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25 Most Affordable Grad Schools for a Master’s in Education (M. Ed. or Ed. M.) in 2020

Master’s in Education programs provide students with the opportunity to pursue specialized and management or leadership roles in the field of academia. For instance, a Master’s in Educational Leadership may offer you the credentials and expertise to serve in academic institutions as a high school, middle school, or elementary principal. Also, graduate-level studies in higher education may equip you with the capabilities and knowledge to pursue roles as postsecondary education administrators.

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Similar to other fields of study, completing a graduate program in education may also help you advance in your career and raise earning potential as a teacher! Accredited Master’s in Education programs trains and prepares prospective graduates for a diverse range of careers in academia, and other related fields. In a graduate program, students acquire the skillsets and knowledge required to become an academic coordinator. Other rewarding professions, such as a school principal, may provide lucrative median wages to candidates who earn a master’s degree in education.

The majority of full-time graduate students complete their master’s degree within one year; however, some programs may take up to 24 months of study. Depending on your chosen area of concentration, you may complete coursework such as educational technologies, curriculum design, and educational policies.

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The editors and researchers at GradSchoolCenter.com have put together a profiled list of 25 of the most affordable master’s degrees in Education. To help you identify what programs work best for your academic and professional aspirations without adding to your financial woes, our handpicked institutions for a Master’s in Education all share these salient features:

  • Curricula that helps education professionals develop a deeper insight understanding of educational theory rather than focus on teaching strategy,
  • Courses that help educators gain an in-depth understanding of the practical background of individual learning and classroom dynamics, as well as a strong sense of management and oversight,
  • Provide up-to-date skills and knowledge of the modern educational landscape to prepare graduate students for education administration and leadership positions in private businesses and government agencies,
  • A variety of Master’s in Education degree specializations to help graduate students achieve their academic goals and help drive career advancement,
  • Notability among academic agencies and students who vouch for the high-quality, experiential learning offered by highly qualified faculty,
  • Proper accreditation.

Use these page-jumps to navigate our list of the 25 Most Affordable Schools for Master’s in Education in 2020

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California State University, Los Angeles
University of California Riverside
Arlington Baptist College
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Arizona State University
University at Albany – State University of New York
Arkansas Tech University
Winona State University Rochester
University of Cincinnati
McDaniel College
Minnesota State University Mankato
Queens University of Charlotte
The Ohio State University
University of Maryland
University of Pennsylvania
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin – Madison
North Carolina State University
San Diego State University
Purdue University
University of Georgia
University of Central Florida
University of South Florida
Michigan State University
The University of Iowa

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California State University, Los Angeles

MA in Education – Curriculum and Instruction

Los Angeles, California

Tuition Fee: $6,782 per year (Residents) | $16,286 (Non-Residents)

California State University, Los Angeles offers an affordable Master of Arts in Education – Curriculum and Instruction program that requires 30 credit hours for graduation. The program offers teachers opportunities for the training and development of expertise and capabilities to develop curriculum and instructional programs in K-12 education. It offers three areas of concentration, namely Leadership in Urban Schools, Creative Literacies and Literature, and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Required core courses include Teaching for Cross-Cultural and Global Awareness, Principles and Practices of Curriculum in Urban Schools, and Teacher Leadership in the Urban School: Issues, Trends & New Directions. A four-credit hour thesis requirement culminates in this graduate education program.

Types of Aid: Grants, Federal Work-Study Options, Scholarships, Federal Direct Loans, Private Loans, Dream Loan, TEACH Grants, and Summer Financial Aid

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of 2.5 as GPA
  • Completed Cal State Apply form
  • Official transcripts

Accreditation:

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Through different types of financial aid at Cal State LA, graduate students are provided with the opportunity to fund their graduate education. They may be eligible for grants, loans, and student employment opportunities that provide them stipends for financing their studies.

Learn more about California State University, Los Angeles’ Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction Program.

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University of California Riverside

M. Ed. program in Higher Education Administration and Policy, Diversity and Equity, and Applied Behavior Analysis.

Riverside, California

Tuition Fee: $11,442 per year

The University of California Riverside has an affordable Master of Education program that offers three concentrations where prospective graduates can choose one that best suits their academic and professional aspirations. These concentrations include Higher Education Administration and Policy, Diversity and Equity, and Applied Behavior Analysis. Students pursuing the Higher Education Administration and Policy are required to complete a minimum of 36 credit hours for graduation. Depending on their commitment, they can earn the program in four quarters. Higher Education Governance, Financing Higher Education, The College Student, Critical Issues in Higher Education, and Understanding Research in Higher Education are some of the program’s core required courses. Each class meets once per week from 4 PM to 7 PM.

Types of Aid: Scholarships, Grants, Federal Loans, Summer Aid, and Blue & Gold Opportunity Plan

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed Graduate Admission Form
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation
  • Maximum of 3,000 words in personal history statement
  • Maximum of 3,000 words in the statement of purpose
  • Basic skills requirement
  • CSET Exam or accomplished Approved Subject Matter Program
  • Livescan Fingerprinting
  • Accomplished CTC online application
  • Admissions interview
  • Teacher licensure

Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission

The University of California Riverside helps graduate students to reduce the costs of their graduate studies through different types of financial aid. Prospective graduates must first complete the FAFSA requirements set by the university. Once completed, they may be qualified for graduate-exclusive loans, grants, and scholarship opportunities.

