Top 10 Online Master’s in Education Programs for 2020

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Earning a master’s degree in education is a challenging, yet rewarding opportunity for current teachers and administrators. The best online master’s in education programs require one to three years of study, with options in several concentration fields. Many master’s degrees are available fully online; however, some may be in the Hybrid format.  Depending on the college, some programs are full time or part time.

Though the master’s in education may not be required to hold a teaching certificate, it is a worthwhile opportunity and can benefit the graduate in their education career. Advanced learning will provide more job promotions, and possible higher positions within the state board of education. Teachers normally obtain their masters in education after working for some time in the teaching field. The master’s degree in education will help graduates to develop their teaching skills and increase their portfolio to become leaders in the education system. Below are the top ten online master’s in education programs for 2020. 

1. Texas A&M University 

Texas A & M University offers several concentrations of the online Master of Science in Education degree program. Through the Curriculum and Instruction format and the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture, the school specializations focuses on urban education, reading and literacy, multicultural education, mathematics, and providing strong leaders in today’s schools; both nationally and on a global scale. Some concentrations put an emphasis in STEM as well. Certifications are also available. Most M.Ed. programs at Texas A&M have 30 to 36 credits. The University has several campuses, one being in College Station, is made up of a diverse student body, with lots of culture and an emphasis on human development. The Texas A & M University provides one the best online Education masters programs in the state of Texas. The TAMU’s College of Teaching, Learning and Culture has educated over 1,000 undergraduates and almost 500 Graduates. The University as a whole has earned several rankings on the U.S. News and World Report; including one of the best online education masters programs for undergraduate teaching institutions. 

Program Duration: 30-36 credits, Two years or less. 

2. Purdue University Global   

The MSEd program at Purdue University Global offers up to four online concentration options. The programs are designed to assist trained teachers who desire to improve on their teaching abilities and skills by focusing on leadership, professional development, and mentoring the young minds of tomorrow. Each degree concentration provides forty-six to fifty-four credits and are taught by academic professionals in Education. Most courses are taught online; however, some offer the Hybrid option.  The four concentrations available at Purdue consists of the MSEd in either Applied Behavior Analysis, Curriculum and Instruction, Learning, Design and Technology, and Special Education. Purdue University Global offers almost 200 programs, including accelerated degree options and a wide variety of concentrations. The school’s online programs make it possible for serving members of the military to take courses as well; providing them with a strong balance between education, duty and career. The University is rich in diversity and community outreach.  

Program duration: 46 to 54 credits, two-three years. 

3. University of Florida 

The University of Florida offers the M.Ed. graduate degree program in nine concentrations. Each is uniquely comprised of academic instruction that prepares the student to become a leader in today’s teaching field. Some examples that students can choose from are special education, early childhood, reading and literacy, or higher education administration. The University of Florida’s M.Ed programs strives to focus on STEM education and be the best in world-class talent in subjects such as mathematics and science to develop both skilled and educated individuals.  UF holds a few rankings, including number two in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings of America’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs. UF is known to have a low student to faculty ratio. The college is located in Gainesville and has had over 5,000 students enrolled in one year and provides 382 online courses for graduates. 

Program duration: credits vary on concentration, timeline is about two years. 

4. Brandman University    

Brandman University offers an MAE degree program with six online education concentrations to fit the specific needs of students that have a heart in teaching and leadership. Most of the MA in Education degrees are available online; however some may come in the format of Hybrid programs. The MAE concentrations at Brandman include Educational Leadership, Instructional Technology, Teaching and learning, Leadership in ECE, Special Education, and Education Administration.  As graduates of the MAE programs, students will learn to develop skillful knowledge in teaching and instruction that employers are looking for in candidates. By earning a MAE at Brandman University, students will also be better prepared for the education field and will earn a higher salary than just obtaining the basic BA in Education degree. Brandman University, located in Irvine, has been providing program degrees since 1958. The college offers twenty degrees in areas such as business, psychology, public administration, education, or other fields. The school also provides over ninety career paths for students and adult learners to explore. Brandman offers one of the best online education masters programs nationwide. 

Program Duration: varies on specialization. 12 to 24 months. 

5. North Carolina State University

The Master’s Programs in Education at North Carolina State University offer online learning at a reduced tuition cost to many students to accommodate their needs for higher learning. The M.Ed. graduate programs are intended for students who have a desire to pursue a career in Teaching and build a better tomorrow in young americans for today’s future. Course specializations include Adult and Community College Education, Clinical Mental Health Counseling*, College Counseling and Student Development, Learning Design and Technology, Mathematics Education, School Counseling*, Science Education, Technology Education, and Training and Development. The University has several goals in providing academic excellence for all undergraduates and graduate students. NC State’s College of Education provides three academic departments for students to achieve optimal success in their education degrees. In addition, the college also encourages students to seek employment opportunities using their job posting page for updated jobs within the school and throughout the NC State University community. 

