Most Affordable Online Master’s In Education Degrees 2022

Earning a master's in education degree online is a great way to progress in a current career or start a new one. Here, we highlight the most affordable program options.

Most Affordable Online Master’s In Education Degrees 2022

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Online Masters in Education - What to do with your degree?

Online master's in education programs prepare learners for various careers. Graduates may work as teachers, school administrators, or curriculum developers. An online education master's degree also prepares students for doctoral study.

Learners can complete a master's in education online in about two years. Coursework varies by specialization. Enrollees may specialize in areas such as higher education or education administration. Degree-seekers typically need a bachelor's from a regionally accredited program and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

This page lists the most affordable online master's in education programs. Read on to learn about costs and common classes.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Online Masters Education Programs

How much is an online master's degree in education?

An online master's degree in education costs an average of $55,200, according to EducationData.org. However, tuition varies by school.

How long does an online master's in education take?

Full-time enrollees can complete a master's degree in two years. Part-time learners may need 3-4 years. Some accelerated online programs take just 12-18 months, depending on students' prior coursework.

Do you need a bachelor's to get a master's?

Yes. Master's in education programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree. Some programs only accept candidates with education-related bachelor's degrees.

Online Masters in Education Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Why Get an Education Masters Degree?

Earning a master's degree online or on campus helps learners develop many in-demand skills, including research and communication. Degree-holders can apply these skills in teaching, education administration, and school counseling careers. Online programs allow enrollees to continue working while earning their degree.

A master's in education can also lead to high-paying careers. Master's in education graduates average $60,000 annually, according to Dec. 2021 Payscale data. Bachelor's in education graduates earn $55,000.

How Much Does an Education Degree Cost?

Degree costs vary by school. In-state public universities usually cost less than half of what out-of-state public schools cost. Private schools may cost at least three times as much as in-state public schools. Some schools charge online learners in-state tuition rates.

Online learners can apply for scholarships and grants to help pay for their degree. They also save money by not paying for campus housing or meal plans. An online format means degree-seekers can attend the most affordable program without relocating.

Additional Online Student Fees

Online students can save on commuting and parking costs. However, they may need to buy a new laptop or upgrade their internet. Some schools charge technology and graduation fees. Degree-seekers should also budget for any in-person components. These experiences may lead to travel and lodging costs.

Like on-campus students, online learners must buy class materials and books. Buying used or digital books can help save money. Students should also plan to pay for teaching licensure exams.

How Much Do Education Majors Make?

Online master's in education graduates often work as teachers or school administrators. Teachers earn a median annual salary of $62,870, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top earners in this field make more than $102,000 annually. Teaching salaries vary by employer and state.

Graduates with a master's in education may also work as school principals. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $98,490. Education administrators often hold master's degrees focused on educational leadership or administration. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $97,500.

Courses in a Master's in Education

Most online master's in education programs require at least 36 credits. Learners complete core and specialization coursework. Students with a bachelor's degree unrelated to education must typically complete additional prerequisites.

All teacher-preparation master's programs require enrollees to complete supervised student teaching hours at approved local sites. Enrollees learn how to plan lessons and manage classrooms. They also learn how to communicate with students and their families.

Many schools offer concentrations in early childhood and elementary education. Other common concentrations include educational leadership and special education. Some programs feature specializations in health education or physical education.

See below for three common courses in online master's in education programs. Keep in mind that classes vary by school.

  • Education Research Methods

    This core course explores various research methods and when to use them. Students learn how to gather data and draw inferences. They also design a research project and write a research proposal.
  • Instructional Leadership

    This core course teaches learners how to supervise and evaluate teachers. Coursework covers how to use resources and promote effective instruction. Students learn how to establish instructional standards and assess programs. This course emphasizes professional development to increase teacher effectiveness.
  • Social Justice and Education Equity

    This course explores multiculturalism and social justice theory related to education policy. Enrollees learn how discrimination affects education equity. The course examines how to challenge these dynamics. Students also learn how to increase access to educational opportunities.

