K-12 teachers are responsible for shaping the minds of young students and equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as adults. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), roughly 3.2 million K-12 teachers are currently employed in the United States. This number includes 1,565,300 kindergarten and elementary teachers, 630,300 middle school teachers, and 1,018,700 high school teachers. These professionals earn median annual salaries ranging from $55,490 to $58,030, depending on the grade level they teach, and growth job in this sector is projected to grow 7% to 8% between 2016 and 2026.

A bachelor's degree is required for most K-12 teaching positions, and those who teach K-12 classes at public schools must earn a teaching certification in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Some states require K-12 teachers to obtain a master's degree once they become certified. However, even when a master's isn't required, earning an advanced degree in K-12 education can help certified teachers boost their salaries and qualify for advancement opportunities. The curriculum of a master's in K-12 education often includes specialization options for students to concentrate their coursework in niche areas of their profession, such as special education, education administration, or curriculum development. On-site student-teaching practicum courses are routinely required, as well.

Many students today choose to earn their master's in K-12 education online, rather than in a classroom. The best online master's in K-12 education programs prepare students for advanced teaching roles, and may lead to higher salaries and advancement opportunities. Learn more about what you can do with a master's in K-12 education online and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

WILL THIS PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

The best online master's in K-12 education programs build on the fundamentals of undergraduate studies while introducing new, more advanced approaches to classroom instruction, lesson planning, and educational technology. Many delve into psychological, behavioral, and social factors that affect the way children learn, communicate, and interact in classroom settings. Many master's pathways also prepare students for teaching certification requirements, including the certification exam and post-degree supervised teaching requirements.

DO I NEED PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE TO GET IN?

Program prerequisites vary by institution. Some pathways are designed for teachers that have already earned their state-level certification, while others prepare students to become certified once they have completed their master's degree requirements. In either case, a bachelor's degree in education or a related field from an accredited college or university will almost always be required ― and the bulk of today's bachelor's in education degree programs also include classroom-based practicum training courses.

HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT ONLINE PROGRAM FOR ME?

When choosing an online master's in K-12 education program, there are several factors to consider. These include the overall cost of the program (tuition and living expenses), student outcomes associated with the institution such as student retention and graduation rates, and the school's current accreditation status. Many students also choose certain K-12 education master's online tracks because they include specialization options that align with their career goals.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO EARNING MY MASTER'S IN K-12 EDUCATION ONLINE?

Online education offers a flexible alternative to traditional higher learning. Online degree programs often follow the same curriculum as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, and usually lead to the same job opportunities for successful graduates. The flexible format of web-based learning is also ideal for students with jobs, small children, and other commitments that make it difficult to commute to and from campus each day. It's important to note that most online K-12 education master's degree programs involve practicum coursework that must be completed onsite.

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of Georgia

Athens, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 85%

Located in Athens, UGA serves more than 37,000 learners through 17 academic schools and colleges. UGA is one of 26 institutions within the University System of Georgia.

UGA offers seven master of education degrees online. Two of the degrees explore educational psychology, one with an emphasis on applied cognition and development and the other with a gifted and creative education concentration. Through 34 and 37 credit hours, respectively, the programs build instructional, research, and service competencies for education professionals.

The online master of education in learning, design, and technology focuses on instructional design and development through 36 credit hours and features a cohort model. The 36-credit workforce education degree builds skills to cultivate and manage workforce, career, and technical education programs.

UGA's online master of education in reading, science, and middle grades education prepares licensed teachers to guide and enhance the learning capabilities of their students. The online master's in K-12 education in reading includes 36 credit hours offered through a cohort sequence.

The online degree in science education builds instructional skills among secondary natural science teachers through 36 credit hours of coursework. Middle grades education students similarly complete 36 credit hours of coursework that focuses on the challenges and opportunities associated with working with middle grade students.

Learners may transfer 6-9 credit hours into any of UGA's online master of education programs. Application materials include transcript information, GRE or MAT scores, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose and goals.


Program Overview
Program Name: M.Ed. in Reading Education
Available Concentrations: New and digital literacies
Tuition: $629/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18-24 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Phone: (706) 452-7936
Email: online@uga.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Clemson University

Clemson, SC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

From its Clemson, South Carolina, campus near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Clemson offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and 110 graduate programs. Founded in 1889, Clemson provides more than 23,000 learners with a 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

The online master of education in teaching and learning comprises 30 credit hours. Students complete 18 core pedagogical credit hours alongside 12 hours in a specialization. Specializations are available in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM); experiential learning for early childhood; and instructional coaching.

Cohorts begin the online teaching and learning master's degree each summer. Five-week summer classes accompany 7.5-week fall and spring classes. Aside from the first summer when students take two courses simultaneously, learners take one class at a time and complete the program in five semesters. Core classes in pedagogy emphasize curriculum theory, learning and motivation, and cultural diversity in education. Students also complete classroom-based research.

Learners along the STEAM track take classes in assessment, instructional design, and evaluation in STEAM education. The experiential learning for early childhood concentration includes classes in curriculum development, parent education in early childhood multicultural settings, and advanced early childhood education foundations. The instructional coaching curriculum focuses on instructional effectiveness, issues in instructional coaching and school leadership, and reflective instructional coaching practice.

