Best Online Graduate Teaching Degrees

Best Online Graduate Teaching Degrees

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Online graduate education degrees give students training and career options, allowing them to control their futures.

Graduate degrees in teaching and education can lead to meaningful careers after graduation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these degrees qualify graduates for most education, training, and library occupations. These careers have higher-than-average median salaries and faster-than-average job growth projections for 2019-2029.

Graduate degrees also open additional career pathways for education students. In addition to the teaching roles available to bachelor's holders, master's and doctoral graduates can pursue coordinator, administrator, and leadership positions. Our list of the best online graduate teaching degrees can help aspiring candidates identify their ideal program.

Top Ten Online Graduate Teaching Degree Programs

#1 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
#2 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
#3 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
#4 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
#5 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA
#6 University of Missouri Columbia, MO
#7 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
#8 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
#9 Ohio State University Columbus, OH
#10 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ

The Best Online Graduate Teaching Degree Programs

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University of Iowa 

Iowa City, IA Apply Now

About this school

The University of Iowa is the oldest college in the Hawkeye State. The flagship university is home to more than 32,000 learners from all 50 states and 114 foreign countries. UI offers 39 degrees and certificates online. Candidates may take synchronous or asynchronous courses throughout their time at UI.

Students at UI can choose between two online teaching master's programs:

The educational policy and leadership option consists of 36 credits and prepares graduates to fill positions such as principals or special education supervisors at the K-12 level. Courses include foundations of school administration, school and community relationships, supervision and evaluation, and administration of students with special needs. Candidates seeking principal licensure must complete clinical hours.

The teaching and learning option follows guidelines from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Students earn 33 credits through courses such as diversity and identity in K-12 schools, issues in K-12 assessment, conducting school-based action research, and second language classroom learning. Elective tracks allow learners to gain endorsements in specific areas of teaching, such as:

  • Talented and gifted
  • Science, technology, engineering, and math
  • English as a second language

Only applicants for the teaching and learning option need teaching licenses. All candidates must submit personal essays, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

University of Pittsburgh 

Pittsburgh, PA Apply Now

About this school

Learners in 39 states access the University of Pittsburgh's high-quality degrees and certificates in their communities through online offerings. During their programs, distance learners can access helpful resources such as academic advising, library services, the university writing center, and online proctoring services.

Learners across the country can choose between two online master's in education options at Pitt:

Students in both tracks earn 36 credits in five years or fewer. The elementary education curriculum prepares learners to teach in K-6 classrooms, though some graduates go on to administrative positions. Students take courses in leadership in service learning, gender in education, politics and history of higher education, and introduction to research methodology.

The English education track prepares graduates to teach English at the elementary or secondary levels. Courses include teaching English language learners, theory and practice in teaching writing, education and society, and psychology of learning and development for education. Learners in both tracks must pass comprehensive exams.

Pitt considers applicants who do not have teaching certificates, so long as they hold bachelor's degrees. Candidates should also submit goal statements, personal essays, professional references, and resumes.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

University of Missouri 

Columbia, MO Apply Now

About this school

When it opened in 1839, Mizzou became the first public university west of the Mississippi River. The university continues to expand access to high-quality education through its online offerings.

Students who want to work in education can choose between several online teaching degrees at Mizzou at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The university's bachelor's in educational studies includes courses such as human learning, introduction to digital media, introduction to learning spaces, and a capstone course. Learners also choose between two areas of interest:

  • Education games and simulations
  • Educational leadership

This degree does not prepare learners for teaching certifications. Instead, graduates can create games for learning or take on leadership roles at educational organizations. Mizzou offers several online master's in education options, including specializations such as:

  • Autism education
  • Early childhood education
  • Early childhood special education
  • Early childhood special education/autism
  • Elementary education
  • English education
  • Gifted education
  • Literacy education
  • Mathematics education
  • Mental health practices in schools
  • Positive coaching
  • School counseling
  • Social studies education
  • Student learning and well-being
  • Teaching english to speakers of other languages

Each type of master's in education has its own curriculum, learning outcomes, and admissions requirements. All graduate applicants should submit transcripts from all previously attended schools, resumes, and personal data sheets.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Michigan State University 

East Lansing, MI Apply Now

About this school

In 1855, Michigan State University opened as the prototype for the many land-grant universities that followed. Over the years, MSU continued to lead the way in education, and it is now one of the top research universities in the country.

