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The 25 Best Online Elementary Education Masters Degree Programs

The Master’s in Elementary Education is a valuable and dynamic degree, particularly designed for working teachers (with licensure/certificate, or the equivalent experience) who want to expand their pedagogical skill-set, strengthen their content area, or pursue leadership roles. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, K-6 educators will see 90,000 jobs added through 2024, and education is among the most stable areas of employment. Though each program is unique (and this list includes a variety of MS, MAT, MEd, and hybrid degrees), the general curriculum follows a professional core, which covers theory, practice, and research; in-depth studies of a specific content area; and electives and/or practicum experiences. All the programs below are highly flexible to accommodate working teachers’ busy schedules, and many are available on a part-time basis. (Still, accelerated options are available for those interested.) Here are our top 25 online programs with respect to the following methodology.

Methodology:

  • Affordability (1/3): the average out-of-state tuition per credit hour
  • Completion Time (1/3): minimum amount of course work required for certification
  • Academic Reputation (1/3): the rank of the school’s parent institution according to US News

1. Auburn University

Online MSc or MEd in Elementary Education

Auburn MSc or MEd in Elementary Education Online
Auburn University, founded in 1856, is a public research university with an enrollment of over 27,000 students. Ranked among the top 50 public universities for more than two decades, the University has received high marks from Forbes, Washington Monthly, Peterson’s Guide, and US News, among others. There are 140 degrees spread across 13 schools; and in particular, Auburn is known for its Interior Design program (ranked the #1 undergraduate program in the country), Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Forestry, Pharmacy, and Business. Auburn has graduates nearly 300,000 students, and distinguished alumni include the likes of Apple CEO Tim Cook, Wikipedia Co-Founder Jimmy Wales, actress Octavia Spencer, and a number of politicians, professional athletes, writers, and more.

The university’s online school offers both an MS and MEd in Elementary Education, each consisting of a minimum of 30 hours. The MEd track leads to recommendation for Class A Alabama professional educator certification and includes 24 Teaching Field hours and 6 hours of advisor-approved courses. The MS is an interdisciplinary graduate-level education for students not needing licensure or certification; the curriculum includes a 1-hour orientation, 15 hours of Elementary Education courses, 12 hours of advisor approved electives and 2 hours of a Capstone in Teaching and Learning. All courses are designed to update students’ knowledge and skills in research-based language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies content, educational psychology, curriculum and teaching, evaluation of teaching and learning, and foundations of education. Degrees are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Alabama State Board of Education.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $498
  • Degree: MS/MEd

2. Western Illinois University

MSc in Elementary Education Online

western_illinois Online Master of Science Elementary Education
Founded in 1899, Western Illinois University is located in Macomb, Illinois, with a student body of approximately 11,500. The university is composed of four colleges – Arts & Sciences, Business & Technology, Education & Human Services, and Fine Arts & Communication – and offers 69 undergraduate majors and 42 graduate degrees and certification programs. WIU also offers a four-year fixed rate tuition and a unique FYE (First Year Experience) Program designed to help incoming freshmen transition from high school to college, through social and co-curricular events such as concerts, art exhibits, and guest lectures. The school is well respected for its academics, and both US News and the Princeton Review rank it among the best colleges in the Midwest. Its distinguished alumni include numerous politicians, business leaders, artists, and more.

WIU offers an MS in Elementary Education that consists of 30 credits. Classes include Methods of Research, Recent Trends and Research in Elementary Education, Assessment and Differentiation of Instruction, Early Childhood Assessment, Curriculum in Early Childhood Education, and Seminar in Early Childhood Education. From there, students also have the opportunity to gain real-world experience through practicum work, a capstone experience, electives, and a specialization in either Elementary Curriculum or Literacy Education. For students who have already earned a licensure, it may be possible to an endorsement to the degree. For maximum flexibility, students have up to 6 years to complete a degree, though students on a full-time schedule may finish coursework in as little as 1-2 years. This degree is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $323
  • Degree: MS

3. University of South Carolina

MEd in Teaching Online

south_carolina Online Master of Education in Teaching
The University of South Carolina is located in Columbia, with seven satellite campuses. Founded in 1801, USC is the state’s flagship university and has a total student body of nearly 50,000. There are more than 350 programs are offered – bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, and professional – across 15 schools, covering liberal arts, business, education, health sciences, social work, medicine, and more. Of particular note are South Carolina’s undergraduate and graduate programs in International Business, which have been ranked in the top 2 program nationwide for more than a decade. Other highlighted programs include psychology, exercise science, pediatrics, and electrical engineering. With 250,000 alumni, graduates benefit from an active alumni network, which includes politicians, CEOs, business executives, education leaders, and professional athletes.