Students who complete the STEAM specialization earn a STEAM graduate certificate and may apply to the South Carolina State Department of Education for STEAM endorsement. Applicants to the instructional coaching specialization need three years of classroom teaching experience for consideration.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Education in Teaching and Learning
Available Concentrations: Instructional coaching; STEAM; experiential learning for early childhood
Tuition: $447/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Phone: (864) 656-5096
Email: daphnew@clemson.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Boston University

Boston, MA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 87%

Home to more than 34,000 students, BU sits on two campuses in Boston, Massachusetts. BU currently offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs through 18 schools and colleges.

Through the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, BU offers an online master of education in curriculum and teaching for practicing teachers. Learners complete the 36-credit program over two years as they pursue one of seven content tracks: elementary, English, English as a second language, mathematics education, science, social studies, and special education.

All degree tracks include 36 credit hours. Learners complete one required course and 32 credit hours of elective classes. Elementary education students focus on reading development, classroom discourse and assessment, and math reasoning in the elementary classroom. English program learners study teaching texts, methods of teaching English learners, and writing instruction, while English as a second language students develop competencies in reading development, language acquisition, and methods of bilingual communication.

Math, science, and social studies education track students explore methods of instruction and classroom assessment practices. The online master's in special education curriculum trains learners in methods and materials applicable to special education students and learners with moderate disabilities.

To apply to BU's online master of education program, learners submit transcript information, two letters of recommendation, a resume, an equity and inclusion statement, and a statement of qualifications and objectives.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching for Practicing Teachers
Available Concentrations: Elementary education; English education; English as a second language education; math education; science education; social studies education; special education
Tuition: $855/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (617) 353-4237
Email: dOL@bu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Texas A & M University-College Station

College Station, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

Texas A&M opened its doors as the first institution of higher education in Texas in 1876. Currently, it heads the Texas A&M University System, a network of 18 universities and state agencies.

The online master of education in curriculum and instruction includes 36 credit hours that build effective teaching and research skills. Students complete theory, methods, and content classes in this generalist, non-thesis education master's degree.

During the first semester of the program, students take a class on trends in curriculum and instruction. Learners also take core classes in cultural foundations of education, curriculum development, and analysis of teaching behavior. Required research classes, such as educator as researcher and techniques of research, supplement core coursework.

Students complete 15 credit hours of elective courses in teaching and learning, social and cultural perspectives, and an area of their choosing. As a culminating experience, learners complete a reflective inquiry class.

The online curriculum and instruction master's degree at Texas A&M prepares K-12 educators to promote student learning while fostering school, family, and community improvements and partnerships. To apply to the online master of education program, students submit three letters of recommendation, documentation of a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA, and two essays.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction
Tuition: $974/credit in-state; $1,475/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18-24 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum (recommended)

Contact
Phone: (979) 862-8122
Email: tlacgant@tamu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Established to train Champions for Christ in 1971, LIberty offers more than 600 academic programs from its main campus in Lynchburg, Virginia, and online. More than 100,000 learners enroll in undergraduate and graduate degrees offered through Liberty's 17 colleges and schools.

Liberty's online master of education program includes three specializations: administration and supervision, reading specialist, and mathematics specialist. All degree tracks include 36 credit hours and students must hold a current teaching license with three years of classroom experience for admission.

The online master's in administration and supervision incorporates 15 credit hours of education core classes in learning theory, exceptionality, research and assessment, and curriculum development. Learners complete program-specific courses in school administration, law, finance and management, and community relations. Students also participate in an internship and a course in instruction supervision

Liberty's online master of education for reading specialists comprises 15 credit hours of education core classes, exploring reading specialist coursework in educational assessment and intervention, current issues in reading, and foundations and theories of literacy instruction. The reading specialist internship gives students hands-on experience in a teaching setting.

The mathematics specialist concentration builds competencies in teaching mathematics through coursework and an internship. The mathematics curriculum also allows learners to explore technology practices for instructional improvement or foundations of educational technology.

Liberty's online master of education programs hold accreditation through the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master's in Education
Available Concentrations: Administration and supervision; math specialist endorsement; reading specialist endorsement
Tuition: $415/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 424-9596
Email: luograd@liberty.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

University of South Carolina-Columbia

Columbia, SC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 75%

UofSC, founded in 1801, provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to almost 35,000 students. Based in Columbia, UofSC is one of eight institutions within the University of South Carolina System.

UofSC offers an accelerated online master of education in teaching that learners can complete in 18 months. The program includes three specializations: literacy and reading, project-based learning, and multicultural contexts in education.

All students take five core classes, four specialization classes, and one elective as part of the 30-credit curriculum. Core courses include developing as a professional educator, ideas and issues in teaching, and introduction to educational research. Students also participate in action research and an active research capstone seminar. The latter is a culminating exercise during which learners complete a thorough research project.

Literacy and reading students explore foundations of reading instruction and assessment, teaching reading and writing, and instructional strategies for reading. Learners studying project-based learning focus on the integration of technology and instruction. Project-based learning students also complete a practicum to apply degree knowledge and skills in a supervised classroom. The project-based learning curriculum aligns with the requirements to earn the South Carolina Project-Based Learning endorsement.

Multicultural contexts in education classes emphasize diversity and curriculum development, equity pedagogies, and motivation in school learning. Students also complete a class in educating African American students.

