5 Best Grad Schools with Online Master’s in K-12 Education

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Updated: March 13, 2024, Reading time: 13 minutes

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Pursuing a Master’s in K-12 Education degree program from one of the best graduate schools in the nation prepares educators to make a huge difference in the lives of students, from kindergarten to grade 12, every day. 

Another reason to earn a master’s degree in K-12 education is that the United States has a renewed focus on engineering, math, science, and technology education, which requires teachers to have technical knowledge and skills and master’s level education.

Aside from that, teachers with a master’s degree can seek successful careers in a wide range of interests, including special education, bi-lingual education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). 

On top of that, educators with a Master’s in K-12 Education qualify for leadership roles, such as principals, which can earn them a median annual salary of $101,320. Plus, the US Labor Statistics Bureau predicts about 20,000 openings for K-12 educators until 2032. 


An online Master’s in K-12 Education degree helps teachers qualify for specialist and leadership positions in the field of education. Aside from having a competitive edge for administrative roles at school and district levels, educators will also have plenty of opportunities in education-related government divisions at the federal and state levels.


Students need to conduct due diligence when choosing the best school that offers superior Online Master’s in K-12 Education programs to ensure they will be able to get the most out of such a degree. 

This article can help you make the right choice. We have carefully selected the Best Online Master’s in K-12 Education, each of which is a standout because of these exceptional features:

Check out our Methodology page.

5 Best Master’s in K-12 Education Graduate Schools

Bethel University

Bethel University

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Master of Arts in K-12 Education

Bethel University is a private, Christ-centered university that is committed to educating and energizing students for excellence in service, scholarship, and leadership. It is passionate about preparing world-changers who can demonstrate what it means to come from a university that is centered on and rooted in faith. It has over 4,700 students across 50 states and offers over 100 areas of study.

Standout Features:

This MA in K-12 Education program is approved by the Minnesota Professional Education Licensing Standards Board (PELSB), which is the state’s top agency responsible for overseeing teacher preparation and licensing programs. 

Did You Know?

Bethel University has been recognized as one of the top online Christian universities in the nation. It also has the highest return on investment after ten years among all Christian College Consortium members.  

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Master of Science in Teaching, Learning &  Leadership – K-12 Education Option

Oklahoma State University is a land-grant academic institution that has over 35,000 students from more than 100 countries. It is committed to helping students reach their dreams by ensuring a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio and providing them with the academic support they need. 

Standout Features:

OSU has at least 25 faculty members who represent specific areas and research specializations, including curriculum studies, reading and literacy education, science and mathematics education, secondary education, and special education.

These instructors have years of expertise in the program curriculum theory and development, writing teacher education, place-based learning, social studies education, and transitioning into adulthood for students with disabilities, among others. 

Did You Know?

Oklahoma University has ranked number one among all the online colleges in Oklahoma and is one of the top public universities in the nation. It has been awarded “America’s Healthiest Campus.” Its Honors College’s curriculum has been included in the top 10 in the nation.

It is also one of the most affordable universities in the state of Oklahoma, with its tuition fees only 69% of the national average for all land-grant universities. 

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching – Special Education K-12

Arkansas State University was founded on April 1, 1909, by Act 100 of the 37th Arkansas General Assembly to teach the art of textile manufacturing, agriculture, and horticulture. Today, ASU offers student-centered programs with fully online coursework that allow working students to access their courses 24/7. 

Standout Features:

Students who complete the 36 credit hours of coursework and six credit hours of special education internship for this MAT program will be able to earn a provisional teaching license in the state of Arkansas after passing the first six credit hours of coursework and the required Praxis examinations. 

Did You Know?

Arkansas State University’s educator preparation programs are Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation-approved. It has been voted as one of the top public schools in the south and the number one online college in the state of Arkansas. On top of that, it is designated a Military Friendly School with Gold distinction. 

