Why This Matters

  • THE U.S. HAS OVER 49 MILLION SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN

    The United States has more than 49 million school-age children, and that number is slowly growing. In 2021, projections estimate that there will be more than 50 million children who are school age.

  • EDUCATION AND TRAINING JOBS TO GROW 5%

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education, training, and library jobs are expected to grow 5% by 2029. Elementary schools, high schools, adult literacy programs, and technical training programs all will need more teachers.

  • INCREASE YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL BY UP TO $7,300

    On average, teachers with master’s degrees earn $2,760 more than their counterparts who have bachelor’s degrees in year one. At the end of a career, that gap grows to an average of $7,358.

Our Research

We looked at many Master’s in Teaching degree programs, including Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), and Master of Education (MEd) programs. Our list also includes hybrid, traditional, and dual-mode options. Online programs may have an in-person, experiential learning component.

All of the programs noted have regional accreditation, and many are also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educational Programs (CAEP). Accreditation is a standard way to ensure the quality of programs.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Master’s in Teaching Degree program are affordable, respected, and flexible. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 67 hours to write this article
  • 177 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 275 education programs we compared

The Top 42 Master’s in Teaching Degree Programs

Best Master's in Teaching Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

States license and certify public school teachers, and certification requirements vary by state. A bachelor’s degree is sufficient in most states, but a few require a master’s degree for certification. Certification also normally requires passing an exam and paying a fee. Check your state’s certification requirements, and make sure any program you apply to meets those requirements.

Additionally, some states will only consider degrees from CAEP-accredited schools. If your state requires a CAEP-accredited degree, confirm that a program has this national accreditation before enrolling.

Should you want to teach in public schools, these Master’s in Teaching degrees aren’t your only options. You can also get a more specialized education-related degree, such as a Master’s in Elementary Education, Master’s in Secondary Education, or Master’s in Math Education. Consider what students you’d like to work with and what subjects you want to teach, and choose a program accordingly.

While these programs will help you pursue a career in elementary, secondary, or technical education, a master-level degree usually isn’t sufficient for teaching in a college setting. Colleges and universities usually require professors to have doctoral degrees, which are usually PhDs.

What’s Next?

As you continue to research Master’s in Teaching degrees, consider these questions:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Most of these programs require a bachelor’s degree in an education-related field or at least some education-related undergraduate coursework. Some programs also have certification or professional experience requirements, but not all do. Find out what a program’s requirements are to make sure you’re eligible before applying.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? These programs tend to be around 30 to 36 credits, which normally takes two years of full-time studying to complete. Some programs have a slightly higher credit load.

When you have a shortlist of programs, find out what the application process involves. Contact programs or check their websites to learn what their application deadlines are and what materials to submit.

Also think about how you’ll cover tuition. Ask programs about scholarships and financial aid. You may also be eligible for tuition reimbursement from an employer if you’re working.