Online Masters Degree in Education

Although an online bachelor’s degree in education and a teacher certification are sufficient to teach in most states, many experienced educators are pursuing online master’s degrees in education. Accredited online master in education programs are designed to enhance educational skills and knowledge and prepare experienced educators for leadership positions such as principal and instructional coordinator. However, educators interested in teaching at colleges and universities typically pursue a traditional or online PhD in education, rather than a masters degree. Many online masters degree education programs require only a thesis for experienced educators, but schools often require students without prior teaching experience to complete a student teaching internship as well to gain classroom experience.

How long does it take to earn an education master’s degree online?

The best online masters degree programs in education typically take 2 years to complete. This equals about 33 quarter-credit hours of coursework.

What are the admission requirements for an online master’s in education?

A number of the top online master degree programs in education require students to submit the following:

  • Application form
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Revised Graduate Records Exam scores (Revised GRE)
  • Personal statement or Essay
  • Letters of recommendation

Candidates for online masters education programs should normally have either a bachelor’s degree in education or in a related field, including the following fields:

  1. Educational Psychology
  2. Early Childhood Development
  3. Elementary Education
  4. Curriculum and Instruction
  5. Counseling

What types of online master’s degrees in education can students pursue?

Accredited online masters in educations schools offer a broad range of online masters degrees in education, including:

  • Integrating Technology in the Classroom: Online education masters degree students will gain a foundation in the use of technology to support student learning. They will learn to evaluate and incorporate computer-assisted instruction methods using projectors, online materials and other resources like Smart Boards.
  • Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment: Students will learn techniques and methods for designing standards-based courses, teaching methods and testing procedures to improve student learning. They will explore topics such as motivation, instructional strategy and student assessment.
  • Special Education:Online master’s degree education student will focus on current research in neuroscience, assessment and intervention. Students will learn how to use assistive technology to promote higher levels of student engagement and learning among those with learning disabilities and special needs.
  • Educational Leadership: Students will gain a fundamental understanding of leadership responsibilities in planning and developing educational programs and services. They will also examine processes and issues related to change management, which is the process of gradually restructuring business practices in order to achieve lasting change within an organization.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM): Online master degree in education students will become familiar with analysis, problem solving and critical thinking. They will learn how to integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics into all subject areas to improve the quality of K-12 education for their students.

What can students expect to learn in an online education master’s degree program?

The best online master’s degree programs in education are designed to provide experienced teachers with skills in teaching reading comprehension, social perceptiveness and decision- making. They will also gain knowledge of curriculum design, assessment techniques and classroom management.

Some classes taken by many students enrolled in top online master programs in education include:

  1. Teacher as Professional- This education masters degree online course explores what it means to be a professional in today’s diverse and changing educational landscape. Students learn to understand ethical issues that relate to education and how to apply their training to dilemmas faced by educators.
  2. Curriculum and Instruction: Theories and Trends- This class focuses on how curriculum is impacted by social, political and legislative forces. Students will investigate how curriculum is shaped and how curriculum implementation and models of instruction affect student learning.
  3. Theory and Practice in Classroom Management- This course helps teachers create safe, supportive and respectful instructional environments in order to optimize learning for all students. Participants learn how to develop positive relationships with and between students as well as how to foster a sense of community in the classroom.

What careers can students pursue after graduating from education masters programs online?

Education master’s programs online graduates may choose from a variety of career options, of which popular choices include:

  1. School Principal- Elementary, middle and high school principals are responsible for overseeing school operations and managing teachers and other school staff members. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of school principals is expected to increase by 10% between 2010 and 2020. The median average annual wage for principals is $86,970.
  2. Instructional Coordinator- Instructional coordinators oversee teaching standards and school district curricula, working closely with teachers and school administrators to improve the quality of education. The annual salary for an instructional coordinator is $58,830. This occupation is expected to grow by 20% as school districts further emphasize teacher effectiveness.
  3. Postsecondary Education Administrators- Postsecondary education administrators manage student services and admissions departments at colleges and universities. The average salary for postsecondary education administrators is $83,710.  The field is expected to grow by 19% by 2020.

