Best Colleges Online - Most Affordable Degrees-01In this ranking, we profile the top 50 affordable accelerated online masters in education programs of 2020.

An accelerated M.Ed. online program offers a shorter degree completion time than two-year traditional master’s programs. Accelerated programs are rigorous, have fast-paced classes, and cater to individuals looking to earn their master’s degree in less than two years. Often, accelerated programs accept transfer credits that help shorten the degree completion time. We located accredited programs with accelerated options for earning an online master’s in education to help you find graduate education degrees that take less than two years to complete.

Top 50 Affordable Accelerated Online Masters in Education Programs Methodology

We looked at approximately 250 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered accelerated M.Ed. online programs. We narrowed our original pool of schools to find 50 top accelerated online M.Ed. programs by applying the following criteria: accreditation (school and/or program), accelerated degree pathways (completion time of less than two years), and institution rankings with at least one major publication, such as U.S. News and World Report. We then listed the top 50 accelerated M.Ed. online programs according to raw affordability.

Below are the results of our top 50 accelerated M.Ed. online programs of 2020.

#50 – Boston University

Online Masters in Education

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

Boston University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Only 18 months! Boston University’s accelerated M.Ed. online programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $53,572

Boston University offers an accelerated M.Ed. online that can be completed in just 18 months. The program is a part-time endeavor and allows students to take two 7-week classes per 14-week semester. Classes are offered in an asynchronous manner allowing maximum flexibility. Admission requirements include statement of qualification, equity statement, resume, and transcripts. Students are notified of an admission decision approximately three weeks after submitting their application. Graduates have gone on to successful careers in higher education within several departments such as admissions, financial aid, student life, and much more. And with a degree from the #40 ranked national university according to U.S. News and World Report, students are assured of an excellent education from a leading institution.

#49 – University of Miami

Online Master’s in Sport Administration

Coral Gables, Florida

Website

University of Miami - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
100% online for individuals wanting to teach sport administration – University of Miami.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $37,624

Similar to online M.Ed. programs, the University of Miami offers a top-ranked online master’s in sport administration through its School of Education and Human Development. The 100% online program provides maximum flexibility through its online course content, making it an excellent choice for working professionals. And with a timeline of just 12-18 months, graduates are able to see the career benefits of their degree right away. The institution has developed the Sport Industry Program (SIP) for a select number of students, which provides tuition assistance of $10,000, a 12-month internship, and a $1,000 monthly stipend. This “program within a program” allows the University of Miami to attract top talent to its sport management program and give participants a unique educational experience.

#48 – Lehigh University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Website

Lehigh University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Accelerated M.Ed. online programs – Lehigh University!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $27,130

Lehigh University offers one of the leading accelerated education programs through its College of Education, which prepares students for leadership careers in the K-12 education system. The program can be completed in less than two years. Students can choose from two tracks including regional/national preparation or international school leadership depending on their career interests. Lehigh University ranks well among its peers according to U.S. News and World Report data. According to the college ranking experts, the institution ranks #50 in national universities among a contingent of several hundred colleges and universities. In addition, the program ranks #26 in best value and #30 in undergraduate teaching.

#47 – University of San Diego

Online Masters in Education

San Diego, California

Website

University of San Diego - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
University of San Diego’s 20-month accelerated M.Ed. online programs are ranked with U.S. News.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $27,066

The University of San Diego offers an online master’s in education designed for K-12 educators with at least two years of experience teaching in the classroom. The rolling admission process means students can apply and matriculate three times per year and do not have to wait to get started on this 20-month accelerated online master’s degree. Core classes cover a variety of topics such as cognition and learning, educational research methodology, qualitative methods in educational research, and social justice and educational equity. Students can expect a top education, as the University of San Diego ranks #91 in national universities among all participating institutions in U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 ranking publication.

#46 – Concordia University

Online Masters in Education

Portland, Oregon

Website

Concordia University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
100% online and accelerated – Concordia University’s M.Ed. programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,910

Concordia University offers one of the top accelerated online M.Ed. programs designed for current educators seeking an advanced degree. The program does not lead to certification or licensure, but provides an accredited master’s degree that may be used for career promotion and increased job stability. The Concordia program offers students several 100% online tracks in several content areas such as career and technical education, early childhood, mathematics, science, STEM, reading intervention, educational technology, and many more. Additionally, the program was ranked #63 in top online graduate education programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report so students can expect a quality online education.

