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Georgia’s Top Online Master’s in Education (MEd) Programs

Looking to earn an online master’s in education in Georgia? We’ve done the research to help you find the right school and program for your goals, schedule, and budget.

Author: Stephen Porritt

Editor: Staff Editor

Panoramic view of a city skyline behind colorful autumn trees with a calm lake in the foreground, under a bright, cloud-streaked sky.

While other professions may ebb and flow, education is a field that’s always in demand — especially in states like Georgia, which has ranked in the top five for population growth in the nation over the past decade. In fact, job growth for teachers in Georgia has been as high as 9.3% in the last two years. That means pursuing an online master’s in education in Georgia is likely a good career move.

With job opportunities on the rise, earning a master’s in education online from a university in Georgia is one of the best ways to accomplish your goals. So, if you’re ready to plan your postgraduate studies, let’s get down to the details and start your search for the best online MEd program in Georgia today.

Master’s in Education in Georgia: Program Spotlights

It wasn’t long ago that reputable, accredited online programs were hard to come by, especially for disciplines tied to licensure. But as technology has improved, more and more traditional universities have begun offering fully online degree programs, including online master’s in education in Georgia. And while some states still have rather limited online options available, Georgia offers students plenty to choose from.

Whether you already have a teaching license, intend to pursue licensure, or want to secure an education career that doesn’t need one, the higher learning institutions in the Peach State have you covered.

University of Georgia

Logo of the University of Georgia featuring a red and black emblem with columns, the year 1785, and the name "University of Georgia.

A leading public university in the state, the University of Georgia bears the impressive title of “the birthplace of higher education in America.” The school’s charter was the very first ever granted by a state for a government-controlled university in the U.S. With a legacy reaching all the way back to 1785, it’s a university with a lot of history and prestige. But its age has not stopped it from pushing boldly into the online learning space.

The University of Georgia Online Learning is the distance education arm of the school, and it offers a sizable catalog of online courses, degree programs, and certificates. In particular, the University of Georgia has 13 online master’s degree programs in education. Education specialties include subject areas (reading, literacy, science), student demographics (middle grades, special education, gifted, workforce), leadership, educational psychology, and instructional design.

Tuition costs for the various programs range from around $12,000 to around $24,000. Financial aid opportunities include employer assistance/reimbursement, military assistance, University System of Georgia Tuition Assistance Program, and standard financial aid.

University of West Georgia (UWG)

Logo of the University of West Georgia featuring a red and blue shield with "UWG" and "Go West," alongside the full name "University of West Georgia" in blue text.

Younger than the previous university on the list, the University of West Georgia was founded in 1906 and has built a considerable reputation for itself. The school offers more than 100 programs, many of which are available online. And with three campus locations across the state, local students have flexibility if they need to visit a physical classroom.

When it comes to the University of West Georgia’s online master’s programs in education, the selection is favorable. Choose from 12 education master’s degree programs and specializations covering focus areas such as elementary education, instructional technology and design, health and wellness, music, physical education, special education, teacher education, and even sports management.

Tuition costs vary based on the number of credits taken in a semester, with standard 12-credit schedules costing around $3,000. That said, unlike on-campus study, online programs aren’t capped at 12 credit hours per semester, so ambitious degree seekers can easily reduce their overall costs by loading up their schedule and completing the 30–36 hours needed at an accelerated pace. For those seeking financial aid, UWG offers traditional aid options.

University of North Georgia (UNG)

Founded in 1873 and designated as The Military College of Georgia, UNG has a lengthy history of producing educated leaders for the U.S. military in addition to civilian graduates. Between 2016 and 2021 alone, their top-ranked Army ROTC program produced over 600 commissioned cadets. Beyond that, the University of North Georgia is ranked number 15 among public regional universities in the south and boasts six nationally ranked teams in NCAA Division II.

When it comes to online education master’s programs, the University of North Georgia has what you’re looking for. With six master’s degree tracks and ten postgraduate certifications and endorsements, there’s plenty to choose from. Further your study in areas such as kinesiology, elementary ed, middle grade math and science, leadership, curriculum and instruction, and more.

