Some education professionals teach students at the elementary, middle, or high school level. Others work in school administration or as consultants. Whether they work inside or outside of the classroom, professionals in this diverse and challenging field need strong interpersonal and critical thinking skills. They must also demonstrate creative problem-solving abilities and a commitment to students' growth and success.
Earning a master's degree in education can lead to career advancement and increased earning potential. Most master's programs take about two years to complete and require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree.
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Salaries for teachers, administrators, and educational specialists vary based on the individual's experience, specialty, and location. However, median salaries in the field typically exceed the national median for all occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), high school teachers earn an annual median salary of $61,660, and school principals earn a median of $96,400 per year. The BLS projects jobs in these occupations to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029.
This guide explores some of the best online master's in education programs. The following sections include information on coursework, career options, and scholarships for master's students in the field.
Top 10 Best Online Master's Degree in Education
Western Governors University
Salt Lake City, UT
Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, FL
University of the Cumberlands
University of West Alabama
City University of Seattle
Colorado State University-Global Campus
Greenwood Village, CO
Arizona State University
Graduates of education programs can pursue a variety of careers. Many professionals in the field work as classroom teachers, special education teachers, administrators, or guidance counselors. Other educators find employment in non-traditional settings, such as businesses and community organizations.
Most entry-level teaching positions require a bachelor's degree. School principals and many educational specialists need a master's degree. Some states also require high school instructors to hold a master's degree.
Teachers who work with any grade level can earn a master's degree to enhance their current teaching practice or to qualify for leadership positions. Learners can also pursue a master's degree in education to transition from classroom teaching to roles in academic support or administration.
Aspiring teachers who hold a bachelor's in a non-education field often benefit from master's programs that simultaneously fulfill educational requirements for initial licensure or certification.
Accreditation for an Education Degree
Students applying to online master's in education programs should verify each school's accreditation status. Accreditation demonstrates that the college or university meets national standards for academic quality. Independent accrediting agencies evaluate programs, courses, faculty credentials, and student support services.
U.S. schools can hold regional or national accreditation, and students at either type of institution may qualify for federal student aid. Academically oriented, nonprofit schools typically receive regional accreditation, which is considered more rigorous and prestigious. For-profit, religious, and/or vocational institutions often seek national accreditation. Applicants can verify any school's accreditation status using the searchable database from the U.S. Department of Education (ED).
Field-specific accrediting agencies evaluate certain programs within a school. Many reputable education programs hold accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Both online and on-campus programs must meet the same accreditation criteria.
Can I do a Ph.D. after a master's in education?
Master's programs help learners hone the rigorous research skills Ph.D. programs demand. Most doctoral programs prefer or require applicants to hold a master's degree.
How long does it take to get a master's in education?
Full-time students can graduate from most education master's programs in about two years. Learners may complete accelerated programs faster.
What can I do with a master's in education besides teaching?
Master's degree-holders may qualify for a variety of non-teaching educational careers. Graduates can work as principals, educational specialists, teacher trainers, consultants, and school counselors.
What is the difference between a master of education (M.Ed.) and a master of arts (MA) in education?
An MA is a research-oriented, scholarly degree that prepares students for advanced teaching careers and doctoral programs. M.Ed. programs offer professional training for non-teaching vocations, such as school administration positions.
Master's programs typically require applicants to take entry exams, submit bachelor's transcripts, and meet minimum GPA requirements. Most programs prefer applicants who plan to teach a specific subject to have a related undergraduate degree. For example, an aspiring social studies teacher might have a bachelor's in history, sociology, or anthropology. Master's programs designed for practicing teachers usually admit applicants with current teaching licensure or certification.
Many programs, particularly those that lead to certification or licensure, include student-teaching or internship experiences. Students earning their education master's degree online often fulfill these requirements locally. Learners may also need to complete a portfolio, fieldwork project, or thesis.
