Online Master’s in Education and Teaching 2021

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Teachers looking to develop their skills and further their careers often enroll in master’s in education and teaching programs. This advanced degree trains expert teachers using the latest education research, theories, and practices.

A master’s in education and teaching prepares teachers for a variety of advanced career paths. Graduates can work as school principals, earning an annual median salary of $98,490. Master’s graduates may also work as postsecondary instructors at community colleges, earning an annual median salary of $80,790.

This page ranks the best education and teaching master’s degrees. It also covers typical courses, common career paths, and professional certification opportunities.

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Frequently Asked Master's in Education and Teaching Questions


  • What can I do with a master's degree in education and teaching?

    A master’s in education and teaching prepares graduates for roles like K-12 teacher, community college teacher, school principal, and instructional coordinator.


  • How long is a master's in education and teaching?

    Full-time candidates typically complete a master’s degree in 1.5-2 years. Part-time candidates may take up to seven years to complete a degree.


  • Do you need a degree in education to be a teacher?

    Candidates do not need a degree in education to work as teachers. However, a master’s in education and teaching prepares students for advanced teaching roles.


  • How do I start my teaching career?

    All K-12 teachers need at least a bachelor’s degree to earn their teaching certification. Earning a master’s degree may qualify teachers for higher-paying positions.


Why Get a Degree in Education and Teaching?

An education and teaching master’s degree builds advanced knowledge in curriculum design, pedagogy, educational assessment, and education management. Serving both current teachers and those looking to enter the education field, the degree often enables teachers to specialize in a subject area, such as language arts, social studies, math, or special education.

Online master’s in education and teaching programs offer significant flexibility for students. Students can often maintain employment while earning an online degree. Plus, many schools offer tuition discounts to online students.

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How Much is an Online Master’s Degree in Education?

The cost of master’s in teaching and education programs varies based on factors like school, program length, delivery format, and enrollment format. In general, public schools offer lower tuition than private schools, and online programs offer lower tuition than on-campus programs. Accelerated programs enable students to graduate faster, potentially saving on tuition costs. Conversely, part-time programs may take longer to complete and cost more overall.

On average, students pay $30,000-$40,000 for a master’s degree. However, many schools provide tuition discounts for online learners. Public colleges sometimes offer reduced in-state tuition rates to online students regardless of residency.

Online learning also reduces some of the expenses associated with college education, such as relocation, transportation, and childcare. Online students also commonly work while attending school, making it easier to budget for higher education. Students attending online programs can also apply for master’s assistantships or similar programs. These programs allow students to gain experience working for the college while attending classes. Assistantship programs usually offer a tuition reduction or compensation to students.

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How Much Do Education and Teaching Majors Make?

A master’s in teaching and education prepares students for many advanced career paths in the education sector. While most graduates pursue teaching positions, the degree also leads to careers in education management, administration, and development.

Master’s degrees often enable teachers to start at higher salary levels than bachelor’s degree-holders. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that high school teachers earn an annual median salary of $62,870. Master’s degree-holders can also pursue jobs as postsecondary teachers at community colleges, earning an annual median salary of $80,790.

Master’s in teaching and education graduates can also pursue administrative roles, such as elementary, middle, or high school principal, earning a median salary of $98,490 per year. They may also work as instructional coordinators and earn a median $66,970 annual salary.

Courses in Education and Teaching

Master’s in education and teaching programs build broad knowledge of educational theory and practice. Common course topics include curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, education assessment tools, and educational research. Today’s programs increasingly frame education in the context of diversity and social justice, examining methods for educational equity and inclusion.

Most education and teaching programs require candidates to complete a culminating project, such a capstone or a research-based thesis.

Courses vary by program, but the following list outlines several courses commonly found in online master’s in education and teaching programs.

The course examines the development of education throughout history. Coursework emphasizes the intersection of social, cultural, and political developments with the practice of schooling. Many iterations of the course highlight developments in American education, along with major movements in education theory and practice both in the United States and abroad.

Research informs most aspects of contemporary education practice. The course explores key research methodologies, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methods. Students also learn about tools and frameworks for interpreting and evaluating research.

Master’s programs prepare graduates for leadership roles in education environments. The course highlights leadership theories and approaches for educators. Students gain an understanding of collaborative strategies for educational leaders and the various leadership roles teachers may assume, including supervisor, coach, and mentor.

Certifications and Licensure for Education and Teaching

Teachers and other education specialists can pursue certifications to demonstrate professional competencies and proficiencies. Some credentials, such as general teaching certification, serve as universal requirements to begin teaching at K-12 schools. More advanced certifications may help teachers pursue higher-paying jobs with added responsibilities. This list outlines three popular certifications for teachers.