Learn more about University of California Riverside’s Master of Education Program.

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Arlington Baptist College

M. Ed. – Curriculum and Instruction Hybrid Degree Program

Arlington, Texas

Tuition Fee: $445 per credit hour

Arlington Baptist College’s affordable Master of Education – Curriculum and Instruction program is designed to prepare teachers to become curriculum experts and specialists, administrators, and highly-qualified educators in the public school and private school setting. All program’s courses are taught in a hybrid learning format, which means that majority of the coursework is completed online during the 8-week course. The graduate program requires 36 credit hours for students to complete; this consists of 18 hours of core courses and 18 hours of specialization requirements.

At Arlington Baptist College, Master’s of Education students learn about School Law, Educational Organization and Administration, Instructional Leadership Development, Curriculum Design and Evaluation, and Research in Education. The program requires minimum scores for GRE as part of its admission process.

Types of Aid: Institutional Scholarships & Grants, TEACH Grant, Veteran’s Assistance, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Outside Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Minimum of 12 hours in Christian overview, Theology, or Bible coursework
  • GRE test scores
  • Supervised writing assignment
  • Official transcripts of record
  • Pastor’s recommendation
  • Two references
  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Completed online application

Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education

Aside from inexpensive tuition fees, Arlington Baptist College has a diverse range of financial aid opportunities to assist graduate students in financing their graduate program. They may be eligible to apply for scholarship programs as well as grants to help them reduce their academic expenses.

Learn more about Arlington Baptist University’s Master of Education – Curriculum and Instruction Program

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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

MA Ed. in Policy, Organization & Leadership

Champaign, Illinois

Tuition Fee: $13,176 per year (Residents) | $28,464 per year (Non-Residents)

The affordable Master of Arts in Education, Policy, Organization & Leadership program offered at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign requires 32 credit hours for completion. It’s one of the highly-competitive programs in Illinois. The applicant’s undergraduate and graduate training, as well as their GPAs, are carefully considered before admission. Some of the philosophical and social foundation courses include Politics of Education, Asian-American Education, History of American Education, Technology and Educational Reform, and Racial and Ethnic Families.

A concentration isn’t required; however, graduates can choose from 13 concentrations. These include Writing Studies, Global Studies in Education, African-American Studies, Social Sciences & Education Policy, Bilingual-Bicultural Education, Philosophy of Education, Digital Learning, Learning Design & Leadership, Diversity & Equity in Education, Human Resource Development, Educational Administration & Leadership, History of Education, and Higher Education. A thesis project is required as the culminating experience of the program.

Types of Aid: Assistantships, Fellowships, Tuition Waivers, Scholarships, Loans, Grants, Student Employment, Illinois Commitment, Illinois Promise, Veterans and Dependents Benefits, RISE Act, Pre-Paid Tuition Plans, and Tax Credits

Admission Requirements:

  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • Three letters of reference
  • Unofficial copies of transcripts
  • GPA of 3.0
  • $70 application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

With a diverse range of financial assistance programs, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign helps graduate students to minimize the expenditures acquired while completing graduate education. The state itself has added other financial aid opportunities for its residents. To qualify, prospective students must initially submit the FAFSA requirements mandated by the university.

Learn about the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Master of Arts in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership Program.

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Arizona State University

M. Ed. – Educational Leadership (Principalship) program

Tempe, Arizona

Tuition Fee: $693 per credit hour

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College – Arizona State University (ASU) offers a Master of Education – Educational Leadership (Principalship) program that requires 36 credit hours for completion. It is designed for teachers who want to pursue school leadership roles as administrators or other administrative positions in K-12 settings. Also, it is designed to train and prepare educators to meet the requirements at Arizona for principal teacher certification. Some of the required core courses include Leadership in Curriculum and Assessment, Critical Issues in Educational Leadership, Competency/Performance in Educational Administration, School Finance and Human Resources, and American Education System. A 3-credit hour Applied Project serves as a culminating experience in this graduate education program.

Types of Aid: Scholarships, Grants, Loans, Student Employment Options, Veterans Benefits, Public Service Programs, and Special Scholarship Programs

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Minimum of 24 months of pre-K to grade 12 professional teaching experience
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Graduate admission form
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • Proof of English proficiency

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Arizona State University helps both undergraduates and graduates with the opportunity to fund their education. ASU offers special scholarships, public service programs, and student employment opportunities for graduate students to lower the costs of graduate education. Aside from standard enrollment requirements, prospective students must also comply with the FAFSA requirements at ASU.

Learn more about Arizona State University’s Master of Education – Educational Leadership (Principalship) Program.

University at Albany – State University of New York

MS in General Education Studies

Albany, New York

Tuition Fee: $480 per credit hour (In-State) | $980 per credit hour (Out-of-State)

University at Albany – SUNY has an affordable Master of Science in General Education Studies program that prepares current teachers and other educators for professional teacher certification in the field they’re licensed to teach, ranging from students in grades 5 to 9 and grades 7 to 12. The program will satisfy the graduate degree prerequisite requirements for professional certification in New York State as a secondary or middle childhood education specialist. Aside from required courses, prospective graduates will need to attend a 3-credit hour Research Seminar in which they can choose, namely Research in Practice, or Critical Introduction to Educational Research Paradigms. Students must have 30 credit hours so they can complete their graduate education degrees.