#45 – California Lutheran University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Thousand Oaks, California

Website

California Lutheran University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
California Lutheran University’s accelerated M.Ed. online program takes 12 months!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,215

California Lutheran University offers an accelerated M.Ed. online that can be completed in only 12 months. The program is well suited for individuals seeking leadership and administrative roles across a wide spectrum of educational contexts. Graduates have gone on to successful careers as assistant principals, principals, directors, assistant superintendents, superintendents, and more. The program offers a hybrid delivery system that includes 60% on campus and 40% online with classes conveniently scheduled so working professionals can attend. And because California Lutheran was ranked #9 in regional universities West and #13 in top value schools by U.S. News and World Report, students can be confident they are receiving a quality education at an affordable price.

#44 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

Southern New Hampshire University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Ranked and accredited – SNHU’s accelerated M.Ed. online programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,810

Southern New Hampshire University offers one of the top curriculum and instruction online M.Ed. programs designed to prepare educators for careers in dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities. The 12-course program is for those who are current or aspiring educators within the K-12 system and includes courses such as expressive language skills and writing, executive function and study skills, evidence based research for education, and leadership in teaching and learning. Southern New Hampshire University is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is ranked #92 in regional universities North by U.S. News and World Report. In addition, U.S. News just named Southern New Hampshire #1 in innovation.

#43 – Northcentral University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

San Diego, California

Website

Northcentral University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
15 months to earn the online M.Ed. at Northcentral University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,917

Based in San Diego, California, North Central University offers one of the top accelerated education programs that prepare educators for a career in leadership and administration. The program has two tracks for those seeking K-12 careers or postsecondary leadership jobs. The program consists of 10-12 courses with two accelerated scheduling options that allow students to complete the entire degree in just 15 months. In addition to traditional financial aid, the institution provides a “You Have What It Takes” scholarship that awards full tuition to two students or four awards of $20,000 to those who qualify. Because the courses are all offered online, the program is an excellent choice for working professionals.

#42 – Barry University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Miami, Florida

Website

Barry University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
One-year accelerated M.Ed. online degree program at Barry University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,820

Miami-based Barry University offers an accelerated online master’s in educational leadership. The program is designed specifically to prepare graduates for administrative roles in k-12 institutions and has a practicum embedded within the curriculum that allows students to get first hand leadership experience under the guidance of a qualified mentor in the student’s own community. The degree is designed to be completed in just 12 months including the time it takes to complete the practicum. Admission requirements state the student must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and have a 3.0 GPA, which will waive the GRE test requirement. Students with a GPA of less than 3.0 are required to submit test scores.

#41 – Creighton University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Omaha, Nebraska

Website

Creighton University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Ranked with U.S. News! Creighton University’s accelerated M.Ed. online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,376

Creighton University offers an online accelerated M.Ed. program with two tracks, including school administration and teacher leadership. The school administration track meets requirements for elementary or secondary school endorsements in Nebraska. Students who want to pursue both tracks can earn the teacher leadership degree first then complete an additional 12 credits for the school administration track. Courses may include differentiated supervision for professional growth, effective conflict engagement for educational leaders, school culture, school improvement, and school law. The program is delivered through Creighton’s graduate school and is ranked #16 in best online graduate education programs by U.S. News and World Report.

#40 – Gonzaga University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Spokane, Washington

Website

Gonzaga University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Accelerated and ranked! Gonzaga University – online M.Ed.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,045

Gonzaga University provides educators with one of the best accelerated education programs designed for working educators seeking to become more effective teachers and leaders. The program’s accelerated format, which includes field-based work, can be finished in just four semesters. The 30-credit degree is for working educators seeking to increase their skill sets and knowledge of what it means to be a more effective educator in both the practical and theoretical senses. And because Gonzaga ranks #79 in national universities and #143 in best value education, students can be confident knowing they are earning a respected and value-driven master’s degree from a top institution.

#39 – Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Health and Physical Education

Indiana, Pennsylvania

Website

Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
For K-12 educators! Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s accelerated M.Ed. online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,650

When searching for online M.Ed. programs, Indiana University of Pennsylvania offers a program focusing on health and physical education. The program works well for those with a bachelor’s degree in a different field, current teachers seeking a graduate degree, or educators who want the ability to teach health and physical education in addition to their current disciplines. With several emphasis tracks such as K-12 certification, community health education, adapted physical activity, and athletic coaching, students can tailor their coursework to best fit their personal and career interests. Core classes include contemporary issues in school and community health, current literature in health and fitness, research methods in health and physical activity, and a graduate seminar.