Applicants to all of the online master of education in teaching degrees must submit two letters of recommendation, a resume, a letter of intent, and transcript information from an accredited bachelor's degree. Students who fail to meet the minimum 3.0 GPA requirement should submit GRE or MAT scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Teaching
Available Concentrations: Literacy and reading; project-based learning; multicultural contexts in education
Tuition: $17,049 licensed South Carolina teachers; $18,759 all other students
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (if GPA requirement not met)
Work Experience: 3 years (if GPA/standardized test requirement not met)

Contact
Phone: (855) 290-3839
Email: gradapp@mailbox.sc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

From its main campus in Starkville; locations in Meridian, Biloxi, and Vicksburg; and online, MSU provides more than 180 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

MSU offers three online and hybrid master of arts in teaching degrees. The online master of arts in teaching - secondary teacher alternate route comprises 36 credit hours of coursework in educational theory, pedagogy, and subject-specific areas. Students may choose to add an endorsement to the program, building knowledge and skills in fields such as biology, chemistry, and English.

MSU's online master's in teaching with an emphasis in special education includes 33 credit hours that prepare students for initial teacher certification. Students complete an internship to gain hands-on experience. Prior to enrolling in the internship, learners must obtain a teaching position in a Mississippi public school as a special education teacher and provide documentation of employment.

The hybrid master of arts in teaching with a concentration in community college education incorporates interdisciplinary coursework for educators to serve rural community colleges. The curriculum explores adult learning theory and diversity through online and on-campus classes.

Application materials for MSU's online and hybrid master of arts in teaching programs include three letters of reference, an indication of teaching specialty and statement of purpose, and a bachelor's degree. Community college education applicants need a minimum 2.75 GPA for admission.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Teaching - Secondary Teacher Alternate Route
Available Concentrations: Biology; chemistry; English/language arts; physics; social studies; math; physical education
Tuition: $475/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (662) 325-3473
Email: dba@colled.msstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

8

Georgia Southern University

Statesboro, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Georgia Southern provides academic programs to more than 26,000 students from locations in Statesboro, Savannah, and Hinesville and online.

Georgia Southern offers 10 online master of education degrees. Students can focus on curriculum and instruction; educational leadership; evaluation, assessment, research, and learning; or instruction technology. Additional concentrations include reading, elementary, middle grades, and secondary education. Learners can also pursue degrees in special education or teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students.

The online curriculum and instruction program includes 36 credit hours that learners can complete in 16 months. Students must possess a high induction, professional, advanced professional, or lead professional teaching certificate for admission. Georgia Southern's online master's in educational leadership includes 36 credit hours and a 250-hour field experience requirement. The program leads to a leadership certification in accordance with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

Evaluation, assessment, research, and learning students gain knowledge applicable to instructor roles in public schools, institutions of higher learning, and professional environments, while the instructional technology curriculum includes 36 credit hours that meet certification requirements for certification as Instructional Technology Specialist and School Library Media Specialist.

Learners in the reading, elementary, middle grades, and secondary education specializations explore pedagogy, educational theory, and field-specific courses through 36 credit hours. These degrees require a valid teaching certificate or eligibility to obtain one.

Learners pursuing the online master's in special education can further specialize in adaptive curriculum or general curriculum. Learners on the teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students track focus on designing and implementing instructional practices and curricula to meet the needs of students from diverse backgrounds.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Teaching
Available Concentrations: Special education; elementary education
Tuition: $3,618/semester in-state; $13,559/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 45 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (912) 478-1549
Email: gasc@georgiasouthern.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

A public research institution founded in 1907, ECU hosts more than 28,000 students on its Greenville, North Carolina, campus and online. The school offers more than 300 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs.

ECU offers 12 online master of arts in education degrees, 11 of which require students to hold a North Carolina teaching license. The exception, ECU's 36-credit online adult education degree, includes classes such as development of adult education programs, instructional strategies in adult education, and the adult learner.

ECU's online master's in education in art, birth through kindergarten, elementary, and middle grades education build knowledge and skills for current North Carolina teachers. Additional programs in physical, reading, science, and special education similarly expand competencies for practicing instructors within the state.

Most degrees comprise 36 credit hours, aside from the 39-credit reading education and special education programs. The reading education degree offers a thesis and non-thesis option for students. The special education degree includes concentrations in behavioral/emotional, intellectual, learning, and low incidence disabilities.

Middle grades students can focus on English, mathematics, science, or social studies. They may also complete a thesis as part of the curriculum. The physical education master's in education includes concentrations in adapted physical education and physical education pedagogy, while the elementary education program offers specializations in academically gifted education, content pedagogy, early childhood learning, teacher leadership, and teaching English as a second language.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Education
Available Concentrations: Adult education; art education; birth-kindergarten education; curriculum and instruction; elementary education; instructional technology; mathematics education; middle grades education; physical education; reading education; science education; special education
Tuition: $249/credit in-state; $894/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Phone: (252) 328-4970
Email: swaggertye@ecu.edu
Social Media Accounts:Facebook; Twitter

10

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

MSU opened its doors as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan in 1885. MSU offers more than 50,000 learners over 200 academic programs through a main campus in Lansing and online.

MSU's online master of arts in education features coursework in educational theory, technology and curriculum development, and assessment and evaluation in the classroom. Learners interested in exploring reading, writing, and communication can take classes in language diversity and literacy instruction assessment, methods and materials for teaching, and accommodating difference in literacy learners.

A concentration in pre-K-12 school leadership emphasizes issues in urban and multicultural education, adult learning and career development, and education administration, while the teaching and learning specialization includes classes in teaching students online and learning technology through design.

