Whether you're a brand new teacher or an experienced educator, finding graduate education scholarships can be helpful for going back to school and sharpening your teaching skills.
From special education and reading education to educational administration and beyond, graduate-level degrees in education are as diverse as students in today's classrooms.
Although it's unlikely you've chosen to become a teacher for the money, earning a master's or doctoral degree in education is an excellent way to open potentially lucrative positions of leadership in school districts.
In order to help expand your hands-on teaching experiences and learn the latest pedagogical strategies for enlightening young minds, below we've highlighted 20 of the best scholarships for pursuing graduate studies in education.
1. AASA Educational Administration Scholarships
Deadline: September 30th
Annually, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) offers Educational Administration Scholarships for $2,500 apiece to five outstanding graduate students who are pursuing a master's or doctoral degree related to school administration or educational leadership. Qualified candidates must be attending an accredited U.S. graduate school, be in good academic standing, and intend to become school superintendents. Applications must be submitted with one letter of recommendation from the dean of education, two professional letters of endorsement, and a three-page statement addressing their administrative experiences in education and future superintendency career objectives.
2. Alpha Delta Kappa ITE Scholarships
Deadline: January 1st
Since 1961, Alpha Delta Kappa has hosted the International Teacher Education (ITE) program to provide $10,000 annual scholarships to students from countries outside the United States who wish to pursue their master's degree in education at an American university. Qualified applicants must be single women with no dependents, be between the ages of 20 and 35, rank academically in the top 25 percent of their class, already possess an undergraduate degree, and have the well-rounded personality needed to engage in the teaching profession. Along with funding, recipients will have an Alpha Delta Kappa co-sponsor to assist with adjustments.
3. Applegate-Jackson-Parks Future Teacher Scholarship
Deadline: December 31st
In honor of three Michigan public school teachers who were fired for no reason other than their refusal to pay union dues, the Applegate-Jackson-Parks Future Teacher Scholarship is awarded through the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) to give $1,000 to a deserving graduate student majoring in education. Eligible candidates must be attending a higher learning institution in the United States, possess a valid teaching license, and exhibit strong scholastic ability. For consideration, interested students must write a 500-word original essay showcasing their understanding of voluntary unionism in relation to education.
4. BHD Endowed Scholarships for Teachers
Deadline: April 1st
Through the Central Scholarship Foundation, the BHD Endowed Scholarships for Teachers are presented annually for $2,500 each to graduate students with undergraduate degrees in a non-education field who wish to pursue a master's or doctoral degree in teaching. Eligible applicants must reside in Maryland, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.0, be attending an accredited U.S. graduate school, live within 200 miles of Baltimore, and have a declared graduate major related to any area of education. Online application forms must be accompanied by official college transcripts, two letters of reference, and a short personal essay explaining candidates' goals in classroom teaching.
5. Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
Sponsored by the Association for Library Science to Children (ALSC), the Bound to Stay Bound Books (BTSB) Scholarship program is designed to provide $7,000 annually as tuition assistance for four men and women who intend to pursue a graduate degree in library and information science, school library media specialist, or library science administration. To qualify, applicants must be attending an accredited U.S. graduate school, be enrolled in a master's degree program, have good academic standing, and clearly display an interest in working in school librarianship with children up to the age of 14.
6. Donald H. and Verna S. Duncan Fellowship
Deadline: June 1st
Created by Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International in memory of a former board member and an award-winning elementary teacher, the Donald H. and Verna S. Duncan Fellowship is available to active student members who are pursuing an advanced education degree at the master's, specialist, or doctoral level. Applicants must be currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. graduate program in educational leadership to lead public preschool, elementary, middle, or high schools. Those who qualify must submit an online application with college transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a 1,000-word paper addressing their future role as an educational leader.
