Best Online Master’s in Elementary Education
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With an online master's in elementary education, teachers can pursue specialized roles and increase their earning potential.
Effective elementary teachers shape students' lives and teach skills that last a lifetime. A master's degree in elementary education helps teachers add specialized, graduate-level training to the classroom. This degree also allows teachers to move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential.
Why should teachers consider online master's in elementary education programs? The added flexibility of online programs may appeal to working educators. Teaching degrees from online programs help educators pursue online teaching jobs.
Our list ranks the top online master's programs in elementary education to help applicants find the best fit for their unique needs and goals.
Featured Online Programs
The Best Online Master's in Elementary Education
Georgia Southern's online master’s in elementary education focuses on classroom and field experiences in working with diverse student populations. The program is intended for current teachers and education professionals.
The 36-credit degree may be completed in one year. The curriculum covers learning theories and advanced language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies teaching methods. Coursework includes communication across cultures.
Admission requirements include a regionally accredited bachelor's degree, with a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Other requirements include a Georgia level four elementary education certification (or out-of-state equivalent) and statement of purpose.
The master of arts in teaching, offered by ULM online, allows individuals with undergraduate degrees in non-education fields to pursue Louisiana Teacher Certification or equivalent out-of-state certification.
Curriculum requirements include classroom behavior skills, leadership, advanced child psychology, and studies in science, math, language arts, and social studies. Graduates must earn a minimum of 39 credits.
Requirements for regular admission status include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university and appropriate test scores (PRAXIS I, ACT, or SAT).
UA's master of arts in elementary education provides full-time education professionals with quality instruction, leading to an advanced degree which leads to K-6 certification.
Courses include educational research, early childhood and educational curriculum, and computer-based instruction. Candidates select a special option, such as literacy, mathematics, or social studies. The program includes practicum experiences to help them extend their online learning into physical classrooms.
Admission requirements include current elementary education teaching certification and a bachelor's degree in elementary education (3.0 minimum GPA).
UNA was the first state-supported teacher's college south of the Ohio River. The university's master of arts in elementary education combines learning theory and classroom management.
Geared toward working professionals, the 33-credit program's coursework includes action research, issues in early childhood and elementary education, and learner assessments.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution (3.0 minimum GPA) and valid certification in elementary education (Alabama Class B or equivalent).
MC's master of education in elementary education targets teachers interested in gaining educational and analysis skills within a Christian curriculum.
Requirements for the 30-credit program include core courses, advanced content method/material, and elementary electives. Classes focus on curriculum development, research, teaching and assessment skills, and diagnostic reading.
Applicants must hold an elementary education undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution (2.5 minimum GPA) and a renewable teaching license in elementary education.
Appalachian State's master of arts in elementary education meets requirements for "M"-level grades K-6 licensure in North Carolina. Candidates participating in the program gain a theoretical and philosophical foundation for elementary school curriculum practices.
Graduates must complete a minimum of 39 credits. Topics include diversity, educational trends, and teacher leadership. Candidates select mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts field experience.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, North Carolina "A" level teaching license (or out-of-state equivalent), references, and GRE or MAT scores.
The master of education in elementary education offered through UWG focuses on research-based education and field experiences, to promote classroom learning.
The 36-credit degree consists of professional studies, research and assessment, elementary content, and electives. Candidates must pass the Georgia Certification Exam to graduate. Class topics include investigating methods, classroom management, family/community involvement, and a practicum.
Applicants must hold an early childhood or elementary education degree, with eligibility for elementary education certification. Applicants must submit their official transcripts; previously earned credits may be transferred to the program.
UND's 32-credit master of education in elementary education targets licensed teachers and education professionals interested in obtaining advanced knowledge in assessment, curriculum development, and diverse populations.
Studies include mathematics, reading instruction, social studies education, and multicultural, policy, and psychology topics. Candidates complete the program with a thesis, independent study, or an independent project focused on an educational topic.
Applicants must hold a teacher's license and undergraduate degree from an accredited university with a cumulative 2.75 GPA. Admission materials include official transcripts and a goal statement.
The master of education in elementary education offered through UNC Charlotte teaches leadership skills and specialized content knowledge. Candidates are also eligible for additional certification in certain concentration areas.
Required coursework in the degree's 30-credit program includes issues in global and urban elementary schools, classroom management and leadership for diverse learners, and research methods. Available concentration streams include literacy, math, STEM, and anti-racism.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in elementary education from an accredited institution and an elementary education teaching license. Admission materials include transcripts, three recommendation letters, and a personal statement.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
An Apple Distinguished School, the SEMO master of arts in elementary education helps education professionals add to their knowledge, or expand into a new teaching area and/or eventual certification.
