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Best Online Master’s Degrees in Education – Teaching

Best Online Master’s Degrees in Education – Teaching

If you’re looking for the best schools that offer a master’s in teaching online, look no further. This page includes information on top schools offering this degree, including what you can expect to study and the jobs you’ll qualify for when you’re done.

Are you entering the education field and need to earn your teaching license to begin working in the classroom? Are you an experienced educator who wants to build on your classroom experience and elevate to an administrator role? Do you want to use your education expertise to become a consultant? No matter where you want to go in your career, a master’s in teaching online provides the pedagogical foundation and skills needed to follow the path that’s right for you.

If you’re wondering whether an online master’s in teaching can benefit you, you’re in the right place. This page provides details on what to expect during these programs. There’s also information on top schools offering this degree and salary data for specific careers to give you an idea of how much you may earn.

Best Online Master’s Degrees in Teaching for 2024

We have ranked the top schools below. Our Rankings Data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES.) Click the About the Ranking link below for more information about our methodology.


    Base Methodology for OnlineColleges.me’s 2024 Online College Rankings

    1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

    To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

    • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • At least one program in the subject area offered partially or fully online.
    1. Assign Weightings

    After creating the list of eligible schools, OnlineColleges.me data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

    Online Program Availability

    • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. Because exact numbers change often and can be difficult to verify, we use a range-based scoring system: 0-5 online programs = 1 star; 6-10 = 2 stars; 11-15 = 3 stars; 16-20 = 4 stars; 21+ = 5 stars. In our design, laptop icons = stars.
    • For degree-specific pages, ex: Psychology degrees, we list the current number of online programs available at that school for that degree type, as self-reported by the schools.


    • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
    • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

    Support Services

    • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
    • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    About Our Data

    OnlineColleges.me’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: January of 2024

  • Sioux City, IA
    Private not-for-profit $

    Morningside University, a private university with a campus in Sioux City, Iowa, offers a wide range of Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degrees that can be completed entirely online. The school offers several MAT options for students who hold a teaching license and want to specialize in a specific area of education, including autism education, ESL, STEM education, talented and gifted education, elementary education, and secondary education. There’s also a MAT available to students with a bachelor’s degree looking to transition into a teaching career.

    Program Highlights:

    Master of Arts in Teaching

    • Credits: 32
    • Length: Varies
    • Cost: $333/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • River Forest, IL
    Private not-for-profit $

    Concordia University Chicago is a private Lutheran university offering three different Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs. You can choose to earn your MAT in elementary education, middle grades education, or secondary education. Whichever track you choose, you will be combining coursework with a mandatory internship, student teaching, and a final capstone project. You will need to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher in order to successfully graduate from this program.

    Program Highlights:

    Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

    • Credits: 33-39
    • Length: 2 Years
    • Cost: $478/credit
    • Mode: In-person
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Storm Lake, IA
    Private not-for-profit $

    At Buena Vista University, you can earn a flexible online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in a fully online program designed for working professionals. This program is intended for students looking to make a career change into teaching. This program enables you to graduate with initial certification in grades 5-12 content areas in addition to the master’s degree itself. Applicants should have completed at least 30 hours in a secondary content area in addition to their bachelor’s degree and be seeking teaching licensure.

    Program Highlights:

    Master of Arts in Teaching-Secondary Education

    • Credits: 35
    • Length: 2 Years
    • Cost: $495/credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Wilmore, KY
    Private not-for-profit $
  • Baltimore, MD
    Private not-for-profit $
  • Orange City, IA
    Private not-for-profit $
  • Lynchburg, VA
    Private not-for-profit $
  • Baltimore, MD
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Niagara University, NY
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Stevenson, MD
    Private not-for-profit $
  • Fresno, CA
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Mars Hill, NC
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Crestview Hills, KY
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Saint Paul, MN
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Fort Wayne, IN
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • La Mirada, CA
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Misenheimer, NC
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Saint Louis, MO
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Jefferson City, TN
    Private not-for-profit $
  • Pittsburgh, PA
    Private not-for-profit $$$
  • Mequon, WI
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Jonesboro, AR
    Public $
  • Saint Paul, MN
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Gainesville, GA
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Fond Du Lac, WI
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Jackson, MS
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Bronx, NY
    Private not-for-profit $$$$
  • Hickory, NC
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Livingston, AL
    Public $
  • Nashville, TN
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Wilkes-Barre, PA
    Private not-for-profit $$$$
  • Cleveland, MS
    Public $
  • Searcy, AR
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Waynesburg, PA
    Private not-for-profit $$$
  • Magnolia, AR
    Public $
  • Emmitsburg, MD
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Hattiesburg, MS
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Richmond, KY
    Public $
  • Natchitoches, LA
    Public $

Program Spotlights: Teaching Master’s Degrees Online

Although every school offering a master’s in teaching online may have different coursework or specializations, they ultimately all have the same goal in mind: provide a high-quality education that prepares you to earn your teaching credentials while giving you the expertise needed to reach your individual career goals. In addition to preparing you to earn a license or certification, these programs help you develop much-needed classroom skills, such as teaching students from diverse backgrounds and incorporating technology into the classroom effectively.

