As more children enter school with the ability to operate technology, the need for educators with knowledge of internet education, digital media, and instructional software will continue to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. will experience the creation of 17,200 instructional coordinator positions by 2026. An online educational technology degree prepares adults for employment in school settings and for lucrative management positions. Making the choice to pursue your online master’s in instructional technology could be the next step toward a satisfying career in a growing industry.
Choosing a Program
Earning a master’s in educational technology online enables educators and administrators to integrate technology into their classrooms, oversee curricula for several grades, and lead professionals to careers as consultants or project managers. Prospective students have many decisions to make when selecting an educational technology online master’s. From program location and delivery format to the cost of attendance, students search for criteria that fit their career goals and unique needs.
Regardless of the program a student chooses, an educational technology online master’s equips students with knowledge of learning in the digital age. A typical curriculum consists of core and elective courses. Foundational topics that students will likely encounter include instructional design, computer-based learning systems, and educational research. Electives allow students to adapt degrees to match their career interests, and students may choose to take elective courses in online teaching, educational video game design, and/or classroom blogging.
Students who wish to pursue careers outside education may enroll in courses such as project management and network administration. Some programs require a practicum or thesis, and students may be required to produce a portfolio prior to graduation documenting their academic and professional growth.
For career information, skip down:
- What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master’s in Educational Technology Program?
- Online Master’s in Educational Technology Careers
- Accreditation for Online Master’s in Educational Technology Degrees
- Professional Organizations for Educational Technology
Online Master’s in Educational Technology Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
The Best Online Master’s in Educational Technology Programs
1. University of Florida
Established 160 years ago, the University of Florida remains a hub of research and innovation in every field. Approximately 54,000 Gators attend UF each year. A leader in distance learning, UF Online offers 100 distance learning programs, including a master of education in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in educational technology. The two-year degree trains instructional designers and educational technologists, many of whom go on to work at leading educational organizations around the globe.
The 36-credit program includes a curriculum and instruction core that examines instructional design, the foundations of educational technology, and distance teaching and learning. Four courses on educational technology teach students how to blend learning environments, design integrated media, and harness the potential of technology in instruction. The educational technology online master’s program also gives students an overview of current research and how to integrate it into their classrooms. Electives explore areas of interest such as the internet in K-12 instruction, distance education leadership, and games and simulations in teaching and learning.
The M.Ed. culminates in a practicum, during which students research and write a report on how technology supports learning. New students may begin the program five times a year in the fall, spring, and summer. Students take two courses per semester to complete the degree in two years. Admission requires GRE scores and a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
2. University of Virginia
Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia houses 11 schools in Charlottesville and UVA-Wise in Southwest Virginia. The selective college enrolls about 23,000 students, with many studying through distance learning options.
The fully online master of education in curriculum and instruction with a focus in instructional technology enrolls students on a full-time and part-time basis. The 30-credit curriculum delves into the principles of curriculum design; education across cultures; instructional materials design; and curriculum, assessment, and instruction. Instructional technology concentration courses include instructional design, online instruction for K-12, and computer courseware tools. Upon completion of the M.Ed., graduates know how to apply research-based instructional strategies, use educational practices to encourage learner equity and access, and analyze the impact of technology and globalization in education.
UVA offers competitive tuition rates and tuition discounts for Virginia’s K-12 educators. Small class sizes foster interaction between faculty and students. Virtual classrooms incorporate state-of-the-art instructional techniques. The online master’s in instructional technology admits students in the fall, spring, and summer. Students may transfer a maximum of six credits with department approval. Students have up to five years to complete the M.Ed. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree, school transcripts, and GRE scores.
The University of Virginia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
3. University of Central Florida
With an enrollment of 66,000 students, the University of Central Florida is one of the nation’s largest institutions. UCF offers more than 200 programs through 13 colleges. The college hosts a comprehensive suite of online and hybrid programs, including the master of arts in instructional design and technology with a track in educational technology.
The 36-credit major teaches preK-12 and postsecondary educators how to successfully integrate technology into their curriculum. The online educational technology degree explores current trends in IT, measurement and evaluation, and instructional systems design. In the educational technology track, learners examine virtual teaching environments, emerging technologies, and multimedia in education and training. One notable course explores how to adapt and integrate innovative technologies such as software packages, multimedia productivity suites, and desktop publishing.
Students supplement required coursework with electives. Options include adult learning, distance education, data-driven decision making, and instructional game design. Students apply and refine acquired knowledge and skills during the culminating practicum. Graduates leave the program equipped with the skills necessary for a variety of careers in education, including technology coordinator, computer teacher, and college instructor. Students who choose the hybrid format meet face-to-face every two weeks. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
The University of Central Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
4. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Tech is the commonwealth’s top research institution, with facilities across the world and a strong presence in Washington, D.C. Faculty use a hands-on, transdisciplinary education model. Despite having more than 34,000 students, Virginia Tech maintains a 16-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The schools administers 280 programs, including many online graduate options.