Ranked as one of the top 25 programs in the country, South Carolina offers a MEd in Teaching that consists of 36 credits. Core requirements include Developing as an Introduction to Education Research, Professional Educator, Ideas and Issues in Teaching, Action Research in Teaching, and Action Research Capstone Seminar. Students then have the opportunity to customize the final 12 credits of the curriculum with their academic advisor. Courses deliver in accelerated 8-week blocks, and students can complete the degree in as little as 24 months. Note that the program is designed to fit the process for National Board Certification. Some related programs include a MEd in Educational Administration and several doctorates in Curriculum and Instruction.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $645
  • Degree: MEd in Teaching

4. University of Alabama

Online Master of Arts in Elementary Education

Alabama Online MA in Elementary Education
The University of Alabama, founded in 1831, is a public research university located in Tuscaloosa. Alabama is consistently ranked among the top public schools in the country, receiving high marks from US News, Washington Monthly, and Forbes, among others; and, across the school’s 13 academic divisions, particular programs of note include Law, Business, Accountancy, and Communication. It is also the only university in the state to offer doctorate degrees in anthropology, communication and information sciences, metallurgical engineering, music, Romance languages, and social work. Enrollment reached a record high in 2015, with a student body of 37,100, and graduates benefit from one of the largest, most loyal alumni networks in the world. They also might receive prestigious awards: Alabama has produced 15 Rhodes Scholars, 16 Truman Scholars, 32 Hollings Scholars, 6 Boren Scholars, and 47 Goldwater Scholars. In 2015-16, 11 Alabama students accepted Fulbright scholarships to study across the globe.

Alabama’s master’s in Elementary Education is designed for working professionals in the field and consists of 30 credit hours. Courses include Elementary School Curriculum, Guiding Pupil Learning, Introduction to Educational Research, Evaluation of Classroom Learning, and a number of electives to tailor course work to areas of interest. All students also specialize in Language Arts, Literacy, Mathematics, Science, or Social Studies, totaling 12 credits. All course work is designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate students’ busy schedules, and the curriculum places an equal emphasis on academic theory and real-world classroom experience through practicum work. Applicants should have earned at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and bachelor’s level teaching certificate. GRE scores are also required. The degree is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $360
  • Degree: MA

5. California State University – Fullerton

Online Master of Science in Early Childhood Education

cal_state_fullerton MSc in Early Childhood Education Online
Cal State Fullerton is a public research university with a total enrollment just under 40,000, making it the second largest student body among the 23 schools in the CSU system. There are over 240 degrees offered, including 120 bachelor’s, 118 master’s, three doctorates, and 19 teaching credentials. Notable areas of study include art, athletic training, business, chemistry, communications, communicative disorders, computer science, dance, engineering, music, nursing, public administration, public health, social work, teacher education, and theater. In particular, CSU Fullerton is ranked in the top 5 schools in the country for awarding undergraduate degrees to Hispanic students, and it has been recognized for academic excellence by Forbes, the Princeton Review, Washington Monthly, The Daily Beast, and Money Magazine, among others. US News and World Report ranks its online program in the top 15. Among the 210,000 active alumni, notable graduates include Kevin Costner, James Cameron, Kim Krizan, and numerous politicians, writers, screenwriters, and business executives.

Fullerton’s MS in Education offers a wide range of specialization opportunities in Educational Technology and Curriculum and Instruction (C&I emphases include Diversity, 21st Century and Learning, Math and Science, Technology in Education, Early Childhood Education, Professional Inquiry and Practice, Staff Development, and Spanish-English). All applicants to the online program must complete an in-person interview for entry, carry a teacher credential or equivalent experience, and should have earned at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. All students work alongside an advisor to tailor a curriculum that fits their professional goals, and the school’s Center for Careers in Teaching provides counseling and career services resources, information, and support. For those interested, CSU also offers a combined credential and master’s program, a full-time, 16-month program. Please note that the Curriculum and Instruction track is 100% online; others are offered as hybrid deliveries for maximum flexibility.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $372
  • Degree: MS

6. University of Massachusetts – Amherst

MEd in Science Education Online

UMass Online MEd in Science Education
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public research university with a total enrollment of approximately 30,000. Ranked among the top 30 public universities in the country, the school has well-regarded programs in Public Health, Sociology, Education, Computer Science, Psychology, Business, and more; with 111 undergraduate, 75 master’s and 47 doctoral programs spread across nine schools and colleges. Further, as part of the Five Colleges consortium, UMass Amherst students have access to courses at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges. The school’s campus is situated on 1,450 acres and is undergoing a massive $1 billion dollar expansion, including construction of a new science building, basketball center, football stadium, and more. The town of Amherst itself has been ranked among the best college towns in the country. Of the university’s 250,000 alumni worldwide, notable graduates include Former Chairman and CEO of GE Jack Welch, NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman, Bill Paxton, Richard Gere, Greg Landry, Jeff Corwin, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and winners of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, and more.