Searching for the right school isn’t easy, so we’re here to help. Below you’ll find the best master’s degree programs in teaching based on the quality of the curriculum, affordability, flexibility, and available student services. These schools have been vetted for the things online graduate students care about most, so we’re confident they can give you the education experience you need.

Western Governors University

Program details: Western Governors University provides online teaching master’s programs in multiple specializations, so you can focus on elementary, middle, or secondary school levels. For example, the school’s concentration on middle-grade math teachers helps educators successfully explain core math principles at a pivotal time in students’ learning to position them for success in higher-level classes. The program includes professional core courses that familiarize you with the skills generally needed to become great instructors as well as best practices for teaching different areas of mathematics, from multiplication to basic algebra to geometry. Other teaching degree specializations include K-12 special education, secondary English education, elementary education, and secondary science education. All these programs lead to earning certifications.

  • The cost is $8,350 per year.
  • The degree takes two years to complete.
  • The program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation.

Fordham University

Program details: Provided through its Graduate School of Education, Fordham University’s Master of Science in Teaching prepares you for the realities of the classroom while helping you meet certification requirements. This program begins with core classes covering the psychology principles that guide childhood development and learning, the historical and philosophical foundations of education in America, and strategies for teaching in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. In addition to core courses, you’ll choose one of five concentrations: early childhood education, early childhood special education, childhood education, childhood special education, and childhood and early childhood education. There are also course requirements that you must complete to qualify for a license, including workshops in school violence intervention and prevention, autism, drug abuse prevention, and child abuse identification and reporting.

  • The cost is $1,489 per credit.
  • The degree requires 36 to 45 credits and takes about two years.
  • Admittance requires a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 minimum grade point average, and previous graduate coursework should have at least a 3.50 GPA.

University of Southern California

Program details: The University of Southern California has an online Master of Arts in Teaching degree program that is offered entirely online in a synchronous format, so you’re required to attend lectures live with your classmates. When you complete this degree, you’ll qualify to earn teaching credentials in California, including the California Education Specialist Credential, the California Bilingual Authorization in Spanish, and the Gifted Education Certificate. The program combines theory with hands-on field experience, so you learn the strategies necessary to achieve positive career outcomes. Additionally, you can choose a multiple-subject teaching or a single-subject teaching concentration. The multiple-subject teaching specialty is for educators who want to focus on teaching primary school students in grades K-6, while the single-subject teaching concentration is for those who want to teach science, mathematics, social science, or English in middle or high school.

  • Tuition costs $2,201 per credit.
  • The program requires 28 credits and can be completed in 11 to 15 months.

How Much Does an Online Master’s Degree in Teaching Cost?

Earning a master’s in teaching online is an excellent investment, but chances are the cost is still a concern. Luckily, there are several avenues to receive financial aid for your degree. For example, the federal government provides student loans and grants, like the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant earned after completing a teaching service obligation. You may also be able to receive scholarships from the school you enroll in or organizations that support aspiring teachers. No matter how much a specific school costs, be sure to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid to determine what types of awards you’re eligible to receive.

For an idea of what online teaching master’s programs cost, the table below provides a sampling of the tuition different schools charge. 

How Much Your Online Master’s in Teaching Could Cost

SchoolNo. of CreditsCost per CreditTotal Tuition
University of Southern California28$2,201$61,628
Pennsylvania Western University45$526$23,670
Fordham University45$1,489$67,000
American Military University36$425$15,300
Walden University46$630$28,980

What to Expect in Your Online Master’s Degree Program in Teaching

When you complete a master’s in teaching online, you leave the program as a highly-skilled educator qualified to teach in the setting of your choice. If you already have a teaching bachelor’s, the master’s degree builds on your existing knowledge and skills. However, if you have a bachelor’s in another discipline, this program helps you develop the ability to be a successful teacher for the first time.

Online teaching master’s programs emphasize a wide range of education topics. The curriculum may focus on instructional design strategies, formal and informal assessment best practices, and/or the social, intellectual, and personal development of children. Additionally, students can build their verbal, nonverbal, and technology skills so they’re best equipped to support learners in their classrooms. You also have the opportunity to apply these concepts to a specific area of teaching by choosing a concentration that’s most relevant to your career goals and interests.

You may be able to take your classes entirely online; however, some schools offer hybrid models that combine in-person and online learning. Also, online master’s in teaching programs may allow you to work at your own pace, while others require you to attend lectures during specific times. To help solidify the classroom concepts covered, programs provide opportunities for hands-on learning that may include observation sessions that take place in person or online.

Common Online MBA Courses

Foundations of Education

This course provides a look at the historical and pedagogical influences that impact how educators work in the classroom today. Topics covered may include the legal and ethical issues teachers face, best practices for crafting a curriculum and bringing it to life in the classroom, and cultural influences that affect how teachers work in K-12 schools. Students might also observe teachers in a virtual classroom to see how the principles they learn are applied.

