10 Best Master’s Degrees for Teachers: A Detailed Comparison (2023)

Higher education is extremely rewarding and can open many doors. If you are pursuing a career in education, see this detailed comparison of the best master’s degree for teachers to get!

In today’s competitive job market, a bachelor’s degree often is not enough. Teachers who earn master’s degrees develop a deeper understanding of education theory, and a commitment to the growth and success of students. Advanced degree programs give education professionals insight into the practical background that drives both classroom dynamics and unique, individual learning. If you are pursuing your own education and trying to decide which degree to get, read more about the best master’s degree for teachers to get.

10 Best Master’s Degrees for Teachers: A Detailed Comparison (1)

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Why Should Teachers Get a Master’s Degree?

Research has found that the benefits of a masters degree in teaching include increased pay and career prospects. But even more importantly, it is shown to improve classroom performance, which directly benefits endless amounts of students. According to the latest report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), students in classes taught by teachers with MA degrees in teaching scored higher on standardized tests in math and reading assignments when compared with students of teachers with BA degrees in education.

Even outside of the education field, employers are increasingly requiring master level degrees from employees, creating a strong demand in today’s marketplace. For many teachers, across several industries, their job satisfaction stems from their ability to motivate. Pursuing your higher education in teaching will not just increase your next salary, but you will gain a deep understanding of different teaching methods and the satisfaction of impacting the lives of your students.

10 Best Master’s Degrees for Teachers: A Detailed Comparison (2)

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Types of Master’s Degrees for Teachers

1. Master of Education

At the master level, there are many types of specializations that are highly demanded by both public and private schools. Government agencies have a strong need for this degree, as well as private businesses that need knowledgeable educators of their products and services. You can choose your specialization in line with your preferred career path, such as curriculum and instruction, English as a second language, educational leadership, or Pre-K-12.

The main difference between a Master of Science in Education and a Master of Arts in Education is that the M.S.E focuses on practical skills while the M.A.Ed focuses on more theoretical approaches. If you are a teacher who is passionate about the education field and aspires to take on academic leadership roles, the M.S.E is probably for you. This degree typically focuses on hands-on experiences that enable students to develop feasible solutions and strategies.

On the other hand, the Master of Arts in Education might be more suitable for those interested in the fundamental theories related to learning, educational research, curriculum development, and student assessments. Some of the main focuses of this degree often include child development, language learning, community services, and reading literacy.

2. Master’s in Teaching

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and are looking to start your career as a teacher, a master’s degree in teaching is a generally faster option than a second bachelor’s degree, as the programs are usually shorter in time and you will be able to choose a specialization right away. It may also be a more cost-effective option, as master’s programs often cater to students with family or financial obligations and time constraints.

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3. Master’s in English Education

As students often struggle to develop skills in the English language, the demand for highly skilled English teachers continues to grow. Master’s programs in English education focus on the most efficient teaching practices to help teachers overcome classroom challenges, providing them with a greater range of resources. Some common course subjects include: critical readings and methods, differentiated reading instruction, and theories of cognitive development.

4. Master’s in Mathematics Education

Undergraduate programs in education give students the fundamentals of teaching mathematics, though graduate programs introduce new methods, resources, and philosophies used to reach and influence students. Though teachers gain wider knowledge of the subject of mathematics, they also concentrate heavily on how to teach it. A master’s degree in mathematics education will enhance teachers’ ability to explain mathematical concepts, focusing on education research, curriculum design and strategy, and assessment tools.

10 Best Master’s Degrees for Teachers: A Detailed Comparison (4)

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5. Master’s in Special Education

Special education teachers understand that all children learn differently, and a master’s in special education gives them the resources and patience to provide the best possible education. Some common courses in this degree include: cognitive learning and behavior, supervised practice, characteristics of learning disabilities, and inclusion strategies for special educators. If you are looking for your own career boost, pursuing a master’s degree in special education will provide the opportunity to expand your network of professional connections. And, many classes focus on the digital tools available to special education teachers, used to identify disabilities easily, develop and implement a learning plan, and individually track the progress of each student.

Popular Master’s Options

1. Curriculum and Instruction

With a focus on what students will learn during their time in the classroom, this MA is perfect for those interested in the process of developing curriculum and its implementation, or instruction, in the classroom.

2. Early Childhood Education

This MA is designed to give students a strong background in child development, language, family and community relationships, and research. Graduates of ECE programs often go on to work as childhood teachers, public policy and advocacy specialists, and academic scholars.

3. Higher Education

4. Educational Leadership

If you are interested in working in the education field as an administrator, affecting change at a community level, consider an MA in educational leadership. It may benefit you even if you plan to utilize your leadership skills in fields other than education!

