075
Head Teacher $48,607
Instructional Designer $61,019
School Counselor $50,128

Source: PayScale

Regardless of specialization, the best online Master of Education degree programs prepare prospective teachers for classroom success and career advancement. Jobs for educators at the kindergarten/elementary, middle school, high school and postsecondary levels are expected to rise from 6% to 13% between 2014 and 2024 — and teachers with advanced degrees will be strategically positioned to fill this growing demand.

While there are many specializations available, the goal of any campus or online master’s in education program is to graduate competent, experienced educators. Experts expect that jobs for educators from the Pre-K to the community college level will climb steadily over the next decade, increasing 12% by 2022. Teachers with advanced degrees will be strategically positioned to take advantage of this growing demand.

Career Opportunities

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

K-12 Principal

Principals at elementary, middle, or high schools monitor all daily operations within a school. They must oversee the school’s curriculum, faculty, finances, administrative functions and educational resources. Most principals began their careers as teachers, later earning a master’s in educational leadership or administration; principals in public schools are required to earn state licensure.

Median Annual Salary – $90,410
Projected Growth Rate – 6%

High School Teacher

High school teaching positions are available to candidates with a bachelor’s degree. However, many schools will give preference to candidates with a master’s degree in their subject field. In addition to educational prerequisites, public high school teachers must earn a license in the state where they plan to teach.

Median Annual Salary – $57,200
Projected Growth Rate – 6%

Postsecondary Teacher

Although a Ph.D. will be required for most postsecondary teaching positions, candidates with a master’s degree in education may qualify for roles at community colleges and other two-year institutions.

Median Annual Salary – $72,740
Projected Growth Rate – 13%

Postsecondary Administrator

Administrative roles at the college or university level include deans, registrars, student administrators, and faculty researchers. Most of these positions can be attained with a master’s degree, though advancement in some areas may require a Ph.D.

Median Annual Salary – $88,580
Projected Growth Rate – 9%

Training & Development Manager

Professional training and development managers create programs for corporate employees across different industries, and may supervise a staff of training specialists. These corporate education positions usually require a master’s degree.

Median Annual Salary – $102,640
Projected Growth Rate – 7%

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different educational approaches is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for professional educators. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

Despite the relative affordability of online master’s in human resources programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

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 you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several 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, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Master's of Education Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
2 University of Georgia Athens, GA
3 University of Central Florida Orlando, Fl
4 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
5 University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia, SC
6 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
7 California State University-Fullerton Fullerton, CA
8 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
9 Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
10 Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington, IN
11 University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia, MO
12 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
13 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Knoxville, TN
14 The University of West Florida Pensacola, FL
15 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
16 Lindenwood University Saint Charles, MO
17 University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, HI
18 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
19 University of Houston-Clear Lake Houston, TX
20 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona, MN
21 California State University-Fresno Fresno, CA
22 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
23 Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA
24 Arizona State University-Tempe Tempe, AZ
25 SUNY at Albany Albany, NY

Best Online Master's of Education Programs of 2016
Rank School Location
1 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
2 Michigan State University East Landsing, MI
3 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
4 University of Georgia Athens, GA
5 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
6 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
7 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA
8 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville Knoxville, TN
9 University of Massachusetts - Amherst Amherst, MA
10 California State University - Fullerton Fullerton, CA
11 Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA
12 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
13 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
14 California State University - Fresno Fresno, CA
15 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona, MN
16 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
17 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
18 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
19 Lindenwood University Saint Charles, MO
20 University of Wyoming Laramie, WY
21 The University of Arizona Tuscon, AZ
22 California State University - San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA
23 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
24 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
25 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC