Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Science Education

Practitioners of science education specialize in teaching basic science and science-related concepts to non-specialists, including K-12 students, college students in non-science programs, adult learners, and the general population. It is a viable option for trained science teachers looking to expand their skill sets, non-science teachers with undergraduate education in science-related fields, and people with well-developed scientific backgrounds who want to improve their communication and teaching skills.

Completing an affordable master’s degree in science education online will give you several skills, including student evaluation and assessment, pedagogy, lesson planning, and educational leadership. Studying at the master’s level puts you on an accelerated path to licensure, certification, or required endorsements, and it also leads to higher earning potential.

A cheap online science education master’s degree is also a great way to prepare you for a career with a variety of job prospects and a salary ranging from $34,596 to $77,832. Graduates often find work in K-12 schools, special education centers, higher-learning institutions, and scientific research institutes.

On this page, you will find the most affordable online master’s in science education opportunities in the country. The methodology used to compile these rankings balanced the cost of each program with its quality, reputation, and student success rates, helping you find study opportunities that generate excellent returns on your investment.

All schools in the ranking are fully accredited and deliver convenient and flexible study opportunities that are perfect for working professionals.

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

East Carolina University

Value Score 8.37
Average Tuition $4,434
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 59
Number of Online Programs 30

ECU's affordable master's degree in science education appeals to currently licensed teachers who are looking to enhance their employability. The program equips instructors to teach at the junior college and community college level, helping them expand their knowledge and skills. To earn their degree, students must complete 36 credits, including 18 credits in a concentration area of earth, biological, and/or physical science, along with a final thesis. Additionally, learners must pass a comprehensive final exam in order to graduate.

Distance learners can complete this program entirely online in an asynchronous format. ECU charges higher tuition rates for out-of-state online students, but provides a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships. Applicants must submit a statement of intent, GRE or MAT scores, and three letters of recommendation with their online application. Other admission requirements include an application fee and official transcripts.

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University of Nebraska at Kearney

Value Score 8.29
Average Tuition $5,286
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 93
Number of Online Programs 9

UNK accepts applications for its science education master's degree from licensed teachers and from those who are still working towards a teaching certificate but have a sufficient background in science, math, and education along with a bachelor's degree. The university delivers its affordable master's in science education entirely online, and requires students to complete 36 credits to earn their degree.

Distance learners can progress through the curriculum asynchronously, taking advantage of the program's flexibility to further their education on their schedule. The degree culminates in a capstone course, which distance learners must take in their final semester, in addition to a comprehensive exam. The capstone course asks students to create a curricular unit that could potentially be implemented in a high school or middle school curriculum.

The university may accept transfer credits from previously attended master's programs, but students must complete at least 50% of all coursework at UNK.

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Northeastern State University

Value Score 7.37
Average Tuition $3,413
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 36
Number of Online Programs 4

Current, full-time teachers benefit from NSU's affordable, flexible master's in science education online. Courses cover topics like fundamentals of curriculum development, advanced educational psychology, and educational research. The 36-credit program culminates in a writing-intensive capstone course wherein distance learners can choose to compile a teaching portfolio, complete a research study, or create a science curriculum. NSU's degree features the unique opportunity for students to earn a STEM Endeavor Certificate from Columbia Teachers College through a program partially funded by NASA.

TEACH Grant funds are available for eligible students. Applicants should have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate coursework, a minimum score 383 on the MAT, or a minimum score of 288 on the GRE. Other admission requirements include eligibility for licensure and submission of a personal essay.

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Western Governors University

Value Score 7.24
Average Tuition $6,500
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 24

WGU's master's in science education evaluates students' progress based on competency, rather than traditional course completion. Students can pass assessments to prove their proficiency in required areas and effectively shorten the time it takes to earn their degree. The program's curriculum consists of 32 credits and takes an average of two years to complete, depending on the individual competencies of each student. Distance learners receive an at-home science kit with which to complete experiments and lab assignments. The kit contains necessary chemicals, specimens, and equipment, as well as a manual, facilitating a hands-on learning experience in an online program. To graduate, students must complete a comprehensive written project, wherein they create a research-based study unit, in addition to an oral presentation and defense of the written project.

This cheap master's program features flat-rate tuition, allowing students to maximize the educational value they receive for their money.

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Columbus State University

Value Score 6.92
Average Tuition $5,364
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 61
Number of Online Programs 9

For those looking for a career change into science education, CSU's online master of arts in teaching math and science provides teaching certification options in biology, physics, earth and space science, and chemistry. The program requires 39 credits to complete, and graduates are recommended for T-5 level teacher certification in the state of Georgia. Out-of-state students should check the certification requirements of their individual states.