Aspiring instructional technology specialists can enroll in the online master of arts in education, curriculum, and instruction with a focus on instructional technology. The 30-credit curriculum focuses on the theories and practices utilized in effective instructional design and technology. The degree meets the needs of K-12 educators, corporate trainers, and similar non-academic professionals. Coursework includes study of design for learning, software design, program and product evaluation, and applied ID theory. Learners use nine electives to examine areas such as distance education, the applications of digital media, and learning message design.
Students develop a portfolio that showcases the assignments and projects they completed while earning the master’s in educational technology online. To graduate, students must complete a thesis or a project. The project requires about 150 hours to independently study and develop a report on an area of particular interest. Students in the MA program typically work full time and take three credits each semester to complete the degree in three years. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 Quality Credit Average.
Virginia Tech is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
5. Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State University ranks in the 1% of colleges in the world. Students engage in rigorous academics and enjoy a vibrant campus life on 24 campuses throughout the state. Penn State World Campus gives students the opportunity to earn a prestigious degree from a distance. The school’s eLearners gain access to a comprehensive suite of degrees, affordable tuition, and the nation’s largest alumni network.
The master of education in learning, design, and technology follows either a blended format with some courses at University Park, or a fully online format through World Campus. Students learn how to design educational technologies and use them to enhance teaching and learning. The 30-credit degree plan evaluates systematic instructional development, emerging web technologies and learning, and constructivist learning environments. Students choose seven elective courses that delve into topics such as educational technology integration, computers as learning tools, teaching and learning online in K-12 settings, and mobile technologies in the learning environment. One notable course examines how educators in K-12 and postsecondary education can use gaming and simulations in educational contexts.
While this program may help teachers renew or advance their certification, it does not lead to initial certification in Pennsylvania. World Campus students pay the same tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency. The program admits students in the spring, summer, and fall. Admission requires GRE or MAT scores.
Pennsylvania State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
6. George Washington University, GW Online
Washington, District of Columbia
George Washington University provides students with a dynamic learning experience in the nation’s capital. More than 26,000 students attend the main campus, which is located near the White House and Department of State. A pioneer in distance learning, GW offers a growing number of eLearning options. The fully online master of arts in educational technology leadership prepares professionals to enhance learning in education, business, and governmental settings.
The 36-credit curriculum emphasizes education, technology, and leadership. The program engages students in hands-on learning with applied activities. The core curriculum examines education policy, instructional design, educational media and technology, and multimedia materials. Students also learn about the computers, networks, software, and hardware used in K-12, higher education, and businesses. A suite of electives allow students to explore specialized areas such as distance education, learning technologies and organizations, and instructional needs analysis. Students create a professional digital portfolio that displays design and integration of multimedia.
Upon completion of the online educational technology degree, students know how to effectively design and implement educational technologies, use applied research to improve learning, and understand the role of effective leadership strategy in education and development. Applicants do not need to submit GRE or MAT scores.
George Washington University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
7. East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
North Carolina’s leader in online learning, East Carolina University offers several distance options unavailable at other institutions. ECU is home to 12 colleges and schools and a comprehensive catalog of degrees, including 71 master’s programs. The master of science in instructional technology prepares educators to develop learning products for students in K-12 schools, higher education, businesses, and military settings.
The 36-credit degree includes study of instructional design, multimedia instructional product development, teaching on the web, and systems for product development. Students use six elective credits to explore other areas or earn a certificate. The computer-based instruction certificate requires coursework in human-computer interface design and virtual reality principles and applications. A six-credit distance learning certificate requires coursework in distance learning and management of distance education.
All students complete a capstone project under the supervision of a professional instructional designer/technologist. Recent capstone projects include teaching an undergraduate technology course, translating an instructional module into Spanish, and transitioning an existing face-to-face course into an online format. Since most participants work full time, the online master’s in instructional technology follows a fully online, asynchronous format. The program admits students in the spring, summer, and fall. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.7 GPA, school transcripts, and GRE or MAT scores.
East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
8. University of Arkansas Global Campus
One of the nation’s top research colleges, the University of Arkansas offers more than 200 degrees through 10 colleges and schools. U of A educates 27,000 students, 15,000 of which take online courses. Online learners can participate in the school’s on-campus traditions such as imprinting their names on U of A’s sidewalk when they graduate.
Students in the master of education in educational technology develop the skills necessary for work in instructional design in various settings. The 34-credit curriculum explores learning technologies, web design, visual literacy, and strategic planning. Students learn how to infuse design technology in instruction, teach with the latest technologies, administer distance learning, and train learners in various settings. Learners use nine credits for elective educational technology coursework. All learners showcase their talents during an e-portfolio production course in the last semester, which replaces the comprehensive exam requirement. The fully online program does not require a thesis.
