Lead the Future Teachings of Technology and Curriculum with a Top Master’s in Educational Technology.
As our world continues to shift toward the digital age, the educational sector has followed suit. More and more, college-level degree programs are offered online or via distance learning. Smart boards and simulations are being brought into elementary and secondary classrooms as learning tools.
The educational system needs teachers who are fluent in technology. It needs educators who can design lesson plans that reach beyond pen and paper. It needs you. The best way to get started is with a master’s in educational technology.
What kind of master’s in educational technology should you get?
Below you’ll find the top 25 best master’s in educational technology. This means you can be sure you’ll get an amazing education, regardless of which one you ultimately pick. But a master’s degree is all about narrowing your focus on a specialty. So make sure you know what you need in terms of schedule, format, length, and career goals.
You’ll find that not all master’s degrees are the same in this list. Some of these programs are offered online. Others require on-campus residencies. Some programs are master’s of education degrees, while others are master’s of science degrees. Some include accelerated one-year programs. Others take up to three years to complete. Ultimately, it is up to you to match your goals with your ideal program.
If you’re not quite ready to specialize in educational technology, but you still want a career in education, be sure to check out College Choice’s 50 Best Master’s in Education Degrees.
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How much money do people make with a master’s in educational technology?
The education system sometimes gets a bad rap for underpaying teachers. Specializing in a subject like educational technology is a perfect way to side-step this dilemma. You’ll stand out from the rest as a needed path to the future. And you’ll be rewarded accordingly.
You could go a number of different directions in this field. Let’s take a look at just two options. According to Payscale.com, a Director of E-Learning at a company or a school system will earn an average salary of $80,904. An Instructional Designer can make around $61,102 per year. When you compare that to an average salary of a K-12 educator, you’ll be happy you took the time to specialize!
What can you do with master’s in educational technology?
Since educational technology is a fairly new field, your career options are far from limited! If you like the K-12 school setting, then you can become an information technology specialist within your school system. Or if you want to branch out and start your own learning platform or course management system, then a master’s in educational technology will set you up perfectly.
Education at its best goes beyond the classroom. With one of these programs, you’ll gain the tools to not only design technology-driven curriculum, but also to implement it in schools, museums, tutoring centers, and more.
What are the requirements for a master’s in educational technology?
The #1 school on this list is Harvard University. That should give you an indication of the caliber of your options. There’s no getting around it. You’ll have to work hard to get into these programs. But your net yield will be tenfold, and you will launch into one of the best academic experiences of your life, guaranteed.
Most application processes prefer that you have a kind of background in either education or technology. Go figure! You also will likely need to take the GRE for a number of the top programs on the list. The degree programs last anywhere from one to three years, with a required 30 to 45 credit-hours.
One amazing element that many programs include is the option to concentrate in an area. This could be instructional design and development, literacy media, online learning, and more. A few of these programs also include capstone projects, which is a great way to synthesize your learnings and create a portfolio to present to future employers.
What are the best master’s in educational technology degrees?
Below you’ll find the 25 best master’s in educational technology degrees. The data team at College Choice considered a number of factors in their methodology.
First, they took into account the academic quality of each program. Then they assessed overall affordability and return on investment. Finally, they factored in student satisfaction using retention rates and graduation rates. Beyond our own data nerds, we enlisted the excellent resources at U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Payscale.com.
As if it weren’t already the best in everything else, Harvard University also tops the list for its program in educational technology. Harvard is a private Ivy League institution that tops nearly every list as being the best university in the United States and the world. No surprise, then, its School of Education is one of the best in the nation.
The Graduate School of Education hosts Harvard’s Technology, Innovation, and Education master’s program. This is a one-year program that emphasizes three core areas: design, implementation, and research. You’ll work on collaborative projects with your cohort, engaging internships, and more. Some class highlights include:
Design and Development of Technology-Enhanced Assessments
Multi-Modal Learning Analytics
Connected Teaching in the Digital Age
Universal Design for Learning
This program values a balanced curriculum above all else. The internship experience is often a highlight for students. In the past, graduate students have logged their hours at the MIT Media Lab, IBM Visualization and Behavior Group, Boston Museum of Science, and more.