MSU offers several online education degrees at the master's level, including:

  • Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis (MA-ABA)
  • Master of Science in Sport Coaching/Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Arts in Special Education
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology
  • Master of Arts in Special Education Leadership: Multi-Tiered Systems of Support
  • Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum

The special education track offers two concentrations: learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. For learners who live in or around East Lansing, the college also offers a hybrid graduate program in educational psychology and educational technology. All hybrid and online programs admit only 25 students or fewer per class.

Some programs lead to certifications or licenses, including the MA-ABA track. Similarly, some require candidates to complete internships or practica to qualify for graduation. Students can complete these field experiences in their own communities. Each program sets unique admissions standards. Generally, applicants should prepare to submit personal essays, transcripts, resumes, and professional references. Some programs require applicants to have related work or college experience.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Purdue University 

West Lafayette, IN Apply Now

About this school

Purdue University opened with a noble mission: to expand access to education and to make education as affordable as possible. Over the years, Purdue furthered its mission by expanding to three physical campuses. With online learning, the university continues to make high-quality education accessible to more learners. The university offers completely online degrees and certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Educators who want to move into administrative positions can pursue Purdue's master's leading to building-level administrator licensure. The university also offers many online master's in education options, including specializations such as:

  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Special education
  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Learning design and technology

Each of these programs leads to a Master of Science degree and requires 30-45 credits. Some courses in these programs use synchronous learning with live video sessions. Full-time learners can earn these degrees in 18-22 months. Some options provide additional, career-focused specializations. For example, students on the curriculum and instruction track choose between concentrations such as:

  • English language learning
  • Gifted, creative, and talented students
  • Mathematics education
  • Educational technology
  • Integrated STEM education

Furthermore, the special education option leads to licensure and offers six concentrations:

  • Non-licensure
  • Initial mild only licensure
  • Initial mild and intense licensure
  • Additional mild only licensure
  • Additional mild and intense licensure
  • Additional intense only licensure

Admissions requirements vary between programs. However, all applicants should hold bachelor's degrees from regionally accredited universities. They must submit resumes, personal statements, official transcripts, and three professional recommendations.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Ohio State University 

Columbus, OH Apply Now

About this school

Ohio State University boasts one of the largest alumni networks in the world, with more than half a million alumni around the globe. Thanks to Ohio State's robust online learning offerings, students have opportunities to join this network wherever they live. The university builds these programs to be as flexible as possible. Many programs offer full-time and part-time options and rolling admissions deadlines. Online learners all pay in-state tuition rates with no campus fees.

Ohio State offers one of the best online teaching programs at the associate level. Learners earn the associate of arts in early childhood development and education with no on-campus requirements. The curriculum requires 60 credits and includes courses such as psychological perspectives on education, family development, child development, and developing age-appropriate curriculum for ECDE. Distance learners must also complete field coursework in their home communities.

The Ohio State program prepares learners to earn associate-level pre-kindergarten teaching licensure in Ohio. The program earns full authorization in every state except Colorado, where it has limited authorization. Still, out-of-state learners should check with their state licensing authorities to learn about requirements. Applicants must hold high school diplomas, GEDs, or the equivalent.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

University of Arizona 

Tucson, AZ Apply Now

About this school

Teaching makes a difference every day, and UArizona offers an online master's in education for students who want to impact their communities. This full-time, one-year program incorporates cohort education, so all learners start and finish the program together. The program requires 36 credits in subjects such as learning theory in education, content area literacy in multicultural schools, structured English immersion, and alternatives in the secondary classroom.

While courses take place online, UArizona uses a hybrid format for the Master of Education in Teaching and Teacher Education. Learners spend half-days in teaching internships throughout the year. Learners must complete this portion of the curriculum in Phoenix-area schools. Graduates become eligible for Arizona teacher certification at the secondary level.

Applicants should hold bachelor's degrees from accredited schools and GPAs of at least 3.0. They must also have at least 24 credits and GPAs of at least 3.0 in the content areas which they wish to teach. Candidates must also submit GRE scores. UArizona gives preference to candidates who apply by January 31.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

University of Massachusetts-Amherst 

Amherst, MA Apply Now

About this school

UMass Amherst is one of the top producers of Fulbright scholars and home to recipients of other prestigious scholarships, such as the Churchill, Boren, and Marshall awards. The university's reputation attracted more than 42,000 undergraduate applicants in 2019, only 5,000 of whom earned admission. The university also pushes boundaries with online education opportunities.

