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Best 20 Master’s in Secondary Education in 2021

August 13, 2021 | Staff Writers

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1. University of Wisconsin — Madison

The University of Wisconsin — Madison offers a Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction. The program offers dual certification and involves an intensive sequence of coursework as well community and classroom experiences. The Master’s in Secondary Education is organized around four initial teaching certification content areas: English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The degree is designed to be completed in 14 months full-time.

  • Tuition: $10,742
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

2. University of South Carolina

The Master’s in Secondary Education at the University of South Carolina offers two pathways to teacher certification. The Master of Art in Teaching for Career Changers is designed for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree, while the Bachelor of Art or Science plus Master of Arts in Teaching track allows undergraduates to gain secondary teaching certification and a master’s degree in only five years. As part of the Secondary Education program, students can choose a specialization in a particular subject, including English, Science, and Mathematics. Scholarships are available to students with a bachelor’s degree in Science or Mathematics who are interested in becoming high school teachers.

  • Tuition: $6,867
  • Graduation Rate: 77%

3. University of California — Irvine

The University of California — Irvine is a preeminent research university boasting a top-ranked school of education. The Master of Arts in Teaching + Credential program enables students to receive a master’s degree and a single subject teaching credential in 14 months. The program prepares students to teach one of six subject areas at the middle or high school level. Students experience a yearlong school site apprenticeship, where they can apply the content-specific teaching practices and theories studied in coursework.

  • Tuition: $11,442
  • Graduation Rate: 86%

4. Lehigh University

Lehigh University offers a Master’s in Secondary Education. The program enables college graduates to work with students in grades 7-12. The Master of Education offers graduate courses designed to promote evidence-based instructional practices and is best suited to students who have sufficient background content knowledge in a secondary certification area. Students can choose to be certified in one of eight subject areas, including Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, General Science, Physics, English, Mathematics, and Social Studies. During the program, candidates gain practical experience working with teachers and students in a part-time practicum and spend their final full semester student teaching in a classroom.

  • Tuition: $13,560
  • Graduation Rate: 87%

4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Master’s in Secondary Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is designed to prepare students for teaching licensure in grades 6-9 or 9-12 in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The year-long program includes coursework and a two-semester residency in a public school setting with an experienced classroom teacher. The curriculum is based on the pedagogy of Experiential Education and is built on research-based best practices, providing early and extensive clinical experience, and engaging practicing teachers in collaborative inquiry.

  • Tuition: $14,000
  • Graduation Rate: 90%

6. University of Oregon

The College of Education at the University of Oregon offers a Master’s in Secondary Education. The middle-high school teacher licensure program provides a comprehensive master’s degree in education and licensure for individuals interested in applying their academic study to teaching in middle and high school levels. The program aims to produce scholars and practitioners who create meaningful change in local, tribal, national, and international systems, educate and support students in the adoption of critical humanities and science-based practices, and accelerate multidisciplinary innovation within educational organizations.

  • Tuition: $10,278
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

6. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Students can pursue a Master’s in Secondary Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The program provides the coursework necessary for a Master’s degree as well as the professional sequence leading to initial licensure in English/Language Arts, Science, Mathematics, or Social Science/History in grades 9-12.

  • Tuition: $13,176
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

8. Miami University — Oxford

Miami University — Oxford offers a Master of Arts in Teaching. The degree is designed for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree and wish to obtain a teaching license to teach grades 7-12. The two-and-a-half-year program allows students to specialize in English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, or Foreign Language.

  • Tuition: $12,555
  • Graduation Rate: 79%

9. University of Nevada — Reno

The University of Nevada — Reno offers a Master’s first-time licensure program in Secondary Education. The program is designed for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution and who want to combine teacher licensure at the 7-12 level with a Master’s in Education. Students may choose to specialize in a number of teaching majors, including Art, Science, English, Foreign Languages, History, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, and Theater. A full-semester supervised internship experience is required for licensure.

  • Tuition: $8,918
  • Graduation Rate: 61%

10. Ball State University

Ball State University offers a nationally ranked Master’s in Secondary Education. The completely online program provides students with intensive professional preparation by offering four concentrations, including Education Core, Secondary Teaching License, Teaching of a Content or Special Area, and Dual Credit Teaching Credential. Students will gain intensive professional development in pedagogy, curriculum, foundations of education, educational technology, multicultural education, and educational research. The program enables practicing and prospective teachers to explore theoretical concepts that relate directly to improving instructional effectiveness.

  • Tuition: $10,776
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

11. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University‘s Peabody College offers a Master’s in Secondary Education. The degree will prepare students to teach in grades 6–12 across all curriculum areas. Students will engage in rich coursework focused on critical perspectives and goals connected to the use of education for the creation of a more equitable society. Opportunities are available to collaborate with faculty on current research and gain experience teaching at the middle and high school levels.

