Best 1 Year Online Masters in Education Programs 2021

July 27, 2021 | Staff Writers

Best 1 Year Online Master's in Education Programs

One of the factors that may mean the difference between a student wanting to earn a master’s degree in education and the prospective student not applying to a school is the length of time that it often takes to complete a degree. Fortunately, there are 1 year online masters in education programs that allows for quick completion of a program and the potential opportunity to enter into the teaching field or to expand career opportunities.

Is There a Difference Between 1 Year Online Masters in Education Programs and Traditional Master’s in Education Programs?

No one knows whether you attended classes every day in a traditional classroom or if you logged in from home in your cozy slippers to complete the coursework for your 1 year online masters in education program. When a graduate receives their degree, it simply states the information on every other graduate’s degree, except for specific personal information. There is no distinction on the diploma itself that indicates whether you earned your master’s in education degree online or whether you earned it by completing the requirements in an on-campus format.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Graduate School explains that how you spend your time while pursuing the program is one difference. This refers to the flexibility of earning your master’s in education degree online. Another point to consider is how you interact with professors or other faculty members as an online student, compared to if you were enrolled in a traditional on-campus program, rather than in one of the 1 year online masters in education programs.

The Quality of 1 Year Online Masters in Education Programs

The quality of an online master’s degree is considered virtually the same among employers. The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) published an article in 2015 that explained the growing number of students choosing an online education, and the value of that online degree. The author explained that the interest in online learning was increasing at the time, while the interest in traditional brick and mortar classroom learning showed a decline. The article stressed that although there are ‘degree mills,’ there are many online education opportunities that provide learners with valuable skills.

The quality of a 1 year online masters in education program from these schools is demonstrated by the reputation of the school, and the fact that each school has proper accreditation. Most schools that offer online master’s degrees provide students with access to the same resources as those provided to traditional students. There is a vast amount of technological tools, access to school resources and other materials available to online master’s in education students.

These top one-year master’s in education programs offer the same high-quality program as the face-to-face on-campus programs.  One primary reason that many educators likely prefer these online programs is that they can still work while earning their Master’s in Education degree.

Rank School Location
1Eastern Washington UniversityCheney, Washington
2William Howard Taft UniversityDenver, Colorado
3University of North TexasDenton, Texas
4University of the CumberlandsWilliamsburg, Kentucky
5Fitchburg State UniversityFitchburg, Massachusetts

Best 1 Year Online Masters in Education Programs


Eastern Washington University

  • Cheney, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 45%

Students accepted into an online master’s in the education program at Eastern Washington University work to become leaders and scholars in their field. They learn to enhance their critical thinking skills, improve instructional practices, and mentor others.

The school offers six online master’s programs in education programs, including the Master of Education – Curriculum and Instruction program and the Master of Education – Early Childhood Education program.

School Overview

Tuition: $263 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
Visit School Website

William Howard Taft University

  • Denver, Colorado
  • Graduation Rate: 30%

The online Master of Education (M.Ed.) program at William Howard Taft University, more well-known simply as Taft University, provides educators with the opportunity to improve their instructional skills, to focus on theory and research, to increase their knowledge of educational administration, and to gain professional expertise in a number of other areas.

School Overview

Tuition: $275 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
Visit School Website

University of North Texas

  • Denton, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

Enhance your career as an educator when you earn an Educational Leadership Master of Education degree at the University of North Texas. The school offers the program in an accelerated online format so that students can quickly learn the new skills that they need to continue making a difference in the lives of their students. There are five start dates every year.

The program focuses on research, theory, effective teaching practices, and student achievement.

School Overview

Tuition: $277.29 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
Visit School Website

University of the Cumberlands

  • Williamsburg, Kentucky
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

The University of the Cumberlands online Master’s in Education degree prepares educators to move their career forward while gaining advanced knowledge of critical concepts, and learn to master new skills that support a lifetime pursuit of responsible service, leadership, and professional achievement. The school allows up to nine hours of graduate transfer credits.

There are several concentrations that take less time to complete than the two-year options. Consider the Literacy Specialist concentration, the Teacher-Leader (Interdisciplinary) option, or the teacher-leader (Math) concentrations.

