Most Affordable Online Master’s in Education Programs

On this page we highlight 48 accredited online master’s in education programs that rank highly on affordability and discuss other ways to lower the cost of your master’s degree. Read on to learn if these affordable online M.Ed. programs are right for you and how to fund your master’s degree.

For teachers, a master’s degree can mean a significant difference in pay over the course of your career, which makes it a must-have for any educator in 2022 wanting to increase their earning potential. Unfortunately, getting your master’s degree often means more student loans and possibly more time before you can begin your career, if you go straight from your bachelor’s into a master’s program. This is why cost is often top-of-mind for many prospective students.

An online master’s in education (M.Ed.) program may allow you to complete your degree from the comfort of your own home for less money than you might expect. Certainly, you don’t become a teacher for the money, which is why you shouldn’t go deep into debt to get your degree. This guide reviews the most affordable online M.Ed. programs, gives tips for lowering the cost of tuition, and tells you what to look for in an accredited and budget-friendly online graduate program.

Most Affordable Online Master’s in Education Programs for 2022

Factors to consider when looking for the most affordable online master’s in education programs include coursework focus, program alignment with your goals, and available student resources. The biggest factor for most students, though, is affordability. With these factors in mind, we ranked these master’s in education programs based on affordability and overall quality. These rankings were derived from data by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Learn more about these rankings by clicking on the “about the ranking” button below.

About the ranking
1
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Westfield State University offers a variety of master’s in education degrees designed to accommodate your schedule. Their online programs are flexible and can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. They offer master’s in history education, biology education, PreK-2, elementary education, mathematics, moderate disabilities, physical education, reading, and vocational-technical education. All their master’s in education degrees have two tracks, one for those looking to break into education and obtain a teaching license and another for current education professionals.

During the application process, you’ll indicate if you have education experience or are looking to earn a teaching license plus a master’s degree. For those with experience, you’ll need a degree in education, a teaching license, and experience working in education. If you don’t have a degree in education or a teaching license, Westfield State requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA.

Program Highlights:

Master of Education

  • Credits: 34 to 38 credit hours
  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $383/credit
  • Format: Partially-online
  • Accreditation: NECHE (school)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
2
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

The University of Texas Permian Basin’s Professional Education Master’s Degree was designed for curriculum coordinators and content-area specialists. It’s a great fit for anyone looking to get into curriculum development, educational leadership, or other roles in the education sector other than teaching. While the program is known for its professional education track, a teaching licensure track is also available for those looking to enter the education field. This program is partially online with flexible course offerings, though online courses must be taken synchronously. UT Permian Basic also offers a variety of student resources.

You need a bachelor’s degree with a 2.5 GPA or higher to apply. If your GPA is under 3.0, you must submit GRE score as well. You can apply whether you have teaching experience and are licensed or are not experienced and do not have a license, but course tracks are based on previous education and experience.

Program Highlights:

Professional Education Master’s Degree

  • Credits: 36 credit hours
  • Length: Up to eight years
  • Cost: $274.87/credit in-state; $346/credit out-of-state and online
  • Format: Partially-online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
3
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

At Texas A&M International University there are 12 specializations available to those looking to pursue an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction online. With options for prospective administrators and leaders to special education to technology or bilingual education, there are plenty of options to complete your master’s degree online and be highly trained in your desired specialization. Additionally, most of these programs can be completed in just 1 year.

All of these programs are accredited by the Texas State Board of Education Certification. In order to qualify for these programs, you will need a Bachelor’s degree in a related field and a minimum of 2.75 GPA.

Program Highlights:

M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction – Educational Leadership

  • Credits: 33 credit hours
  • Length: 1 year
  • Cost: $366/credit in-state, $1,030/credit out of state
  • Format: Fully-online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC & Texas State Board for Educator Certification

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
4
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Salem University offers a couple of master’s in education programs for currently licensed teachers. The programs are designed to continue a teaching education and are only for experienced teachers. Students choose from a master’s in early childhood education, elementary education, special education, physical education, or reading specialist prep. These programs are highly specialized with engaging and rigorous curriculums. All M.Ed. programs at Salem State University are offered fully in-person, fully online, or hybrid, and course schedules are optimized for working educators.

You need a teaching license to apply to these programs since the program is designed for teachers or others experienced in the field of education. Salem State University’s master’s programs are not for those with no prior experience in education.

Program Highlights:

Master of Education

  • Credits: 30 credit hours
  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $140/credit in-state; $230/credit out-of-state
  • Format: Fully-online or partially-online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
5
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Worcester State University designed its master’s in education program to be accessible to students from all over the U.S. as well as to international students. Its M.Ed. offers a robust curriculum to better understand pedagogy for K-12 teachers. The program doesn’t offer teaching licensure in Massachusetts, but it does offer the ability for career advancement, engagement in a longer research project in the field of education, and a deep dive into a variety of K-12 topics. The program is fully online and offers asynchronous options to accommodate various time zones and schedules.

