Most Affordable Online Master’s in Education Degrees 2020

The English journalist G.K. Chesterton said, "Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another."

Most Affordable Online Masters in Education 1

With our fast-paced society, schools are adapting and flexing to find a way to do just that. Here we have compiled a list of the most affordable online Master's Degrees in Education throughout the United States.

It is clear from the list that state schools have heavily invested in online degrees of this kind and every single school on the list is indeed a state school. Of course, this provides for some interesting decisions when it comes to rankings since some schools have an in-state and out-of-state tuition differentiation for their programs.

5 Best Online Master's in Education Degrees

Rank School Location
1 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY
2 University of Colorado Denver –
Anschutz Medical Campus
Denver, CO
3 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
4 Concordia University-Chicago River Forest, IL
5 University of South Florida Tampa, FL

Therefore, we ranked schools based on the lowest tuition available. Although this is the case, out-of-state tuition is often very reasonable and some schools allow out-of-state students to apply for an out-of-state tuition waiver. An online Masters in Education can help teachers gain more skills within their discipline, provide opportunities for specialization certificates, and increase their pay.

Top 25 Online Programs for a Master's in Education

See our rankings methodology page.

1. University of the Cumberlands

The University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky, offers several convenient and flexible online teaching master's programs. The school offers programs for current teachers who want to advance their careers and for professionals in other fields seeking a career change.

The school offers an online master of arts in education with concentrations in literacy, school counseling, and teacher as a leader — as well as a master of teaching that leads to initial teacher licensure. Both programs require a student-teaching residency and 30-45 credits. Online classes span eight weeks and meet weekly at designated times, allowing students and faculty to take part in discussions. 

Cumberland accepts up to nine transfer credits toward the degree. Students planning to teach in states other than Kentucky should check with their state's department of education for degree reciprocity.

2. University of Colorado Denver – Anschutz Medical Campus

The University of Colorado Denver allows licensed teachers to advance their careers and improve their skills with five fully online teaching master's programs. Each degree requires 30 credits and a capstone practicum or thesis. 

Students can choose from master's degrees in learning design and technology, literacy education with reading and writing endorsements, research and evaluation methods, early childhood education, and STEM education. STEM education students can further personalize their studies through interdisciplinary concentrations in areas such as math or science.

These degrees do not meet the requirements for initial teacher licensure. Some programs require a valid teaching license to enroll. Students take asynchronous classes through Canvas. Students work closely with an enrollment navigator that connects them to support services, such as a 24/7 librarian, an online writing center, and a student tech guide.

3. Wilmington University

Located in New Castle, Delaware, Wilmington University allows students to earn a master of education online, on campus, or in a blended format. Learners can choose from specializations in school leadership, skilled and technical sciences, and elementary and secondary education. 

The program requires 30-33 credits, with most students graduating in 2-3 years while they continue to work. The core curriculum covers topics like learning theory, educational psychology, and child development. Electives include personnel administration, technology and the school environment, and classroom and school culture. Courses span eight weeks.

Students can transfer up to 12 transfer credits toward the degree. All students take part in a noncredit electronic folio course that helps students save and track their progress toward degree competencies. Applicants must submit transcripts. Some programs may require work experience and a valid teaching license.

4. Concordia University – Chicago

Established in 1864, Concordia University Chicago is a private university that offers more than 22 education master's programs, including degrees for licensed teachers advancing their careers and students seeking initial teaching licensure. 

The master's programs feature a cohort model, meaning students take courses with the same group of peers throughout the program. Most programs require 30 credits and take 1-2 years to complete. Though courses are asynchronous, students enjoy frequent interaction with faculty and classmates. 

Students can pursue specializations in curriculum and instruction, differential instruction, educational technology, or educational administration. Most of these degrees require a valid teaching license and classroom experience. The school also offers programs that lead to initial teaching licensure. Each program requires a capstone experience, such as a thesis or a similar professional project. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.85 GPA and submit an essay.