UMass Amherst offers two online education degrees:

  • Master of Education in Science Education
  • Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Science Education

The curricula in both tracks blend pedagogy and science content courses. Learners in either program take classes such as investigating science classrooms; nutrition and health in science classroom; theory of learning and teaching in STEM education; and creativity, teachnology, and learning.

Both programs prepare learners to fill the growing need for highly-qualified science teachers. Distance learners complete their coursework entirely online, and most learners take two classes per semester.

All applicants should hold bachelor's degrees and current teaching licenses. The master of education option caters to learners with no previous graduate degrees. Meanwhile, the education specialist option helps students with graduate degrees become specialized teachers without committing to doctoral programs. All candidates should submit resumes, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and personal essays.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

University of Utah 

Salt Lake City, UT Apply Now

About this school

The University of Utah offers undergraduate and graduate degrees that students can earn from anywhere through UOnline. All online programs at the U deliver coursework asynchronously. The U offers distance learners tutoring, a comprehensive writing center, mental health counseling, and technical support, alongside career coaching and library services.

One of the U's many offerings is the master of arts in teaching with an emphasis in fine arts (MAT-FA). Students complete most program coursework online, but the school requires 12-day intensive residencies during summers. Students earn the rest of the credits for this master's in teaching online through courses such as socially engaged arts making, community-based arts teaching, arts teaching project design, and arts teaching project implementation.

The curriculum prepares graduates to work in arts education as teachers, program directors, curriculum designers, and advocates. The U's MAT-FA accepts both licensed and unlicensed arts teachers. Applicants must have one of the following credentials in an area of fine arts: bachelor's degree, state endorsement, teaching experience, or cognate education degree.

Candidates must apply for this program in two steps. First, applicants submit statements of purpose, resumes or CVs, and two letters of recommendation. Candidates who are invited to the second step send arts teaching portfolios.

Graduation Rate
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The University of Tennessee-Knoxville 

Knoxville, TN Apply Now

About this school

In 1794, the University of Tennessee became the first public university to earn a charter to the west of the Appalachian Divide. The Knoxville campus remains the flagship university for the Volunteer State. Today, UT Knoxville offers more than 900 programs to its more than 29,000 learners. The school continues to grow through the Vols Online, UT Knoxville's distance learning department.

Vols Online partners with UT Knoxville's College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences to offer three online master's in education programs:

  • Educational leadership and policy studies
  • Instructional technology
  • Educational psychology and counseling

Each of these programs lead to a master of science degree. The educational leadership program gives students the option to earn K-12 principal licensure in Tennessee. The instructional technology path teaches students to design and evaluate emerging educational technologies. Finally, the educational psychology and counseling path offers two concentrations: applied educational psychology and adult education. These degrees allow graduates to apply to doctoral programs or enter the workforce.

Candidates for any of these programs must apply through the UT Office of Graduate and International Admission. Applicants should hold bachelor's degrees with GPAs of at least 2.75 or graduate degrees with GPAs of at least 3.3. Candidates submit three letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, and portfolios if required. Applicants are subject to interviews as well.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

University of Kansas 

Lawrence, KS Apply Now

About this school

When the University of Kansas opened in 1866, the campus consisted of one building that served a class of 55 learners. Today, KU operates five campuses and an online learning division. With more than 28,000 learners, the thriving research institution serves at the flagship university for Kansas.

KU offers eight online master's in education options:

  • Special education - autism
  • Special education - high incidence disabilities
  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Curriculum and instruction - TESOL
  • Curriculum and instruction - reading
  • Sport management
  • Secondary special ed and transition
  • Educational administration

These programs consist of 30-36 credits each. Students take courses in accelerated eight-week terms and can graduate in two years. All online courses at KU deliver coursework asynchronously. Some programs require internships that working professionals can complete at their current schools. In these highly specialized programs, career options depend heavily on which paths students choose.

Applicants should hold bachelor's degrees from regionally accredited universities with GPAs of at least 3.0. Additionally, some programs require applicants to submit additional materials such as letters of introduction, personal statements, letters of recommendation, resumes, or professional references.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Oregon State University 

Corvallis, OR Apply Now

About this school

The Beaver State's largest institution of higher education, Oregon State University serves more than 32,000 learners. Nearly 7,500 of these students take their courses through OSU's eCampus, which offers online and hybrid learning options. OSU and the eCampus use quarter terms, as opposed to semesters, and each term lasts 11 weeks. OSU does not charge out-of-state fees for online-only learners.

