Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Education

If you are a current or aspiring teacher looking to make a difference, an online master’s degree in education can have a big impact on the quality of your instruction while also boosting your salary potential. According to the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Teacher Contract Database, 96% of school districts in the United States pay teachers with master’s degrees more than they pay teachers with just bachelor’s degrees. Teachers with master’s degrees can earn anywhere from $3,200 to $8,400 more per year than colleagues without advanced degrees. This is why pursuing an affordable online master’s degree in education is an excellent investment for teachers and educational professionals of all stripes. And because you will be paid more over the course of your career, your earnings can help offset the cost of getting a degree.

Most Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Education
Rank School Score Toggle Content

Martin Luther College

Value Score 9.29
Average Tuition $5,220
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 1

Named for the man who launched Protestantism, Martin Luther College is a small Christian college located on an 88-acre, hilltop campus in New Ulm, Minnesota, about 90 miles from Minneapolis. The focus of the school, which is operated by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, is to educate teachers and prepare men for the ministry. To that end, MLC only offers degrees in education, educational administration, and ministry. And it has a reputation for doing it well -- the school’s online master's in education has been ranked among the top five in the nation for value. The program is very Christian-oriented, but it has been approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching for educators working in traditional schools. The entire graduate program can be completed online, and students have the opportunity to specialize in instruction, leadership, special education, and educational technology. MLC also offers an online master's in educational administration.

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Fort Hays State University

Value Score 9.17
Average Tuition $3,094
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 87
Number of Online Programs 1

FHSU is the third largest of Kansas’ six public universities, and its 200-acre campus is set about halfway between Denver and Kansas City in the city of Hays. The school likes to bill itself as the “forward-thinking, entrepreneurial university of the Midwest.” More than 14,000 students are currently enrolled, selecting from over 70 degree programs. Around 6,000 students pursue their learning online, attending the school’s Virtual College. FHSU has one of the lowest tuition rates among four-year, master's-level, public universities, and that extends to its web campus, which is nationally ranked for affordability. The online master's in education has an exceptional reputation for its value, and is built around an 18-credit core curriculum. Students can choose an area of emphasis -- English as a second language (ESL), library media specialist, reading specialist, higher education student affairs, Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps instructor prep, or alternative certification.

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Maranatha Baptist University

Value Score 9.13
Average Tuition $4,720
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 95
Number of Online Programs 1

Just as its name suggests, Maranatha is a small Baptist university in Watertown, Wisconsin, devoted to preparing leaders for the ministry. MBU’s 1,000 students can choose from among more than 30 undergraduate majors and eight graduate degree programs. Most popular among them are: pastoral studies, humanities, nursing, business management, biology, and education. Students must first complete a core Bible curriculum before moving to the elective phase of their education. Since 2009, MBU’s Office of Online and Distance Learning has been providing non-traditional learners, including high school dual enrollment students, active-duty military, and anyone else who can’t make it to Watertown, with the opportunity to pursue degrees in 11 disciplines entirely online. Maranatha’s online master's degree in education allows teachers to advance their careers in their off hours while remaining in the classroom. The 32-credit program can be completed in two years, entirely online, and emphasizes the building of Christian character.

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Eastern New Mexico University

Value Score 8.71
Average Tuition $3,519
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 72
Number of Online Programs 1

ENMU is the largest regional comprehensive university in New Mexico, serving 6,000 students from a main campus in the small eastern city of Portales and satellites in Roswell and Ruidoso. Notably, the school is home to the Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library, the largest collection of sci-fi literature in the world. Online students have access to more than 30 web-based degrees. Among them are a host of online master's degrees in education. These specialize in a variety of fields: physical education, gifted education, special ed, early childhood education, school counseling, education administration, and secondary ed. ENMU uses the Blackboard platform to deliver its virtual classes, and has an array of services available to students, including tech support, writing help, and tutoring. The school boasts a satisfaction rate of 95% among its graduates.

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Western Governors University

Value Score 8.53
Average Tuition $6,500
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 1

Formed by the governors of 19 different states, WGU calls itself “a new kind of U,” and it certainly fits the bill. The school exists almost entirely online -- there is no single campus, simply a huge, modern office building in Salt Lake City where the administration work. Founded in 1997, WGU now enrolls more than 70,000 students from all over the world in its four colleges: information technology, business, health professions, and teaching. The school employs a “competency-based” approach, which essentially gives students credit for what they already know, relying on assessments rather than credit hours. WGU has a slate of online master's degrees in education, allowing currently working teachers to add credentials in their fields, from curriculum instruction to science education (physics). New students are assigned a mentor who guides them through the unique WGU process and they proceed at a pace that works for their schedule.

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University of Wyoming

Value Score 8.47
Average Tuition $3,978
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 26
Number of Online Programs 1

A large, land-grant school, UW is the flagship of the public university system of Wyoming, sitting on the high plains of Laramie, more than a mile above sea level at 7,200 feet. Known to many as U Dub, the school is home to 13,500 students who study in 200 different fields; about two-thirds of these students attend class on campus. Set between the Laramie and Snowy mountain ranges, the UW is ranked as one of the best colleges in the nation for outdoor adventure. It also has a strong online presence through its Outreach program, particularly in the field of education. The school offers master's in education degrees in a handful of fields: curriculum and instruction, adult and postsecondary ed, educational administration, special ed, and online instructional technology. Dick Cheney is a University of Wyoming alumnus.

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The University of Texas at El Paso

Value Score 8.05
Average Tuition $4,497
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 36
Number of Online Programs 10

The University of Texas at El Paso is a Carnegie high-research-activity, urban university and a member of The University of Texas System. It serves residents of far west Texas, southern New Mexico, and northern Mexico and is home to more than 23,000 students. Students can select from among 72 undergraduate programs, 74 master’s programs, 21 doctoral degree programs, and a growing portfolio of online degrees under the umbrella UTEP Connect. UTEP offers two online master's in education degrees in curriculum and instruction, one with a bilingual concentration and the other with an early childhood education concentration.

