K-12 Education Graduate Programs: PhD & Master's in Secondary or Elementary Education
K12 Education Graduate Programs
You know how important teachers are to the development of kids in Kindergarten through twelfth grade… so it’s only natural that you may want to learn more about enhancing your preparation for this rewarding role! Exploring education graduate programs could be a great first step.
Below, you’ll find some helpful top K-12 Education Graduate Programs and elementary education master degrees info and FAQs on campus-based, hybrid, and online education graduate programs… like a PhD or Masters in Education Program. Plus, you’ll notice some sponsored listings for education grad schools worth checking out. Good luck on your journey to becoming the best education professional you can be.
First, Choose Your K-12 Education Graduate Degree Program Type
From education masters programs to accredited online doctoral degree programs in education, you may have a few potential paths to consider from your school of education. As you likely already know, earning a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for becoming a teacher in all states. However, every state has individual requirements for continuing along a teaching career path. In order to earn teaching licensure or certification in some states, you may need to pursue a masters of education degree. And for other roles in the field of education, you may choose to pursue additional credentials.
For example, 44% of education administrators (both elementary and secondary) earned a post-master’s certificate (O*Net). And if you are hoping to teach the theory and practice of classroom teaching to college students, keep in mind that 90% of postsecondary education professors earned a doctorate degree (O*Net). Here are some more details on possible education degree paths:
What is a Masters in Education?
One possible path toward enhancing your teacher preparation could be to pursue a masters of education. However, you may come across several different types of masters in education worth considering. Confusing, we know! These types may include the Master of Education (M.Ed.), Master of Arts in Education, Master of Science in Education, and Master of Arts in Teaching.
Is a masters in education the same as a masters in teaching?
There is a difference between a masters in education and a masters in teaching. A masters in teaching focuses more so on the process of teaching and managing a classroom. A masters in education in a broader sense, which may apply to classrooms but also relates to positions in curriculum development, policy, and administration.
What types of jobs could a person with a master’s in education hold?
While there are some limitations based on state licensing requirements, a person with a master’s in education may be able to engage in a range of careers including working as an administrator or curriculum developer. In addition, some work in public and private sector in areas of education policy and development.
Your potential choice may depend on your past education, experience, and professional goals. For example, a Master of Arts in Teaching may focus on teaching strategies that could potentially help someone who is making a career transition from another field. However, these education masters programs may share overlapping areas of study, so you just may be hard-pressed to spot all the differences between them! Here are a few possible courses you might take:
- Computer-based teaching
- Curriculum and assessment
- Educational research
- Child development
- Inclusive teaching
- And lots more!
Of course every program is different, so inquire with your preferred school for details on requirements, program lengths and curricula.
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|Metro Area||Annual Mean Salary||Employment|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$131,120||20,880|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT||$126,630||1,270|
|Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI||$124,960||240|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||$124,530||1,370|
Doctorate in Education
Earning a doctoral degree in education may be a perfect path, depending on your professional goals. For example, postsecondary education instructors (those who teach the teachers!) typically earn a doctorate degree, like a PhD. A PhD in Education program may be quite research-intensive, requiring the candidate to write and defend an original dissertation. Another potential path is to pursue a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) program, which may interest those who hope to enhance their knowledge of education leadership, scholarship, and teaching practices. Here are a few possible subjects you might study in a doctorate program:
- Educational leadership
- STEM education
- Educational psychology
- Multilingual/multicultural education
- Special education
- And more!
Again, program lengths and requirements vary by school, so be sure to check with your desired program to ensure your educational goals are met.
Graduate Certificate in Education – Among the education graduate programs worth considering is the graduate or post-baccalaureate certificate in education. You may be able to pursue programs that focus on a subject of interest (see below!), that could potentially help you address your professional challenges. In addition, alternative certification programs may help those with a background in an area other than teaching to pursue a possible career transition; candidates may study teaching methods, child development, and more. i Here are a few subjects in which you might be able to pursue a graduate teaching certificate program:
- Applied behavior analysis
- Gifted education
- Special education
- Educational leadership
- Education of students with autism
- Educational policy
- And more!
Browse the listings below or inquire with your preferred schools to learn more about possible programs that may fill your needs.
Popular Schools with K-12 Education Graduate Programs
Next, Choose Your K-12 Education Graduate Program Format
Today, grad students may have other potential options besides traditional classroom learning. Below, learn more about possible formats for education graduate programs!
Online Education Graduate Programs
From online doctoral programs in education to online graduate courses for teachers (like a graduate certificate program!) you just might encounter a wide range of potential online programs. Online education graduate programs may use interactive and multimedia tools like Blackboard to deliver lessons. Therefore, you could potentially pursue an online masters in education, a doctorate, or a certificate program from anywhere with an internet connection! It makes sense that this learning style may appeal to busy working teachers, parents, or those who live far from a college or university that may offer education graduate programs.
DID YOU KNOW? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for elementary school teachers, except special education was $61,400 in May 2021.
Campus Education Graduate Programs
Though campus learning is not the only way to attend grad school, it may be an awesome choice! Studying on campus could be perfect for those who prefer to learn face-to-face, or for students who hope to get involved in student organizations, activities, and more. Plus, you can observe expert teachers in action! Are you a busy teacher, full-time employee, or parent with a hectic lifestyle? You may be able to find education grad schools that offer evening or weekend courses.
Hybrid Education Graduate Programs
Hybrid programs may fall somewhere in between campus programs and online education graduate programs. So, you could potentially take some courses online, and others in person! If you’re unsure which program format best suits your learning style, maybe hybrid learning is worth considering by students to earn their degree.
How Do I Find Great Education Grad Schools & K-12 Education Graduate Programs
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer – or single “best” program. However, it may be a good idea to keep a few criteria in mind when exploring education graduate programs that may be a perfect fit. Some criteria may include school accreditation, program reputation, location & campus, academics, flexibility for working students, and more (studentaid.gov).
GradSchools.com offers 484 K-12 Education Graduate Programs
Purdue University Global
Loyola University Chicago
Grand Canyon University
Pacific Oaks College
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Le Moyne College
City University of New York (CUNY) Lehman College
Olivet Nazarene University
North Carolina State University