The University of Pennsylvania holds the distinction of being one of the nine colonial colleges that was established before the Revolutionary War. This private Ivy League school was founded in 1740 by none other than Benjamin Franklin. The Graduate School of Education offers over 20 different master degree programs.
At UPenn, you’ll embark in the Master’s of Education in Learning Sciences and Technologies program. This is a one-year program that involves 10 courses in total. It culminates in a master’s thesis. The degree also includes an internship that spans both the fall and spring terms. Some of your classes cover:
Design of Learning Environments
Video Games and Virtual Worlds
Foundations of Teaching and Learning
This degree will prepare you to jump into a number of diverse roles related to technology and education. For example, past graduates of this program have gone on to become project managers at online start-ups, directors of online curriculum design, or researchers at other universities. The program at UPenn will give you a launching point for the future.
The Ohio State University was founded as a land-grant university and still excels in the agricultural sciences. However, it also ranks well for its programs in education. In fact, U.S. News & World Report listed it in the top 25 graduate education schools in the nation. OSU is currently the third-largest university by population.
The Ohio State University offers a Master of Learning Technologies. It is conducted fully online and does not require a master’s thesis. You’ll be prepared to apply your skills in classrooms from elementary school to college. The curriculum comprises seven core classes, a research-intensive class, an elective, and a practicum. Here’s a sampling:
Issues and Practices in Educational Technology
Applied Instructional Design
Designing Multimedia for Instruction
In addition to this master’s degree, OSU offers a number of graduate-level interdisciplinary specializations and minors. You can choose from the following: Applied Developmental Science in Education, College and University Teaching, Quantitative Research Methods, or Teaching in Virtual Environments.
One of the oldest public universities in the United States, the University of Georgia was founded in 1785. UGA is recognized as a “Public Ivy” and maintains a selective admissions rate. It is located in Athens, GA, and is known by many to be one of the best “college towns” in the nation.
This Master’s of Education in Learning, Design, and Technology offers three concentration areas in addition to its core curriculum: Instructional Technology, Instructional Design and Development, or Research. The first two tracks are delivered online, while the Research track is based out of the Athens campus. You can anticipate taking some of the following classes:
Emerging Approaches to Teaching, Learning, & Technology
Digital Video in Education
Management of Instructional Projects
Even if you decide to complete one of the online areas of emphasis, there are still numerous ways to connect with your cohort and others in your field. For example, each year students attend the Digital Learning Conference along with faculty members from UGA. This is a fantastic networking opportunity, and a great way to keep up with trends in the field.
A thriving research university with land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant designations, the University of Florida is a force to be reckoned with. This year, it was named the ninth best public university in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. The UF College of Education was established in 1906.
You won’t run out of options at the University of Florida. The UF College of Education offers an on-campus Master or Arts in Education with a concentration in Educational Technology. You can also earn an online Master of Education in Educational Technology. Both include 36 credit-hours of coursework. They also share a number of core classes:
Distance Teaching and Learning
Issues and Trends in Educational Technology Research
Designing Integrated Media Environments
Managing Educational Projects
Consistent with the university’s emphasis on research, the faculty members in this departments are making strides of their own. Currently, faculty are engaged in research that follows digital game-based learning, technology in medical education, problem-based learning, and more.
One of the largest universities in the nation – with around 50,500 in attendance – Michigan State University is a powerhouse of the Midwest. It began as a land-grant university and still excels in agricultural sciences. However, MSU has branched out into over 200 academic programs. Its graduate-level education program remains among the top 25 in the nation.