You need work experience in the field of education, a relevant bachelor’s degree, and a 2.75 GPA or higher for all previous coursework to apply. If your degree isn’t in education, you’ll have to take a couple of prerequisite courses before starting your master’s degree in education at Worcester State.

Program Highlights:

Master of Education

  • Credits: 36 credit hours
  • Length: As few as 14 months
  • Cost: $322/credit
  • Format: Fully-online
  • Accreditation: NECHE (school)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
6
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
7
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
8
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services No
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
9
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
10
Lawton, OK
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
11
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
12
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
13
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
14
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
15
San Angelo, TX
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
16
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
17
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
18
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
19
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
20
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services No
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
21
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
22
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
23
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
24
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
25
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services No
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
26
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
27
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
28
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
29
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
30
Greenville, NC
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
31
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
32
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
33
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
34
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
35
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
36
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
37
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
38
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
39
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
40
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NWCCU
41
Laramie, WY
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
42
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
43
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
44
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation MSCHE
45
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
46
Russellville, AR
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
47
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
48
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
49
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC

Funding Your Online Master’s Degree in Education: 5 Ways to Save

While tuition costs are important to consider, they aren’t the only indicator a program will fit in your budget. There are a variety of ways to make a master’s in education more affordable, and we’ve rounded up five of the most effective.

  1. Apply to scholarships, grants, and fellowships created for M.Ed. students.

    One of the most effective ways to lower the cost of tuition is to apply for scholarships, grants, and fellowships. There are a variety of general scholarships for those pursuing master’s degrees with some being designed solely for M.Ed. students, including the BHD Endowed Scholarship for Teachers and Hach Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Scholarship. When looking for scholarships, note that most are for specific fields of education, meaning there will be less competition but fewer you’ll qualify for. For more scholarships, check out OMD’s scholarships and resources guide.

  2. Work-Study or Assistantships

    Another way to fund your M.Ed. is through an assistantship or a work-study position. Assistantship availability is based on individual program needs and often means helping a professor as a teaching or research assistant. Check with individual programs for available assistantships and their requirements.

    A work-study position is a campus job, perhaps twenty hours a week for the Department of Education, to help offset tuition costs. Work-study programs are run through the federal government, and more information can be found on its website.

  3. Employer Tuition Reimbursement Programs

    Many schools will reimburse part or all of an employee’s tuition. This is especially common since many states have regulations around continuing education for teachers. The federal government also has a program, the Teach Grant, for reimbursing teachers for their master’s in education.

  4. Payment Plans

    Many schools offer payment plans where you can put money towards your tuition in more manageable quantities. If you don’t have enough money to pay for an entire semester upfront or are waiting on reimbursement for your employer, for example, payment plans allow you to make monthly installments. To find out if this is an option, check with each program you are applying to.

  5. Paid Teaching Opportunities

    A paid part-time or flexible teaching position provides an opportunity to utilize your coursework in a classroom setting while also earning money to offset the cost of tuition. This option is especially ideal for those who are not obtaining their master’s while working as full-time educators. There are some paid student teaching opportunities, but many are unpaid. Teach for America offers paid opportunities to give in-class experience and you don’t have to be a licensed educator yet to qualify.

FAQs about Affordable Master’s Programs in Education

Q. What impacts the affordability of an online master’s program?

Factors impacting whether an online master’s program is affordable include if a school is private or public, whether you’re paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, and the availability of scholarships, work-study positions, and assistantships. Public and in-state schools are often more affordable than out-of-state and private institutions.

Q. What is the ROI on an online Master’s Degree in Education?

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that a master’s degree in education often leads to a $10,000 to $13,000 annual salary boost. Those with master’s degrees also saw higher pay raises throughout their teaching careers. Of course, the ROI is greater the more affordable your master’s degree is.

Q. How can I ensure that an affordable Master’s in Education program is high-quality?

A high-quality master’s in education program is accredited and meets state licensure requirements for those seeking a teaching license. Beyond these criteria, pay attention to how the program aligns with your goals, the percent of students who finish the program and find jobs, and the resources available to help students do well in the program and advance their careers.

Q. Is an online master’s degree more affordable than an in-person?

An online master’s degree is usually more affordable than an in-person program because it is more affordable for universities to run. An online program doesn’t require in-person meeting space and resources, and one professor can teach larger class sizes. Additionally, it saves money on transportation costs because you don’t have to commute.

Q. Can job experience count towards a master’s degree and help cut costs?

Job experience can sometimes count towards a master’s in education. This is especially true if your program has a student teaching element or another requirement for in-classroom hours. However, each program is different, so check with each specific program to see if it counts job experience toward your degree.

Q. How can I know if an affordable master’s degree program is right for me?

To determine if a program is affordable for you, make a list of everything you want in a master’s program and determine how much you can realistically put towards tuition each semester. Once you have this list and your maximum budget, you can better determine if a program is both affordable and will help advance your career based on your specific professional goals.