Hero Image Most Affordable Online Master’s in Science Education

Most Affordable Online Master’s in Science Education

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If you’re thinking about earning an online master’s degree in science education, this article is the perfect place to start. Consider this ranking the starting line for your journey to an accredited, quality, affordable online degree. In fact, using this article as a resource to choose the best school for your needs might even help you get to that finish line faster!

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Many middle and high school teachers enter the workforce after their bachelor’s degree, relying on a specific subject major for their success. For example, young science and math teachers may have earned a B.S. in Mathematics, Physics, Biology, or the like, but that doesn’t mean they understand learning theories or best instructional practices. By continuing your education through a graduate program, you can augment your subject-specific expertise with a broader understanding of teaching methods. You might even find yourself in a position to earn advanced positions in schools, acquire an administrative job, or even switch to a career at a community college.

Note: This article may contain sponsored links intended to help you connect with programs easily.

The 30 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Science Education Ranking Methodology

Selection Criteria

For this ranking, we focused on public and private (non-profit) colleges and universities that offer online science education graduate programs. Because the focus of this list is on affordability, we only considered programs with average* tuition rates of $25,000/year or less.

*For public schools, we calculated the average value of their in-state and out-of-state rates.

Ranking Factors

After compiling a list of all the colleges that offer online master’s degrees in STEM education and meet the above criteria, we then collected data in four categories:

  • Accreditation: Does the program have curricular approval from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)?
  • Science Focus: What percentage of the curriculum focuses specifically on science and/or science education topics as opposed to general teaching concepts? The greater this percentage, the greater likelihood that the program will grant students the specialized skills they need to be successful STEM educators.
  • Overall Strength in Education and Science: How many different education- and science-related master’s degrees does the school offer? And what percentage of the entire graduate student body is enrolled in one of these programs?
  • Affordability: What is the average annual cost of attendance?

After collecting and sorting all the information, we ranked the candidates according to their performance in each area. Finally, we summed up the results and gave each school a final score using a curve so that the top-scoring program earned an even 100 points.

Read more about the best cheap online master’s degrees in STEM education below!

Cheap Online Science Education Graduate Programs Ranked

  1. Western Michigan University
    Location

    Kalamazoo, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Western Michigan University places special value on the field of science education. The university is even home to the Mallinson Institute for Science Education, one of the foremost research centers of its kind in the country. So it's no surprise that WMU also houses one of the country's top online science education graduate programs. In this 100% online degree, students acquire a comprehensive knowledge of science history, philosophy, and teaching - and that's just the core curriculum! You'll also pick 12 credits of science education and content classes, which could include courses in physics, chemistry, biology, geography, or even geoscience.

  2. St Catherine University
    Location

    St. Paul, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The goal of St. Catherine University's M.A.Ed. program is to "turn [educators'] passion for teaching into teaching excellence." Using research-based courses (all students complete an "Action Research Project"), this program will get you up to speed with all the current evidence-based best practices in education. And for those in need of an affordable online master's degree in STEM education, St. Kate's offers an M.A.Ed. with STEM concentration. Within this concentration, you'll enjoy plenty of flexibility to pick courses that meet your professional needs. Although you only need 15 credits (five classes), you'll get to choose from more than a dozen options in science, math, engineering, and technology integration.

  3. California University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    California, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Become an expert STEM teacher and school leader at the California University of Pennsylvania. Not only will this degree provide you with new STEM-related teaching strategies, but it will also grant you the leadership skills you need to act as a STEM authority - and mentor - to your colleagues. The coursework puts special emphasis on elementary and middle school teaching and provides content-specific training in life, physical, and earth science as well as math. To graduate from Cal U's accredited master's in science education online, you'll also complete an "integrative project" in which you'll interact directly with children in schools, community organizations, museums, and other educational settings.

  4. Columbus State University
    Location

    Columbus, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Columbus State's unique M.A.T. program is specifically designed for mid-career professionals who have a background in science and want to make the switch to teaching. As such, the curriculum primarily focuses on education subjects, such as motivation, human development, and instructional applications. These classes, along with a required practicum and student teaching internship, will help you learn how to take your scientific knowledge and communicate it clearly to students. When all is said and done, you'll leave CSU's affordable online science education graduate program with a teacher certification in either math, computer science, or science (options include physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science).