UMass Amherst’s MEd includes a Science Education emphasis and consists of 33 credits. Curriculum requirements include Discovering the Universe: Astronomy for Teachers; Investigating the Oceans; Nutrition & Health in the Science Classroom; Organisms Diversity & Interactions; Electricity & Magnetism in the Science Classroom; Energy, Forces, and Motion; Planet Earth, and more (covering Astronomy, Geosciences, Chemistry, Physics, Entomology, Biology, and Nutrition). Providing an interdisciplinary, hands-on approach, the program is designed to prepare students for Professional Licensure is based on the National Science Education Standards and the Massachusetts Science and Technology Frameworks. Online courses began in 2001 at UMass and now include 140 degrees and certificates. Also, course work is highly flexible to accommodate busy professionals balance work and academic responsibilities. For those interested, the university also offers an Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S. – 30 credits) for students who have already earned a master’s.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $385
  • Degree: MEd in Science

7. San Diego State University

Master of Arts in Education Online

san-diego-state-university Master of Arts in Education Online
San Diego State University is a public research university with a student enrollment of about 35,000. Founded in 1897, it is the third oldest school in CSU’s 23-school system. The school is also known for its research leadership: according to the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, SDSU ranked #1 in the country for four straight years in productive research. Since 2000, SDSU faculty and staff garnered more than $1.5 billion in research grants and contracts, and the Carnegie Foundation lists the school as a “Research University with high research activity.” It has been recognized for academic excellence by The Daily Beast, Money Magazine, Forbes, and others, with highly ranked programs in Nursing, Speech–Language Pathology, Rehabilitation Counseling, Clinical Psychology, Audiology, and Public Health. SDSU is behind only UC Berkeley in California Fulbright Scholars and has produced more than 65 in the last decade.

SDSU’s online school offers an MA in Teaching designed for K-12 teachers that consist of 24 credits, or 8 courses. (Though the MAT technically totals 30 credits, six are given to educators who have earned graduate credits through their credential program.) The curriculum is inquiry-based, encourages hands-on learning, and is issues-centered, with an emphasis on reflection during the teaching process. Among the areas of focus include innovative curriculum development, measuring student achievement, inclusion in the classroom, and research-based pedagogy. From there, students have the opportunity to take on original research in their own classrooms for a capstone project (this will examine social justice). All course work is highly flexible to accommodate working professionals in the field, and students complete assignments at their convenience. To allow career fast tracks, SDSU’s MAT can be completed in one year.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $325
  • Degree: MA in Teaching

8. Western Governors University

Online MA in Elementary Teaching

western-governors-university Master of Arts Elementary Teaching Online
Western Governors University is a private, nonprofit, and 100% online university based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and founded in 1995 by 19 state governors with the goal of creating a flexible, self-paced higher education degree. In particular, WGU distinguishes its offerings through competency-based credits that award students for previous life and work experience, which accelerates degree completion time, lowers costs, and reduces redundant course work. For its innovative work, WGU has been recognized by TIME Magazine, Fast Company, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and many more; and in 2011 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the university $4.5 million in funding. It is the country’s top producer of math and science teachers and won the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning from the United States Distance Learning Association several times. The school’s current enrollment is approximately 70,000, with over 60,000 alumni.

WGU’s MA in Elementary Teaching is designed for K-8 school teachers preparing for licensure and consists of 41 competency units. Areas of study include Foundations of Teaching, Mathematics Content, Instructional Planning and Presentation, Elementary Education Methods, Preclinical Experiences, Demonstration Teaching, and Research Fundamentals. Also, students will also gain valuable classroom experience and build a professional portfolio. Thanks to WGU’s CU-based program, motivated students on a fast track can complete the degree in as little as the year; otherwise, most finish course work in 2.5-3 years. All students work alongside a faculty mentor to personalize the curriculum and set professional goals, and enrollment counselors can help determine help prospective students map out a potential academic timetable. This program was developed by leaders on the Education Program Council, is recognized by the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), and is accredited by the NCATE.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $321
  • Degree: MA in Elementary Teaching

9. University of Mississippi

Master of Education in Elementary Education Online

Mississippi Online MEd Elementary Education
The University of Mississippi, colloquially Ole Miss, is a public research university with a total enrollment of approximately 24,000. Classified as an R1 Doctoral University by the Carnegie Foundation, Ole Miss’s most popular programs include Elementary Education and Teaching; Marketing/Marketing Management, General; Accountancy, Finance, General; Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration, Other; Biology, Psychology and Criminal Justice; and Business Administration and Management. Even with a large student body, the school maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1, and almost 50% of classes have 20 or fewer students. Several publications have highlighted the university. Forbes ranked Ole Miss 18th in the country for best value, and the Chronicle of Higher Education named it in its list of “Great Colleges to Work For.” Among its notable alumni include William Faulkner, John Grisham, four US Senators, Archie and Eli Manning, 3 Miss Americas, and many other business executives, professional athletes, and politicians.

The university’s online Master of Education in Elementary Education consists of 30 credits or 10 courses. Designed for teaching professionals in K-6 classrooms, course requirements include Educational Research, Differentiated Instruction, Advanced Curriculum and Theory, Problems in Teaching Mathematics, Basic Skills in Reading, Literacy Connections in the Elementary School, Measurement & Evaluation for Classroom Teachers, Integrating the Internet into Education, and others. Applicants should have earned at least a 3.0 undergraduate degree and must submit Praxis II scores. All online coursework is built for maximum flexibility, and classes delivered via Blackboard, which includes group discussion boards, live chat rooms, and multimedia learning tools. Additional online resources include a center for career success, first-year learning support, tech support, enrollment counseling, and more. For those interested, the school also offers an Educational Specialist program for students who have already earned a master’s.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $443
  • Degree: MEd