Types of Aid: Tuition Assistance Programs, Grants, Federal Work-Study Programs, Student Loans, Institutional and Outside Scholarships, Veterans and their Dependents Educational Perks, and Study Abroad Options

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation (Three)
  • Goals statement
  • Copy of teaching certification

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

University at Albany – SUNY makes it easier and more affordable for graduate students to reduce the costs of their graduate programs. The university has many financial aid opportunities in which students can be eligible once they have completed their FAFSA requirements. Application to FAFSA at Albany is entirely free of charge.

Learn more about University at Albany – State University of New York’s Master of Science in General Education Studies Program.

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Arkansas Tech University

M. Ed. in Educational Leadership

Russellville, Arkansas

Tuition Fee: $292 per credit hour (Resident) | $584 per credit hour (Non-Resident)

Arkansas Tech University’s Master of Education – Educational Leadership program designed to prepare educators for a graduate degree and qualifications for Arkansas licensure as a school administrator or leader. The degree program requires 34 credit hours for completion, consisting of 13-credit hour core courses and 21-credit hour educational leadership courses. Prospective graduates must complete their degrees within six years. School Organization and Leadership, Physical Environment of Schools, Administrative Law, Action Research and Data Analysis, and Education and Society: Continuities and Discontinuities.

Types of Aid: Aid for Arkansas Residents, Graduate Aid, Graduate Scholarship Programs, Tuition Waiver, Grants, Graduate Assistantship Programs, Student Loans, and Student Employment

Admission Requirements:

  • Accomplished online graduate application form
  • Official transcript of records
  • Proof of immunity against rubella and measles
  • Non-refundable application fee amounting to $40
  • Copy of current teaching licensure
  • Letter proving two years of professional teaching experience

Accreditation:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • Higher Learning Commission

Arkansas Tech University has one of the cheapest; if it isn’t the cheapest tuition rates around the U.S. With less than $400 per credit hour graduate tuition, students have a more attainable and cheaper way to complete graduate education in their respective field of interest. Aside from its cheaper tuition fees, the university offers numerous financial aid programs to finance their graduate students in their educational expenditures.

Learn more about Arkansas Tech University’s Master of Education – Educational Leadership Program.

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Winona State University Rochester

MS in Education Hybrid Degree Program

Rochester, Minnesota

Tuition Fee: $428.28 per credit hour (Resident) | $646.17 per credit hour (Non-Resident)

Winona State University Rochester offers an affordable Master of Science in Education program that enables educational professionals and P-12 educators to advance in their professions. It is a hybrid program consisting of 16 credit hours combined with graduate credits from either a Curriculum and Instruction track or STEM certification. Prospective graduates pursuing this track requires 30 credit hours for graduation. They will take core required courses such as Foundations of Education, Improvement of Instruction and Curriculum Planning, Individual Problems in Education, The Diverse Learner, and Creating Inclusive Classroom Environments.

Types of Aid: Graduate Student Assistantship Programs, CARES Act, Grant Options, Loan Programs, and Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Completed graduate admission application form
  • Two letters of reference
  • Written personal statement
  • Current resume

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Winona State University Rochester has a wide range of graduate-exclusive financial aid programs. It has remained true to its advocacy of providing top-quality and affordable graduate programs to students. Prospective students must not only comply with the standard admission requirements but also their FAFSA requirements to Winona State. They can be eligible for different kinds of scholarship programs and loan options.

Learn more about Winona State University Rochester’s Master of Science in Education Program.

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University of Cincinnati

MA in Educational Studies

Cincinnati, Ohio

Tuition Fee: $7,451 per term

The University of Cincinnati has an affordable Master of Arts in Educational Studies program that can be completed within one year of study, depending on the students’ commitment. To graduate, prospective graduates must have a minimum of 30 credit hours. The degree program is an interdisciplinary degree designed to offer learners with a comprehensive understanding of the core foundations of social change, research in education, development, and learning.

Students will select one out of four concentrations ranging from Higher Education Administration, Applied Research Methods, Education and Social Change, and Educational Psychology and Child Studies. Some of the core educational studies required courses include Educational Equity and Diversity in Higher Education, Philosophy of Education, Human Learning, Student Development Theory, and Introduction to Research Methodology.

Types of Aid: Scholarships, Loan Options, Grants, and Work-Study Programs

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts
  • Preferred minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Two external letters of recommendation
  • Goal statement
  • Accomplished online graduate admission form
  • Undergraduate degree

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Graduate students pursuing their Master’s in Education at the University of Cincinnati have the opportunity to lessen the financial burden they’ve acquired in completing graduate programs. UC has a dedicated financial aid office that readily assists students in their respective financial aid eligibility as well as the steps in qualifying for such programs. Through the completion of FAFSA requirements, UC graduate students can qualify for student employment opportunities, loan programs, and scholarships.

Learn about the University of Cincinnati’s Master of Arts in Educational Studies Program.