OSU offers three online and hybrid master's degrees in education in addition to an online doctorate in education:

  • Master of Education in College Student Services Administration (CSSA)
  • Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Ed.D./Ph.D. in Adult and Higher Education

The CSSA program consists of 54 credits, focuses on social justice, and is 100% online. Students in the master's in adult and higher education start in the fall term, earn 45 credits, and complete coursework entirely online. The MAT is a 51-credit program that requires some on-campus participation in either Portland or Beaverton, Oregon.

The doctorate program is also a hybrid option. Distance learners must attend classes at the Portland campus two weekends each term. Doctoral students choose between three paths:

  • Community college leadership
  • Leadership in higher education
  • Ph.D. designation

The Ph.D. designation prepares learners for research-intensive careers, while the other tracks allow graduates to fill leadership roles in colleges and universities.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

University of Georgia 

Athens, GA Apply Now

About this school

In 1785, the Peach State chartered the University of Georgia, which became the first public university in the country. Throughout its history, UGA remained a leader in public education and now educates about 37,000 learners per year. Of the university's 17 colleges and schools, the College of Education was the first to offer online programs.

The college now offers eight options for online master's in education programs. These programs lead to M.Ed. degrees in the following areas:

  • Workforce education
  • Educational psychology - gifted and creative education
  • Educational psychology - applied cognition and development
  • Science education
  • Middle grades education
  • Reading education
  • Learning, design, and technology - instructional design and development
  • Learning, leadership, and organization

Distance learners must earn at least 33 credits in each program. Some programs follow cohort structures in which students follow a strict schedule of classes. Others are more flexible and allow learners to take full-time or part-time courses. Many programs allow learners to transfer graduate credits from other regionally accredited universities.

Each master's program also has unique admissions criteria. All require candidates to hold bachelor's degrees from accredited schools. However, minimum GPA requirements vary. Many require candidates to submit GRE or MAT scores.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Louisiana State University 

Baton Rouge, LA Apply Now

About this school

Louisiana State University offers online education from its campuses in Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Eunice, and Shreveport. Students learn from award-winning faculty members and enjoy concierge-style service when they need it. Support services for distance learners at LSU include concierge teams, tutoring, academic coaching, and a career center in addition to technical support, and access to student health services.

LSU offers online education degrees at the graduate level. The first is a master of education in educational leadership. This program requires 39 credits, which candidates can earn in 15 months. Courses for this program include administration of school personnel, ethics and educational leadership, and understanding and applying research in education. Graduates can work as principals, administrators, and superintendents.

LSU also offers a master of arts in education program with two tracks, both of which require 36 credits:

  • Educational technology
  • Higher education administration

All LSU programs require applicants to hold bachelor's degrees with GPAs of at least 3.0. The educational technology program considers some applicants with lower GPAs for provisional acceptance. None of the programs require GRE scores, but applicants to the higher education administration program may submit their scores if they wish.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Saint Joseph's College of Maine 

Standish, ME Apply Now

About this school

Saint Joseph's College of Maine is a private liberal arts institution rooted in Roman Catholic traditions. The Sisters of Mercy founded the school in 1912, and SJC continues to follow their values today. Distance learners at SJC enjoy resources such as online tutoring, IT services, and access to student support specialists.

SJC offers a master of science in education completely online. Students may enroll in this online master's in education at the start of any of the school's five annual terms, which last 10 weeks each. Learners earn 33-36 credits depending on the concentration they choose. SJC offers five concentration options:

  • Adult education and training
  • School educator
  • Health care educator
  • Catholic school leadership
  • School leadership

The school leadership concentration follows guidelines that the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards sets. Each concentration offers unique curricula with fully online learning. In some cases, learners may meet their states' criteria for alternative teaching certificates through program coursework. Some out-of-state certification candidates may need to earn their Maine teaching licenses and transfer it to their home states.

Candidates should fill out SJC's free online application and send official transcripts. They should hold bachelor's degrees with GPAs of at least 2.5. Applicants for the health care educator concentration must submit resumes that demonstrate experience in health care.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

West Virginia University 

Morgantown, WV Apply Now

About this school

WVU builds student support into its online learning platform, providing access to enrollment coaches and academic advisors. Students learn from award-winning faculty, and most online programs charge flat tuition rates regardless of each student's residency status.

