Also known as an online Master’s in Teaching, the online Master of Arts in Teaching is a program designed for current and future K-12 teachers pursuing to gain credentials for their initial teaching license. Graduates who are also working on additional certifications for career advancement in education often enroll in an online Master of Arts program. Despite 100% delivered in an online learning format, the Masters of Arts in Teaching program has the same quality as a traditional on-campus MAT program.
Teachers who consistently upgrade their knowledge and skills can effectively educate their students. Many teachers pursue an online Masters of Arts in Teaching program, which helps them prepare graduates for administrative and management positions, explore different research-based Education best practices, and receive in-depth learning of a specific area of education-related concentration. The MAT degree can also extend its reach outside the classroom, such as becoming an education consultant or corporate trainer in many private/corporate companies.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook says the career outlook for education, training, and library professions has a projected growth of 5% from 2019 to 2029. With a faster than average employment growth, the occupation has approximately 441,000 new jobs to be added between 2019 to 2029. Student admission is expected to increase; therefore, careers in the related profession will also be required to meet the rising demands. In May 2020, the average annual salary for Education training, and library professions was $52,380.
Here, we list the ten best Online Masters of Arts In Teaching to help current and future educators find the MAT program that best fits their personal and professional aspirations.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What can I expect from an Online Masters of Arts in Teaching program?
- What is the difference between an Online Masters in Education vs. an Online Masters of Arts in Teaching?
- What are the employment options for holders of an Online Masters of Arts in Teaching degree?
- How much money can I earn with an Online Masters of Arts in Teaching?
- Is an Online Masters of Arts in Teaching degree worth it?
- 10 Best Online Masters of Advanced Study Graduate Schools
F R E Q U E N T L Y A S K E D Q U E S T I O N S
What can I expect from an online Masters of Arts in Teaching program?
Teachers require effective communication skills to converse with a diverse group of students. They also require strong organizational, active listening, and interpersonal skills. Since distance learning is becoming a normal thing, they use various technological tools and software to improve learning, communicate with school administrators, colleagues, and parents, and enhance their teaching strategies.
An online Masters of Arts in Teaching program offers advanced study in curriculum development, educational leadership, and instructional methods. The programs build on the proficiency obtained through a professional teaching experience and baccalaureate program. Some online Masters of Arts in Teaching programs also provide career changers an effective path to teaching licensure.
The curriculum of an online Masters of Arts in Teaching program is a flexible program. Some of the popular concentrations include Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, and a specific area, such as History or English.
The majority of online MAT programs will take 12 to 24 months to complete, requiring 30 to 36 credit hours for graduation. Many flexible programs allow students to pursue their graduate studies while enrolled, which lets them complete one to two courses per term during the academic year and enrolling full-time during the summer term.
Most students must complete a capstone project to culminate the online MAT program, while some include an internship or practicum experience. For capstone projects, they have the option to complete a portfolio, research, or thesis work.
What is the difference between an online Master’s in Education vs. an online Master’s of Arts in Teaching?
An Online Master’s in Education program primarily trains and educates students who already have a baccalaureate degree and professional teaching experience. It focuses on the practical application of teaching techniques and proficiencies within a particular specialization. Most graduate schools offer an online Master’s in Teaching program to graduates without a teaching license.
In short, an online Master’s in Education program prepares students for consultation, administrative, or leadership roles, while an online Master’s in Teaching program focuses on student-centered professions and classroom instructions in the field of Education.
What are the employment options for holders of an online Master of Arts in Teaching degree?
With an employment growth of 5% from 2019 to 2029, the field of Education continues to be a leading sector. Completing an online Master’s of Arts in Teaching will help graduates prepare for career advancements and promotion and develop their discussion strategies in the classroom.
To provide you with an overview, here are some of the common professions for graduates with an online Master of Arts in Teaching degree:
- Childcare Center Directors
Childcare Center Directors manage all aspects and operations of childcare facilities. They are responsible for planning facility and maintenance processes, employing staff and teachers, and overseeing its financial aspects. Childcare center directors often facilitate and develop policies for parents and staff to follow and evaluate instructional programs. They work as members of a non-profit organization or school system, while others build and manage their childcare facilities.
- Elementary Teachers
Elementary teachers create lesson plans, facilitate classroom/online discussions, and evaluate each student’s progress. The majority of these professionals work during the usual 10-month academic year with two months’ worth of summer break. Elementary teachers spend most of their time outside the classroom grading their students or developing lesson plans. Most states have mandatory licensure credentials for public school educators, including passing a background verification, passing an examination, and having an undergraduate degree.