7. Dr. Marc Hull Special Education Leadership Scholarship
Deadline: March 9th
In honor of a former Vermont commissioner of education who sought to create equitable learning opportunities for students with disabilities, the Dr. Marc Hull Special Education Leadership Scholarship is awarded through the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) for $1,750 annually. Qualified recipients must be Vermont residents, be attending an accredited graduate school approved for federal Title IV funding, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and be seeking a master's degree or post-graduate certificate in special education administration. Selection will be based on applicants' academic achievement, future career objectives, leadership potential, essay responses, and recommendation letters.
8. Hach Second Career Teacher Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Administered through the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Hach Second Career Teacher Scholarship is designed to give $6,000 for full-time study and $3,000 for part-time study to professionals in the chemistry field who are pursuing a master's degree in education. Eligible candidates must have a bachelor's degree in chemistry, have at least one year of work experience in a chemistry-related profession, have U.S. citizenship, be accepted into a master's education program, and seek to become certified as a chemistry or science teacher. Recipients are eligible to renew the award for up to three years to cover tuition, books, and other expenses.
9. Harry Passow Classroom Teacher Scholarship
Deadline: May 4th
Within the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), the Harry Passow Classroom Teacher Scholarship is awarded for up to $2,000 annually for two K-12 teachers who have shown excellence in teaching gifted students in a homogeneous or heterogeneous classroom and need financial assistance to continue their education at the graduate level. Qualified candidates must complete a nomination form with two letters of recommendation, proof of acceptance at an accredited U.S. university in a gifted education program, a current curriculum vitae, and a personal letter outlining why they're an appropriate recipient for the award.
10. James Madison Memorial Fellowship
Deadline: March 1st
Annually, the James Madison Memorial Foundation offers a fellowship program to grant up to $24,000 for aspiring teachers seeking a Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree concentrated in American history, government, or social studies. Eligible candidates must possess a bachelor's degree, be enrolling in an accredited U.S. graduate school, have little to no teaching experience, and plan to become secondary school teachers in grades 7-12. Recipients must agree to attend the Summer Institute on the Constitution and spend one full year teaching American history for each academic year of funding.
11. JEA Future Teacher Scholarships
Deadline: July 15th
Through the Journalism Education Association (JEA), the Future Teacher Scholarships are awarded each year for $1,000 to five outstanding education majors who intend to teach journalism at the secondary school level. Qualified candidates must be upper-division or master's degree students, be in good academic standing, attend an accredited U.S. teacher education program, and exhibit a strong commitment to teaching high school journalism. Along with the application, future teachers must include two recommendation letters, college transcripts, a 250-word personal statement, and three essay responses showing their future goals working with student journalists.
JEA Future Teacher Scholarships
105 Kedzie Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
12. Maley/FTEE Scholarship Program
Deadline: December 1st
In collaboration with the Foundation for Technology and Engineering Educators, the Maley/FTEE Scholarship Program is hosted annually by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) to grant $1,000 to members who are beginning or continuing graduate-level studies in education. Eligible applicants must be technology and engineering teachers in any grade, show evidence of teaching success, exhibit financial need, and be pursuing post-baccalaureate professional development at an accredited U.S. college. Application packets should include a current resume, official college transcripts, three recommendation letters, proof of graduate school enrollment, and a short letter of intent.
Maley/FTEE Scholarship Program
1914 Association Drive Suite 201
Reston, VA 20191
13. Nadeen Burkeholder Williams Music Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
For both members and non-members of Pi Lambda Theta, the Nadeen Burkeholder Williams Music Scholarship is offered to grant $1,000 annually to outstanding K-12 teachers who are pursuing a graduate degree at an accredited U.S. university. Eligible candidates must hold a valid teaching license, be a music education teacher or systematically apply music in their teaching, have held a full-time teaching position for at least one year, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5, and be enrolling as a graduate music education major. By the deadline, applicants must submit an online application with a resume, letter of reference, 1,500-word personal essay, and an example lesson plan for teaching music.
