35 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREES IN EDUCATION

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A Master’s Degree in Education can be an excellent choice for educators who want to advance their career and widen their influence in the field. Whether you’re interested in improving the curriculum of special education, taking leadership or administrative positions in your school, or enhancing the educational field in any way, a master’s degree can help get you there. 

The 35 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Education offer a variety of programs, certificates, and specializations so that you can find what you need in a program. You can choose from a Master of Education, Master of Arts, and Master of Science degree. The online degrees are flexible and convenient, so you can take classes while teaching full-time or keeping up with other life and family obligations. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average weekly earnings for employees in education increase from $1,198 with a bachelor’s degree to $1,434 with a master’s degree. Payscale also shows an increase in pay between a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. A Master’s in Education will also open doors to new opportunities in research, administration, and teaching. This degree could be the next step toward reaching your goals and changing the world. Keep reading to decide which of the following 35 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Education is best for you! 

Selection Criteria

Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one’s higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVS collects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:

  • Degree Investment Return (25%)
  • Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
  • Cost Value (25%)
  • Matriculation (10%) 
  • Academic Success (15%) 

No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself! 

Here are the 35 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Education for 2020!
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Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. Purdue University, Main Campus
    Location

    West Lafayette, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The asynchronous format of Purdue University's online Master of Science in Education in Special Education allows more flexibility for working students. The online program gives students the benefits of Purdue's nationally recognized academics and award-winning faculty, without sacrificing convenience. It can be completed in as few as 20 months and can be enhanced with special education licensure or a focus on intense intervention. U.S. News & World Report ranked Purdue's College of Education as No. 45 in Best Education Schools.

    Purdue also offers MS.Ed. degrees in Applied Behavior Analysis, Curriculum and Instruction, and Learning Design and Technology. Students have access to Purdue's 400 laboratories and 116 university-approved research centers and institutes. Purdue is ranked at No. 40 on Money's Best Colleges for your Money 2018 and No. 6 in Most Innovative Schools by U.S. News & World Report. After graduation, Purdue educators join an extensive network of over 400,000 alumni around the globe.

  2. Indiana University-Bloomington
    Location

    Bloomington, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Indiana University offers a Master of Science in Education in Adult Education taught by well-known scholars and researchers. IU's School of Education also offers several other online master's programs such as Adult Education; Educational Leadership; Instructional Systems Technology; Literacy, Culture, and Language Education; and Special Education. IU also offers certificates in Adult Education; Education Law; Principal Licensure; Higher Education and Student Affairs; Instructional Systems Technology; Learning Sciences, Media, and Technology; EFL/ESL Teaching; and Preparing Educators of Students with Autism.

    IU is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Higher Learning Commission. It's a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. IU is ranked No. 2 for Top Public Colleges in Indiana by Niche and No. 33 in Top Public Colleges by Forbes. It's School of Education is also individually ranked by U.S. News & World Report. It's No. 28 in Best Education Schools and No. 45 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs. Small classes within the education programs mean more opportunities for collaboration. Students can get more experience and networking opportunities by participating in the Community of Teachers. This Teacher Education Program lets a cohort of students across fields and stages of education work closely together with each other and with an experienced faculty member for hands-on learning.

  3. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A Master of Education in STEM Education from North Carolina State University at Raleigh comes with the choice of three concentrations. Students can focus their degree with a concentration in Mathematics and Statistics Education, Science Education, or Engineering and Technology Education. Each program requires 30 credit hours and can be completed in as little as two years. Students learn to integrate technology in the classroom better. They also gain a global focus and learn to work well with diverse groups. Students work alongside world-renowned researchers to find ways to increase the impact of education.

    STEM Education isn't the only M.Ed. available at NC State. Educators interested in earning a master's degree and advancing their career can also study Adult and Continuing Professional Education, College Counseling and Student Development, Community College Teaching, Curriculum and Instruction - New Literacies and Global Learning, Health Professionals Education, Learning Design and Technology, School Counseling, or Training and Development. NC State also offers Master of Arts in Teaching degrees in Elementary Education, English - Secondary Education, English as a Second Language, Language Arts - Middle Grade, Mathematics - Secondary Education, Science - Secondary Education, Social Studies - Middle Grades, Social Studies - Secondary Education, and Special Education. There are also several certificate programs. NC State is ranked No. 31 for Money's Best Colleges for your Money 2018 and No. 45 in U.S. News & World Report's Best Education Schools.