The MSU online master's in education also includes degree tracks in sports coaching and leadership, special education, and science and math education. Sports coaching and leadership classes incorporate information on the psychosocial, physical, and emotional development of young athletes. The special education degree track introduces learners to policies and practices to help students with behavioral and learning difficulties in the classroom. The science and math education curriculum explores technology and research in both disciplines.

Applicants to MSU's online master of arts in education program need a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited bachelor's degree. Learners submit three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of professional goals for consideration.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Education
Available Concentrations: Special education; sport coaching and leadership; technology and learning; P-12 school and postsecondary leadership; literacy education; science and mathematics education
Tuition: $789/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (517) 355-1855
Email: onlineed@msu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Hamline University

Saint Paul, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

Located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and founded in 1854, HU is the state's first university. It offers learners more than 50 areas of study with a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

HU offers two online master of arts in education degrees with additional programs in English as a second language, literacy education, and teaching English to speakers of other languages. The two master of arts in education programs -- a general degree and one in natural science and environmental education -- include 34 credit hours.

The general master of arts in education degree incorporates 24 credit hours of required coursework and 10 hours of electives. Students gain competencies in designing effective learning environments, educating for equity and social justice, and understanding learning. The program also includes research design and action research coursework to prepare learners for a capstone project or thesis. Elective coursework builds knowledge and skills in fields such as gifted education, urban teaching, and adult basic education.

HU's online master's in natural science and environmental education holds accreditation through the North American Association of Environmental Education. Required classes in policy and leadership for educators, foundations in natural science and environmental education, and environment and society accompany elective classes in concentrations such as sustainability education and nature-based early learning. Students also complete a capstone project or thesis.

Learners can complete the online master's in education in two years and transfer up to five credit hours into the program. The natural science and environmental education degree allows students to transfer up to 10 credit hours into the degree. Applicants submit official transcripts with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a two-page personal and professional statement for consideration.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Education
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 34 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (651) 523-2600
Email: education@hamline.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

With two campuses in Atlanta, Kennesaw State is part of the University System of Georgia. It offers over 35,000 learners more than 150 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Kennesaw State offers eight online master of education degrees. Learners can enroll in programs in early childhood, middle grades, or secondary education with additional options in special education and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Online master of education degrees in educational leadership, instructional technology, and teacher leadership build professional skills for current teachers seeking work as administrators and instructional specialists.

Students can complete the early childhood education program in 13 months. Certified teachers may earn additional certifications and endorsements in areas such as reading, gifted learning, and special education. The middle grades education program allows students to tailor their degree with specializations in language arts, mathematics, and social studies, each of which allows for an embedded endorsement.

The secondary education program includes concentrations in English, history, and mathematics. The middle grades and secondary education degrees maintain accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Kennesaw State's online master's in special education emphasizes individualized general curriculum development, while the TESOL curriculum trains learners in strategies, practices, and methods for teaching diverse students. Learners can complete the NCATE-accredited programs in 18-24 months.

The online educational leadership degree also holds accreditation through NCATE. The cohort-based curriculum prepares students to lead schools, districts, and educational organizations through 36 credit hours. Kennesaw State's teacher leadership master's degree prepares teachers for roles as department chairs and classroom leaders. Learners who pursue the instructional technology track learn to use educational technology and provide professional development, mentoring, and technical guidance to fellow Pre-K-12 educators.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Education in Secondary Education
Available Concentrations: English; history; mathematics
Tuition: $383/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18-24 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (470) 578-2371
Email: medsmge@kennesaw.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

Pittsburgh, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

Founded in 1787, Pitt offers more than 35,000 learners undergraduate and graduate programs on its main Pittsburgh campus, at six regional locations, and online.

Pitt offers four online master of education degrees, each comprising 36 credit hours. Students can study mathematics, English and communications, elementary education, or secondary social studies education.

All four online master of education programs emphasize research methods; social, cultural, and psychological perspectives of education; and discipline-specific knowledge. Mathematics students take classes in research, problem solving, and proportional reasoning. Learners in the English and communication program focus on basic areas of education and a specialization. The elementary education program includes classes in special education, pedagogy, and instructional practice. Secondary social studies education students complete classes on research, theory, and practice in social studies instruction.

At the end of the program, students complete a comprehensive, take-home exam to demonstrate degree knowledge. Applicants who hold a teaching certificate from Pitt receive advanced standing upon admission. With advanced standing, learners only need to complete 18 credit hours of the program. Learners with a graduate degree from another institution may transfer up to 12 credit hours into the program.

To apply to Pitt's online master of education program, students submit transcript information reflecting a minimum 3.0 GPA and a statement of goals. Applicants without previous coursework at Pitt may need to submit letters of recommendation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Education
Available Concentrations: Elementary education; English and communications; mathematics education; secondary social studies education
Tuition: $920/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18-24 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (412) 648-2230
Email: soeinfo@pitt.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Ball State University

Muncie, IN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

Established in 1918, BSU hosts more than 21,000 learners at its main campus in Muncie, Indiana, and online. BSU offers eight master of arts degrees in education, all of which comprise 30 credit hours. The online master's in adult and community education builds knowledge and skills for strategizing, planning, and organizing adult and community educational programs.

Learners complete the cohort-based master's in athletic coaching education in five semesters through coursework in physical preparation, evaluation in coaching, and teaching and motivation for coaches. The program admits students during the spring and summer.