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Anderson University

Value Score 7.97
Average Tuition $7,426
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 96
Number of Online Programs 1

Named for the South Carolina county seat in which it sits, Anderson is a private, Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Church of God. Though it got its start as a Bible college and still considers itself a Christian school, AU welcomes students from diverse backgrounds and its 2,400 students represent 71 different religious traditions. The student-to-teacher ratio is a very low 12:1 and the faculty is highly qualified -- 77% of the tenure-tracked teachers hold doctorates or terminal degrees in their field. More than 50 undergrad and graduate degree programs are available at AU, including an online master's in education. The 33-credit hour master's degree in education online curriculum is designed for practicing teachers and it can be completed in a single year. The school is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Standards and uses the Canvas platform to deliver its web-based coursework.

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Southern Utah University

Value Score 7.75
Average Tuition $6,829
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 39
Number of Online Programs 1

SUU was founded as a tiny teachers’ training institute in 1897, and it has grown into a full-fledged university of the liberal arts and sciences, serving more than 8,000 students. The school now offers more than 100 different areas of study, and it still teaches educators, with teaching degrees among the stronger programs. Located in Cedar City, SUU’s “Thunderbirds” are about three hours from both Salt Lake City and Las Vegas and surrounded by the natural beauty of the Grand Circle region. More than 20 national parks and monuments are within a five-hour drive of the school’s 130-acre campus, and SUU ranks highly among national universities for outdoor adventure. It also enjoys national rankings for public service and affordability. The online master's in education is case in point. Designed for practicing teachers, it has been recognized for value for dollar, and is fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

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University of Wisconsin-Stout

Value Score 7.72
Average Tuition $6,613
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 71
Number of Online Programs 1

UW-Stout is known as “Wisconsin’s Polytechnic Institute,” the most technologically minded of the Badger State’s universities. So, it’s no surprise that the public university of 9,500 -- often referred to simply as “Stout” by students -- is a leader in online education. Located in the city of Menomonie in the western part of Wisconsin, not far from Lake Menomin and the Red Cedar River, the school offers 30 online degrees, from the baccalaureate to the master’s level. Among them is a 30-credit master's degree in education that can be earned entirely online. Designed to be completed in two years, the program is cohort-based and has a strong research core. The curriculum is as rigorous as the one delivered to students in classrooms in Heritage Hall, and teachers can select from electives in areas of concentration: reading and literacy, mathematics, instructional design, educational leadership, elementary ed, and, of course, eLearning.

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Saint Joseph's College of Maine

Value Score 7.39
Average Tuition $8,246
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 1

Not to be confused with St. Joseph’s colleges in New York, Indiana, or Pennsylvania, St. Joe’s of Maine is located in the small Greater Portland community of Standish, on the shores of the state’s famous Sebago Lake. A Catholic liberal arts university, the school is home to about 1,000 Monks, and was originally founded as a women’s-only institution by the Sisters of Mercy. In 1970 the school began admitting men, and today it’s fully co-ed, open to students of all faiths. In the late 1970s, St. Joe’s started a distance learning program that has morphed into a virtual university of its own with more than 2,500 enrolled in online courses. The school’s digitally delivered master's of education is focused on four key areas: public K-12 schools, Catholic schools, health-care training, and adult ed. Classes are scheduled on a rolling basis, every month, and the Sisters of Mercy put a premium on affordability.

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University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Value Score 7.30
Average Tuition $7,640
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 49
Number of Online Programs 1

Set in the central Wisconsin city of Stevens Point, UWSP was incorporated as a normal school, or teachers’ college, in 1894. The school was originally known for its programs in education and conservation, and it continues both traditions. The 400-acre campus features both a 275-acre nature preserve and a sizable lake. The 9,000 “Pointers” enrolled can select from among more than 120 fields of study, including a dozen degrees offered online. Those pursuing their studies via the web won’t get to participate in the school’s nationally recognized intramural programs or try their luck in the World’s Largest Trivia contest, which takes place on campus every April, but they can take advantage of UWSP’s affordable online master's in education. The curriculum focuses on early childhood education and early childhood special education and can be completed entirely online. Some classes are offered synchronously, others asynchronously, and master's degree in education online students can expect to finish within three years.

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California State University - East Bay

Value Score 7.28
Average Tuition $6,738
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 10
Number of Online Programs 1

Situated in the Bay Area city of Hayward, not far from San Francisco, Cal State East Bay is one of the 23 universities in the California State University system. Most of the school’s 15,000 students attend on the main campus in Hayward, a scenic property overlooking San Francisco Bay, while others take their classes in Concord and in Oakland. The school is considered one of the “Best in the West,” and has received national rankings for affordability, small class sizes, and diversity. It’s also been recognized for the strength of its programs in business, nursing, and teaching. Educational leadership is among the most popular graduate programs, and students can pursue their degrees entirely online. The curriculum is designed for teaching professionals who want to work administratively at the preK, K-12, college, or adult-ed levels, and takes a very hands-on approach. Coursework is critiqued not just by faculty but by fellow students. East Bay also offers an online master's in education that specializes in online pedagogy.

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Cumberland University

Value Score 7.26
Average Tuition $5,400
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 42
Number of Online Programs 1

Located in Lebanon, Tennessee, Cumberland University is easily confused with the University of the Cumberlands in neighboring Kentucky. The 1,500 students attending this one can easily travel into Nashville for the city’s famous nightlife. A private, liberal arts institution, CU has three academic schools, seven graduate degree programs, and a continuing education arm. The university was founded in 1842, almost destroyed by Union soldiers during the Civil War, and became famous for its school of law, which has produced an extraordinary number of politicians, including 13 governors, more than 80 members of the U.S. Congress, two justices of the Supreme Court, and a U.S. Secretary of State. One undergraduate and three graduate degrees can be pursued entirely online at CU, including a master's degree in education. The program allows licensed teachers to gain the skills they need to move into administrative roles or simply to develop advanced skills. Students earn the same fully accredited degree as those who study on campus.

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Graceland University - Lamoni

Value Score 7.24
Average Tuition $6,965
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 1

Though it’s considered nonsectarian, Graceland U is a small, private, four-year liberal arts school with an affiliation with the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints). The school’s main campuses is in Lamoni, Iowa, and it has another large campus Independence, Missouri, along with satellites in Centerville and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Trenton, Missouri. More than 2,000 students are enrolled, in over 50 academic programs, from the undergrad to doctoral level; about 800 attend class online, pursuing degrees in religion, business, nursing, and education. Graceland has been ranked as a “top-tier” and “Best in the West” university, and its online programs in nursing and education have been nationally recognized as well. The school offers seven master's of education degrees online: curriculum and instruction, differentiated instruction, literacy instruction, management of the quality classroom, technology integration, instructional leadership, and a master's degree in special education.