Students can complete the educational technology online master’s program in 18 months, but have up to six years to fulfill the requirements. Online learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency. The program enrolls new students in the spring, summer, and fall. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.7 GPA, school transcripts, and GRE scores.
The University of Arkansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
9. Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University is home to a major research college, a law school, and medical college. The Carnegie Foundation named TTU a high activity research institution, a designation granted to only 81 public colleges in the U.S. In addition to its main campus, the school offers degrees though several regional sites, a Costa Rica location, and a robust virtual college.
The 39-credit master of education in instructional technology enhances teachers’ skills in creating materials, activities, and resources for education. The curriculum, which emphasizes real-world applicability, includes a research course. Students learn about foundations of instructional design, distance learning, instructional media, and administration of instructional technology. Electives explore topics such as educational network applications, instructional software design, curriculum applications of the internet, and video-based distance learning. In addition to coursework, students engage in reflective analysis through guided research and term projects. Distance learners also implement software design or new technologies.
A practicum course requires students to solve an instructional problem in a work setting such as a classroom. Learners also complete a comprehensive exam to exit the program. M.Ed. graduates may enter careers as instructional designers and distance education managers. Students who take two courses per semester complete the degree in two years. TTU allows students to transfer up to six credits toward the online master’s in instructional technology. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree, school transcripts, and GRE scores.
Texas Tech is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
10. University of Connecticut
A “Public Ivy,” the University of Connecticut maintains its standing as one of the nation’s top colleges for academic excellence and research. Home of the Huskies athletic champions, UConn offers a comprehensive range of programs, several of which are offered through the eCampus. The innovative master of arts in educational technology follows a hybrid format. The MA trains working educators in the use of emerging technologies including web-based learning, situated learning, e-portfolios, and gaming and simulations. Students study on campus in Storrs for one week during two consecutive summers and complete online courses in the spring and fall.
During the program, learners explore digital learning strategies, participate in a virtual community of peers and UConn faculty, and develop an e-portfolio that includes assignments and classroom materials. The educational technology online master’s program includes study of instructional design, learning technologies, multimedia production, and methods in educational research. Students inquire into the nature of learning itself with a course that examines the types of learning, what motivates learners, instructional outcomes, and individual differences among elementary and high school students.
In a course on learning technologies’ application in schools, students integrate technology into their area of specialization and collect data, conduct analysis, and make revisions. During a capstone course, learners explore topics in professional development and prepare an e-portfolio. A comprehensive exam is required to exit the program. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA. UConn does not require GRE or GMAT scores.
The University of Connecticut is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
11. University of Georgia
Georgia’s flagship college, the University of Georgia is recognized as one of the nation’s “Public Ivies.” The school offers rigorous academics and research opportunities through five campuses in Georgia, satellites in Washington, DC, overseas locations, and UGA Online. The 36-credit master of education in learning, design, and technology features two online areas of emphasis: instructional technology or instructional design and development.
The instructional technology concentration trains classroom teachers to effectively integrate computer and multimedia technology in K-12 education. The curriculum includes learning theory and instructional models, eLearning development, learning assessment, instructional evaluation, and classroom technology integration. The degree does not lead to initial teacher certification, but is approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for a teaching certificate upgrade.
The instructional design and development emphasis trains eLearning design experts to use emerging technologies to engage learners in an interactive way. The curriculum covers instructional design; management for instructional projects; design for online courses; and emerging approaches to teaching, learning, and technology. A four-course design studio series gives students in-depth exposure to design and development tools used to build learning environments.
The online master’s in instructional technology follows a cohort model. Applicants should submit GRE or MAT scores.
The University of Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
12. University of Oklahoma – Norman
The University of Oklahoma houses 170 majors, world-renowned research facilities, and 400 student organizations. OU’s 36-credit master of education in instructional psychology and technology offers three specializations relevant to instructional designers: integrating technology in teaching, instructional design and technology, and 21st century teaching and learning. Students in this hybrid program must take at least 16 credits on campus.
The first two specializations share common courses in how to design, develop, and implement instructional programs. Learners also develop an understanding of the characteristics that facilitate learning, learning assessments. and educational research and evaluation studies. The specializations include coursework examining instructional design, web-based instruction, teaching with technology, and multimedia design for learning. Both specializations include a series of courses in research methods, including quantitative data analysis, instrument development, and qualitative research methods. The integrating technology in teaching specialization does not require a thesis. The instructional design and technology specialization offers both non-thesis and research thesis options. These specializations require several on-campus courses.
The third specialization, 21st century teaching and learning, features mostly online courses. The 18-month program uses a different curriculum that includes study of classroom management for the 21st century, open educational resources for teaching, technology and social media in education, and new literacies in 21st century learning. Admission to any of the three educational technology online master’s degrees requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. OU does not require GRE scores.