WVU provides four graduate online education degrees, each of which awards a master of arts:

  • Literacy education with certification
  • Advanced elementary education
  • Instructional design and technology
  • Higher education administration

The award-winning literacy education program allows graduates to sit for the PRAXIS test and earn certification as literacy specialists. Students in all of WVU's online education programs can complete coursework entirely online. Nevertheless, learners can also choose to take some classes on campus in certain tracks. Some programs use eight-week accelerated terms, while others follow a more traditional semester schedule.

Each program sets its own admissions standards. Candidates for the advanced elementary education and literacy education tracks must hold valid teaching certificates. Most of the programs require undergraduate GPAs of at least 3.0, but learners with GPAs of 2.75 can earn acceptance into the advanced elementary education program. Only the instructional design and technology track requires GRE or GMAT scores, but applicants can waive this requirement with two years of relevant work experience.

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Percent Receiving Loans

University of Cincinnati 

Cincinnati, OH Apply Now

About this school

The University of Cincinnati provides a robust online learning experience with personalized support. UC's online programs focus on maximizing flexibility and enhancing careers. Learners can earn their degrees while on active duty in the military, raising children, or working full time. The career-focused curriculum helps 87% of graduates land job offers within 90 days of graduation.

Practicing early childhood education professionals can advance their careers and earn a bachelor's degree in education online through UC. This program focuses on early childhood education, which includes children from birth to age five. The curriculum builds on associate-level courses in the field. Learners can either complete an internship or choose one of the following courses:

  • Social emotional development and guidance for infants and toddlers
  • Physical, cognitive, and language development in infant and toddlers

UC also offers several online master of education options in the following areas:

  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Special education
  • Educational leadership
  • Medical education for healthcare professionals
  • Instructional design and technology: teaching specialization
  • Literacy and second language studies

Each of these programs includes unique curricula that require approximately 30 credits. Some programs offer further specialization options and electives to create personalized learning experiences. For example, students in the literacy and second language program choose among several concentrations that allow them to teach different types of students.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Auburn University 

Auburn, AL Apply Now

About this school

Since its founding in 1856, Auburn has grown and evolved to meet student needs. Nowadays, the university provides many online and hybrid degree options.

Auburn offers 11 hybrid and online education degrees for students seeking master's degrees:

  • Special education
  • Adult education
  • Early childhood and elementary education
  • Educational administration and leadership (K-12)
  • Music education
  • Library media and technology
  • Language and literacy
  • Agriscience education
  • Counselor education programs
  • Business/marketing education
  • Reading education

Many of Auburn's online master's programs in education allow learners to choose between master of education or master of science degrees. Furthermore, some programs have additional specializations available. For example, the language and literacy track offers further specialization in these areas:

  • English for speakers of other languages
  • Reading education
  • English language arts education
  • Foreign language education

Each program has unique admissions requirements. In general, applicants should prepare to send three letters of recommendation, transcripts, GRE or MAT scores, and personal statements.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

New England College 

Henniker, NH Apply Now

About this school

New England College is a relatively small and diverse liberal arts college with just under 4,000 learners. About 33% of these students self-identify as people of color. Furthermore, online and on-campus learners at NEC come from all 50 states and at least 28 foreign countries. All of NEC's programs are rooted in the liberal arts tradition and emphasize experiential learning.

NEC's online master's in education suits students both with and without current teaching certifications. While most courses take place entirely online, classes in some concentrations require learners to attend in-person meetings in sites throughout New England. Core courses include psychology of learning communities, dynamics of curriculum and instruction, and dynamics of educational reform and systems change. Students also create professional portfolios and complete internships and practica.

Online learners choose from 13 concentrations:

  • Storytelling
  • Alternative education
  • STEM
  • Collective impact leadership
  • School principal
  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Special education
  • Digital and media literacy
  • School climate leadership
  • Digital equity leadership
  • Literacy: reading and language arts
  • Literacy: math
  • Educational leadership

NEC delivers all online coursework asynchronously. Each term in the program lasts seven weeks. Candidates must submit official transcripts and resumes. Applicants do not need to send other common application materials, including essays, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

George Fox University 

Newberg, OR Apply Now

About this school

The private, Quaker-affiliated George Fox University seeks to help learners grow spiritually, academically, and professionally. George Fox University serves over 4,000 learners with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14-to-1. This tight-knit community seeks to foster spiritual growth through meaningful relationships. Graduates join a network of more than 30,000 alumni who live in all 50 states and 51 other countries.