What You Can Do With a Master’s Degree for Teachers

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in teaching, you are probably thinking about earning a master’s degree to improve your career prospects in the education field. But don’t be fooled by the myth that teaching degrees are only for teachers. An MA in teaching or education can unlock almost any career door, increasing your earning potential as well as access to a wide range of industries.

Employers look for this type of degree when hiring for roles that require management and motivation, such as corporate trainers, private tutors, media and technology specialists, and curriculum development. Considered both an art and a science, teaching degrees empower individuals with the ability to convey complex ideas using effective, easy to understand methods.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7% growth in new job opportunities for high school teachers, and 17% growth for college and university teachers. If you are already a working teacher, your advanced education could give you a huge edge in the competitive job market. Even if you are already established in the business world, or political society, for instance, education is one of the most important elements of societies around the world; and having the influence and control needed to inspire others will set you apart from your peers!

Best Master’s Degrees for Teachers in the US

University of California – Los Angeles, California

One of the most widely recognized schools in the nation, the University of California – Los Angeles makes a significant impact through their innovative teacher education and STEM-focused programs. Starting from day one, students are matched with mentor teachers as Apprentices, responsible for their own classrooms by their second year. Various specializations are offered, such as educational technology or administration, special education, curriculum and instruction, among others.

University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida

With one of the lowest tuition and fees, the master of education at the University of Florida is only $6,400 and the mean salary predicted after 10 years of graduation is $60,300! Not only is it offered in flexible formats and at an affordable price, but eight different concentrations are offered for the development of teaching skills.

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University of Wyoming – Laramie, Wyoming

The MA degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Wyoming aims to help teachers expand their career options and grow through professional development. Students have the option to pursue two different tracks: one requiring a thesis, and one requiring a scholarly project or paper. Both tracks require a minimum of 32-credit hours and include courses on topics of multicultural education, research, and advanced instructional studies.

University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

As a student, the quality of education at the University of Illinois is unparallelled. They offer incredible choices for teachers in multiple formats, like Curriculum, Aesthetics & Teacher Education, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Science & Engineering Education, Social Sciences & Education Policy, and Teacher Leader Specialization. Though the tuition may not be the lowest, the employment opportunities are highly respected in the education field.

Arizona State University – Tempe, Arizona

The MA at Arizona State University shapes teachers who are learning to grow in knowledge, skill, and leadership. Coursework includes areas such as child guidance and management, preparing educators to better deal with the emotional, social, and educational needs of young children. If you want to pursue your education in teaching English as a second language, this might be the program for you!

SUNY at Albany – Albany, New York

Part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, the University of Albany today is home to 17,000 students, offers over 1,000 study abroad opportunities, and 120 undergraduate and 125 graduate programs. The School of Education offers 19 highly respected Master of Arts and Master of Science programs, many of which are offered online.

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Online masters programs are designed to equip students with the skills necessary to thrive in education environments. Between 2018 and 2027, it is believed that 52.1 million students will enroll in primary and secondary education, meaning the demand for teachers will continue to rise!

If you are already working full-time and looking to earn your degree on the side, you probably already started looking into earning your degree online. Or maybe you found your dream school but you need to study online due to geographical constraints. Whatever your situation, these online master’s degrees for teachers might be your next step.

Top Online Master’s Degrees for Teachers

American College of Education

The program is not only affordable but offered entirely online. Concentrated in curriculum and instruction, the online master’s at the American College of Education consists of a range of specialized options, like digital learning and teaching, elementary literacy, and differentiated instruction. The 12 required courses are taught by top-quality teachers who uphold evidence-based instruction and assessment, meeting national and state teaching standards.

University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington offers three unique masters in education programs completely online. Students can earn their degrees in curriculum and instruction with a focus on literary studies, mathematics education, and science education. Each program requires 30 credits and around 18 months of full-time enrollment to complete. The MA at the University of Texas holds a programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

University of the People

As the first non-profit, tuition-free, American accredited university, University of the People is dedicated to expanding higher education for students around the world, helping them overcome financial, geographic, political, and personal challenges. Our M.Ed. program offers two specializations: elementary/middle school education and secondary education; and you can choose to complete both specializations with a minimum of 16 courses. Through courses like learning and instruction theory, assessment and evaluation, child development, and research in education, the program aims to create effective learning environments and to engage students in their own professional development.

University of Southern California

Haydee Mayorga

Community and Public Health Student, USA


What masters degree should I get if I want to be a teacher? ›

The two most commonly known graduate degrees in education are the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and the Master of Education (M. Ed.). There are also other types of master's degrees in education, including the Master of Science in Education (M.S. Ed.)