  • Tuition: $32,400
  • Graduation Rate: 93%

12. University of Wisconsin — Platteville

The Master’s in Secondary Education at the University of Wisconsin — Platteville is designed to prepare students to effectively teach the subject area of their choice. To earn a teaching license, students will complete teaching courses along with courses in one of the approved content areas, including English, History and Social Sciences, Mathematics, Science, Agriculture, Art, Foreign Languages, Music, Physical Education, and Technology. Toward the end of the program, students will complete a pre-student teaching experience to practice teaching in a local classroom setting.

  • Tuition: $7,640
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

12. University of Washington — Seattle

The University of Washington — Seattle offers a Master’s in Secondary Education. The one-year teacher education program includes a residency teacher certificate for middle or high school teaching in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, World Languages, or Computer Science.  The program is designed to prepare graduates to address adolescent-specific issues, support youth from poverty-impacted communities, and help students transition into young adulthood. Students receive expert mentorship and extensive fieldwork including a full year of school experience.

  • Tuition: $18,522
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

14. University of Massachusetts — Amherst

The Master’s in Secondary Education at the University of Massachusetts — Amherst prepares students to become middle or high school teachers. Students can pursue licensure for grades 5-8 or 8-12 in English, History, Political Science/Political Philosophy, Science, Modern Foreign Languages, or Mathematics. The Secondary Teacher Education Preparation Program develops teachers who engage in critical thinking, problem-solving, and lifelong learning. The foundation of the program is a commitment to equitable and inclusive teaching practices that are responsive to diverse learners, communities, and global society.

  • Tuition: $16,235
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

14. Stanford University

Stanford University offers a 12-month, full-time program leading to a Master of Arts in Education and a preliminary California Single Subject Teaching Credential. The program boasts small class sizes, access to top faculty and qualified cooperating teachers, and highly focused instruction interwoven with hands-on teaching experience, sustained mentoring, and personalized advising. Students gain deep classroom experience in this 12-month program. After a summer at a local middle school, candidates complete year-long field placements under the guidance of expert cooperating teachers in local middle schools and high schools. Fieldwork involves four hours each day at school sites and attending a weekly Seminar at Stanford.

  • Tuition: $83,290
  • Graduation Rate: 95%

16. University of Southern California

The Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of Southern California is designed to prepare students for success. The curriculum is fully integrated with preparation for a California Preliminary Teaching Credential in English, Mathematics, Science, or Social Studies. Students have the option to simultaneously earn a California Education Specialist Credential, California Bilingual Authorization for Spanish, or Gifted Education Certificate. The program is offered at the University Park campus or online.

  • Tuition: $55,860
  • Graduation Rate: 91%

16. Northwestern University

Northwestern University‘s School of Education and Social Policy Teacher Education programs are committed to nurturing ways of learning and teaching that can help all students thrive. The program is designed around four guiding commitments: Advance Equity and Social Justice, Foster Subject Matter Sensemaking, Understand Learning and Human Development, and Engage Within and Across Community. The program offers small, interactive courses alongside a combination of intensive coursework and deep clinical experiences. The program culminates in a capstone project that draws together clinical experience, action research, and the application of theoretical knowledge that allows students to understand the role of data and research in pursuit of transformative teaching and learning.

  • Tuition: $57,060
  • Graduation Rate: 93%

18. Boston College

Students at Boston College can choose from a Master of Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, or Master of Science in Teaching. These degree programs lead to grades 8-12 licensure in Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, English, Foreign Language, History, Mathematics, or Physics. Each program includes four different types of courses: Teaching methods classes, foundation courses that examine broad social features linked to formal education, content area electives, and school-based practicum courses with related Inquiry Seminars. 

  • Tuition: $56,906
  • Graduation Rate: 91%

19. Arizona State University

The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University offers a Master of Education in Secondary Education. The program is designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in any field and want to become licensed in Arizona to teach grades 6–12. It is offered in two formats and on multiple campuses. The program connects theory and practice through quality classroom instruction paired with extensive professional experiences. Students gain a foundation in teaching and content knowledge from experts in the field who are actively engaged in the educational research community. The degree culminates with an applied action research project.

  • Tuition: $11,720
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

20. Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago offers a Master’s in Secondary Education. Graduates will be equipped to teach in secondary schools, including English as a Second Language and bilingual education. Students will gain extensive experience engaging with diverse populations, including students labeled as English language learners, and have the opportunity to earn secondary endorsements in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English, Mathematics, History, Political Science, and Psychology. A capstone project that consists of a Professional Practice Profile and Student Impact Project is completed during student teaching.

  • Tuition: $14,528
  • Graduation Rate: 61%

Still looking for a Master’s in Secondary Education? Use our Degree Finder tool to help you find the right degree program.

Our Ranking Methodology

To determine how to rank each college, we researched and evaluated each school’s estimated annual cost of tuition and on-time graduation rate. We used in-state tuition rates where available. We took annual tuition rates directly from each school’s website and graduation rate data from Google. We sorted each school first by the cost of tuition (lower is better) and then by graduation rate (higher is better), letting each value make up equal portions (50%) of the final rankings. 

If you work for one of the schools we ranked and you notice an error in the information we used to rank you, please feel free to contact us and let us know so we can make a correction.

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BestValueSchools.org 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.
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