Courses in an Education Program
Colleges and universities offer a variety of master's degrees in education. Programs may prepare aspiring teachers for certification, enhance practicing teachers' pedagogy, or qualify graduates for specialized positions. Curriculum content depends on the program's focus, but coursework typically covers fundamental topics in educational theory, classroom management, and instructional design.
Throughout their master's studies, learners gain experience conducting, analyzing, and applying research. Specialized courses may prepare students to teach English language learners, special education students, or gifted students. Subject teachers receive advanced training in their focus areas, and prospective administrators take leadership courses.
Many master's programs in education offer the classes below. However, course availability varies by school and program.
- Research and Evaluation Methods
- Students examine the role that research plays in education. Coursework explores how research-based insights can improve schools and teaching. As they study the scope and purposes of research, students build critical and analytical skills. They learn how to collect and analyze data and how to use their findings to evaluate student achievement and curriculum effectiveness. The course typically covers quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies. Learners often conduct and present original research.
- Educational Psychology and Human Development
- This course emphasizes child and adolescent development and psychology, helping learners become familiar with current research and theory. Coursework incorporates physical, social, linguistic, cognitive, and emotional perspectives. Students investigate how psychological and developmental factors influence the learning process, and they prepare to draw on theoretical knowledge to implement successful instructional and assessment strategies. Topics may include multicultural issues, gifted students, and developmentally diverse students.
- Learning Theory
- This course examines how people learn and process information. Students explore major theoretical constructs in the study of learning, including cognitive, motivational, and developmental models. Coursework emphasizes the application of theory to educational situations and helps learners identify appropriate strategies for teaching students of diverse ages and learning styles. Students examine how learning theories inform teaching practice in areas such as curriculum development and assessment procedures.
- Curriculum Studies
- Incorporating a variety of perspectives, this course examines the historical, philosophical, and sociopolitical underpinnings of curriculum development and educational reform. Learners explore the function of assessment and the role of teachers in standards-based environments. Students learn evidence-based strategies for designing, evaluating, implementing, and modifying lesson plans for diverse learners. Course topics include time management and methods for assessing and reporting student achievement.
- Technology and Innovation
- This course examines the developing role of technology in education. Learners explore strategies for integrating instructional technology into their teaching practice, including using digital tools to enhance instruction and improve communication with students and families. Students learn to encourage age-appropriate use of emerging technologies. Degree-seekers explore strategies to help students develop safe habits and sound critical thinking skills in regard to digital media. The course may also address assistive technology and issues related to ethics, equity, and access.
Aspiring teachers begin their studies by earning a bachelor's degree. Many prospective teachers major in education. Others, particularly those who intend to teach a certain subject, major in their intended content area with an education minor.
Learners with a bachelor's degree in a field other than teaching can enroll in master's programs to fulfill education requirements for state certification. Aspiring principals, curriculum specialists, instructional technology specialists, and special education teachers often pursue specialized master's degrees.
After earning their degree and completing student-teaching requirements, graduates who plan to teach in public schools sit for certification exams. Many private schools do not require teachers to hold state licensure.
Certifications and Licensure for Education Majors
All educators working in U.S. public school systems need state approval to practice. This approval may be called licensure or certification, depending on the state. Many states participate in reciprocity agreements, which allow teachers to transfer their credentials between states. Teachers can expand their job prospects by earning certification in multiple areas.
State Licensure or Certification
States certify instructors to teach specific grade levels and subjects. States also grant specific certifications to specialists and administrators. Licensure requirements vary by state, but candidates typically need a bachelor's degree. They must also complete student-teaching requirements, pass a background check, and pass licensing exams.
Christian schools recognize this alternative credential, which demonstrates that the holder meets standards set by the Association for Christian Schools International. The association offers the certification to teachers at the early childhood, elementary, and secondary levels. Specialists and administrators can also obtain the credential. Applicants need a bachelor's degree and must meet criteria for educational and biblical studies.
