Masters in Education Degrees

If you have your teaching license and are looking to enter graduate level studies, a Master of Education is the next step...

If you want to become a leader in the classroom, improve your teaching, or simply take your career in education to the next level, earning a masters degree in education can be essential to your success. At EducationDegree.com, we make it simple for you to find, contact and compare schools offering masters in education programs. Read on to learn more about the benefits of earning a masters degree or begin exploring the featured schools on this page. Below you will find options from traditional campus-based organizations as well as schools that offer the ability to earn an online masters in teaching degree. With our simple forms, you can easily request information from multiple schools.

Note: Most of the master's programs below are for experienced educators (unless otherwise noted as "leads to initial teacher licensure" or "for aspiring teachers"). If you are looking to earn your initial teacher licensure, a better place to begin is our Bachelors in Education Programs or Alternative Certification Programs, which are tailored for non-teachers who hold a bachelor's degree in another subject and want to become a teacher.

Master's Degree Options for Teachers

As you research different program offerings, it's important to understand the difference in degrees and know that there are options for teachers pursuing a master's degree. A Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is geared more toward initial teacher licensure and focuses on practical classroom skills and teaching specific subjects. A Master of Education(M.Ed.), on the other hand, is for experienced educators and provides more in-depth instruction designed to prepare teachers for new leadership roles. A Master of Science in Education and Master of Arts in Education are similar to the M.Ed.


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Master's in Teaching Concentrations

Masters in education programs come in a wide variety of degree concentrations. Some of the most common concentrations include:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership
  • Special Education
  • Speech and Language Pathology
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Adult Education/Adult Learning
  • Higher Education
  • Secondary Education

Entrance Requirements for Education Master's Degree Programs

Although requirements may vary slightly, in order to be accepted into a master's degree program in education you will generally need to submit the following materials to the schools you select:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • A minimum GPA of around 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Completed application
  • Letters of recommendation (usually about three)
  • Some schools may require you to take the GRE, though not all programs do
  • If you are a non-native English speaker, then you will need to take and submit your scores on the TOEFL or IELTS

How Long Will It Take to Get a Master's Degree in Education?

The typical master's in teaching degree takes two to three years to complete, though some universities offer online master's degrees that can be earned in as few as 12 to 18 months.

Classes differ from program to program, but most Masters in education programs will include instruction on educational policy, school and community partnerships, classroom management, theories of teaching and learning, and educational leadership.

Because licensing requirements and career outlook varies so much between states, we recommend checking out the individual page for your state for more information on job outlook, average salary and licensing requirements. Links for these can be found under the "Show me all the Master's in Education Programs in:" section later down the page.

Cost of Masters Degree

The cost of a master's degree varies by school, program and location. In general, you can expect to pay more at a private school than a public school. Additionally, degrees that feature a heavy research component are sometimes paid for or subsidized by the school since you'll be assisting in those efforts during your tenure as a student. Don't be too deterred if the cost of a master's degree seems out of your reach at first; there are many financial aid and scholarship opportunities that can help ease your financial burden. The average cost of a master's degree in the US is between $50,000 and $60,000. A Master of Education costs on the lower end of this, at $50,879.

Curriculum for Master's in Education Programs 

Obviously, the courses you take will vary depending on what degree you get. Below is a list of courses you can expect to take in some of the most common master's degree programs. 


  • Foundations of Education
  • Inquiring into Schools, Communities, and Society
  • Sociology of Education
  • Learning Cultures
  • Structures and Processes for Effective Schools 

Master of Science in Education/Master of Arts in Education

  • Learning Theories and Instruction
  • Assessment Strategies
  • Curriculum Development and Design
  • Today's Learner
  • Student Diversity 

Master's in Teaching (MIT)

  • Education for Social Change
  • The Arts and Cultural Diversity
  • Elementary Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction
  • Middle/Secondary Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction
  • Learners and Instruction 

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

  • Teacher as Lifelong Learner and Professional Educator
  • Classroom Management
  • Collaboration to Support all Learners
  • Foundations of Literacy
  • Instructional Strategies for Learners with Exceptionalities

Online Masters Degrees in Education

If you're already teaching full-time and have a busy schedule, an online master's degree in education may be right for you. The chief benefit of pursuing an online degree is convenience; you can work at your own pace, on weekends and evenings. One drawback of online master's degree in Teaching programs, however, is lack of face-time with instructors.

