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Top Online Programs: Master’s in Education (MEd) in Maryland

Increase your educational impact and take your teaching skills to the next level by earning your online master’s in education in MD.

Author: Quinn Dannies

Editor: Staff Editor

Panoramic view of a long suspension bridge over a tranquil body of water, with a beautiful sunset casting golden hues in the sky and reflecting on the water.

Whether standing in front of a classroom, supporting students as an administrator, or designing an outstanding curriculum, educators have an important role in the lives of future generations. Maryland is a great place to make an impact, too, since MD teachers receive high salaries, excellent benefits, and plenty of institutional support.

With a huge number of online education programs, the state also offers a range of flexible and affordable paths toward earning your advanced degree. All this means that completing an online master’s in education (MEd) in MD is an excellent choice.

So, what does it take to earn a graduate degree in education? And what do you do with that degree after graduation? Keep reading to learn about top education programs in Maryland, potential careers, and more!

Online Master’s in Education in MD: Program Spotlight

When looking for programs, it can be hard to know where to start. There’s no shortage of great options to earn your online master’s in education in Maryland, either. To get you started on your research, three top online education graduate programs in MD are highlighted below. Even if none of these are the perfect fit, they tell you what to look for in programs that match your goals. Exploring these top schools can give you a feel for the landscape of what earning an online master’s in education in MD looks like.

Towson University

Towson University is a great option for anyone considering earning an online master’s in education in MD because it offers graduate students so many opportunities to specialize. Towson’s seven fully online master’s in education programs cover a range of specialized topics including education technology, transformational leadership, and early childhood education. Depending on your goals, you can pursue your Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), or Master of Education (MEd).On top of all that, Towson offers nine graduate certificates students can incorporate into their program of study to further develop their skills and boost their credentials.

Towson also makes learning affordable. Including fees, the cost of graduate classes is about $669 per credit. This reasonable price tag becomes even more appealing when you consider that the school awards over $21 million in scholarships each year and that online education grad students can apply for graduate assistantships either on campus or in their home communities.

Loyola University, Maryland

Logo of Loyola University Maryland featuring a shield with quarters containing a wolf, a tree, a diagonal red and gold stripe pattern, a white field, and the name "LOYOLA" in bold letters above.

Loyola University’s school of education stands out for its commitment to socially just, transformational educational practices. This commitment is reflected in some of Loyola’s unique MA in education offerings like its Curriculum and Instruction for Social Justice MA, and Montessori Education and runs through the curriculum of all its master’s programs. Loyola is also one of only five reading specialist programs to have received recognition by the International Literacy Association.

With five fully online graduate programs, Loyola offers plenty of variety to students looking to pursue an online master’s in education in Maryland. Students who want the flexibility to study in person or online can opt for one of Loyola’s many hybrid offerings, and Loyola offers full-time, part-time, and summer-only options for many of its programs. All these opportunities to customize your learning make Loyola a great choice for students trying to balance work with their studies.

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Logo of Notre Dame of Maryland University featuring a blue and white shield with a compass design, surrounded by the university name and founding year, 1895.

Notre Dame of Maryland’s online graduate school of education is one of the largest in the state. The school offers 14 graduate-level education programs and 15 different graduate certificate options. Notre Dame of MD is also notable for its emphasis on educational leadership. Online grad students can opt for different specializations – including changing populations, digital technology, cultural proficiency, and differentiated instruction – within the leadership field. So, if you’re a future administrator, program director, or curriculum designer, Notre Dame might be the top candidate for your online master’s in education in MD.

Notre Dame’s education programs are also notably student-friendly. Grad students can study fully online, take some classes in person, or take classes only during the summer. They can also benefit from Notre Dame’s robust student support network that offers tutoring, networking opportunities, career counseling, and job search guidance.

