The 20 Best Online Master of Education Degree Programs

Master of EducationThere are a variety of reasons why those working in the field of education might wish to attain a Master of Education degree. Some may choose to gain initial teacher licensure* through graduate work, whereas seasoned educators may aspire to go into administrative positions.

Teachers in Massachusetts, Ohio, and New York are required to have the master’s degree in hand by the end of a specified period of time. Current teachers outside of those states may ultimately decide to enroll in a graduate degree program when they consider how many re-certification courses they have already taken at the graduate level.

There is a certain economic value in the pursuit of a Master of Education (M.Ed.)—or of a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in Education—degree: Some districts offset the cost of classes and offer teachers a higher pay scale for having a certain number of credit hours beyond the B.A.

It is certain that teachers find their schedules stretched enough—where can they find the time to complete a graduate degree in education in between grading papers, coaching duties, and after-school meetings of all kinds?

Distance learning is not a brand-new idea; however, pursuing a master’s degree in education entirely online is just now starting to catch on. While many programs are available to complete entirely via the web, some are offered by the blended-learning model.

A Master of Education degree will still require work and dedication on the part of the student, but these programs have been made available for the convenience of teachers (and aspiring teachers). Class delivery might be live and scheduled, or archived and accessible 24/7, depending on the school and program.

The schools listed in our 20 Best Online Master of Education Degree Programs have been selected and rated by the following criteria: academic excellence, course offerings, and incidental benefits.

*Note: Not every program provides licensure upon completion. While many do provide a clear path to teacher certification, those paths vary depending on state, school, department, and concentration area. It is in the student’s interest to contact his or her state department of education concerning licensure requirements.

* * *

auburn university1. Auburn University (Auburn, AL)

Established in 1856 as a men’s college, Auburn University is now a public, land-, sea-, and space-grant, coeducational research university located in Auburn, Alabama.

Auburn has offered an online Master of Education degree program since 1999.

The M.Ed. is awarded in the following areas:

  • Agriscience Education
  • Business/Marketing Education
  • Foreign Language Education
  • Collaborative Teacher—Special Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Music Education
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Early Childhood Special Education

Online courses are developed and delivered by the same full-time, tenure-track faculty that teach the on-campus courses. Auburn limits enrollment in these courses in order to ensure a better level of interaction between the instructor and the class, resulting in a higher quality of instruction.

The online graduate degree programs in education were named #2 by the U.S. News & World Report in 2013.

st john's university2. St. John’s University (New York, NY)

Located in Queens, St. John’s University is a Catholic-affiliated private university. Beginning in 2003 as one of the original pioneers in online degree offerings, St. John’s has had sufficient time to develop, implement, and refine their offerings in the world of web-based learning and education. Some degrees available entirely online, depending on the program.

The university offers the M.S. in Educational Administration, and the M.S.Ed. in Teaching Children with Disabilities in Childhood Education and in TESOL. Each concentration leads to New York State licensure.

In 2011, St. John’s was named a Tier One university by U.S. News & World Report, and was named #1 by that magazine for best online graduate education programs, #2 for student services and technology, and #3 for faculty credentials.

george washington university3. George Washington University (Washington, DC)

George Washington University (GWU), located in the nation’s capital, is a private, coeducational research institution that was founded in 1821.

GWU has a long-standing history of excellence in training future teachers. The university has offered transition-to-teaching (“career switcher”) training programs for almost thirty years, and has supported over 300 National Board certified teachers in the greater DC area since 1993.

Additionally, GWU developed and implemented the first graduate degree in educational technology completed through 100% distance learning (before 1994).

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development awards the Master of Arts in the following areas of study:

  • Bilingual Education
  • Educational Leadership and Administration
  • Educational Technology Leadership

The three degrees can be earned fully through online coursework.

U.S. News & World Report ranked George Washington University #7 for best online graduate education program and #2 for student engagement in 2013.

Click here for free information about
M.A. in Educational Technology Leadership from GWU!

university nebraska kearney4. University of Nebraska Kearney (Kearney, NE)

The University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) was originally founded as a teachers’ college in 1905. The school was known as Nebraska State until 1993, when it joined the University of Nebraska system.

In 2001, UNK began offering online coursework in graduate education. All of the degrees listed below are offered fully online and are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education ( NCATE).