5. University of South Florida

The University of South Florida offers a variety of online teaching master's programs that help teachers advance their careers. The 33-credit programs include concentrations in autism spectrum disorder, teaching English as a second language, exceptional student education, and gifted education. 

Students can also choose from master's degrees in learning design and technology, physical education, and reading education. The programs feature synchronous courses delivered through Oasis. Class discussions, group projects, and multimedia presentations enhance the learning process. Distance students complete field assignments in their current schools. Each student must pass a comprehensive exam to graduate.

Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit GRE scores, a statement of purpose, a current resume, and letters of recommendation.

6. Nova Southeastern University

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University, offered its first distance education program in 1971. Today, the school offers a variety of online undergraduate and graduate programs, including more than 10 online education master's programs.

The degrees comprise 30-36 credits and include concentrations in educational leadership, elementary education, exceptional student education, English as a second language, curriculum, instruction, and technology. Some programs require a 150-hour internship and completion of a leadership portfolio. 

Online courses feature an asynchronous format and include collaborative projects and simulation learning. Students can transfer up to six graduate credits toward the degree.

7. Carlos Albizu University

Based in Miami, Florida, Carlos Albizu University hosts about 2,000 distance learners through its online learning platform launched in 2013. The school offers an online master's degree in teaching English for speakers of other languages with an optional concentration in exceptional student education. 

Learners study topics like cultural diversity and exceptional student behavior. Faculty bring real-world experience in teaching language acquisition. Faculty also complete training in online teaching.

Distance students can purchase books and access library resources online. Admission requires a bachelor's degree. Online learners can take advantage of a variety of financial aid opportunities.

8. Brandman University

Based in Irvine, California, Brandman University offers an online master of education with concentrations in curriculum and instruction; educational leadership; educational administration; instructional technology; leadership in early childhood education; and education, teaching, and learning. 

Online courses feature asynchronous formats. The eight-week terms offer six start dates each year. In addition to fully online programs, students can pursue a hybrid education master's program. Hybrid classes meet online and in the evening at more than 25 locations in California and Washington. 

Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. However, the school considers applicants with a lower GPA and evidence of academic ability measured by the GRE, Miller Analogies Test, or California Subject Exams for Teachers. Most programs require teaching certification.

9. University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers online teaching master's programs for current educators and aspiring teachers. The public university offers online master of arts in education degrees with concentrations in elementary education, reading, early childhood education, special education, instructional design and development, and kinesiology. Students can also pursue concentrations in school psychometry and community health.

The programs require 30-49 credits. Students seeking initial teaching licensure must complete a residency program as part of the curriculum. Classes span seven weeks, with two class sessions each semester. Learners must complete a digital portfolio and pass a comprehensive exam. 

Rolling admissions allow applicants to start their educational journey when it's most convenient. Admission requirements vary by program. Some programs require a valid teaching license.

10. Lamar University

Based in Beaumont, Texas, Lamar University offers online teaching master's degrees in educational administration, teacher leadership, educational technology leadership, digital learning and leading, and special education. 

The programs require 30-36 credits, with some offering specializations and credentials in areas like educational diagnostician, gifted and talented education, and English as a second language. Online learners must complete a practicum in their local community. 

Admission requirements vary by program, but all applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA in their final 60 credits of coursework. Students who do not meet this requirement can submit GRE scores to bolster their application. Most of the programs also require a valid teaching license, and the educational administration program requires at least two years of teaching experience.

11. Webster University

Founded in 1915, Webster University is a Catholic institution that offers multiple teaching master's degrees online.

Students can earn a master of education in education and innovation, multimodal literacy, STEM education, educational technology, special education, or English as a second language. Special education students can further specialize in dyslexia, positive behavior intervention and support, trauma-informed education, or applied behavior analysis. Most programs require around 33 credits. 

The programs deliver online courses through Canvas. Students complete weekly assignments with asynchronous course scheduling. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA and a valid teaching license.