The route many K-12 teachers take to the classroom is attending undergraduate school and graduating with a BA with an education emphasis. This emphasis typical requires additional credits of study.
However, many education professionals choose to pursue a Master of Education in order to widen the scope of their job opportunities, to get into administration, or simply for the additional education. With a total of 6.2 million teachers in America, education is a big field that is essential to the long-term success of the entire country. Here are the key things to consider when choosing a Master of Education (MED) program.


A Master of education opens up many career options. Jobs options include (but are not limited to): producing curriculum for a public or private entity, administration, teaching, and much more. Choosing a specialization before entering a Master of Education program will help perspective students choose the right program for them. The top ranking MED programs offer study in child studies (psychology based), community development and action, education policy, elementary education (typically includes a licensure course for a direct class to classroom program), higher education administration, learning and instruction, urban studies, reading education, special education, and more. Perspective students should ensure the universities they apply to offer the specialization they are interested in.


Many professionals who are already working in the classroom choose to return to graduate school for their MED while continuing at their full-time job. Part-time and online degrees options are widely available from universities with Master of Education programs. While flexibility is important, quality of education is paramount. Fortunately, many of the top programs recognize the demand for flexible education and offer night and part-time programs with the same high quality professors and curriculum.


The best MED programs recruit the top thinkers in education. These are teachers with decades of experience, psychologists, and researchers. Research is a key part of improving education and most
masters programs teach education on both the micro and macro level. By choosing a program with faculty that has considerable field experience as well as publications on their research, graduates will feel confident in their skill when they receive their diploma.

Professionals don’t get into the field of education for the money (salaries range from $30,000- $140,000), but a Master of Education is a great way to combine career passion with a high quality career and a salary to match. Below is a list of top MED programs. These rankings were determined by experience and resume of faculty, graduate satisfaction and job placement, and expert assessment. The opinion of previous graduates and students were determined with satisfaction surveys.

Ohio University

Ohio University offers perhaps one of the widest array of graduate degrees in education of any university in the United States. Both Master's and Doctoral degrees are offered in such areas as Educational Studies, Counseling and Higher Education, Recreation and Sport, Teacher Education and several others. Within each area, several concentrations are available.

University of West Florida

University of West Florida offers Master's degrees for those interested in pursuing advanced educational studies. Topics of study include Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership. Within these areas are various concentrations including Elementary Education, Instructional Technology and Educational Training Management. Doctoral degrees are offered in Administrative Studies and Teacher Education.

University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin offers Master's and Doctoral level degrees in various areas of education including Educational Psychology, Educational Administration, Policy Studies and Policy Analysis and Educational Leadership. Students complete a minimum of 30 semester hours for the Master's degrees, and up to 60 hours for the Doctoral degrees.

Cedarville University

Cedarville University offers a Christ-centered Master of Education degree to its students. All classes are delivered online, and can be completed in as little as eight weeks. The program is convenient for full and part-time students, and is accredited by the NCATE. Tuition rates are very affordable, and are some of the lowest available for this degree. To graduate, 34 semester hours must be completed.

Albertus Magnus College

Albertus Magnus College in Connecticut offers a Master of Science degree in Education. The 30 credit hour program is designed for those already employed in the education field as teachers or other personnel. The program is done in an accelerated format, and can be completed in less than two years. An emphasis is placed on multiculturalism as well as literacy.

Dakota State University

Dakota State University in South Dakota offers a Master of Science in Educational Technology. The degree was created to increase the number of teachers trained in computer technology who are able to implement this technology into the classroom. The program uses a project-based curriculum that is very hands-on, requires 36 credit hours for completion and allows students up to five years to finish the program.

