Why This Matters

  • 15% OF STUDENTS ENROLLED IN ONLINE DEGREES

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 3.1 million students, or one in six students, were enrolled exclusively in online programs in 2017.

  • POSTSECONDARY TEACHING JOBS INCREASING 11%

    With enrollment in distance learning programs increasing, instructors with online teaching skills will be in particular demand, especially in fields like business and healthcare.

  • 28,900 NEW TRAINING SPECIALISTS ARE NEEDED

    As companies integrate technology into their employee training programs, the demand for training and development specialists is expected to rise by 9%.

Our Research

For this list, we concentrated our research on master’s programs with an emphasis in online teaching. Most of these programs offer degrees in online teaching, instructional or educational technology, or curriculum design. Students can earn several different degrees in this field, including a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), or Master of Education (M.Ed).

We only included regionally accredited institutions on our list as a confirmation that programs meet high standards of quality. Many programs also have National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation.

Another criteria was that programs be completely or primarily delivered online to ensure accessibility for the greatest number of students, regardless of location or availability.

We reviewed all of the programs on the basis of cost, reputation, outcomes, faculty, and flexibility. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score of each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 62 hours to write this article
  • 196 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 423 education programs we compared

The Top 10 Online Master's Degree Programs in Online Teaching

New Mexico State University

Intelligent Pick

New Mexico State University offers a 100% online Master of Arts in Educational Learning Technologies degree for educators who are already licensed teachers, work in higher education, or wish to be e-developers. Topics covered include culturally responsive teaching, online pedagogy, and curriculum development for blended and online delivery. The program is unique in the multitude of jobs beyond teaching that the degree can lead to, including instructional designers, e-learning developers, trainers, and multimedia designers. It is overseen by the College of Health, Education, and Social Transformation’s School of Teacher Preparation, Administration and Leadership. Professors have a wealth of teaching experience and research interests including restorative justice practices, social justice leadership, and in-class service learning projects.

Things to Consider:

  • Cost per credit: $411.50
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Graduation rate: 52%

More Program Information: 

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 800-662-6678

Learn more

Fort Hays State University

Best Faculty

Kansas-based Fort Hays State University offers an online Master of Science in Instructional Technology degree through its Department of Advanced Education Programs. The program’s major focus is to introduce students to free open educational resources that can be immediately integrated into the workplace or classroom. A trademark of the program is innovative faculty who created a learning management system known as a GooPLE (Google-inspired Personal Learning Environment), which many of the courses are built in. Several faculty members are also Google for Education Certified Trainers. The program is also unique for its flexibility — courses can be taken at your own pace in four-, 8-, or 16-week semesters.

Things to Consider:

  • Cost per credit: $298.55
  • Credits required to graduate: 36
  • Graduation rate: 58%

More Program Information: 

  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 785-628-4283

Learn more

University of Central Missouri

Best for Science Education

The University of Central Missouri’s School of Teaching and Learning offers an online Master of Arts in Teaching degree that boasts an 86% job placement rate on completion. Many concentrations are available, including educational theory and accelerated science education. Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75, and most program graduates complete their online degree in 2 to 3 years. The school is unique in that most faculty members come from a background of teaching or administration in K-12 schools from a variety of locations worldwide. Additionally, the school is the longest continuously CAEP-accredited (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation) public institution in Missouri.

Things to Consider:

  • Cost per credit: $379.50
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Graduation rate: 54%

More Program Information: 

  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 660-543-4111

Learn more

University of Wyoming

Best Assistantships

The University of Wyoming offers an online Master of Arts in Learning, Design and Technology degree that focuses on rural access, distance delivery, and diverse learning environments. A unique feature of the program is its commitment to small online class sizes, typically just 12 students. Flexible advising sessions for online students are also available. Students who do live near the university are eligible to apply for a graduate assistantship, which offers faculty research opportunities, college-level teaching experiences, and stipends. Faculty members are leaders in consulting educational institutions like Duke University and the University of Colorado.

Things to Consider:

  • Cost per credit: $324 (in-state) $516 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 33
  • Graduation rate: 60%

More Program Information: 

  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 307-766-3145

Learn more

University of Southern California

Best for Gifted Education

The Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California offers an online Master of Arts in Teaching program with a unique optional certificate in gifted education. Requiring four additional courses, the certificate provides educators with specialized knowledge and skills in the area of gifted and talented students. Although the coursework is online and prepares you to earn your preliminary teaching credential in California, fieldwork is typically required in your state of residence. The school’s dedicated team of placement specialists works with students to identify a site to complete fieldwork near where they live. Faculty are international leaders in the education field and are highly accessible, offering live online office hours.

Things to Consider:

  • Cost per credit: $2,035
  • Credits required to graduate: 28
  • Graduation rate: 92%

More Program Information: 

  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 888-628-1872

Learn more

Purdue University Global

Best for Nonprofit Training

Purdue University Global’s Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology degree is highly customizable and incorporates active, applied learning experiences. Students are asked to commit about 20 hours a week to the 100% online program. A unique feature of the degree is that it offers a concentration in adult instruction that is ideal for students interested in educational technology opportunities in corporate, military, or nonprofit environments. Courses to support nonprofit training include Teaching Adult Learners, Multimedia Development and Implementation, and Design and Development Tools. A point of interest about Purdue Global’s faculty members — they’re adult learners themselves and logged more than 45,000 professional development hours between 2019 and 2020.