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Wilmington University

Value Score 6.83
Average Tuition $7,812
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 48
Number of Online Programs 1

Wilmington University isn’t actually in the city of Wilmington, Delaware, but it’s close -- the main campus in New Castle is about six miles from downtown. The school serves more than 20,000 students spread across the states of Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland, and reaches the majority of them via the web. A private, nonprofit, doctoral research institution, WU has almost 100 baccalaureate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs from which to select and each one is career-focused, giving students the tools they need to step right into the job market. The school prides itself on affordability, allows the transfer of as many as 75 credits, and lets students jump in whenever they’re ready, offering rolling start dates. WU’s master's degree in education online gives students the opportunity to enter the profession in positions that don’t require licensing/certification, prepares them to take those licensing exams if they choose, and gives them a strong foundation in educational theory, psychology, and child development.

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Louisiana State University

Value Score 6.80
Average Tuition $7,826
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 12
Number of Online Programs 1

LSU is a massive land-, sea-, and space-grant university with an enrollment numbering more than 30,000. Based in the state capital, Baton Rouge, it has 14 schools and colleges, extensive research facilities, and a campus of more than 2,000 acres on the banks of the mighty Mississippi. In addition to its large Louisiana footprint, LSU has a vibrant web campus known as LSU Online, which offers 10 graduate-level degrees and certificates. Part of LSU’s nationally ranked College of Education graduate program, the web-based master of education in educational leadership is a 39-credit course aimed at practicing teachers with a focus on advanced management and leadership skills. The curriculum requires students to complete 13, seven-week courses, and includes a part-time internship. Graduates of the program have a 100% pass rate on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment.

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National University

Value Score 6.66
Average Tuition $10,638
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 79
Number of Online Programs 1

National is a fitting name for a university that ranks among the largest in the United States, with a main campus in La Jolla, California, campuses throughout the Golden State, Nevada, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida, and an online arm that links them all. A private, nonprofit institution, NU was founded in 1971, and it’s committed to diversity -- it has taught more teachers and conferred more master's in education to minorities than any other school in California. It’s also ranks in the top 10 nationwide for granting graduate degrees to women. (The school even won an Emmy award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for its “One University,” commercial.) NU offers more than 100 undergraduate and master’s-level fields of study; over 70 of them are available fully online, including a master's in educational and instructional technology. The 10-course curriculum explores the way technology has changed pedagogy and prepares students for careers in K-12 tech coordination, site administration, and online education.

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Quincy University

Value Score 6.53
Average Tuition $9,600
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 45
Number of Online Programs 1

Founded in 1858 by a group of German Franciscan monks, to serve a German-speaking community in the frontier outpost of Illinois, QU continues in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, emphasizing service to the community. Located in the small city of Quincy on Illinois’ western border, the school expects all of its 1,300 students to volunteer at some point in their educational careers. QU is organized into four divisions (humanities, fine arts and communication, science and technology, and behavioral and social sciences) and two schools (business and education). The online master's of education allows students to specialize in curriculum instruction, bilingual education, leadership, reading education, education studies, and teacher licensure in five different study areas (primary, secondary, physical education, special education, and music). QU uses VESI to deliver its coursework. Accreditation is through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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Saint Leo University

Value Score 6.48
Average Tuition $8,442
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 87
Number of Online Programs 1

St. Leo likes to call itself both “traditional” and “cutting-edge,” two diametrically opposite attributes that both fit in this case. The private, liberal arts school was founded in 1889 by the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida, and faith remains a constant on its scenic grounds outside of Tampa. But it’s also a national leader in online education and has a sophisticated virtual campus. One of the largest Catholic universities in the country, St. Leo has 40 educational centers and offices around the country, serving 16,000 students from all 50 states and 83 countries. The school was one of the first in the country to branch into distance learning, and its online master's degree in education makes it easy for working teachers to advance their careers between classes. The program has several areas of concentration available, including: educational leadership, gifted student education, instructional leadership, and reading.

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The University of Texas at Arlington

Value Score 6.33
Average Tuition $8,000
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 24
Number of Online Programs 1

Set in the city of Arlington in the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, UTA is one of the largest members of the University of Texas System with more than 51,000 students. A thriving research institution, the massive institution is divided into 10 different schools and colleges and offers more than 180 different degrees and certifications. UTA has been nationally ranked in several areas, from graduate programs to diversity to value for dollar to military friendliness. And its online master's in education degree programs have been highly lauded as well, enjoying national recognition for both quality and affordability. The school offers graduate degrees in educational leadership and curriculum and instruction with three different online specialties, including literacy studies, mathematics, and science education. Web-based students may never get to play the school’s traditional mud volleyball, known as Oozeball, or participate in its famous bed races, but they get an education that is every bit as rigorous as the one delivered in UTA’s brick-and-mortar classrooms.

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Cedarville University

Value Score 6.27
Average Tuition $9,270
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 46
Number of Online Programs 1

Based in Cedarville, Ohio, CU is a Christ-centered Baptist college where faith factors into daily life. The school’s 3,700 students are expected to make a pledge to Jesus and undergrads are required to complete a minor in Bible study and attend weekly chapel service. More than 100 different degree programs are offered on CU’s rural, 400-acre campus, and a handful of degrees are conferred to web-based students, including a master's of education. The eight-week courses are cohort-based, both full- and part-time, and are designed to allow working teachers to advance their careers while maintaining their busy lifestyles. Students are required to take 21 core credits, five research credits, and eight elective courses, and they have the option of choosing a thesis or an applied research project. They can also elect to specialize in principal licensure or reading endorsement. Accreditation is through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

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Hamline University

Value Score 6.26
Average Tuition $8,112
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 33
Number of Online Programs 1

Named for Bishop Leonidas Lent Hamline, Hamline University is the oldest institution of higher learning in Minnesota and was one of the first schools in the nation to admit women. Founded in 1854, Hamline is the only Methodist university in the state, and it’s known for its beautiful campus, a leafy place of lush green lawns and terraced gardens in St. Paul. All of the school’s 4,500 students participate in an internship, field or collaborative research, or a service learning project. Hamline offers five different online master's degrees in education, including a traditional MEd, concentrations in natural science and environmental ed, ESL, literacy ed, and a master's in teaching English to speakers of other languages. All can be pursued entirely online and have no residency requirements. The school has been nationally ranked among Midwest universities, for value and for service to the community.