How to Become a Teacher

Aspiring teachers need a bachelor's degree. Some bachelor's in education programs fulfill teaching and experience requirements for teaching certification. Learners with unrelated bachelor's degrees must complete a board-approved teacher-preparation program to qualify for licensure. Teacher-preparation programs usually offer at least two years of student-teaching opportunities. Students also receive feedback from a teaching mentor.

Some degree-seekers enroll in master's in education programs to fulfill education and student teaching licensure requirements. Teacher-preparation programs should correspond to the level or subjects the educator will teach. For example, high school teachers must complete programs focused on secondary school teaching.

Licensure for Teaching

Public school teachers must receive professional licenses or certifications through their state's education board. These certifications usually focus on a specialization such as secondary education or special education.

Students can earn these credentials by meeting education and supervised student teaching requirements. They must also pass a professional exam. These exams may cost $150-$200. Licensure fees may cost an extra $200. Costs vary by state.

Each state determines its own education requirements for teaching licensure. However, most states require applicants to complete an accredited teacher-preparation program.

Most states also require candidates to hold an accredited bachelor's degree and at least 2-3 years of student teaching experience. In some states, learners can complete this experience at the same time as their degree. Teachers must complete continuing education every few years to keep their license current.

Most Affordable Online Master's in Education Degrees

#1

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Information
Location Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Admission Rate 23%
Graduation Rate 91%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Concentrations Available: Autism

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Individuals with or without a current teaching license can pursue UNC-Chapel Hill's M.Ed. in early childhood intervention and family support. Enrollees complete the degree part time in a hybrid format. Most students work while earning the required 33-36 credits. Students meet off campus once a week during the fall and spring semesters.

The curriculum emphasizes evidence-based assessment and instructional practices. The program features experiential learning opportunities and action research. Admission to the online master's in education program requires a bachelor's degree, a minimum 2.7 GPA, and teaching experience.

Available Scholarships: T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood North Carolina Scholarship Program

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#2

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Gifted education and exceptional education

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Educators can pursue UCF's M.Ed. in elementary education to qualify for a teaching certification or endorsement. The fully online program enrolls educators with a temporary or professional K-6 certificate. The 30-credit curriculum offers specializations in gifted education and exceptional education, along with endorsements in reading and ESOL.

Participants learn about elementary education best practices, differentiation strategies, and assessment methods for K-6 learners. Enrollees in the online master's in education program can supervise preprofessional interns to save on tuition.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree and a current Florida teaching certificate or temporary teaching certificate. Applicants need passing scores on portions of the Florida teacher certification examination.

Available Scholarships: UCF online tuition support scholarships, A. Harry Passow Classroom Teacher Scholarship

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#3

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

School Information
Location Champaign, Illinois
Admission Rate 59%
Graduation Rate 85%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Concentrations Available: Ed.M. in curriculum and instruction: bilingual and bicultural education, digital learning, and perspectives and practices

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Illinois offers several fully online master of education programs. The degrees require 32 credits and feature majors in global studies in education and international education administration and leadership.

The Ed.M. in curriculum and instruction offers concentrations in bilingual and bicultural education, digital learning, and perspectives and practices. The Ed.M. in learning design and leadership enrolls preK-16 educators and training development professionals. Enrollees learn to create engaging learning environments using media technologies.

All students pursuing an online master's in education pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency status. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Each program sets additional admission requirements.

Available Scholarships: TEACH grant; Illinois need-based scholarships

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#4

Johns Hopkins University

School Information
Location Baltimore, Maryland
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 93%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Johns Hopkins offers an MS in educational policy for educators interested in policy development. Participants learn how to shape evidence-based K-12 policies at the state and federal levels.

Students complete 33-36 credits as part of a cohort and graduate in 1-2 years. Learners can enroll full time or part time. Participants complete courses online and attend a one-week residency in the District of Columbia.

Degree-seekers gain experience through a required capstone and an optional internship. Applicants to the online master's in education program need a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and no GRE scores.