UNG offers in-state tuition pricing of $303 per credit to online students, making master’s degrees (typically between 30 and 36 credit hours) comparatively affordable.

In-Demand Education Careers in Georgia

A degree is only a slip of paper until it helps you secure a new or better career. So it’s important to research job prospects and earnings potential before jumping into an expensive master’s program.

To make that a bit easier, we went ahead and did some of the digging for you. We’ve gathered information on three promising career paths. Obviously, we can’t fully predict where you might be heading with your new and improved credentials once you have them, but we took an educated guess (no pun intended) to help you get started.

Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Early childhood education is an interesting subset of the industry. ECE programs are typically distinct from other education degrees because of their drastically different approach. Where most other teaching disciplines focus on traditional methodologies based around classroom settings, coursework, and evaluations, ECE is primarily play-based and student-led.

In ECE, educators participate and guide children, asking questions about what they’re doing and why they’re making particular choices. It sounds simple, but these strategies are intentional and effective, even when working with the most unruly and uncooperative of age ranges. For those who are interested in learning and leveraging these unique methods, an online master’s in early childhood education in Georgia is an optimal way to achieve that goal. Programs to consider are offered at Columbus State University, Georgia Southern University, and the University of Georgia.

Job Title GA Median Salary
(2022)
GA Employment
(2020)
Projected Growth
(2020-30)
Preschool/Daycare Administrators $51,790 3,240 17%
Preschool Teachers $32,090 11,430 22%
Elementary School Special Education Teachers $61,890 5,770 10%

Source: O*NET OnLine

Classroom Teachers

As ever, grade-level and subject-specific teachers serve as the backbone of education. The vast majority of projected openings in the next decade will be in classrooms, lecture halls, lab rooms, music halls, and gymnasiums. But while the majority of elementary, middle grade, and secondary teaching positions require a bachelor’s degree and valid licensure, there are good reasons to go back and earn a postgraduate degree.

Earning an online master’s degree in education helps Georgia teachers broaden their prospects and improve their earning potential. Considering the long-standing assumption that you don’t take a teaching job for the money, increased earning potential may be a major factor for many who are looking to start, or continue, their teaching career. Brenau University, Piedmont University, and Augusta University all offer master’s degrees geared for classroom teachers.

Job Title GA Median Salary (2022) GA Employment (2020) Projected Growth (2020-30)
Elementary School Teachers $61,620 42,970 10%
Middle School Teachers $62,830 29,980 10%
High School Teachers $61,790 24,820 11%

Source: O*NET OnLine

Education Administrators

In a field like education, it’s easy to forget that plenty of careers are available outside the classroom. Every organization has administration teams, including leadership, support staff, coordinators, and more. And while these positions don’t always require licensure like other education positions do, the bar still tends to be high for education level and baseline competency.

Put simply, everyone expects the people running a school to be pretty smart cookies themselves. As such, earning a master’s degree in education administration or teaching leadership is strongly recommended. Online programs in Georgia that make the process easier include those at Thomas University, Kennesaw State, and Columbus State University.

Job Title GA Median Salary
(2022)
GA Employment
(2020)
Projected Growth
(2020-30)
Administrators, Kindergarten/Secondary $98,770 7,470 11%
Administrators, Postsecondary $105,160 2,080 8%
Administrators, Preschool/Daycare $51,790 2,090 16%

Source: O*NET OnLine

How to Become a Georgia Educator

Step 1: Choose a Specialization

Your journey toward becoming a teacher (or toward a new position in education) starts with choosing an area of focus. Grade level, subject matter, student demographics, administration—wherever you’re trying to go professionally, you’ll want to plan your efforts around that objective.

This may be an extension of what you’ve already studied or practiced; perhaps your undergraduate degree is in a particular field, such as English, science, or math, and you’re looking to turn that expertise into a teaching career. Or, perhaps you’re already a certified teacher and you’re looking to extend your training through an advanced education degree. Either way, you’ll want to plan ahead.

Step 2: Earn Your Online Master's Degree

Once you’ve chosen a specialty, identify a university in Georgia that offers an accredited online version of the program you’re interested in and make sure it fits into your budget. After that, it’s a matter of applying for the program and hitting the books.