10. University of North Dakota

Master of Science in Elementary Education Online

North Dakota Online MSc in Elementary Education
The University of North Dakota was founded in 1883 in Grand Forks. Considered among the top 100 public universities in the country, it has been ranked highly by Forbes, Princeton Review, and Washington Monthly. In total, the school offers programs in over 220 fields of study, including 90 undergraduate and 54 master’s degrees, and has 40 online programs – MBA, Applied Economics, Educational Leadership, Forensic Psychology, Social Work, Public Administration and Nursing. The student body of nearly 15,000 represents 50 states and 85 countries; and with classes capped at 22, the educational experience remains highly intimate and collaborative. Its alumni are spread throughout politics, business, science, the arts, and athletics, including eight governors of North Dakota, a former Deputy National Security Advisor at the White House, NBA coach Phil Jackson, aviator Carl Ben Eielson, journalist Chuck Klosterman, and more.

The university’s online Master’s in Elementary Education consists of 32 credits and can be completed in as little as two years. All course work is designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate working professionals, and three entry dates throughout the year allow you to begin the degree on a personalized schedule. Classes deliver in a combination of live and pre-recorded class sessions, with a balance of academic theory and hands-on work to develop practical classroom skills in a K-6 setting. (This is developed over a 90-hour teaching practicum near the student’s community.) Graduates of the program will be prepared to: create supportive and productive learning environments for elementary school children, teachers, and parents; practice reflective teaching and leadership; and make a broad contribution to the field. Additional benefits to the UND program include online tutoring, an e-library, tech support, personal advisor, and in-state tuition for all students. This degree is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $402
  • Degree: MS

11. Slippery Rock University

Online Master of Education in Elementary Education

slippery_rock MEd Elementary Education Online
Slippery Rock University is a public university about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1889, the school is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and has an enrollment of approximately 10,000. Situated on over 600 acres, the school boasts one of the largest campuses in the state. Notable alumni include Robert J. Stevens, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the Lockheed Martin Corporation; Former President of Alfred University and the Rochester Institute of Technology M. Richard Rose; president of the Foundation for Economic Education, Lawrence Reed; Victoria Clarke, communications consultant and former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, and many more professional athletes, politicians, and business executives. SRU is accredited by more than a dozen organizations.

The SRU online school offers an MEd in Elementary Education with an emphasis in either Reading or Science and Math. The 30-credit reading track includes coursework in Historical, Psychological & Linguistic Foundations of Literacy; The Reading Program in the Elementary School; Literacy Assessment Analysis & Instructional Decision Making; Foundations of Instructional Coaching, and more. Students may also opt to complete a reading certification track (21) or instructional coaching – literary emphasis endorsement track (12 credits). The Math and Science option totals 30 credits and can be completed in 4 semesters with a cohort. Courses include Problem Solving in K-8 Education, Mathematic Content for Teachers, Curriculum Materials for K-8 Teachers, Teacher Action Research in the Math/Science Classroom, and Seminar in Mathematics and Science
Education. All students will also participate in practicum experiences to gain real-world classroom experience. Designed for maximum flexibility, SRU’s online programs are ideal for working teachers.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $479
  • Degree: MEd

12. Southern New Hampshire University

MEd in Elementary Education Online

Southern New Hampshire University Master of Education Elementary Education Online
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit university halfway between Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire. Originally founded in 1932 as the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science, SNHU has expanded to become one of the worldwide leaders in distance learning, with over 70,000 enrolled online. Of the more than 200 programs offered – in accounting and finance, healthcare, business, sports management, and more – all are career-focused and designed for working professionals and adult learners. Further, SNHU instructors are accomplished experts in their respective fields and well-adapted to the school’s unique online approach. Most important, the university has an established and active of the alumni network, with distinguished graduates in politics, professional sports, the arts, and business. All students have access to personalized academic advising, a writing center, career services, 24/7 tech support, and e-library services.

SNHU’s MEd in Elementary Education prepares students for state licensure in K-6, consisting of 39 credits. (A 36-credit track that includes a certification internship is available for certified professionals seeking an additional endorsement.) Course requirements include Learning Through Technology, Social Studies, Assessment for and of Learning, Students with Exceptionalities, Early Childhood Health and Science, Emerging and Early Literacy Development, Content Area Literary Grades, Literature for Children, and more. SNHU course work is designed for maximum flexibility, and students on an accelerated track (10-week blocks) can complete the degree in as little as 15 months. Admissions are on a rolling basis, and applicants do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. For those interested, SNHU also offers MEd programs in Curriculum and Instruction and Special Education. (Praxis exams may be necessary depending upon the applicant.) The program is approved by the New Hampshire State Department of Education for Teacher Certification.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $627
  • Degree: MEd

13. Southeast Missouri State University

Online Master of Arts in Elementary Education

Southeast Missouri State MA Elementary Education Online
Southeast Missouri State University, founded in 1873, has an enrollment of approximately 11,000. There are more than 200 areas of study available, highlighted by The Princeton Review and US News including bachelor’s, master’s, and a cooperative doctorate. Among the largest programs are in Biology, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, Education, Health Management, Technology Management, and Business and Management. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 21:1, classes are small, engaging, and collaborative to promote an intimate learning environment. (Just 1% of classes have more than 50 students in them.) To accommodate the growing demand for distance education, SMSU also offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees, in addition to professional certification tracks. Further, for students looking to gain international experience, Southeast Missouri has 40 study abroad programs.