The asynchronous online master of arts degree in business features nine concentrations, including master educator, community college, curriculum and instruction, and business and industry training. The master's degree in curriculum and training education allows learners to pursue tracks in education technology or curriculum.

Students in the master's degree in elementary education program focus on early childhood education, reading and literacy instruction, or elementary education. Learners may also participate in community partnerships and classroom practica or complete a certificate in computer education, autism, human development and learning, or gifted and talented education.

BSU's online master's in mathematics education includes tracks for elementary and middle school, secondary school, and education specialists. The secondary education curriculum emphasizes education core, secondary teaching, teaching of a content area, or dual credit teaching credentialing.

BSU's online master's in special education is recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children and the applied behavior analysis course sequence received verification from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board. Within the curriculum, students can earn certificates or licensure in areas such as deaf and hard-of-hearing learning, autism, or response to intervention.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Secondary Education
Available Concentrations: Education core; secondary teaching license; teaching (content area); dual-credit teaching credential
Tuition: $410/credit in-state; $616/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Phone: (765) 285-1581
Email: tmwhiteman@bsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Missouri State University-Springfield

Springfield, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Missouri State is one of four institutions within the University of Missouri System. It offers three online master of science in education degrees. Learners can earn degrees in educational technology, elementary education, or literacy.

The educational technology degree incorporates 33 credit hours of general, research, diversity, and core requirements. General coursework emphasizes educational research methodologies and philosophies that prepare students for a research project, seminar, or thesis. Core classes include instructional design, administration of educational technology, and educational media production. Students may also enroll in an educational technology practicum. To apply, students need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA from an accredited institution.

Full-time learners can complete the online master's in elementary education in five semesters. Classes in elementary school curriculum, differentiated instruction, contemporary issues, and research precede an advanced theory and practice course. To apply to the elementary education program, students submit a letter of intent, three letters of recommendation, and documentation of teaching credentials. Students without teaching certification may receive admission with permission from the program coordinator.

The literacy degree allows certified teachers to enhance their current practice through a personalized program. The degree prepares students for reading interventionist and reading program supervisor roles. Applicants to the online master's in education literacy submit three letters of recommendation, a letter of intent, and transcript information indicating a minimum 3.0 GPA.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Education, Elementary Education
Tuition: $214/credit in-state; $477/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (if GPA requirement not met)

Contact
Phone: (417) 836-6315
Email: BenedictChambers@MissouriState.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

Established as Williamsburg Institute in 1888, the University of the Cumberlands began as a Baptist training school. After several name changes through the 20th century, the institution took its current name in 2005. Currently, the University of the Cumberlands offers undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 11,500 students.

The University of the Cumberlands offers three online master of education degrees. The literacy specialist and teacher leader programs include 30 credit hours, while the school counseling degree incorporates 45 credit hours of coursework in education, psychology and counseling.

The literacy specialist curriculum includes foundational classes in diversity, research methods, and curriculum management and assessment. Students complete specialized coursework in reading and writing instruction, strategies, diagnostics, and content areas with additional professional courses in literacy and teacher leadership.

The teacher leader degree builds upon core coursework in research, assessment, mentoring, and leadership with specialized classes in areas chosen by students. Learners can focus on business and marketing, English, health and physical education, or interdisciplinary studies. Additional specializations include math and social studies.

The University of the Cumberland's online master's in school counseling includes classes in group counseling in public schools, personality and psychological assessment, and lifestyle and career development. Students also complete a school counseling practicum or internship.

Applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. They must also submit GRE or MAT scores and three letters of recommendation. All students undergo a midpoint assessment during the program with two instructors completing disposition surveys about their performance. At the end of the degree, learners submit a capstone portfolio.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master's in Education Degree
Available Concentrations: Literacy specialist; school counseling; teacher as leader
Tuition: $315/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT (if work experience requirement not met)
Work Experience: Teaching license

Contact
Phone: (606) 539-4390
Email: gradadm@ucumberlands.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

LeTourneau University

Longview, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

LETU hosts more than 3,000 students at its Longview, Texas, campus and online. The institution provides two-year and four-year degrees through eight schools. As a nondenominational Christian school, LETU incorporates classes in servant and spiritual leadership into its programs. Coursework in faith and work and work-life balance supplementing online master of education degree requirements.

LETU offers five online master of education degrees. The 36-credit online master of education in teaching and learning offers concentrations in early childhood to sixth grade content, fourth through eighth grade content, and seventh through 12th grade content. All students complete required courses in teaching children and adolescents, assessment and instructional planning, and effective methodologies for teaching before taking classes that prepare them for certification in a teaching subset.

The online master's in curriculum and instruction explores theoretical and practical aspects of curriculum design, implementation, and evaluation. Students also complete classes in instructional leadership and research with an optional practicum to gain experience working alongside practicing curriculum directors, specialists, and district administrators. The teacher leadership program strengthens teaching skills, emphasizing instructional effectiveness and classroom management through 32 credit hours of coursework.

The master of education in educational administration includes 43 credit hours in instructional leadership, campus management, and public school law. Students participate in numerous principal practica throughout the program to gain hands-on experience. Educational administration learners can add an additional emphasis in curriculum by completing an instructional leader certification.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Education - Teaching and Learning
Available Concentrations: Early childhood-6th grade certification; 4th-8th grade certification; 7th-12th grade certification
Tuition: $9,585/year
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18-24 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (800) 759-8811
Email: enroll@letu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 63%

Located in Richmond, VCU offers its over 31,000 students an 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Founded as a medical college in 1838, VCU merged with Richmond Professional Institute in 1968, at which time the institution took its current name.

