Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs 2021

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Increase Earnings with a Master’s in Secondary Education

An online master’s in secondary education helps educators increase their earning potential and qualify for leadership roles. Graduates can work as secondary educators, adult educators, and college instructors. These positions offer above-average salaries and strong projected job growth between 2019-2029.

Our list ranks the best online secondary education master’s degree programs. Prospective students can use the ranking to find the right fit for their budget and career goals. This article also introduces scholarships for secondary education graduate students.

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Master's in Secondary Education FAQs


  • Q. What degree do I need to be a secondary school teacher?

    Secondary school teachers typically need a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree prepares teachers for leadership roles.


  • Q. What is the purpose of secondary education?

    Secondary education prepares young learners for the workforce or college. At the high school level, educators teach core subjects that lead to college and career readiness.


  • Q. Do teachers get paid more if they have a master's?

    Yes, in most districts, teachers with a master’s degree earn higher salaries than teachers without one.


  • Q. What type of education is secondary school?

    Secondary school refers to middle school and high school education. Secondary schools often train students in core subject areas like math, science, and English.


Why Get a Degree in Secondary Education?

A master’s in secondary education blends pedagogical training with advanced coursework in a teaching endorsement area. During a secondary education program, master’s students strengthen their teaching skills while gaining subject-area knowledge in fields like math, science, and social studies.

The flexibility of online master’s in secondary education programs appeals to working educators balancing school with their teaching responsibilities. The format makes it easier for teachers to advance their education without leaving their current job.

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How Much Does a Secondary Education Degree Cost?

The cost of a secondary education program varies by factors like school, enrollment status, and delivery format. Typically, public universities charge lower tuition rates than private universities. Additionally, public schools usually offer a tuition discount for in-state students. For example, the University of Nebraska charges $315 per credit for Nebraska residents and $444 per credit for out-of-state students.

Universities may also offer a flat tuition rate for online learners regardless of their residency status. At Arizona State University, the online master’s in education program charges $693 per credit for in-state and out-of-state students.

In addition to tuition costs, prospective students should consider other education-related expenses, such as textbook costs and technology fees.


Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Our affordability calculator helps prospective students determine how much they can spend on a master’s degree. By entering income, expenses, and expected financial aid, prospective students can calculate their annual and monthly budget for tuition, fees, and other school-related expenses.

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How Much Do Secondary Education Majors Make?

A secondary education master’s degree prepares graduates for careers as middle school and high school teachers. Both careers pay a median salary of around $60,000 per year.

However, educators with a master’s degree often qualify for higher salaries and increased responsibilities. For example, a master’s degree may place educators on a higher salary scale or open the door to higher-paid positions, such as lead teacher. The highest-paid middle school teachers earn over $96,000 per year, while the highest-paid high school teachers make nearly $100,000 per year.

Public schools typically offer higher salaries for teachers than private schools. Additionally, some states, such as New York, California, and Massachusetts, pay higher average wages. In these states, high school teachers earn an average annual salary of more than $80,000.

Courses in Secondary Education

Secondary education master’s degree programs include pedagogical courses that promote teaching skills. Learners study topics like curriculum development, assessment, instruction, and teaching methodologies.

In addition, master’s students complete coursework in their teaching field, such as math, science, or social studies. Depending on the program, master’s students may also complete practicum hours. Courses vary by program, but this section introduces courses commonly found in master’s in secondary education programs.

This course covers advanced teaching and learning methodologies for secondary-level instruction. Educators learn how to use data analysis in planning and assessment, strengthen their teaching methodologies, and develop engaging lessons. The course may include practicum hours to give students classroom experience.

In curriculum development courses, master’s students explore curriculum structures, key elements of a curriculum, and strategic course content. Learners also examine the differences in curriculum development for English language arts, social studies, math, and science courses. The class trains educators to align their curriculum and educational objectives with broader standards.

Graduate courses on assessment and evaluation examine best practices for assessing student learning. The course covers methods to monitor student process, promote student engagement, and modify instruction based on assessment feedback. Learners focus on development metrics and various evaluation strategies.

Certifications and Licensure for Secondary Education

Teachers at public schools need a teaching license issued by their state. In addition to a license, educators can pursue voluntary certifications to demonstrate specialized skills. For example, many secondary educators earn national board certification in their teaching area. Certifications help educators increase their earning potential and move into leadership roles.

National board certification recognizes experienced teachers with advanced skills in their certification area. At the secondary level, candidates can earn certification in English language arts, health education, mathematics, science, and social studies-history. Candidates must complete three portfolio assessments and a computer-based exam. A master’s in secondary education meets the requirements for a teaching license or certification in every state. While the process varies by state, most states require proof of completing an educator preparation program and passing scores on examinations. In most states, licensed educators must complete continuing education requirements to maintain their credential. The International Society for Technology in Education offers certification for educators experienced in educational technology. During the certification process, candidates complete professional learning and a portfolio application. The program grants graduate-level credit for the competency-based certification.