Teaching Certification


Most master’s in education and teaching programs enroll certified teachers or lead directly to teacher certification. Certification requirements vary widely among states. Prospective teachers can consult their local department of education to determine eligibility requirements. Additionally, any reputable education program should indicate whether its curriculum meets state certification requirements.

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Board Certification in Special Education


The National Association of Special Education Teachers offers this nationally recognized certification, which demonstrates specialization in special education. Certification applicants must hold at least a master’s degree in an education-related field and complete five instruction courses related to special education.

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National Board Certification


Demonstrating exemplary teaching proficiency, national board certification serves as one of the most esteemed credentials in K-12 education. Candidates can pursue certification in most subject areas and at multiple developmental levels. Certification applicants must submit three comprehensive educational portfolio entries and pass an online exam.

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Scholarships for Education and Teaching

Master’s in education and teaching students can save on tuition by applying for scholarships. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. This list highlights three scholarships for students enrolled in teaching and education programs.


  • ACS-Hach Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The American Chemical Society offers this scholarship to graduate students pursuing education and teaching master’s degrees. Applicants must plan to teach science or chemistry upon graduation.

    Amount: Up to $6,000

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  • Future Journalism Teacher Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: The Journalism Education Association offers this scholarship to undergraduate or graduate students who plan to teach scholastic journalism after graduation. Applicants must submit a short essay and two recommendation letters.

    Amount: $1,000

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  • AFCEA STEM Teacher Graduate Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: The AFCEA Educational Foundation offers several scholarships to graduate students pursuing programs in STEM education. Applicants must plan to teach a STEM subject at the K-12 level after graduation.

    Amount: $2,500

    Explore Here


Online Master’s in Education and Teaching Programs 2021

  1. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
    Location

    Mount Vernon, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Teachers looking to further their education with a Christian emphasis can tailor the online Master of Arts in Education Teaching and Learning programatMount Vernon Nazarene University to meet their learning interests and professional development needs. The school was established by the Church of the Nazarene, and its faith-based focus is on lifelong learning and service. Aside from 13 required course credit hours, the MA in Education Teaching and Learning program allows teachers to choose the courses they want to take in order complete their degree and pursue licensure. Flexible program start dates and course scheduling allow students to easily fit the program into their everyday lives. The 31-credit program takes typically 16-24 months to complete. Participants proceed through the program in a cohort model, allowing them to develop relationships with other students. Online courses are taught by faculty members with years of experience as educators and administrators. Required core courses include School Leadership and Ethical Practice, Multiculturalism in Education, Educator as Researcher, and Consultation, Collaboration and Cooperation. Elective selections include Applying Learning Theory in the Classroom, Children's Literature and Social Justice, Curriculum Leadership, and Behavior Analysis and Learning Environments. Tutoring is available for online students through an online service called Smarthinking, which connects students with a live tutor and also offers writing resources and study aids. Financial aid may be available to eligible students. The school offers special benefits to former and current members of the U.S. military, including possible credit for military training and special considerations for financial aid. Mount Vernon Nazarene University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  2. Grace College and Theological Seminary
    Location

    Winona Lake, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Grace College combines trends in higher education with a biblical view of the field in its online Master of Science in Higher Education program. The evangelical Christian college stresses the integration of faith and learning to produce graduates of character and competence who are prepared for service. The higher education program's curriculum includes a historical look at education, current issues of diversity and social and cultural trends, as well as legal, governance and finance issues. The 36-credit hour degree takes about 2 years to complete, and most courses are 8 weeks in length. Applicants of the program must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Students proceed through the online courses in a cohort, meeting weekly learning objectives and tasks. Instructors have terminal degrees and extensive experience in the education arena. Courses in the MS in Higher Education curriculum include History and Foundations of Higher Education, Leadership in Higher Education, Grant Writing, the College Student, Student Affairs in Higher Education, Finances for Nonprofit Organizations and Legal Issues in Higher Education. Upon graduation, successful candidates are equipped to pursue career positions in higher education such as dean of students, director of campus activities, campus chaplain, ministry team leader or student affairs administrator. Students in online programs at Grace College benefit from many resources as well, including an online orientation, academic advising, tutoring, writing lab, library services, financial aid and career counseling. Grace College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the School of Education by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