Professional Organizations for Education Students
Membership with professional organizations can provide a variety of benefits for education students and practicing teachers. Many organizations offer networking opportunities, career guidance, and access to the latest writing and research in the field. Student members often develop professional connections that can help launch their careers.
National Education Association
With affiliate organizations in every U.S. state, NEA advocates for accessible public education, social justice, school funding, and improved working conditions for teachers. Members receive a variety of discounts and can benefit from the organization's collective bargaining power. Students preparing to teach in public schools can join the association's program for aspiring educators.
Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education
KDP membership is open to students earning a doctoral, master's, or bachelor's degree in education. The organization's events, online resources, and peer-reviewed publications provide opportunities for members to network, learn, present, and publish. Members can search for work through the KDP career center and can apply for scholarships, grants, and awards.
National Science Teaching Association
NSTA members can access journals, lesson plans, and webinars to stay current on the latest developments in science education. The organization also publishes journals and books, hosts several national and regional conferences, and recognizes outstanding teachers through its awards program. Students receive a membership discount.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
NCTM members enjoy opportunities for networking and learning through the organization's regional and national conferences. NCTM also awards scholarships and produces webinars, publications, and professional development guides to help members stay current in the field. Full-time students interested in mathematics education receive discounted student membership.
Undergraduate and graduate students in all majors can qualify for scholarships. A variety of national, regional, and institutional scholarships are reserved for education majors. Students may also be eligible for general scholarships based on factors such as residency, ethnicity, gender, age, and veteran status. The list below includes a few of the scholarships available to learners pursuing an education master's degree online.
Who Can Apply: This merit-based award from the Daughters of the American Revolution is available to students over age 25 who plan to become elementary school teachers. Applicants must attend an accredited college or university and need a minimum 3.5 GPA. The DAR encourages applicants to contact local chapters for application assistance.
Who Can Apply: With more than 30 awards, PDK International's scholarship program supports full-time and part-time students pursuing careers in education. Applicants must hold membership with one of the student or professional organizations under the PDK umbrella. Candidates must submit transcripts and a recommendation letter.
Who Can Apply: AFCEA International connects military and technology communities. The organization awards scholarships to graduate students pursuing STEM teaching careers. Applicants hold a bachelor's degree in a STEM field and must submit transcripts, a resume, and recommendation letters. Candidates must also write an essay discussing their teaching philosophy and how their personal goals align with AFCEA's mission.
Who Can Apply: The Pride Foundation awards this scholarship to women of color who are majoring in education, dance, or women's health. Applicants must reside in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington, but they do not need to study in those states. Candidates must demonstrate financial need and leadership or activism within the LGBTQ+ community.
Amount: Average of $4,000
Who Can Apply: The ED awards TEACH grants to students enrolled in eligible bachelor's, master's, or post-baccalaureate education programs. Grantees must maintain a minimum GPA. Recipients must commit to four years of teaching a high-need subject at a school serving low-income students after graduation.
Amount: Up to $4,000 per year
25 Best Online Master's in Education Programs 2021
Located in central Arizona, Prescott College offers graduate and undergraduate degrees that emphasize social justice, interdisciplinary learning, and sustainability. The private school's master's degree in education (M.Ed.) program, approved by the Arizona State Board of Education, prepares graduates to work as educators in Arizona and many other states.
Taking most classes online, enrollees in the limited-residency program can earn the degree in just 18 months. On-campus colloquia provide opportunities for distance learners to connect with professors and peers.
The program offers multiple emphases that lead to an Institutional Recommendation for Arizona Teacher Certification. Students can specialize in areas including early childhood, elementary, or secondary education; educational leadership; administrator certification; and school counseling.