CSU delivers courses in its master's in science education online asynchronously. Students cannot earn a grade of "C" or below in more than two classes while enrolled in the program, and must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA in their undergraduate studies, provide evidence of satisfactory scores on required tests, and pass a criminal background check. CSU admits students to this program for only the fall semester.

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North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Value Score 6.21
Average Tuition $7,852
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 29
Number of Online Programs 34

NCSU -- Raleigh's hybrid master's in science education program features a mix of in-person and online instruction. Students complete in-person coursework, which comprises around 25% of the program, at the school's Raleigh campus and at off-campus locations.

The 33-credit degree leads to a teaching certification and license, and can potentially take as few as 18 months to complete (with full-time enrollment). NCSU -- Raleigh's affordable program caters to those hoping to teach in K-12 schools upon graduation, and may not be suited for those planning to teach higher levels and/or pursue a doctoral degree. Courses include exploring diversity in classroom and community, organization and behavioral management of inclusive classrooms, and technology tools for science teaching.

Applicants must have earned a minimum score of 300 on the GRE within the past five years. Additionally, prospective students must have earned a minimum 3.0 in GPA in prior coursework.

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Montana State University

Value Score 6.07
Average Tuition $4,797
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 16
Number of Online Programs 9

For students local to Bozeman, MSU's online master's degree in science education features an option to complete coursework both online and on campus. Others can complete the program almost entirely through distance learning, with the exception of a minimum two-week visit to campus during the final summer to present their capstone project and complete a campus-based field or lab course utilizing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Students can usually complete the affordable 30-credit program in just two to three years.

MSU delivers its online courses asynchronously. The program requires only one trip to campus, but the university recommends that online students take advantage of the unique science field and lab course opportunities. The university provides short-term housing for this minimal on-campus requirement, and longer-term housing for students who may choose to stay in Bozeman for a longer period of time.

Prospective students should have at least two years of experience teaching science and a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Application deadlines for summer, fall, and spring are April 30, August 15, and December 16, respectively.

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North Greenville University

Value Score 5.18
Average Tuition $6,750
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 7

NGU's professors and instructors take a Christian approach to its master's in teaching science program. Though the university delivers all major coursework online, students must complete their required 80 observation hours within the state of South Carolina. The 42-credit curriculum includes courses in history and philosophy of education, diversity and social issues in education, and intervention strategies and techniques. Students benefit from the mentorship of program faculty who have years of real-world experience.

NGU features rolling enrollment in five eight-week terms throughout the year. Applicants to its affordable master's degree in science education online must submit PRAXIS II and PRAXIS Core exam scores, and must have a certain number of undergraduate specialization hours in their field, as required by the state of South Carolina. All distance learners at NGU pay the same tuition rates, regardless of their state of residence.

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Northern Arizona University

Value Score 4.80
Average Tuition $8,691
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 58
Number of Online Programs 22

Through NAU's extended campuses, students can enroll in an online master's degree in science education where course content consists of streaming video available in an asynchronous format. Distance learners must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA throughout the 30-credit program, and must earn their degree within six years of their start date.

The university's affordable master's in science education online attracts secondary educators who are already licensed and want to pursue leadership positions in curriculum planning, and/or to expand their knowledge base and expertise in a specific subject area. Students in the program can choose a thesis or non-thesis capstone course, depending on their degree plan.

Applicants to NAU's master's in science education program must have completed a minimum of 24 undergraduate credits in their area of teacher certification with a "C" average or better.

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Hamline University

Value Score 3.76
Average Tuition $8,496
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 32
Number of Online Programs 6

The environmental focus in Hamline's master's degree in science education online sets it apart from other programs. The affordable science education master's track is specifically designed around natural and environmental sciences, making it an ideal track for those pursuing teaching careers outside of the traditional public school classroom. Students can complete the 35-credit program entirely online, with opportunities for field-based study and research in their local community. Graduates from Hamline's master's in science education have gone on to work not only as teachers, but also as museum directors, administrators at zoos, and leaders in environmental nonprofit organizations.

Applicants with an exceptional academic background in environmental studies may be eligible for a special scholarship available through Hamline. Additionally, students may take advantage of other scholarships, grants, and financial aid options. Hamline provides discounted tuition rates to its alumni. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and two letters of recommendation.

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