You’ll be given lots of options in ways to complete your MA in Educational Technology program at MSU. You can attend full-time or part-time, online or through a hybrid format, or with an accelerated summer program. This 30-credit-hour curriculum covers nine core courses and then allows you to customize the rest of your degree. Here’s a sampling:
Proseminar in Educational Technology
Psychology of Learning in School and Other Settings
Approaches to Educational Research
If you are already a K-12 educator in Michigan, you might opt to just earn the Educational Technology Endorsement. This can be added to your elementary or secondary teaching license to make you a more well-rounded (and more hirable) educator. The endorsement includes just seven courses in total.
A member of the State University of New York System, SUNY Albany is a public research university that enrolls around 17,300 students. It has the advantage of being located in New York’s capital city. SUNY Albany began as a teacher’s college, and maintains that legacy with its School of Education.
At SUNY Albany, you’ll complete an MS in Curriculum Development & Instructional Technology. This degree is attainable either online or in person. In total, you’ll complete 30 credit hours. The curriculum is divided into core areas – Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology – as well as research-based classes. Here’s a peek:
Media in Teaching and Learning
Systematic Design of Instruction
Research in Practice
SUNY Albany has been a consistent front-runner when it comes to online learning in the educational realm. In fact, this year U.S. News & World Report named it the eighth Best Online Graduate Program in Education. It remains at the top of the list for online educational programs in New York and the surrounding region as well.
You’ll find the University of Southern California in sunny Los Angeles. This private research university was founded in 1880 and remains the oldest of its kind in California. The Rossier School of Education ranks tenth overall among other education programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The 30-credit-hour Master’s of Education in Learning Design and Technology at USC brings together theory and application. Your curriculum will be delivered online and will prepare you to address learning environments at all levels, from design to implementation. You’ll start with three core classes, and then take six area-specific classes, which include:
Media Selection and Evaluation
Assessment and Evaluation
Design of Learning Environments
The capstone assignment for this degree is a “Master’s Studio” project. You will put all of your training to the test and design a practical application using educational theory as your guide. Most students design a learning module or a website.
A public research-intensive university in West Lafayette, IN, Purdue University is one of the state’s largest institutions of higher learning. The College of Education was founded in 1908 and maintains two branches of academic divisions: Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Studies. Purdue University is home to nearly 40,500 students.
Purdue University’s Master of Science in Learning Design and Technology is versatile and wide-ranging. All students complete a core set of 27 credit-hours to lay the foundations of educational technology. Then you can specialize in either the Business/Industry track or the Education track. Regardless, you’ll be exposed to engaging classes such as:
Introduction to E-Learning
Strategic Assessment and Evaluation
Learning Theories and Instructional Design
Human Performance Technology
Purdue University is dedicated to giving their graduate students the most support possible. For that reason, there are built-in reviews and collaborations with faculty members along the way. You’ll have a Portfolio Review, Annual Review, and work on a final integrated project or thesis with a faculty member.
Known as the flagship campus of the larger state system, Minnesota State University Mankato is a public university. It offers a wide range of degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Students enjoy a 21:1 student to faculty ratio. The College of Extended Learning oversees the online campus at MSU Mankato.
This MS in Educational Technology is a 100 percent online program that requires a total of 34 credit hours. The curriculum aligns itself with ISTE, BOT, and QM standards. Most full-time students finish this program within two years, though it is possible to attend as a part-time student. You can look forward to some of the following classes:
Using Technology in the Classroom
Social Media Tools
Developing the Online Learning Environment
Instructional Games and Simulations
This program goes above and beyond the MS in Educational Technology. You can also earn graduate certificates in the following areas: Digital Educator, Educational Technology in the Classroom, Instructional Technology and Design, Technologist, and Computer, Keyboard, and Related Technology.
Offering the most total degrees among other public universities in Idaho, Boise State University is home to over 24,100 students. The university is divided into eight academic colleges, one of which is the College of Education. Around 2,300 students are enrolled in one of the nearly 40 education degree programs.