The Master of Arts in Education is offered in the following areas:

  • Art Education
  • Curriculum and Instruction (three concentrations)
  • Education Administration (three concentrations)
  • English
  • Instructional Technology
  • Music Education
  • Physical Education
  • Special Education

The university also offers the Master of Science in Education in Instructional Technology, with specializations in either Information Technology or School Librarian.

UNK is ranked 8th best online graduate education program by U.S. News & World Report. The UNK faculty received the #2 place for their credentials, and the eCampus is ranked 8th overall among online universities in the United States in the Guide to Online Schools’s 2013 Online College Rankings.

Click here for free information about
M.A. in Education from UNK!

graceland university5. Graceland University (Lamoni, IA)

Founded in 1895, Graceland University is a private, four-year liberal arts university with two campuses: one in Lamoni, Iowa, and the other in the Kansas City, Missouri area. The Kansas City campus houses the Edmund J. Gleazer School of Education.

Over nine hundred students are enrolled in online degree programs, which Graceland began offering in 2002. The M.Ed. is available completely online.

The university has accreditation from NCATE.

The School of Education offers graduate students the M.Ed. in the following areas:

  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Special Education
  • Technology Integration
  • Management in the Quality Classroom
  • Literacy and Instruction

In 2007, the School of Education received the Platinum Award for Best Practices from the United States Distance Learning Association. Over 97% of students who graduate from Graceland’s online programs would recommend the online programs to a friend.

Graceland has been ranked First Tier in the U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Click here for free information about
Master of Education from Graceland University!

university of south carolina6. University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)

Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational research university that offers over 240 graduate programs.

The Graduate School has been educating students for more than a century, and began offering the programs listed below in 2005.

The M.Ed. is available for online students in the following areas:

  • Education Technology
  • Teaching
  • Educational Administration
  • Higher Education Business Administrations

Distance learning for the M.Ed. takes place in the blended-learning model, with courses delivered both online and via live face-to-face sessions.

According to the university’s website, teams visit distance students at their site schools, which invites greater impact and collaboration. Online courses are offered both asynchronously and synchronously.

U.S. News &World Report named University of South Carolina #5 for best online graduate programs in education and student engagement.

university of scranton7. University of Scranton (Scranton, PA)

The University of Scranton, a Catholic university in the Poconos, was founded in 1888. Since 2003, graduate students can earn a master’s degree online in Curriculum & Instruction or Education Administration.

Programs feature research, reports, and projects custom-designed to pertain to students’ current classroom experiences. Students must complete a field-based practicum as their capstone experience.

Online students have access to round-the-clock IT support. The degree may be earned entirely online. Students are each assigned an adviser, referred to as a “program representative,” who serves as a mentor during the degree-seeking process.

The University of Scranton’s faculty credentials were rated 5th and the university was ranked #6 by the 2013 U.S. News & World Report list for the best online graduate degrees in education.

university northern colorado8. University of Northern Colorado (Greeley, CO)

The University of Northern Colorado, located in Greeley, is a public, coeducational higher education institution. Founded in 1889 as a teachers’ college, it has a long history of preparing students to become teachers.

Online graduate programs in education started in 1996. A majority of the University of Northern Colorado’s 50 graduate programs are offered through the Normal School of Education.

Online courses are taught by the university’s regular faculty members, who also serve as advisers to graduate students in the online program.

The university offers the Master of Arts in the following areas;

  • Special Education (with five concentration areas)
  • Theater Education
  • Natural Sciences K–12 Teaching Emphasis
  • Native American Innovative Leadership for Educational Leadership
  • Educational Leadership: Principal Licensure (Rural)
  • Educational Psychology: Teaching Applications

The University of Northern Colorado’s program ranked 9th among the 208 evaluated, and was the top-ranked program in Colorado.

georgia southern university9. Georgia Southern University (Statesboro, GA)

Founded in 1906, Georgia Southern University is a public research university located in Statesboro. It began offering online degree programs in 2008.

All programs are NCATE-accredited and taught by full-time, tenured faculty with terminal degrees.

Students seeking an M.Ed. can select from the following courses of study:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Secondary Education
  • Instructional Technology
  • Special Education
  • Middle Grades Education
  • Instruction Technology
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership
  • Reading Education

Additionally, the university offers the MAT in Special Education.

