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. Our top picks for the best online master’s in online teaching are respected, affordable, and customizable. (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 35 Online Master’s in Online Teaching

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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 raditional 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, and the type of job you are seeking after graduation.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Master’s Programs 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.