- Instructional Coordinators
Instructional coordinators are often found in federal education agencies, school districts, or individual schools. They develop the program curricula, suggest learning resources and materials for teachers, and evaluate teachers’ performance and offer new guidelines. These professionals can review and measure the performance data of students to determine a school system’s requirements. To become an instructional coordinator, students must have state licensure for teaching and an online Master of Arts in Teaching degree.
- Librarian or Media Specialists
School librarians assist students in researching new learning materials to procure and find reading materials within the library. They also perform research and conduct workshops regarding new technological programs and systems within the school. Librarians help educators with classes related to technology and media proficiency and other special projects. The majority of states require school librarians to have a graduate-level degree, such as an online Master’s of Arts in Teaching.
- School Principals
School Principals act as the chief executive officer of their learning institution. These professionals plan for preventative and standard maintenance and oversee the school’s budget. They employ staff and teachers, create class schedules, and evaluate the performance of school staff. School principals also communicate with parents regarding academic and behavioral concerns and provide counseling sessions to students for disciplining them. To become a school principal, a classroom teaching experience and master’s degree are required.
How much money can I earn with an online Master of Arts in Teaching?
As mentioned, the latest median yearly income for Education, training, and library occupations is $52,380, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, earning potential will entirely depend on location, professional experience, educational background, and company. Specifically, principals have an average yearly wage of $98,490, while elementary educators have an average income of $60,660 annually. Public schools maintain salary packages that compensate teachers for advanced degrees and years of teaching experience.
Is an online Master of Arts in Teaching degree worth it?
Graduates with an online Masters of Arts in Teaching degree can join a lucrative industry with above-average salaries for teachers. Many educators find the industry rewarding; hence, many teaching-related career opportunities have excellent retirement benefits and health insurance.
M E T H O D O L O G Y
A Master of Arts in Teaching degree shapes the most competent professionals for advanced positions in the field. What should students, most of whom are adult learners, look for in an online MA in Teaching program?
Our 10 Best Online Master of Arts In Teaching Graduate Schools in 2021 presents a range of features that promote excellent training, techniques, and technologies to equip educators to contribute to the field through challenging yet fulfilling careers.
Each MA in Teaching program deserve the spotlight with these features:
- Flexible and convenient classes delivered on online or hybrid formats, or a combination of both,
- Excellent Master of Arts in Teaching program curricula that emphasizes up-to-date principles and applications concerning the discipline and practice,
- A top-notch virtual education platform that features ease of access to the program coursework,
- A reputable panel of educators and industry authorities as online instructors,
- Financial aid and tuition discount programs for eligible students.
- An outstanding alumni network program that assists graduates in their search for career advancement opportunities,
- Esteemed by academic communities and organizations,
- Proper accreditation to demonstrate high academic standards
10 Best Online Masters of Advanced Study Graduate Schools
: 1971 University Boulevard, Lynchburg VA 24515
: 800 424 9595
In 1971, Liberty University was founded by Elmer Towns and Rev. Jerry Falwell. After 50 years, the university is an accredited evangelical university with 15 schools and colleges, with a population of more than 100,000 students. Although the university is headquartered in Virginia, most of its programs are offered 100% online. Out of 700+ programs, approximately 450+ programs are available through Liberty Online.
- The National Council accredits Liberty University’s online Master of Arts In Teaching program for Accreditation of Teacher Education through CAEP.
- The online MAT program features 8-week courses, allowing students to login in on their preferred schedule and convenience.
- The 36-credit hour online MAT program has four concentrations to choose from, such as Elementary Education, Middle Grades, Secondary Education, and Special Education.
- Liberty’s NCATE-accredited School of Education facilitates the online MAT program of the university.
- Students seeking teaching licensure can benefit from the online MAT’s curriculum.
Standout Features of Liberty University’s Online Master of Arts In Teaching Program:
The Liberty University – online Master of Arts in Teaching program offers an optional 45-hour track for graduates interested to pursue an additional area of study. The university’s online MAT program is approved by the Virginia Department of Education, making graduates qualified for teaching licensure by the Commonwealth of Virginia. They can also apply for a teaching license in another state through a reciprocity program depending on the state’s Department of Education policies.
Despite extremely affordable tuition fees offered at Liberty University, it has frozen its tuition rates for all its undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees for six years and counting. The university also receives numerous recognitions from multiple institutions for accessibility, affordability, and academic quality. According to Niche.com, Liberty University is one of the top ten schools in the U.S.