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Park University

Value Score 6.17
Average Tuition $8,640
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 62
Number of Online Programs 1

Based in Parkville, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City, Park University has campuses all over. The school has 40 different centers in 21 states, many of them located on or near Air Force bases, serving more than 18,000 students. The original campus sits on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River on land donated by George Park, for whom the school and town are named. And the idea at first was a work-for-education arrangement that saw students toil on the college’s farm, printing shop, or electrical plant in exchange for their tuition. That didn’t last long, and today the school is run like virtually every other college in the nation. Park “Pirates” select from among 63 degree programs, from the associates to the graduate level, many of them available online. The school’s web offerings are certified by Quality Matters, a national online quality assurance organization, and several have been nationally ranked for both quality and bang for buck. There are four online MEd degrees available at Park, including adult education, language and literacy, educational leadership, and teacher leadership.

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University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Value Score 6.16
Average Tuition $2,640
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 33
Number of Online Programs 1

The second-largest public university in New England -- only UConn has more students -- UMass Amherst is the flagship of the University of Massachusetts System with over 30,000 enrolled. Often referred to as simply “UMass,” the giant land-grant research institution is set in the picturesque Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. Though the 1,450-acre campus feels rural, surrounded by rolling hills, it is only 90 miles from Boston and 175 from the Big Apple. The place is simply gigantic; the library has more material than any other state-supported school in New England. Students can select from among more than 200 degree programs, from the associate to the doctoral level. They can get involved in groundbreaking research, play Division I sports, or take classes at four other exceptional schools in the Five College Consortium, including Amherst, Smith, Hampshire, and Mount Holyoke. Or they can avail themselves of one of the top graduate education programs in the nation. The online master's in education focuses on science education and requires 33 credit hours.

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University of Northwestern - St Paul

Value Score 6.10
Average Tuition $8,820
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 29
Number of Online Programs 1

The University of Northwestern-St. Paul is a Christian liberal arts college in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Set on Lake Johanna, just minutes from the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul, this Christian faith-based school is home to 3,400 students. (The famed evangelist Billy Graham was Northwestern’s second president.) More than 75 different fields of study are available to learners, including an online master's degree in education. The program places an emphasis on a biblical worldview, and it’s cohort-based. Ten web-delivered courses are followed by a capstone project, and the average student earns their degree in 18 months to two years. Two different tracks are offered -- curriculum and instruction and learning and leading in the field, which can be further focused by adding a specialization in culturally responsive teaching, educational technology, and early learning.

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Bethel University

Value Score 5.66
Average Tuition $11,370
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 91
Number of Online Programs 1

A small evangelical college on 245 scenic lakeside acres in Arden Hills, Minnesota, not far from the Twin Cities, Bethel has been educating Christians for more than a century. The school is covenant-based, which means it expects its community of learners -- and faculty -- to live life fully committed to Christ and refrain from sin. This includes regular chapel attendance. With more than 6,000 students and an additional campus in San Diego, Bethel is the largest of the 13 colleges in the Christian College Consortium. Sponsored by the churches of Converge Worldwide (formerly known as the Baptist General Conference), the school provides more than 100 different degree programs, about a third of them available online. Seven different online master's of education options are offered, including concentrations in STEM, Envoy classroom management strategies, work-based learning, technology for educators, international baccalaureate concentration, educational leadership, and special education. Principal’s licensing, autism certification, and special education specialties are also possibilities at Bethel.

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Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Value Score 5.61
Average Tuition $10,080
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 93
Number of Online Programs 1

The only Assemblies of God university in Texas, SAGU is a private evangelical college with the motto: Higher Education for a Higher Purpose. Based in Waxahachie, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, the university serves a student body of about 2,000 students from a 70-acre campus that has been nationally ranked for beauty among Christian colleges. SAGU has committed fully to the world of web-based learning -- almost as many degrees are available online as are hosted in brick-and-mortar classrooms. These include six MEd options. Teachers can select from master's in: Christian education, curriculum development, elementary ed, middle and secondary ed, school counseling, and educational leadership. SAGU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the programs of the Education Department are approved by the Texas Education Agency. Each one is set up slightly differently.

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Northern Kentucky University

Value Score 5.52
Average Tuition $9,324
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 41
Number of Online Programs 1

NKU is located in Highland Heights, a tiny city at the tip top of the Bluegrass State, about seven miles from Cincinnati, Ohio. More than 15,000 students are enrolled in the school, one of Kentucky’s fastest-growing universities, and NKU won so many NCAA Division II trophies in recent years it’s been bumped up to Division I. The school claims that it’s a place where “professors still know our students’ names.” A wide variety of highly regarded online programs are offered online, including the online master's in education: teacher as leader. The curriculum focuses on research and data analysis as means to foster educational culture, and it emphasizes the school’s favorite themes: technology, diversity, and civic engagement. It requires 30 credit hours. Students can also specialize in learning behavior disabilities, early childhood ed, gifted education, reading, instructional computer technology, environmental ed, ESL, and autism.

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Oregon State University

Value Score 5.45
Average Tuition $11,907
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 23
Number of Online Programs 1

Oregon’s largest university with 39,000 students spread across campuses in Bend, Corvallis, Newport, and Portland, OSU is one of two land-, sea-, space-, and sun-grant institutions in the nation and the only public school with all four designations. (Cornell is the other.) The school is big and still growing; research funding is hitting record-breaking levels and it now accounts for more than similar endowments to all of Oregon’s other public universities combined. More than $2.3 billion has come into the Oregon economy thanks to OSU. The school’s online arm -- called the OSU Ecampus -- offers more than 40 undergrad and graduate degrees. It’s been nationally ranked in the top 10 among all virtual colleges. Five master's degrees in education are available, including a general K-12 master's, and MEd programs that focus on teaching, counseling, adult ed, and English to speakers of other languages. Most are fully online but some require time in classrooms.

