Why This Matters

  • EMPLOYMENT IN EDUCATION TO RISE 5% BY 2028

    Thanks to increasing school enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, steady growth in employment in education and related jobs is expected during the next decade.

  • 112,700 ADDITIONAL TEACHING JOBS EXPECTED

    In addition to increasing school enrollment, retirements also drive the need for more teachers across K-12 settings. An advanced degree and specialization can improve job prospects.

  • 6% GROWTH FOR INSTRUCTIONAL COORDINATORS

    A master’s degree in K-12 education can lead to other opportunities outside the classroom, such as being an instructional coordinator who develops and implements curriculums and teaching standards.

Our Research

We focused our research on master’s-level programs in K-12 education and related areas. The most common types of degrees in this subject are Master of Education (M.Ed), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), and Master of Science (MS).

One of our main criteria was that programs be delivered completely or primarily online. We wanted the programs on this list to be available to the greatest number of students, regardless of location or schedule.

All of the programs are offered by schools that have regional accreditation. Additionally, many programs are also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educational Programs (CAEP), which is a specialized agency overseeing postsecondary education programs.

We evaluated each program on the basis of faculty, flexibility, reputation, cost, and outcomes. Then 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.

  • 56 hours to write this article
  • 173 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 476 education programs we compared

The Top 35 Online Master’s in K-12 Education Degree Programs

Best Online Master's in K-12 Education Degree Programs
01
Fort Hays State University

intelligent score 99.88

Award Intelligent Pick

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Intelligent Pick

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Educational Administration

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $298.55 per credit

accreditation Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 785-628-4283

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Educational Administration

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
University of Central Missouri

intelligent score 99.11

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, On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction - K-12 Education

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $365.90 per credit

accreditation Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, CAEP

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 877-729-8266

Learn More

Delivery Format Online, On-Campus

Programs Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction - K-12 Education

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Colorado State University Global

intelligent score 98.44

Award Best Global Campus

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Global Campus

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Teaching and Learning - K-12 Education Technology and Instructional Design

Required Credits to Graduate 39 credits

Department School of Professional Studies

Estimated Cost per Credit $500.00 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800-920-6723

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Teaching and Learning - K-12 Education Technology and Instructional Design

Required Credits to Graduate 39 credits

01
Western Colorado University

intelligent score 98.23

Award Best in the West

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the West

Delivery Format Online

Programs MA in Education, Teacher Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 43 credits

Department School of Graduate Studies

Estimated Cost per Credit $404.00 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission, HLC; Colorado Department of Higher Education, CDHE, Colorado Department of Education, CDE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 970-943-2045

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs MA in Education, Teacher Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 43 credits

01
Oregon State University

intelligent score 98.02

Award Best Advisors

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Advisors

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education - PK-12 English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) *note: this is a graduate certificate, not a full-fledged Masters program

Required Credits to Graduate 18 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $538.00 per credit

accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, NCATE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 541-737-0085

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education - PK-12 English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) *note: this is a graduate certificate, not a full-fledged Masters program

Required Credits to Graduate 18 credits

01
Wayne State College

intelligent score 94.7

Award Best School Administration Focus

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best School Administration Focus

Delivery Format Online

Programs Masters Degree - School Administration (MSE) Available Concentrations: School Administration (7-12), School Administration (PK-8), School Administration (PK-12), Athletic Administration

Required Credits to Graduate 36-45 credits

Department School of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $370.75 per credit

accreditation Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 866-972-2287

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Masters Degree - School Administration (MSE) Available Concentrations: School Administration (7-12), School Administration (PK-8), School Administration (PK-12), Athletic Administration

Required Credits to Graduate 36-45 credits

01
Southern Arkansas University

intelligent score 93.39

Award Best Elementary Focus

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Elementary Focus

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Teaching

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State:$366.5 per credit; Out-of-State:$526.5? per credit

accreditation Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 870-235-4150

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Teaching

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Texas A&M University

intelligent score 92.94

Award Best Public Research University

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Public Research University

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Educational Administration, PK-12 Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Education & Human Development