The University of Oklahoma is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
13. University at Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Known for having the largest academic catalog in New York State, the University at Buffalo provides a wide selection of degrees for both undergraduate and graduate students. UB emphasizes ethical reasoning, critical thinking, and global perspectives. The school’s 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures that each student receives individual attention. The graduate school of education offers more than 50 online programs, including the master of education in education and technology.
Faculty designed the degree for educators seeking to enhance their technological and teaching knowledge. The program also assists individuals with technology experience who would like to learn how to apply their skills in educational settings. The 33-credit curriculum offers three areas of emphasis: online education; design, development, and technology; and content and pedagogy in technology integration. All three areas of emphasis share common courses in theoretical issues and frameworks, design and development, and technology in classrooms. Other courses examine topics such as digital media in education, technology and science teaching, technology in secondary mathematics education, and computer science for non-majors.
Students take four courses in their chosen area of emphasis and work with faculty to customize the degree to target career goals. At the end of the program, students engage in a capstone project that synthesizes their knowledge. Full-time students can complete the online master’s in instructional technology in three semesters. The program admits new students in the fall and spring.
The University at Buffalo is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
14. Ohio State University
The Ohio State University enrolls 66,000 students, most of whom study on the main campus in Columbus. OSU’s master of learning technologies prepares educators to integrate technology to support learning in contexts such as K-12 education, higher education, and the military. The fully online program accepts both full-time and part-time students.
The 30-credit degree plan examines instructional design, applied instructional design, practices in educational technology, theories of learning with technology, and designing multimedia for instruction. Students also take a course on how to conduct research in educational contexts. Elective options cover topics such as educational videography, teaching online for K-12 educators, and how to develop educational websites.
At the end of the program, students participate in a practicum that involves the development of an e-portfolio. Each student pairs with a mentor who will guide and evaluate work conducted in a professional setting. The online master’s in instructional technology requires no comprehensive exam or thesis. Upon completion of the degree, graduates qualify for positions such as instructional designer, educational technologist, and curriculum developer. Online students all pay in-state tuition regardless of where they live. The program admits new students in the autumn only. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and school transcripts. Students with a lower GPA should submit GRE scores.
The Ohio State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
15. Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
Founded in 1855, Michigan State University offers more than 200 programs in fields such as biomedical engineering, agribusiness, world politics, Spanish, piano, and media. The school ranks as one of the top producers of Fulbright Scholars among research institutions. In addition to high-quality academics, students have access to more than 275 study abroad programs in 60 countries.
The 30-credit master of arts in educational technology (MAET), delivered fully online, enrolls educators, administrators, and other education professionals.Coursework examines learning in schools and other settings, teaching K-12 students online, technology in leadership, and approaches to educational research. Electives cover specific areas of interest such as learning mathematics or science and technology. During a capstone, learners prepare an online portfolio that highlights their work and accomplishments throughout the MAET.
Some students opt for the MAET hybrid summer cohort, during which they study face-to-face at MSU for two weeks over the summer and complete the remaining courses online. The MAET two-year cohort provides students with the opportunity to build strong professional relationships with peers. Whichever format they choose, the majority of MAET students complete the degree in two to three years while maintaining current employment. Students may transfer up to nine graduate credits into the educational technology online master’s degree. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Michigan State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
16. Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University was established as the nation’s first research college. The school operates campuses in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Italy, and China. JHU’s graduate programs are among the best in the country in fields such as healthcare, engineering, and education. The school lauds a growing online presence, offering dozens of online programs administered through seven schools.
The 36-credit master of science in education with a concentration in digital age learning and educational technology features two areas of focus: digital age learning leadership and online and blended learning instructional design. Students learn how to effectively apply technologies in preK-12 schools, higher education, businesses, and other settings. Through project-based learning, students acquire competencies in instructional design, learning science, and emerging technologies. The online educational technology degree also examines the science of learning, culturally responsive teaching, evaluation and research, and advanced applications in digital age learning.
The online and blended learning instructional design specialization focuses on instructional design for online learning, online learning environments, and gaming and media design for learning. The digital age learning leadership specialization covers data-driven decision-making, the use of technology leadership to improve schools, and integrating media into a standards-based curriculum. Students may enroll full time or part time and can begin during the fall, spring, or summer. All students pay the same tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.
Johns Hopkins University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
17. The University of Tennessee
The flagship campus in the University of Tennessee system, UT Knoxville enrolls 28,000 students. Despite its large size, the school maintains a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. eLearning options include the master of science in instructional technology, a program that trains working professionals to design, develop, and implement virtual learning environments. The fully online degree utilizes synchronous and asynchronous learning formats. Students apply concepts in projects commissioned by real clients.
The 33-credit master’s in educational technology online includes foundational courses in adult development, adult learning, and change in educational environments. The core curriculum examines online learning environments, instructional systems design, multimedia in instruction, and instructional media development. Students complete a capstone e-portfolio in lieu of a thesis. Learners can also enhance their resumes with a graduate certificate in online teaching and learning.
