Top Master's Degree in Education in 2020 (Online & On-Campus) - Best Value Schools

Top Master’s Degree in Education in 2020 (Online & On-Campus)

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

Earning a master’s degree in education prepares aspiring graduates for entry-level careers, and prepares current educators for the next step in their career. Teachers and other educators often make lasting impressions on their students. Earning a master’s degree helps teachers continue their work, usually in a specific subject or area where they feel that they will have the highest impact on students.

Understanding how to earn a master’s degree and the different types of degree options in education guides the prospective student along the right path to succeed in the classroom and to achieve their own goals as a skilled educator.

Reasons to Earn a Master’s Degree in Education

Many students earn a bachelor’s degree in education and later understand the need to complete a master’s degree program. Completing the degree helps teachers renew their teaching license, to obtain the skills and knowledge required to specialize in a particular subject or area of education. Some teachers have a desire to assume leadership roles. Changing educational standards and regulations sometimes dictate the need for current teachers to obtain an advanced degree.

Teachers that obtain a master’s degree in education often make a higher salary compared to teachers that do not hold a master’s degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the 2019 median pay for kindergarten and elementary school teachers as $59,420 per year. The BLS also lists the 2019 median salary for high school teachers at $61,660 per year. The median pay for special education teachers was $61,030 for the same year.

The BLS indicates that rising student enrollment should increase the demand for teachers at the kindergarten and elementary school level, and at the high school level. The BLS also explains that the demand for skilled special education teachers should rise because of earlier identification of disabilities and the enrollment of children with disabilities into special education programs.

There are a variety of different master’s degree in education programs. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) prepares graduates for a career outside the classroom. Most students already hold a teaching license when they enroll in a Master of Education program and are seeking to gain the skills to work in areas such as administration or curriculum planning and design. The degree indicates the specialization, such as the Master of Education in Administrative Leadership. Some schools offer the Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) or the Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) program. These programs focus on leadership to a greater degree than some other programs. The program may have a primarily academic focus, primarily for greater professional development.

There are other master’s degree programs in education, depending upon the school that a student attends, and whether a program is offered online or strictly in a traditional on-campus format. It is important to make sure that a school offers the degree or specialization that you want to pursue when earning the degree.

These schools offer online master’s degree in education. It is the responsibility of the student to make sure that a particular master’s degree or program specialty meets the requirements of the state where the student teaches or plans to teach after graduation. Many schools have agreements, which the student should read carefully before enrolling at the school.

Rank School Location
1Eastern Washington UniversityCheney, Washington
2Taft UniversityDenver, Colorado
3Arkansas State UniversityJonesboro, Arkansas
4University of the CumberlandsWilliamsburg, Kentucky
5Western Governors UniversitySalt Lake City, Utah

Here are the Top Master’s Degree in Education!

1

Eastern Washington University

  • Cheney, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 45%

Eastern Washington University provides the opportunity for students to choose from seven Master of Education programs. The school offers considerable freedom for students to help design their own program coursework that focuses on their areas of interest or career goals. One example is that the details for the Master of Education Curriculum & Instruction program permits students to create their own program plan during their first session, and to use it as a guide for enrolling in their classes.

Some other specialized focus areas include programs such as the Master of Education Literacy program, the Master of Education in Educational Leadership with Principal Certificate, or the Master of Education Adult Education program.

School Overview

Program length: 12 months
Tuition: est. $263.26 per credit hour
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2

Taft University

  • Denver, Colorado

The online Master of Education program at Taft University is designed to provide educators that teach in public or private schools the opportunity to improve their instructional skills, and to increase their knowledge of educational administration. There is also an elective track designed specifically for Montessori educators. Teachers that choose the Montessori Track complete an additional four hours of study.

Students develop effective and appropriate techniques in instruction and leadership, and learn to focus on theoretical knowledge and methods of contemporary research to make evidence-based decisions. Graduates gain professional expertise in a number of other areas.

Students benefit from a locked tuition rate for two-years after matriculation.

School Overview

Program length: 12 months
Tuition: $275 per credit hour
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3

Arkansas State University

  • Jonesboro, Arkansas
  • Graduation Rate: 45%

Working professionals that choose to earn an online master’s degree in education at Arkansas State University have the opportunity to choose their preferred program and specialty from an impressive list of programs. One of the programs offered at the school is the online accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching – Special Education K-12 concentration. Students that enroll in this program prepare to start teaching after just one semester, while they continue to complete program requirements.

Other programs include several Master of Science in Education (MSE) programs, such as the Master of Science in Education in Educational Theory and Practice.