Available Scholarships: John Hopkins School of Education scholarships; Harry S. Truman Scholarship

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#5

University of Southern California

School Information
Location Los Angeles, California
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 92%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

USC's M.Ed. in learning design and technology prepares students for instructional design careers. Students learn to design in-person, online, and blended learning environments.

Participants complete the 30-unit curriculum in 21 months. The online master's in education features live course sessions exploring learning and motivation, instructional design, and learning environment design. Students apply new skills to a capstone project, which they add to a portfolio.

Classes take place during evenings, afternoons, and weekends. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, letters of recommendation, and school transcripts.

Available Scholarships: USC Rossier School of Education scholarships and fellowships

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#6

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Varies by degree

Accredited By: MAT: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

A private Christian college, Liberty delivers online master of arts in teaching and master of education programs. Degree-seekers interested in initial licensure typically pursue the MAT and a concentration such as elementary education or secondary education.

The M.Ed. program features non-licensure, advanced licensure, and endorsement options. Students not pursuing a teaching license can choose a higher education or curriculum and instruction track.

Enrollees complete their online master's in education through mostly asynchronous coursework delivered in eight-week terms. Full-time students pay the same affordable tuition rate, regardless of residency. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and school transcripts.

Available Scholarships: TEACH Grants

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#7

Southern New Hampshire University

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Reading, special education, technology integration, online teaching, education leadership, and dyslexia studies and language-based learning disabilities

Accredited By: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

SNHU offers an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction with six concentrations. The online program does not lead to licensure. Students can complete the 36 credits in 15 months. Participants complete a core curriculum exploring leadership and curriculum design.

The program offers concentrations including educational leadership, special education, and online learning. Degree-seekers can also focus on dyslexia studies and language-based learning disabilities.

Learners pursuing the online degree in education can transfer up to 12 graduate credits. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and at least six months of K-12 classroom or curriculum development experience.

Available Scholarships: SNHU Online and Continuing Education Scholarship

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#8

University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee

School Information
Location Sarasota, Florida
Admission Rate 24%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Concentrations Available: Secondary education: teaching English speakers of other languages

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

USFSM's comprehensive M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction program features a concentration in secondary TESOL education. Enrollees choose from fully online and hybrid formats. Participants design a degree plan based on their educational background and career goals.

The 33-credit curriculum includes core coursework in curriculum and instruction and various psychological and social topics. Learners complete at least 18 concentration credits. The online education program culminates with a comprehensive exam. 

Admission requires a bachelor's degree in education, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and teaching certification.

Available Scholarships: Pi Lambda Theta scholarships

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#9

California State University-Bakersfield

School Information
Location Bakersfield, California
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 43%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

CSUB designed its curriculum and instruction MA to help K-12 teachers enhance their skills. Enrollees complete 30 units in an average of one year. Degree-seekers explore educational leadership, research methods, and curriculum development.

Participants complete 15 elective units, which they can use to pursue a certificate in educational technology. The online master's in education culminates with a comprehensive exam. The degree may lead to a California-approved reading and literacy authorization.

Students pay the same flat tuition rate, regardless of state residency. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and valid teaching credential.

Available Scholarships: Future Female Educators Scholarship

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#10

Purdue University-Main Campus

School Information
Location West Lafayette, Indiana
Admission Rate 60%
Graduation Rate 82%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Concentrations Available: Educational leadership, teaching students with special needs, teaching literacy and language

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Located in Indiana, Purdue offers several online education degrees. The MS in education enrolls current preK-12 teachers and aspiring teachers seeking an alternative pathway to certification. Full-time students complete the 46-54 credits in an average of 1.5 years.

Concentration options include educational leadership and teaching students with special needs. Online learners in select states can pursue the certification route. Teachers with national board certification can transfer credits into the MS program.

Degree-seekers can also pursue an MA in teaching, an MS in higher education, and an MS in instructional design and technology. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and college transcripts.

Available Scholarships: TEACH Grants

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