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McDaniel College

Hybrid MS in Curriculum and Instruction

Westminster, Maryland

Tuition Fee: $18,595 per academic year

The affordable Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction program at McDaniel College is offered in a hybrid learning format. The program is suitable for teachers in colleges and schools as well as those who are currently in staff development positions within social service and business sectors. The school has partnerships with faculty and local academic systems, which are role models in their respective sectors to provide relevant and timely classroom content for its graduate learners. A total of 34.5 credit hours is required for graduation. The degree program has seven core Curriculum and Instruction courses, four elective courses, and a 1.5-credit hour Capstone Experience. All prospective graduates can choose one out of three capstone experiences, namely action research experience, synthesis experience, or portfolio experience.

Types of Aid: Maryland Students Additional Financial Support, Loans, External Scholarships, Military and Veterans Benefits, Work-Study Employment on Campus, Need-Based Grants, and McDaniel Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

  • Accomplished graduate study application for admission
  • Official transcript of records
  • No minimum GPA is needed
  • One academic letter of recommendation or official professional letter of recommendation

Accreditation:

  • Maryland Higher Education Commission
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

McDaniel College helps graduate students to reduce the costs of their graduate financial expenses through different types of financial aid programs. Accomplishing McDaniel College’s FAFSA requirements makes them qualified for need-based financial assistance from the state and the federal government. The school has a comprehensive financial aid office to tailor graduate students with applicable financial aid programs available for them.

Learn more about McDaniel College’s Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction Program.

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Minnesota State University Mankato

MS in Educational Leadership degree

Mankato, Minnesota

Tuition Fee: $427.45 per credit hour

By becoming a Master of Science (MS) in Educational Leadership degree holder from Minnesota State University Mankato, students obtain foundational capabilities that shape today’s innovative educators. Graduate students must have at least 30 credit hours so they can complete their degree programs. Responsive Leadership, Ethics in Leadership, Organizational & Systems Change, Leadership and Instruction for Race and Culture, and Critical Race Theory in Education. Elective courses consisting of a maximum of 24 credit hours are integrated within the core program to tailor students’ degrees according to their academic and professional goals. A 3-credit Portfolio Development serves as a capstone course that culminates in the degree program.

Types of Aid: Loan Options, Work-Study Programs, Scholarships, Grants, Military and Veterans Education Benefits, Assistantship Programs for Graduates, Tuition Waivers, Third-Party Payment Schemes, Student-Athletes Financial Aid, Minnesota Dream Act, and AmeriCorps

Admission Requirements:

  • Non-refundable $40 application fee
  • Immunization Form
  • Graduate Admission Application
  • Official transcript of records
  • GRE test scores

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

The majority of Minnesota State University Mankato graduate learners rely on private, state, and federal funding opportunities to finance their graduate education. The university is dedicated to delivering relevant information about the different types of financial aid as well as their processes to ensure every graduate student has access to available funds. They must submit their FAFSA requirements at MNSU so they can be qualified to apply for assistantship programs, scholarships, payment plans, tuition discounts, and loan programs.

Learn more about Minnesota State University Mankato’s Master of Science in Educational Leadership Program.

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Queens University of Charlotte

M. Ed. Degree Program

Charlotte, North Carolina

Tuition Fee: $459 per credit hour

The affordable Master of Education program offered at Queens University of Charlotte has an 8-week course delivery. A total of five terms are offered every year so that graduate students can focus on a single course at a time, or choose an accelerated path to earn the degree quickly. The degree program can be customized to fit one’s goals and interests – regardless if they’re switching to a new career or expand their academic ventures. Each student will complete six core courses and five courses in a specific concentration. The core courses include Action Research in Education, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Professional Learning Communities, Education Law and Ethics, 21st Century Leadership and Advocacy, and Research and Evaluation. Students will choose from seven concentrations, namely Higher Education, Curriculum and Instruction, STEM K-12, Special Education K-12, Academically or Intellectually Gifted K-12, Literacy K-12, and Instructional Technology K-12. The program takes nearly 18 months, depending on the pace of the student’s learning.

Types of Aid: Military and Veteran Financial Assistance, Loans, Internal and External Scholarships, Pell and Institutional Need-Based Grants, and Federal Work-Study Options

Admission Requirements:

  • Accomplished graduate application
  • Personal statement
  • An official copy of North Carolina teaching licensure
  • Two letters of recommendations from two references
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

The Queens University of Charlotte offers numerous distinct financial aid opportunities. The university has a one-stop-shop online resource for all there is to know about the different types of financial aid and admissions process. The first step to qualifying for Queen’s financial aid opportunities is the submission of FAFSA requirements at the university.

Learn more about Queens University of Charlotte’s Master of Education Program.

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The Ohio State University

MA in Education: Teaching and Learning with eight Specializations

Columbus, Ohio

Tuition Fee: $12,803 per academic year (Residents) | $36,387 per academic year (Non-Residents)

Ohio State University has an affordable Master of Arts in Education: Teaching and Learning program that caters to practicing educators at different levels ranging from pre-school to high school. It provides prospective graduates with a stepping stone in pursuing a doctorate program. Core courses include Balanced Assessment of Teaching and Learning, Multiple Perspectives on Teaching and Learning, and Multicultural and Global Perspectives on Teaching & Learning.