VCU's four online master of education degrees explore curriculum and instruction, reading, special education, and educational leadership. The online master's in curriculum and instruction builds skills for practicing teachers through three concentrations: instructional technology, online teaching, or teaching and learning.

The master's in reading degree allows learners to focus on K-12 reading, teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) in a K-12 setting, or TESOL to adult learners. Admission to the master's in K-12 education reading program requires two years of experience teaching in a school setting with a valid instructor license.

Specializations within the special education curriculum build competencies to work with students in early childhood settings, in general education, or with severely disabled learners. The early childhood program partners with VCU's Child Development Center, while the severe disabilities option offers field experience opportunities through the Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities training program at VCU.

VCU's educational leadership master's degree prepares students to pursue careers as school, district, and educational organization leaders. The program features two concentrations -- administration and supervision and leadership studies -- but only the former exists online.

Applicants to all of VCU's online master of education programs submit a statement of purpose, transcript information, three letters of recommendations, and GRE or MAT scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: M.Ed. in Reading
Available Concentrations: K-12 reading specialist; TESOL/K-12; TESOL/adult
Tuition: $6,067/semester in-state; $12,475/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 18-24 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Phone: (804) 827-2479
Email: SOEinfo@vcu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

As one of the oldest universities in Missouri, UCM began as a teachers college in 1871. UCM currently offers more than 180 undergraduate and graduate programs to over 12,000 learners each year and maintains accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.

UCM's online master of science in education degree focuses on elementary education and curriculum instruction. The program builds analytical and systematic thinking skills while preparing students to serve as committed members of a learning community.

The 30-credit program includes seven required courses and nine elective credits. Required classes in foundations of childhood education explore legal issues, school funding, and social and historical aspects of early and middle childhood education. Childhood research and development classes build qualitative, quantitative, and action-based research skills. Students apply theories and practical skills in two culminating classes, including a capstone project.

Applicants to UCM's online master's degree in elementary education and curriculum instruction must submit transcripts demonstrating a minimum 2.5 GPA. Students must also hold a working teacher certification or professional endorsement and provide a copy of their last teaching evaluation.

The program meets the propositions established by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and holds accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: MS in Education in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction
Tuition: $366/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Work Experience: Teacher certification

Contact
Phone: (660) 543-8659
Email: hentges@ucmo.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

Established in Natchitoches in 1884, NSU now offers educational programs at campuses in Shreveport, Alexandria, and Folk Polk and online. NSU is part of the University of Louisiana System.

NSU offers five online master of education degrees, several of which include concentrations. The online master of education in curriculum and instruction includes five specializations: English education, reading, school librarian, professional teaching standards for the teacher leader, and transition to teaching.

The online master of education in special education includes 12 credits of educational foundation and application coursework. Learners then complete 24 credit hours in a concentration, such as gifted education or early intervention. Additional specializations in mild and moderate special education for elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers build competencies applicable to classrooms in specific grades.

NSU also offers online master of education degrees in early childhood education, educational technology leadership, and educational leadership. The early childhood education program holds approval through the National Association for the Education of Young Children, while both the education technology leadership and educational leadership degrees maintain accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Applicants to NSU's online master of education programs must hold valid teaching credentials. Additional application materials include official transcripts and two letters of recommendation.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Teaching, Secondary Education
Tuition: $475/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: PRAXIS

Contact
Phone: (318) 357-6144
Email: TEACHNorthwestern@nsula.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

Based in Cape Girardeau, SEMO offers almost 12,000 students more than 145 undergraduate majors and 75 graduate programs.

Online master of arts in education programs at SEMO build advanced competencies in elementary, secondary, and exceptional child education. The 30-credit master of arts in elementary education includes three concentrations: reading, math and science, and early childhood education. Students complete required core classes in research, assessment, and school and family collaboration and exceptionalities before choosing a concentration. The reading degree path includes a required practicum. Applicants must hold valid teaching credentials with at least two years of teaching experience.

SEMO's online master's in secondary education incorporates coursework in educational theory, research, instructional strategies, and assessment methods while allowing learners to focus on educational technology or educational studies. The degree includes 30 credit hours, with required classes in research, multimedia in education, and teaching in multicultural societies. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

The online master of arts in exceptional child education maintains accreditation through the National Council for the accreditation of Teacher Education. The program comprises 30 credit hours that prepare students for certification and early childhood special education teaching careers. Learners focus on autism, early childhood special education, or mild and moderate exceptionalities. Applicants need a teaching certificate, qualifying score on the Missouri Content Assessment, or adequate GRE or MAT scores.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Elementary Education
Available Concentrations: Reading; math/science; early childhood education
Tuition: $347/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT
Work Experience: Teaching certificate (if standardized tests requirement not met)

Contact
Phone: (573) 651-2766
Email: southeastonline@semo.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

California University of Pennsylvania

California, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

From its main campus in California, Pennsylvania, and online, Cal U offers learners more than 100 academic programs. Founded in 1853, Cal U boasts an 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Cal U offers more than 10 online master of education degrees, including administrative programs for principals, secondary education, early childhood education, and educational leadership. Additional degrees include English as a second language, special education, technology education, and integrative STEM education.