Depending on their emphasis, students culminate their degree with a student-teaching experience, practicum, or internship. The school also offers a master of arts in education. Prescott College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Part of the Chapman University System, Brandman is a private university designed around the needs of working students. About 90% of its students work while attending school, and more than half are parents. Operating over 25 campuses throughout California and Washington in addition to its online division, the school offers a master of arts in education that caters to applicants with academic or vocational experience in the field.
Brandman's 30-credit online master's in education program begins with a core course sequence covering subjects such as learning theory, research methods, and comparative education. After completing core requirements, students select electives to fulfill one or more emphases. To culminate their degree, candidates submit a research paper, proposal, or final project, depending on their emphasis.
The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The school is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Western Governors University
Salt Lake City, UT
Founded by a group of U.S. governors In 1997, WGU is a private university based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The university offers courses exclusively online. WGU's Teachers College offers a variety of master's-level degrees suited to diverse professional paths. WGU's competency-based structure allows learners to accelerate through material they have already mastered through previous work or academic experience. Most students graduate in 18-24 months.
Students planning to earn their education master's degree online can choose from over a dozen programs. WGU's master of arts programs cater to current teachers who want to update their resumes with endorsements in specialized subjects. Master of science programs in educational leadership and curriculum and instruction serve education professionals seeking leadership positions.
The school also offers two master of education programs, which do not require applicants to hold a teaching certificate. WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, FL
A private research university based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, NSU enrolls over 20,000 students annually across its nine campuses and online division. The school's Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice offers a fully online master of science (MS) in education program with multiple tracks. NSU also offers an MS in educational leadership.
Students earning the master's degree in education can pursue one of eight tracks in areas such as mathematics, reading, or science education; elementary education; exceptional students; and teaching English to speakers of other languages. A curriculum, instruction, and technology track trains future school administrators and leaders. A Spanish language education track, taught entirely in Spanish, prepares candidates for careers as language instructors.
Depending on the track, some programs prepare graduates to seek various professional certifications in Florida. NSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of the Cumberlands
Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, Cumberlands is a private Christian university. The school offers two fully online master's degrees in education. Its master of arts (MA) program accepts current teachers. Applicants seeking teacher certification can enroll in Cumberlands' master of arts in teaching (MAT) program.
The MA program offers concentrations in literacy specialist, school counseling, principal, and teacher leader. MAT candidates can specialize in subjects such as English, math, science, and social studies. Both degrees may qualify graduates to apply for initial or additional certifications in Kentucky. Depending on their concentration, enrollees complete 30-45 credits, with most students completing their degree in about 18 months.
The education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and Kentucky's Educational Professional Standards Board. The school is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of West Alabama
Students at UWA can earn a variety of education master's degrees online through the public university's College of Education. Designed primarily for current Alabama teachers, UWA's graduate programs in education include both certification and non-certification options.
UWA grants master of arts in teaching (MAT) and master of education (M.Ed.) degrees. MAT students can pursue a 33-credit non-certification track or a 37-credit certification track. Learners typically begin the program with courses in subjects such as educational research methods, technology, and psychology. They then take electives related to their area of interest, followed by a student-teaching experience.
M.Ed. students can choose from 12 specializations, including library media, school counseling, and instructional leadership. The school also offers master of science programs in adult continuing education and physical education.
UWA's educator certification programs are accredited by the Alabama State Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The school is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
City University of Seattle
Part of the National University System, CityU caters to working students. Over 80% of its enrollees take classes part time. The Seattle-based private school offers a variety of online master's in education programs for students interested in launching or advancing careers in education.
CityU's master of education (M.Ed.) programs require 37-45 credits and enroll current educators. The M.Ed. in special education prepares graduates to seek Washington State endorsement. Prospective administrators can pursue the M.Ed. in educational leadership, which fulfills the education requirements for state certification. Students interested in pursuing leadership roles in education benefit from the M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction.