Michigan State University

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

Master of Arts in K-12 Educational Administration

Michigan State University offers world-class education with its exceptional online and hybrid programs in agriculture, business, education, engineering and technology, health and human services, justice, interdisciplinary, and nursing and medical. In fact, 93% of MSU graduates find jobs or pursue advanced degrees right after graduation. 

Standout Features:

Students who completed a teaching internship for a Bachelor of Arts program at MSU and wish to pursue this master’s degree will be able to apply up to six 800-level credits to the program’s electives requirement. 

Did You Know?

MSU has been recognized as one of the top research universities in the world. Its Master’s in Education programs have ranked at the top for online master’s in curriculum and instruction. They are also among the best online master’s in education programs for veterans. 

Averett University

Averett University

Danville, Virginia

Master of Education – Special Education K-12 General Curriculum Endorsement Program

Averett University has been committed to offering continuing education to cater to working adults who want to earn a degree for over 30 years now. The university has over 8,000 alums from their accelerated degree programs that feature a market-ready curriculum that has been developed with input from employers. 

Standout Features:

Graduate students enrolled in this master’s degree program must complete practicum experiences on both elementary and secondary levels to earn the Special Education K-12 General Curriculum endorsement in their Virginia teaching license. 

To be accepted to this Master’s in Special Education K-12 General Curriculum Endorsement Program, student applicants have a GPA of higher than 3.0. 

Did You Know?

All of Averett University’s teacher preparation programs are approved by the Department of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia. This academic institution is also a member of the following:

4 of the Top Reasons to Earn a Master’s in K-12 Education

Educators who want to hone their teaching and leadership skills to maximize their earnings should seriously consider pursuing a master’s degree. 

Those who want to focus on teaching both elementary and secondary students may want to consider earning a Master’s in K-12 Education. 

Here are some more reasons to get a master’s degree:

1. Master the science of teaching.

Teachers need to invest in their personal development. A Master’s in K-12 Education will help improve their skills by providing them with enhanced knowledge and new experiences to engage with students. Students become more engaged and, thus, perform better in school when teachers possess both subject expertise and crucial instruction skills. 

2. Qualify for administrative and leadership roles.

Administrators and school leaders need to have a profound understanding of classroom situations, as well as an in-depth knowledge of curriculum development and ways to best engage with students and parents. 

Earning a master’s degree is the most important step to take for educators who want to transition into school administration or leadership roles. It will also supply them with the knowledge and credentials needed to meet the demands of such positions. 

3. Develop a specialty.

One of the most important benefits of earning a master’s degree is that it helps establish a teacher’s authority in the field, allowing them to develop instructional skills in a specialty of their choice. 

With a Master’s in K-12 Education degree, teachers will be able to have a deeper understanding of teaching elementary to high school students. 

4. Enter the nonprofit or corporate sector.

Another advantage of being a master’s degree holder is that you have more career options than others. This is because the specialized knowledge and skills one can gain from a master’s degree can be applied outside the classroom. This means that a master’s program can prepare teachers to transition into nonprofit or corporate sectors as training and development specialists.

Online Master's in K-12 Education - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

How to be eligible for a Master’s degree program?

All master’s degree programs require students to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited school. Students may also be required to have a specific GPA score, usually a minimum of 2.5. Aside from that, they must also be a certified educator in their state. 

It’s important to check the school’s website to know all the admission requirements to be able to prepare the necessary details.

How long does it take to complete a Master’s in K-12 Education program?

Generally, the length of time it takes to complete a master’s degree depends on whether the student attends classes full-time or part-time. 

Most colleges and universities offer an accelerated program that takes as short as 12 months of full-time study and 24 months of part-time study.

Is there a difference in earnings for teachers with a Master’s degree?

The US Labor Statistics Bureau says education administrators with a master’s degree in Education can earn a median annual salary of $75,000, while those with a bachelor’s degree only make around $52,000 a year. 

Key Takeaways

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