In-Demand Education Careers in Maryland

Going back to school is a huge investment of time, energy, and money, so it’s normal to feel nervous about committing to graduate school. Potential grad students often wonder if earning their MA, MS, or MEd in education will pay off. Sure, there are plenty of non-money-related reasons to further your education, but increasing the size of your paycheck is probably a significant factor in your decision.

Fortunately, getting an advanced degree tends to pay off for educators in all specializations. Even if you plan on staying in your current role, you’re likely to receive a pay bump after graduation. To help evaluate the return on your investment, consider the salary and career potential of educators with master’s degrees provided below.

Classroom Teaching

Working in the classroom as a K-12 educator is by far the most common role for education professionals. It’s also generally the area with the most open positions. Although you can work as a teacher with only a bachelor’s degree, earning an MA in teaching like that offered at Goucher College allows you to improve your skills and specialize in different grade levels or subjects.

Many school districts determine their pay scale based on education level, so earning your graduate degree can guarantee a raise. There are also plenty of excellent online teaching master’s programs offering flexible schedules with working educators in mind, so you can become a student again without giving up your role as a teacher.

Job Title MD Median Salary
(2022)
MD Employment
(2020)
Projected Growth
(2020-30)
Middle School Teacher $62,880 11,080 9%
High School Teacher $75,670 21,130 10%
Elementary School Teacher $63,140 29,210 9%

Source: O*NET OnLine

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood educators have the massive responsibility of setting the tone for a young learner’s entire educational career. Since the stakes are so high, many educators who work with the youngest students seek additional training by pursuing a master’s in early childhood education.

These programs, like the MEd at the University of Maryland, help you develop a deep understanding of human development and the unique needs of fledgling students and apply to many roles in the classroom from developing curriculum to working with children in community settings. Note that the expertise of early childhood educators can be undervalued in some roles, like pre-K instruction, so be sure to set your sights on a position that meets both your financial and personal goals.

Job Title MD Median Salary (2022) MD Employment (2020) Projected Growth (2020-30)
Elementary School Administrator $126,390 5,750 10%
Preschool Teacher $35,930 10,280 41%
Children’s Service Supervisor $78,360 4,560 22%

Source: O*NET OnLine

Instructional Design

Working with students in the classroom can be enjoyable and fulfilling, but some instructors get burnt out or want to have more of an impact on students’ lives. Instructional design can be a great way to continue your work as an educator in a different context and on a larger scale.

Instructional design master’s like the Integrative Learning MEd at Stevenson University allow you to apply your knowledge about how students learn to curriculum design across subjects and multiple classrooms, using your expertise to reach as many students as possible. Instructional design master’s programs also prepare you for a range of roles in school administration, higher education, and the private sector.

Job Title MD Median Salary (2022) MD Employment (2020) Projected Growth (2020-30)
K-12 Principal $126,390 5,750 10%
Academic Dean $105,210 3,720 14%
Education and Development Manager $126,390 5,750 10%

Source: O*NET OnLine

How to Become a Maryland Educator

Step 1: Choose a Specialization

Before you commit to a specific degree, learn about your future goals and pick a program that matches those interests. It’s okay if you’re still considering a few different ideas since you can focus your studies once you start, and there is some overlap between different education degrees and careers. Having a general direction in mind helps narrow down your options when it comes to choosing the right school.

Step 2: Earn Your Online Master's Degree

Do your research and select a program you can afford, that offers degree specializations matching your goals, and that is approved by the MD State Department of Education. Remember that you have plenty of flexibility with the format and schedule.Studying online is often the best option for students balancing work and personal responsibilities, but you can also look for hybrid and summer-only programs. A structure and learning style that works for you is a key part of success in a graduate program.

Step 3: Gain Field Experience

No matter what career you pursue, you need classroom experience to earn your license. Besides being mandatory, spending time in a classroom develops soft skills and experience that are difficult to learn in other settings. Generally, education master’s programs have student teaching or other experience hours built into their curriculum. You can also earn your classroom hours (and get paid for it) by working as a graduate assistant or long-term substitute teacher.