The school's hybrid master's in teaching program admits bachelor's-trained applicants transitioning into teaching. Taking most of their classes online, students prepare to earn Washington State licensure. Depending on which endorsements students seek, programs range from 54-75 credits. CityU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Colorado State University-Global Campus
Greenwood Village, CO
The distance learning branch of the Colorado State University System, CSU-Global serves almost 19,000 students annually. The online public university offers a customizable master of science in teaching and learning that trains graduates to take on diverse roles in K-12 schools and non-traditional educational settings. Monthly program start dates, accelerated eight-week terms, and asynchronous course delivery maximize flexibility for working students.
The 36-credit program features a core course sequence that covers subjects such as learning theories, educational technology, and cultural responsiveness. These fundamental courses build skills in research, writing, evaluation, and assessment. Students then pursue one or more specializations.
Available specializations include English language learning, principal licensure, teacher leadership, and online learning. CSU-Global is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
A large public university with five Arizona campuses in addition to an online division, ASU offers several fully online master's degrees in education programs. The school's master of arts (MA) and master of education (M.Ed.) programs cater to applicants with various career goals.
M.Ed. options include degrees in early childhood education, gifted education, educational leadership, global education, leadership and innovation, and learning design and technologies. MA candidates can focus on multilingual education, literacy education, or indigenous education. They can also opt for a general MA in education. ASU also offers master's degrees in special education and teaching English to speakers of other languages. Some programs may lead to certifications in Arizona.
Professors teach most courses asynchronously. Students enjoy online access to the school library, research databases, tutors, counselors, and student success coaches. The institution is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Located in Denver, Colorado, Regis is a private Catholic university affiliated with the Jesuit tradition. Approved by the Colorado Department of Education, Regis' blended and online master of education (M.Ed.) programs may qualify graduates for a variety of state licenses and endorsements.
The university's M.Ed. programs in elementary, secondary, and special education admit bachelor's-trained applicants seeking initial teaching licensure in Colorado. Learners typically study education fundamentals, research methods, classroom management, and strategies for working with exceptional students and diverse populations. Those pursuing a career in secondary education choose a licensure content area.
Licensed teachers hoping to change their career focus or enhance their skills can take advantage of M.Ed. programs in educational leadership or reading. They can also pursue a master of arts in education program focused on teaching linguistically diverse students. Regis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
A small, private university affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia, Averett enrolls students of all faith backgrounds. The school offers five online master of education (M.Ed.) programs through its graduate and professional studies division.
Licensed Virginia teachers can change their professional focus or expand their skill sets with programs that facilitate career advancement. Students pursuing careers as curriculum advisors or teacher leaders can earn an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction. The M.Ed. in administration and supervision prepares graduates for endorsement as K-12 principals.
Prospective literacy specialists can fulfill state requirements for endorsement through the reading specialist M.Ed. program. Averett also offers an M.Ed. in special education that accepts applicants with and without teaching licenses.
Depending on the program, students can earn their education master's degree online in 15-32 months. Averett is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
River Forest, IL
Located in River Forest, Illinois, CUC is one of seven colleges and universities that form the Concordia University System. The Lutheran-affiliated school offers a master's degree in education designed for students seeking initial teaching licensure in Illinois.
CUC students can earn their master of arts in teaching (MAT) with a specialization in either elementary, middle grades, or secondary education. Middle grades and secondary candidates pursue one of five endorsement areas. The curriculum requires 36-39 credits and provides training in theories of learning, classroom management, and research methods. All MAT candidates complete a student-teaching internship.
The school's education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. The school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
A large, private university, WilmU enrolls students online and at 13 Delaware and New Jersey campuses. The school offers a variety of master's degrees in education structured to fit the needs of current education professionals and individuals preparing to enter the field. Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, WilmU's non-licensure programs are available fully online with asynchronous course delivery.
Geared toward students pursuing careers outside of the public K-12 school system, the master of education (M.Ed.) studies program prepares graduates for educational work that does not require a state license. The program offers concentrations in elementary education, secondary education, skilled and technical sciences, and school leadership.