The degree program offers eight specializations in which students can select. These include:

  • Sensory Impairments
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
  • Rethinking Early Childhood and Elementary Education
  • Reading and Literacy in Early & Middle Childhood
  • Literature for Children and Young Adults
  • Integrated Teaching & Learning, Foreign
  • Second & Multilingual Language Education
  • Adolescent, Post-Secondary & Community Literacy

Types of Aid: Associateships, Student Employment, Scholarships, Loan Options, University Fellowship Programs, and Graduate Enrichment Fellowships

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed graduate application
  • Official transcripts
  • GRE test score (For applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0)
  • Statement of intent
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Ohio State University offers graduate and professional students a diverse range of funding opportunities available to them. These include scholarships, loans, fellowships, student employment, and associateships. The university’s Department of Teaching and Learning also offers program-specific financial aid programs for its graduate students.

Learn more about The Ohio State University’s Master of Arts in Education: Teaching and Learning Program.

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University of Maryland

MA in Education: Teaching and Learning with many Concentrations

College Park, Maryland

Tuition Fee: $731 per credit hour (Residents) | $1,625 per credit hour (Non-Residents)

The University of Maryland offers an affordable Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program that offers several areas of concentration. These concentrations include Science Education, Reading Education, Minority and Urban Education, Mathematics Education, Applied Linguistics and Language Education, English Education, History/Social Studies Education, Elementary/Middle School Education, and Arts Education. The majority of these concentrations require a minimum of 30 credit hours for completion.

Types of Aid: Graduate Assistantships, Financial Aid Loans, Fellowship Programs, Scholarships,

Admission Requirements:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Official Transcript/s
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume/CV
  • Accomplished online application
  • Non-refundable $75 application fee

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Students at the University of Maryland have every opportunity to obtain financial aid! The available options include financial aid loans, fellowships, scholarship options, and graduate assistantships. Once they have accomplished the requirements for FAFSA at UMD, they may be qualified to apply to these graduate-exclusive programs.

Learn more about the University of Maryland’s Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction Program.

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University of Pennsylvania

MS in Education in Education Policy

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tuition Fee: $28,032 per term

The affordable Master of Science in Education in Education Policy program offered at the University of Pennsylvania equips and trains prospective graduates with the essentials skills, knowledge, and methodological strategies to comprehend, evaluate, and implement educational programs and policies. They will take core disciplinary foundation courses, including Sociology of Education, Philosophical Aspects of Education Policy, Economic Aspects of Educational Policy, School and Society in America, and Politics and Education. An Education Policy Research Practicum is required as a culminating experience of the degree program. It satisfies the requirements for the comprehensive examination component of the graduate program.

Types of Aid: Federal Loans, Loan Forgiveness, Federal Work-Study Programs, Merit-Based Scholarship Programs, Graduate Assistantships, Dean’s Scholarships, Fellowships, and Fulbright Fellows Scholarship Programs

Admission Requirements:

  • $75 application fee
  • Statement of purpose
  • Current CV or resume
  • Letters of recommendation: 3
  • Official transcript of records
  • An official copy of GRE test scores
  • Completed online graduate application
  • Baccalaureate degree

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

The University of Pennsylvania has numerous types of financial aid opportunities to help students ease their financial burden at the expense of their graduate studies. The university offers loan forgiveness programs, assistantships, merit-based scholarships, fellowships, and loan programs so graduate learners can find ways to fund their education.

Learn about the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Science in Education in Education Policy Program.

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University of Washington

M. Ed. in Education Policy

Seattle, Washington

Tuition Fee: $710 per credit hour

University of Washington’s affordable Master of Education in Education Policy program adapts cohort-based learning, where graduate students work closely with other peers throughout the program. They can earn their graduate education degree within 12 months. The rigorous program offered at UW requires a minimum of 44 credit hours, consisting of 11 core required courses as well as electives. Some of the core education courses include Policy & Policymaking, School Finance, Policy Implementation, Introduction to Applied Research Methods, and The Dynamics of Educational Organizations. Aside from coursework, the MEP has a 9-credit hour internship in which students are required to complete 150 hours of internship work in an on-site government agency or organization during Spring and Summer terms.

Types of Aid: Employer Assistance, Awards, Scholarships, Grants, Loan Options, Fellowships, and Assistantships

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Completed the online UW Graduate School admission application
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • GRE test scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal history statement (Optional)

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Graduate students pursuing the Master’s in Education degree at the University of Washington can apply for different types of financial aid opportunities to cover the costs of advanced study. Once they have submitted their FAFSA requirements, they may be qualified for loans, scholarships, and federal financial aid. The MEP provides a limited number of scholarship opportunities to qualified applicants.

Learn more about the University of Washington’s Master of Education in Education Policy Program.

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University of Wisconsin – Madison

MS in Curriculum and Instruction

Madison, Wisconsin

Tuition Fee: $807.95 per credit hour (Resident) | $1,640.88 per credit hour (Non-Resident)

University of Wisconsin – Madison has an affordable Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction program offered in two pathways for graduate degrees. It offers a general track and a teacher certification track. Prospective students pursuing the teacher certification track can choose from specialized programs such as English Education, Science Education, Social Studies Education, and Mathematics Education. WISC’s graduate education program is a streamlined, graduate-level study that trains prospective graduates for teaching licensure in an area of study at the secondary education level.

Types of Aid: Graduate Assistantships, University, and Departmental Fellowships, Traineeships, Student Loans, Student Jobs, and Research and Travel Grants

Admission Requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Completed Online Application Form
  • $75 application fee

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

University of Wisconsin – Madison helps graduate students to finance their graduate program through a diverse selection of graduate-centered financial aid opportunities. Prospective graduates may be eligible for graduate assistantships, traineeships, fellowships, loans, and research grants. To qualify, they must first comply with the university’s requirements for FAFSA at WISC.