School Overview

Tuition: $315 per credit hour
Program length: est. 12 months
Visit School Website

Fitchburg State University

  • Fitchburg, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

Fitchburg State University offers only two online master’s degrees in education programs, yet the accelerated format of the programs makes choosing one of these programs an ideal opportunity to earn an online master’s in education degree. Students learn to demonstrate effective strategies and techniques to work with diverse individuals in inclusive learning environments, apply advanced knowledge of research-based principles in the educational environment, and discover how students develop as thinkers and learners. The school prepares students to gain a variety of additional knowledge.

School Overview

Tuition: $372 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
Visit School Website

Need help finding the right college?

We can help you find the right school based on the program you select.

Search Colleges

Find the best online and offline colleges for your degree

Best Value Schools is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Indiana Wesleyan University

  • Marion, Indiana
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

Indiana Wesleyan University offers several online master’s in education programs for education professionals that want to expand their career opportunities and to gain new expertise and skills in education. The school offers the MS – Early Childhood Education program for educators that wish to prepare for an advanced-level early childhood professional, focus on research and subject matter expertise, and to increase instructional practices to early learning environments where there are young children up to eight years of age.

School Overview

Tuition: $470 per credit hour
Program length: 12-15 months
Visit School Website

University of Lafayette at Monroe

  • Monroe, Los Angeles
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

The University of Lafayette at Monroe offers 10 accelerated online Master of Education program concentrations that allows educators to take their preferred career path. All programs require just 36 credit hours of study. One example is the Master of Education, Curriculum & Instruction – Concentration in Special Education in Mild/Moderate Grades 1-12.  Another example is the Master of Education, Curriculum & Instruction – Concentration in Elementary Education.

The school provides students with ‘cutting-edge techniques and learning materials to help graduates have a greater impact on education. Students gain advanced expertise to help enhance the achievement of young learners, how to integrate the elementary curriculum, how to collect and assess diagnostic data, and to improve classroom management.

Some students continue their education to earn the Doctor of Education, Curriculum & Instruction degree. 

School Overview

Tuition: $300 per credit hour
Program length: 15 months
Visit School Website

Florida International University

  • Miami, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

Enroll in the Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction: Curriculum Development Specialization at Florida International University and gain the expertise to make changes in the classroom, become a leader at school and focus on understanding approaches to curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of all students.

The program is identical to the program that is offered in the traditional face-to-face format. It is fully online and 36 credits. In addition to this program, FIU has other fully online education master’s programs. In 2020, FIU also introduced two new programs: Master of Science in Educational Leadership and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration program. In January 2021, FIU will have a new Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary Education program. Lastly, they have a Master of Science in Special Education: Autism Endorsement.

School Overview

Tuition: $18,300
Program length: 12 months
Visit School Website

Fort Hays State University

  • Hays, Kansas
  • Graduation Rate: 71%

Fort Hays State University prepares educators for the next step in their career with several Masters in Education program options. One choice is the online The Master of Science in Education (MSE) with an Emphasis in Elementary Education, which qualifies candidates to seek licensure in elementary education (kindergarten through 6th grade). This degree is offered by the Department of Teacher Education and is approved for licensure by the Kansas State Department of Education.

For information specifically related to the MSE( K-6) licensure program, please email Dr. Valerie Zelenka ([email protected]) or call the FHSU Department of Teacher Education (785-628-4204).

School Overview

Tuition: $298.55 per credit hour
Program length: approximately three semesters
Visit School Website

Lamar University

  • Beaumont, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 32%

Lamar University offers a variety of online Master’s in Education degree programs. Choose the option that meets your career goals and interests from choices that include the Master of Education in Administration, the Master of Education in Digital Learning and Leading, or the Master of Education in Teacher Leadership. All of the programs have dynamic features such as streaming video, chatrooms, and simulations. Although the flexible programs are offered at an accelerated pace, students have the option of completing the requirements on their own time.

School Overview

Tuition: $300 per credit hour
Program length: 16 months
Visit School Website

St. Leo University

  • St. Leo, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 54%

Choose from seven online master of education degree programs at St. Leo University, including the Master of Education in Educational Leadership, and the MEd in Education – Reading. The program is designed for certified teachers that wish to develop advanced skills in literacy instruction, and that want to earn a State of Florida reading certification. Students have the option to choose other programs, including the online MEd: Education – Exceptional Student Education degree.

School Overview

Tuition: $510 per credit hour
Program length: est. 15 months
Visit School Website

North Carolina State University

  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 77%

The master’s degree in education options at North Carolina State University prepares students to pursue their career goals as they expand their careers, increase their skills, and gain new teaching expertise. One option, which is not offered at every other school with master’s in education programs is the Master of Education in Adult and Community Education program. Graduates of the program are prepared to work in a career position as an entering or experienced community college instructor.