Cal U's online master of education in secondary education includes concentrations in administrative and teacher leadership with additional options for teaching endorsement. The online educational leadership program allows students to focus on educational studies or weather and climatology. The 30-credit weather and climatology curriculum partners with the American Meteorological Society.

The online master's in special education offers specializations in general applied behavior analysis, autism spectrum disorders, or both. The applied behavior analysis degree prepares students to become certified behavior analysts through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Learners can also earn a special education master's degree in pre-K-8 education.

Cal U also offers an online master of arts in secondary education with specializations such as art, communications, earth science, and social studies. Learners can complete these programs in five semesters, with two on-campus residencies.

Cal U's education programs maintain approval through the Pennsylvania Department of Education and hold accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: M.Ed.: Special Education Grades 7-12 certification
Tuition: $516/credit in-state; $774/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.8 minimum
Work Experience: Teaching certification

Contact
Phone: (724) 938-4187
Email: gradschool@calu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

Northern Kentucky University

Highland Heights, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40%

Founded as Northern Kentucky State College in 1968, NKU became a university in 1976. From its main campus in Highland Heights and online, NKU offers more than 90 undergraduate and over 25 graduate programs to almost 15,000 learners.

NKU's online master of arts in education: teacher as leader degree includes 30 credit hours of core and concentration coursework. Learners choose from specializations in pre-K-12 reading, instructional technology, special education, and integrated early childhood education. Many of the concentrations include certifications and endorsements to enhance students' credentials.

The online master's in teacher as leader program includes required classes in leadership in contemporary schools, diverse societies, instructional design and curriculum, and educational research. Twelve credit hours of concentration coursework supplement foundational classes.

Students in the special education master's program can earn certifications in learning and behavior disorders or moderate and severe disabilities. The special education autism and applied behavior analysis specialization prepares students to take the board certified behavior analyst examination through the Behavioral Analyst Certification Board.

NKU's teacher education programs maintain accreditation through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Applicants submit documentation of a bachelor's degree and teaching credentials, a statement of professional goals, GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Education: Teacher as Leader
Available Concentrations: 9 content areas
Tuition: $518/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (if GPA requirement not met)
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (859) 572-1567
Email: gradedu@nku.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

Southern Arkansas University Main Campus

Magnolia, AR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 36%

SAU provides more than 80 academic programs through six schools and colleges and boasts a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. SAU's online master of arts in teaching program includes 30 credit hours. During the first semester of the program, learners complete a course in teaching and learning for diverse learners. Required core courses in classroom and group management, classroom assessment, learning theory, and methods of education accompany licensure classes.

Students pursuing licensure in elementary education focus on teaching reading and writing, emergent literacy, and methods for science and math, while middle grades and K-12 education learners explore strategies for specific content areas and reading diagnostics. Content areas include math, literacy, music, and physical education.

Licensure for secondary education similarly focuses on strategies for specific content areas with additional coursework in multimedia for educators. Possible content areas for secondary education include business education, family and consumer science, drama and speech, and social studies. Learners who seek licensure and secure a teaching position while in the program participate in an internship during their first year. Students who do not find a teaching position enroll in student teaching coursework.

Applicants to SAU's online master of arts in teaching program submit undergraduate transcripts documenting a minimum 3.0 GPA from the last 60 hours of coursework. Additional application requirements include a background check and passage of a basic skills exam and the PRAXIS II content test. SAU's educator preparation program holds accreditation through the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Teaching
Available Concentrations: K-6 elementary education; 4-8 math, literacy, science, or social studies; K-12 art, business education, French, music, physical education, or Spanish; 7-12 agriculture, art, business education, computer science, drama/speech, English, family and computer science, math/physics, life science, mathematics, music, physical science, physical education, or social studies
Tuition: $4,980/year in-state; $7,005/year out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: PRAXIS or GRE

Contact
Phone: (870) 235-4185
Email: cndobbins@saumag.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

Stevenson University

Stevenson, MD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Stevenson University hosts students on two campuses in Maryland and online. The online master of arts in teaching comprises 33 credit hours. The program meets Maryland's requirements for initial teacher certification at the middle and high school level. Students complete required core coursework alongside a math or science concentration.

Core classes in Stevenson's master of teaching program explore the psychology and development of adolescents while introducing students to principles of assessment, literacy strategies, and methods and technologies of teaching. The degree also emphasizes issues in STEM education and provides learners with practical experience in a secondary classroom through a professional internship. Concentrations include biology, chemistry, earth and space science, physical science, physics, and mathematics.

Applicants to the online master's in teaching must hold a bachelor's degree in a science or math discipline from a regionally accredited institution. Learners submit transcript information documenting a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants also submit qualifying scores from PRAXIS, GRE, SAT, or ACT exams in accordance with the Maryland State Department of Education requirements. Additional application materials include a personal statement and two letters of recommendation.

Stevenson's online master of arts in teaching program holds approval from the Maryland State Department of Education and maintains accreditation through the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: MA in Teaching
Available Concentrations: Biology; chemistry; Earth/space science; physical science; physics; mathematics
Tuition: $495/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 18-24 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: PRAXIS or GRE

Contact
Phone: (877) 531-7118
Email: suo-inquiry@stevenson.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Online health informatics programs can vary in terms of their focus and requirements. Programs with different concentrations prepare students to pursue different roles and therefore, coursework requirements will vary. Some programs emphasize hands-on learning and include internships and fieldwork, while others focus on healthcare theory and include comprehensive exams or thesis projects. These programs can also vary in terms of length, with many taking two to three years to complete.