Students enroll on a full-time or part-time basis, with flexibility to complete the degree using two-year, three-year, and four-year degree plans. Though coursework is available fully online, students must attend a face-to-face, one-day orientation every August. The program admits students in the fall, summer, and spring. UT Knoxville does not require GRE scores.
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
18. University of South Carolina-Columbia
Columbia, South Carolina
With a rich 200-year history, the University of South Carolina has evolved into a major research college. The eight-college USC system offers more than 200 graduate programs to a flourishing community of over 8,000 graduate students. Faculty from USC-Columbia and USC-Aiken teach courses for the 36-credit master of education in educational technology. The degree teaches K-12 educators, corporate trainers, and other professionals how to design, deliver, and evaluate education technology for children and adults.
The online master’s degree in instructional design acquaints students with learning theories and instructional models. Courses include study of design and development tools, instructional design and development, and instructional design and assessment. During a series of technology courses, students learn to apply design skills in educational research and diverse learning environments. Electives include information technologies, training management, and the design and evaluation of games and simulations.
A supervised internship in educational technology provides learners with field-based experiences in the design, implementation, and evaluation of instructional projects. A professional e-portfolio serves as the capstone and replaces a comprehensive exam. Students take two courses each semester, in addition to summer courses, to complete the program in two years. The program is not self-paced, so students must complete assignments and activities on schedule. Applicants must submit GRE or MAT scores.
The University of South Carolina-Columbia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
19. University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is the largest school in the 16-college UNC system. With both synchronous and asynchronous options, the school’s distance education division focuses on degree completion and graduate programs. UNC Charlotte’s master of education in instructional systems technology prepares learners to meet state licensure requirements for P-12 instructional technology specialists.
The 36-credit online master’s in instructional technology offers three concentrations: school specialist, training and development, and online learning and teaching. All three tracks share common coursework in instructional design, instructional systems technology, instructional multimedia development, and research methods. The training and development concentration examines the computer systems and software used to enhance teaching. The school specialist concentration discusses best practices in the creation and evaluation of online teaching and learning systems. The online learning and technology concentration focuses on human performance technology, including the principles, system models, and approaches to address performance challenges. All students participate in a capstone in which they apply knowledge and skills to create applications that improve learning and performance.
The degree is the only graduate instructional systems technology program in the state recognized by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. UNC Charlotte admits students in the fall, spring, and summer. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree, a minimum 2.75 GPA, and GRE or MAT scores. Students in the school specialist concentration should also hold an A- or G-level teaching license.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
20. University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota
With an enrollment of 15,000 students and 200 fields of study, the University of North Dakota is the state’s largest and oldest college. UND administers 13 online programs in education, including the master’s degree in instructional design and technology (IDT). Students may choose to complete this program as either an M.Ed. or an MS. The M.Ed. best suits students planning to work in K-12 or higher education. The MS trains professionals for non-school settings such as the business world, military, or government. The fully online programs require 34-36 credits.
The program uses project-based learning so students can apply instructional design theories to real-world scenarios. Both degree plans include classes in instructional design, computer-based instruction, and instructional simulations and games. Students also learn how to develop, implement, and evaluate instructional materials. Learners take two courses in either the K-12 or corporate emphasis. The program culminates in an internship in IDT.
The two online master’s in instructional technology programs follow a synchronous format. Online learners benefit from small class sizes with a maximum of 15 students and support services such as online tutoring. UNC eLearners pay the same tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency. UND admits students in the fall, spring, and summer. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Applicants to the M.Ed. should have a minimum 18 credits of undergraduate education courses.
The University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The IDT master’s programs are also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
21. University of North Carolina Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina
The University of North Carolina Wilmington ranks 14th among best universities in the South, according to U.S. News and World Report. The school’s 16,000 students can choose from more than 90 programs through the main campus and eLearning options. UNCW’s master of science in instructional technology is a flexible program with hybrid and fully online delivery options. The 36-credit degree provides training to licensed K-12 educators seeking to earn state licensure as instructional technology specialists. The program also enrolls non-license-seeking higher education educators, corporate trainers, and healthcare professionals.
The master’s in educational technology online blends theory and practice in the design, development, and evaluation of educational and training programs. The degree plan offers three tracks: K-12 education, business and industry, and government agencies and higher education. All three tracks share common courses in instructional technology, distance education, web teaching, and instructional development. All learners engage in applied learning as they work with real clients during an internship.
Students complete the program with a portfolio, thesis, or design and development research project depending on their chosen track. Graduates gain strong design and project management skills and enjoy a 99% job placement rate. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and GRE or MAT scores. Students seeking licensure as instructional technology specialists should have North Carolina A level licensure.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
22. Troy University
Founded in 1887, Troy University is a large four-campus college located in Alabama. The college boasts a long history of providing programs to military members and their families. This dedication to distance learning expanded when the school added online programs to its catalog. The 33-credit online master of science in adult education focuses on specialized education for older learners. Distance learners may choose a concentration in instructional technology, curriculum and instructional design, or leadership studies.