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Baker University

Value Score 5.44
Average Tuition $9,870
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 52
Number of Online Programs 1

Baker U is the oldest university in the state of Kansas, founded in 1858, three years before Kansas even entered the Union. A small private school located in the tiny burgh of Baldwin City, with seven campuses spread across the Sunflower State and in neighboring Missouri, Baker is known for its natural beauty -- the main campus is considered an arboretum and is a registered Tree Campus USA award winner. Established by ministers from the United Methodist Church, Baker is home to the Quayle Rare Bible Collection, and still has a Christian tradition. The school is nationally ranked for value and excellence among regional colleges, and it has a thriving virtual campus. Its online master's in education is a 36-credit hour, cohort-based program that can be earned entirely online in about two years’ time. New classes start every seven weeks, and a capstone project is required. Students have the option of concentrating their efforts in a handful of specialties, including technology, the multicultural classroom, and curriculum and instruction.

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Central Michigan University

Value Score 5.36
Average Tuition $11,330
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 42
Number of Online Programs 1

With more than 27,000 students enrolled at over 40 locations across the country, CMU is one of the 100 largest public universities in the nation. Founded as a teacher’s college in 1892, the school still educates more Michigan teachers than any other institution. More than 200 degree programs are offered at CMU, including a graduate school with 70 master’s and doctoral degrees, and many of these are available on the school’s ecampus. Roughly 7,000 “Chippewas” attend classes virtually in nationally recognized programs. Online students won’t get to mingle in Sweeney Hall, the dorm where many in the education department live, but they can get together in web classrooms. Several online master's in education degrees can be earned entirely online, from a general MEd to specialties in education leadership, education technology, reading and literacy, special ed, and school counseling.

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Biola University

Value Score 5.30
Average Tuition $9,684
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 6
Number of Online Programs 1

Biola has been ranked as one of the nation’s most up-and-coming universities. A small, evangelical, Christian school based in La Mirada, California (16 miles from downtown LA) BU was founded in 1908 as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. It’s home to more than 6,200 students from around the world. The mission of the school is to develop in each student “patterns of thought that are rigorous, intellectually coherent and thoroughly biblical,” and Biola is committed to missionary work, spreading the gospel. Among the ways this is achieved is via the web. BU has a strong web presence, designed to “simulate the in-class experience,” and offers four online master's in education degrees: personalized, clear credential, early childhood, and special education. Each of the 38-credit programs begins with 22 credits of core courses, followed by 15 credits in the specialty, and a capstone project.

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Brandman University

Value Score 5.27
Average Tuition $10,800
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 72
Number of Online Programs 1

In 1958, Brandman University was founded as Chapman University College, with the goal of educating Marines at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station near Irvine, California. The school remains part of the larger Chapman University System, but today is a fully-fledged university serving a diverse population of more than 12,000 students from more than two dozen campuses in California and Washington. Over 50 degree, credential, and professional programs are available to students, in the arts and sciences, business, nursing and health, and education, and many of them are delivered through the web. The online graduate schools of business and education have both enjoyed national rankings for excellence, and teachers can choose from more than two-dozen online master's in education programs. Most of these require 30 credits, including an 18-course core curriculum followed by 12 credits in concentrated electives. Degrees earned are equal to those pursued in Brandman’s classrooms.

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University of South Carolina - Columbia

Value Score 4.76
Average Tuition $12,024
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 5
Number of Online Programs 1

One of eight universities in the University of South Carolina system, USC-Columbia has won national rankings in a wide variety of areas. Based in the capital city of Columbia, it’s one of 32 public universities in the nation to have achieved the prestigious Carnegie Foundation’s top-tier designation in research and community engagement. Its graduate programs have been listed among the best in the country, and it’s been ranked among the best values in education. More than 33,000 students are enrolled in over 300 programs, including a wide variety online. The school sees its virtual campus as leading the way into its “next 200 years,” and two online master's in education are offered, specializing in teaching and leadership. Classes are delivered asynchronously, allowing working teachers to continue in their classrooms while earning advanced credentials. Both require the GRE or Miller’s Analogies for admission.

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Belhaven University

Value Score 4.74
Average Tuition $11,070
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 48
Number of Online Programs 1

Belhaven’s online campus opened 10 years ago with five students, and today it has more than 800. The small private Christian liberal arts university is located in Mississippi’s capital and largest city, Jackson, and it has campuses spread across the south in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. Its web-based classrooms, ranked nationally for quality, take its vision of Christ-centered education all across the world. Founded in the Presbyterian tradition in 1883, the school serves about 4,200 students, and has been listed among “Christian colleges of distinction” and named a “Best College Buy.” Belhaven’s online master's in education has four areas of specialty: curriculum and instruction, educational technology, reading, and an emphasis on the national board. All of the university’s online degree programs are grounded in Christian teaching and taught by experienced faculty. Each one requires 36 hours and can typically be completed within two years.

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California Baptist University

Value Score 4.71
Average Tuition $10,674
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 24
Number of Online Programs 1

Known for its Mission Style architecture, Cal Baptist is a Christ-centered university based in Riverside, California. Founded in 1950 by California Southern Baptists, the school of 9,000 has been nationally ranked as a “Best Regional University,” and offers 72 degree programs in 150 areas of study. The faculty, as the school proudly points out, is “100% Christian.” The school has a unique approach to virtual education, as well, with five “Online Locations” in towns scattered around southern California, where non-traditional, web-based students can get help. The school has 40 digitally delivered degree programs, including four online master's in education degrees: teaching, early childhood ed, disability studies, and leadership. Thirty credits are required to complete each one, a process that typically takes a year.

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Concordia University - Portland

Value Score 4.60
Average Tuition $17,030
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 91
Number of Online Programs 1

Concordia began life in 1905 as four-year academy designed to ready students for life in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the private Christian university continues its long affiliation with the Lutheran Church to this day. Based in a residential neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, CU’s mission is nothing less than “transforming society” one student at a time. Currently there are about 2,000 enrolled, many of whom are pursuing careers in education. Concordia has a driveway on the Information Superhighway, establishing a virtual campus in 2002 for teaching master's in education online. There are now three master's and a doctorate in education available via the web. The school’s online MEd programs include specialties in career and technical ed, educational leadership, and curriculum instruction, which itself has 18 concentration possibilities. CU has been nationally ranked among regional universities and for teaching educators, and now boasts that more teachers choose Concordia for their graduate degrees than any other school in the Northwest.