Time to Complete

2 years or les.

Credit Hours

30 to 4.

Concentrations
  • Elementary Education
  • Middle School Education
  • High School Education
  • Special Education
  • Education Administration
  • Educational Leadership
  • Curriculum and Instruction
Accreditation

Several accreditation-granting organizations oversee accreditation for teaching master's programs. These include the following:

Additional Considerations

All K-12 teachers who lead public school classrooms must be certified in the state where they work. Certification requirements include a set number of post-degree training hours, a background check, and successful completion of a certifying exam. Certification requirements vary state. Specific criteria for kindergarten and elementary teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers is available online through the BLS.

JOB PLACEMENT

Although a bachelor's degree can help you obtain entry-level teaching positions at the K-12 level, 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 2.2% unemployment rate. By comparison, the unemployment rate for teachers with a bachelor's degree and some professional experience is 3.7%, and 5.1% for recent graduates without experience.

Education Specialty Unemployment Rate for Experienced College Graduates Unemployment Rate for Graduate Degree Holders
General Education 3.9% 3.0%
Elementary Education 3.4% 1.4%
Physical & Health Education 3.5% 2.6%
Special Needs Education 4.9% 1.8%
Language & Drama Education 4.2% 2.3%

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

MASTER'S IN K-12 EDUCATION SALARIES

According to the Georgetown report cited above, students who obtain a master's in education earn median annual salaries of $49,000 immediately following graduation and $62,000 after they have been in the field for a few years. However, salary expectations for K-12 master's degree-holder will vary by specific job title. Using data from PayScale, the table below features salary estimates for five of the most popular career pathways among K-12 master's recipients.

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Elementary Teacher $44,073 $39,301 $44,309 $56,372
Middle School Teacher $46,162 $40,553 $45,070 $59,689
High School Teacher $48,430 $41,405 $47,901 $60,433
High School Principal $91,679 $81,287 $91,458 $93,168
Instructional Coordinator $59,629 $42,000 $54,000 $66,000

Source: PayScale

MASTER'S IN K-12 EDUCATION CAREERS

Most students who earn an online master's in K-12 education degree go on to pursue careers in public or private educational settings. In addition to classroom teaching roles, these degree-holders may pursue careers as principals and assistant principals, education administrators, special education teachers, or instructional coordinators. Five popular career paths for those with a master's in K-12 education are outlined below.

Kindergarten and elementary school teacher

Kindergarten and elementary teachers lead students between the ages of 5 and 10 to 12, depending on how their district divides grade levels. They specialize in leading lessons focused on rudimentary reading, writing, math, and science skills. They also incorporate art, music, drama, and other creative elements into their instruction. According to the BLS, 85% of kindergarten and elementary teachers work for public schools.

Median Annual Salary: $55,490
Projected Growth Rate: 7% (+116,300 jobs)

Middle school teacher

Middle school teachers typically lead students between sixth and ninth grade. Unlike kindergarten and elementary teachers, who must be proficient in a wide range of subjects, most middle school teachers specialize in one area of study, such as English, history, math, science, technology, physical education, music, or art. When not teaching students, middle school educators are expected to plan their lessons.

Median Annual Salary: $56,720
Projected Growth Rate: 8% (+47,300 jobs)

High school teacher

High school teachers are similar to middle school teachers, in that they usually specialize in an individual subject. They lead classes for students between the ages of ninth and twelfth grade. In addition to classroom instruction, they must provide guidance for students as they prepare to attend college or obtain jobs after graduation.

Median Annual Salary: $58,030
Projected Growth Rate: 8% (+76,800 jobs)

Elementary, middle and high school 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: $92,510
Projected Growth Rate: 8% (+19,700 jobs)

Instructional coordinator

Instructional coordinators develop, implement, and evaluate the curriculum taught to students at public and private schools. They design classes and lesson plans using student data, and may lead training workshops for current teachers. A master's degree is considered the minimum educational attainment level for this occupation.

Median Annual Salary: $62,460
Projected Growth Rate: 10% (+16,500 jobs)

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Gaining membership with a professional organization can be quite beneficial for students earning an online master's degree in K-12 education, as well as recent graduates. These organizations typically offer a host of resources, including certification and professional development opportunities, access to online journals and educational materials, invitations to conferences and networking events, and career counseling services for job-seekers. Three of the most prominent professional organizations for K-12 educators are outlined below.

Due to the relatively high cost of college tuition, a master's degree in K-12 education online represents a significant financial investment for most students. Many mitigate the cost of their education by applying for financial aid. The federal government offers a wide range of fixed-interest loans and grants for graduate students, which may be merit- and/or need-based. In order to qualify for federal aid, candidates must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Additionally, students can receive financial aid through the school they attend, private companies, nonprofit organizations, and religious groups.

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 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 in K-12 Education of 2017
Rank School Location
1 University of Georgia Athens, GA
2 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX
3 Clemson University Clemson, SC
4 University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia, SC
5 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
6 Boston University Boston, MA
7 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
8 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
9 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS
10 Ball State University Muncie, IN
11 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
12 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
13 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY
14 Harding University Searcy, AR
15 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA
16 LeTourneau University Longview, TX
17 Hamline University Saint Paul, MN
18 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
19 Baker University Baldwin City, KS
20 Missouri State University-Springfield Springfield, MO
21 California University of Pennsylvania California, PA
22 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA
23 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO
24 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY
25 Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau, MO