What is the easiest Master's degree for teachers? ›

Master of Arts in Second Language Acquisition

Many also use their skills in social work, community development work, and adult education teachers. This is considered among the easiest master's degrees due to its emphasis on language skills, not math and science skills.

Which Master degree is most valuable in education? ›

1. Master of Education. At the master level, there are many types of specializations that are highly demanded by both public and private schools. Government agencies have a strong need for this degree, as well as private businesses that need knowledgeable educators of their products and services.

What is the best degree for a teacher? ›

Best College Majors to Become a Teacher
  • Education. As an education major you will explore what education entails and how to improve it, often with a focus on public K-12 education. ...
  • STEM. ...
  • Psychology. ...
  • Sociology. ...
  • History. ...
  • English/Liberal Arts. ...
  • General Tips to Becoming a Teacher.
Mar 19, 2021

Is a Masters worth it for teachers? ›

The education field has many exciting career opportunities, from teaching to counseling to administration. While not all jobs in education require a master's to begin a career, having a master's in education can potentially provide a larger salary and potential advancement in your career.

Are Masters degrees worth it for teachers? ›

It's a well-known fact that advanced degrees can lead to higher incomes. In fact, on average, a teacher with a master's degree earns between $2,760 - $7,358 more each year than those with a bachelor's degree. Some school districts even offer automatic wage increases for teachers with a master's in education.

What is the easiest and quickest masters degree? ›

Here is a list of the easiest online master's degree programs:
  • Accounting.
  • Criminal Justice.
  • Communication.
  • Sports Management.
  • Psychology.
  • Nursing.
  • Healthcare Administration.
  • Applied Computer Science.
Jan 30, 2023

What are the 2 most common master's degrees called? ›

The most common academic master's degrees are the Master of Arts (MA or AM) and Master of Science (MS or SM). However, there are many different master's degree titles, especially in the professional fields.

What is the quickest and easiest masters degree program? ›

As a general rule, when considering whether an online Master's degree will be easy or not, try finding programs that offer:
  • Liberal Arts.
  • Library Science.
  • Public Administration.
  • Sports Management.
  • Healthcare Administration.
  • Educational Leadership.
  • Human Services.
  • Criminal Justice.

What is worth getting a masters degree? ›

Earning your master's degree has many advantages. It can lead to higher salaries, advanced career opportunities, higher-level subject knowledge, and a feeling of accomplishment.

Are teachers with masters degrees more effective? ›

Over and over again, research finds that teachers with master's degrees are rarely more effective than teachers without them. Also true, most teachers (59 percent) accumulate debt in their pursuit of a master's degree. One analysis, that uses data from eight years ago, reports an average debt of nearly $38,000!

What is the best grade in a masters degree? ›

Degree results & classifications
PercentageMasters gradeBachelors grade
60-69%Merit / Commendation2.1
40-49%Borderline Pass / Fail3rd
Sep 7, 2022

What is the most common degree for school teachers? ›

The most common degree for high school teachers is bachelor's degree 68% of high school teachers earn that degree. A close second is master's degree with 20% and rounding it off is associate degree with 5%.

What degree do most elementary teachers need? ›

Elementary Teacher Degree Requirements

All states require elementary school teachers to have at least a bachelor's degree. Most teachers major in elementary education, while some states require them to also specialize in a content area, like social studies or history.

Is a Masters in education the same as a Masters in teaching? ›

The primary distinction is that the master's in teaching focuses more directly on teaching and classroom management. In contrast, the master's in education is a broader degree, applicable to a classroom career but also to jobs in administration, curriculum development, and education policy.

What percentage of teachers have master's degrees? ›

Comparing Some of the Top Teacher Master's Degree Options Teachers love to learn. In fact, an estimated 52% of the nation's 3.3 million public school teachers have a masters' degree or higher. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 57% of public school teachers hold a postbaccalaureate degree (i.e.,…

Is it better to get your master's right after your bachelor's? ›

There are many benefits to pursuing graduate school immediately following college. As we said, the sooner you begin, the sooner you'll finish. Graduate school is a long haul, and an early start can help reduce the effect of prolonged study on your personal life.

Does a master's increase your salary? ›

Master's degree

The earnings increase from the bachelor's level to the master's level is approximately 20%. Specifically, the median income for master's degree holders is $77,844 per year, and the unemployment rate is 2%.

Does a masters degree mean you can teach? ›

A Master's in Higher Education will allow you to teach in a college's education department, either on campus or online (some universities also require a doctorate in order to become a professor).

Do teachers need a masters degree in MA? ›

In Massachusetts, you must have at least a bachelor's degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification.