Learn more about University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction Program.

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North Carolina State University

M. Ed. – College Counseling and Student Development

Raleigh, North Carolina

Tuition Fee: $1,136.88 per two credit hours (Residents) | $3,302.63 per two credit hours (Non-Residents)

North Carolina State University offers an affordable Master of Education – College Counseling and Student Development program that leads to a North Carolina counseling licensure. The degree program can be earned in 2.5 to 3 years of study. With a flexible learning format, prospective graduates can attend the program on a full-time or part-time basis, and they complete courses at their own pace. As a final requirement, prospective graduates must accomplish a 600-hour internship – 300 hours during Fall and 300 hours during Spring terms.

Types of Aid: Fellowship Programs, Traineeships, Grants, Graduate Research Assistantships, Graduate Teaching Assistantships, and Scholarship Opportunities

Admission Requirements:

  • Accomplished Online Application
  • $75 application fee
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Three recommendations
  • Personal statement
  • Undergraduate degree

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

North Carolina State University provides graduate students with a broad range of financial aid opportunities that help with tuition expenses while they’re completing their graduate education. To become qualified, graduate students must submit their complete FAFSA requirements through the university’s official FAFSA website. The university’s financial aid programs are based on merit and financial need. They may earn financial support through loans, assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and student employment.

Learn more about North Carolina State University’s Master of Education – College Counseling and Student Development Program.

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San Diego State University

MA in Teaching: Mathematics and Science Education

San Diego, California

Tuition Fee: $3,588 per six credit hours or more

San Diego State University’s inexpensive Master of Arts in Teaching: Mathematics and Science Education program is offered through the university’s College of Education that doesn’t require applicants to be experts in science and mathematics education to apply. Prospective graduates can develop and strengthen their teaching in science and math by learning from SDSU’s world-class faculty. SDSU adapts an asset-based approach to both learners and educators. The set of courses across the semester will highlight on understanding learners’ ideas and discovering methodological strategies that advocate their learning. The whole duration of the program covers the summer, fall, and spring terms. All courses have a comprehensive study in science and mathematics.

Types of Aid: Federal and State Grants, Federal Direct Loans, Private Loans, Loan Deferment, Work-Study Programs, and Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

  • Two applications – one for the College of Education and one for the university
  • Statement of purpose
  • One letter of recommendation
  • GRE scores
  • Bachelor’s degree

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission

San Diego State University has several scholarship opportunities to support graduate students’ academic aspirations. With a generous amount of financial assistance from donors at SDSU, the school has offered financial aid opportunities for students. The university has a dedicated team of financial aid staff that helps students align with the right financial assistance so they can maximize their funds.

Learn more about San Diego State University’s Master of Arts in Teaching: Mathematics Education and Science Education Program.

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Purdue University

MS in Education with two Concentrations: Educational Studies and Curriculum and Instruction

West Lafayette, Indiana

Tuition Fee: $347.85 per credit hour (Resident) | $600.45 per credit hour (Non-Resident)

Purdue University has an affordable Master of Science in Education program that is suitable for educators aiming to meet the standards and requirements for initial teacher licensure as well as for those pursuing advanced academic credentials. The MS in Education program has both thesis and non-thesis versions. It requires at least 15 credit hours of graduate-level courses in education. The non-thesis program consists of at least 30 credit hours; however, other programs require 33 credit hours or more. Also, it has two concentrations for students to choose, namely Educational Studies and Curriculum and Instruction.

Types of Aid: Federal Work-Study Options, Income Share Agreement, Loan Options, Scholarships, and Grants

Admission Requirements:

  • $60 graduate school application fee
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Purdue University helps graduate students to fund their education through different types of financial aid opportunities. Once they have completed the FAFSA requirements at Purdue, prospective graduates can be eligible for scholarships, grants, loan programs, and student employment opportunities.

Learn more about Purdue University’s Master of Science in Education Program.

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University of Georgia

M. Ed. in Educational Administration and Policy

Athens, Georgia

Tuition Fee: $11,600 per semester (In-State) | $19,200 per semester (Out-of-State)

The University of Georgia offers an inexpensive Master of Education in Educational Administration and Policy program that prepares current teachers for professions as school administrators, college or university faculty, researchers, and academic policy analysts. The program requires students to have 36 credit hours for graduation. Prospective graduates will complete 12 hours of core courses, 18 hours of electives, 3 hours of research courses, and 3 hours of the applied project. Some of the major topics that’ll be discussed in this program include Organizational Leadership, School Law, Human Resource Administration, Applied Projects in Educational Administration and Policy, and School Business and Resource Management.

Types of Aid: Graduate Student Emergency Fund, Military and VA Benefits, Student Health Insurance, Scholarships, Graduate School Fellowships, Graduate School Recognition Awards, Travel Funding, Graduate Assistantships, Grants, and Tuition Waivers.