How Do I Know If an Online Masters Degree in Education is Right For Me?

To determine if an online teaching degree is right for you, consider your learning style. If you learn more from being in class than reading textbooks, you may want to consider a traditional campus-based program. If you are a self-motivated learner, however, an online master's in education program could be a perfect fit for your busy lifestyle.

Online master's in education programs come in a variety of concentrations that are also commonly offered by traditional campus-based locations, from Curriculum & Instruction to Special Education. Online master's degrees in education programs typically take between 18 and 24 months to complete and require around 30 credit hours of coursework in addition to a final research project or portfolio.


Career Opportunities with a Master's in Teaching Degree

Earning a master's degree in education can help you better assist students in your current classroom. It can also open doors to new career opportunities, especially in education leadership. Popular fields for graduates with a master's in education include:

  • School Counseling (Guidance Counselor, School Psychologist)
  • School Administration (Principal, Assistant Principal)
  • Adult Education (College Professor, Lecturer)
  • Special Education Coordinator

Teacher Salary with a Master's Degree

While average teaching salaries vary across the United States, an advanced degree may positively affect your earning potential in most locations. Several factors impact a teacher's salary, including the level of experience, district standards and seniority. 

The average salary for a teacher is similar across grade levels. While elementary school teachers claim an average income of $56,900, middle school teachers earn a median salary of $57,720 per year. Secondary school teachers report a slightly higher average salary of $59,170 annually (BLS, 2018). 

However, median annual salaries across all grade levels increase for teachers with a master's degree. These salary figures were collected from Talent Neuron, a database that compiles career information based on statistics from the BLS and current job postings. According to this database:

  • The median income for elementary with a bachelor's is $59,650, while the median income for those with a master's degree is $63,400.
  • Middle school teachers with a bachelor's degree earn a median income of $62,000, while those with a master's degree earn a median $66,950 per year.
  • For secondary school teachers, those with bachelor's degrees pull in a median income of $62,300, while those with a master's degree have a median income of $67,550.
  • Special education teachers with a master's degree earn a median income of $64,950 while those with a bachelor's earn $60,600. 

Jobs for teachers at all levels are expected to have many openings in the United States over the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 1.9 million teaching job openings by 2024, with preschool teachers expecting the highest projected job growth (2016). If you want to become a teacher and earn more money than you would with a bachelor's degree, it's a great time to earn your master's degree in education. 

Jobs for teachers at all levels are expected to grow between 7-8% between 2016-2026, according to the BLS. The fastest growing teaching field is preschool teachers, with a projected 10% growth in jobs between 2016 and 2026.  

Scholarships for Master's in Education/Teaching Students 

If you know you want to get your master's degree but costs are getting in the way, rest assured that there are many financial aid, grants, and scholarships available to graduate students in education. A few of these options are:

  • FAFSA: these are federal loans you will pay back after you complete your degree and begin working.
  • Sometimes schools pay for part or all of your education if you are completing a research degree. Be sure to check into whether this may be an option for you as you research schools.
  • There are many private, state-specific scholarships out there, so be sure to research options in your state. For example, education graduate students in Maryland are eligible for the BHD Endowed Scholarship Fund for Teachers.
  • There are also often scholarships available for education graduate students in specific concentrations, such as the Elementary Mathematics Specialist Scholarship, which is available to graduate students specializing in elementary math.

Increase your opportunities in the field of education! Start pursuing your master's degree in education today by exploring the featured schools on this page. As a general rule, we recommend contacting several schools to gather more information, helping you to make a more informed decision about your future and what a Master of Education can do for you.