Most Affordable Online Master’s In K-12 Education Degrees

Updated September 1, 2022

Are you ready to find your fit?

Are you a classroom teacher who is ready to take the next step? Consider an affordable online Master’s in K-12 Education!

Educators are the bedrock of our society. We rely on teachers to guide our children to their best and brightest futures. With an online Master’s in K-12 Education, you can deepen your skills in the classroom and the academy. Even better, we’ll help you find a degree that won’t break the bank. This is a perfect way to both boost your career and make a huge difference in the lives of young adults.

What kind of Online Master's in K-12 Education should you get?

The price of education is no joke. Especially these days, it’s hard to find a way to fit in more school once you’ve started a career. That’s why the combination of “affordable” and “online” are often a no-brainer for people. These five programs are all offered online and start at a net cost of $11,500.

Most of these schools offer a Master of Education in Teaching. Some, however, offer a more specialized program like a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. There are benefits to each! It all just depends on where you’re ultimately hoping to take your career. When it comes down to it, you can count on affordability and flexibility from any of these schools.

If you’re looking for other related affordable graduate programs, take a look at our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Graduate Colleges.

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How much money do people make with an Online Master's in K-12 Education?

The field of education can sometimes get a bad rap when it comes to salary. But a great way to beat the system is to earn your master’s degree. This, hands down, will boost your salary just by nature of your experience. The baseline salaries for K-12 educators are as follows, but keep in mind that these figures go up exponentially when you earn a graduate degree:

We will never stop needing teachers - especially qualified ones! Employment rates are projected to increase by a solid 8 percent over the years. Keep in mind that this growth rate could be even higher in states that are more in need of K-12 teachers.

What can you do with an Online Master's in K-12 Education?

Earning a Master’s in K-12 Education doesn’t mean you have to be a classroom teacher. In fact, it will open more doors for you than you might think. Because a master’s degree will include a certain amount of research, you could become an Educational Consultant. Or you could choose to apply your knowledge on the administrative end of things and become a School Principal.

However, if you choose to be a classroom teacher, this degree will benefit you in enormous ways. You’ll deepen your knowledge of diversity in the classroom, technology integration, curriculum development, and more. It probably goes without saying that your work setting will be school-based in some way.

What are the requirements for an Online Master's in K-12 Education?

While all of these programs offer graduate degrees in K-12 education, the opportunities and requirements in each can vary. Some will include concentrations that allow students to go deeper into specific topics, while others will provide internships or student-teaching opportunities. Regardless of the specifics of the program, however, all students need a current teaching license in their states of residence to apply, as these programs will not provide a direct path to licensure.

While some things vary, many stay the same. Programs in K-12 education, at the master's level, typically last two years, though programs can be shorter or longer depending on the number of credits one takes each term. Expect to take between 30 and 40 credit hours' worth of coursework, or between 10 and 12 courses, overall.

What are the best Online Master's in K-12 Education?

If you’re looking for quality, affordability, and flexibility, you’ve come to the right place. The data team at College Choice has developed a methodology that first considers the net cost of each program. Then they factor in essential data like graduation rates, retention rates, and the early salaries of graduates.

The final list offers you the 5 Most Affordable Online Master’s in K-12 Education. Our facts and figures come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.


See our rankings methodology page.

  1. American Military University

    Charles Town, WV




    American Military/Public University takes the #1 spot on this list. It is a private university that is primarily online. Though it has no official affiliation with the United States government, over 56 percent of the student body at American Military/Public University are military service members. These students benefit greatly from tuition assistance and support.

    Program Features

    American Military/Public University brings together affordability and accessibility in this online Master of Education in Teaching. This is intended for classroom teachers who are currently licensed but looking for advancement in their field. You’ll take two years to complete the 36 credit-hours, allowing you to go at your own pace. Here’s a sneak peek:

    • Critical Perspectives on Diversity and Culture
    • The Professional Educator
    • Meaningful Inclusive Instruction and Co-Teaching
    • Education Law, Ethics, and Politics


    This degree program also gives you the benefit of customizing your graduate studies to a specific concentration. You can choose from any of the following: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary Teachers, Elementary Reading, English Language Learners, Online Learning, Special Education, Instructional Leadership, and more.