SMSU’s online MA in Elementary Education includes three emphases opportunities in Reading, Early Childhood, and Math and Science. Each track consists of 33 credits, and students can complete the degree in as little as 1-2 years. Some courses include Curriculum Construction in a Multicultural Society, Methods of Research, and Educational Assessment, plus emphasis courses and a number of elective options. In addition to academic theory, students will also have the ability to gain valuable real-world experiences through practicum work in classrooms. For maximum flexibility, all courses deliver online, with blended research formats, and students complete coursework on their own schedules. The MA is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and has received national recognition from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), & Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI). The reading emphasis is aligned with International Reading Association (IRA) standards and may lead to certification as a Reading Specialist.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $486
  • Degree: MA

14. Indiana State University

Master of Education in Elementary Education Online

indiana-state-univ MEd Elementary Education Online
Founded in 1865, Indiana State University is located in Terre Haute and has a student body of approximately 13,500. The school is classified as a Doctoral University by the Carnegie Foundation, and both the Princeton Review and US News rank it among the best schools in the Midwest region. Six colleges – Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Professional Studies, Health and Human Services, Technology – offer more than 100 undergraduate majors, and there are bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees offered, plus an education specialist track. With nearly 65% of classes at 30 students or less, courses are intimate and collaborative, allowing for a tight-knit educational community and learning experience. ISU has a strong alumni network of 100,000, with graduates in business, politics, the arts, and more.

Indiana State’s online MEd is a 32-credit degree that students can complete in as little as 18 months on a full-time schedule. Course requirements include Research in Education, Philosophy of Education, The History of American Education, Advanced Child Psychology, Development Through the Lifespan, The Elementary Curriculum, Seminar in Elementary Education, and Teacher as Reflective Practitioner (Video Analysis). From there, students have the opportunity to tailor the curriculum to areas of professional interest through concentrations in early childhood, literacy, and primary/intermediate. On completion of the degree, graduates will be qualified for an Indiana Professional License in either Elementary Education or Early Childhood Education, provided that they are residents of the state that have five years of teaching experience. Applicants should have earned at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. GRE scores are not required.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $485
  • Degree: MEd

15. University of North Carolina Wilmington

Online Master of Education in Elementary Education

University_of_North_Carolina_Wilmington MEd Elementary Education Online
The University of North Carolina Wilmington has a student body of approximately 14,000. Founded in 1947, UNC Wilmington has 52 undergraduate degree programs, 36 master’s degree programs and four doctoral programs spread across seven colleges – Arts and Sciences, Business, Health and Human Services, Education, Graduate, Honors, and University College. One of the top schools in the state’s system and the Southeast region, Wilmington has been recognized by a number of respected publications for academic excellence, including Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, U.S. News & World Report, and The Princeton Review. In particular, UNCW has been commended for affordability and overall value. Also of note is the university’s multi-disciplinary, applied learning model – ETEAL (Experiencing Transformative Education through Applied Learning) – that incorporates internships, study abroad, community-based projects, research, and directed independent study options.

UNCW’s online MEd in Elementary Education is a 33-credit intensive program for students who already hold a teacher certification. The curriculum is divided into the professional core (research, curriculum, diversity), advanced study (theory and pedagogy of subjects), and focus area (concentrations in Math, ESL and Elementary Education). All students must also complete a capstone experience to gain valuable real-world experience. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to pass the Praxis II exam and lead, administer, and develop programs in individual classrooms and across school districts. All online courses are designed for maximum delivery, and the Blackboard platform encourages an intimate, collaborative environment through group discussion boards, live chat rooms, and other multimedia learning tools. For those interested, UNCW also offers an MAT in Elementary Education and MEd in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $842
  • Degree: MEd

16. Missouri State University

Master of Science in Elementary Education Online

missouri_state MS in Elementary Education Online
Missouri State University in Springfield was founded in 1906. With a student enrollment of around 23,000, the university offers more than 150 undergraduate majors and over 45 graduate programs. Among the nine academic divisions include Arts and Letters, Education, Business, Health and Health Services, Humanities and Public Affairs, Natural and Applied Sciences, and Agriculture, among others. MSU’s unique mission in public affairs was granted by the state legislature in 1995 and emphasizes three areas: Ethical Leadership, Cultural Competence, and Community Engagement. As part of the program, the university offers special scholarship programs, grant programs, community service awards, a week-long school for high school students, a public affairs emphasis week, and the annual MSU Public Affairs Conference, with past speakers including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Nawal El Saadawi, Les Garland, John Edwards, and Frances Hesselbein. Previous graduates include numerous professional athletes, actors, politicians, and David Glass, former WalMart CEO, and current Kansas City Royals owner.