Boise State University offers up two online master’s degrees: Master of Educational Technology and Master of Science in Educational Technology. The first is a professional-based degree, while the second is more research-oriented. Both programs feature similar core classes to establish a foundation in educational technology. Here are some highlights:
The Internet for Educators
Instructional Design for Educators
Introduction to Statistics for Educational Technology
Creating Educational Websites
Faculty members in the Educational Technology department at Boise State are continually producing competitive research in the field. Some of the current ongoing projects include Game STUDIO, Quest-Based Learning, EdTech Island: Training Teachers in Virtual Worlds, and more.
Located in Boone, NC, Appalachian State University was originally established as a teacher’s college. It has since held onto its educational roots through the Reich College of Education, which offers degrees in six different departments. The College of Education is also home to the school’s only doctorate program, Educational Leadership.
You’ll jump into an interdisciplinary MA in Educational Media and Instructional Technology program at Appalachian State University. You’re given a range of options for further focus with four concentration areas: General Studies, K-12, Online Learning and Professional Development, and New Media Literacies/Global Perspectives. Here are a few classes:
Digital Learning Environments in a Changing Society
Applications of Digital Technologies
New Media and Emerging Literacies
Design and Development of Digital Media
In addition to a diverse and customizable curriculum, the Educational Media Department has a number of exciting developments at work. For example, you can attend the annual National Association for Media Literacy Education Conference, participate in the Teen Media Literacy Conference, or travel abroad to Japan with a group of your peers.
Founded in 1891, Drexel University is a private research university that is a leader in cooperative education programs. The School of Education is one of the oldest academic colleges at Drexel University. In fact, it dates back to Drexel’s original founding. The school also extends beyond its Philadelphia campus through a strong online learning platform.
Through the MS in Learning Technologies at Drexel University, you’ll gain the tools to harness technology in the classroom. Your curriculum will cover design thinking, digital literacy, learning technologies, and more. Drexel’s Games and Learning in Digital Environments Lab gives you an amazing platform for learning and research. You’ll take classes like:
New Media Literacies
Technologies for Performance Support
Learning Sciences and Instructional Design
The program at Drexel University gets even more specific by offering four unique concentration areas to boost your expertise: Instructional Design, Instructional Technology, Learning in Game-Based Environments, and E-Learning Leadership.
Based in Flagstaff, AZ, Northern Arizona University is a public research university that offers both on-campus and online degrees. The College of Education is the only nationally accredited teacher education program in the state. The average class size for education programs is around 17 students.
At Northern Arizona University, the Master of Education in Educational Technology is divided into two emphasis areas: Adult Learning and Training, and K-12 Teacher. This program involves 30 credit hours, and is delivered fully online. The curriculum centers around educational foundations, educational technology, and educational research with classes like:
Instructional Theory and Strategies in Technology Integration
Distributed Learning Delivery Systems
Creating Technology Learning Environments
Contexts and Methods of Technology in Adult Education
This degree is just one of many distance-learning programs offered through NAU Online. The classes are uniquely self-paced. You pay a six-month subscription, and work through as much or as little content as your schedule allows. This kind of learning is increasingly valuable for working professionals.
Originally founded as a teacher training college, Western Illinois University began in 1899. Today, however, the school has close to 90 degrees of all kinds at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Western Illinois University offers a four-year fixed tuition rate. This keeps its degree programs accessible and affordable.
The MS in Instructional Design and Technology at Western Illinois University is a comprehensive degree that equally covers educational technology and graphic design. The classwork is offered in a hybrid format. This means you’ll attend some classes online, and some in person on the weekends. Here’s a look into a few courses:
Integration of the Internet and Multimedia in Education
Hardware, Operating Systems, and Networking in Schools
Technology Planning and Research
Once you have your degree in hand from Western Illinois University, you can go the extra mile and earn one of the five post-baccalaureate certificates: Educational Technology Specialist, Instructional Media Development, Online and Distance Learning Development, Technology Integration in Education, or Workplace Learning and Performance.
