Best Online Master’s in Teaching Programs of 2021

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

Share on Social

The National Center for Education Statistics reported that 47% of teachers held a postbaccalaureate degree during the 1999-2000 school year. By 2017-2018, that number rose to 58%.

These numbers show that an increasing number of teachers are earning a master's in teaching. This degree can help train teachers to become experts in their field and develop more effective curricula. Graduates may also pursue more challenging roles in the classroom or in education administration.

An online master's in teaching can give learners the chance to earn their degree with more flexibility. If this degree path appeals to you, read on to learn more about the benefits of an online master's in teaching.

What Are the Best Online Master's in Teaching Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

#1 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
#2 Biola University La Mirada, CA
#3 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
#4 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
#5 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
#6 Brandman University Irvine, CA
#7 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN
#8 University of Redlands Redlands, CA
#9 Concordia University Chicago River Forest, IL
#10 Augusta University Augusta, GA
How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Teaching Programs

Purdue University View School Profile West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University's online branch — Purdue Global — offers two online master's in teaching programs: an online master of science in education and an online master of arts in teaching. Both programs feature six-week terms and require 20-25 hours of coursework per week. The MA requires 45 credits, and the MS requires 46-54. The MA is a noncertification route.

Students who enroll in the MS program can choose a concentration in special needs education, literacy and language, or educational leadership. MS students can also choose from a standard track and an educational leader track.

The master of science in education offers a flexible way for P-12 teachers, and those who would like to be P-12 teachers, to earn their master's degree online. The master of arts in teaching targets those who want to teach middle school or high school.

Biola University View School Profile La Mirada, CA

Biola's School of Education offers an online master of arts in teaching. Students can choose from eight concentrations, including two special education concentrations, a single subject credential, and a multiple subject credential.

Students can also choose a personalized specialization focused on an area of their choice. For example, students seeking a specialization in online teaching could take courses in curriculum design and focus their capstone on learning in virtual environments.

With its Christian background, Biola employs faculty members who focus on their students' spiritual growth as well as their professional growth. The curriculum aims to prepare students to demonstrate excellence in teaching while modeling Christian beliefs to their students.

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA

Liberty offers an online master of arts in teaching degree that consists of 36 credits and takes about 1.5 years to complete. The eight-week classes are available 100% online. Students can transfer up to 50% of their required credits into this program.

This master's in teaching program has no set log-in times. Students can adjust their courses to fit into their schedules as long as they meet deadlines for each class. The school offers an optional 45-credit teaching track that provides additional credits to help learners pursue additional endorsements.

Students can choose between four specializations: elementary education, middle grades, secondary education, and special education. Participants have access to a team of coordinators who help them find a teaching placement that suits their desired career path.

California Baptist University View School Profile Riverside, CA

CBU offers a master of science in education with specializations in curriculum and instruction, early childhood studies, educational leadership, special education, and transitional kindergarten. Depending on the specialization, this degree requires 30-33 credits. Regardless of their specialization, students usually take about one year to complete the program.

This online master's in teaching program helps students develop the skills, knowledge, and leadership experience they need to serve as professional teachers and administrators. Students can also learn how to balance research, theories, and practice effectively.

Participants who have completed a credential program at CBU prior to enrolling in the master's program may be able to complete their degree quicker by transferring in credits.

University of North Dakota View School Profile Grand Forks, ND

UND offers an online master of science in teaching that can help learners develop their research, academic, leadership, and teaching skills in order to become better teachers and administrators. The program consists of 30 credits and takes at least two years to complete.

UND offers three tracks for its master's in teaching. Track 1 targets students who have previously earned a bachelor's degree in education. This option has seven specializations to choose from.

Track 2 welcomes students who have previously earned a bachelor's degree with a minor or major in an academic subject, such as mathematics, English, science, foreign language, or social studies. This track can benefit learners seeking a license to teach middle or secondary school students.

Track 3 is well-suited for students who have a bachelor's in education or are eligible for a North Dakota teaching license. This option targets learners who are applying for resident teacher programs.