Program Duration: varies; on average, it may take two to three years. Students take one course in Summer and two courses for Fall and Spring each. * On-campus meetings required

6. George Mason University   

Mason University offers five online master’s degree programs and several graduate certificates through the College of Education and Human Development. The concentrations focus on the advanced studies in teaching and learning. Some programs require a five week summer session. The program credits will vary on which concentration a student chooses; however, most are thirty credits in length. Some courses in the MEd programs focus on cultural diversity in the classroom, defining giftedness, and teaching students on problem-based learning techniques. For example, the courses in the reading literacy concentration will help future teachers to develop understanding of literacy and learn strategies in assessment and instruction when preparing to become a Reading Specialist. The MEd program’s tuition costs are affordable to most students; however, some Virginia state residents who are eligible may apply for the 15% PreK-12 VA Educators Discount. 

Program Duration: 30- 33 credits

7. Clemson University

The MEd in Teaching and Learning at Clemson University ranks at number one of the best online graduate education programs for the past three years. The course is specifically designed for PK-12 educators and prepares each student for academic success in just eighteen months. Clemson University offers up to four concentrations of the MEd program; they include Effective and Reflective Teaching, Experiential Learning for Early Childhood, Instructional Coaching, or STEAM. Clemson is known for affordability as well. The University is in the ranks of one of the top 30 public universities providing the MEd degree program. Many Clemson Graduates will find employment within six months after graduation. Courses in the program provide flexible scheduling; however organization is key for students in keeping up with deadlines. Though classes are available online to anyone anywhere, the school does offer the SC Teacher Incentive to in-state residents: South Carolina Teacher Incentive reduces tuition by 10% for all in-state SC K-12 teachers/leaders. 

Program Duration: 30 credits, 18-24 months.

8. Michigan State University   

Michigan State University offers eight online concentrations for graduates interested in advanced studies in the MEd program. Students are taught by over 900 professional educators who are experts in the education field. Some may be classroom teachers, school administrators, coaches and adult educators . The concentrations available include Literacy Education, P-16 School Leadership, Science and Mathematics Education, Special Education, Technology and Learning, and Sport Leadership and Coaching. To complete the MEd program students must take at least 30 credits. Students have the option to take one or two concentrations that focus on selected areas as part  of the MEd degree. MSU provides graduates a Low student-faculty ratio for more personal interaction. In 2020, MSU was ranked No. 4 in the nation for best online graduate programs in education, according to U.S. News and World Report. The University also provides affordability and flexibility to online learners. MSU stands tall on all their rankings; reflecting on their commitment to student engagement,  use of innovative technology, exceptional faculty and strength in peer connection. 

Program Duration: minimum of 30 credits.

9. University of Nebraska – Lincoln

The University of Nebraska in Lincoln provides to undergraduate students a masters in Education with multiple concentration options as well as a variety of certifications. The concentrations range from Early Child Education to P-12 School Leadership to Special Education. Students learn the importance of teaching content within real-world context and how to apply the knowledge learned through integrating it in their own young students. The programs will provide a solid understanding of teaching and instruction with confidence. At University of Nebraska, students will leave with skills to take on a full classroom right after graduation. The faculty at UN provides hands-on approaches with exceptional support for higher learning. The University ranks as one of the best online education masters programs in the state.

Program Duration: 30-36 credits

10. Texas Tech University 

The MEd degrees at Texas Tech University offers five online concentrations for graduates to choose from. The course specializations range from the Special Education, Education Administration, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, and Instructional Technology. Each program comes with their own set of skills and knowledge needed for the teaching field. For instance, the special education concentration will provide courses pertaining to the understanding of Autism, deaf/blindness disabilities,vision impairment, and applied  behavioral analysis. Students in the MEd programs will be taught by working professionals in advanced positions in the teaching field.
Texas Tech University provides a low student-faculty ratio; with 26.6 percent of its courses with fewer than twenty students. Majors at Texas Tech University include a wide range of opportunities for students looking to earn a four year diploma or go on to graduate school. Possible career paths are in Business, Management, Marketing, Engineering, Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; and Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences. Texas Tech University, located in Lubbock,  has over 31,000 undergraduates, comprised of a diverse student body. The University is one of the most affordable tuitions of Colleges and Universities nationwide and one of the best colleges in Texas according to the US News and World Report. 

Program Duration: 36 credit hours.

Looking for the Best Online Education Masters programs

Throughout the nation, as a student you will find many schools with similar opportunities for higher learning and academic excellence. Looking for the college or university that provides the best programs in your field can be a challenge. Many schools provide very competitive tuitions, offer similar courses, and the promise of the best experience for your education goals. Here is some important information to consider when applying to an online masters program.

  • Minimum requirements: most masters programs require enrolling students to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. However, there are a few that may accept a 2.5 GPA.
  • GRE required: not all schools will require this scoring report. However, it may be helpful to have it available and meet the minimum score required on it to obtain enrollment in the masters in education degree.
  • Letters of Recommendation: depending on the program the student chooses will determine how many letters are needed.
  • Personal essay or statement of purpose that the student desires to attend the masters in education program.
  • Professional Teaching portfolio or resume of experiences.

Job Outlook for those with an Education Master’s

Due to the increase of current teachers on the verge of retiring, many teaching positions will be opening and available to graduated students in the education field. Teachers who have concentrations or specializations in a specific subject may find more opportunities for employment; especially in high demand areas of mathematics, science, and English as a second language. Check out your state’s Board of Education site for upcoming career positions.

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