Studies focus on assessment, research, and family/child collaboration. Candidates also select from specializations in reading, math/science, or early childhood.
Applicants must hold a valid professional teaching certificate or be in the 50th percentile of GRE scores. Other requirements include an undergraduate degree obtained with a 2.75 minimum GPA and official transcript submission.
K-State's master of arts in teaching (elementary education) targets candidates with a non-education bachelor's degree. The 12-month accelerated program follows a cohort model, meaning students complete classes at the same time. The degree prepares participants for K-6 teacher certification.
The 31-credit curriculum includes instruction and assessment, teaching science, mathematics, social studies, and reading in the elementary school, and a practicum. Candidates must complete a teaching and learning portfolio in the final semester.
Admission materials include transcripts, three references, statement of objectives, and resume.
The UNM online master’s degree in elementary education helps candidates advance classroom practice and student learning. The program's main focus involves teacher leadership and its application to improve education.
Designed for completion in two years, the curriculum includes advanced instructional strategies, multimedia literacy, research applications, and mentoring educators. Candidates must participate in a seminar and complete a minimum of 30 credits.
Applicants must hold an elementary or secondary teaching license, and a bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 minimum GPA.
ECU's master of arts in education-elementary education allows candidates with a K-6 elementary teaching license to complete an advanced degree. Participants study both content and pedagogical issues.
Taught through a cohort model, the program's core courses include research, human learning differences, effective communication and leadership, and curriculum revision and implementation. Concentrations include academically gifted, content pedagogy, teacher leadership, and teaching children in poverty. Students may pursue a thesis option.
Required application materials include a statement of purpose, teaching license, and official transcripts.
The master of arts in elementary education offered through Ball State targets professional educators seeking an advanced, customizable degree. Candidates may select a concentration aligning with their interests, or may select from a specialty area. These include autism, educational technology, and gifted and talented.
Course requirements of the 30-credit degree include technology usage, school, family, and community partnerships, teaching of reading, and classroom management.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution (minimum 2.75 GPA). Submission materials include official transcripts.
Samford's master of science in education alternative A elementary education is designed for working professionals outside education who want to become certified elementary school teachers. The fast-track, nontraditional program requires some on-campus attendance, and stresses clinical experiences and teaching pedagogy.
Coursework includes child development, reaching difficulties, assessment, and classroom management. After a minimum of 36 credits, the program concludes with a seminar and K-6 internship.
Candidates interested in the program must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution (2.75 GPA minimum). Applicants must submit official transcripts and PRAXIS scores.
PSU's master of science in teaching with an emphasis in elementary education program prepares licensed elementary teachers to master their craft. The program also welcomes candidates without teaching licenses who wish to learn about pedagogy and eventually obtain licensure.
The 33-credit program requires seven courses, three electives, and a practicum. The elective courses may consist of curriculum, assessment, or a content area.
Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in education and submit two recommendations, transcripts, and a writing sample.
UAS's master of arts in teaching, elementary education, targets Alaskans wishing to complete elementary education programs, allowing them to teach in state schools. The MAT's programming includes a graduate certificate in elementary education.
Requirements for the 39-credit program include foundational courses, major requirements, practicums and a semester of student teaching. Classroom research and a master's research project or portfolio complete the degree.
Applicants must live in Alaska and hold an undergraduate degree (3.0 minimum GPA). Submission requirements include a statement of professional objectives, writing samples, recommendations, and resume. PRAXIS scores are also required.
Geared toward candidates with teaching certificates, Missouri State's master of science in education, elementary education, allows customization of the degree path based on specific interests. Graduates may remain as classroom teachers or could continue into Ph.D. programs.
Core courses include contemporary issues in elementary curriculum, proposal development, educational research, and the emerging master teacher. Students may select a thesis or research seminar. Electives focus on integrated curriculum, social studies, or mathematics.
Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree and submit official transcripts, a letter of intent, teaching certificate, and three recommendation letters.
A private university, UCM's master of science in education, elementary education curriculum and instruction, offers courses relevant to elementary and early childhood teachers. Graduates gain skills to further their commitment to students and learning.
The 30-credit degree classes focus on childhood education foundations, curriculum assessment, research and development, and exemplary instructional practices. Candidates must complete a capstone project.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree (minimum GPA 2.75) and submit teacher certification proof with official transcripts. Additional submission requirements include a summative teaching evaluation.
ECSU's master of education in elementary education helps candidates attain knowledge in three core areas: Content, professional, and pedagogical. Graduates gain skills as reflective practitioners, diversity advocates, and competent evaluators.