  2. Minnesota State University, Mankato

    Mankato, MN




    The flagship university of the state system, Minnesota State University Mankato is also one of the largest public universities in the state. Despite its growing enrollment numbers, the school maintains a 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The online learning platform graduates around 3,000 students each year.

    Program Features

    Offered in a hybrid format, you’ll jump into the Graduate Teacher Licensure Program/MA in Teaching at Minnesota State University Mankato. Your classes will be conducted in a combination of online classes in in-person training. This is a cohort-based program that operates on a 7-week course schedule. Take a look at a few course options:

    • Evaluation in the Classroom
    • Technology Integration in the Classroom
    • Reading, Literacy, and Differentiated Instruction
    • Research Methods


    The program at Minnesota State University Mankato includes a student teaching experience. The class, Practicum in the Secondary School, is based in a classroom setting anywhere from grades 8-12. This will give some of the most valuable field experience to apply your learnings.

  3. Old Dominion University

    Norfolk, VA




    Located in Norfolk, VA, Old Dominion University is a strong public university of the south. It enrolls around 24,000 students each year making it one of the largest by population in the state. Its distance learning branch, ODU Online, was started in 1994 and offers over 60 different degree programs.

    Program Features

    ODU Online hosts an MS in Educational Leadership/Administration & Supervision K-12. This is a cohort-based online program that works through 30 hours of relevant educational theory and application. You also will complete a 120-hour internship throughout the degree program. Some of your class highlights might include:

    • Educational Politics and Policymaking
    • Instructional Leadership and Supervision
    • Leadership and Management for School Improvement
    • Educational Law and Ethics


    Old Dominion University works hard to make this degree affordable. After all, a degree in education should give back, right? You’ll find lots of perks embedded in this program. For instance, all Virginia public school employees receive a 25 percent discount per credit.

  4. Western Colorado University

    Gunnison, CO




    Based in Gunnison, CO, Western Colorado University is a small but mighty liberal arts school. It excels in outdoor education, biology, education, and more. For the last four years, Forbes has ranked Western Colorado University as one of the top 100 universities in the West.

    Program Features

    Western Colorado University delivers a two-year MA in Education that incorporates both a licensure and a specialty. This degree can be completed 100 percent online. During the first year, you’ll complete 27 credits toward your teaching license. The next 16-19 credits will go toward your emphasis area. Here’s a look into the curriculum:

    • Curriculum Program Evaluation
    • Grant Writing in Education
    • Materials and Motivation for Reading
    • Literacy Coaching and Mentoring


    The program at Western Colorado University makes it possible for you to dive deeper into an area of your choosing. You’ll be able to guide your degree in one of the following areas: Teacher Leadership, Reading Leadership, K-12 Online Teacher Leadership, or Educational Administration.

  5. University of the Cumberlands

    Williamsburg, KY




    Affiliated with Southern Baptist Church, the University of the Cumberlands is a small institution in Williamsburg, KY. The University of the Cumberlands began offering numerous graduate-level education degrees fully online in 2006. In addition to 45 unique areas of study at the undergraduate level, the school also offers master’s and doctorate programs.

    Program Features

    At the University of the Cumberlands, you’ll earn a Master of Art in Education through a 30 credit-hour online program. This program features concentration areas in three areas: Literacy Specialist, School Counseling, and Teacher Leader. Each path includes core courses, speciality courses, and professional courses. Here’s a sampling:

    • Curriculum Management and Assessment
    • Diversity in a Multicultural Society
    • Writing Instruction for Content Areas
    • Literacy Leadership


    The University of the Cumberlands understands the cost of education, which is why it works hard to make tuition affordable for all students. Nearly 97 percent of the students at the University of the Cumberlands receive some sort of financial aid. It spends on average $35 million on scholarships, work-study programs, and loans per year.

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