Online Education Certificate Programs

Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Education might be a great academic fit for busy working educators seeking advanced certification. If you are looking into advancing your own education while maintaining a current teaching schedule, distance learning is well worth considering, and easy to search for on our extensive directory!

Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Education: Basics

Teachers who are currently certified but want a short-term academic path that provides highly specialized skills (techniques, theory, practical application) often choose Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Education. The level of study essentially correlates to a Master’s degree; this is why they are sometimes referred to by graduate schools as ‘post-baccalaureate’, ‘post-master’s or ‘add-on’ certificates.

FACT: 17% of Middle School Teachers have a post-baccalaureate certificate and 8% a post-master’s certificate[i](O’Net)

How long is an Online Education Certificate Program?

You may find some variance in terms of number of courses, credits and actual length between graduate schools. Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Education often take one to two years to complete, and consist of anywhere from 9 to 21 credit hours. Unlike teacher certification programs, they do not usually require a supervised teaching practicum, although they certainly might require some type of internship.

Who are Online Post-Graduate Certificates in Education for?

Basically, Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Education are designed primarily for educators who have their accredited bachelor’s degree in education and are licensed with their state board. Candidates should also be prepared to meet minimum GPA requirements and submit letters of recommendation and a resume, as these are sometimes requisite.

It is also a fair bet that each type of program may be targeted at specific types of teaching professionals. For instance online post-graduate certificate programs in higher education leadership are designed to school college administrators, staff and faculty in the efficient operation of their institution. Your take-away here should be to check what the requirements are with the program you are interested in.

DID YOU KNOW? To become fully certified, some states require special education teachers to complete a master’s degree in special education.[ii]

Potential Features of Online Education Graduate Certificate Programs

Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Education generally follow the same basic curricula as on-campus programs. Often, too, the same faculty members who teach on-campus classes also teach online certificate courses. You are best advised to look at each program individually since each graduate school may have its own unique features. Distance learning has evolved tremendously from being a type of correspondence course to having highly technological formats – some universities may even have their own apps! Nonetheless, here are some common features so that you can get a feel for what might be involved.

How e-learners stay connected?

Distance education students might benefit from interaction with their professors and classmates via online tools, such as message boards, chat rooms and e-mail. Some online programs have periodic on-campus meetings.

How do online students attend class?

Lectures are usually delivered via we-based technology – MP3 audio or pre-taped video that are available on a course management system or portal. Assignments are turned in via email, or through the website or other web based tools, and examinations are administered through the same systems. In other words, you attend a virtual classroom that is supported by digital tools, and made possible by your reliable Internet connection and some additional software if necessary.

What does ‘onsite’ requirement mean?

In some grad certificate programs, especially those that involve interpersonal communication or have a technical component that needs to be demonstrated, a program will have on campus requirements. In some instances these are intensives, in others these could be weekend or evening courses where lots of material is crammed in and online students get hands-on learning in a social learning setting. By all means – use the ‘visit school site’ and ‘request info’ tabs; these are useful ways of comparing programs

What Types of Online Graduate Certificates in Education are there?

Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Education are available in many different areas. Some involve learning a set of skills to teach a specific population (e.g. Adult education, early childhood education or K-12 education). Some programs are subject-specific (e.g.Teaching Science, ESL/TESOL, or Physical & Coaching Education). Others involve learning advanced techniques to potentially boost a current teaching career or add credentials to a resume. For instance – earn an Online Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching! Whatever your specific ambitions, you can search easily on Choose from:

  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Adult Education
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Early childhood Education
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Education, Leadership & Administration (e.g. Student Affairs & Development, Educational Policy, Educational Research)
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Education, Technology & Online Learning
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Educational & School Psychology (e.g. School Counseling)
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Environmental Education
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in ESL/TESOL
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in General Education
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Higher Education
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in International Education
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in K-12 Education (e.g. Elementary or secondary education)
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Special & Gifted Education (e.g. Education of the Deaf, Education of the Gifted)
  • Special Education
  • Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Teacher Education (e.g. Physical & Coaching Education, Reading & Literacy, Teaching Art, Teaching English, Teaching Foreign Language, Teaching Math, Teaching Music, Teaching Science

Take the Next Step

Many states require teachers to earn a Master’s degree after earning their teaching certification, and students often combine a graduate degree in education with a graduate certificate. This provides educators with marketable skills. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, educators with degrees or certifications to teach math, science (especially chemistry and physics), English as a second language, and special education have favorable job prospects.[iii] To find out how or what this level of credential might do for your career, take the next step and review your options.

[i] | [ii] |[iii]

  • Alvernia University

  • East Central University

  • Pacific Oaks College

  • Purdue University Global

  • Messiah University

  • Notre Dame of Maryland University

  • Notre Dame College Of Ohio

  • Campbellsville University

  • University of New England

  • Youngstown State University

  • Millersville University

  • Clarion University Of Pennsylvania