George Fox offers an online master's in education that allows practicing teachers to prepare for leadership roles. This program differs from the school's master of art in teaching, which leads to initial certification. In the M.Ed. program, students earn 15 credits through core courses such as foundations of educational practice, curriculum and instruction, overview of qualitative and quantitative research methodology, and action research.

Students earn the remaining 15 credits from courses in their chosen specializations. Learners choose that specialization from among the following options:

  • Special education
  • Reading
  • Educational leadership
  • English as a second language

The educational leadership option leads to a principal license in Oregon. The other options allow graduates to earn endorsements in content areas. Out-of-state learners may transfer these credentials to their home states. Learners can take up to eight semesters to complete the program, though many graduates in four. Applicants must hold bachelor's degrees from regionally accredited institutions with GPAs of at least 3.0 during their final 60 credits.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Texas A&M University 

College Station, TX Apply Now

About this school

Texas A&M University was the first public institution of higher education in the Lone Star State. Today, the university offers one undergraduate degree, 48 graduate degrees, and 29 certificates online. Distance learners gain access to an academic success center, career advisors, technical assistance, a 24/7 help desk, and a writing center.

Texas A&M offers an online master's in education in curriculum and instruction. The fully online, 36-credit master's degree combines theory, content area, and methodology courses. Required courses cover cultural foundations of education, trends in curriculum and instruction, curriculum development, and analysis of teaching behavior.

Students also complete five elective courses. Within these electives, students can choose one of four other emphasis areas:

  • STEM
  • Reading and literacy
  • Graduate teacher certification
  • Urban education

Candidates must first apply through the universal Apply Texas system and submit official transcripts.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Biola University 

La Mirada, CA Apply Now

About this school

In 1908, Union Oil Company president Lyman Stewart and Reverend T.C. Horton banded together to found Biola University. Today, Biola educates more than 6,000 students on campus and through online learning.

Students can pursue online education degrees at Biola, including a master of arts in education. The program's core curriculum consists of classes such as philosophy and values in schools and society, educational research and statistics, professional writing, and research in culture and intercultural instruction. Distance learners must complete either a thesis or a capstone in their final semester.

Students also choose between eight concentrations:

  • Curriculum and instruction (online)
  • Special education (mild/moderate) credential (online)
  • Early childhood (online)
  • Special education (online)
  • Induction/clear credential (online)
  • Single subject credential (hybrid)
  • Multiple subject credential (hybrid)
  • Personalized (online or hybrid)

The concentrations in mild/moderate special education and induction/clear credential are only open to California residents. Some concentrations require fieldwork, which must occur during school hours. Out-of-state learners seeking credentials in any area should speak to their state licensing boards before enrolling.

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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Graduate Teaching Degree Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected schools providing online education programs based on the quality of their programs and the types of courses offered, as well as the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school's reputation for effectively providing quality online teaching degree programs.

What Is an Online Teaching Degree?

Online graduate degrees in teaching equip learners with advanced skills in education, including things like lesson plan instruction and curriculum design, as well as student psychology. While a bachelor's degree prepares students for many teaching positions, professionals seeking leadership or administrative positions often need master's degrees or doctorates. Professionals from other fields who wish to integrate educational research into their work also pursue these programs.

In the education field, students have options when it comes to master's and doctoral degrees, each with different requirements, outcomes, and prerequisites. In general, admission into a master's degree requires a bachelor's degree, and a doctoral degree usually requires a master's degree. Both programs often have minimum GPA and GMAT or GRE score requirements.

What Is the Difference Between an MAT and an M.Ed?

Education graduate students must choose between a master of arts in teaching (MAT), a master of science in education (M.S. Ed.), or a master of education (M.Ed.). While there are similarities between these programs, the main differences are that MAT degrees focus on pedagogy and stylistic approaches, while education degrees typically emphasize policies and procedures on an administrative level.

Career pathways for these degrees vary, but typically, MAT graduates pursue careers as teachers, while M.Ed. degree-holders pursue careers outside of the classroom. M.S. Ed. degrees can also lead to administrative careers or further training.

What Is the Difference Between a Ph.D. and an Ed.D.?

At the doctoral level, students can choose between a Ph.D. in education or a doctor of education (Ed.D.). Though graduates of both degree types can access most careers in the education field, Ph.D. programs usually focus on instruction and research, while Ed.D. programs focus on systems and organizations.

Consequently, Ph.D. holders typically pursue work as postsecondary teachers, while Ed.D. graduates seek administration and coordination roles.