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Clemson University

Value Score 4.53
Average Tuition $8,076
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 20
Number of Online Programs 1

Clemson sprawls across 1,400 acres along the scenic shores of Hartwell Lake in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Enveloped by forest, with swimming and boating facilities, the Clemson, South Carolina, campus is almost like a vacation getaway. (No wonder the school has a 91 percent freshman retention rate.) But it’s far from that, instead one of the most selective and highly ranked universities in the nation. A public research school, Clemson is a science- and engineering-oriented college with more than 22,000 students. It enjoys national rankings for excellence and return on investment, and it offers more than 200 degree programs, from the baccalaureate to the doctoral level. The school also has a serious presence on the worldwide web with Clemson Online, which seeks to “define the modern land-grant university through measurable achievements in online education.” The web-based master's of education in teaching and learning is a 30-credit course divided into 18 core classes and 12 electives spread across five semesters.

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Franciscan University of Steubenville

Value Score 4.42
Average Tuition $12,330
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 42
Number of Online Programs 1

The Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, is a Catholic institution. In fact, 97% of the student body identifies as members of the church. Just 40 miles west of Pittsburgh, the school has more of its learners enrolled in theology, philosophy, and catechetics than any other Catholic university in the country. There are 2,400 students in total, and about 215 of pursue their studies in virtual classrooms. Online master's of education degrees are offered in education and educational administration. Both are designed for currently practicing teachers seeking to advance their careers, and they are set up to be easily worked into a busy pedagogical schedule. The 36-credit hours are split between 21 core courses and 15 electives, and concentrations are available in online instruction and reading endorsement. Classwork utilizes podcasts, vodcasts, blogs, and other modern forms of technology, and is delivered via the Blackboard platform.

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Lindsey Wilson College

Value Score 4.41
Average Tuition $10,791
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 5
Number of Online Programs 1

Established in 1903, Lindsey Wilson is set on 200 wooded acres in Columbia, Kentucky. The school was set up by the Methodist church to teach teachers and ready students for enrollment at nearby Vanderbilt University. Lindsey Wilson retains its connection to the Methodist tradition (though Baptists outnumber Methodists by 2 to 1) and continues to have a strong program in education. The 2,500 full-time students are from across the nation and from many different countries, and they select from among more than 40 fields of study. The school launched its online offerings in 2014 and they’re already ranked among the best in Kentucky. The online master's in education: teacher as leader degree program carries the prestigious National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education seal of approval. The 30-credit hour course can be pursued fully online. Lindsey Wilson’s soccer team has won NAIA championships for several years running and started four players on their way into pro careers.

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Northeastern University

Value Score 4.27
Average Tuition $21,680
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 77
Number of Online Programs 1

One of Boston’s major institutions of higher learning, Northeastern University launched its Global Network distance education arm in 2015. The giant research school proudly claims to be the first university to “create an online education model that is driven by cognitive science, informed by employers, and powered by experiential learning.” The Global Network combines online education with graduate-level learning centers in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Seattle, and focuses on providing students with marketable skills. Because of the success of these satellites, Northeaster is looking to expand into even more cities. The online master's in education is available with a specialization in elearning and instructional design, which is designed to prepare students for any learning-based organization, whether it be a K-12 school, university, corporation, nonprofit, or government agency. The 45-credit course does not require the GRE or GMAT, and students graduate with an eportfolio that they can use as they enter the job market.

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Gratz College

Value Score 4.20
Average Tuition $15,750
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 1

Gratz is the oldest independent Jewish college in the country, founded in 1895. Based in Greater Philadelphia, the small school was founded as a Hebrew teachers’ college, and continues to serve as a hub of Jewish education in the city, running a high school, adult ed, and cultural programs in addition to its commuter college. Gratz students can pursue degrees from the baccalaureate to graduate levels both on campus and through the web, including an online master's in education. The 30-credit-hour curriculum is designed for working teachers interested in advanced study in contemporary pedagogy and educational issues. Students study a common core and then branch off into areas of concentration like creativity and technology, dimensions in identity, early childhood education, and integrated curriculums. Intended to be taken part time, the program’s maximum course load each semester is six credits. The MEd was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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Concordia University - Texas

Value Score 4.16
Average Tuition $11,520
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 25
Number of Online Programs 1

Part of the larger Concordia University System, a nationwide consortium of schools with more than 36,000 students enrolled, CU Texas is a private liberal arts school run under the auspices of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The main campus sits on almost 400 acres in northwest Austin, and there are satellites in central Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio, all serving a student body of about 2,500. Concordia Texas offers 26 undergrad degrees in six schools, including business and communication, education, fine arts, humanities, natural and applied sciences, and nursing, as well as master’s degree programs in nursing, business, and education. Education is a specialty at the school, and five different online master's in education are available in some uncommon concentrations, like a MEd in sports administration or differentiated instruction. Courses take eight weeks and are offered on a rolling schedule for maximum flexibility.

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Coastal Carolina University

Value Score 4.15
Average Tuition $12,096
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 26
Number of Online Programs 4

The main campus of Coastal is just eight miles west of the popular resort Myrtle Beach in Conway, South Carolina. More than 10,000 students are enrolled in 73 major fields of study. Among CCU's 20 graduate-level programs are 17 master's degrees, two educational specialist degrees, and one Ph.D. degree. The school’s College of Education hosts multiple online graduate degrees in education. They include a Master of Education in Special Education (M.Ed.), a Master of Education in Instructional Technology (M.Ed.), a Master of Education in Literacy, Language and Culture (M.Ed.),and the Educational Specialist in Instructional Technology (Ed.S.). Eligible certified teachers in partnering districts can receive tuition discounts up to 40%. Coastal also offers online certification programs in ESOL, and Online teaching and training.

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Pennsylvania State University

Value Score 3.84
Average Tuition $18,816
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 1

At Penn State’s World Campus, diplomas and transcripts are identical to those earned on campus. The State College-based university has had a long tradition of distance learning, becoming one of the first schools in the nation to offer courses to far off places in 1892. Penn State became one of the earliest accredited institutions of higher learning to enter the world of online education, as well, opening doors to its virtual classrooms in 1998. The World Campus is an extension of that, providing access to 125 degree programs. Students attend from all over the United States and from 60 countries across seven continents. It’s truly global. Among the many fully online options are eight education degrees -- art, earth sciences, special education, higher ed, curriculum and instruction, lifelong learning, educational leadership, and learning, design, and technology.

