United States K-12 Education Graduate Degrees
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.
K-12 Education Graduate Programs
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[i]
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, 21% of education administrators (both elementary and secondary) earned a post-master’s certificate.[ii] And if you are hoping to teach the theory and practice of classroom teaching to college students, keep in mind that 82% of postsecondary education professors earned a doctorate degree.[iii] Here are some more details on possible education degree paths:
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.
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.
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. iii 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.
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? In 2016, about a quarter of grad students under 24 chose online learning as their preferred format! *
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 studnets 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.[iv]
K-12 Education Graduate Programs: Ready to Begin?
Below, check out some listings for K-12 Education Graduate Programs that may be worth perusing. (Hint: you can use the left sidebar to sort by degree type and format!) When you find a program that interests you, click the link for more information or to contact the school directly. Good luck on your grad school search!
* Clinefelter, D. L. & Aslanian, C. B., (2016). Online college students 2016: Comprehensive data on demands and preferences. Louisville, KY: The Learning House, Inc.
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9032.00 | [iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1081.00 | [iv] studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider
Saint Joseph's University
The online MS in Secondary Education and Online Accelerated Teaching Certification program is an efficient, convenient and cost effective way to get the skills and credentials you need to accomplish your career goal in educating grades 7-12.
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
The M.S.Ed.-Secondary Education - English is designed to prepare teacher candidates for secondary classrooms in our nation’s schools by providing a caring and supportive learning environment that promotes academic excellence.
- Pittsburgh, PA
University of Northern Colorado - Extended Campus
This online program is designed to prepare specialist and general K-12 classroom teachers to meet the educational needs of emergent bilingual learners throughout Colorado, the United States and around the world.
Walden University’s M.S. in Education (M.S.Ed.) is an online degree program that focuses on increasing teacher and student success. The program’s cutting-edge curriculum connects students with nationally recognized education experts, researchers, and sc...
Purdue University Global
Today's K–12 classrooms come in all shapes and sizes, accommodating students in public and private schools, vocational programs, and even homeschooling environments. If you are interested in honing your skills and knowledge to better position yourself f...
Grand Canyon University
M.Ed. in Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education (ITL)
Specialize in the unique needs of young children with diverse learning abilities by earning the Master of Education in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education.
Liberty University Online
- Lynchburg, VA
- Hamden, CTHamden, CT
The School of Education offers a full-time program for students to earn a master of arts in teaching elementary education or secondary education. ...
Johns Hopkins University
The Mathematics Instructional Leader (PreK-6) certificate program at JHU was designed to prepare an exceptional cadre of mathematics teacher leaders to serve teachers of PreK-6 grade students and in direct and indirect ways their students.
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
One of the best online graduate education programs in the country, according to the 2013 U.S. News and World Report survey.
- West Hartford, CTWest Hartford, CT
University of Hartford
The Master of Education in Elementary Education (M.Ed.) is an initial certification program for those who wish to teach grade one through grade six.
- Teaneck, NJTeaneck, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University
The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a graduate program for individuals who hold a baccalaureate degree in the liberal arts or sciences and wish to enter the teaching profession...
- Rockville Centre, NYRockville Centre, NY
Is teaching your calling? Maybe you want to be a more effective educator? Molloy College offers you the perfect opportunity to realize your dream.
- Nashville, TNNashville, TN
Montessori teacher certification program offers teacher training at graduate degree level.Students earn Montessori certification in early childhood (a...
- Sioux City, IASioux City, IA
- Bethlehem, PABethlehem, PA
We believe expert teaching occurs at the intersection of discipline-specific knowledge and pedagogical knowledge.
- Durham, NHDurham, NH
University of New Hampshire
- Melbourne, FLMelbourne, FL
Florida Institute of Technology
Focused on the theory and practice of teaching and provides professional development applicable to teaching elementary science.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Columbia College Chicago
With a focus on urban communities, candidates learn to incorporate the arts into all subject areas of an elementary classroom.
- Flushing, NYFlushing, NY
Queens College - City University Of New York
The MAT program is designed for students with undergraduate degrees in fields other than education who are interested in entering the teaching profess...
- Flushing, NY
- Youngstown, OHYoungstown, OH
Youngstown State University
The M. S. in Ed. degree offers three options in Secondary Education including: concentration in a subject area, curriculum and instruction, and educat...