Licensed teachers can choose from M.Ed. programs in applied technology, reading, teaching and learning, and special education. WilmU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Illinois at Springfield
Part of the University of Illinois System, UIS offers a fully online master of arts in education that trains current education professionals for leadership roles in schools, businesses, and community agencies.
The 40-credit, non-licensure curriculum features core coursework in foundational educational leadership topics. Through courses on school improvement and learning assessments, learners examine curriculum and instruction issues and apply problem-solving strategies. Students also gain familiarity with educational administration research methods.
Electives allow students to examine topics like online learning, cross-cultural studies, technology, finance, and law. As a capstone project, students plan and implement an improvement project in their local school districts.
All online learners at UIS pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Learners enjoy access to student support services, library resources, and a career development center. UIS is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Gwynedd Mercy University
Gwynedd Valley, PA
A small, private Catholic university located in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, GMercyU offers several programs for practicing and aspiring teachers. Students typically complete the accelerated, online master's in education programs in two years or less.
GMercyU's master of science in education program features a certification track and a non-certification master teacher track. The certification track spans 30-36 credits and prepares graduates for Pennsylvania certification in PreK-4 or secondary education. The master teacher track admits licensed teachers who want to enhance their classroom performance and boost their resume with a master's degree.
Teachers planning to become principals or curriculum specialists can gain career-relevant training through a 33-credit master of science program in educational leadership. Depending on enrollees' concentration, this program may lead to Pennsylvania certification as a school principal or supervisor of curriculum and instruction. GMercyU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Dallas Baptist University
Affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, DBU integrates a religious focus throughout its academic programs. The private school's online master's in education programs cater to applicants who want to enter the teaching profession or advance their current career in education.
Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Texas Education Agency, the master of arts in teaching (MAT) program offers certification and non-certification tracks. MAT students can specialize in teaching students of different ages or a variety of traditional academic subjects. The program also offers Montessori, multisensory, and distance learning specializations. All MAT students complete student-teaching requirements, a defense of their degree, and a digital portfolio.
DBU also offers master of education degrees in curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, and higher education. DBU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Columbia International University
Located in Columbia, South Carolina, CIU caters to students looking for an online master's in education program with a Christian emphasis. The private, multi-denominational university's master of education (M.Ed.) program accepts applicants with previous professional or academic experience in education. Students typically earn their degree in 15-24 months.
M.Ed. candidates can select a concentration in early childhood education, educational administration, or instruction and learning. The 30-credit curriculum includes 18 credits of common courses and 12 concentration credits. Common courses address topics like child development, educational assessment, and research methods. Students also examine the history and philosophy of education and biblically informed curriculum design.
While CIU's programs do not lead to state teaching certification, they align with standards set forth by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Graduates may be eligible for ACSI certification. CIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Concordia University, St. Paul
Part of the Concordia University System, CSP is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Lutheran Church. Students with and without teaching experience can earn a master's degree in education in about two years through one of CSP's fully online, cohort-based master of arts (MA) and master of arts in teaching (MAT) programs. Most courses are asynchronous, but students must attend a weekly synchronous chat session.
Approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching, the MAT program enrolls students seeking licensure as K-6 teachers in Minnesota. Learners take courses on education fundamentals and strategies for teaching common subjects. They culminate the degree with a student-teaching experience and capstone research project. Students not seeking licensure can choose from MA programs in literacy, differentiated instruction, early childhood education, educational leadership, educational technology, and special education.
The education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Founded in 1918 as a college for teachers, Ball State is a public university that features a long history of training educators. Many of Ball State's master's degrees lead to Indiana state licensure, and most are available fully online.
Ball State's master's program in elementary education serves practicing and prospective elementary teachers. Concentrations include literacy, early childhood, and educational technology. Students planning to teach middle school or high school can opt for concentrations in a variety of subject areas through Ball State's secondary education master's program.