Arcadia University

Arcadia University offers teachers the opportunity to gain a Master of Science degree in Education while still working and raising a family. The program offers great flexibility, using a combination of online and in-person classes to allow for ample time to complete assignments. The school offers payment plans and other options to assist with tuition costs.

Peru State College

Peru State College offers an online graduate degree in education. Students can study online to obtain a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction. The program requires 36 credit hours to complete, and all online courses are only eight weeks long and are offered year-round.

West Texas A & M University

West Texas A&M University offers Master of Education degrees in many areas of interest to students. Among these are Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Diagnostician, Administration and Instructional Design and Technology. Classes are held evenings and weekends, but more classes are going online to make it easier for students to schedule class time around work and family.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University offers a Master of Arts in Teaching that is highly-regarded throughout the country. Requiring 36 semester hours of work, it's specifically designed to help develop secondary school teachers. It's open to both current teachers and those with a bachelor's degree and no prior teaching experience.

Edgewood College

Edgewood College is a school full of opportunities for those wishing to pursue a graduate degree in Education. The college offers a Master of Arts in Education with a variety of concentrations including Special Education, Bilingual Education, Educational Leadership and Professional Studies to name a few. Some programs, such as the Master's in Adult Learning, are offered entirely online to students. A Doctoral program in Educational Leadership is also conveniently offered online.

Graceland University

Graceland University is not a school named after Elivs Presley's home. Instead, it's a school with some of the best graduate programs in the country. In 2012, Graceland was ranked as one of the Top 20 Best Online Programs for students. The Graduate programs in Education are ranked number 11 by the magazine, with concentrations in such areas as Classroom Management, Continuing Education and Technology Integration.

University of California Los Angeles

University of California Los Angeles, or UCLA, offers students graduate degrees from one of the best education schools in the nation. The university's School of Education is ranked sixth in the nation, and its Community School lets students develop innovative teaching techniques in real-world settings.

Mesa State College

Mesa State College offers a Master of Arts in Education degree with several specializations from which to choose. These include Educational Leadership, Special Education, English as a Second Language and Teacher Leadership. Courses are delivered online as well as at various campus locations, making it easy for students who have additional responsibilities.

Wilkes University

Wilkes University is at the top of the class when it comes to online degrees, offering a variety of Master's degrees in Education. Examples include Classroom Technology, Online Teaching, Childhood Literacy and Instructional Media. The school is quickly gaining a national reputation for excellence.

Stanford University

Stanford University offers Master's and Doctoral degrees in Education for students. These include Teacher Education, International Education, Learning and Technology, Educational Curriculum and others. Students learn about a wide range of educational concepts and theories through both coursework and field experience.

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame offers a Master in Education degree with a choice of concentrations, ranging from Educational Administration to Curriculum and Instruction. No matter the specialization, students can complete the program in two years of full-time study. As part of a partnership agreement with the Alliance for Catholic Education, students are expected to complete an internship with a Catholic school considered to be under-funded and under-resourced.

Morehead State University

Morehead State University offers Master's and Doctoral level degrees in education for its students. Areas of study include Adult and Higher Education, Educational Counseling Specialist, Educational Technology, Curriculum and Instruction and others. Classes are offered on the main campus, regional locations and online.

University of Oregon

University of Oregon offers Master's degrees in various topics of education. These include Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Teaching, Critical Studies in Education and Socio-Cultural Studies in Education. Courses are offered evenings and weekends for working professionals.

University of Texas at Brownsville

University of Texas at Brownsville offers a variety of Master of Education degrees. Students can choose from such areas as Bilingual Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Technology and Educational Leadership. Those wishing to obtain a doctoral-level degree can pursue the Doctorate of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University has a multitude of graduate degrees in education available to students. Masters and Doctoral degrees are offered in a variety of specializations, including Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Physical Education, Digital Teaching and Learning and others. Most require 36 credits for completion, can be completed in 15 months and are available at multiple campus locations.