Scholarships for Secondary Education

Master’s students earning a secondary education degree can pursue scholarship opportunities to help offset the cost of their education. Professional organizations, private foundations, and the federal student aid program all support graduate students in education with scholarships. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for students in master’s in secondary education programs.

  • TEACH Grants

    Who Can Apply: The federal TEACH grant program supports educators pursuing a teaching degree. Recipients must agree to teach in a high-need field or a low-income school after earning their degree.

    Amount: Up to $4,000

    Explore Here

  • STEM Teacher Graduate Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: Master’s students enrolled in an education program to teach a STEM subject qualify for this award. Applicants must attend an accredited university and enroll in at least two courses per semester.

    Amount: $2,500

    Explore Here

  • A. Harry Passow Classroom Teacher Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports educators who specialize in gifted education. Applicants must provide three letters of recommendation, evidence of acceptance to an accredited university, and a resume.

    Amount: Varies

    Explore Here

Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs 2021



See Our Rankings Methodology
  1. University of Louisiana at Monroe
    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    $9455

    A public institution, ULM offers an online master's in secondary education. Designed for people seeking education careers, the program meets the requirements for teaching certification in Louisiana. ULM's reciprocity agreement also means the program leads to certification in many other states.

    Students must earn 36 credits to graduate. They take courses on topics like instructional management and secondary school curriculum. Learners study inclusive classroom concepts. The program builds strengths in areas like instructional technology, education research, and student assessment. Learners also complete a supervised internship to gain hands-on experience.

    Most students complete the program in 14-20 months. ULM prefers candidates with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Applicants must submit passing scores on the PRAXIS II content exam for admission. ULM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. University of New Mexico-Main Campus
    Location

    Albuquerque, NM

    Tuition

    $11620

    A public university, UNM offers over 100 graduate programs. UNM students can earn a master's in secondary education online. The program focuses on teacher leadership, student learning, and professional growth.

    The 32-credit program includes courses in advanced instructional strategies. Students learn curriculum development and how to mentor educators. The program also offers a course called experiential, project-based, and service learning. Teachers learn how to foster an innovative learning environment and improve student outcomes.

    Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. They need a minimum 3.0 GPA. The program also requires an elementary or secondary teaching license. As of August 2021, ULM charges $416 per credit hour for the degree. Enrollees need to pay a technology fee each semester. UNM is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  3. Ball State University
    Location

    Muncie, IN

    Tuition

    $13642

    Based in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State offers 100 graduate degrees. The online master's in secondary education degree highlights curriculum development, multicultural education, and educational research. Graduates can work at the middle or high school level in their endorsement area.

    The online program offers four tracks. They include education core, secondary teaching license, and teaching in a content or special area. A dual credit teaching credential is the final track. Students earn the degree after completing 30-36 credits, depending on their chosen track. The curriculum covers core topics like classroom management and instructional strategies. A course teaches enrollees how to use technology as a classroom learning tool.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. They must also hold a minimum 2.75 GPA. Ball State does not require GRE scores. Ball State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  4. Georgia College & State University
    Location

    Milledgeville, GA

    Tuition

    $20478

    Founded in 1889, Georgia College is a public liberal arts university. Students can pursue a master's in secondary education online. The degree meets the requirements for initial educator preparation. The flexible program leads to certifications in areas such as biology, English, history, and mathematics.

    Designed for college graduates without professional teaching experience, the program prepares graduates for classroom teaching careers. During the program, students complete at least 36 credits of coursework. They also undergo field experiences and a student-teaching internship. Learners explore pedagogical skills, educational technology, and content area knowledge.

    The master's in secondary education features a part-time format. Applicants need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.75 GPA. The program also requires two professional recommendations. Georgia College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  5. Georgia Southern University
    Location

    Statesboro, GA

    Tuition

    $15435

    A public institution, Georgia Southern grants degrees from its Statesboro campus and through its online program. The online master's in secondary education program helps educators in diverse fields advance their teaching careers. Students select a concentration area. Options include English, economics, biology, history, and math.

    Learners need to complete 36 credits to earn the degree. The curriculum covers topics like educational research and learning theories. One class teaches enrollees how to use technology for learning. Educators complete courses within their certification area to strengthen their content knowledge.

    Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. They also need a teaching certification. Candidates submit a personal statement that shares why they want to pursue graduate study. Georgia Southern is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Portrait of Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University and earned tenure as a history professor at the University of Louisville. An award-winning historian and writer, Genevieve has published multiple scholarly articles and a book with the University of Chicago Press. She currently works as a freelance writer and consultant.

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