Other education master's programs provide advanced training for math, business, and career education instructors. The school also offers degrees in special education and educational administration. The education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Located in Gainesville, Georgia, Brenau enrolls about 3,800 students annually, almost a third of whom study online. The private university offers several education master's degrees online, including master of arts in teaching (MAT) and master of education (M.Ed.) options.
Brenau's MAT programs are designed for bachelor's-educated students seeking initial certification as elementary, middle grades, secondary, or special education teachers. Learners take classes in subjects like computer literacy, instructional practices, multicultural education, and school law and ethics.
Middle grades, secondary, and special education students can choose from concentrations in areas such as science, mathematics, language arts, and social studies. Students must fulfill internship or student-teaching requirements to complete their degree. MAT programs require 45-76 credits.
Practicing teachers can expand their professional skills through M.Ed. programs in elementary, middle grades, or special education. Brenau is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
St. Thomas University
Miami Gardens, FL
A private Catholic university located in Miami Gardens, Florida, STU offers three online master's-level programs in education. Depending on the program, students may be able to complete their degree in one year or less.
Designed to meet Florida principal leadership standards, the 36-credit master of science (MS) in educational leadership builds skills in communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. Students develop essential career competencies and explore the field through historical, psychological, social, and legal perspectives. A supervised practicum provides hands-on experience.
STU also offers an MS in elementary education that prepares graduates for Florida state certification exams as well as an MS in instructional design and technology. All three programs admit applicants with and without teaching experience. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Located in San Diego, California, NU is the flagship institution of the National University System. Founded to meet the needs of working professionals and military service members, the private school administers multiple online master's degrees in education. Students complete one course per each accelerated four-week term.
Students in the 45-credit master of arts in education (MAE) program begin by crafting a personal emphasis plan. They then complete their degree with eight elective courses in their area of interest. NU also offers online master's programs in social-emotional learning, early childhood education, instructional technology, and educational administration.
The school's education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The university is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
University of Southern California
A large private research university, USC established the nation's first online master of arts in teaching (MAT) program. More than half of graduate students at the USC Rossier School of Education earn their degrees online.
Accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the 28-credit MAT program prepares graduates for a preliminary teaching credential in California. Students choose from a multi-subject elementary concentration or a single-subject middle school and high school concentration. Fieldwork in candidates' home communities provides hands-on experience. Students can graduate in as little as one year of full-time study.
The school also offers a MAT in teaching English to speakers of other languages as well as master of education programs in leadership topics and school counseling. USC is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The Rossier School of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
Based in Missouri, Webster operates campuses throughout the United States and worldwide. The private university's School of Education offers several online master's degrees in education. These programs offer convenience and flexibility through asynchronous course delivery.
Emphasizing creativity, collaboration, and global issues, Webster's master of arts (MA) in education and innovation caters to students pursuing leadership opportunities in school, business, and nonprofit settings. Candidates culminate their degree with a field-based or research-based capstone project and an optional thesis.
Webster's MA in teaching English as a second language trains students to work with English language learners and may lead to Missouri certification. The master of educational technology program covers topics like desktop publishing, video production, web design, and assessment tools. The MA in STEM education prepares candidates to teach robotics and coding.
Webster is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
A public research university located in Norfolk, Virginia, ODU offers several online master's in education programs through its Darden College of Education and Professional Studies. Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the school's education master's programs help practicing and prospective educators achieve their career goals.
Aspiring teachers can fulfill licensure requirements in Virginia through ODU's master of science in elementary or secondary education. The elementary education degree also qualifies students to earn licensure in Washington. Licensed teachers who want to enhance their practice can enroll in non-certification versions of these programs.
ODU's mathematics and reading master's degrees qualify Virginia teachers to upgrade their licenses with specialist endorsements. Licensed teachers in both Virginia and Washington can earn an endorsement through the master's program in special education. The school also offers a master of science in educational leadership that caters to future principals.
ODU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.