About a year ago, I shared some easy ways to get professional development credits for free online, and I received a number of emails asking about online graduate degrees in education. You wanted to know how much an online master's degree in education would cost and where you could find the best programs.
Honestly, I didn't have a lot of information, as I got all my graduate degrees in traditional programs, so I decided to do some digging into online education master's degree programs. This article contains information that I hope will help answer your questions about online graduate degrees in education and related fields.
If you've ever considered getting a graduate degree, you've probably discovered that there are a lot of options available out there. Today I wanted to share a few of the options I've discovered.
With the struggle to balance home and school, online graduate degree programs can be a great way to continue your education without spending hours driving to and from classes. These days there are so many great online masters programs in education that you can find the perfect fit for your interests and budget.
Whether you are looking into classes for the joy of learning, to stay on top of best practices, or to move into your dream position at your school or district, there are many great education master's degree programs available online, you might just have trouble deciding!
Top rated places to get an online master's degree in education
If you are looking for a program that is considered top-tier, these programs come highly rated by U.S. News World Report. Depending on your district or the type of position you are looking for, this might be an important factor for you.
While they typically won't say it, many high-visibility positions give preference to candidates that come from well-known schools. Therefore, this is something to consider if you are considering looking into careers at the district offices.
Clemson University (Moore)
Clemson University Moore is ranked number one by U.S. News World Report.
All of its students are employed upon beginning the program, so instructors understand that you are a pupil AND a busy teacher. Classes are recorded and stored online so you can access them anytime you have a free moment to study.
Clemson strives to provide a highly responsive faculty and infrastructure to assist you.
They have a teaching and learning program with a specialization in STEAM for those pursuing a math-focused degree.
Tuition: $460 per credit hour
Duration: 18 months
Application Deadline(s): May 15
The University of Florida
The University of Florida is actually tied for first place with Clemson.
A high percentage of its students are working while taking classes, and their classes are also recorded and archived so students can access them when as needed.
Their reading and literacy education program is an excellent choice for those looking to hone their instructional skills in literacy, writing, and language.
Tuition: $518 per credit hour
Duration: 12-18 months
Application Deadlines: July 1st (fall deadline) September 15th (spring deadline) February 15th (summer deadline)
Virginia Commonwealth University
According to its website, Virginia Commonwealth University prides itself on its learning management system, which was created to assess your learning style and tailor online classes to be accessible and available to you. Sounds familiar, right?
Their M.A in Special Education is designed to prepare you to take on a leadership role in a school or district special education department.
Tuition: $1386 per credit hour
Duration: 18 months
Application Deadlines: March 1st (fall/summer deadline) November 1st (spring deadline)
Most flexible online graduate degrees in education
Being an all-star teacher while managing your responsibilities outside of school is hard. Adding graduate courses may seem impossible, but with these self-paced learning options, you can create a flexible schedule that fits your lifestyle.
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University’s courses are available online, 24/7 so you can learn on your time.
Their master's in curriculum and instruction has a focus on literacy and gives educators the tools to help their students overcome reading difficulties.
Tuition: $225 per credit hour
Duration: 15 months
Application Deadlines: decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for their five graduate terms
Purdue University Global
Purdue University Global’s curriculum was designed with working adults in mind. You may even get credit for your work history and prior learning experiences.
Their master's in educational leadership will ready you for an administrative leadership role in which you can improve your school and community.
Tuition: $329.05 per credit hour
Duration: 18 months – 2 years
Application Deadlines: Application deadline dates vary by program
Affordable online master's degrees in education
For the majority of us, the pursuit of graduate education will not result in substantial increases in income. Therefore, it is important to consider the financial burden of pursuing additional education.
Here are a few more affordable online graduate programs that won't break the bank.
Western Governors University
Western Governors University has a variety of programs, allowing you to truly specialize in your area of interest. Their master's in mathematics, for example, has three focus areas: K-6, elementary, and secondary.
Better yet, there is only one tuition level and no out-of-state tuition increase. Unlike many other universities, Western Governors University chargers per term rather than by credit, which is part of what makes it so affordable.
Tuition: $3,240 per six-month term
Duration: 6-24 months
Application Deadlines: Various deadlines, their website states “Instead of semesters that start two or three times a year, WGU starts new students at the beginning of each month, which launches a new term for those students”
Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State employs experienced faculty who are ready to provide quality instruction concerning your niche.
According to their website, their master's degree in high-incidence special education focuses on helping educators address the challenges and practical needs they'll see in the classroom.
In other words, they want to give you the tools you need to make an impact in the classroom.
Duration: 18-24 months
Application Deadlines: October 1st (spring semester deadline) June 1st (fall semester deadline)
West Texas A & M University
With online degrees in Curriculum and Instruction, School Counseling, and Instructional Design & Technology, you've got some great options here. In fact, they even have an online doctoral degree in Educational Leadership if that's the direction you're looking to go!
In-state and out-of-state tuition are impressively aligned, with only a few hundred dollars separating the two as of when this article was published. This makes it a rare find for out-of-state students.
Duration: 18-24 months
Application Deadlines: Multiple throughout the year
Finding the right graduate program for you
As you start looking at graduate programs, be sure to think about how you learn best. While you might think an online program seems great. If you know that you need regular interaction with your peers and professors, an online program might now be your best bet.
Alternatively, if you need to take classes at midnight in your pajamas. You will want to look for programs that offer flexible schedules.
Some online programs do still require you attend virtual class at specified times to participate in group chats. Therefore, it is important that you do your research before you enroll in any graduate program.
The great news is there are many 100% online institutions that offer programs tailored to your content area and interests.
Whether you are searching for a flexible path to your masters, an affordable one, or one that is top-rated, you should be able to find your perfect fit!