#38 – Mercer University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Macon, Georgia

Website

Mercer University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
12-16 months – Accelerated M.Ed. online program at Mercer University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,674

Located an hour outside of Atlanta, Mercer University offers an online master’s in education with a focus on elementary education. The program is administered through the Tift College of Education and features 30 credits that help existing certified K-5 teachers increase their knowledge and skills of teaching and learning. Students interested in a completely online experience can take courses while continuing to work. Typically, students complete the degree in just 12-16 months and can start reaping the career and personal benefits right away. Additionally, because Mercer ranks #153 among national universities according to U.S. News and World Report, students receive a diploma from a well-respected institution.

#37 – University of South Carolina

Online Masters in Education

Columbia, South Carolina

Website

University of South Carolina - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
GRE scores required! University of South Carolina’s online M.Ed. accelerated programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,050

The University of South Carolina offers an accelerated M.Ed. online for existing classroom teachers with at least three years of experience in an educational setting. In addition to three years of experience, students must have a GPA of at least 3.0 or show GRE test scores at or above the 50th percentile in both verbal and quantitative components. Moreover, applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, CV, and a letter that addresses the dispositions of the USC College of Education as it relates to the applicant and his or her fit with the institution. Ranking #104 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report, students earn a degree from a well-respected institution committed to teaching and research.

#36 – East Texas Baptist University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Marshall, Texas

Website

East Texas Baptist University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Ranked and affordable – East Texas Baptist University – online M.Ed.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,080

East Texas Baptist University offers an online master’s in education, focusing on college and university leadership. Graduates will be well prepared for entry-level leadership positions at community colleges and universities upon graduation. The program is designed to take 18 consecutive months in a hybrid format combining online coursework and face-to-face instruction at the campus located in Marshall, Texas. The program consists of 30 credits that must be passed with a minimum of 2.75 GPA and be completed within a five-year maximum time frame. Prospective students typically work in community colleges, universities, or high schools and desire a career in mid-level leadership and administration at the postsecondary level.

#35 – Montclair State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Montclair, New Jersey

Website

Montclair State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
14 months to earn the accelerated M.Ed. online degree from Montclair State University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,837

Montclair State University offers an accelerated M.Ed. online that can be completed in just 14 months, which includes the degree, principal certificate, and supervisor certificate. The program holds a longstanding tradition of excellence, as evidenced by its national ranking of 19th in online graduate education programs by U.S. News and World Report. The program is fully online, which makes it an excellent option for full-time educators seeking a flexible, top-tier program that blends both theory and practical skill building, taught by the same faculty that teach on-campus courses. Graduates can expect to be prepared for entry-level leadership positions in postsecondary settings as well as assistant principal and principal positions within the k-12 system.

#34 – Immaculata University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Immaculata, Pennsylvania

Website

Immaculata University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Highly affordable option! Immaculata University – online accelerated M.Ed.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,780

When searching for accelerated education programs, Immaculata University offers a top program in educational leadership with several distinct tracks based upon popular, in-demand career paths such as administration, instructional leadership, instructional coaching, mathematics coaching, and STEM education. Students can also choose the delivery mode that best first their schedule and learning needs. And because the program can be taken fully online, it is a great option for those who work full-time or who may not live near an institution. In addition to being rigorous, the degree is efficient, and can also be finished in just one year from the time of matriculation. Courses may include comprehensive exam in educational leadership and administration, contemporary professional ethics, curriculum and instruction, and interpersonal relations.

#33 – Old Dominion University

Online Master’s in Educational Administration and Supervision

Norfolk, Virginia

Website

Old Dominion University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Accredited and ranked! Old Dominion University’s accelerated M.Ed. online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,552

Old Dominion University offers one of the leading online M.Ed. programs accredited by The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation that consistently prepares graduates for leadership positions within the PreK-12 system. Graduates commonly go on to careers as assistant principals, principals, superintendents, department leads, lead instructors, and more. And because the program is offered in an accelerated format, students can begin reaping the career and personal rewards of the degree right away. Old Dominion University is a well-regarded institution and ranks #105 in the country for best online graduate education programs, so students can be confident they are earning a respected degree.

#32 – Eastern Washington University

Online Masters in Education

Cheney, Washington

Website

Eastern Washington University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Fully online – Eastern Washington University’s accelerated M.Ed. online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,381

Eastern Washington University offers several online master’s in education degree tracks, designed to meet the personal and professional needs of today’s educators. The program has affordable, highly personalized tracks including curriculum and instruction, literacy, early childhood, educational leadership, and many more. The program is taught entirely online with six-week accelerated courses and can be finished in only 12 months, making it one of the most efficient programs of its kind. While the program is rigorous and is taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus classes, there are no unnecessary barriers to entry such as GRE test scores or letters of recommendation requirements needed to apply for admission.