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Michigan State University

Value Score 3.68
Average Tuition $15,504
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 20
Number of Online Programs 1

Massive Michigan State is the nation’s pioneer land-grant university, founded in 1855 to democratize education. Originally an agricultural school, MSU today is one of the country’s largest and most acclaimed research universities with a 5,000-acre campus in East Lansing and 19,000 more acres spread across Michigan. Everything about the place is big, from its 50,000 Spartans to its 200 programs of study, to its research funding. Michigan State has been a recognized national leader in graduate programs for teachers for more than 20 years, and it continues the tradition today both on campus and on the worldwide web. The school has a host of online master's in education degrees in a variety of specializations. Most can be pursued entirely via the web, though some, like the K-12 educational administration program, require time on campus.

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Quinnipiac University

Value Score 3.61
Average Tuition $16,560
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 48
Number of Online Programs 1

Quinnipiac sits at the foot of a sleeping giant. The private college of 10,000 is located in Hamden, Connecticut, adjacent to Sleeping Giant State Park. Founded in 1929 as an engineering college in New Haven, the school now has three primary campuses in Connecticut, along with 40 other centers spread from Los Angeles to South Africa. Quinnipiac believes strongly in students as community members, and besides encouraging a thriving program of volunteerism it sponsors an innovative “QU” series of seminars to cultivate an understanding of the role of learners in the local, national, and global community. And it takes that role on itself, achieving national prominence for its political polling, and hosting a global conference that attracts more than a thousand participants from every corner of the world. QU extends its influence onto the web with a variety of undergrad and graduate degree programs, many of them nationally ranked for excellence. A trio of master's in education degrees are available online through the school’s web portal, including instructional design, special education, and teacher leadership. All can be earned entirely online and require 30 credit hours.

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Nova Southeastern University

Value Score 3.57
Average Tuition $15,882
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 55
Number of Online Programs 1

Founded in the 1960s as the Nova University of Advanced Technology by a group of breakfast club businessman, NSU has grown into a huge institution serving more than 25,000 students. The school has been designated a “high research activity” university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and is also the biggest private, not-for-profit school in the country to meet the U.S. Department of Education's criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Campuses are spread all across Florida in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, along with a satellite in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Internet learning carries “Nova’s” reach even further. Among the school’s virtual offerings are 20 online master's degrees in education with a variety of specialties, many of them relatively uncommon. These include education law, charter schools, urban studies, and athletic administration. All are certified for quality by the Southern Regional Educational Board’s Electronic Campus program.

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Baldwin Wallace University

Value Score 3.48
Average Tuition $12,885
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 21
Number of Online Programs 1

Based in the Cleveland suburb of Berea, Baldwin Wallace takes its name from the 1913 merger of the Baldwin Institute and German Wallace College. Called “BW” by its 4,000 students, the school is affiliated with the Methodist Church and was among the first in the nation to accept learners regardless of race or gender. The school enjoys an excellent reputation for its education, business, neuroscience, and especially music programs. The online master's in education: leadership in technology is aimed at both working teachers and any other instructors in the public or private sector. It explores educational theory and how computers, applications, and other forms of technology can be used to improve learning outcomes. Teachers can add a technology endorsement in 22 credit hours or earn the MEd in 12 additional hours, and they can finish the program, studying part time, in as few as two years.

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What Will I Learn in My Online Master’s in Education Program?

Online master’s in education programs typically include a number of foundational courses, an offering of electives that prepare students in a particular area of specialization, and a practicum or capstone project. Below are some example courses that equip instructors with the skills necessary to produce optimal student outcomes.

Sample Courses

  • Curriculum Design In this course, educators learn to create, implement, and measure the effectiveness of lesson plans according to school and state educational standards.
  • Instructional Strategies By examining a variety of instructional methods that are appropriate for learners with diverse needs and abilities, educators in this course learn to create effective learning environments for their students.
  • Special Education In this course, students learn about the the history and laws surrounding special education while acquiring skills to support the learning of students with mental, physical, and emotional disabilities.
  • Research Methods This course helps educators develop the skills to read and critically evaluate published research, which can help them stay informed of new developments in the field after earning their degrees.
  • Leadership For educators interested in leadership roles or school administration, this course equips you with the tools to effectively manage staff and resources for the benefit of students.

Concentrations for a Master’s Degree in Education

Within the field of education, there are as many specialization options as there are career trajectories. Whether you plan to master a specific subject area or focus on a particular age group, a master’s degree will equip you with the knowledge necessary to be an effective educator. Below are some concentrations typically found in master’s degree in education online programs.

  1. Early Education: Educators interested in working with children from birth to age eight can focus their studies in areas such as cognitive development and early language acquisition, both of which help to build the foundation for lifelong learning.
  2. Education Leadership: For professionals who want to become school principals, district superintendents, or other administrators, this concentration focuses on issues of personnel and resource management, operational oversight, and the politics of governance.
  3. Language and Literacy: Because so many students struggle with basic language, reading, and writing skills, some educators choose to become language or literacy specialists in order to meet the unique needs of each student.
  4. Higher Education: The higher education landscape comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges. Students in this concentration can go on to work at colleges and universities in areas such as admissions, financial aid, and student affairs.
  5. Education Policy: Pursuing a specialization in policy prepares educators to craft the laws and regulations that determine how education is delivered at the school and classroom level.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Education Graduates

Master’s in Education Careers

By earning your online master’s degree in education, you open up a wealth of professional opportunities. You may want to help young children learn to read or high school students prepare for college, or you may want to oversee the entirety of a school’s operations as an educational administrator. Some educators enter higher education to help coordinate student programs, while others want to create education policies at the district and state levels. No matter what you choose, the scope of work you can do is enormous. Below are just a few examples of potential education careers.

Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals

$92,510 Avg Annual Salary
Master's degree Degree Required

K-12 principals oversee all operations of the school, ensuring the quality of instruction in the classroom and managing the school’s budget, staff, and resources. Most principals have experience as teachers and have earned a master’s degree in educational leadership or administration. Principals in public schools must also earn state licensure.

Projected Growth Rate 6%

Postsecondary Education Administrators

$90,760 Avg Annual Salary
Master's degree Degree Required

College and university administrators have a variety of responsibilities, including fundraising, financial aid management, faculty and student affairs, admissions, communications, and operations. Although a master’s degree is not always required, it is a key contributor to career advancement.

