Why This Matters

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 111,500 MORE OF YOU BY 2030

    Increasing enrollment in kindergarten and elementary schools, as well as the expected retirement of a significant number of teachers, are the driving factors in the need for more elementary teachers in the coming decade.

  • EARN UP TO $100,000+ PER YEAR

    While the average salary for elementary school teachers is $60,940, the top 10% of workers in this field earn more than $100,480.

  • INCREASE EARNING POTENTIAL WITH A MASTER’S

    According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, 88% of the largest U.S. school districts offer additional pay to teachers who hold an advanced degree. This is either in the form of a stipend or annual pay increases.

Our Research

Our research focused on graduate programs in elementary education. Students can earn several types of degrees in this field, including a Master of Education (M.Ed), Master of Arts (MA), and Master of Science (MS).

We concentrated on finding programs that are delivered completely or primarily online, ensuring flexibility and availability for the largest group of students, regardless of their availability or location.

All of the schools on this list are regionally accredited. This is a confirmation of quality in postsecondary education. Many programs are also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educational Programs (CAEP), a specialized agency that oversees postsecondary education programs.

We reviewed each program based on its outcomes, cost, reputation, faculty, and flexibility. Using this information, we calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 54 hours to write this article
  • 188 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 270 education programs we compared

The Top 48 Online Master’s in Elementary Education Programs

Best Online Master's in Elementary Education Degree Programs
01
Slippery Rock University

intelligent score 98.55

Award Intelligent Pick

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Intelligent Pick

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department School of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $516 per credit

accreditation Middle States Commission on Higher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800-778-9111

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Delta State University

intelligent score 98.55

Award Best in the South

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the South

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department Division of Teacher Education, Leadership, and Research

Estimated Cost per Credit $417.00 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, SACSCOC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 205-655-4878

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
University of Nebraska at Kearney

intelligent score 96.52

Award Student Recommended

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Student Recommended

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Education - Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $401.50 per credit

accreditation Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, CAEP

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 308-865-8927

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Education - Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Auburn University

intelligent score 96.48

Award Best for Multiple Start Terms

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for Multiple Start Terms

Delivery Format Online

Programs Elementary Education M.Ed./M.S.

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department Department of Curriculum and Teaching

Estimated Cost per Credit $630.00 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SACS

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 334-844-4446

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Elementary Education M.Ed./M.S.

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Calvary University

intelligent score 96.46

Award Best for International Students

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for International Students

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department

Estimated Cost per Credit $437 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 816-322-3960

Learn More

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
University of Pittsburgh

intelligent score 94.3

Award Best in the Northeast

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the Northeast

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department School of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $947.00 per credit

accreditation Middle States Commission on Higher Education, MSCHE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 412-648-2230

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
University of Central Missouri

intelligent score 93.4

Award Best for Veterans

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for Veterans

Delivery Format Online

Programs MSE in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department School of Teaching and Learning

Estimated Cost per Credit $365.90 per credit

accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, NCATE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 660-543-8659

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs MSE in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Missouri State University

intelligent score 93.39

Award Best Master of Science Degree

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Master of Science Degree

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Education, Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department Department of Childhood Education and Family Studies

Estimated Cost per Credit $295.00 per credit

accreditation Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, CAEP

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 417-836-6315

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Education, Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Mississippi College

intelligent score 92.64

Award Best Master of Education Degree

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Master of Education Degree

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $383.33 per credit

accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, NCATE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 601-25-7368

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Elementary Education

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Jacksonville State University

intelligent score 91.62

Award Best Alumni Network

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Alumni Network

Delivery Format Online

Programs Elementary Education, Masters Degree

Required Credits to Graduate 32.5 credits

Department School of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $400.00 per credit

accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, NCATE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 256-782-5472

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Elementary Education, Masters Degree

Required Credits to Graduate 32.5 credits

01
Best Specialization Options
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Distance Education
01
Best in the Southwest
Grand Canyon University
01
Best Literacy Education Focus
SUNY Oneonta
01
Alumni Recommended
Samford University
01
Best Campus
UNM Online
01
Best Research Opportunities
Arizona State University
01
Best Leadership Focus
Indiana State University
01
Best Master of Arts Degree
Southeast Missouri State University
01
Best Multi-age Emphasis
Northern Arizona University
01
Best for Non-Teachers
Faulkner University
01
Best for Hands-On Learning
Pittsburg State University
01
Best Public University
Ball State University
01
Best Mathematics Focus
Marshall University
01
Best Early Childhood Education Focus
University of Alabama at Birmingham
01
Best Catholic University
Saint Xavier University
01
Best Online University
Western Governors University
01
Most Flexible
The University of Alabama
01
Best Pre-Elementary Focus
Norfolk State University
01
Best Teachers College
University of North Alabama
01
Most Affordable
Eastern New Mexico University
01
Best Christian University
William Carey University
01
Best Bilingual Education Focus
California State University, Fullerton
01
Most Experienced Faculty
University of Mississippi
01
Best Student Support Services
University of North Dakota
01
Most Military Friendly
American Public University
01
Best Cohort-Based Program
University of Northern Iowa
01
Best Concentration Options
Eastern Kentucky University
01
Best in the Southeast
Western Carolina University
01
Fastest Completion Time
West Virginia University
01
Most Transfer Friendly
Liberty University
01
Best ESL Focus
University of North Carolina Wilmington
01
Alumni Recommended
East Carolina University
01
Best in the West
Regis University
01
Best Science Focus
NC State University
01
Best Urban Schools Focus
DePaul University
01
Most Customizable
Appalachian State University
01
Best Research-Based Program
Nova Southeastern University
01
Best Private University
Lesley University

What You Should Know About This Degree

Elementary education is a bachelor’s-level entry field, meaning an undergraduate degree is the minimum requirement for obtaining a state-issued teaching license or certificate and qualifying for teaching jobs. Teachers must complete continuing education credits to maintain their credentials.

There are two types of master’s programs in elementary education – those that are designed for students who do not have a background in education and need to obtain their teaching credentials, and those that cater to students who already are licensed or certified teachers. Your educational and professional background will determine which kind of program you seek. Each state sets its own regulations for licensure or certification, so you want to make sure you select a program that meets your state’s requirements.

Keep in mind that in the U.S., public school teachers must have a teaching license or certificate, per their state’s regulations. Pursuing a program that does not lead to teaching credentials can limit your job opportunities to private, charter, and alternative schools.

Education programs typically require student teaching as part of their curriculum. Individuals who are employed as teachers may be able to complete these requirements at their current job. If you are not presently working in a school, be prepared to spend at least one term in a school setting.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Elementary Education programs:

  • Is this program CAEP-accredited? Programs that are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation are widely recognized as meeting the highest standards for teacher education. Some states may require students to earn their degree from a CAEP-accredited program as a prerequisite for obtaining their teaching license or certificate. If this applies to you, be sure to choose a CAEP-accredited program.
  • Does this program have in-person requirements? Experiential learning in a classroom setting is a common component of elementary education programs. Most programs require at least one term of student teaching, which happens during regular school hours. Find out when in the program you will complete this requirement so that you can make arrangements in your schedule.

Other steps you can take at this time include gathering your application materials, confirming application submission deadlines, and exploring your options for financing your graduate degree. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any kind of tuition assistance benefits. Other options include applying for student loans, scholarships, and assistantships.