Estimated Cost per Credit In-State:$278.20 per credit; Out-of-State:$779.15? per credit

accreditation State Board of Educator Certification, Texas Education Agency

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 979-845-3017

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Educational Administration, PK-12 Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Mississippi State University

intelligent score 92.92

Award Best Secondary Ed Focus

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Secondary Ed Focus

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $489 per credit

accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 662-325-3747

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Missouri State University

intelligent score 90.56

Award Most Affordable

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Most Affordable

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Teaching - K-12 Education

Required Credits to Graduate 39 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $295.00 per credit

accreditation Higher Learning Commission, HLC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 417-836-5429

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts in Teaching - K-12 Education

Required Credits to Graduate 39 credits

01
Best Master of Education Degree
American Military University
01
Most Flexible Admissions
Stevenson University
01
Best Middle Grades Focus
University of Georgia
01
Best for Rolling Admissions
University of South Carolina
01
Best Physical Education Focus
Chicago State University
01
Best Curriculum & Instruction Focus
Emporia State University
01
Best Science Focus
Michigan Technological University
01
Fastest Completion Time
Northwest Missouri State University
01
Best Assistantships
SUNY Oneonta
01
Best Instructional Technology Focus
Georgia Southern University
01
Best Master of Arts Degree
University of the Cumberlands
01
Best in the Southeast
Clemson University
01
Best Educational Leadership Focus
California University of Pennsylvania
01
Best in the Midwest
Minnesota State University - Mankato
01
Best Blended Program
University of Maryland Global Campus
01
Best Cohort-Based Program
Old Dominion University
01
Best in the South
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
01
Best Special Education Focus
Harding University
01
Best ESL Focus
Kennesaw State University
01
Best Mathematics Focus
Ball State University
01
Most Flexible
Southeast Missouri State University
01
Best Private University
Hamline University
01
Best Online University
Capella University
01
Best Specialization Options
East Carolina University
01
Best Christian University
Liberty University

What You Should Know About This Degree

A master’s degree in K-12 education is something of a blanket term for many different graduate programs in education. Some focus on teaching a specific subject, like mathematics or ESL, while others are based in developing advanced skills in curriculum and instruction or instructional technology. Your personal and professional interests will guide what type of program you choose.

You also have to consider your educational background and current professional status when selecting a K-12 master’s program. To teach in U.S. public schools, teachers must have a state-issued teaching license or certification. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum level of education needed to obtain teaching credentials. In some states, you need to earn a master’s to maintain your credentials.

Some K-12 education master’s programs are designed for educators who already have their teaching license or certificate. Others will prepare you for licensure or certification.

If you are earning your master’s as a pathway to obtaining your credentials, review your state’s regulations before selecting a program. Some programs only prepare students for licensure or certification in the state in which the program is located. The state may also mandate that you attend a program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Individuals without state-issued teaching credentials will be limited to job opportunities in private, charter, and alternative schools.

What’s Next?

You can ask the following questions when researching online master’s in K-12 education programs:

  • How are classes delivered? Online classes are usually delivered asynchronously or synchronously. Asynchronous classes do not have set meeting times, but students access their lessons and assignments at any time. Synchronous classes meet remotely at set times. Determine which type of delivery format works best for you before selecting a program.
  • Are there any in-person requirements for this program? Most education master’s programs have an experiential learning component in which you will spend time in a classroom. If you are currently working in an education setting, you may be able to complete this requirement in your regular classroom. Otherwise, you should expect to spend at least one term in a classroom setting, so be prepared to fit this into your schedule.

Now is the time to collect your application materials as well as confirm application submission deadlines and procedures with the school’s admissions department. You should also explore your options for funding your graduate education. Consult with the school’s financial aid department about applying for student loans and scholarships. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any tuition assistance benefits.