Core courses examine the foundations of adult education, adult learning and development, and the social context of adult education. The instructional technology concentration includes coursework in instructional design, distance learning strategies, and multimedia instruction. A notable course on graphic design in multimedia teaches learners how to integrate advanced graphics and web design software into educational programs.
Graduates are able to apply learning theories in instructional design, implement instructional delivery systems, and use technology to support instruction. Students must complete a capstone or thesis to exit the program. Troy allows students to transfer 12 credits into the online master’s degree in instructional design. Admission requires GRE, MAT, or GMAT scores.
Troy University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Colleges (SACSCOC).
23. George Mason University
Despite being founded just 60 years ago, George Mason University is already the largest public research college in Virginia. The school enrolls 34,000 students and operates four campuses in the Commonwealth and one in Korea. GMU’s 10 schools and colleges offer a vast array of degrees, including 50 online and hybrid options. Mason Online administers the master of education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in instructional design and technology.
The 30-credit hybrid degree trains professionals to address student challenges through innovative learning solutions. While most coursework is available in an asynchronous online format, 12 credits require some face-to-face meetings in the evenings. Courses introduce students to learning theories, instructional design, educational research in technology, and technology-based learning environments.One notable course acquaints learners with the technologies used to create virtual worlds and gaming applications in eLearning. Elective options include project management, visual design and applications, eLearning design applications, and mobile learning and applications. Students complete two portfolios to demonstrate mastery of technical competencies.
Students typically complete the IDT M.Ed. in 16 months to two years. Students who live out of state may qualify for a 40% tuition discount. The online master’s degree in instructional design admits students in the spring, summer, and fall. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.
George Mason University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Colleges (SACSCOC).
24. Ball State University
Since its foundation as a teacher’s college, Ball State University has established itself as a world-class institution. The mid-size school, located in Muncie, Indiana, enrolls 21,000 students in a catalog of diverse academic programs. Ball State Online offers a fully online master of arts in curriculum and educational technology through the nationally recognized BSU Teachers College. The degree assists educators who want to learn how to integrate technology into K-12 curricula.
The 30-credit degree offers tracks in curriculum or educational technology. All students complete 21 credits of coursework in curriculum development, technology policy and pedagogy, learning technology in the curriculum, and evaluation of educational programs. Students take an educational foundation course on a topic such as the history of American education or educational sociology.
The curriculum track delves into areas such as elementary and secondary curricula, alternative school curricula, problems in the curriculum, and evaluation of educational materials. Students in the educational technology track study multimedia web design in education, school information infrastructures, and instructional design and technology. Students can also earn an add-on computer education license or certificate in computer education with no additional coursework. Distance learners receive support services such as assistance from nationally certified tutors, library services, and technology support. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. BSU does not require GRE scores.
Ball State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
25. University of Memphis – UM Online
The University of Memphis is one of two public research colleges in Tennessee. The school operates several centers of excellence in areas such as psychological research, research in educational policy, and research initiatives for the communicatively impaired. Students can choose from 250 areas of study and 250 student organizations. UofM Global offers a fully online master of science in instruction and curriculum leadership with a concentration in instructional design and technology (IDT).
The 30-credit curriculum teaches students how to apply IDT proficiencies in K-12 education and non-school contexts. Students tailor the program’s requirements, including projects, to address their career goals. Required courses include study of instructional design and technology, theories and models of instructional design, and application of the IDT process. During two consecutive classes, learners work in teams to apply instructional design principles to develop interactive learning environments.
Students take two electives focused on topics such as teaching, learning, and innovations in educational technology. Over the course of the program, learners showcase their skills through developing a portfolio. Upon completion of the degree, graduates are eligible for work as instructional designers, multimedia developers, or instructional technologists. Students take two courses each semester, including in the summer, to complete the degree in two years. The school boasts competitive tuition and online learners pay the same rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.
The University of Memphis is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Colleges (SACSCOC).
26. Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University has received recognition from the National Association of Diversity Officers, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the Carnegie Foundation. Approximately 23,000 students attend classes at OSU through the school’s seven campuses and distance learning options. OSU’s master of science in educational technology features an optional concentration in school library media. Through the program, educators develop the requisite competencies to serve as certified school librarians and technology integration specialists in P-12 schools.
Faculty teach most courses online with a few courses requiring face-to-face components. Students network with peers and attend extracurricular activities through the Educational Media and Technology Student Association. The 12-credit core curriculum examines four topics: the foundations of educational technology, introduction to instructional design, advanced computer applications in education, and library networks and databases. The school library media concentration acquaints learners with several areas of study, including digital media production; teaching reading with literature; and literature for children, adolescents, and adults.