One of the largest universities in the nation by student enrollment, Arizona State University hosts around 72,000 students across its many campuses. ASU proudly holds a consistent reputation as being the “Most Innovative School in America.” U.S. News & World Report has ranked them at the #1 spot for the last three years in a row.
The MEd in Educational Technology at Arizona State University will prepare you to not only be the technology experts in schools, but in other settings like museums, non-profits, government and beyond. This degree is offered online through the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Over the course of 30 credit-hours, you’ll take classes like:
Issues in Online and Distance Education
Learning Theories and Instructional Strategies
Design and Development of Instruction
Evaluation of Learning Systems
The culminating experience in this program is an applied project that you will design specifically for an educational setting. Even though your coursework will be completed online, this class will help bridge the transition to a professional setting in which you can put your knowledge in action.
California State University, Fullerton delivers over 100 degrees. The school is a designated Hispanic-serving institution, with 42 percent of its student body identifying as Hispanic. Its online graduate program in education ranks within the top 50 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
California State University, Fullerton offers a 21-month Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology. The program emphasizes skill-building in learning management systems, project management, media literacy, and more. You’ll take a variety of classes in core concepts, advanced pedagogy, and more. Here’s a sampling:
Research Practices in Instructional Design and Technology
Foundations of Instructional Design and Web Authoring Tools
Emerging Technologies and Issues in Instructional Design
The program at California State University, Fullerton has a number of things pulling in its favor. For one, it is the most affordable program on our list, with an average net cost of just $8,170. Another highlight is the fact that students progress through the program as a cohort. You’ll have peers with whom to collaborate, network, and engage.
Towson University is a public university that began as a training school for teachers in 1866. To this day, it still is the top producer of educators in the state of Maryland. The College of Education is home to six unique departments, as well as the Center for Educational Leadership and the Center for Professional Practice.
At Towson University, you’ll choose from three different concentrations: Instructional Design and Development, School Library Media, or Educational Technology. The MS in Instructional Technology blends together online and on-campus learning for a fully technology-immersed curriculum. Some highlight classes include:
School Library Media Administration
Web-Based Instruction in Education
When it comes to embracing technology, Towson University walks the talk. Students have access to an Educational Technology Center, a Multimedia Lab, and classrooms (both in-person and virtual) that take full advantage of learning technologies.
A public college in the State University of New York system, SUNY Buffalo State excels in research, among other things. In fact, it brings in more grants and research money than all of the SUNY schools combined! The School of Education goes all the way back to 1871, SUNY Buffalo State’s origins.
SUNY Buffalo State offers a Master’s of Education in Technology Education. The curriculum involves 15 to 18 credits of core classes, and then 12 to 15 credits of elective coursework. For your culminating experience, you have the choice of completing a master’s thesis or a master’s project. Some of the engaging electives you’ll take are:
Seminar in Technology Education: Writing and Publishing
Career Exploration in Technology for the Middle School
SUNY Buffalo State prides itself on providing student support beyond the classroom. You’ll find a variety of opportunities like internships, career coaching, leadership experiences, and networking gatherings. Even more, your classroom experience will be up-to-standard with the best educational technologies out there.
The flagship university of the state system, the University of Texas at Austin is honored as a “Public Ivy.” The College of Education pulled in a #10 ranking among all other graduate-level education programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Each year it generates over $61 million in educational research.
The Master of Education in Learning Technologies at the University of Texas at Austin gives you the chance to customize your degree toward educational technology. The curriculum gives you the option of a 39-credit thesis-based program or a 36-credit program with a culminating master’s report. Here are some highlights:
Instructional Systems Design
Teaching and Learning with the Internet
Analysis of Research in Learning Technologies
Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
At the University of Texas at Austin, you’ll be working closely with faculty members who are engaged in relevant and cutting-edge research. For example, researchers designed Alien Rescue, an online 3D immersive experience for sixth graders. Others are working on Digital Equity, an online collective that is working toward economic inclusion.