  3. Cairn University-Langhorne
    Location

    Langhorne, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The online Master of Science in Education at Cairn University is aimed at educational leaders for whom a Christian focus in the classroom is a top priority. The school instructs from a biblical perspective, benefiting students of the Christian faith. For example, program tuition is discounted 50% for applicants who are educators working in Christian schools. Additionally, students may be awarded credit for Bible or theology courses completed at an accredited Bible college, Christian liberal arts school or seminary. Applicants of the MS in Education program must have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA and submit 2 essays, 1 a spiritual statement describing the student's conversion to Christ, spiritual growth and church involvement and the other a statement of purpose that details the student's employment status, goals and reasons for pursuing the graduate degree. The 39-credit hour program takes about 2 years to complete. Coursework covers curriculum design, teaching models, current trends, and theoretical and philosophical foundations of education. Adequately meeting the needs of varied student populations is addressed in the program through courses that specifically focus on special education, diverse learners and non-native English speakers. Sample courses in the MS in Education curriculum include Overview of Christian Theology, Teaching Models and Instructional Strategies, Global Trends in Education, Theoretical and Philosophical Foundations, and Biblical Integration for Educators. To graduate, candidates must complete all required coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA and create a capstone Instructional Design Project, similar to a master's thesis. Classes are taught in an asynchronous format via the eLearning online learning platform. Online students are supported through services such as mentorship, synchronous and asynchronous feedback from the school's writing lab and financial aid opportunities. Cairn University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  4. Trevecca Nazarene University
    Location

    Nashville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Education in Educational Leadership degree at Trevecca Nazarene University is a licensure-seeking program designed for both students and current teachers. This degree program aims to create strong school leaders by teaching them the skills needed for effective curriculum design and the use of date for improved student learning. Program participants will learn about current educational technology and instructional evaluation, how to manage staff effectively and the value of diversity from instructors who are not only practicing professionals, but who have also shown strength as educational leaders. Courses for the Master of Education in Educational Leadership include Leadership for Instructional Effectiveness, Valuing Diversity for School Effectiveness, Assessing Learning for School Improvement, Using Research and Data for Improved Student Learning and Law, Ethics and Politics for School Leaders. This program is fully online, and it does not entail any classroom or residency requirements. Classes are asynchronous, making it easy for students to complete classwork on their own schedules. The cohort-based program keeps the same group of students together throughout the program, which fosters networking, the building of support systems and the establishment of long-term friendships. The 30-credit program takes about 16 months to complete, including licensure. The M.Ed. in Educational Leadership is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Online students at Trevecca can also apply for financial aid in the form of grants and loans to help with tuition costs.

  5. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students looking for graduate options in the field of education will find 3 different choices for master's degrees at Liberty University: a Master in Education, a Master of Education in Higher Education and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Each degree also offers areas of specialization. Master in Education students can choose from administration and supervision, math specialist and reading specialist focuses; those getting a degree in higher education can specialize in educational leadership or instructional design and technology; and specializations in early childhood education, educational technology and online instruction, elementary education, English, general education, gifted education, history, leadership, middle grades, special education and student services are offered for the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree. Coursework for each of the 3 M.Ed. programs is 100% online, but the programs may offer optional on-campus courses in an intensive format as well as opportunities for internships, practicums and field experiences. Most courses are 8 weeks and have 8 different start dates each year. Depending on degree and specializations, career options could include principal, math specialist or literary coach (M.Ed.), university admissions professional or member of an educational research team (M.Ed. in Higher Education), or curriculum developer, librarian or school technology specialist (M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction). Students can log in to Blackboard, the school's online learning environment, to perform coursework at their convenience. Resources for online students include academic advisers, an online student community and helpful tutorials and webinars covering subjects from financial aid to military-specific benefits to navigating Blackboard. Liberty's education master's degrees fall under its School of Education, which is accredited by the National Council for accreditation of Teacher Education, through the Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation as an Educator Preparation Provider.

  6. Siena Heights University
    Location

    Adrian, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The online Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership at Siena Heights University is designed to provide high-quality professional education to students who are currently employed, or pursuing a career, in higher education. The focus of the program is the personal and professional development of the individual as a leader in postsecondary education. The 36-credit hour curriculum addresses important issues facing higher education institutions today. Emphasis is placed on student development, effective instruction and assessment, and using technology in higher education to support instructional and administrative tasks. Courses include Finance and Quantitative Leadership, History of Higher Education, Leadership Theory, Organization and Administration of Higher Education, Higher Education Law, and Ethics and Social Justice. By the program's end, students will be able to explain how economic, political and social content has framed higher education developments over time, recognize transformational changes in American higher education over the past 4 centuries, and understand how participation in higher education has been impacted by class, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, religious affiliation and sexual orientation. Courses are taught by full-time and/or adjunct faculty with extensive real-world experience. In addition, students enrolled in online programs have access to numerous resources online, including personal academic advising/degree planning, financial aid, library database and support, student accounts and technical support. Siena Heights University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Financial aid in the form of loans and scholarships, as well as veteran and military benefits, may be available to eligible students.