  4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers three unique Master of Education programs. The M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction can be completed with an emphasis on technology application. Students in this program can choose a General Focus, or they can select to focus on either Bilingual and Bi-Cultural Education or Digital Learning. The M.Ed. in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership comes with several concentration areas. These are Diversity and Equity in Education, Education Administration and Leadership, Global Studies in Education, Human Resource Development, and Learning Design and Leadership. The M.Ed. in Special Education includes Bilingual and ESL Endorsements. Special Education can also be studied as a Master of Science.

    Overall, courses for UIUC's online Ed.M. last six to eight weeks. There are weekly online video synchronous sessions to encourage community and participation, but the course is otherwise completed on students' own time. U of I is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. There are several research centers and initiatives at the U of I. These tackle important real-world topics such as bullying, autism, digital learning, and social justice. Students can participate in initiatives designed to address a variety of culturally relevant issues. U.S. News & World Report ranked U of I as No. 16 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs and No. 13 in Top Public Schools. Forbes ranked it No. 50 in America's Best Value Colleges, and Niche ranked it the No. 1 Top Public University in Illinois.

  5. University of Utah
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of Utah comes with an emphasis in Fine Arts. This online program requires 30 credits and can typically be completed in two years. The online program offers flexibility for working educators and students with family and life obligations that keep them from achieving an on-campus degree. However, there is still plenty of support with an online program, through the many student support services and academic resources. Advisors help each student set up their course schedule, and faculty are available during office hours through discussion threads and phone communication. The online program uses group assignments, discussion forums, and peer reviews to ensure you have networking opportunities with your classmates. Three individual art teaching practicums give you the hands-on experience you need for success. There is a short on-campus residency required.

    The University of Utah is a nationally recognized research and teaching university. U.S. News & World Report ranks it No. 64 in Best Education Schools and No. 56 in Top Public Schools. The faculty are experienced in their field and active in research. Money ranked it No. 203 in Best Colleges for your Money 2018. UOnline also offers a Professional Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Certificate. There are available start dates in the spring, summer, and fall.

  6. University of Georgia
    Location

    Athens, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Georgia offers a Master of Education in Reading Education for certified teachers and education professionals. The degree can be further specialized with an Emphasis in New and Digital Literacies. It can be completed in two years and requires 36 credit hours. The M.Ed. in Reading Education is taught by faculty members who are recognized on the national and international levels. Courses are designed to be relevant and applicable and include titles such as Culture and Literacy Classrooms, Popular Culture in Literacy Classrooms K-12, and Practicum in Reading Instruction and Assessment. U.S. News & World Report recognized UGA as No. 5 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs and No. 36 in Best Education Schools. Niche called it No. 1 in Best Colleges for Education in Georgia. UGA has also been recognized for its affordable programs. Money named it among the top 100 Best Colleges for your Money 2018, and Forbes ranked it No. 66 in America's Best Value Colleges.

    UGA has options when it comes to a Master's of Education. It also offers Ed.S. degrees in Educational Psychology and Gifted and Creative Education. There are M.Ed. programs in Educational Psychology; Applied Cognition and Development; Gifted and Creative Education; Learning, Design and Technology; Instructional Design and Development; Workforce Education; Middle Grades Education; Science Education; and Music Education. There are also several choices in certificates and endorsements, including English to Speakers of Other Languages, eLearning Design, Instructional Technology for Teaching, and more.