School Overview

Program length: 12-16 months
Tuition: est. $316.72 per credit hour
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4

University of the Cumberlands

  • Williamsburg, Kentucky
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

Advance your career and earnings opportunities by earning an online Master of Education degree from the University of the Cumberlands. Current educators further develop their knowledge to enhance their teaching outcomes. Student educators focus on developing a lifelong understanding of the critical concepts of educating students and pursuing responsible leadership and lifelong professional achievement.

There are four concentration areas including the Teacher as Leader, School Principal, Literary Specialist and the School Counseling concentration.

School Overview

Program length: est. 15-18 months
Tuition: $315 per credit hour
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5

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, Utah

Western Governors University offers an impressive number of online master’s degree programs in education. One example is the Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction. The program does not require that students have current teacher licensure. The program focuses on areas such as learning and curriculum theories, instruction, and design.

The school offers several other master’s degree programs in education for licensed teachers, including programs that focus on elementary or secondary science or mathematics. The Master of Education in Learning and Technology focuses on the integration of technology and instructional design. Teachers expand their expertise in the integration of computers, mobile devices, the internet and social media platforms to provide a more impactful educational experience for students.

School Overview

Program length: est. 18-24 months
Tuition: est. $270 per credit hour
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6

University of Virginia

  • Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

The University of Virginia Curry School of Education and Human Development offers four master’s degree programs in education. The programs include the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Administration & Supervision, the Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, the Master of Education in Reading Education, and the Master of Education in Education Psychology: Social Foundations. The programs are designed for educators that want to make a difference in the classroom, and that want to improve curriculum development strategies. Students pursuing an online master’s degree program in education at the university learn to support diverse learners in the school and within school systems.

School Overview

Program length: 12 months
Tuition: $550 per credit hour
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7

Lamar University

  • Beaumont, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 32%

Choose from 11 online programs when you enroll at Lamar University to pursue a Master of Education degree. The Master of Education in Teacher Leadership Online program helps to develop instructional leaders with the knowledge to motivate students at all grade levels, to design curricula, and to implement research-based instructional strategies in education.

The Master of Education in Digital Learning and Leading Online guides student educators through developing the skills and confidence to create interactive, learner-center environments that utilize instructional technology that helps to motivate and engage students in the classroom.

School Overview

Program length: 18 months
Tuition: $300 per credit hour
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8

Northeastern University

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

Northeastern University offers four master’s degrees in education programs in online format. Consider the Master of Education in Learning and Instruction, which guides educators through a program focused on leading and effecting change in the classroom, school or educational community. Students broaden their professional understanding of diverse student groups, and enhance their knowledge of theory and practice.

Other programs include the Master of Education in Special Education, the Master of Education in eLearning and Instructional Design, and the Master of Education in Higher Education Administration.

School Overview

Program length: 12 months
Tuition: $621 per credit hour
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9

Old Dominion University

  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Graduation Rate: 51%

Old Dominion University has a 30-year history of delivering online programs. The school offers an impressive list of Master’s degrees in education, including the Master of Science in Education Elementary Education for Licensed Teachers program. This program, along with the Master of Science in Education Secondary Education for Licensed Teachers program, provides current educators with the opportunity to improve and update their teaching skills. Students also learn the latest techniques to conduct powerful research in education areas that impact their classrooms and their schools.

Do you want to earn a degree that potentially offers new opportunities for educators with specialized expertise? Consider the Master’s in Educational Leadership – Administration and Supervision K-12 option or the Master of Science in Education Reading Education – Reading Specialist Online program.

The school also offers several online doctorate programs in education.

School Overview

Program length: est. 15 months
Tuition: $595 per credit hour
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10

North Carolina State University

  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 77%

Advance your knowledge, skills and practice as an educator when you complete an online Master of Education program at North Carolina State University. The university offers traditional programs in an online format such as the Master of Education in Elementary Education and several concentrations in the Master of Education STEM Education programs. There are other options for educators that want to focus on a specific area that is not offered at every other school. Consider enrolling in the Master of Education in Adult and Community College Education program or the Master of Education in School Counseling program.

School Overview

Program length: est. 24 months
Tuition: $462 per credit hour
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11

University of Massachusetts Lowell

  • Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 55%

The University of Massachusetts Lowell recognizes the critical need for educators that demonstrate expertise in the knowledge, skills and judgements required of their professional field. The university offers an online Master of Education in Education Administration, M.Ed. program, which prepares educated practitioners to excel in broadening their professional knowledge and expanding their contributions to education.

Some students enroll in the Master of Education in Reading and Language, M.Ed. program, which allows experienced K-12 educators the opportunity to enhance their current knowledge in their profession. There are also two additional Master of Education programs offered online at the university.

School Overview

Program length: est. 24 months
Tuition: $470 per credit hour
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12

Iowa State University

  • Ames, Iowa
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

The Iowa State University Master of Education program is different than programs offered by some other schools because it does not focus on elementary or high school teacher education. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) with Higher Education emphasis offers a sub-specialty in community college leadership or in higher education administration.