One of the top public universities in the nation, the Indiana University-Bloomington is considered a “Public Ivy” school. It is largely a regional university with over 55 percent of its student body hailing from Indiana. The School of Education was established in 1923, and houses five distinct departments.
At Indiana University-Bloomington, you’ll earn a Master of Education in Instructional Systems Technology. This program hosts a wide-ranging curriculum of engaging coursework, an internship, and a one-year studio project. You have the option of attending online or in person. Over the course of 36 credit-hours, you’ll take some of the following classes:
Instructional Development and Production: Design Thinking
Instructional and Performance Technologies Foundations
Design and Development of Interventions
Whether you decide to attend this program online or in person, you can be rest assured that Indiana University-Bloomington is well-ranked across the board. This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Graduate School of Education #30 in the nation, and the Online Graduate Education program at #46 in the United States.
Known as Iowa’s largest university, Iowa State University holds down both a land-grant and space-grant designation. It is based in Ames, IA. Though Iowa State University is widely recognized for its STEM programs, the school also excels in education. The School of Education is housed within the College of Human Sciences.
The School of Education at Iowa State University offers a Master of Education in Instructional Technology. This degree is offered online and in person. Over the three-year program, you’ll cover foundations in educational technology, online applications, and design. This program is designed for working professionals, offering one class per semester. Here’s a quick look:
Using Technology in Learning and Teaching
Principles and Practices of Flexible and Distance Learning
Technology Diffusion, Leadership, and Change
Designing Effective Learning Environments
There are huge benefits in choosing Iowa State University as your online home for the next three years. For one, this program is cohort based. You’ll find support, academic engagement, and more from your peers. Even more, you’ll try out some of the best emerging technologies out there, like Web 2.0 tools, digital storytelling, mobile apps, and more.
Religiously affiliated with the Lutheran church, Concordia University-Saint Paul is a small liberal arts university. It enrolls around 4,900 students each year. The school maintains an impressive 95 percent job placement rate among its graduate student population. Concordia University-Saint Paul is a leader in adult learner education for its strong online options.
Concordia University-Saint Paul gives you the option to complete this MA in Educational Technology either online or in person. The curriculum involves 30 credit-hours that are designed specifically to meet the technological needs of students in an academic setting. Blending together field experiences and classroom learning, you’ll take some of the following classes:
Technology Trends and Social Media
Educational Research and Applications
Curriculum & Instruction
Your resume will always be more appealing if it includes graduate-level research. Concordia University-Saint Paul gives you plenty of those opportunities. You can jump into faculty research projects, some of which cover topics like digital media theory, distance education and online learning, and pedagogical integration of technology.
The University of North Dakota, the state’s oldest university, was established in 1883, a full six years before the North Dakota became a state! It is a point of pride for North Dakota for producing some of the highest caliber research in the region. The College of Education and Human Development has been educating teachers since 1883.
At the University of North Dakota, you’ll find a number of options embedded within the MS in Instructional Design and Technology. The degree includes three areas of emphasis: K-12, Corporate, or Computer- and Web-Based Instruction. You curriculum will lead you through one of these areas with classes like:
Digital Media and the Internet in Schools
Instructional Design Consulting
Instructional Simulations and Games
Theories and Models of Instructional Design
One component of your curriculum at the University of North Dakota is a month-long internship in your area of expertise. All of these positions are paid internships. In the past, students have found placements in places like Raytheon, EDUTECH, PLATO Learning, Maryville State University, and more.
Kent State University is among the largest universities in the U.S. with more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Today the university enrolls more than 30,000 students at its main campus in Kent, OH.
Kent State offers several optional tracks in their Master of Education in Instructional Technology program. Many of these tracks include certifications, including:
Computer/Technology Endorsement from the state of Ohio
Online Teaching and Learning Certificate
Doctorate in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in Instructional Technology
Kent State University is ranked nationally as a public institution with quality academics by U.S. News & World Report. This public, co-educational institution was founded in 1910, and around half of all classes have less than 20 students.
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