More than half of teachers in the United States hold a masters in education or a field related to the subjects they teach. Teachers arent usually required to hold advanced degrees, but those who earn them often enjoy higher pay than their bachelors degree counterparts. Masters degree holders also have higher job security and career mobility.
For teachers with less experience, a graduate degree can offer a career-long return on investment, as well as benefits for the students they teach. Since teaching is a full-time job, it can be difficult for these professionals to attend a traditional Masters in Education program. Therefore, an online masters program can be ideal for teachers looking to build their credentials while still gaining classroom experience.
Here are the 25 best online Masters in Education programs based on admissions, enrollment, graduation, and retention rates.
#1 – Johns Hopkins University
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Johns Hopkins University offers students an online Masters in Education with five degree programs, including a Doctor of Education and a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Technology for Education. The university offers the programs completely online, though some programs have a residency requirement that must be completed at least partially on-campus.
#2 – University of Central Florida
Location: Orlando, Florida
Tuition: $6,317 (in state), $22,416 (out of state)
The University of Florida offers an online ìExceptional Student Education masters degree. The program is designed for teachers who are already certified in the education of special needs K-12 students. Curriculum prepares educators to become champions and advocates for disabled and gifted students, as well as their families. Students can pick between a thesis or non-thesis track.
#3 – University of Alabama
Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuition: $9,450 (in state), $23,950 (out of state)
At the University of Alabama, the online Masterís in Education program offers four degrees: MA in Educational Psychology, MA in Elementary Education, MA in Rehabilitation Counseling, and MA in Secondary Curriculum, Teaching and Learning with P-12 Reading Specialist Certification. Students can pick from an online or hybrid setting.
#4 – University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Tuition: $6,343 (in state), $18,480 (out of state)
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington offers an online Masters in Education in either elementary education or instructional technology. Students can complete the degree in one or two years and both degrees offer several licensure and specialization opportunities. Along with classroom learning, students may be asked to participate in field practicums as part of their program.
#5 – Purdue University
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Tuition: $9,992 (in state), $28,794 (out of state)
At Purdue University, online Masters in Education students can earn a degree in Learning Design and Technology or an online Master of Science in Special Education. The first program teaches students about the most effective ways to deliver information to a wide range of audiences. The second is designed to prepare educators to meet the challenges of teaching students with special needs.
#6 – University of Pittsburgh
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tuition: $17,100 (in state), $27,106 (out of state)
At the University of Pittsburgh, students can earn an online Masters in Education degree through a program designed for the working professional. Students learn from the same faculty that teaches on-campus classes; they instruct students in several online masters degrees in education, including those in English, communications, and mathematics.
#7 – University of South Carolina – Columbia
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
Tuition: $10,816 (in state), $28,528 (out of state)
Students at the University of South Carolina can pick from two online Masters in Education degrees. Both degrees can be completed in two years and require 36 credits. While they are both online programs, students may need to participate in hands-on learning components assigned based on the instructors discretion. The programs offered are Educational Administration and a teaching degree that is customizable based on the students interests and aptitudes.
#8 – Messiah College
Location: Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Messiah College offers an online Masters in Education program for educators who already hold an undergraduate degree. The program offers teaching specializations and certificate options as well. A GRE isnt required for admission; students typically complete the degree in four semesters. Classes are held in an eight-week format in spring and fall semesters, though students can complete an online course in the summer or a one-week intensive program on-campus.
#9 – Georgia Southern University
Location: Statesboro, Georgia
Tuition: $6,071 (in state), $16,137 (out of state)
Students at Georgia Southern University can earn several degrees through the schools online Masters in Education program. The school offers eight completely online masters programs, including Middle Grades Education, Reading Education, and Secondary Education. There are also seven terminal Ed.S. degrees offered to students who are interested in rising above a masters degree, but who arent ready to pursue a Ph.D. program yet.
#10 – Brandman University
Location: Irvine, California
Brandman University offers six degrees through the schools online Masters in Education program. Concentrations include programs in teaching, learning, educational leadership, and curriculum and instruction. Students must meet standard admissions criteria before applying to the program. They may be eligible to omit certain requirements if they have a masters degree from another accredited learning institution.
#11 – Harding University
Location: Searcy, Arkansas
Harding University offers a Master of Arts: Excellence in Teaching program, which was created to offer distance students a flexible degree. The online curriculum is easily customizable to the students particular needs. Students must complete 35 credit hours in 18 required classes and electives. A final exam is not required, but students must possess a valid teaching license.
#12 – Webster University
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
At Webster University, students can earn a Master of Arts in Education and Innovation. The program can be completed on a thesis (36 credits) or non-thesis (33 credits) track. The degree focuses on keeping educators up-to-date on teaching technologies and trends in learning. In order to be admitted, students must have a bachelors degree from an accredited program and at least a 2.5 GPA on their most recent 60 credits of coursework.