14. Pi Lambda Theta Graduate Student Scholar Award
Deadline: April 1st
Also offered through Pi Lambda Theta, the Graduate Student Scholar Award is presented annually for $1,000 with a complimentary one-year honorary membership to an outstanding graduate student who has officially declared an education major. Applicants must be pursuing a master's or doctoral degree, have completed at least 12 semester credits of graduate work, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.75, display strong leadership potential, and have made significant contributions to local or national education efforts. Preference will be given to any candidates who have completed leadership positions in volunteer work for non-profit educational organizations while in college.
15. R. Gerald Melton Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Created by Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International to honor the co-founder of the International Curriculum Management Audit Center, the R. Gerald Melton Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year for $1,000 to worthy doctoral students currently studying education administration at an accredited U.S. graduate school. Eligible applicants must rank in the top 15 percent of their class, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, be actively involved in professional activities, and submit three letters of recommendation from current or previous supervisors. Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree students need not be affiliated members of PDK International for qualification.
16. Rudolph Dillman Memorial Scholarships
Deadline: May 31st
Sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), the Rudolph Dillman Memorial Scholarships are granted for $2,500 apiece annually for four graduate students who are studying full-time in the field of education to specialize their career in working with children who are blind and/or visually impaired. Preference will be given to candidates who are also legally blind with corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye. Applications must include official college transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a 600-word essay describing why applicants have chosen a career in education.
17. Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program
Deadline: October 6th
As a competitive program that receives up to 600 applications each year, the Spencer Dissertation Fellowship is granted through the National Academy of Education (NAE) to provide $25,000 to currently enrolled doctoral students who are undertaking research relevant to the improvement of education for their dissertation. Qualified recipients must be attending an accredited U.S. graduate school, have a demonstrate record of research experience in education, and be pursuing a career related to educational research. For consideration, all applicants must submit verification that they've completed all pre-dissertation requirements and a detailed dissertation project proposal with an online application.
18. Timocracy Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: June 15th
Established to honor individuals who "do good for the sake of doing good," the Timocracy Foundation offers two annual scholarships of $5,000 apiece to graduate students who are currently enrolled in a master's degree program for early childhood education or elementary education to receive Massachusetts Initial Licensure. Qualified applicants must be accepted into an approved program at Lesley University, be enrolled in at least six credits per term, submit a current resume, and write a two-page personal essay. Recipients will be chosen based on their commitment to the education field, potential for contribution to the teaching profession, academic performance, communication skills, and expressive abilities.
19. Walter Jensen Scholarship for Study Abroad
Deadline: March 15th
Through the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF), the Walter Jensen Scholarship for Study Abroad is granted annually for $2,000 to cover tuition, fees, travel, or housing costs for graduate education students pursuing a study abroad program in a Francophone country. Eligible applicants must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program in French, have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, attend an accredited American graduate school, be non-native French speakers, and be sponsored by an AATF-member teacher. Completed applications must be accompanied by a curriculum vitae, two letters of recommendation, and two one-page essays displaying their professional potential as French teachers.
20. WW-RBF Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color
Deadline: October 31st
With the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Woodrow Wilson National Foundation offers the WW-RBF Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color to provide a $30,000 stipend to eight deserving minority graduate students who wish to become K-12 public school teachers in the United States. Fellows receive tuition assistance for earning a master's degree in education at a participating graduate school, professional mentoring, and three years of teaching experience in an urban or rural school district. Qualified candidates must have U.S. citizenship, have attained a bachelor's degree, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and have substantial background in the arts and sciences.
WW-RBF Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color
5 Vaughn Drive Suite 300
Princeton, NJ 08540
Since tuition prices at graduate schools nationwide have skyrocketed by 60% in the last decade, it now costs around $30,000 a year to attend an in-state public program and even more at a private one. Therefore, you'll likely need to depend on various sources of financial funding to make it through the additional years of schooling and earn your master's or doctoral degree in education with little loan debt. If you're set on furthering your training to unlock in-demand leadership positions both inside and outside the classroom, then apply to some of these top-notch graduate education scholarships for financing your studies.