  5. Texas A & M University-College Station
    Location

    College Station, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The goal of the M.Ed. STEM program at Texas A&M University - College Station is to qualify graduates for curricular leadership positions, such as educational specialists, STEM supervisors, or even academic deans. To ensure that all students obtain an advanced understanding of educational strategies, the program includes a 12-credit core of general classes like "Curriculum Development" and "Analysis of Teaching Behavior." But the bulk of the curriculum is dedicated to a 24-credit STEM sequence. These required electives will likely be your main motivation for enrolling in this master's in STEM education online, as they cover a wealth of relevant topics. Examples include "How People Learn STEM," "Microcontrollers for Educators," and "History and Trends in STEM Education.”

  6. Michigan Technological University
    Location

    Houghton, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Michigan Technological University has carefully planned every aspect of its online science education graduate program to meet the needs of working teachers. For example, the coursework offers online classes during the school year so that participants only need to travel to campus over summer vacation. In addition, the program's two capstone options - an internship or research report - are designed so that you can complete much of the work in your own classroom. As an "Applied Science" degree, it's also worth noting that the curriculum strongly emphasizes engineering, with four required courses that cover engineering processes and applications in various scientific disciplines.

  7. Auburn University
    Location

    Auburn, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of the more flexible options on our online master's degrees in science education ranking, Auburn University's program comes as both an M.Ed. and M.S. Certified teachers who want to learn new teaching strategies in their area of specialization should opt for the M.Ed. This 30-credit option includes 12 credits in general teaching, 18 in professional studies, and leads to Class A certification in Alabama. The M.S., on the other hand, is a non-certification degree designed for educators who work internationally or in community organizations. While still 30 credits, this versatile degree consists of just 12 hours of required science and teaching classes, leaving the rest open to electives.

  8. University of Northern Colorado
    Location

    Greeley , CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Practicing teachers can easily earn a master's degree from the University of Northern Colorado in just two years - while still working full time! Aiming to boost your understanding of science as well as your ability to teach it, this program starts with thought-provoking classes like "Cognition and Instruction" and "K-12 Science Inquiry." Continuing to progress through UNO's affordable master's in science education online, you'll then pick 12 credits of self-paced electives. These give you a chance to specialize your studies - for example, you might take "Physics in Modern Medicine" or perhaps "Earth Systems: Water" and "Global Change.”

  9. Wheelock College (Tied)
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Looking to complete your degree as quickly as possible? Thanks to an optional accelerated format, you could earn an affordable master's in STEM education online from Wheelock in less than a year! All you need do is take two classes per eight-week session and you'll be done with your degree in no time. On a separate note, Wheelock's STEM program also offers two graduate certificates in elementary science and math education. To earn both certificates, you'll only need to take one extra class beyond the M.S. requirements - a class that Wheelock offers for free!

  10. Adams State University (Tied)
    Location

    Alamosa, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Adams State University has one of the more unique master's in science education online. The program was born out of a partnership between ASU and the U.S. Satellite Lab, an organization whose goal is to improve student achievement in STEM through professional educator development. Lending its expertise in curriculum design and STEM programming, the U.S. Satellite Lab has helped Adams State build a robust curriculum of unique, highly-focused electives. Many of the courses address real-world issues and contemporary areas of research in science, such as "Coding, Robotics, and 1:1 Devices," "Climate Change with NSF SPRINTT," and "Exploring Mars: A New Twist on Earth Science.”

Thanks for reading our ranking of the 30 top cheap master’s in STEM education online programs!

Sources:
IPEDS Data Center
College Navigator
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
U.S Satellite Laboratory

See Also:
Top 10 Cheap Master’s in Math Education Online Degree Programs 2019
Science Education Scholarships
Will Earning a Master’s in Science Education Increase My Salary as a Teacher?
What is the Best Way for Science Teachers to Advance in Their Careers?

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