#13 – Augustana University
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Augustana University offers a completely online Master of Arts in Education degree that takes 19 months to complete. The program has five different areas of concentration, including ESL studies, instructional strategies, reading, technology, or special populations. The program is offered in more than 30 states, so prospective students should check with admissions to make sure their state is included.
#14 – LeTourneau University
Location: Longview, Texas
At LeTourneau University, students can earn a Masters in Education while still completing work and family obligations. The program is designed to enhance leadership and management skills while teaching students to become more competent in educational specializations. Classes begin on Monday each week and last between three and seven weeks.
#15 – Martin Luther College
Location: New Ulm, Minnesota
Martin Luther College offers a Master of Science in Education program with either a single emphasis or double emphasis option. The single emphasis requires 36 credits while the double requires 39. They are both offered online and students can pick from emphases in Educational Technology, Instruction, Leadership, and Special Education.
#16 – East Carolina University
Location: Greenville, North Carolina
Tuition: $6,143 (in state), $20,256 (out of state)
Students at East Carolina University can pick from 12 areas of emphasis in the online Masters of Arts in Education. The program requires 36-39 credits and students complete coursework in areas like research, communication, and leadership. Areas of emphasis include instructional technology, business education, and science education. Students must complete either a written or oral final exam, thesis, portfolio, or research project.
#17 – University of Northern Iowa
Location: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Tuition: $7,685 (in state), $17,181 (out of state)
The University of Northern Iowa offers a few online Masters in Education programs, including Early Childhood Education, Professional Development for Teachers, and Physical Education: Teaching/Coaching. Some programs require state licensure for teachers as a condition of admission. Most programs admit students in a cohort and classes are delivered in a specific sequence.
#18 – Rowan University
Location: Glassboro, New Jersey
Tuition: $12,380 (in state), $20,186 (out of state)
Rowan University’s online Master’s in Education program is offered part-time and requires 33-36 credit hours. Students complete 11-12 classes over the course of six semesters. Each course consists of modules that last eight weeks. In order to earn the degree, students must complete a portfolio of professional accomplishments, as well as a teacher leadership presentation.
#19 – Mississippi State University
Location: Mississippi State, Mississippi
Tuition: $6,772 (in state), $16,960 (out of state)
At Mississippi State University, students can pick from three Masters in Education degrees: Master of Arts in Teaching – Secondary Teacher Alternate Route, MA Ed. in Community College Education, and MA in Teaching Middle Level Education. The first program is for students earning a licensure to teach in K-12 or 7-12. The second program is a hybrid option that prepares distance students for a career in a rural community college setting. Finally, the last option is designed for educators interested in teaching in grades 4-6, as well as at least one subject in grades 7-12.
#20 – Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Location: Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
Tuition: $9,027 (in state), $12,529 (out of state)
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania offers three online Elementary Education graduate programs that are optimized for working teachers. The K-8 Math and Science program offers winter and summer start dates, two K-12 Reading Specialist degrees have year-long start dates, and a 33 credit-hour Instructional Coaching Literacy Endorsement also offers year-round start dates. The degrees can be completed in as few as four semesters.
#21 – Indiana University – Bloomington
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Tuition: $12,209 (in state), $32,350 (out of state)
Indiana University – Bloomington offers five online Masters in Education degree programs, along with eight graduate certificates and one doctoral program. The length of each program varies based on the classes required. For example, the Masters in Adult Education requires 36 credit-hours and takes about three years to complete.
#22 – Franciscan University of Steubenville
Location: Steubenville, Ohio
Franciscan University offers a Master of Science in Education program that emphasizes curriculum building, human development, instruction models, and educational theory. Students can pick from two concentrations: Online Instruction and Reading Endorsement. The first concentration teaches students how to successfully teach online courses; the second concentration focuses on a theoretical reading background and on instruction methods that work best with young children.
#23 – Cedarville University
Location: Cedarville, Ohio
Students at Cedarville University can pick from three start dates for the 34 credit-hour Masterís in Education program. The program is entirely online and can be completed in as little as two years with full-time study. Students can also attend part-time. The programs are cohort-based and last eight weeks per class. The core curriculum focuses on research and the theory of education.
#24 – California State University – Fullerton
Location: Fullerton, California
Tuition: $6,186 (in state), $17,346 (out of state)
California State University offers five online Masters in Education programs. Each degree equips students with the latest technology and methodology needed to be effective teachers. The programs offered include Education Technology, Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, Instructional Design and Technology, Reading, and Secondary Education.
#25 – University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
Tuition: $13,443 (in state), $28,159 (out of state)
UMass Amherst offers 12 online Masters in Education programs that confer degrees and certificates. Programs vary greatly, so students should investigate admission requirements, curriculum, and course criteria for courses they are interested in. Some programs are offered in a hybrid format, like the Master of Education in Instructional Design.