Missouri State’s online MS in Elementary Education consists of 33 credits and can be completed in as little as two years, or 6 semesters. Course requirements include Elementary School Curriculum, Contemporary Issues in Elementary Curriculum, Educational Research Methodology, Research Seminar in Elementary Education, Problems in Education, Advanced Theory and Practice in Student Assessment and Evaluation, Differentiated Instruction for Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle School, and Standards-Based Integrated Curriculum, Learning, and Teaching. All students also have the opportunity to tailor the degree through electives appropriate for a specific area of professional interest. Personal academic advisors guide students through the degree, and MSU also helps with career placement upon graduation. Applicants should have earned at least a 2.75 undergraduate GPA and hold a teaching certificate (or be eligible). Online courses are designed for maximum flexibility, and students benefit from resources like tutoring, IT support, and enrollment counseling.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $285
  • Degree: MS

17. Eastern New Mexico University

Master of Education in Elementary Education Online

eastern_new_mexico_university online Master of Education Elementary Education
Eastern New Mexico University, founded in 1927, is located in Portales, with satellite campuses in Ruidoso and Roswell. With about 5,500 enrolled, ENMU is the largest regional comprehensive university and offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees across four colleges and a graduate school. Among the most popular majors include Business Administration, Nursing, Criminal Justice, Communicative Disorders, Applied Arts and Sciences, Physical Education, Aviation Science, and Music/Music Education, among others. The school’s 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio encourages an intimate and collaborative learning environment. In the past several years, the campus has added $120 million in renovation and construction projects. Further, the expansion of online degrees has allowed ENMU to meet the increasing demand for distance education. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, in addition to six specialty accrediting bodies.

ENMU’s online MEd in Elementary Education is designed for working teachers looking to hone their content knowledge and skills in curriculum and instruction. Of the 36 credits, course work includes Teacher as Researcher, Critical Pedagogy in Educational Reform, Instructional Leadership, Content Area Literacy, Creativity Across the Curriculum, and Teaching Multicultural of the SW, among others. From there, students will work alongside their advisor to choose electives aligned with their professional interests and specialty area. In particular, Eastern New Mexico’s program emphasizes differentiated instruction and working with students of diversity; graduates will be prepared to continue their teaching careers or become department chairs, grade-level leaders, and building level professional development coordinators. Online courses utilize Blackboard and Mediasite, a live and on-demand lecture capture tool that acts as a virtual classroom. Additional resources include an online writing center, counseling, e-library, and enrollment services. The degree is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $235
  • Degree: MEd

18. Grand Canyon University

Online Master of Education in Elementary Education

Grand Canyon University MEd Elementary Education Online
Grand Canyon University is a Christian research university in Phoenix offering over 60 undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degrees in education, liberal arts, business, science, engineering, math, Christian theology, and health care through eight colleges. Since 2009, the school has grown at a rapid pace: GCU has invested millions into campus infrastructure to enhance the student experience, and 2014 saw a record number of new students. In addition to several satellite campuses, GCU is also a leader in online education. Fortune recognized the university as a top-five online school for entrepreneurs, and U.S. News ranks GCU among the best schools in its region. To reduce costs and increase availability to adult learners and working professionals, the school has developed some corporate and strategic educational alliances. As a Christian school, Grand Canyon incorporates religious components into its academic offerings and community outreach initiatives, of which it is a leader in both Phoenix and nationwide.

GCU’s MEd in Elementary Education consists of 47 credits and prepares students for initial teacher licensure. Course requirements include Childhood and Early Adolescent Psychology, Creating and Managing Engaging Learning Environments, Instructional Planning for Elementary Teacher Candidates, Foundational Literacy Skills, Advanced Methodologies of SEI, and more. All courses are directly aligned with the specialized professional teaching standards and associated national content standards.GCU’s online program is designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate busy schedules, and classes in the degree deliver in accelerated 6-week blocks to set students on a career fast track. (Eligible students may transfer up to 12 credits into the program.) Particular topics covered include construction, analysis, and interpretation of psychological tests to measure learning outcome; collaborative learning to increase instructional effectiveness; human learning and cognition, and theories of inquiry.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $235
  • Degree: MEd

19. Delta State University

Online Master of Education in Elementary Education

delta_state MEd Elementary Education Online
Founded in 1924, Delta State University is located in Cleveland, Mississippi, two hours north of Jackson and south of Memphis. Despite its small size, with a total enrollment just over 4,000, Delta students represent all 50 states and more than 20 countries around the world. The 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows for small, intimate classes and a collaborative learning environment. The school offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees from a wide variety of 50 areas; among the most notable programs are in Aviation (bachelor and master), the Delta Music Institute, Outdoor Recreation Education, and Geospatial Information Technology. Notable graduates work in politics, sports, the arts, and business, among others.