Program requirements include integrated elementary curriculum, arts and movement, human development and learning, and teaching of math, social science, and social studies. Participants must complete a capstone project.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution at a 2.5 minimum GPA, and a North Carolina "A" license (or equivalent). Other admission materials include official transcripts, an essay, and three recommendations.
The master of education degree with standard elementary education at SFA is designed for certified elementary teachers wishing to strengthen their knowledge base and instructional skills.
Topics of study include content methods, public school education, and action research. Classes focus on teaching STEM and social studies, instruction and assessment, and research. Students will complete a minimum of 36 credits in order to graduate.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 2.5 minimum GPA; official transcripts are required.
UAB’s master of arts in education in elementary education focuses on educational research, curriculum development, and pedagogy advocacy. The degree targets candidates with a bachelor's degree in education and an elementary education class B certification.
The 33-credit program includes teaching reading, assessments, current issues in education, and learning theories. Candidates must also participate in a practicum.
Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in elementary education with a 3.0 minimum GPA, and a current teaching certificate. Also required is a GRE (290+) or MAT (388+) score, and official transcripts.
Mercer's 30-credit master of education in elementary education boosts the knowledge of currently certified elementary educators. The program focuses on leadership development, learner advocacy, pedagogy best practices, and applied research skills.
Studies include school philosophy and teacher leadership, curriculum practices, and educational research. Candidates can also pursue endorsements including autism, ESOL, mathematics, and reading.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 2.5 minimum GPA, and must hold, or be eligible for, a level 4 education teaching certificate. Applicants must submit their undergraduate transcript.
The UMSL master of education in elementary education, emphasis in early childhood, targets elementary teachers, department chairpersons, and anyone who works in an informal learning setting. Candidates learn to meet diverse learners' needs and gain knowledge about social justice and community contexts.
Core courses include instruction, learning, and assessment, teacher action research, and a capstone. The early childhood education emphasis focuses on early childhood development psychology and the role of play. Students will earn 33 credits to graduate.
Applicants require an undergraduate degree in education with at least a 2.75 GPA. Admission materials include official transcripts.
The UNCP 30-credit master of arts in teaching with specialization in elementary education is intended for undergraduate degree-holders with few, if any, formal education courses. The program helps candidates qualify for a North Carolina teaching license.
Core courses include basic education tenets, intro to curriculum design, classroom management, and advanced elementary mathematics and science. Degree requirements include field study and an internship.
Applicants to the program must hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution (2.5 minimum GPA). Admission materials include official transcripts, recommendations, and a personal statement.
Online Master's in Elementary Education Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
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What Is an Online Master's in Elementary Education?
A master's degree in elementary education builds advanced teaching skills. Some programs also offer initial licensure for students who do not possess teaching experience. With master's-level training in elementary education, graduates can take on leadership roles.
Enrollees in an elementary education graduate program study instructional techniques, assessment methods, and classroom management approaches. Many master's programs also offer concentrations for educators seeking focused career paths. For example, an elementary teacher interested in moving into special education or second language acquisition can take specialized graduate courses to prepare for an endorsement on their teaching license that indicates what subjects they are qualified to teach.
In addition to education programs focused on classroom careers, students can also pursue degrees in educational leadership or curriculum and instruction to move into administrative roles.
Why Get an Online Master's Degree in Elementary Education?
An online master's in elementary education helps teachers advance their skills and increase their earning potential. With a master's degree, many educators earn higher salaries and move into leadership roles.
- A master's degree lets teachers specialize in areas like special education, gifted and talented education, or STEM education.
- An online teaching degree helps working professionals balance their education with other commitments.
- Graduates can pursue specialized certifications, endorsements, and credentials. For example, a master's degree builds the skills required for national board certification.
- Educators improve their teaching and leadership skills during a master's program. Many offer coursework in educational leadership, instructional assessment, and curriculum management.
Elementary Education Concentrations
Enrollees in an online master's in elementary education program can often choose a concentration to focus on. This section introduces common elementary education concentrations.
Educators in this concentration study literacy assessment, comprehension strategies, and research-based literacy approaches. Educators learn to apply reading and literacy theories in the classroom while strengthening their pedagogical skills. This focus builds advanced reading education abilities.
A gifted and talented education concentration trains educators to meet the needs of exceptional children. Coursework explores topics in educational research, prepares educators to evaluate programs, and examines educational assessment methods. Learners can also study educational psychology, learning theories, and instructional applications. Graduates can then apply their knowledge in K-5 classroom settings.
Master's students in an educational leadership concentration examine leadership theories in school settings and the best practices in school management. Courses in instructional supervision, educational administration, and school budgeting prepare graduates for leadership positions. A master's in educational leadership may meet the requirements for a principal license.