Brandman University View School Profile Irvine, CA

Brandman offers an MA in education with a specialization in instructional technology that explores teaching 21st century learners. This program looks at how to become an effective teacher in online and blended learning environments. Coursework covers how to design online curricula, assess how lesson plans are working, and integrate the latest technology into the classroom.

Graduates should have an understanding of the standards and technologies used in online learning. The program also aims to provide graduates with the skills needed to evaluate curricula, determine whether students' needs are being met, and use research and theories to enhance students' experiences.

The school offers this program in both a hybrid format and fully online. In addition to teaching, this program prepares students for careers such as instructional coordinator, distance learning coordinator, and instructional technologist.

Bemidji State University View School Profile Bemidji, MN

BSU offers a flexible online master of arts in teaching that requires 35 credits, including 18 from core courses and 15 from electives. Students also take a two-credit final capstone course.

Students who don't have a current teaching license can choose standards of effective practice coursework as electives. These courses can help lead to a secondary teaching license, but students will need to complete additional coursework in a licensure program. Participants who already have their teaching license may choose electives in teaching reading, math, or other subjects.

To apply, students must provide official transcripts from an accredited university or college and have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. The school requires two letters of recommendation, a bachelor's degree, and a copy of your teaching license, if you have one.

University of Redlands View School Profile Redlands, CA

Redlands offers a master of arts degree in education with a focus on human services. This 100% online degree helps prepare learners to advocate for the underserved and disenfranchised. Students can learn how to recognize educational and social inequities in order to make a difference in the lives of students.

Designed for professionals who work in education, government, or nonprofit settings, the degree integrates technical and leadership skills. The program follows guidelines from the Council for Standards in Human Services Education and the National Organization for Human Services.

Coursework aims to teach students to think about social issues in education and other environments. This program may appeal to students who want to dedicate their lives to helping others.

Concordia University Chicago View School Profile River Forest, IL

CUC offers three online master's degree programs in curriculum and instruction: ESL endorsement, ESL and bilingual endorsements, and trauma and resilience. The school also offers two online master's degrees in early childhood education: early childhood education and early childhood education with a subsequent endorsement.

Except for the early childhood education with a subsequent endorsement track, which requires 18 credit hours, these programs require 30-33 credit hours each. Some programs can be completed in 12 or 24 months, while others require the full 24 months.

The ESL endorsement and ESL and bilingual endorsements paths can prepare learners to work with students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In these programs, students can gain an understanding of how culture affects learning. These courses can help educators individualize their teaching style to fit the needs of their students.

Augusta University View School Profile Augusta, GA

Augusta University offers a fully online master of education in instruction that can enhance learners' skills in teaching and managing classrooms at the P-12 level. The program meets the standards set by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The M.Ed. in instruction enables teachers to take charge of their own professional development. The program incorporates classroom data, research, and theory with strategies that teachers can implement in their classrooms. The curriculum aims to help teachers design better classroom assessments, teach diverse learners, and improve instructional technology.

This program consists of 36 credits and targets learners who already hold a valid teaching certificate. Students can earn up to six credits for work done in local school systems. The school offers endorsements in STEM, reading, PBIS, gifted, ESOL, and computer science.

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

Many master's in teaching programs are available fully online, making them appealing options for current teachers. Asynchronous learning allows working professionals to complete coursework when it's convenient for them. These options provide the flexibility needed to work full time while enrolled in an online master's program.

Typically requiring around 30 credits, these programs usually take around two years to complete. Some schools offer accelerated tracks for students looking to earn their degree more quickly.

Master's in teaching programs often culminate with a capstone project. Capstones usually involve a research project, comprehensive paper, and/or portfolio. These can explore topics like conducting alternative student assessments, reducing student stress in the classroom, or comparing distance learning to traditional learning.

Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Teaching Programs

Online master's in teaching programs often select applicants with a bachelor's in education or a related subject. Many programs also require classroom experience. Prospective students with prior experience teaching or developing curricula may be especially strong applicants.

Applicants should expect to be asked to submit official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement or essay. Some programs also may require GRE scores.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.

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

Technology and Learning

This course covers how to bring technology into the classroom in ways that encourage learning instead of distraction. It also considers the larger implications of integrating technology into classrooms.