  7. University of Houston
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Houston's Master of Education in Higher Education is offered entirely online, but that doesn't mean sacrificing human connection. Students can communicate with their professors through phone calls, Blackboard, and Skype. The faculty of UH have online teaching experience, so they know how to solve any difficulties that an online course might present. Plus, students have access to technical support and other resources through the Center for Instructional Technology in Education. The online program can be completed in two years, with a required 36 credit hours. Students are accepted into the program once a year in a cohort model. The College of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the American Psychological Association. Students take important foundational classes such as Leadership for Change and Cultural Foundations of American Education, and they supplement coursework with internship experience, practicums, and fieldwork.

    UH was ranked No. 19 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News & World Report. Along with the M.Ed. in Higher Education, it offers an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and an M.Ed. in Special Populations. UH also offers several certificate programs and professional certificates: Designing and Developing Educational Graphics, Educational Diagnostician, Integrating Innovative Technologies in Health Science Education, Multimedia, Online Teaching and Learning, and Principal (K-12). Faculty members are experienced in their field and involved in research in education policy, health disparities, classroom management, and more.

  8. Texas A & M University, College Station
    Location

    College Station, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Texas A&M University offers both an MA and an M.Ed. in Special Education. Both are two-year programs that require 36 credit hours. Unlike many programs, Texas A&M does not require students to hold a teaching certificate, though some teaching experience is expected. Among the core courses in the Special Education program are Behavior Management, Bilingual Special Education, and Transition from School to Work. Texas A&M was ranked at No. 33 in Best Education Schools by U.S. News & World Report.

    Texas A&M's College of Education has four departments, the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development, the Department of Educational Psychology, the Department of Health and Kinesiology, and the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture. There are more than 30 graduate programs across these departments, as well as certificates such as Reading and Literacy, Advanced Research Methods, and STEM. Texas A&M has over 1000 masters students, meaning you'll have plenty of opportunities to network and make valuable professional connections. The size of the school also means you have access to several research centers and institutes. Students can participate in faculty-led research in topics such as culture and curriculum, technology, urban education, and educational leadership. Texas A&M was named No. 2 by Niche in Top Public Universities. It ranked at No. 44 in Best Value Schools in U.S. News & World Report and No. 45 in America's Best Value Colleges on Forbes.

  9. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The M.Ed. in Exceptional Student Education at the University of Central Florida is taught by faculty members who are committed to educational excellence and social justice. This 33 credit hour course can be completed in as little as two years. Students at UCF have access to the resources they need for success, such as a writing center, library, accessibility services, and more. Although this is an online course, students have opportunities to connect with students in their area and to collaborate with partners on a local and international level. Along with networking, students gain hands-on experience through internships, practicums, and policy-development programs. They also have the opportunity to participate in research led by award-winning faculty.

    UCF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The College of Education also offers an MAT in Art Education, an MA in Applied Learning and Instruction, an MA in Career and Technical Education, and an MA in Educational Leadership. Niche ranked it No. 65 in Best Colleges for Education in America, and U.S. News & World Report ranked it No. 78 in Best Education Schools. UCF offers certificates in College Teaching and Leadership, Initial Teacher Professional Preparation, Pre-Kindergarten Disabilities, Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Gifted Education, Instructional/Educational Technology, and Local Director of Career and Technical Education.

  10. University of South Florida
    Location

    Tampa, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of South Florida, Main Campus offers Masters of Education programs that are structured to allow students to study while working full-time. The programs are accelerated online degrees that prepare educators to meet the current and future needs in education. There are several options for an online degree within USF's College of Education. Students can earn their M.Ed. in Online Instructional Technology or Online Secondary Education. The Secondary Education program can be enhanced with a TESOL emphasis. USF also offers many Master's of Arts degrees in Online Adult Education, Online Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe Intellectual Disabilities, Online Career and Technical Education, Online Gifted Education, Online Physical Education, Online Reading K-12, and Online Special Education.

    USF also offers fully online certificates in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Academic Advising, Disabilities Education, ESOL, Exceptional Student Education, Instructional Technology, and Teacher Leadership for Student Learning. Along with these program options, students at USF have access to experienced faculty and their ongoing research projects. There are many resources available, including the library, research centers, advising, and technology help. USF is ranked at No. 69 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News & World Report and No. 51 in Top Colleges in the Region by Forbes.

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