Online Master’s in Education Programs Resource

A master’s degree in education is an advanced degree for teachers or administrators that typically requires 1-3 years of coursework depending on whether the program is full-time or part-time. Some states require teachers to earn a master’s degree eventually in order to continue full-time employment.

Reasons for Earning a Master’s of Education

Earning a master’s in education (MA in Education) can lead to a higher salary, opportunities to work in a position of leadership, and fulfill the master’s degree requirement for teachers in some states. Master’s in education (aka M.Ed) programs can also help teachers earn an “endorsement” that can lead to a teaching position for a specific subject like math. Additionally, a master’s degree in education can help individuals deepen their knowledge of education, improve their skills, learn about the latest research in the field of education, and be more effective as teachers. If you already hold a bachelor’s degree but not in education, a master’s degree from a state-approved initial licensure program (sometimes called a career switcher program) can provide a path to becoming a teacher.

Quick Guide

  • I have a teaching degree and am interested in more education: Request information from a below master’s program or visit our Doctorate Education Programs page
  • I want to be a teacher, but don’t have a degree: Earn an Education Degree
  • I want to be a teacher and have a degree, but not in education: Learn about your state’s specific Alternative Certification Process and Programs

Online Master’s in Education Degree Programs

masters degree educationAn online master’s in education can offer great flexibility to students who wish to maintain their current employment status while advancing their education. Online master of education programs often emulate the on-campus experience but instead of traveling to a physical classroom, the classroom comes to you. Lectures may involve live streaming videos of the instructor with real-time interaction with the class through chat or video conferencing. Some programs also provide social technologies that allow students to interact with classmates in a collaborative online environment.

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Coursework for Master’s in Education Programs

Coursework for master’s degree programs in education emphasize advanced, graduate-level courses and vary depending on the program and area of focus. A teaching internship or a thesis paper may also be required for completion of a program.

Some examples of courses in a master’s of education degree in education program include:

  • Educational Leadership
  • Educational Psychology
  • Applied Educational Research
  • Instructional Theory and Design
  • Curriculum Development and Design
  • Curriculum, Assessment, and Management
  • Standards-Based Differentiated Learning
  • Strategies for Creating an Effective Learning Environment
  • Research in Education
  • Teaching Practicum

Types of Education Master’s Degrees

There are different types of master’s degrees in education and the right one will depend on your goals and area of interest. Master’s in education programs can focus on a specific area like elementary or secondary education or put a graduate on track for jobs in curriculum or administration.

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Master’s Degree in Education (M.Ed.)

The master’s degree in education is a popular degree for current teachers or aspiring school administrators who want to increase their level of education or move into a leadership role. The topics covered can include education theory, recent education research, and educational leadership. This degree can help increase a teacher’s understanding of the education field and prepare them for National Board Certification or prepare administrators for leadership positions. Some master’s in education programs are intended for career switchers who already have a bachelor’s degree in another subject and provide a path to initial certification.

Master’s in Teaching (M.I.T.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) or Master’s in Teaching

A master’s in teaching or master of arts in teaching is a popular degree often sought by new teachers, career switchers, or teachers who want to teach a specific subject area. These programs may require a single area of focus such as early childhood or adolescent education. If a content area is chosen, specific coursework in that subject may be required. Fieldwork may also be required in which students can apply what they learn in a classroom setting.

Fifth Year Master’s Degree in Education

This is an option for students of a bachelor’s degree program who can go on to complete an additional year of coursework and earn a master’s in education degree.

Job Outlook for Teachers and School Administrators

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job opportunities for school administrators should be strong with jobs growing by about 8 percent through 2018 while employment for teachers of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary is expected to grow 13 percent during the same period. The teaching outlook is strong due to several factors including a large number of teachers who are expected to retire in the next decade and the strong emphasis by the state and federal government to improve student achievement.

Master’s Degrees and Programs in Education

If you are currently a teacher, have a bachelor’s degree and are looking to gain more education and get deeper into your profession, we recommend that you:

Request information from one or more of these specific programs:

If you don’t currently have a bachelor’s degree in teaching, we recommend that you instead request information about a program from our General Education Degree page.

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Frequently Asked Questions about a Master’s in Education

Question: What is the difference between a master’s in education and a master’s in teaching?

Answer: While both types of degree can lead to an initial teaching license, the master’s in teaching tends to focus on pedagogy or the method and practice of teaching while the master’s in education tends to focus more on theory, research, and administration.

Question: What states need teachers?

Answer: States that are especially short of certified teachers include Texas, Utah, Florida, Arizona, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Kansas, and Georgia. Some of these have statewide shortages, while others need more teachers in specific locations.

Question: Can I teach while getting my certification?

Answer: If you are getting certified as a teacher through an alternative route, you may be able to teach while you earn your certificate. The requirements for doing this vary by state. Most will require that you at least have a bachelor’s degree and are enrolled in a teacher preparation program.

Question: How do I become a teacher if you have a degree?

Answer: Requirements for becoming a certified teacher vary by state, but all require a bachelor’s degree. If you already have one, you may still need to earn enough credits in education to meet the requirements for teacher preparation. You may also be able to meet those requirements while earning a master’s degree in education. At some point, you will also need to engage in some type of student teaching experience.