12. University of Southern California

Based in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is a private school that offers a variety of online teaching degrees. The school offers online master of education programs in school counseling, learning design and technology, enrollment management and policy, and TESOL. 

Programs require around 30 credits. Students seeking initial teaching licensure must complete 600 hours of clinical practice at an approved site near their home. Synchronous classes meet in the late afternoon or early evening to accommodate working students' schedules.

USC evaluates applicants by academic preparation, work experience, and personal achievement. The school also considers all admitted students for limited scholarship opportunities.

13. Georgia State University

Georgia State University helps teachers advance their careers and enhance their skills with online teaching master's degrees. Students can pursue master's degrees in educational research, health and physical education, math, reading, literacy, and science. The school also offers teaching endorsements.

Degrees require 36-45 credits, with synchronous classes delivered through the school's online learning management system. Many programs require students to culminate the degree with an internship or practicum. 

Admission requires a bachelor's degree, with some programs reserved for practicing teachers. Applicants must submit transcripts, a resume, an essay, and letters of recommendation.

14. Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University in Jonesboro offers online teaching master's programs in areas like curriculum and instruction, early childhood education, educational leadership, educational theory and practice, special education, and school counseling 

Most programs comprise 30-46 credits and feature seven-week, asynchronous courses that allow students to balance their studies with professional and personal obligations. Summer internships and practice teaching sessions complement the curriculum. 

Admission requirements vary by program, with some degrees reserved for licensed teachers. Master of arts applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA, while master of science applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. Some programs require students to find an educator mentor. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

15. University of Kansas

The University of Kansas offers some of the top online teaching master's programs in the country. Based in Lawrence, Kansas, the public university focuses on the practical application of educational theory, with teaching master's degrees in curriculum and instruction, educational administration, secondary special education, and special education. 

Most programs require around 30 credits and take two years of full-time study to complete. The program delivers coursework through Blackboard, and courses span eight weeks. Online learning tools include simulated school districts that illustrate the diverse learning needs of students. Students culminate the degree with a capstone experience.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Some programs also require a valid teaching license. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

16. University of North Texas

Based in Denton, the University of North Texas offers more than 80 online degrees, including teaching master's degrees. Students can earn an online master of education in areas like higher education; autism intervention; educational diagnostician; curriculum and instruction; and secondary, elementary, and middle school education. 

Most programs require around 30 credits. Students seeking a teaching license must complete a 36-credit degree, with certification options for elementary and secondary education. The teaching certification program includes student-teaching requirements and overlaps with the school's post-bachelor's teaching program. 

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.88 GPA and submit a resume, a letter of intent, and an essay. Some programs also require verification of a valid teaching license.

17. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers online teaching master's degrees in curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, and diversity and equity in education. Depending on the program, students can specialize in areas like digital learning, perspectives and practices of teaching, global studies, higher education, and educational administration and leadership.

The 32- to 48-credit programs feature core courses, electives, and emphasis courses. Online courses feature an asynchronous format, giving students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Students culminate the degree with a capstone course during which they design, implement, and analyze a research project.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit a personal statement, a resume, and letters of reference. Some programs require a valid teaching license and classroom teaching experience. Students can transfer up to 12 credits toward the degree. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

18. University of Missouri

University of Missouri students looking to earn a master's in education online can choose from 20 fully online and four hybrid programs. Students can earn teaching degrees in areas like school counseling, early childhood education, educational leadership and administration, and special education. Mizzou also offers degrees in subject areas such as English, science, and math. Most programs require 30-32 credits and take 1-2 years to complete. 

The hybrid educational leadership and administration program features a cohort format, meaning students take classes with the same group of peers throughout the program. The degree leads to state certification. 

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit letters of recommendation and evidence of a current teacher license. Some programs also require GRE scores. All online students pay in-state tuition rates regardless of residency.