Seattle Pacific University
: 3307 3rd Avenue West, Seattle WA 98119-1997
: 206 281 2000
Headquartered in a 43-acre city campus, Seattle Pacific University is a private university established by the Free Methodist Church of North America. It was founded in 1891. SPU’s faculty and student community represent 50+ Christian denominations. It is a Christian university fully dedicated to changing the world by educating people of character and competence.
- SPU’s Online Master of Arts in Teaching program is integrated with a 45-hour certification component that allocates for students’ full-time and supervised teaching.
- The master’s degree is completed by accomplishing additional 15 credits of graduate-level credits equivalent to five courses.
- Completing the certification courses, passing the program assessments, and internship requirements will qualify graduates for a Washington Residency Certificate.
- Cohorts will start in the summer semester.
- The 60-credit hour accelerated online MAT program requires a student teaching requirement in the student’s nearest district.
Standout Features of Seattle Pacific University’s Online Master of Arts In Teaching Program:
Seattle Pacific University’s Accelerated online Master of Arts in Teaching program was developed to combine the Residency Teacher Certification with an online MAT degree. SPU is a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. SPU’s School of Education is also a member of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education and is part of the Sigma Phi Upsilon chapter.
Seattle Pacific University students enjoy the Seattle Advantage, providing them with access to institutions, industries, and employers. The Seattle Advantage features an extended, real-world platform for creative opportunities and practical learning.
Eastern Kentucky University
: Commonwealth 1711, Richmond KY 40475
: 859 622 4455
Located in Richmond, Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University has a well-known reputation of more than 100 years of academic service to the Commonwealth. It is a regional, coeducational, public institution of higher learning that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in diverse fields.
- The online MA in Teaching program at EKU offers four concentrations: Secondary Education, Middle Grades Education, Elementary Education, and Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education.
- The 100% online MAT program requires 44 credit hours to receive the graduate degree.
- EKU accepts a maximum of nine hours for transfer credits, requiring departmental approval.
- The program is open to students even without a teaching-related baccalaureate degree.
- The curriculum combines the required courses and teacher licensure preparation for a graduate degree in teaching.
Standout Features of Eastern Kentucky University’s Online Master of Arts In Teaching Program:
EKU’s online Master of Arts in Teaching program has a curriculum approved by the Education Professional Standards Board. The university offers a free transcript evaluation service to determine what concentrations a student can pursue in the online MAT program. EKU also provides free online career support services for all its graduate students pursuing the program.
Eastern Kentucky University is an accredited, brick-and-mortar university that is recognized as one of the country’s best universities and has been awarding degrees to students for more than a century. It’s also considered one of the most veteran-friendly locations in Kentucky.
North Carolina State University
: 208 Poe Hall, 2310 Stinson Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695
: 919 515 5514
Started as a land-grant institution centered in engineering and agriculture, North Carolina State University is currently a premier public research university catering to 36,000+ undergraduates and graduates. It is a powerhouse in STEM-related fields and is a frontrunner in the study of natural resources, business, textiles, education, and agriculture. The university is one of the world’s best colleges of veterinary medicine.
- NC State’s online Master of Arts in Teaching program is another accelerated teaching licensure program on our list.
- Students will both earn an MAT degree and an initial teaching license after completing the program requirements.
- Depending on students’ preference, they have the option to complete their online MAT program on a part-time or full-time basis.
- Students enroll in nine to ten credit hours per semester. Each class is settled on a per-semester basis, excluding additional course content.
- The 30-credit hour online MAT program feature ten concentrations to choose from, such as Elementary Education, English (Secondary), English as a Second Language (ESL), Language Arts Education (Middle Grades), Mathematics Education, Science Education, Special Education, Social Studies Education (Middle Grades), Social Studies Education (Secondary), Technology, Engineering, and Design Education.
Standout Features of North Carolina State University’s Online Master of Arts In Teaching Program:
North Carolina State University’s online Master of Arts receives ranks #1 as the best teacher preparation program, online master’s program in Elementary Education, and best value for money in N.C. from prestigious organizations, such as Money Magazine.
Every year, North Carolina State University adds $6.5B to the economy, equivalent to generating 90,000+ new jobs. It represents significant ROIs for North Carolina citizens through new career opportunities, skilled graduates, successful organizations, innovative discoveries, and advancement in research. NC State’s award-winning Centennial Campus is home to over 70 private and public partners.
: One South Avenue, P.O. Box 701 Garden City, New York 11530-0701
: 800 233 5744
Initiated in 1896, Adelphi University is the first private, coeducational university on Long Island. It is a strongly established research university offering more than 120 undergraduate and graduate programs across eight colleges and schools. The university has a main campus in Garden City and dynamic learning facilities in Suffolk County, the Hudson Valley, and Manhattan, catering to almost 8,000 students around the U.S. and worldwide.