Admission Requirements:

  • $75 application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Graduate admission for application
  • Official transcripts of record
  • GRE test scores
  • Letters of recommendation – 3
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume/CV

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Because of its wide range of financial assistance opportunities, the University of Georgia has one of the most generous financial aid programs for graduate students. The university has numerous ways to minimize graduate students’ educational expenses through its graduate-centered types of financial aid. To qualify, prospective students must initially submit their FAFSA requirements to qualify for graduate assistantships, fellowships, tuition waivers, and recognition awards.

Learn about the Master of Education in Educational Administration and Policy Program at the University of Georgia.

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University of Central Florida

M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

Orlando, Florida

Tuition Fee: $369.65 per credit hour (In-State) | $1,194.05 per credit hour (Out-of-State)

The affordable Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program offered at the University of Central Florida is made for experienced teachers and professionally-certified educators. They want to pursue a career advancement beyond classroom teaching. The program helps improve their expertise and skillsets in the area of school administration and leadership. It doesn’t prepare them for an initial, administrative, or supervisory certificate. Students immerse themselves in independent learning through course-based action research. It requires 36 credit hours for completion, and a capstone experience culminates in the program. The C&I graduate program has seven program tracks that students can choose, namely Supporting High Needs Population, Intervention Specialist, Global, International and Comparative Education, Gifted Education, Educational Technology, Curriculum Leadership, and Art Education.

Types of Aid: University Fellowships, Presentation Fellowships, Graduate Assistantships, Graduate Teaching Opportunities, Federal Work-Study Options, Tuition Waivers, Loans, Grants, and Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

  • $30 non-refundable application fee
  • One official transcript of records (sealed in an envelope)
  • GRE/GMAT scores
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Residency Classification Form
  • Grade Point Average of 3.0
  • Accomplished online application form for graduate admission

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS CASI)
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

The University of Central Florida has received numerous recognitions as one of the best value universities around the U.S. Aside from affordable tuition fees, UCF provides graduate students with the opportunity to lessen their academic expenses. Qualified students may enjoy UCF’s fellowships, assistantships, scholarships, and work-study opportunities. They must first complete the FAFSA requirements mandated by the university.

Learn more about University of Central Florida’s Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction Program.

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University of South Florida

M. Ed. in Educational Leadership program

Tampa, Florida

Tuition Fee: $18,580 per term (Resident) | $26,604 per term (Non-Resident)

University of South Florida’s affordable Master of Education in Educational Leadership program provides an opportunity for prospective graduates to choose from one out of three concentrations. These concentrations include Curriculum Leadership, Non-Public/Charter School Leadership, and K-12 Public School Leadership. Students must complete 30 credit hours so they can graduate from the program, consisting of 18-credit hour core requirements and 12-credit hour electives/concentration. They will take required courses such as School Law, Culturally Relevant Leadership, Educational Leadership, Administrative Analysis and Change, and Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction. For graduation, students must first pass the Florida Educational Leadership Exam. They must submit their official FELE scores for evaluation. Another requirement for graduation includes a comprehensive electronic portfolio that already serves as a comprehensive examination.

Types of Aid: Work-Study Options, Fellowships, Loans, Scholarships, Assistantships, and Grants

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Complete official transcripts
  • Accomplished graduate admission application
  • Response to Conduct Clearance Policy
  • Non-refundable application fee of $30
  • Professional resume
  • Two to three pages of letter of intent
  • Three letters of recommendation

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

The University of South Florida helps graduate students through different financial aid opportunities. Through this, prospective graduates may be qualified for assistantships, loans, student employment, and grants – provided that they already have completed USF’s requirements for FAFSA.

Learn more about University of South Florida’s Master of Education in Educational Leadership Program.

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Michigan State University

MA in Teaching and Curriculum

East Lansing, Michigan

Tuition Fee: $863 per credit hour

The College of Education – Michigan State University offers an affordable Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum program that can be completed if students have a minimum of 30 credit hours. It is designed for certified educators and other teachers who want to pursue advanced-level professional studies in curriculum and teaching. The program doesn’t require any thesis requirement for graduation. Graduates can choose the courses for the 9-credit hour professional development and inquiry core component. Some of these courses include Professional Development and Inquiry, Curriculum in its Social Context, Inquiry into Classroom Teaching and Learning, Literacy Leadership, and Curriculum Design, Development, and Deliberation in Schools. Students must complete a professional portfolio and synthesis paper as the university’s final requirement or evaluation before graduation.

Types of Aid: Private Education Loans, Employer Tuition Assistance, Military and Dependents Perks, Federal Direct (Stafford/Ford) Loans, and Scholarships

Admission Requirements:

  • $65 application fee
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of professional goals
  • Resume or CV
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

With a variety of financial assistance opportunities, Michigan State University helps graduate students to fund their graduate studies without accumulating massive debts. Once prospective students comply first with MSU’s requirements for FAFSA, they can apply to numerous financial aid programs.

Learn more about Michigan State University’s Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum Program.

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The University of Iowa

MA in Special Education Degree Program

Iowa City, Iowa

Tuition Fee: $522 per credit hour

The University of Iowa has a Master of Arts in Special Education program offers comprehensive and in-depth fieldwork experiences in the field of Special Education. Prospective students must have at least 32 credit hours for graduation. It is offered in three specializations namely Instructional Strategist II: Behavior Disorders/Learning Disabilities (K-12), 5-12 Strategist I: Mild/Moderate, and K-8 Strategist I. Some of the required courses include Assessment Instructional Planning and Practice, Parent-Teacher Communication, Explicit Instruction, Special Education Literacy, and Foundations of Special Education. Prospective students who aren’t planning to pursue teacher licensure may also be enrolled selectively to this graduate education program.