School Overview

Tuition: $446 per credit hour
Program length: est. 15 months
Visit School Website

Mercer University

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

Mercer University offers three master’s degree programs in education. Students choose either the Elementary Education M.Ed., the Middle Grades Education M.Ed., or the Secondary Education M.Ed. program. The Elementary Education M.Ed. program focuses on best practices in pedagogy, leadership development, and advocacy for all learners in grades preK-5 to enhance the knowledge of currently certified educators.

School Overview

Tuition: $620 per credit hour
Program length: 12-16 months
Visit School Website

University of Georgia

  • Athens, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

The Master of Education in Reading Education is one of several online master’s in education degrees offered at the University of Georgia. The program is offered by the Language and Literacy Education Department and is designed for certified teachers and literacy education professionals. Teachers learn to advance students as readers when educating PreK through 12th-grade students.

Students may transfer up to 12 credit hours of graduate credits.

School Overview

Tuition: $629 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
Visit School Website

Baker University

  • http://www.bakeru.edu/
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

Students that earn an online Master of Arts in Education at Baker University have the opportunity to complete the program sooner than the two-years required of on-campus students. Gain the same knowledge, skills, and opportunity to advance your career when you complete the online program. The school explains that students gain real skills that they can use the very next day in the classroom.

Students can transfer up to six hours of graduate credits to this program.

School Overview

Tuition: $386 per credit hour
Program length: est. 18 months
Visit School Website

California Baptist University

  • Riverside, California
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

California Baptist University offers the online Master of Science in Education: Specialization in Educational Leadership degree. The program prepares graduates to excel in their careers as they expand their knowledge and skills. Gain a new understanding of theory and research, curriculum and design, and the application of various concepts in resolving real-world instructional challenges.

The school also offers other 1 year online masters in education programs.

School Overview

Tuition: $655 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
Visit School Website

Upper Iowa University

  • Fayette, Iowa
  • Graduation Rate: 61%

Complete a Master of Education completely online at Upper Iowa University when you choose your area of emphasis from the seven options. Some options include Early childhood, English as a Second Language, and the Master of Education: Teacher Leadership option.

Become a teacher leader that has the critical skills and knowledge necessary to assume a leadership role in professional learning communities, to serve as a curriculum leader or master teacher. Topics covered include research, teaching with technology, curriculum design, and educational policy.

School Overview

Tuition: $499 per credit hour
Program length: est. 18 months
Visit School Website

Michigan State University

  • East Lansing, Michigan
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

The Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum offered by Michigan State University helps educators grow in their chosen profession and is designed for beginning, experienced and international teachers. Students benefit from the support of outstanding faculty, student engagement, and the use of innovative technology.

School Overview

Tuition: $755.50 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
Visit School Website

Brandman University

  • Irvine, California
  • Graduation Rate: 81%

Brandman University offers several options for earning an online master’s degree in education. The Master of Arts in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction focuses on using multiple methods of instruction to educate students of different backgrounds, ages, and levels of ability. Students also learn to analyze curriculum design and to assess student learning, along with other skills.

School Overview

Tuition: $670 per credit hour
Program length: 15 months
Visit School Website

Northcentral University

  • San Diego, California
  • Graduation Rate: 30%

Northcentral University offers an accelerated master of education (MEd) program and a standard online program that requires just a little bit of additional study time. Choose from an amazing list of 17 specialization options, such as the Curriculum and Teaching, MEd, Leadership in Higher Education, MEd, the reading Education, MEd, or the Organizational Leadership, MEd program. The 1-year online masters in education programs prepare educators to assume increased leadership responsibilities in PK-12 and beyond upon graduation.

Another outstanding feature offered by the university is that while some schools have very limited start dates, the Northcentral University start dates for its master of education programs are every Monday. 

School Overview

Tuition: $745 per credit hour
Program length: 16 months
Visit School Website


We searched for 1 year online masters in education degree programs and then compiled a list of some of the top programs from schools across the country. We ranked each school by assigning a weighted score for tuition and for program length of each school, and added those scores together to arrive at our final list of 20 schools that met our criteria.

If you would like to include your school in our rankings, please feel free to contact us. Do you need to update the information that we currently have for your school? Please let us know and we will correct the information.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

Scroll to Top