Choosing a Program

Choosing the right online graduate teaching degree requires careful consideration of your unique goals, needs, and circumstances. Our list is a good starting point, but you should also perform your own research to find the program that's right for you.

How to Choose Your Major What to Look for in an Online College

What Else Can I Expect From a Graduate in Teaching Degree Program?

Every online graduate teaching degree has its own unique curriculum, focus, and format, but there are some commonalities across programs. Below are a few course and concentration descriptions that you may encounter in an online graduate teaching degree program.

Master's in Teaching and Education Curriculum

  • Classroom Management: This course teaches students how to create and maintain a positive learning environment for students. The training covers curriculum-building strategies, assessment and reinforcement, and effective communication methods.
  • Educational Diversity: This course examines how to create equal opportunities for students and develop curriculums that celebrate diversity in learning.
  • Curriculum and Assessment: In this course, enrollees learn to build an effective curriculum and assessment plan, connecting courses into a cohesive unit. Learners explore various assessment methods and how to best meet the needs of contemporary students.
  • Adolescent Development: In this course, learners consider student development and discuss how education can improve or support this process. The training covers developmental psychology, learning habits, and the environmental and emotional factors that can influence development.
  • Current Issues in Instruction: Students examine the factors that lead to complications in teaching, curriculum design, administration, and school policy, along with evolving trends and developments in the field that may affect education in the future.

Master's in Teaching and Education Concentrations

Elementary Education

Elementary education concentrations focus on learning styles, curriculum design, and instruction strategies for elementary school students. Learners examine methods for assessing and encouraging children, exploring how teachers can build curiosity in the classroom.

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education concentrations emphasize effective teaching strategies and methods for instructors in early care classrooms and centers. Coursework explores developmental topics, issues in early childhood curricula, and the importance of a positive learning environment during early development.

Educational Psychology

Educational psychology concentrations observe how psychological concepts and theories influence learning, development, and the educational system overall. Students explore social development, curriculum design, motivational tactics, and learning disorders.

Special Education

Special education concentrations explore learning and cognitive disorders in students and the educational system's methods for educating within special education classrooms. Coursework covers inclusive education, common developmental disabilities, and behavioral disorders.

Educational Leadership

This concentration focuses on applying leadership strategies and research to educational roles, such as teaching, administration, and curriculum design. Training may include topics in evaluation, assessment, and motivation strategies.

Doctorate and Ph.D. in Education Curriculum

  • Teaching in a Virtual World: In this course, students learn about the impact of online and virtual classrooms on the educational system, learners, and instructional strategies. They examine how to maximize student outcomes, anticipate future shifts in the field, and utilize advantages in the format.
  • Multilingualism: This course examines how multilingualism affects learning outcomes, curriculum building, and classrooms. Students learn how to incorporate diversity and language into their learning environments.
  • Analysis of Teaching: Analysis of teaching courses task students with reviewing teaching strategies, research, and trends. Learners observe leading instruction theories and learn how to incorporate those theories into their own teaching strategies.
  • Educational Technology: Educational technology courses explore how learning technology shapes training, classrooms, and student outcomes. These courses also examine how the field has evolved and will continue to change over time.
  • Educational Theory and Practice: In this course, students dive into the leading research in education and learn how professionals can apply this training to their classrooms and policy-making positions.

Doctorate and Ph.D. in Education Concentrations

Policy Studies

Students explore common consequences of long-standing educational protocols, along with reform measures and how to implement changes in policy.

Counseling Psychology

Enrollees research the intersections of mental health and education. This concentration offers a stepping stone to individuals interested in pursuing further study in school counseling.

Adult Education

Students in this concentration explore how adult learning occurs in different environments and how an educated adult population benefits society, organizations, and the educational system overall.

International Curriculums

An international curriculum concentration teaches students about how globalization has changed education, along with how instructors and curriculum coordinators can incorporate diversity and multilingualism into their training.

Health Professions Education

In a health professions education concentration, students learn about healthcare training, curriculum design, and educational theories. They examine topics in data collection and application, health technology, and ethics.

Obtaining a Teaching License or Certificate

Certificates and licenses are not the same thing. Certification programs usually signify mastery of a specific career focus, while licensure is a professional requirement to practice. Typically, aspiring instructors need state licensure to teach public school at any level, though rules for private school vary.

Every state has unique licensure requirements for teachers.

Aspiring teachers can take many different pathways, but the traditional route is to complete a four-year postsecondary degree in education or a related specialization, followed by a teacher preparation/certification program during or after their bachelor's degree. Some educators pursue master's degrees in education or teaching. All teachers must complete a practical classroom component, pass a certification test in the area they plan to teach, and apply for state licensure.