The school has a strong tradition of preparing leaders and scholars in higher education. This program offers an elevated understanding of higher education, along with growth in the knowledge and skills associated with assessment, research, diversity and inclusion, and other areas.

School Overview

Program length: 24 months
Tuition: $543 per credit hour
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13

Gwynedd Mercy University

  • Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 50%

Gwynedd Mercy University offers an online Accelerated Master Teacher program (MSEd). The program offers current teachers with PreK-12 certification the opportunity to enhance and expand their instructional expertise to help ‘influence the course of public education in the United States.’ The program, which consists of just 10 courses, focuses on applying theoretical and practical knowledge to professional practice, examining the multiple influences that impact education, and utilizing advanced research that focuses on the student’s interests.

The school also offers the online accelerated Master of Science in Educational Administration Curriculum & Instruction, and the online accelerated Master of Science in Education – Teacher Certification Track program.

School Overview

Program length: 15-18 months
Tuition: $650 per credit hour
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14

Lesley University

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

Lesley University offers online Master of Education programs that gives teachers the opportunity to specialize in their desired area of interest. The school offers online programs such as the Master of Education (M.Ed.) Elementary Education Generalist and the Master of Education (M.Ed.) Language and Literacy degree. These programs allow educators to focus on areas that best help their students or that helps teachers further develop their existing skills.

The online Master of Education Individually Designed Program for Educators provides the ideal opportunity for current educators to develop a master’s program that aligns with their career goals. Students work with an academic advisor to select the courses that allows the student to focus on a specialization, endorsement, or add-on license. Students choose nine elective courses and then complete two research courses.

School Overview

Program length: est. 18 months
Tuition: $650 per credit hour
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15

University of Georgia

  • Athens, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

The Master of Education in Middle Grades Education program at the University of Georgia is one of eight online Master of Education programs offered at the school. The program focuses on the education of students in grades 4 through 8, typically those in middle school. The program prepares educators to address the various challenges that educators of young adolescents face in the classroom and in the school. Topics focus on strengthening content knowledge, supporting special needs students and meeting the individual and collective needs of all students in the diverse classroom.

Other programs offered by the school include the Master of Education in Science Education, and the Master of Education in Reading Education.

School Overview

Program length: 24 months
Tuition: $629 per credit hour
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16

Boston University

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 87%

Boston University offers the Master of Arts in Art Education, the Master of Education in Curriculum & Teaching, and the Master of Music in Music Education. The master’s in education degrees focus on providing educators with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and practice, and to strengthen their ability to support all of their students. Teachers that choose the Master of Education in Curriculum & Teaching option choose one of seven specializations, with coursework focused on both content and pedagogy specific to the specific track.

School Overview

Program length: 18-24 months
Tuition: $889 per credit hour
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17

California State University Fullerton

  • Fullerton, California
  • Graduation Rate: 83%

California State University Fullerton offers six online Master of Education programs delivered in a 100 percent online format. Choose the Master of Science in Education, Educational Technology Concentration program, the Elementary Curriculum and Instructional Concentration program, the Literacy and Reading program concentration, or the Secondary Education program concentration. All program concentrations prepare educators for the next step along their career path, and are designed for educators that have the knowledge and expertise to integrate contemporary theories ‘with sound pedagogical practice.’

School Overview

Program length: 24 months
Tuition: est. $694 per credit hour
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18

University of South Florida

  • Tampa, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

The University of South Florida Department of Education offers a variety of online master’s degrees in education, including the Master of Arts in Reading Education. The program prepares expert literacy educators through courses that enhance current knowledge, and that focuses on professional development across a variety of program features. The Master’s in Education in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Secondary Education: Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is individually planned, based on the interests of each student, and focuses in part on current trends in Foreign Language and ESOL Education.

There are several other programs offered at the school including the Master of Arts in Exceptional Student Education.

Some fees are included in the cost of attendance at this school.

School Overview

Program length: 24 months
Tuition: est. $852.44 per credit hour
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Methodology

We researched this list of master’s degrees in education and ranked them based on specific criteria. Each program that is included on this list is an accredited program. Each school offers at least one Master of Education program. We ranked each school on our final list by assigning a score based on program length and the cost of tuition. When there was a tie, the school with the lower tuition rate received the higher ranking.

The listed tuition rate is the resident cost for one hour of instruction at a school. Some schools charge different tuition rates for students that reside out-of-state. We cannot guarantee the cost of tuition at any school because schools periodically change their tuition rates.

We do not allow any school to pay us to improve their rankings. Any school that wishes to be sponsored is listed separately from the other schools, and labeled as a SPONSORED school.

If you would like to include your school in our future rankings, or if you need to edit the information for your school, please feel free to contact us.

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