U.S. News & World Report has named Georgia Southern among the top 25 of best online graduate programs in education and ranked faculty credentials #7.

college of st scholastica10. College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, MN)

Founded in 1912, the College of St. Scholastica is a Catholic-affiliated institution in Duluth, Minnesota.

The College began offering graduate students an online M.Ed. in 2010. The degree is available in the following concentration areas:n

  • Educational Technology
  • Online Instruction
  • Professional Studies

In addition to the master’s degree, the college awards certificates in conjunction with the Educational Technology and Online Instruction programs.

Students receive the benefits of going through their course of study with a cohort and a program adviser. The degree can be earned within two years in the 100% online format.

U.S. News & World Report placed St. Scholastica in the top quarter of U.S. schools for the best online graduate education programs, with the St. Scholastica faculty credentials ranking #10. The same magazine ranks St. Scholastica in the Top Tier of regional universities in the Midwest.

university of north texas11. University of North Texas (Denton, TX)

The University of North Texas (UNT)—which is located north of Dallas in Denton—was originally founded as a teacher’s college in 1890. The university changed its name from North Texas State University in 1988, and now has a satellite campus in Dallas.

Now a public research institution of higher education, UNT maintains its roots in teacher education, producing the second-largest number of teachers in the state.

The College of Education began its online program in graduate education in 1998. It awards the following masters degrees through its distance-learning program:

  • Master of Science in Educational Psychology (Gifted and Talented emphasis)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Special Education (Autism Intervention)

All of the programs have NCATE accreditation. U.S. News & World Report ranked UNT #13 in their 2013 review of best online graduate education programs.

new school12. New School (New York, NY)

Founded in 1919 as the New School for Social Research and located in Greenwich Village, the New School presents a faculty of award-winning educators in their TESOL department.

New School offers the M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The degree can be completed entirely online or by blended learning. Concentrations are available in teaching and curriculum development.

Princeton Review ranks the school among the best 371 colleges in the nation. U.S. News & World Report named New School a Tier One school and ranked it #30 for online graduate degrees in education.

arkansas state13. Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, AR)

Originally founded as an agricultural school in 1909, Arkansas State University is located in Jonesboro. Beginning in 2007, the university started offering online graduate programs in education.

All programs are NCATE-accredited. Courses are rigorous and contain field-based/clinical experiences. Accelerated programs may be completed in 18 to 20 months.

The university awards the Master of Science in Education in the following areas:

  • Educational Leadership
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Special Education (three concentrations)
  • Educational Theory and Practice

U.S. News & World Report ranks Arkansas State #20 in online graduate education programs and named it #8 for student services and technology.

michigan state14. Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)

The first land-grant university in the U.S., Michigan State University was founded in 1862 in East Lansing, next to the state capital of Lansing.

A public research university, the online courses are taught only by the university’s tenured or tenure-track faculty members.

Beginning in 2001, Michigan State graduate courses in education became available online. All of the education classes are recorded and posted online, which is convenient for students.

Michigan State awards the Master of Arts in the following areas of study:

  • Education (with six concentrations)
  • Educational Technology
  • Teaching and Curriculum
  • Special Education

Programs in Educational Technology and Special Education are offered fully online, with the possibility for Special Education students to earn endorsements in learning disabilities or autism spectrum disorders.

Michigan State ranks #23 in the U.S. News & World Report list of best online graduate education programs. The university also consistently ranks in the listings of best universities compiled by the Times Higher Education, Princeton Review, and the Wall Street Journal.

webster university15. Webster University (St. Louis, MO)

Founded as a private Catholic women’s college in 1915, today Webster University is a private, non-denominational, coeducational university located in the Webster Groves neighborhood of St. Louis. The university has a wide array of campuses, including locations in Europe and Asia.

Webster University awards two graduate degrees in education online: the Master of Educational Technology and the Master of Arts.

Students may earn a Master of Arts in the following areas:

  • Education and Innovation (with a concentration in Education and Sustainability)
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (with two concentrations)
  • Social Science (with concentrations in History and Government or International Area Studies)

Webster was named a Tier One school by U.S. News & World Report and is ranked #13 in the 2013 best online graduate education programs.

ball state university16. Ball State University (Muncie, IN)

Founded in 1899 as a private teachers college named the Eastern Indiana Normal School, Ball State University has been offering online degrees since the 2007–2008 academic year.

The program in technology education has been recognized by NCATE for its outstanding preparation of technology teachers.