  7. Freed-Hardeman University
    Location

    Henderson, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Freed-Hardeman University offers a number of master's degree programs in education. One program is offered online: the Master of Education Major in Curriculum and Instruction, which is a non-licensure program consisting of 37 credit hours and a capstone action research project. The core curriculum covers everything from research methods to developmental psychology to instructional theory and design. Electives can be selected from three categories: curriculum and instruction, school counseling and special education. All graduate students in this program must complete a Bible course, BIB 540 Introduction to Christianity, as well as EDU 500 Introduction to Graduate Studies. Students participate in online courses via web conferencing and have access to academic advising and an IT help desk. In addition, students may use a variety of tutorials for help with Blackboard, online learning readiness, online course systems and myFHU student portal. Freed-Hardman University does not offer a special discounted tuition for online students; the tuition rate for graduate students is $570 per credit hour with no additional fees. To apply, candidates must submit an application and application fee, a recommendation from a university teacher, an employer/supervisor and from someone who can serve as a character reference, transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate coursework and a test score for the MAT or GRE. Students who already have a master's degree don't need to submit a test score. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on undergraduate work and participate in an interview with an adviser.

  8. Tusculum College
    Location

    Greeneville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Designed for working K-12 teachers, the Master of Arts in Education – Curriculum & Instruction degree at Tusculum University is offered fully online. Full-time students can complete the program in as little as 12 months. The curriculum includes 10 courses and teaches students how to plan instruction, design developmentally appropriate practices and assess and communicate learning progress. Students have the option to choose a Special Education emphasis area, but this program is only available partially online because it includes several hybrid courses at the Morristown Center and a field experience requirement. This option requires 11 courses and includes courses on assessing students with special needs, emotional and behavioral disorders and the interventionist and independence models of education. Students access courses via the Moodle learning management system, which has a mobile-friendly design so students can access the virtual classroom when they are on the go. Tusculum University doesn't offer a special tuition discount for online programs. The tuition for master's degree programs is $370 per semester hour plus a $100 graduation fee. In order to qualify for admission, applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. They must complete an application, submit official transcripts of all coursework, submit a resume of professional experience, and participate in possible phone or in-person interviews. In addition, students for whom English is a second language must have a score of 540-542 (paper), 207 (computer-based), or 76 (internet based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam in the last 5 years.

  9. William Woods University
    Location

    Fulton, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    William Woods University offers a number of graduate education programs online, including Master of Education (MEd) in Teaching and Technology, MEd in Athletics/Activities Administration, MEd in Curriculum and Instruction and MEd in STEM. Graduation requirements vary by program. For example, the MEd in Athletics/Activities Administration includes 11, 3-credit courses and 110 hours of field experience through a student internship. In comparison, the MEd in Curriculum and Instruction requires 10 three-credit courses and an Action Research course involving a classroom study suitable for journal publication. The curriculum in this program prepares students for National Board Certification through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, but it does not meet Missouri requirements for building-level administrative certification. Online courses use the Moodle learning management system. All online students have access to the Owlnet portal, which includes information about student schedules and financial aid as well as access to free 24/7 online tutoring and library resources. General tuition rates are the same for both online and on-campus students, with a rate of $350 per credit hour for graduate programs. However, students must pay an additional $125 fee for each online course. Both online and on-campus students must also pay a fee for credential learning credits, at $100/credit hour, and a graduation fee of $100. To apply for admission to the online MEd graduate programs at Williams Woods University, students must complete an application and submit transcripts from the college or university from which they graduated. A grade point average of 2.5 or higher is required.

  10. Clarks Summit University
    Location

    South Abington Township, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Students can complete the 31-credit online Master of Education program at Clarks Summit University in as little as 2 years. Available concentrations include Curriculum and Instruction or Educational Administration. The Curriculum and Instruction concentration teaches students to design age-appropriate coursework and effectively evaluate classroom learning environments. The Educational Administration Concentration helps prepare students with practical leadership skills associated with managing school policies, finances, record keeping, public relations and school counseling. Both concentrations are based on a biblical worldview and a Christian philosophy of education. While the Master of Education program is offered fully online, a number of support services are available. Students may access thousands of journals and articles at the Murphy Memorial Library and participate in a reciprocal borrowing program with academic libraries throughout the U.S. and Canada. They may also receive assistance from an academic adviser, the Online Writing Center and IT helpdesk. In addition, they may receive accommodations through disability services, as needed. Class sessions begin 5 times a year, giving students flexibility. Online courses don't require students to log on at any set times, but there are due dates for assignments to help students keep pace. Clark Summit University does not offer a special tuition discount for online students; the cost per credit hour is $520. However, a number of other special discounts are available such as the Christian worker discount, ABHE discount, CSU alumni discount, Word of Life discount, military discount and international student discount. Admissions requirements include a bachelor's degree with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

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