Curriculum and Instruction

Individuals in this course can learn about strategic curriculum planning and implementation. The course examines how curriculum plans develop as students get older and how to develop the most effective strategies for learning. It also considers how assessment and evaluation play into curriculum design.

Theories of Learning

Master's candidates study theoretical foundations and approaches to learning at the advanced level. Course content covers various learning models and the psychological and social bases behind these theories. The course also explores practical ways of integrating these theories of learning into classrooms.

Assessment Practices

Evaluating students' learning and progress remains a vital part of teaching. This course considers how to assess students in fair and equitable ways. Degree-seekers learn to consider a student's performance following federal and state standards, along with their individual progress. The course also may analyze advantages and disadvantages to traditional assessment models, like exams and final projects.

Classroom Management

Students come from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Some may grapple with emotional, behavioral, or other issues. This can affect classroom management. This course examines several models that can help with student behavior. It also looks at topics like individual interventions and rules in educational environments.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

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

Graduates with a master's in teaching can pursue jobs related to teaching, course and curriculum design, and school leadership. They also may lead training and development programs for school administrators and shape student outcomes through policy creation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),high school teachers earned a median annual salary of $62,870, as of May 2020. Instructional coordinators made a median annual salary of $66,970.

Discover how a master's in teaching may advance your career, and find out more about teaching careers.

Instructional Coordinators

Instructional coordinators develop curricula, coordinate educational content, and incorporate the latest technologies. They often organize teacher-training programs, conduct workshops, and advise teachers on curriculum development. These professionals also help school curricula meet state requirements.

Training and Development Specialist

Training and development specialists develop, organize, and deliver comprehensive training programs for staff and administrators. These specialists identify school or departmental weaknesses through staff interviews and school surveys. They also create training materials and coordinate training initiatives to enhance skills and school success.

High School Teacher

High school teachers educate young adults, preparing them for entry into college or the workforce. These professionals often specialize in teaching a single subject, such as English or mathematics. They lead classroom discussions, deliver lectures, and grade homework and quizzes.

Postsecondary Administrator

These professionals work at universities, colleges, and vocational and technical schools. While specific job duties vary, postsecondary administrators may recruit, hire, train, and terminate school staff. Their duties also may include developing and managing budgets, establishing operational policies and procedures, and participating in the accreditation process.

Elementary, Middle, and High School Principal

Elementary, middle, and high school principals manage their schools, ensuring that staff members and administrators operate effectively and efficiently. Principals supervise teacher-training programs, develop policies and procedures for teachers, and plan and maintain the school budget. They also may discipline students and work with parents to resolve student behavioral issues.

Teaching Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Teaching Programs

true Is a master's in teaching worth it?

Many professionals with this master's degree find it rewarding to help their students learn — through teaching or developing educational content. Some may decide to pursue jobs as principals to help supervise and support other teachers.

true How much does it cost to get a master's in teaching?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average graduate tuition and fees at a public institution was $12,171 per year for the 2018-2019 academic year. The average cost of tuition and fees at private institutions was $25,929. Program format and location can impact the overall costs.

true Are teaching majors in high demand?

Graduates with a master's in teaching may pursue careers as training and development specialists. The BLS projects 9% job growth for this field between 2019-2029. Other careers — such as instructional coordinators and elementary, middle, and high school principals — are projected to see growth as well, according to the BLS.

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

Various factors affect salary potential, including a worker's location, industry, and experience. According to the BLS, instructional coordinators earned a median annual salary of $66,970, as of May 2020.Training and development specialists made $62,700 annually.

true What are the highest-paying jobs I can pursue with a master's in teaching?

According to the BLS,elementary, middle, and high school principals made a median annual salary of $98,490, as of May 2020. The top 10% of earners in the field made more than $152,500 per year.

Eating disorders are some of the most common mental health conditions among college students. Learn what causes an eating disorder and how to get help. The two-time NBA champion enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University this fall to pursue a degree in liberal studies and play college golf. Getting into a college isn't an exact science. Here, we've identified five things to include on your application that may help you nail the formula.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.