#31 – National Louis University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Chicago, Illinois

Website

National Louis University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
18-month format! The accelerated M.Ed. online program at National Louis University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,096

National Louis University provides an online master’s in education with tracks in principal licensure and general educational leadership. The accelerated program features an 18-month format that combines on-line classes and face-to-face instruction giving it a balanced blend of learning modalities. The curriculum is practitioner-based, allowing students to learn the skills needed to be successful on the job. Students pursuing the principal licensure track will complete an internship under the guidance of an approved mentor where students will engage in mock interviews, teacher performance, resume building, etc. The internship is based on the principal licensure requirements for the state of Illinois.

#30 – James Madison University

Online Master’s in Spanish Language and Culture

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Website

James Madison University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
18 month completion time! James Madison University’s online M.Ed.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,640

James Madison University offers one of the few accelerated education programs designed for those who teach the Spanish language and culture. The program can be completed in just 18 months. The program requires students to spend one summer at James Madison University and one summer at the University of Salamanca in Spain. In addition to the residency requirements, students will take three semesters of online courses. James Madison University is a well-regarded institution among its peers and ranks #3 in regional universities South and #1 in most innovative schools by U.S. News and World Report. Courses may include concepts in first and second language acquisition, facilitating experiential and action learning, and foundations of language and culture.

#29 – Mississippi College

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Clinton, Mississippi

Website

Mississippi College - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
100% online – Mississippi College’s accelerated M.Ed. online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,630

Mississippi College offers an online master’s in education with an emphasis in leadership and administration. Graduates of the program are prepared to take administrative and leadership positions within K-12 organizations and in some states may be prepared for a leadership endorsement. The program has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education for the past 50 years and includes classes such as information management dimension leadership, introduction to administrator preparation, personal and interpersonal dimension of leadership, and political dimension of leadership. The 100% online graduate degree is designed for working professionals seeking a rigorous Christian education from an accredited institution.

#28 – North Carolina State University

Online Master’s in STEM Education

Raleigh, North Carolina

Website

North Carolina State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Ranked, accredited, and accelerated! NC State University’s online M.Ed.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,495

North Carolina State University offers an online accelerated M.Ed. program focusing on STEM education with three concentrations in mathematics and statistics, science education, and engineering and technology. The 100% online program is housed within the NC State College of Education, which is ranked #29 in best graduate online education programs by U.S. News and World Report. Courses may include advanced methods in science education, foundations of science education, introduction to research in science, and matters and interactions for teachers. Admission to the program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, three reference letters, personal statement, and bachelor’s degree in science or science education.

#27 – Gwynedd Mercy University

Online Master’s in Science Education

Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania

Website

Gwynedd Mercy University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Science Education! Gwynedd Mercy University offers an accelerated M.Ed. online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,286

Gwynedd Mercy University offers an accelerated M.Ed. online for individuals seeking initial teaching certification and a specialization in science education. The program provides two tracks including PreK-4 education certification and secondary education certification in biology, mathematics, and social studies. The program may include courses such as: methods for teaching reading and assessment, methods for teaching reading and assessment, multicultural and diversity issues in education, and social and political foundations of education. And because Gwynedd Mercy is ranked #104 in regional universities North by U.S. News and World Report, students can rest assured they are receiving a quality education from an institution committed to teaching and learning.

#26 – Florida International University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Miami, Florida

Website

Florida International University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Ranked by U.S. News! Florida International University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,097

Ranked #218 in national universities and #69 in best online graduate education programs by U.S. News and World Report, Florida International University offers an accelerated M.Ed. online with a focus in special education and autism endorsement. The program leads to an autism endorsement in the state of Florida and may qualify for an autism endorsement in other states. Courses may include advanced theory and research in special education, culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional learners, foundations of education research, and instructional technology for special education. Students also take autism-related courses such as assessment and strategies for students with autism spectrum disorder and behavioral management and positive behavioral supports for students with autism spectrum disorder.

#25 – Grand Canyon University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

Grand Canyon University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Less than two years to complete the accelerated M.Ed. online program at Grand Canyon University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,760

For students searching for online M.Ed. programs, Grand Canyon University is an excellent option that ranks 25th on our list of top 50 accelerated M.Ed. programs. Grand Canyon’s program is housed within the College of Education and is designed to be completed in just 1.3 years with students being prepared for careers in educational leadership and administration. Students may take courses such as developing and implementing professional development, improving teacher performance and self-efficacy, strategic leadership and management in principalship, and strengthening curricular programs to promote continuous school improvement. And because the program’s courses are entirely online, students are typically able to keep their personal commitments, including work and family.