For some administrative positions, applicants need a master's degree and an appropriate specialization for licensure. Postsecondary teachers typically need master's or doctorates in their areas of expertise. In total, the traditional pathway takes approximately 5-6 years to complete.

Alternative Paths to Teaching

Aspiring teachers can pursue alternative pathways as well. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 18% of public school teachers earned alternative teaching certifications after completing degrees unrelated to education.

Candidates can also pursue emergency teaching credentials, which allow them to teach in a classroom setting for a limited time until they receive the proper certification. While state requirements vary, most emergency credential applicants need bachelor's degrees. Similarly, some states either do not require licensure for substitute teachers or provide easier access to these credentials.

Other pathways include teaching at a private or charter school, for which some states and institutions do not require licensure. Many private schools, for example, value experience over an education or teaching degree. Students interested in this route should contact individual private schools to determine their qualifications.

Teaching Professional Organizations

Students, new graduates, and experienced professionals can all benefit from joining professional organizations. These associations provide access to valuable industry information, networking events, and professional development opportunities.

  • Association of American Educators As the largest non-union teachers' organization in the country, AAE provides advocacy and promotes professionalism to improve the educational field. The association supports its members by giving them access to networking events, continuing education, and professional development opportunities, along with career resources.
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development ASCD is a leading voice in the educational world, aiming to advance curriculum design, develop a set of core principles for education professionals, and examine some of the field's most pressing issues. ASCD also focuses on the social factors at play in education to better understand students' needs in contemporary classrooms.
  • National Education Association As one of the largest voices of education professionals in the world, NEA advocates for the public school system. The association seeks to change the education system for the better by ensuring equal opportunities for students and fostering partnerships with leading educational organizations.

Teaching Careers

Teachers can pursue many different career opportunities based on their training, interests, and expertise. Below, you will find some of the most common teaching careers, along with the standard degree requirements and median salaries for each.

Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers take care of preschool children by teaching them, encouraging them, and keeping records of their habits and progress. These teachers may need to develop their own curricula, assess individual students, and support the development of basic skills, like movement and speech.

Required Degree:


Median Annual Salary:


Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher

Kindergarten and elementary teachers help prepare students by developing their basic reading, math, and social skills. These teachers provide students with lesson plans that allow for creativity and practical exploration.

Required Degree:


Median Annual Salary:


Middle School Teacher

Middle school teachers prepare students for high school, providing them with fundamental training in grades 6-8. Teachers develop effective curricula, foster productive learning environments, and evaluate students to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Required Degree:


Median Annual Salary:


High School Teacher

High school teachers educate students in a particular field of expertise, preparing them for college or the workforce after high school. They create effective learning plans while accommodating each learner's needs and abilities.

Required Degree:


Median Annual Salary:


Postsecondary Teacher

Postsecondary teachers instruct college and university students in specific disciplines while conducting research and publishing scholarly work. These teachers develop instructional plans based on their research and departmental needs.

Required Degree:

Master's or Doctorate

Median Annual Salary:


Other Education Careers

Career Required Degree Median Annual Salary
Childcare Center Director Bachelor's $48,210
School and Career Counselor Master's $57,040
Instructional Coordinator Master's $66,290
Postsecondary Education Administrator Master's $95,410
Elementary, Middle, or High School Principal Master's $96,400

Source: BLS

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Degree Is Best for Teaching?

Aspiring teachers can take many educational routes, but the most traditional pathway is to complete a bachelor's degree in education. However, postsecondary teachers typically need master's or doctoral degrees.

What Should I Get My Master's in as a Teacher?

Aspiring teachers can earn master's degrees in teaching, education, or any discipline that they wish to teach in, though in the latter case they may need to complete additional training through a certificate or licensure program. Specific requirements vary by state and discipline.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Teaching Master's Degree?

The typical master's degree in teaching takes 1-2 years to earn on top of a four-year bachelor's degree. Some programs may allow learners to accelerate their training.

Is a Master's Worth It for Teaching?

Master's degrees can lead to various teaching careers, including roles in leadership and administration. Graduates can also pursue postsecondary teaching roles in some schools.

Can You Get a Teaching Job With an Online Degree?

Students who earn online degrees can pursue the same careers as on-campus learners. Most programs only differ in their method of delivery.

Take the next step toward your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

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