Types of Aid: College of Education Awards and Scholarships, Grants, Graduate Assistantships, Student Employment Opportunities, Military and Veterans Scholarships, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Fellowships, and Teaching Assistantships

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • GRE combined scores
  • Teaching experience
  • Teaching licensure
  • Personal interview
  • Accomplished online application
  • Application fee of $60
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Aside from inexpensive tuition rates, the University of Iowa offers a diverse range of financial aid opportunities for both undergraduate and graduates. The College of Education itself receives tremendous support from donors, and in return, they provide their graduate students with education funding in the form of grants, awards, scholarships, and assistantships.

Learn more about The University of Iowa’s Master of Arts in Special Education Program

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What are the career pathways of students pursuing a Master’s in Education program?

Prospective graduates pursue a master’s degree in education for different reasons. That said, graduate students pursue different positions within academia. Some of these professions require prospective graduates to specialize in a particular field or earn significant professional experience after completing the program. When searching the best Master’s in Education program, ensure that each chosen program on your list has specializations and courses related to your professional goals. Each of the career pathways below describes a unique concentration track taken by prospective graduates.

  • High School Teacher – Teachers in the high school level emphasize in one or more academic topics. The majority of them lead a student organization or become coaches in sports teams. They’re not similar to elementary and middle school levels; high school teachers generally write letters of recommendation as well as mentor high school students bound for college. A graduate program in education prepares graduate students to become faculty heads or teach advanced subjects.
  • Instructional Coordinator – Instructional Coordinators generally work in offices at the district levels, reviewing the program’s curriculum for their given subjects. They meet with teachers and other administrators regularly to develop a curriculum that is suitable for their state’s academic benchmarks. A graduate-level study and relevant teaching experience trains and prepares graduate students for this role.
  • Middle School Teacher – Similar to high school teachers, middle school teachers emphasize one or more academic subjects aside from coaching high school sports teams and leading school organizations or clubs. Also, they focus on promoting positive academic and social behaviors to train high school students for success. A graduate degree in education supplements state requirements for licensure exams for teachers. Also, the majority of states offer higher starting wages to middle school teachers who earn post-graduate degrees.
  • Principal – Elementary, middle, and high school principals work as the school’s chief executives. In creating and implementing rules and policies adopted by their states, principals act as liaisons between states and their respective schools’ faculty members and staff. Acting as their school’s representative is also one of the duties of school principals. Most school districts across the U.S. oblige that school principals have extensive teaching experience and advanced studies in education.
  • Special Education Teacher – Special Education teachers deal with students with different types of disabilities. They manage their strategies with classroom teachers so these students will have general education learning with their classmates. Special Education teachers generally coordinate with administrators, teachers, students, and even parents to create and implement individualized academic plans. A graduate study in education with an emphasis in Special Education offers graduate students with the necessary core knowledge to enhance educational outcomes for learners with disabilities.

What will I Learn in a Master’s in Education program?

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A master’s in education program generally consists of core education courses, specific concentrations, and electives. It trains and prepares graduate students to pursue a role in academia as administrators or teachers. The program completion and tuition fees differ per program offered by different colleges and universities. If you are interested to know any information before enrolling, each college and university has a dedicated team of admission staff or the respective school of education.

Sample Concentrations:

  • Literacy Education – Students around the world lack the necessary literacy skills regardless if they’re elementary, middle school, or high school. Prospective graduates enrolled in this concentration learn how to assist struggling students in catching up with their classmates, increasing their chances to become successful in their academic journey. Also, they help students develop the attitude and skills to lead productive and successful lives.
  • Science and Math Education – Specialization in science and math education prepares graduates for professional pathways in STEM studies. The curriculum integrates mathematics and science fundamentals. They also learn how to combine technology into their teaching and accomplish research projects.
  • Special Education – Special Education prepares graduate students to cater to some students with physical and mental disabilities. They complete courses that encompass the newest best practices, the most common disabilities, and Special Education history.
  • Sports Coaching and Leadership – A concentration in sports coaching and leadership helps students gain the essential skillsets and expertise required to mentor and coach young student-athletes in the middle as well as high school levels. It emphasizes the coaching career from different aspects, including administrative and psychological components that impact the decisions of coaches.
  • Technology and Learning – Technology and learning specializations prepare future teachers to integrate the latest technologies to develop their students’ learning proficiency. It also prepares them to become technology frontrunners in their respective schools.

Is there a programmatic accreditation for a master’s in education program?

Instead of merely just listing the name of the school for your master’s in education program, you shouldn’t forget verifying its accreditation status. It indicates that a specific school has met certain academic criteria. All programs must have at least a regional or national accreditation from an agency approved by the Department of Education.

Once a program has met a set of criteria, ensure that it earns programmatic accreditation. Programmatic accreditation institutions grant accreditation to only the top-quality academic programs in a specific field of study. These institutions are found in different areas of the discipline. Specifically, in the school of education, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation provides accreditation in many undergraduate and graduate programs that develop students for a certificate or state teaching licensure. The majority of employers and district licensure boards don’t acknowledge degrees from programs that aren’t accredited by CAEP.

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