Psychology of Child Development and Learning

This course gets to the heart of how childhood development influences the way students learn in the classroom. You’ll gain expertise on developmental theories and how learners in different stages of development best process information. The class may also cover the physical, cognitive, and emotional issues that children sometimes experience and how these factors can hinder learning.

Assessment Practices

Students in this class learn the ways that assessments are connected to teaching practices and student achievement. Specific topics addressed may include effective assessment strategies, how assessments can be used to craft a curriculum, and ways teaching styles can be altered based on the information assessments uncover.

Perspective on Diversity and Culture

As student populations become more diverse, educators need to understand how to relate to learners from various backgrounds. This class emphasizes how to work effectively in culturally, linguistically, socioeconomically, and ethnically diverse environments. It also helps teachers successfully communicate with diverse colleagues and the families of their students.

Education Law and Ethics

Although pedagogical principles are a primary driver for how teachers do their jobs, there are also legal and ethical concerns to be aware of. You’ll learn about the rights afforded to both teachers and students, federal and state laws that affect the way teachers work, and the equal protections all students are entitled to. The ethical standards expected of educators are also discussed.

Job Outlook: What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Teaching

There are numerous career paths you can explore after you’ve earned a master’s in teaching online. Whether you want to teach in a K-12 classroom, become a school district administrator, or even use your expertise in a nontraditional way (e.g., corporate training or education consulting), you can go into the workforce with confidence that you have the knowledge and skills needed to succeed and that you can earn a good living. To give you an idea of the job outlook for those with an online master’s in teaching, consider the following income information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers

Teachers at the elementary school level are an integral part of the trajectory of students’ educational experience, so these professionals must be effective in preparing them for future learning. To do this, they are responsible for creating lesson plans for math, reading, and science instruction, giving students guidance on their strengths and weaknesses, providing feedback on assignments, and ensuring that students are prepared for required standardized tests.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 202

Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals

Principals in elementary, middle, and high schools are responsible for managing all the workers in the school, so they supervise the activities of both teachers and support staff. These professionals may be involved in developing and maintaining curriculum standards, observing teachers’ performance and giving them guidance on how to improve, providing professional development for staff members, and creating safety measures students, staff, and visitors are expected to abide by.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Instructional Coordinators

To help teachers maximize their effectiveness in the classroom, instructional coordinators oversee the production of a school curriculum and the adoption of textbooks. Specific tasks may include developing and implementing a curriculum, conducting teacher training, reviewing test scores to determine if a curriculum is effective, and evaluating education materials for possible classroom use.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

FAQs About Online Master’s Programs in Teaching?

As you look for information about online teaching master’s programs, chances are you’ll have questions. To help you make an informed decision, below we answer some of the most pressing questions prospective students ask about online master’s programs in teaching.

  • Are online master’s degree programs in teaching fully online?

    Every program is different, but you’re generally able to complete all your coursework online. However, some schools require travel to campus for in-person learning. In addition, some classes may be hybrid and require regular on-campus attendance. Other programs only require periodic in-person sessions, such as for practicums. Programs may also have experiential learning components where you apply what you learn to a real-world class under the supervision of an experienced educator.

  • What does the admissions process look like for this degree?

    The admissions process for schools offering master’s in teaching online may be somewhat similar, but keep in mind that every school has its own standards. Generally, schools expect applicants to have bachelor’s degrees from accredited colleges or universities and at least a 3.0 grade point average. You also may need to submit GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a resume.

  • How long does it take to complete a master’s degree in teaching online?

    As a full-time student, you can probably complete an online teaching master’s program in about two years, though some take a bit more or less. If you attend on a part-time basis, expect to add a year or more to your studies.

  • What academic and career support services are available to online students earning their master’s in teaching?

    Not everyone is accustomed to online learning, so schools offer support services to help. For example, if you need assistance with the online learning management system your school uses, you’ll have access to technical support staff members who can walk you through any problems. To help with academics, you may have access to mentors in the education department who can guide you through course content. There also may be career advising available to help put you in the best position to find job opportunities after graduation.

  • Can I work while pursuing an online master’s in teaching degree?

    You may be worried about whether you can fit a master’s in teaching online into your busy schedule. Luckily, you can. These programs are tailored for professionals who may be working full-time and juggling family responsibilities. However, be sure to check the details of each specific program you’re interested in to be sure their requirements are compatible with your lifestyle.

Other Master’s Degree Options in Education

If you are interested in a master’s degree in education but are unsure what specialization to pursue, check out these other degree pages to learn about your options:

Master’s Degrees in Education – Curriculum and Instruction

Master’s Degrees in Education – Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Master’s Degrees in Education – Educational Leadership

Master’s Degrees in Education – Higher Education

Master’s Degrees in Education – Library Sciences

Master’s Degrees in Education – Music Education

Master’s Degrees in Education – Special Education (SpEd)