Best Twenty 1-Year Online Master’s in Education Programs

June 27, 2023 | Admin

Best 1 Year Online Master's in Education Programs
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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 takes to complete a degree. Fortunately, there are 1-year online master’s in education programs that allow for quick completion of a program and the potential opportunity to enter into the teaching field or to expand career opportunities.

year online masters in education programs.

Quality of the Best Online 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 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 master’s 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 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.

The Master of Education is broken into a variety of emphasis areas, allowing students to choose the specialty of their choice. For student convenience, some emphasis areas are offered online and in-person, others are offered only online. Each Master of Education emphasis provides a combination of foundational and specialized coursework to develop a strong foundational knowledge and expertise in the area of emphasis.

School Overview

Tuition: $263 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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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.

The MEd degree program requires no classroom or seminar attendance, and is not designed to lead to professional licensure. All students in the program must be employed at a school in their state. Students have the option of independent study or directed study modalities.

School Overview

Tuition: $275 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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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.

University of North Texas provides strong student support for its MEd students. Each student in the program is assigned to an advisor to guide them through the various coursework, certification requirements, and so on. Students who wish to transfer credits to the program or who would like to seek further education upon completing the program will get information about these matters from their advisor.

School Overview

Tuition: $277.29 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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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.

The Teacher-Leader option is designed to help students master teaching skills while taking courses relating to best practices for coaching and mentoring teachers, leadership for educational professions, team leadership, theories of teaching and learning and more. This option is designed to give students more options as they pursue their Masters of Education.

School Overview

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

This program is designed for active educators, but Fitchburg State University offers programs that are designed to be applied to a variety of educational environments. People interested in participating in a masters program from Fitchburg State who don’t have a teacher license have options.

School Overview

Tuition: $372 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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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.

Indiana Wesleyan University provides support with a range of tools for students to help ensure success in their programs. This support takes the form of digital learning tools, academic support services, career and finance tools and more. Online students are able to take advantage of academic tutoring through tutor.com, receive curriculum support through brightspace and more.

School Overview

Tuition: $470 per credit hour
Program length: 12-15 months
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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.

The University of Lafayette at Monroe offers a convenient flat-rate tuition for each credit hour, thus making it easier for students to determine the cost of their education before beginning the program. The online Master of Education program is 36 credit hours. This transparent cost structure helps students plan their student loan usage.

School Overview

Tuition: $300 per credit hour
Program length: 15 months
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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 has 36 credits. In addition to this program, FIU has other fully online education master’s programs, including a Master of Science in Special Education: Autism Endorsement, a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration program. In 2021, FIU introduced its newest fully online program, the Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary Education.

The entire program consists of six eight-week terms, taking four courses each semester (2 courses each 8-week term). The coursework includes curriculum development, instruction and research. The comprehensive master’s program prepares students to meet the needs of all students, including students from culturally different backgrounds.

School Overview

Tuition: $18,300
Program length: 12 months
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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 (vlzelenka@fhsu.edu) or call the FHSU Department of Teacher Education (785-628-4204).

Students should note that while all required courses are available online, there is a practicum requirement that students must spend 80 hours in an approved classroom over the course of a semester. Students will also have to complete a student teaching experience over the course of a semester, in an approved K-6 classroom.

School Overview

Tuition: $298.55 per credit hour
Program length: approximately three semesters
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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.

While some of the online master’s in education degrees can be obtained in just 12 months, Lamar University also offers degrees available in 18 months and later. Students can view the different programs to find the right one for them.

School Overview

Tuition: $300 per credit hour
Program length: 16 months
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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.

The Educational Leadership MEd in Education is designed for professionals who already hold teacher licensure who wish to go on to lead an educational institution. The Educational Leadership degree teaches the core skills required to be effective in an educational leadership role. Educational leaders must perform in their institutions, within the district and also within their community. This degree will help them be able to achieve these goals.

School Overview

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

Applicants to these accelerated, distance learning programs have a full range of choices for their emphasis, including math, science, technology, elementary education and more. The school ranks highly among schools in the US and can help students take steps in their career to advance.

School Overview

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

Mercer University’s masters program in higher education leadership takes approximately 12 to 16 months to complete and prepares candidates to assume entry-level and mid-level leadership positions. Students are able to choose between athletics leadership, post secondary administration and student affairs leadership.

School Overview

Tuition: $620 per credit hour
Program length: 12-16 months
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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.

This program is a top 10 ranked graduate program and one of the few advanced degrees that focuses on literature for children. Candidates for this degree are able to take coursework on poetry, literacies and writing for pedagogues, culturally diverse literature and more.

School Overview

Tuition: $629 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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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.

Baker University offers 3 areas of emphasis for its Masters of Arts in Education including instructional technology, student diversity and curriculum and instruction. These areas of concentration allow students to choose their path for their careers.