Is a Masters Degree enough to teach in college? ›

Most college professors are required to have a Ph. D. in their field. However, some colleges will accept a master's degree combined with impressive work experience or publishing history.

What is the lowest GPA to get into masters? ›

For masters programs, a 3.0 minimum is a common requirement. Common requirements can be even higher when applying to doctoral programs. Whether based on experience or statistical research, many admissions officers or faculty members on admissions panels believe that an individual's GPA is important.

What is the shortest masters course? ›

The fastest degree offered is the master of business administration; this accelerated MBA takes just 12 months to complete. The traditional MBA can still be completed in just under two years, with enrolled students taking only one course at a time.

Are online master's degrees respected? ›

More and more employers agree that, for busy professionals who want to better position themselves in the workforce, online degrees are a reputable and flexible alternative to traditional degree programs.

What do you call a person with a master's degree? ›

A master's student is called a graduate student or “grad student” for short. A student still studying for a bachelor's degree is called an undergraduate student or “undergrad student.”

What is the hardest grad school? ›

The most selective grad schools, with the lowest acceptance rates, include Harvard Graduate School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Columbia Business School. Harvard University has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the United States of America, at 4.6%.

What is higher than a Masters? ›

A master's degree is designed to deepen career-oriented knowledge and skills. A doctorate degree is a heavily research-based degree, designed to develop critical research,analytical and writing skills in an effort to fill industry knowledge gaps.

What is the cheapest master degree in USA? ›

The Cheapest Masters Degrees in USA
  • MS Program Courses at Mississippi Valley State University. ...
  • Master's Courses at Loyola University Chicago. ...
  • Master's Degree Courses at New Mexico Highlands University. ...
  • Master's Courses at Fitchburg State University. ...
  • University of Arkansas. ...
  • Master's Courses at North Seattle Community College.

Can you finish masters in 1 year? ›

And if you want to finish grad school quickly, consider one-year master's programs. These programs offer the fastest route to an accredited, high-quality graduate degree — and some take even less than one year.

What is the number one easiest degree to get? ›

On average, bachelor of business administration majors spend 42 hours studying for both the core courses and electives. Based on the average GPA, this could be the easiest bachelor degree to get.

What is the average salary for a masters degree in the US? ›

Average salary with a master's degree

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people with a master's degree in the United States earn a median of $1,574 weekly, which roughly translates to $81,848 annually [1].

Is it better to have 2 bachelors or a masters? ›

If you are interested in making a career change or a large shift, a second bachelor's may allow you more opportunities in a new industry. If you want to stay in your current field and earn a promotion or qualify for more positions, a master's might allow you more opportunities.

Does it matter where you get your masters degree? ›

While it may not matter to future employers or colleagues exactly where you went for your online master's program, it does matter that this graduate degree has been awarded by an accredited school. Accreditation indicates that your online degree has been awarded by a credible and qualified institution.

Should teachers put Masters degree in signature? ›

If you're a teacher, for example, your degree in history likely won't matter much to potential employers. On the other hand, if you're going into a field where degrees are often required, such as medicine or law, then it's generally a good idea to list your degree.

What percent of teachers have a Phd? ›

And yet fewer than one percent of all teachers have doctorates. American universities award more than 60,000 doctoral degrees every year. However, there are not enough academic jobs for all those graduates.

Is it better to get a masters at the same school? ›

By staying with the same school, you're able to build on the existing relationships and networks that you've already built. The school already knows you. Faculty are likely to know your strengths, and this can give you a leg up in the admissions process.

What is a good GPA to have in Masters? ›

Most colleges like to see at least a 2.5 or a 3.0 from master's program applicants. Some programs set their minimums at 3.3 or higher. The minimum GPA for a doctoral program may start at 3.3.

Is 70 a first in Masters? ›

The grading for Integrated Masters will be similar to the grades given in a bachelor's degree: First-Class Honours – 70%+ Upper Second Class Honours – 60-70%

What is a failing grade in Masters? ›

Grading System and Requirements for Master's and Specialist Degree Students. Graduate work is evaluated by letter grades, with only grades of A, B, C and P being credited toward graduate degrees. Grades of D and F are failing grades in graduate courses.