A special education concentration trains educators to teach students with disabilities. Many special education programs offer coursework in behavior challenges, autism, or learning disabilities. Educators also study federal regulations governing special education. Graduates can apply for board certification as exceptional needs specialists.
Elementary educators incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education into their K-5 lessons. This concentration trains teachers in STEM education through courses in problem-based mathematics, strategies for solving science problems, and STEM creativity. Graduates integrate STEM education best practices into their classroom instruction.
Educators who focus on English language learners can strengthen their second language acquisition training. Coursework focuses on strategies for teaching English at the elementary level, building literacy, and content area instruction. Teachers explore curriculum diversity, cultural contexts, and integrating home languages into lessons. Graduates can pursue board certification in English as a new language.
This concentration emphasizes effective methods of educating students. Master's students take courses in classroom assessment, differentiated instruction, and classroom management. The curriculum may also cover technology use in education.
Prerequisites for a Master's Degree in Elementary Education
Master's programs in education typically require a bachelor's degree for admission. However, applicants do not necessarily need a bachelor's in elementary education. Some programs admit students who do not possess current teaching licenses. Other programs may require bachelor's degrees in education.
Applicants must also meet minimum GPA requirements. Some programs require GRE scores, letters of recommendation, teaching experience, and a personal statement. Prospective students should research prerequisites and admission requirements for their potential programs.
How Much Does an Online Master's Degree in Elementary Education Cost?
The cost of an online master's degree typically ranges from $8,000-$20,000. Costs vary depending on the school, credit requirements, and tuition policies.
Graduate students can lower their costs by researching scholarships and other forms of financial aid. The TEACH Grant, for example, offers up to $4,000 per year for educators, including teachers pursuing master's degrees. Many universities also offer scholarships, grants, and fellowships to support graduate students. Finally, teachers can research scholarships through their districts or professional associations.
Choosing an Online Master's in Elementary Education Program
Prospective students should weigh multiple factors when choosing an online master's in elementary education program. For many students, cost, program length, and learning format rank at the top of their lists. Teachers may prefer the flexibility of an online program or an accelerated one-year master's degree.
Many universities offer tuition discounts for distance learners, which helps teachers save money while earning their master's degrees. Applicants can also consider specialization options and required student teaching hours to find the right fit. Prospective enrollees should research each program's accreditation status — earning an unaccredited teaching degree can negatively affect an educator's career.
Accreditation for Online Master's in Elementary Education Degrees
Educators considering master's degrees should choose accredited universities and programs. Accredited schools meet the highest standards for educating students and granting degrees.
In addition to institutional accreditation, prospective graduate students should seek out accredited education programs. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation grants accreditation to online master's in elementary education programs. In many states, only an accredited degree meets the requirements for teaching licensure.
What Can You Do With a Master's in Elementary Education?
A master's degree in elementary education prepares graduates for careers in the classroom or administrative roles. Elementary teachers, special education teachers, and instructional coordinators often earn more with master's degrees.
|Median Salary (2020):$60,660|
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers educate young learners in foundational subjects, including reading, writing, and mathematics. They create lesson plans that assess student learning, identify areas for improvement, and align with district curriculum goals. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers also communicate with parents, provide differentiated instruction, and enforce classroom rules. Teachers at public schools typically need state-issued licenses.
|Median Salary (2020):$60,620|
Special education teachers educate learners with disabilities. They assess each student's abilities and modify lessons to meet those needs. Special education teachers also develop individualized education programs (IEPs) for their students. These professionals carry out IEPs, track progress, and report performance to parents and administrators. Special education teachers generally need coursework in special education to receive teaching licensure.
|Median Salary (2020):$70,270|
Instructional coordinators create educational materials that align with the school curriculum. They also evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum and train teachers in meeting core standards. By evaluating test data, instructional coordinators determine modifications in the curriculum or teaching methods. Instructional coordinators typically bring teaching experience and hold master's degrees. Jobs in public schools typically require state-issued licenses.
|Median Salary (2020):$25,460|
Childcare workers care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. They encourage basic skills like emotional regulation and number recognition. Childcare workers at the pre-K level prepare children for kindergarten. A childcare worker typically does not need a college degree, but pre-K teachers and preschool directors often hold degrees. Licensure requirements vary depending on location.
Common Questions About Master's in Elementary Education Programs
A master's in education helps educators increase their earning potential and move into administrative roles. With a master's degree in elementary education, educators can qualify for higher salaries and lead teacher positions.
Yes. Teachers with master's degrees generally earn higher salaries. In many school districts, educators with graduate degrees can advance in the salary schedule.
Both a master of arts in teaching and a master of education in elementary education develop graduate students' pedagogical and instructional skills. Both degrees prepare learners for classroom teaching careers.
Header Image Credit: | Getty Images
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