Delta State’s online MEd in Elementary Education is designed to prepare working teachers to advance their knowledge and skills in elementary classroom settings. The curriculum is a balance of both academic theory, pedagogy, content area studies, and practical learning experiences. Applicants should have earned at least a 2.5 undergraduate GPA, or a 2.75 in the final 64 credits of required work; a Class A teaching certificate or its equivalent; satisfactory score on a nationally recognized, standardized test of verbal skills, and a passing score on a Praxis II exam. Courses are designed for maximum flexibility, and the Canvas platform supports a highly engaging, interactive virtual classroom. Students also receive personal academic advisors to set and track academic goals that align with the student’s career path. Note that a comprehensive exam is required in order to graduate.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $235
  • Degree: MEd

20. Troy University

Master of Science in Education in Elementary Education Online

troy-university MSEd Elementary Education Online
Troy University is a comprehensive public institution in Troy, Alabama, with a total enrollment of 20,000. The university offers 46 bachelor’s degree programs, 22 master’s degree programs, and two doctoral programs spread across five colleges, a graduate school, and a division of general studies. Troy has been recognized by Forbes, Washington Monthly, the Princeton Review, and US News, which ranks it among the best universities in the Southeast region. It has also been ranked the 25th best school in the country for international students by the Institute of International Education. Graduates benefit from a robust and active alumni network of more than 100,000, from all 50 states and countries around the world. Distinguished alumni include astronauts William G. Gregory and Kevin R. Kregel, Lieutenant General Marshall B. Webb, economist Manuel H. Johnson, and numerous professional athletes, including Osi Umenyiora, DeMarcus Ware, and Mike Rivera.

Troy’s MSEd in Elementary Education consists of 36 credits. Courses include The Master Teacher, Psychological Foundations of Education, Educational Technology in the Curriculum, Collaboration for Inclusion, Educational Evaluation, and Research Methodology. From there, students consult with personal advisors to choose 18 credits of electives that align with student’s teaching field. For those interested, Troy also offers an advanced certification, designed for students who have completed their baccalaureate level professional educator certification. All online coursework is designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate working teachers, and, with twenty years of online experience, Troy understands the challenges, demands, and opportunities of distance education. Further, students with previous academic credit may be eligible to transfer up to 12 credits into the program, accelerating degree completion time. Troy’s curriculum aligns with all relevant regulating agencies, including the Alabama State Department of Education, NCATE, CACREP, and CORE standards.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $794
  • Degree: MS

21. University of Pittsburgh

Online MEd in Elementary Education

university_of_pittsburgh MEd Elementary Education Online
The University of Pittsburgh is among the oldest universities in the country, founded in 1787 as Pittsburgh Academy. As a member of the Association of American Universities, Pitt is among the most prestigious public universities in the country, with well-respected programs in the sciences, medicine, business, and law, among others. Further, Pitt has been recognized for affordability and value by Kiplinger’s, the Princeton Review, and several other publications. It is also in the top ten recipients of federally sponsored research funding and has nearly $1 billion in research and development expenditures per year. It has produced numerous scholarship and award winners and ranks in the top 20 for Fullbright scholars. Distinguished alumni and faculty include Michael Chabon, Wangari Maathai, Andrew W. Mellon, Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and numerous other politicians, professional athletes, and academics.

Pitt’s online MEd in Elementary Education consists of 36 credits. Course requirements include Psychology Of Learning And Development For Education, Education And Society, Research Methodology, and Special Education. From there, students complete nine credits in a content-specific pedagogy, six credits of electives, and a 3-credit research seminar. All students must also complete a take-home comprehensive exam. Upon graduation, students will: have an enhanced understanding and ability to meet the demands of diverse learners; gain an in-depth knowledge of their content area; and gain a knowledge base of educational research, educational theories and practice, action research practices, and educational policy. Admission is rolling for maximum schedule flexibility, and applicants should have earned at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and hold a teaching certificate. (Note that students who earned their certificate at Pitt will be admitted to the program with advanced standing, accelerating coursework.) Online student resources include a writing center, tech support, and virtual orientation.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,429
  • Degree: MEd

22. Dominican University

Online MA in Elementary Education

dominican Master of Arts in Elementary Education Online
Dominican University is a comprehensive, private Catholic school in River Forest, Illinois, 10 miles from downtown Chicago. Founded in 1901, the university offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate programs in library and information science, business, education, and social work. (Seven pre-professional degrees are available, as well.) Total enrollment is just under 4,000, and a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio promotes a highly collaborative, intimate learning experience. For international-minded students, Dominican also has 20 study abroad programs, a high number for a university of its size. In addition for high academic marks, Dominican has been ranked among the top schools in the country for affordability and value. As a Christian school, affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sinsinawa Dominican order, religious values may be incorporated into degrees. Distinguished alumni can be found in politics, the Catholic Church, non-profits, and business.

Dominican’s MA in Elementary Education is designed for working and licensed teachers looking to develop further content area knowledge and pedagogical skill sets. Consistently ranked by US News as one of the top programs in the Midwest, the faculty is widely recognized as leaders in the field. All course work is built for maximum flexibility, and students complete course work according to their own schedules, with asynchronous classes available 24/7. There are six convenient start dates throughout the year to accommodate busy professionals, and degree completion is typically only 18 months, allowing for a career fast track. For those interested, Dominican also offers related degrees: MS in Early Childhood Education with Early Childhood Endorsement, MS in Special Education with LBS 1 Endorsement, and an MA in Teaching Elementary, Middle, Secondary or K-12 Endorsement (MAT). The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $525
  • Degree: MA

23. American Public University

Master of Education in Teaching with Elementary Education concentration Online

American Public University Online MEd Teaching with Elementary Education Concentration
American Public University is an online higher learning institution with corporate offices in Charles Town, West Virginia and administrative offices in Manassas, Virginia. Part of the American Public University System (APUS), the APU is also affiliated with the American Military University (AMU). The total system enrollment is approximately 100,000, 56% of which are active duty or military veterans; nearly 17,000 utilize the GI Bill. Offering bachelor’s, master’s, dual degrees, and certificate programs, APUS offers more than 190 degrees across schools in the arts and humanities, business, education, health sciences, security and global studies, and STEM fields. In 2012, the university agreed to a corporate partnership with WalMart, which has spent $50 million on tuition grants. (Employees also receive a 15% tuition discount.) Notable faculty and alumni include astronauts, astronomers, military officers, and politicians, among others.