Which teachers are most in demand? ›

Types of teachers in highest demand by 2030.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL). ESL educators are some of the most in demand teachers. ...
  • Math Teaching. Another teacher subject in demand is mathematics. ...
  • Science Teaching. What about science teachers? ...
  • Social Studies Teaching. ...
  • Special Education Teaching.
Dec 18, 2020

What grade teacher is most in demand? ›

In the U.S., demand for teachers exceeded supply for grades K-12 in the country's public schools by more than 100,000 for the first time ever in 2019.
For the 2022-23 school year, the state has reported shortages in the following subjects:
  • early childhood education.
  • special education.
  • English.
  • math.
  • science.
  • ESL.
Oct 5, 2021

Where is the highest demand for teachers? ›

According to U.S. Department of Education data from the 2022-2023 school year, Maine is experiencing the most teacher vacancies in special education, math, science, language arts, early childhood, elementary core subjects, art and music, and career and technical education.

Which group is best in degree to become a teacher? ›

Ed (Bachelor of Education) Students who wish to become a teacher in higher primary schools and high schools have to pursue B. Ed course, which is the most opted degree course among 5 types of teaching courses.

What grade should you teach? ›

Again, the kind of teaching you want to do is an important factor. If your really love helping young learners grow and play, preschool, kindergarten, or grades 1 through 3 are great. If you're more interested in helping children develop good thinking skills as they mature, grade 4 is a good place to start.

Is it worth getting a masters in teaching? ›

The education field has many exciting career opportunities, from teaching to counseling to administration. While not all jobs in education require a master's to begin a career, having a master's in education can potentially provide a larger salary and potential advancement in your career.

What letters go after your name with a Master's degree in education? ›

Master of Education / M. Ed.

How many years is a masters degree? ›

Master's degrees typically take two years to complete, but the timeframe can vary from person to person. Depending on your degree program and whether you're going to school full-time or part-time, it could take you less time to get your master's degree – or more.

Can I be a teacher and get my masters at the same time? ›

If you've already earned a bachelor's degree and are interested in pursuing a career in education, you can complete a master's degree and earn your teaching credentials at the same time.

Do you need a masters degree to be a teacher in Indiana? ›

Aspiring teachers in Indiana need a bachelor's degree and must complete an educator preparation program, which may require student teaching hours. After passing any required teaching exams, teachers may apply for licensure from the state's department of education.

What percentage of US teachers have a masters degree? ›

Comparing Some of the Top Teacher Master's Degree Options Teachers love to learn. In fact, an estimated 52% of the nation's 3.3 million public school teachers have a masters' degree or higher. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 57% of public school teachers hold a postbaccalaureate degree (i.e.,…

Is there a difference between a Masters in teaching and a Masters in education? ›

The primary distinction is that the master's in teaching focuses more directly on teaching and classroom management. In contrast, the master's in education is a broader degree, applicable to a classroom career but also to jobs in administration, curriculum development, and education policy.

What do you call a professor with a masters? ›

Master levels are called Instructor. Now because some people get in a snit about the title of Doctor the custom is to only call people with PhD's Doctors. If you are a grad student and are called professor you should correct the person because it is a title that people earn with an additional 5 to 8 years of study.

Does GPA matter for masters in education? ›

Does GPA Matter for Grad School? Yes, your undergraduate GPA is taken into account when you apply to graduate programs. Most colleges like to see at least a 2.5 or a 3.0 from master's program applicants. Some programs set their minimums at 3.3 or higher.

Can I teach online with a master's degree? ›

While a master's degree can qualify you to work as an online professor at some private and community colleges, most major universities prefer professors who have doctorates. Online professors usually earn their doctorate in a subject specific to their area of interest.

How long does it take to get a masters while teaching? ›

Full-time students can earn their master's degrees in education in about two years. Some colleges offer accelerated programs that allow learners to graduate in 12-18 months.

Can I do my masters and work at the same time? ›

It is also important to remember that you don't necessarily have to go to school full time while working full time. Most Master's programs allow you to take classes on a part time basis, and enrolling in a course or two, whether online or on campus, may help you decide how you would handle a full course load.

Can you do 2 different masters at the same time? ›

A dual degree, also known as a double master's degree, enables a graduate student to pursue two master's degrees at the same time. The two degrees may be in complimentary fields, allowing students to achieve two degrees in less time than they would have taken had they earned them individually.

How do I become a teacher at 40? ›

Here are some helpful steps that you can take to pursue a career as a teacher at 40 or when making a career transition:
  1. Assess your interests and goals. ...
  2. Earn a bachelor's degree. ...
  3. Get a teaching certificate. ...
  4. Apply for licensure. ...
  5. Gain relevant experience. ...
  6. Consider an advanced degree.
Mar 29, 2023

Is there a teacher shortage in Indiana? ›

The teacher shortage is very real,” said Laura Hammack, superintendent of Beech Grove City Schools. Indiana's online education job board shows more than 1,400 open teaching positions as of Wednesday. School officials say they've seen more Hoosiers leaving the profession and fewer people coming in.


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