Things to Consider:

  • Cost per credit: $420
  • Credits required to graduate: 50
  • Academic calendar: Quarter system
  • Graduation rate: 33%

More Program Information: 

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 515-727-2100

Learn more

Indiana University Bloomington

Best Fellowships

Indiana University Bloomington offers a Master of Science in Education degree in Instructional Systems Technology that includes coursework, an internship, and a unique yearlong studio project done under the supervision of a faculty member. The program has a substantial fellowship endowment for new graduate students and students from underrepresented populations. All admitted graduate students who meet departmental admission deadlines in the School of Education are considered for fellowships. No GRE is required to apply to the program, but a bachelor’s degree and minimum GPA of 2.75 is. Among its graduates, the school boasts 23 Indiana Teacher of the Year award recipients.

Things to Consider:

  • Cost per credit: $513.27 (in-state) $604.74 (out-of-state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 36
  • Graduation rate: 78%

More Program Information: 

  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 812-856-8500

Learn more

Biola University

Best for Special Education

California-based Biola University’s online Master of Arts in Teaching degree can be tailored to each student’s interests and includes concentrations in a multitude of areas, including special education. Students who complete the 12 credits of this concentration earn an institution-sponsored certificate in special education. If the concentration fieldwork is completed in California, the concentration can be applied toward a state-issued credential in special education. Most students complete the Christian-centered program in 18 to 24 months. Faculty have expertise in the special education field with associated research on the subjects of autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, emotional and behavior disorders, and dyslexia.

Things to Consider:

  • Cost per credit: $667
  • Credits required to graduate: 30-57
  • Graduation rate: 71%

More Program Information: 

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 562-903-4843

Learn more

University of North Dakota

Best for Elementary Education

The University of North Dakota’s Master of Science in Teaching & Leadership online program offers numerous specializations to choose from, including elementary education. It is one of only a few schools in the country that offers a K-12 classroom assessment and grading course. Students can also pair their master’s degree with a graduate certificate in instructional coaching to enhance marketability and teaching ability with students and colleagues. The program is synchronous with classes in real time and generally takes two years to complete. Unique perks of the program include unlimited academic coaching, free online tutoring, and full-online access to the school’s library and writing support center.

Things to Consider:

  • Cost per credit: $547.10
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Graduation rate: 50%

More Program Information: 

  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 701-777-3000

Learn more

Boise State University

Best Tutoring Services

Boise State University’s Master of Educational Technology is a 100% online program that offers a pathway toward doctoral study. Courses in the program can be applied to the school’s Ed.D. program if students are accepted into that program at a later date. Graduates who don’t enter the doctoral program are prepared for careers as technology coordinators, instructional designers, librarians, or educational administrators. The program is typically completed in two years and culminates with a portfolio project showcasing all work completed in previous classes. Unique optional certificates are also available to complement your master’s degree in areas that include games and simulations and assistive technology.

Things to Consider:

  • Cost per credit: $478
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Graduation rate: 47%

More Program Information: 

  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 208-426-4089

Learn more

Other Online Master’s in Online Teaching to Consider

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

While many K-12 and postsecondary education teachers seek a master’s in online teaching as a way to develop new skills and advance their careers, this degree is also valuable to individuals working in many other fields, including business, healthcare, government, and nonprofits.

Master’s degrees in online teaching or instructional technology focus on best practices and new research in using the internet, digital media, and other technology in educational settings, including traditional and non-traditional classrooms, corporate and professional training settings, and more.

Programs that focus specifically on online teaching in K-12 settings may require students to have a background in education, including their teaching certification, in order to be eligible for admission. Some programs may also lead to teaching certification or licensure, which is required for individuals who want to teach in public schools. Each state sets its own requirements for teaching licensure or certification, so if this is part of your career goals, be sure to select a program that meets the requirements for teaching credentials in your state. Individuals who are planning on working in non-school settings typically do not need any type of certification or license.

At this stage, consider your professional background and goals, and find a program that best suits the training you already have as well as the type of job you are seeking after graduation.

What’s Next?

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

  • Are there any in-person requirements for this program? Some online programs, particularly those designed for current teachers, may require a combination of online and in-person class attendance. In these programs, students take online classes during the traditional academic year and attend classes in person during the summer. Carefully review the program’s schedule and curriculum before enrolling to ensure you are selecting a program that fits into your schedule.
  • How are online courses delivered? Distance learning programs are typically delivered through synchronous or asynchronous classes. Students attend synchronous classes remotely at set times throughout the term. Asynchronous classes do not have set meeting times. Instead, students can access their lessons and assignments at any time. Decide which type of delivery method works best for you based on your schedule before selecting a program.

Other steps you can take at this time include gathering your application materials, confirming application submission deadlines, and researching your options for financing your master’s degree. Funding options include student loans, scholarships, assistantships, and tuition assistance benefits from your employer if you are currently working.