Many educators are interested in an accelerated online Master’s in Education, especially when they choose to pursue advanced licensure in their state. This generally comes on the heels of understanding that a master’s degree can help teachers and educators advance in their career while also providing them with the information necessary to continue to be competent leaders in the classroom. It also stems from understanding that in this new age of technology, it is possible to earn a degree while working a full-time job.
Educators understand the advantages of online education. Not only are the programs of study the same as traditional programs, but they are also flexible in a way that campus courses simply cannot be. Accelerated programs, for instance, do quite well online because professionals can move through the curriculum with the knowledge that they will complete their degree in half the time it would take on campus; that is what this ranking aims to prove.
Over 100 schools were initially considered for this ranking and were narrowed down to 10 schools following an enormous amount of research that focused on the National Center for Education Statistics. The site’s public database, known as College Navigator, revealed several factors that were necessary to compile this ranking including time to complete the degree and tuition rates. The final ten schools, which are listed below, were ranked according to their in-state graduate tuition rates.
Ranking Low-cost Accelerated Online Master’s in Education
10. Walden University
Online Master of Science in Education (Accelerated)
Walden University offers students the chance to earn a 12 month online Master’s in Education degree that comes with six different specializations. These include Special Education, Elementary Reading and Mathematics, and Integrating Technology in the Classroom. The program, as well as its specializations, have been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. This program is completely delivered online through asynchronous and synchronous courses. Students take courses two at a time, enabling them to finish their degree in just one year. It is important to note that depending on a student’s chosen specialization, they may or may not be eligible for licensure. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a research project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Curriculum Design for Learning, Enhancing Learning for Diverse Populations, and Creating an Effective Classroom Learning Environment.
For more information: Walden University
9. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
Students at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin can earn a one year Master’s in Education online degree from one of the most prestigious schools in the state. This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Educational Leadership Constituent Council. This program is an incredible choice for educators in that it offers a great deal of flexibility; students can choose from six start dates a year, complete all of their coursework online, work with mostly asynchronous courses, and learn on an eight-week format. All of this makes it possible to complete all of the requirements for this degree in one year. Students will be expected to complete 33 credit hours of coursework, a practicum that is completed in their community, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include School Human Resources Management, Instructional Leadership Development, and Research Design in Education and the Social Sciences.
For more information: University of Texas of the Permian Basin
8. Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana
Online Master of Education in Elementary Education
Indiana State University confers an online accelerated Master’s in Education that is built for professionals who work as elementary or early childhood teachers. Students who are interested in earning primary or advanced licensure must research their state’s requirements for appropriate educational experiences because this degree may not fulfill the requirements. The online version of this program is also a general degree; the concentrations associated with this degree are only available on campus. Students will find that this 100 percent online program can be completed in as little as 18 months with full-time study. Students who study part-time can take up to seven years to complete all requirements. Degree requirements include 32 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include The History of American Education, Development Through the Lifespan, and Philosophy of Education.
For more information: Indiana State University
7. Capella University
Online Accelerated Master of Science in Education
Students at Capella University are offered the chance to enroll in a 12-month master’s online in education that is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. It comes with ten different concentrations, including Leadership in Educational Administration, Training and Performance Improvement, and English Language Learning and Teaching. Students will find that this program can be accelerated by utilizing certain professional development courses, all of which are provided as free electives in the curriculum plan. Utilizing FlexPath courses and short-term courses, students can complete this degree in just one year. Like many education graduate degrees, this program requires an internship; this takes place in a student’s community. Other requirements include 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include The Funding of Educational Institutions, School Leadership: Data, Decision-Making, and School Improvement, and P-12 Principalship.
For more information: Capella University
6. The University of North Texas
Online Master of Education in Educational Leadership
The University of North Texas offers students the chance to earn Texas Principal Certification through its one year online Master’s in Education program. This degree is designed for educators who are interested in advancing their careers in the educational sector. It is primarily concerned with preparing professionals who are seeking Texas principal certification. The program also holds accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. This degree is 100 percent available online and on eight-week term schedules; there are also five start dates every year so students can start their education whenever they are ready. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, an internship, a research paper, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include School Leadership and Administration, Current Issues in Education, and Assuming the Principal Role.
For more information: University of North Texas
5. The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley
Online Master of Education in Educational Leadership
Working professionals are treated to an incredible accelerated online Master’s in Education degree at the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley. There are several master’s degree options, including the Master of Education in Special Education, Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, and the Master of Education in Educational Leadership. These programs were all designed for professionals who currently hold a primary license to teach in the state of Texas and have at least two years of work experience. The programs are all available 100 percent online with asynchronous courses delivered in the eight-week term format. Students will find that practicums and internships will be supervised in their own community; however, all work experiences must take place within the state. Students can expect differences regarding curriculum choices depending on what degree they choose to pursue, but all programs require 30 credit hours of coursework, one practicum or internship, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Administration of Human Resources and Budgeting, Curriculum Leadership for School Improvement, and School-Community Relations.