Framingham State University

Framingham State University is a school filled with opportunities for educators to obtain graduate degrees in their field of study. Students can obtain a Master of Arts degree in Education with a specialization in any number of categories such as Art, English, History, Early Childhood Education, Literacy and Language. Degrees in Curriculum and Instruction Technology and Nutrition Education are offered online.

Medaille College

Medaille College in New York offers a Master of Science degree in Education to students wishing to complete their studies while still pursuing full-time careers and families. Classes are offered during the day, in the evenings, weekends and online to make earning the degree as convenient as possible. Students can specialize in Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Literacy or Disabilities Studies.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University provides a wide range of Master's degrees in Education. Students can choose from degrees in Elementary Education, Educational Leadership, Early Childhood Education, Educational Policy and Evaluation, Educational Technology and many others. Programs are offered in accelerated formats, using both online and on-campus classes.

Texas Southern University

Texas Southern University offers Master's and Doctoral level degrees in Education. Master's degrees are offered in Counseling, Educational Administration and Curriculum and Instruction. Doctoral degrees are offered in Counselor Education, Educational Administration and Curriculum and Instruction.

Sonoma State University

Sonoma State University offers a Master of Arts degree in Education with a number of specialties for students including Reading and Language, Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Learning, Special Education and English as a Second Language. Students can train to become teachers at various grade levels, or seek career advancement to administrative positions within schools.

Northwest University

Northwest University offers two Master's degrees in Education for students wanting to pursue their dreams of teaching. The Master in Teaching degree is for college graduates who have decided to become teachers, while the Master in Education program is for those already in education who seek career advancement. Classes are held in the evenings, with numerous field experiences available.

Metropolitan College of New York

Metropolitan College of New York offers a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in either Early Childhood Education or Special Education. The degree ranges from 43-46 credit hours, and can be completed in one year of full-time studies if the student attends summer school. The program is specifically geared to those wanting to teach in urban and suburban settings with a diverse group of children.

Dordt College

Dordt College offers a Master of Education degree that lets students choose one of two options. They can complete a 30 semester hour program in teacher leadership or choose a 36 hour program in school leadership. Both programs show students how to teach and lead schools from a Christian perspective, enabling them to implement Christian practice into their classrooms. The program is designed for those who are already teaching, and allows up to three years for completion.

University of Toledo

University of Toledo offers a Master of Arts and Education with various concentrations for students to select. Students can combine education with such areas as Anthropology, Spanish, Mathematics, Political Science and many others. Doctoral degrees are available in Special Education, Educational Media and other areas.

Clark University

Clark University offers a Master of Arts in Teaching to students seeking opportunities to teach diverse cultural groups within urban settings. The program is year-round, and is designed for those wanting to teach elementary, middle and high school students in Massachusetts. Students are required to attend classes in the summer, and are also expected to spend one year doing student teaching in one of the public schools that has partnered with the university.

University of Wisconsin - Madison

University of Wisconsin Madison offers graduate level degrees in education for students and working professionals. Areas of study include Educational Leadership, Teacher Education and Educational Administration. Classes are offered at various locations, and some classes are available online to make it more convenient for students.

Martin Luther College

Martin Luther College has a Master of Education program that focuses on training students how to combine education and Christian studies into a classroom setting. Offering the convenience of online instruction along with extensive mentoring from faculty, students in the program have chances for real-world experience in a number of classroom settings, each letting students practice their faith while becoming better educators.

Queens College

Queens College offers several graduate degrees that guarantee one will find what they are looking for. Students can choose from several specialties including Childhood Education, Special Education, English as a Second Language and Adolescent Education. Students are offered many opportunities to gain field experience by completing internships at local schools.

Ohio Dominican University

Ohio Dominican University offers two graduate degrees in education. First is the Master of Education, and the second is the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, also known as the TESOL degree. The Master of Education degree can include concentrations in either Curriculum and Design or Educational Leadership.