School Overview

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

This allows students to understand how theory and real-world experiences come together. The key areas of study come together and help students understand important subjects such as curriculum design, theories of learning, human growth and development and more.

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

School Overview

Tuition: $655 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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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 six options. The emphasis areas include Early Childhood, English as a Second Language, Special Education, Reading, Talented and Gifted, and Teacher Leadership. 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 to serve as a master teacher. Topics covered include research, teaching with technology, curriculum design, and educational policy.

Students of UIU benefit from caring and supportive UIU staff and can transfer up to 90 college credits from other universities. Students have the option to take all classes online or take some classes in-person, as desired.

School Overview

Tuition: $333 per credit hour
Program length: est. 18 months
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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.

Students in the program are able to focus on one of seven different areas of emphasis. Areas of emphasis include Science and Mathematics Education, Educational Technology, K-12 Educational Administration and English Language Learner (ELL) or English as a Second Language (ESL).

School Overview

Tuition: $755.50 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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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.

The University offers a Master’s in Counseling, Education Autism, Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership, as well as others. All courses are offered fully online.

School Overview

Tuition: $670 per credit hour
Program length: 15 months
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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.

Students are assigned to mentoring professors. All professors at Northcentral have doctoral degrees in their field, to help ensure total expertise in their area of studies. Northcentral requires no group assignments and has no scheduled lecture hours, to help ensure student flexibility.

School Overview

Tuition: $745 per credit hour
Program length: 16 months
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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.

Why Attend a 1 Year Masters in Education Program?

Earning your degree could provide a wide range of benefits to students. 1 year online master’s in education programs provide a number of potential benefits, including:

  • Online Masters in education online programs 1 year long tend to cost less than attending collection in person. For many people, this is a cost-saving method to earn a higher education.
  • You may be able to learn while at home instead of having to go away to college to complete your degree.
  • A master’s may allow a student to gain specialized skills and insights into a specific area or field of education, such as focusing on administration or leadership skills so they can take on very specific job roles.

What Can You Do with a Master’s in Education Program?

A master’s could be an educational path that leads to a formal doctoral program, which could be a good route for some students to take if they want to teach at the college level. For others, a master’s could mean having skills to work in a specific field of education, such as gaining very focused skills on helping children with special needs or teaching advanced placement programs. Other times, it may help a student to work in a leadership position within the school, depending on what type of master’s the student pursues.

Are Teachers Required to Get a Master’s in Education?

Some states require teachers to obtain a master-level degree, often in education, but it may be in another area. This differs from one state to the next.

Even if not required, there are often key benefits to a student earning their Master’s in Education, including the potential for higher pay or their ability to pursue a very specific area of education that interests them.

Career Opportunities for Master’s in Education Degree Holders

Those that earn an education master’s degree may be able to take on one or various roles. This is dependent on the type of degree they pursue as well as the requirements of employers. Some examples may include:

  • Principal at a public or private elementary, middle, or high school
  • District administrator within a school district
  • Corporate trainer for those who wish to work in a business environment with adults
  • Instructional coordinator, who typically works in public and private schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels to develop curriculum
  • School counselor, though additional education and licensing may be required for some positions
  • Childcare director within a daycare or preschool program
  • Educational director in a nonprofit or museum

Many people who earn a Master in Education work as teachers. This could be at the elementary, middle school, or high school level. Sometimes, it is a requirement for these individuals to obtain this education in order to maintain their position as a teacher within the school district. A Masters in Education in online programs 1 year path could help teachers to meet this requirement.

Master’s in Education Salary

Having a master’s degree under your belt could help you to earn more. According to Payscale, those with a Master of Education (Med) degree had a median salary of $61,000 per year. Those working as elementary school teachers earn a median of $52,236. Those working as executive directors earn a median of $77,626 as of August 2022.

Master’s in Education Prerequisites

To enroll in a master’s program of any type, colleges and universities set very specific requirements. This generally includes the completion of a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field. Every school is different in terms of what types of requirements they set. Many will require students to meet a minimum GPA level. Some may require those with an undergraduate degree to have several reference letters from professors or supervisors from teaching positions or internships. Some may also require students to pass the GRE. An admissions essay could be a requirement as well for some programs.

What Are the Costs of a 1 Year Masters in Education Programs?

Costs may differ significantly from one program to the next. The National Center for Education Statistics states that the average graduate tuition with required fees for the 2019 to 2020 school year was $19,792, while public institution costs were, on average, $12,410 per year.

Tips for Keeping Costs Low While Attending a 1 Year Masters in Education Degree

One of the best things about 1 year online Master’s in Education programs is that they tend to be very affordable because there are no room and board costs. Also, students may wish to compare programs to determine if there are any differences in costs from one program to the next. Since you do not have to live near the school, you have a lot more options to choose from across all educational paths.

It may also be possible to apply for student loans, grants, and scholarships through the school or other programs. The availability of these differs from one school and need to the next.



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