For more information: University of Texas at the Rio Grande Valley
4. Anderson University
Anderson, South Carolina
Online Master of Education
Anderson University offers students an accelerated master’s online in education degree that can be completed in one year. Educators who already hold primary teaching licensure will find that this research-based and applied practice degree will help them advance in their career, especially as they progress through the curriculum. Students will find that this degree is conferred 100 percent online through the use of asynchronous and synchronous courses that are delivered in an eight-week term format. The program focuses mostly on public schools and how community and personal development can impact learners, making it a great choice for professionals who wish to continue teaching in their current position. Students can expect to complete 33 credit hours of coursework, a research project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam; this program will not lead to advanced licensure. Sample courses include Principles of Curriculum Development, Current Issues in Public School Education, and Assessment Data to Inform Instruction.
For more information: Anderson University
3. Sam Houston State University
Online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration
The affordable accelerated online Master’s in Education that is available from Sam Houston State University is perfect for students who are preparing to take on mid-level leadership positions in educational work settings. Students will find that this 100 percent online program is as an asynchronous course of study that follows the traditional academic term schedule; it is possible to complete this degree in as little as 18 months. This program does not lead to advanced licensure, so students who are interested in this may want to look elsewhere for their licensure goals. This degree does require a practicum and students must be able to acquire this work experience in their own community. Students will be expected to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a thesis or a practicum, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Student Services in Higher Education, Resource Development and Allocation in Higher Education, and History and Organization of Higher Education.
For more information: Sam Houston State University
2. Western Governors University
Salt Lake City, Utah
Online Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction
Western Governors University provides students with the chance to earn an online accelerated master’s in education, which focuses on curriculum and instruction. There is also the possibility of earning a Master of Arts in English Language Learning in PreK-12 and Master of Arts in Teaching English for Grades 5-12 as accelerated online programs. Students will find that the curriculum is designed to help educators prepare for advanced roles in their careers, enabling them to move forward towards advanced licensure or an administrative position with little to no interruption to their current career. This is a 100 percent online program that utilizes both asynchronous and synchronous courses in eight-week and 10-week formats. Students can comfortably finish all the requirements in less than 18 months of full-time study. This degree requires 33 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Curriculum Design and Instruction for Educators, Current Issues in the Public School System, and Analyzing and Implementing New School Programs.
For more information: Western Governors University
1. Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Online Master of Education in Educational Leadership
Southeastern Oklahoma State University confers an affordable accelerated Master’s in Education online that can be completed in as little as 12 months. This is a degree that was created for education professionals, regardless of whether they hold primary teaching licensure, to prepare them for administrative or leadership roles in the education sector. This degree does not lead to any type of certification in the state of Oklahoma. Students will find a curriculum that focuses on public schools and the school system in America, including courses dedicated to administration and leadership. All courses are available online and asynchronously; with an eight-week term schedule, students can finish the degree in one year with part-time study. Students will be expected to complete 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include School and Community Relations, Fundamentals of Curriculum Development, and School Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice.
For more information: Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Accelerated Online Master’s in Education Degree?
There are a variety of career options available to a student who earns an online Master’s in Education, with the most popular being that of a teacher or administrator. It is also possible to branch out and find other career options. Some of these include:
- Instructional Designer
- Admissions Advisor
- Assistant Principal
- Director of Admissions
- Program Director
- Director of Professional Development Programs
- Dean of Students
How Much Can You Earn in This Field?
The current salary range for a professional in education ranges from $45,000 to $95,000. This includes professionals who work in PreK-12 and higher education institutions, private schools, public schools, and as professional development instructors. It also includes educators, administrators, principals, counselors, instructional designers, and more. The salary range also accounts for work experience level as well as additional certifications and endorsements.
What are the Various Disciplines of Education?
Education encompasses nearly every discipline a person can think of because every discipline is taught by a teacher. From social studies to nursing to engineering to math, every discipline in every sector is first introduced to a professional through education. When viewed in this light, it can be difficult to explain the variety of disciplines that play a role in the field.
However, in the field of education, some disciplines play a significant role in a professional’s day-to-day responsibilities. This can include law, regulation, administration, management, leadership, human resources, communication, technology, curriculum, instruction, and more.
Is a Teaching Licensure Necessary for Online Graduate Degrees in Education?
The answer for this depends on the actual degree. Many schools do require a license to teach in a student’s home state if the program is dedicated to early childhood or secondary education. Other schools that offer programs in Educational Leadership or Curriculum and Instruction may not require licensure.
As a rule, schools that offer the chance to earn advanced licensure through the program will require primary teaching licensures from their applicants. This is mandatory to be approved to enter the program. Students should note it is not possible to bypass primary certification to earn advanced certification in any state in the country.
However, students who wish to become administrators or hold senior-level positions within an educational institution setting do not have to be licensed as teachers. This is because their primary tasks are administrative and not education; teachers who work with students every day must be licensed, but there is no such requirement for principals or administrators.
Education continues to be one of the single most significant factors in social mobility in America. It should come as no surprise, then, that so many schools, colleges, and universities would require educators to have the best education possible in order to teach others. For ambitious professionals, an accelerated online Master’s in Education can provide them with both the advancement in their career they crave as well as an education that will help them be a shining example to their own students.