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Masters in Education Programs in North Carolina

Teachers are some of the most important professionals in the state of North Carolina. They provide equal access to education and help students overcome limitations. As a working teacher, you may have seen directly how your work influences students. Earning a master’s degree could help you become more involved in the classroom or explore new educational career paths entirely.

North Carolina has a growing demand for teachers. This state is home to innovative educators, including the teacher who taught her classroom about the spread of germs with a bread experiment that has gone viral (KSDK, 2017). Several school districts have joined a statewide effort to recruit new teachers into North Carolina schools (Kinston, 2017).

At the graduate level, there are lots of options for teachers who want to ramp up their knowledge and skills. Learn more about earning a master’s degree and how you can use your training by contacting in-person programs and online MAT programs today.

Earning your Master’s in Education in North Carolina

At master’s programs in NC, you can study a variety of educational specialties and explore teaching theory. Working teachers benefit from the flexibility of online MAT programs.

SchoolLocationAvailable DegreesNotable Facts
North Carolina State UniversityRaleighM.A.: adult and continuing professional education, community college teaching, curriculum and developmental supervision, educational leadership, higher education administration, and special education

M.S.: technology education

MAT: English education, STEM education, and TESOL

Offers an accelerated graduate teacher licensure program that leads to an additional teaching license
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillMA: educational innovation, technology and entrepreneurship


M.Ed: early childhood intervention and family support

M.S.A.: school administration

Provides students in various teaching specialties the opportunity to conduct and participate in educational research
North Carolina Central UniversityDurhamM.S.A.: school administration

M.S.: communications disorders

M.Ed: special education, education, school counseling, visual impairment

MAT: special education, career counseling, educational technology

Focuses on preparing teachers to educate students of diverse backgrounds and needs


 Selected Master’s degree programs in North Carolina

  • Appalachian State University. Appalachian State offers both part-time and full-time master’s programs. Degree programs in fields like English or history are housed within their specific academic departments, while more general education degrees are housed in the Reich College of Education.
  • Elon University. Elon offers Master of Education degrees in elementary education, special education, and gifted education. Students complete the majority of their coursework over the span of three summers, taking only one class each semester during the school year.
  • Meredith College. Meredith has master’s programs that cater both to teachers looking to advance their education and to those looking to jump into the teaching field. The Master of Education degree, offered in gifted education, elementary education, English as a second language, and special education, is geared toward K-12 teachers who are already eligible for an initial teaching license. The Master of Arts in teaching degree is designed for people with bachelor’s degrees in fields other than education, who want to become teachers.

Scholarships and Grants for Advanced Education Degree Students in North Carolina

With hard work and planning, you can find a variety of financial aid options in North Carolina. Graduate-level teachers are in high demand in this region, leading to an increase in scholarships, grants and loan forgiveness programs.

  • North Carolina Prospective Teachers Scholarship-Loan Program: This program offers scholarships and loans to teaching students who stay in North Carolina after graduation. If you accept a loan, you may have it forgiven or canceled by working in North Carolina for a set period of time.
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program: Consider this option if you plan on working in a low-income, high-needs area as a teacher, principal or administrator. Up to $5,000 is forgiven in most specialties, but teachers in math, science or special education can have up to $17,500 forgiven.
  • The Innovation Project Award Program: Open to North Carolina State University students, this scholarship is offered to graduates who spend at least two years working in an NC district with a teaching shortage.

Working in North Carolina with a Master’s in Education Degree

Attending one of the master’s programs in NC can drive up your earning potential. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the payoff for graduate education programs is fairly high (2017). Compare average master’s-level salaries for each teaching specialty:

  • Preschool and kindergarten teachers: $43,000 per year
  • Elementary and middle school teachers: $54,000 per year
  • Secondary school teachers: $56,000 per year
  • Special education teachers: $52,000 per year
  • Educational administrators: $75,000 per year

Job growth is increasing steadily in education. Expected job growth rates between 2014 and 2024 range from 6% to 7% for teachers at different grade levels (BLS, 2017).

With a graduate degree, consider taking on a leadership role in a local school. You can guide new teachers as a mentor or supervise as an administrator or principal. Some go on to work with local nonprofits like NC Child. Others work for testing facilities like Triangle Education Assessments.

Professional Research Initiatives

The experience you build at the master’s degree level can help you qualify for research positions in North Carolina. Researchers in this field directly contribute to the ongoing growth and improvement of educational systems.

  • Education Policy Initiative: Those who contribute to this initiative look at the ways that educational policies shape North Carolina schools and explore ways to improve student outcomes.
  • North Carolina Education Cloud: This initiative blends education and technology to discover new ways to use shared services to support North Carolina education.
  • Teacher Quality Research Initiative: Researchers in this initiative look at teacher and administrator quality in North Carolina by measuring effectiveness, looking at performance assessments and comparing personality traits of successful educators.

Perhaps you want to use your degree to check out other industries. You can expand your job search to include fields other than education, particularly since you develop strong leadership skills in in-person and online MAT programs. Teaching graduates may compare job openings in fields like business, management, sales and marketing.

Enhancing your education pays off in many ways, from personal growth to increased professional opportunities. Are you ready to find a master’s in teaching program that suits you? Search our comprehensive list of North Carolina graduate teaching programs and contact schools near you.

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