Most online programs offer a measure of flexibility in how fast you study, allowing you to slow things down to accommodate other life demands or speed things up to complete the degree faster and minimize costs. Put that flexibility to good use; it’s one of the best advantages of online master’s degrees.

Step 3: Gain Field Experience

It’s very likely that you’ll be bringing some form of field experience to the table already, even before you start your online master’s in education in Georgia. Even so, depending on where you’re coming from and what you’re pursuing, there’s a good chance you’ll still need to get some hours under your belt. Online programs present a unique hurdle in this regard, but it’s not necessarily a dealbreaker.

Many online programs offer teaching assistantships, allowing you to earn a paycheck while you clock the necessary field experience hours. Even without those kinds of opportunities, there’s typically a process to help you find a place to earn hours. Talk to your university’s education department.

Step 4: Complete Assessments for Licensure

In addition to the other requirements (completion of a GaPSC-approved education program, meeting minimum education requirements, fulfilling classroom teaching hours requirements, etc.), you’ll need to pass two exams: the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment and the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators relevant to your area of expertise.

The Cost of a Master’s in Education in Georgia

Cost is a major factor even for modest everyday purchases, let alone for something as big as a master’s degree. Because of that, we thought having a breakdown of some likely tuition costs would be helpful.

Keep in mind that additional financial aid options oftentimes are available, especially for educators. Most states have high demand for teachers, so there are often incentives and assistance opportunities. If you qualify and can get access to them, put them to use.

That said, you’ll want to have an idea of what the final bill will look like. Let’s take a look.

School Program No. of Credits Est. Tuition
Georgia Southern University Elementary Education MEd 36 $12,888
Piedmont University Middle Grades Education MA 30 $36,879
Kennesaw State University Master of Education in Educational Leadership 30 $13,140

Georgia Financial Aid Options for Education Majors

As mentioned above, there are a number of possible financial aid and tuition assistance options for students pursuing a master’s degree in education in Georgia. As always, standard financial aid opportunities will be available as with all university students. But you’re looking at postgraduate programs, specifically in education, in the state of Georgia, which changes things a bit.

For starters, education professionals are incentivized with a number of assistance programs, scholarships and grants, fellowships, teaching assistantships, and even student loan forgiveness based on years of public service. Georgia has a number of programs and organizations just for teachers, including the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) Foundation, among others, which may offer financial support.

FAQs from Georgia Education Master’s Students

Is an online education degree a worthwhile investment in Georgia?

Between a lower on-average cost for graduate tuition, high industry demand, and numerous assistance options to minimize financial burden, few master’s level degree categories offer as much employment opportunity for as little investment and risk. Put simply, you could do a lot worse than an online master’s degree in education in the state of Georgia.

Are education master’s only for people who want to become teachers?

Not necessarily. While plenty of MAT programs include teaching licensure, not all of them do, and not all careers require it. Education administrators, for example, often aren’t required to have teaching licenses. Many graduate-level degrees assume incoming students already have a valid teaching license (or give students a choice between the two versions of the program to accommodate both groups).

And even the state of Georgia recognizes that not every professional’s path to employment in education is the same—even when it comes to people who intend to teach.

Does Georgia offer any regional programs for educators?

There are, indeed, a few programs that are state-specific, educator-specific, or both. We mentioned them briefly, but we’ll link them here again for convenience:

Can I legally work in Georgia if I am credentialed as an educator in another state?

Georgia’s reciprocity standards are very flexible and accommodating. The primary requirement is that the applicant has completed a program in their home state that is approved by the certification office to lead to initial educator certification.

In other words, you don’t even have to apply for or receive licensure in your home state, simply complete the program successfully. Georgia will honor your qualifications based on that.

Can I earn a graduate certificate in education?

Yes, in fact there are quite a few certificate options across accredited universities in the state. In many cases, there’s a greater selection among these graduate certificates than the lists of master’s and doctorate degrees combined. These certificates are excellent options for current subject matter experts who just want to earn teaching licenses or current educators looking to expand their qualifications with minimal time and tuition investment.