The educational technology online master’s program also includes six elective credits. Students examine digital games and simulations in the classroom, as well as creativity and innovation in educational technology. At the end of the program, students complete a research-based thesis or an online portfolio that showcases their educational technology work. After completing the program’s requirements, students take the school library media specialist certification exam. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and a teaching certificate.
27. University of North Texas
One of the nation’s largest colleges, the University of North Texas offers a comprehensive education in a college town not far from the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Students can enroll in one of UNT’s 220 programs through campuses throughout state and online. UNT is one of the largest providers of eLearning in Texas. One of the school’s most comprehensive online options is the master of science in learning technologies.
Students in the online master’s in instructional technology learn the technical skills necessary to create and deliver online learning in a variety of contexts. The sweeping curriculum offers tracks in instructional systems, instructional systems technology, instructional systems design, and teaching and learning with technology. The 36-credit degree plan includes a 24-credit core that examines learning and cognition, instructional systems design, multimedia in technology applications, and technology-based learning environments. Students apply 12 credits to specialized courses in their chosen track. Learners may also use 12 credits to earn one of several certificates in areas such as technology and autism, emerging technologies, and distance, distributed, and virtual learning.
Distance learners have access to research centers such as the Center for Knowledge Solutions, Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching and Learning, and Texas Center for Educational Technology. Students can earn the degree in as few as 14 months. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. UNT may require the GRE or MAT for some students.
The University of North Texas is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Colleges (SACSCOC).
28. Seton Hall University
South Orange, New Jersey
A leading Catholic institution, Seton Hall University is home to 10,000 students and 90 majors. The school is nationally recognized for academic rigor in fields such as law and business. Located on a 58-acre campus in South Orange, New Jersey, SHU maintains a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students can enroll in fully online and hybrid degree options through the school’s growing eLearning arm.
Designed by educators and technology professionals, the 36-credit master of arts in instructional design and technology (IDAT) teaches educators how to effectively apply emerging technologies in educational settings. The IDAT blends theory and practical applications to develop students’ competencies in media literacy, collaboration, written and visual communication, and critical and creative thinking. The online educational technology degree offers concentrations in instructional design and technology, school library media specialist with state certification, New Jersey supervisor certification, and transition studies for special education teachers and guidance counselors.
The core curriculum includes study of digital research and information literacy, curriculum development and evaluation, online course management and delivery, and curriculum and technology in the inclusive classroom. Students demonstrate mastery of principles and concepts through a culminating project. SHU’s online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree, school transcripts, and GRE or MAT scores.
Seton Hall University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
29. University of Hawaii at Manoa
The University of Hawaii at Manoa is one of 10 colleges in the UH system. The college serves learners with hundreds of degrees, a strong research program, and top-ranked NCAA Division I athletics teams. UH Manoa’s 33-credit master of education in learning design and technology enrolls students from neighboring Hawaiian islands and the mainland U.S. The M.Ed. builds on UH’s educational technology graduate program, which boasts 25 years of leadership in the field.
The cohort model builds a community of peers who work together to achieve common goals. The curriculum examines theory and practice in educational technology, teaching and training technologies, educational technology research and evaluation, and instructional design and development. An electronic portfolio allows students to showcase their talents and competencies. For the capstone experience, students complete either a master’s thesis or a design project.
All courses are available online, but distance learners must attend two weekend sessions on the Manoa campus. Furthermore, some online courses require synchronous sessions during weekday evenings. Full-time students take three courses each semester to complete the online educational technology degree in 24 months, while part-time students typically complete the degree in three years. UH Manoa accepts up to six transfer credits. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. New students begin in the fall.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
30. University of Louisville
The University of Louisville is a three-campus college located in Kentucky’s largest metropolitan area. UofL’s 12 colleges and schools deliver programs to about 22,000 students through on-campus and distance learning. The master of education in teacher leadership offers an emphasis in instructional technology that leads to endorsement. The fully online degree enrolls teachers in Kentucky who want to integrate instructional technologies in the P-12 classroom. Learners conduct hands-on experiences in their classrooms, enabling them to apply what they have learned to real-world contexts.
The program blends asynchronous and synchronous formats that allow educators to keep working full-time. Core courses include educational research in P-12 settings, teacher leadership in practice, and assessments for student achievement. Students complete four courses for the instructional technology endorsement: teaching and learning online, designing a technology integrated curriculum, teaching with multimedia authoring tools, and integrating technology tools into instruction.
Upon completion of the online master’s in instructional technology, educators qualify for positions as curriculum design specialists, curriculum and instruction specialists, and instructional technology specialists. Online tuition is the same for all learners regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency. Active-duty personnel receive reduced tuition. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 2.75 GPA. Students pursuing an instructional technology endorsement should have current initial teacher certification.
The University of Louisville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Colleges (SACSCOC).
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master’s in Educational Technology Program?