Middle Tennessee State University

Middle Tennessee State University offers students interested in graduate studies in education numerous opportunities. Master of Education degrees are offered in Curriculum and Instruction with a variety of concentrations such as Elementary Education, English as a Second Language, School Psychology and Special Education.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana provides students with many choices for graduate degrees in education. These include Master of Arts degrees in Secondary Education, Special Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Adult Education, Student Personnel Services and much more. Evening classes are offered for those already employed in education, allowing for flexibility in scheduling.

Humboldt State University

Humboldt State University in California provides students the opportunity to obtain a Master of Arts in Education with concentrations available in a number of areas. Offerings include Elementary Education specializing in Child Development, Secondary Education with such options as Art, German, Music and Science Education. Degrees in Special Education and Administrative Services are also offered, with students receiving individual attention and completing internships in local schools.

Chicago State University

Chicago State University is committed to providing students with a wide array of graduate degrees in Education. Students wishing to pursue careers as librarians can obtain a Master of Science in Library Science, while others can get a Master's in Reading. Other graduate degrees include Bilingual Education, Special Education, Secondary Education, General Administration and Instructional Foundations.

Emporia State University

Emporia State University offers several graduate degrees in Education. Students can choose from Master of Science degrees in Educational Administration, Special Education, Educational Leadership and others. Each range from 30-35 semester hours, and are offered online, at the main campus or at various satellite locations. Students wanting to advance their careers into administration positions will benefit greatly from this school's programs.

Lyndon State College

Lyndon State College in Vermont provides a Master of Education degree program for its students. The longest-running academic program at the school, the Education department offers students the chance to specialize in elementary education, early childhood education and special education along with other areas. Using a combination of classroom instruction, field experience and mentoring by experienced faculty, students can expect a first-class educational experience.

Bluffton University

Bluffton University offers a Master of Arts in Education for those students already employed as teachers or other school personnel. The core curriculum consists of 18 semester hours, and provides the student with a choice of two concentrations from which to choose. The first of these is a 12 semester hour Curriculum and Instruction concentration, while the other is a 23 semester hour Intervention Specialist concentration.

University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut offers several graduate degrees in education. Among these are Master of Arts degrees in Educational Administration, Adult Learning and Leadership and Policy. Doctoral degrees are available in Educational Leadership and Educational Policy. The programs are 45 credit hours and take two years to finish.

Liberty University

Liberty University offers a Master of Education degree that is Christ-centered and prepares students to teach in public, private or faith-based schools. Students can choose from several concentrations such as Administration and Supervision, School Counseling, Education Technology and Elementary Education. One big advantage of the school's program is it being delivered entirely online, letting those already working in education to gain a degree while quietly studying at night.

Purdue University

Purdue University offers a Master of Science in Education that's flexible enough for those just starting educational studies or those who have been in the field for many years. The degree requires 30 credit hours for completion, and includes a thesis and non-thesis option. Students interested in pursuing future doctoral level work are encouraged to select the thesis option.

University of Missouri

University of Missouri offers Master's and Doctoral degrees in various areas of education. Among these are Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, Educational Technology and Elementary Education. Master's degrees require 30-33 credit hours for completion, while Doctoral degrees can require up to 60 credit hours.

Concordia University

Concordia University offers a Master of Education degree with a choice of four specializations for students to choose from. These include Educational Administration, Advanced Literacy Instruction, Curriculum and Instruction and Differentiated Instruction. Most require a 16-week practicum, and consist of 30 semester hours of coursework. Students are also required to be trained in local, state and federal education laws prior to acceptance.

Warner University

Warner University offers a Master of Arts in Education designed specifically for those already employed as teachers. Classes are scheduled to make it as convenient as possible for working professionals, with evening and weekend options available. Classes taken include Multicultural Education, Educational Psychology and Instructional Methods.