- Adelphi University’s Online MA in Art Education degree is a two-year program.
- Distance learners can enroll in two courses each semester and complete a third course in the final semester.
- The 37-credit hour online MA in Art Education program is delivered through an asynchronous learning format, allowing students to devote eight to ten hours per week for each course.
- Students must also accomplish 100 hours of fieldwork before the student teaching requirement.
- In the final semester, Adelphi’s Office of Community Partnerships will assign students in an elementary and secondary school for the student teaching program. However, students who live outside New York City and Long Island can also request a preferred location for their placement.
Standout Features of Adelphi University’s Online Master of Arts In Art Education Program:
The Adelphi University – online Master of Arts in Art Education program features a curriculum aligned with a teaching certification. It offers students a personalized experience with diverse elective courses to meet students’ professional aspirations. The university also provides distance learners with student teaching support regardless of their location to make the most out of their fieldwork experience.
Adelphi University ranks as a 2021 Top Performer on Social Mobility by the U.S. News & World Report. It is a distinction for colleges and universities that enroll and award the biggest percentage of learners obtaining need-based PELL Grants. The university also won the American Association of University Administrators’ 2020 John L. Blackburn Exemplary Models Award for its Prep For Success program. Adelphi is one of the 23 institutions in New York that has been recognized as 2020-2021 Career Development College of Distinction.
University of Utah
: 201 Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
The University of Utah was established in 1850 as the state’s top-tier research university and public flagship institution. It has garnered recognition from the Carnegie Foundation as one of the 131 research universities with the “Highest Research Activity” in the U.S. The university is also a member of the Association of American Universities.
- Utah’s online Master of Arts program features a concentration in Fine Arts.
- An Arts Teaching Portfolio is required for enrollment into the program. Thirty credit hours are required from students to earn their MAT-FA degree.
- The online MAT-FA degree can be earned within 24 months, depending on students’ learning preference and format.
- 18 out of 30 credit hours are meant for two 12-day summer intensives on the university’s main campus, while the remaining 12 credit hours are for 100% online courses.
- The online MAT-FA program is suitable for teaching artists with or without a license seeking a graduate-level degree.
Standout Features of the University of Utah’s Online Master of Arts In Teaching – Fine Arts Program:
The University of Utah provides students pursuing an online MAT-FA degree to work collaboratively with international, national, and locally recognized arts educators through state-of-the-art arts teaching seminars. Utah’s graduate program in Education is also ranked #7 in the Top 50 Online Master’s in Education programs.
The University of Utah is considered the #1 university in the U.S. for technology commercialization, according to Milken Institute rankings. With a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the university is the lowest among Utah public universities. When it comes to tuition rates, the University of Utah has the lowest in-state and out-of-state tuition among the Big10 and Pac12 public peers.
University of Southern California
: 3551 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089
: 888 628 1872
As one of the country’s premier institutions, the University of Southern California is a leading private research university in L.A. The university is home to the Arts and Sciences, the Health Sciences, the College of Letters, and more than 20 prestigious academic units and schools. It is the biggest private-sector employer in Los Angeles responsible for generating $8B per year in economic activity in the state.
- USC’s online MA in Teaching program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, with students earning their degree in 1 to 1.5 years or 17 to 36 months, respectively.
- To prepare for a teaching credential, students have the option to choose one out of three pathways, namely Gifted Education Certificate, California Bilingual Authorization in Spanish, or California Education Specialist Credentials.
- Students pursuing the Gifted Education Certificate will require four additional courses, while the other two options will require additional exams and fieldwork.
- The 28-unit online MAT program offers two program paths: the Become A Primary School Teacher and the Become A Middle or High School Teacher pathways.
- To enroll, students must submit a California Subject Examinations For Teachers scores and a California Basic Educational Skills Test, AP, ACT, or SAT scores.
Standout Features of the University of Southern California’s Online Master of Arts In Teaching:
Completing an online Master of Arts in Teaching at USC will prepare students to obtain a teaching credential in California. Through the USC Rossier School of Education, the program is offered, which the U.S. News & World Report ranks as the 11th Best Education School in the country.
With a reputation for being a global center for technology and arts, the University of Southern California is one of the few research universities in the nation on which the U.S. relies on a consistent stream of new technology, art, and knowledge. It has spent almost $9M in yearly research expenditures, making USC the 2nd in the country among all institutions for the federally-funded research program in computer science.