Taking educational technology courses online fosters the development of skills needed for careers in education and consultation. While each educational technology online master’s program features a specific curriculum, students are exposed to similar topics. Below is a snippet of an online educational technology degree.
The Curriculum for an Online Master’s Degree in Educational Technology
- Theories of educational technology: This course considers learning and instructional theories, and students adapt their instructional styles to meet the needs of various learners. Many educational technology online master’s programs use the TPACK framework to conceptualize technology’s role in education, which prepares students for employment in numerous learning environments.
- Instructional design: Students in this class explore technology’s impact on learning and provides an overview of strategies used to incorporate technology into a curriculum. Preparing students for careers as instructional coordinators, this course exposes students to a variety of technological applications used in teaching. Students consider topics of human/computer interfacing, digital pedagogical adaptations, and design processes.
- Assessment and evaluation: This course not only familiarizes students with basic assessment topics like tests and measures, but also examines ways educators use computer-based tools to collect and interpret data and make decisions using assessment results. Knowledge of assessment and evaluation is critical for instructional coordinators and managers of training programs.
Certifications and Licenses a Master’s in Educational Technology Prepares For
- Teacher certification endorsement: Professional teachers with state certification may expand their teaching credentials when they earn an online master’s degree in instructional design. Teacher certification requirements vary from state to state; however, commonalities include the completion of a undergraduate degree in education or a teacher preparation program and passing scores on teaching exams used by the state.
- Society for Human Resource Management Professional (SHRM&P) certification: The SHRM&P features a certification that allows entry-level professionals to boost their competitive edge. Graduates of a master’s in educational technology online program need one year of work experience in human resources to qualify for certification. To become certified, candidates must pass a four-hour exam that includes 160 questions.
Online Master’s in Educational Technology Careers
Instructional technology professionals work in schools, public administration offices, and private organizations. The following careers illustrate the paths available to students in the field of educational technology. Although these occupations differ in their responsibilities, individuals employed in the following careers demonstrate similar traits, including communication and interpersonal skills, creativity, and patience.
- Instructional Coordinator: Nearly half of all instructional coordinators in the U.S. work in an elementary or secondary school setting. These professionals determine the effectiveness of schoolwide curricula and create curricula that incorporate new technologies and updated standards. Instructional coordinators select textbooks and classroom materials to enhance instruction. They assist teachers in the mastery of new instructional programs.
- Median Annual Salary: $63,750
- Projected Growth Rate: 11%
- High School Teacher: With an online master’s in instructional technology, high school teachers equip themselves with the expertise needed to integrate technology into their class curriculum. In addition to developing lesson plans and assessing student comprehension, high school teachers communicate with parents, assist in school functions outside of the classroom, and lead extracurricular activities.
- Median Annual Salary: $59,170
- Projected Growth Rate: 8%
- Training and Development Manager: An educational technology online master’s allows professionals to pursue careers implementing staff training programs. Training and development managers create training programs and may coach instructors and evaluate instructional programs. Most training and development managers work in an office environment at least 40 hours per week.
- Median Annual Salary: $108,250
- Projected Growth Rate: 10%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Educational Technology Degrees
A universal characteristic of a quality online educational technology degree is accreditation. Accreditation is important for a few reasons. First, it ensures that higher education institutions and academic programs equip students with skills comparable to similar professionals across the country. Moreover, accreditation promotes equitable enrollment, the employment of qualified faculty, and ongoing accountability.
The main types of accreditation U.S. colleges seek are regional and national. Most public and private nonprofit colleges across the country are regionally accredited. Nationally accredited schools tend to orient toward vocational training, and credits earned from a nationally accredited school may not transfer to a regionally accredited program.
Students seeking an online educational technology degree should consider programs accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. With an emphasis on P-12 teacher training, this accrediting body governs educator preparation programs. Another accreditation credential that students may seek in an online program is the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, which standardizes distance education.
Professional Organizations for Educational Technology
Students pursuing their online masters in instructional technology may wonder how to make the leap from academia to employment. One way to do this is by joining a professional organization. Not only do professional organizations provide extensive job databases, they also promote networking opportunities that foster mentoring relationships, peer engagement, and scholarly inquiry. The professional organizations highlighted below offer a launching point for aspiring professionals in the field of educational technology.
- Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development: Composed of members from nearly 130 countries, this international organization promotes improved instruction by providing educators with access to numerous resources. Educational technology online master’s student members can benefit from exclusive webinars that feature topics in areas such as digital leaders and student creativity.
- International Society for Technology in Education: Dedicated to the enrichment of learning environments through technology, ISTE features virtual coaching opportunities, an annual conference, and two academic journals. Individuals and groups may join, allowing teachers and their schools to take advantage of ISTE’s resources.
- National Education Association: With three million members, NEA is the largest professional organization for employees in the U.S. It supports public schools and educators of all grade levels through its action-focused advocacy, grants, and teaching tools.