19. National University

Based in San Diego, California, National University offers several online teaching master's degrees, some of which offer licensure and endorsement opportunities. Students can choose from programs like an online master of arts in special education or an online master of science in higher education administration — as well as programs in educational and instructional technology or educational administration.

Learners can also pursue online master of education programs in areas like special education with a California preliminary education specialist credential and secondary education with Nevada teaching licensure. Degrees require 45-54 credits.

The online programs feature four-week accelerated classes. Students complete one course at a time. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Some programs also require valid teaching credentials.

20. Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University works closely with partners in Kentucky's school systems to develop its educational content and curriculum. CU offers online master of education programs in school counseling, teacher leadership, educational administration, special education, teaching, music education, and school improvement. 

Licensed teachers can also pursue additional endorsements and certifications online. Most programs require 36-48 credits, and students can transfer up to 12 credits toward the degree. The programs' eight-week courses feature asynchronous formats, giving students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Learners culminate the degree with an internship or practicum.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree, and some programs require a teaching license. They must also submit professional recommendations, an essay, and GRE scores.

21. Western Governors University

Western Governors University uses a competency-based format for its online master of education degrees. Under this plan, students pay for a six-month term and complete as many courses as they can during that time. Once they meet established learning goals, they can move on to the next class. 

Students work closely with a mentor who helps map their degree plan. Completion time varies, but students often graduate in two years. WGU offers education master's degrees in curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, instructional design, special education, and science and math. Students seeking initial teaching licensure can pursue a master of arts in teaching with endorsements in elementary education, English, math, and science. These programs require a student-teaching internship. 

The fully online programs feature asynchronous courses. The school is authorized to serve students in all 50 states, though some programs may not meet licensing requirements in all states.

22. University of Memphis

The University of Memphis offers flexible, online teaching master's programs in areas such as educational research, curriculum and instruction, and educational psychology. 

The programs comprise 30 credits. Degrees leading to licensure require student-teaching experiences. All students complete a thesis as part of their capstone project. Courses feature an asynchronous format for maximum flexibility. 

Admission requires a bachelor's degree and acceptable scores on the Miller Analogies Test. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. Online students gain access to library resources, advising services, and tech support. Teaching certification is not required for admission into any of the programs.

23. Liberty University

Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers four online education master's programs: a master of teaching, master of education in curriculum and instruction, master of education in higher education, and master of education with a licensure option. 

Each program offers a variety of specializations that allow students to tailor the degree to their interests and goals. For example, the master of teaching degree includes specializations in elementary school, middle school, secondary, and special education, while the curriculum and instruction degree includes concentrations in leadership, student services, and English. Most programs require 30-36 credits. 

Courses span eight weeks and feature an asynchronous format. Students can transfer up to half of the credits required for graduation, provided courses meet curriculum requirements. Multiple start dates throughout the year allow students to begin their degree when most convenient.

24. Drexel University

Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel University offers 16 online education master's degrees in areas like educational administration, behavior analysis, and international education. Most programs feature a variety of specializations that allow students to tailor the degree to their interests and goals, with some offering licensure and endorsement options. 

Most programs comprise 45-46 quarter credits and include a capstone research experience that synthesizes degree knowledge and skills. The school features an ongoing series on urban education with partners from the Philadelphia school system, and the dean's lecture series brings a variety of education experts to campus to share their knowledge.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Programs leading to education endorsements, such as principal's certification, require a valid teaching license. Online students gain access to 24/7 tech support, the library, and career services.

25. University of New Mexico

Teachers can enhance their careers with an online teaching degree from the University of New Mexico. The school offers teaching master's degrees in educational leadership, secondary education, music education, and elementary education. 

The degrees require 32-36 credits and include core courses on topics like educational leadership, principles of curriculum development, and data-informed instructional leadership. UNM offers some of its music education courses in an accelerated, eight-week format, with special tuition discounts available.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree in education or a related field with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Some degrees require a valid teaching license. The school offers rolling admissions and follows a semester format. UNM online students pay a standard tuition rate, regardless of residency.