APU’s MEd in Teaching with a concentration in Elementary Education is designed for students with a non-education-related bachelor’s degree and want to pursue credentials to teach K-6; graduates will be eligible to receive certification in West Virginia. In particular, the curriculum covers: development of curriculum and instruction skills; the role of technology in the 21st century elementary classroom; theoretical and applied aspects of learning, motivation, human development, assessment, and evaluation; effective communication strategies with students, parents, teachers, and administrators, inside and outside the classroom; classroom management skills and practices; and content courses in elementary science, social studies, reading and writing, literature, art, math, and physical education. To gain valuable real-world experience, all students will also complete 125 hours of on-site observations in a local elementary school. The degree is aligned with West Virginia Professional Teaching Standards (WVPTS), national content standards for elementary education, and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $350
  • Degree: MEd in Teaching

24. East Carolina University

Online MA in Education – Elementary Education

East Carolina Online Master of Arts in Education - Elementary Education
Founded in 1907, East Carolina University is a public higher learning institution located in Greenville, North Carolina. ECU is the third-largest university in the state, with a total enrollment of approximately 28,000 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1, which allows classes to stay intimate and collaborative. Academic opportunities are numerous: 93 bachelor’s, 76 master’s, two intermediate, six professional doctoral, and 15 research doctoral degrees – plus 80 certificate programs. The school also boasts among the very best tuition values in the country; Washington Monthly has ranked East Carolina as the No. 1 “Bang for your Buck” university. It has also been recognized by the Princeton Review, US News, and Forbes for its programs in business, primary care physician preparation, rural medicine specialty, and more. It has received the Patriot Award and the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for its support of veterans. Distinguished alumni include writers, actors, military officers, politicians, and professional athletes.

ECU’s online MA in Education – Elementary Education is designed for working teachers who hold an initial K-6 elementary teaching license. Consisting of 36 total credits, courses include Intro to Differences in Human Learning in Schools, Addressing Differences in Human Learning in Schools, Leadership & Communication Skills in Education, Leading Curriculum Revision and Implementation, Advanced Assessment and Teaching in the Elementary Grades, and Management and Problem Solving in the Elementary School, among others. Students also complete a 9-credit content pedagogy track appropriate to their field. For maximum flexibility, students may complete the degree on a full- or part-time basis, and there four entry dates throughout the year to accommodate students’ busy schedules. Applicants must submit undergraduate transcripts and GRE or MAT scores. For those interested, the university also offers an MA in Middle School Education and MA in Teaching.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $835
  • Degree: MA

25. University of North Carolina Charlotte

MEd in Elementary Education Online

unc_charlotte Online MEd in Elementary Education
The University of North Carolina Charlotte, founded in 1946, has a total enrollment of approximately 28,000 and three campuses throughout the Greater Charlotte Area. Ranked highly by Forbes, US News, and Washington Monthly, UNCC has also been recognized by the United States by the Social Mobility Index and American City Business Journals, which examines selectivity, advancement, prestige, costs, diversity, and community. Offering 85 bachelor’s, 63 master’s degree programs, and 21 doctoral programs, the university is divided into nine colleges: Liberal Arts & Sciences, Arts & Architecture, Education, Health and Human Services, Engineering, Computing and Informatics, Business, and general, honors, and graduate schools. Further, the university’s distance education program offers 15 degree and certificate programs, which include 100% online tracks and hybrids. Of the school’s 80,000 alumni, graduates have pursued careers in music, athletics, business, law, government, and more.

UNCC’s online MEd in Elementary Education consists of 33-credits divided into 3 phases – Developing Perspectives (9 hours), Collaborative Inquiry (6 hours), and Investigative Leadership (3 hours). Courses include Theories of Human Development and Learning in Cultural Contexts, Current Issues in Global and Urban Elementary Schools, Classroom Management and Leadership for Diverse Learners, Educational Research, Differentiation for 21st Century Learners, and Teacher Inquiry & Data Analysis in the Elementary Classroom. From there, students have the opportunity to tailor the degree to professional areas of interests. The program also offers concentrations in Instructional Systems Technology, Academically or Intellectually Gifted, Special Education, TSEL, Literacy, Elementary Mathematics, and STEM. Online courses deliver on a part-time basis, through Moodle and Saba Meeting, a synchronous, virtual classroom platform. Applicants should have earned at least a 3.0 undergraduate degree and must submit GRE/MAT scores. For those interested, UNCC offers eight related master’s degrees, including MAT options and tracks in administration and middle school education.

  • Estimated Cost Per Credit Hour: $858
  • Degree: MEd

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