The Master of Arts is awarded in the following areas:

  • Technology Education
  • Career and Technical Education

The degree is offered entirely online and offers students flexibility and options in their path towards program completion.

In U.S. News & World Report‘s 2012 Top Online Education Programs rankings, Ball State online graduate programs in education (teacher and administrator preparation) were ranked 17th in student services and technology. The 2013 edition of this report named Ball State among the top fifty of best online graduate degrees in education.

west virginia university17. West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)

West Virginia University (WVU) was initially a college of agriculture when it was founded in 1867, and is now a public, land-grant, research institution.

The School of Education awards the Master of Arts in the following subject areas:

  • Elementary Education
  • Secondary Science Education
  • Education Leadership/Public School Administration
  • Instructional Design and Technology
  • Special Education (six concentrations are offered)

All of the courses are available entirely by online delivery.

The 2013 U.S. News & Report classified WVU as a Tier 1 University and ranked it #90 among all public colleges and universities in the country. The same report named WVU #26 for best online graduate degree in education.

post university18. Post University (Waterbury, CT)

Located in Waterbury in western Connecticut, Post University was founded in 1890. Today, the university provides one of the most comprehensive programs in online education around.

Post University believes that you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education. That’s why they offer a wide range of quality Certificate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in a highly interactive online format that emphasizes flexibility, convenience, and support. Whichever program you choose, you can take classes in eigh-week modules, six times a year from faculty members with advanced degrees and extensive real-world experience. You’ll also enjoy access to a full array of academic support services, including advising, tutoring, writing center assistance, and their virtual library at no additional charge.

Post University offers four master’s degree programs in education to choose from:

Master of Education

Prepare to meet the growing need for creative, innovative educators as you earn your Master of Education degree online from Post University. Their forward-thinking curriculum—taught by accomplished, experienced faculty—emphasizes social and technological trends, research-based strategies, brain and learning theory, artificial intelligence and gaming/edutainment, among other topics.

This program includes five applied concentration tracks:

  • Higher Education Administration
  • Instructional Design and Technology
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Online Teaching
  • TESOL

Master of Education / Higher Education Administration

By earning your online Master of Education degree with a concentration in Higher Education Administration from Post University, you will learn what it takes to address the needs of both traditional college students and adult/lifelong learners in a variety of contexts. This includes in-depth analysis of demographic and social trends, student service models and higher education delivery models.

Master of Education / Instructional Design and Technology

Rise to the challenges and opportunities of today’s and tomorrow’s education environments with your online Master of Education degree with a concentration in Instructional Design and Technology from Post University. You will acquire advanced skills in designing, creating, and assessing effective technology-driven learning experiences.

Master of Education / Teaching and Learning

Develop your curriculum and instructional skills as you earn your online Master of Education degree with a concentration in Teaching and Learning from Post University. As you focus on research-based teaching strategies that promote learning and enhance achievement, you will grow in your ability to articulate your vision for the future of education and identify means to adapt to future realities.

Post University is accredited through the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University also is accredited by the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Post University is ranked as Tier Two in the 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report‘s Best Colleges under Regional Colleges (North).

Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.

Click here for free information about
Master of Education from Post University!

edinboro university19. Edinboro University (Edinboro, PA)

Founded as a teachers’ college by Scottish settlers in 1857, Edinboro University is located not far from Lake Erie, in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania.

The online graduate programs in education, initiated in 2001, have received both regional and national accreditation.

The university awards the M.Ed. in the following areas:

  • Educational Leadership
  • Educational Psychology
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Middle & Secondary Instruction
  • Reading
  • Special Education

In 2013, U.S. News & World Report rated Edinboro University #32 in their list of best online graduate programs in education.

california state fullerton20. California State University Fullerton (Fullerton, CA)

A public comprehensive university, the Fullerton campus of the California State University system was founded in 1957.

The online graduate courses in education began in 2001 and are all taught by full-time faculty members.

The Master of Science is awarded in the following areas:

  • Educational Leadership
  • Instructional Design and Technology
  • Reading
  • Secondary Education
  • Elementary Curriculum and Instruction

Cal State Fullerton was ranked #24 by the U.S. News & World Report in 2013 under the heading of best online graduate education degrees. In 2012, the same magazine named Cal State Fullerton among the top public universities in the country.

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