Projected Growth Rate 9%

Instructional Coordinators

$62,460 Avg Annual Salary
Master's degree Degree Required

An instructional coordinator designs a school curriculum, supports its implementation by teachers and specialists, and assesses its effectiveness. Depending on the grade level and school size, a coordinator might focus on a single subject or act as a generalist.

Projected Growth Rate 7%

High School Teachers

$58,030 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor's degree Degree Required

High school teachers lead classroom instruction, conduct examinations, and assess student performance in a particular subject area. While a master’s degree is not required for this position, teachers with an advanced degree will often be paid more.

Projected Growth Rate 6%

Middle School Teachers

$56,720 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor's degree Degree Required

Middle school teachers can focus on a single subject area like their high school counterparts, or they may be responsible for a portfolio of subjects. As with other education jobs, a master’s degree in education translates into higher earnings for middle school teachers.

Projected Growth Rate 6%

Education Licensure and Certification

Given how important the quality of education is to society, most of the careers in the field require licensure of some sort. The type of certification you need will depend on the state you live in and the career path you choose. Teachers and administrators at private schools typically do not need to be certified. Licenses are typically earned during or directly after completion of an online master’s degree in education.

  • Teacher/Educator Licensure: Most states issue licenses to all teachers and instructional personnel. This generally requires a college degree and passing a comprehensive exam that covers material that is standard in an online master’s degree in education curriculum. Candidates may also need to complete student teaching programs to gain hands-on experience in the classroom.
  • School Principal Licensure: States often require principals and assistant principals to earn an additional license in order to take on leadership roles. Similar to standard teaching certifications, this requires passing an exam that covers material typically included in educational administration master’s programs. Licensure may also require a certain amount of work experience.

Job Placement for Graduates of Education Master’s Programs

Although earning an online master’s degree in education is not a requirement for entry-level teaching jobs, it significantly boosts potential earnings. Furthermore, educators with a master’s degree are less likely to be unemployed. According to a 2014 report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, educators with a graduate degree had only a 1.9% unemployment rate. The unemployment rate for teachers with a bachelor’s degree and some teaching experience, however, was 3.9%, and the rate for teachers with a bachelor’s degree but no experience was as high as 5.4%.

Master’s In Education Salary

For teaching careers, professional experience and level of education directly correlate with earnings. As you can see from the table below, educators with more experience have higher incomes. Additionally, educators who take on leadership roles can earn significantly more. Since some positions require a graduate-level degree, completing an affordable master’s degree in education online program can result in a higher median salary over the course of your career.

Salary for Education Occupations by Experience
Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Elementary School Teacher $43,591 $39,000 $44,000 $57,000
Middle School Teacher $46,163 $40,000 $45,000 $60,000
High School Teacher $48,363 $41,000 $47,000 $60,000
Assistant Principal $70,598 $65,000 $68,000 $76,000
High School Principal $91,151 $78,000 $82,000 $93,000

Do I Need to Take the GRE to Enroll in an Online Master’s in Education Program?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is used as part of the application process for many graduate schools in the United States. It measures reading comprehension, vocabulary usage and understanding, critical reasoning, mathematical abilities, and analytical writing. How much time you should devote to preparing for the GRE is entirely dependent on how well-versed you are in those subjects.

Not all graduate schools require GRE scores for admission. In fact, a 2010 survey showed that the majority of online master’s degree programs do not require that you take the exam. Instead, prospective students are normally asked to submit transcripts and detail professional experience that is applicable to the program. If the school you are considering does require GRE scores, however, you can take a practice test hosted by ETS to determine how much study and preparation you will need.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Education Degrees

Pursuing your degree at an accredited school is incredibly important. Accreditation ensures that schools are meeting minimum standards and that students are being adequately prepared for careers in education. There are two main types of accreditation: regional and national. Seven regional agencies across the United States accredit most of the nonprofit colleges and universities in the country. National accreditation typically applies to for-profit schools that provide career preparation programs. Of the two types, regional accreditation is considered more prestigious, although national accreditation has grown in popularity.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) authorizes the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to oversee accreditation agencies in the United States. You can find a list of recognized accrediting bodies on the ED’s website, and you can check to ensure your school is properly accredited by searching the CHEA database. For students reviewing online master’s in education programs, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation is also a valuable resource. It lists accredited programs and offers an overview of the program components you need to adequately prepare you for jobs in the field.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Education Program

The first step in finding money to pursue your master’s degree is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This determines your eligibility for Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans. Federal grants and work-study awards, along with private scholarships, are your best options as they do not need to be paid back. Federal loans generally offer lower interest rates than private student loans, which you should pursue only after you have exhausted your other options. Current and aspiring educators can also apply for scholarships specific to their field, including the options below.

Scholarships for Education Master’s Degree Programs

Education Scholarships

TEACH Grants Up to $4,000

TEACH is a federal grant program that provides funding to students who teach for at least four years in a low-income school.

Scholarship Deadline: October 1

Eligibility Requirements: Must meet certain academic requirements (generally, maintaining a GPA of 3.25) and commit to teaching in a “high-need” field in a low-income area.

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James Madison Fellowship $12,000

This fellowship is awarded to graduates who commit to teaching American history, government, or civics for at least one year.

Scholarship Deadline: March 1

Eligibility Requirements: Must be a U.S. citizen and must teach or plan to teach American history, government, or civics in grades 7-12.

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Bright Futures Scholarship $1,000

This scholarship is awarded to students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in early childhood education or a related field.

Scholarship Deadline: TBA

Eligibility Requirements: Must be a student pursuing a degree in early childhood education who has demonstrated “academic excellence” and a commitment to the field.

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AFCEA STEM Teacher Scholarships Up to $5,000

These scholarships are awarded to students enrolled in a graduate degree program and preparing to teach in a STEM field.

Scholarship Deadline: April 20

Eligibility Requirements: Must be a U.S. citizen and must have completed a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field.

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Isabel M. Herson Scholarship in Education Up to $1,000

This scholarship is awarded to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a degree program focused on either elementary or secondary education.

Scholarship Deadline: February 1

Eligibility Requirements: Must be enrolled in elementary or secondary education program and demonstrate financial need.

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Education & Teaching Rankings