Best Online Master of Education Programs in Illinois

This page provides details about the best and most affordable online Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs in Illinois. Within the state, there are 21 schools offering online and hybrid M.Ed. programs. M.Ed. degree programs are frequently tailored to licensed educators, but some schools do provide M.Ed. options for first-time certification. An M.Ed. can help you add an endorsement area, deepen your skills and knowledge in a specific subject or field of teaching, or add specialist licenses like school administrator. Check out our rankings highlighting the best and most affordable online M.Ed. programs in Illinois below.

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The Best Online M.Ed. Programs in Illinois

The table below displays the top-ranked online and hybrid M.Ed., Master of Arts in Education (MA.Ed.), and Master of Science in Education (MS.Ed.) programs in Illinois based on program accreditation, number of relevant offerings, third-party school and program ratings, and affordability. For more information, see our our unique ranking methodology.

School NameRankAccreditation1,2*M.Ed. Program Types**Program FormatUS News National Rank3US News Graduate Education Rank4Tuition Per Credit Hour***Credit Hours Req’d
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign#1Administration, C&I, Content AreaHybrid, Online#35 tie#34 tie$51032
Northern Illinois University#2CAEPAdministration, C&IOnline#269 tie#183 tie$36930-39
Illinois State University#3CAEPContent Area, ReadingOnline#209 tie#79 tie$65036
Eastern Illinois University#4CAEPAdministration, C&I, ReadingHybrid, Online$16933-42
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville#5CAEPAdministration, C&IOnline#332 tie$47230-36
Loyola University Chicago#6CAEPAdministration, C&I, Content Area, Teacher PrepHybrid, Online#142 tie#99 tie$1,02530-42
McKendree University#7Administration, C&I, Content Area, ReadingOnline#237-255$44531-39
Greenville University#8CAEPC&I, Content AreaOnline$50030-33
National Louis University#9CAEPAdministration, C&I, Content Area, ReadingOnline#395-435$70032-40
University of Illinois Chicago#10C&I, Content AreaHybrid, Online#82 tie#71 tie$79332
DePaul University#11Administration, C&I, Content Area, Teacher PrepHybrid, Online#151 tie#163 tie$79632-40
Olivet Nazarene University#12C&I, ReadingOnline$45032-33
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale#13CAEPC&IOnline#280 tie$46032-36
Rockford University#14Content Area, ReadingOnline$54030
Elmhurst University#15Administration, Content AreaHybrid$52534
Saint Xavier University#16Content Area, Teacher PrepHybrid, Online$57530-45
Lewis University#17AdministrationOnline#178 tie$60033
Western Illinois University#18C&IOnline$38633
Quincy University#19C&IOnline$47530
North Central College#20AdministrationOnline$59836
VanderCook College of Music#21Content AreaHybrid$1,17736

*See table notes at bottom of page.

The Most Affordable Online Master of Education Programs in Illinois

The following schools with hybrid and online M.Ed. degrees are the most affordable based on the minimum program tuition, excluding fees. The total credit hours required may vary by concentration area, so be sure to check with schools of interest for specific program options. You can cross-reference this list with our table above to compare the quality indicators that best fit your needs.

  • Eastern Illinois University ($5,577-$7,098)
  • Northern Illinois University ($11,070-$14,391)
  • Western Illinois University ($12,738)
  • McKendree University ($13,795-$17,355)
  • Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville ($14,160-$16,992)
  • Quincy University ($14,250)
  • Olivet Nazarene University ($14,400-$14,850)
  • Southern Illinois University-Carbondale ($14,720-$16,560)
  • Greenville University ($15,000-$16,500)
  • Rockford University ($16,200)
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ($16,320)

Possible Job Titles With an M.Ed.

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Table notes:
* AAQEP accredits programs, not providers, so not all programs at a given school will hold this accreditation.
** Administration: Programs focused on administrative training, such as educational leadership, principal preparation and endorsement, and educational administration.
C&I: Programs in curriculum and instruction, instructional design, educational technology, and instructional strategies for specific populations, such as urban education, social justice, research, or special education.
Content Area: Programs in an instructional area such as English, Math, or Special Education.
Counseling: Programs that lead to certification, licensure, or advancement as a school counselor.
Teacher Prep: Programs designed for initial licensure.
Reading: Programs in reading and literacy, typically focused on credential preparation for reading and literacy specialists.
*** Tuition is per credit hour for in-state students and does not include required fees.

1. Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation: https://caepnet.org/provider-search
2. Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation: https://aaqep.org/accredited-programs
3. US News & World Report National University Rankings, 2024: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities
4. US News & World Report Best Education Schools, 2024: https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/edu-rankings