University of Maryland Global Campus
: 1616 McCormick Drive, Largo, MD 20774
: 855 655 8682
Previously the University of Maryland University College, the University of Maryland Global Campus is a frontrunner and leader in Adult Higher Education. UMGC is a source of pride to Marylanders for its tradition and history of exemplary service to the U.S. military worldwide. The name change of the university has no impact on its reputation as a highly respected state university and a University System of Maryland member.
- UMGC’s online Master of Arts in Teaching program requires 30 credit hours for completion.
- Students may transfer six credits to reduce their coursework completion.
- Although MAT’s courses are 100% online, each course will have one or more mandatory on-site requirements.
- The program requires students to accomplish a full-time, 18-week teaching practicum on-site at an approved school.
- The online MAT program will help students achieve a Maryland teaching certification in Secondary Education and can be essential for becoming a certified teacher in other states.
Standout Features of the University of Maryland Global Campus’ Online Master of Arts In Teaching Program:
Completing UMGC’s online Master of Arts in Teaching program requirements provides students with the Maryland Standard Professional Certificate I from the Maryland State Department of Education eligibility. The university also offers a Vertical Pathway for its online MAT degree, which allows students with a baccalaureate degree from UMGC and completed the EDTP 535 and EDTP 500 to reduce the MAT program’s overall coursework requirement by a maximum of 12 credit hours.
In 1949, UMGC’s global tradition started when the university became the 1st university to send professors abroad to educate active-duty service members headquartered in Europe. The university continues its tradition with programs offered online in over 20 countries worldwide. Today, UMGC consistently receives recognition from prestigious organizations, such as the Watson Analytics Global Academics Network, Military Times, and the Online Learning Consortium, for its commitment to academic excellence and innovative educational programs.
: 6100 Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045
: 310 568 5600
Pepperdine University is a Christian university that boasts more than 82 high-quality undergraduate and graduate programs, with separate schools dedicated to Public Policy, Liberal Arts, Law, Education and Psychology, and Business. The university’s student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1, making it one of the universities in Los Angeles with a more exclusive learning experience.
- Pepperdine’s 30-credit hour online Master of Arts in Teaching will prepare students to become successful in a classroom setting, equipped with the resources and skills to become K-12 educators.
- The online MAT program has received accreditation from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
- To enroll, students must submit their official transcripts, two professional recommendations, a statement of educational purpose, CBEST and CSET scores, and a California Certificate of Character Clearance.
- Students can earn their MAT degree within 11 months of full-time study.
- GRE isn’t required for enrollment into the MAT program.
Standout Features of Pepperdine University’s Online Master of Arts In Teaching Program:
Pepperdine University’s online Master of Arts in Teaching program is a cohort-based program, offering students a comprehensive professional foundation that integrates with the study of theories with practical experience. The university maintains partnerships with more than 200 school sites for student teaching programs, providing an easier way to find an approved facility for students’ fieldwork.
Pepperdine University features a stunning 830-acre campus in Malibu overlooking the Pacific Ocean and is less than 30 miles away from Downtown LA. Pepperdine landed in the 19th spot for the Most Beautiful Campus listings of The Princeton Review. The university is also part of the lists for Best Value and Best National Universities in #46 and #49 rankings, respectively, according to the U.S. News & World Report.
University of Saint Francis
: 2701 Spring Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46808
: 888 880 6893
The University of Saint Francis was started in 1890, sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. The university began as a teacher-training school for the Sisters. Today, USF is a multi-disciplinary and multi-campus university that remains true to its Franciscan and Catholic traditions of Faith and Reason.
- USF’s online Master of Arts in Teaching program offers two concentrations, such as MAT – Elementary Education and MAT – Secondary Education.
- Students pursuing the non-licensure track can replace the Internship and Practicum requirements with elective courses.
- The curriculum’s set of courses features accelerated 8-week sessions and occasional 16-week sessions.
- The online MAT program can be completed within 12 months of full-time learning while 18 to 24 months of part-time learning.
- Part-time students will start their program in the spring and fall semesters, while full-time learners can start in the summer only.
Standout Features of the University of Saint Francis’ Online Master of Arts In Teaching Program:
USF’s online MAT program receives accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Indiana Department of Education. Both non-seeking and seeking students of teacher licensure can equally benefit from the online graduate program.
The University of Saint Francis has almost 15 programmatic accreditations across different areas of study, guaranteeing students that they receive a high-quality education from USF. Many accrediting agencies also work with state entities, such as the Indiana Board of Nursing and Indiana Department of Education, to evaluate USF’s quality programs.