Step 4: (Maybe) Pass Your State Exams

Depending on your academic history and career goals you might have to sit for state exams before applying for licensure. If you finished your program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, you are exempt from testing. Otherwise, plan to sit for a Basic Skills Assessment before sending in your application. If you’re looking to become certified in specific subjects, one or more Subject and Pedagogy Assessments might be in order.Certification for specialists, administrators, and supervisors may also require state exams depending on your experience and goals.

Step 5: Earn Your Teaching Credentials

Now that you’ve come this far, it’s just a matter of paperwork! Application packets look different based on academic history, work experience, and desired license so carefully follow the instructions for your license and situation. Don’t forget to include your transcripts, state exam scores, and other relevant documents!

The Cost of a Master’s in Education in Maryland

No matter which way you slice it, graduate school is expensive. As you consider program options and potential careers, keep one eye firmly fixed on your budget. Fortunately, as long as you’re attending an accredited program approved by the MD State Department of Education, you can rest assured you’ll graduate prepared to pursue licensure and take the next steps in your career.

The table below shows you a few great programs to use as examples of what you might expect to pay for your degree. Don’t forget that there are plenty of ways to pay well below the sticker price for your degree, but more on that in a minute.

School Program No. of Credits Est. Resident Tuition
Goucher College MA in Teaching Varies by specialization $25,000 – $32,000
University of Maryland Human Development MEd 30 $24,840
Stevenson University Integrative Learning MEd 36 $18,180

Maryland Financial Aid Options for Education Majors

There are plenty of opportunities to pay less out of pocket for your tuition than the advertised rate. For most students, financial aid is an essential factor in making the math work when it comes to affording their degrees. Typical financial aid opportunities for education grad students include fellowships, grants, assistantships, or work-study opportunities.

Those are just the options offered within your program. Depending on your current career, your job might offer tuition reimbursement or professional development funds you can put toward the cost of your degree. Maryland’s future educators also benefit from excellent state funding and loan forgiveness plans administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

FAQs from Maryland Education Master’s Students

Is an online education degree a worthwhile investment in Maryland?

Maryland is a great state to be an educator in because it has higher-than-average wages for teachers and plenty of job opportunities. Earning your education degree online can help you move into the field or advance beyond your current role. Many educators opt for online learning because it’s often more affordable, flexible, and specialized than traditional in-person programs. It’s also important to remember that there will be no indication of whether you earned your degree online or in-person on your diploma, so you don’t have to worry about potential bias from employers on that front.

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

Many students seeking education master’s degrees are current teachers who want to move into new roles. There are certainly master’s programs geared toward classroom teaching and students who plan to continue teaching, but you can also look for degree options in curriculum design, leadership, classroom technology, or even research. These specializations prepare you for influential, fulfilling education careers that don’t include regular teaching duties.

Does Maryland offer any regional programs for educators?

Maryland does a great job supporting future and current educators throughout their careers. The Maryland State Education Association fiercely advocates for opportunities and funding for future educators. The State Department of Education offers a robust professional development program that can help you work toward your advanced degree or new certifications. Because education professionals are such essential workers, you’ll find plenty of financial, educational, and social support for future educators at the program, state, and federal levels.

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

Yes, but there may be some hoops to jump through depending on your teaching experience and credentials. If you have more than three years of teaching experience, you’ll likely be exempt from testing or coursework but still need to apply for a Maryland license. If you’re a newer educator, you may have to take additional coursework or state exams to meet MD requirements. Maryland hires over half of its teachers from out of state, so the process of transitioning is relatively straightforward with plenty of specific information available.

Can I earn a graduate certificate in education?

All the programs featured in this guide (and plenty of programs that aren’t) offer graduate certificates you can use to further your credentials and prepare for new roles. In fact, a graduate certificate can be a great stepping stone on your path to a master’s since you can usually apply those credits toward a graduate degree. Graduate certificates are also great options for current educators to meet professional development requirements while also gaining new certifications or positions.