#24 – Clemson University

Online Master’s in Education in Teaching and Learning

Clemson, South Carolina

Website

Clemson University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Ranked and affordable – Clemson’s accelerated M.Ed. online programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,602

Ranked number one in best online graduate education programs and #70 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report, Clemson University offers a top online master’s in education for current classroom teachers seeking additional skills and education leading to career advancement. Students are chosen based on a holistic review of their application, which should include a current job working in an educational setting, resume, three letters of reference, GRE scores (waived if GPA is 3.0 or greater), and personal statement. Once admitted to the program, students can choose from specializations in experiential early childhood learning, STEAM education, and instructional coaching.

#23 – Columbia International University

Online Masters in Education

Columbia, South Carolina

Website

Columbia International University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Earn an online M.Ed. from Columbia International University in less than two years.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,960

Columbia International University offers an online accelerated M.Ed. program that can be completed in just two years. The program blends the latest in teaching and learning pedagogy with a Biblical perspective to give students a faith-based education designed for K-12 teachers, those who want to pursue a Ph.D., and leadership in Christian schools. Admission requirements are especially flexible and only require a bachelor’s degree with a 2.7 minimum GPA, official transcripts, and two references. Once admitted, students can pursue educational tracks in educational learning and instruction and learning. Students concerned about rigor can expect a quality education, as Columbia International is ranked #38 in regional universities South and #12 in best value colleges by U.S. News and World Report.

#22 – Bowling Green State University

Online Master’s in Special Education

Bowling Green, Ohio

Website

Bowling Green State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
18 months! Bowling Green State University’s online M.Ed.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,831

Bowling Green State University offers one of the most unique and specialized accelerated education programs focusing on assistive technology to assist students with learning and physical disabilities. Within the curriculum, the program has an embedded certificate students earn upon completion of the master’s degree. Students can finish the program in just 18 months from the time they matriculate. Courses may include assessment processes for assistive technology, implementation strategies for assistive technology, integration and managing assistive technology in the classroom, and introduction to assistive technology. Students can expect a quality education from Bowling Green State as it is ranked #89 in best online graduate education programs by U.S. News and World Report.

#21 – Texas A & M University

Online Master’s in Special Education

College Station, Texas

Website

Texas A & M University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Fully online! Texas A&M’s online master’s in special education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,812

Texas A&M University offers an online accelerated M.Ed. program through its College of Education & Human Development. The 36-credit degree is accredited and fully online and is designed to be completed in just two years. Graduates of the program go on to careers as special education teachers, special education program directors, counselors, therapists, and administrators. Strong candidates are those with significant experience working with students with disabilities and an interest in behavior analysis. Featured coursework includes adolescent literacy for students with diverse instructional needs, advanced applied behavior analysis, early literacy for students with diverse instructional needs, ethical and professional conduct in special education, and applied behavior analysis.

#20 – University of Louisiana

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Monroe, Louisiana

Website

University of Louisiana - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
100% online & 15 months! University of Louisiana’s accelerated M.Ed. online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,068

For educators seeking an accelerated M.Ed. online, the University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an excellent option with its 100% online educational leadership program that takes just 15 months to complete. The 36-credit offering includes courses such as leadership theory and practice, managing school and district resources, organizational theory and practice, and school community relations. Admission requires applicants to have a minimum 2.75 GPA and three years of teaching experience along with a valid license. In addition, prospective students should have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited program. No GRE scores are required. Residents of Louisiana must take a certification exam.

#19 – The University of West Florida

Online Master’s in Instructional Design

Pensacola, Florida

Website

The University of West Florida - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Graduate in less than 24 months! The University of West Florida’s accelerated M.Ed. online degree program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,062

The University of West Florida’s online master’s in education is an instructional design and technology degree featuring 100% online delivery with an accelerated format that allows students to graduate in just 24 months. Students learn how to leverage technology that improves student learning and increases effectiveness in teaching through the design, integration, and evaluation of technology platforms and systems. Potential students must hold a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 3.25 GPA to have GRE/MAT test score requirements waived. In addition, the bachelor’s degree must be regionally or nationally accredited by the United States Department of Education. Because the University of West Florida is ranked #34 in best regional universities South and #15 in top public schools by U.S. News and World Report, students know they are receiving a quality education.

#18 – San Diego State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

San Diego, California

Website

San Diego State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Ranked and accredited – San Diego State University’s accelerated M.Ed. online programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,922

When looking for the best online M.Ed. programs, San Diego State University offers one of the top-ranked educational leadership programs in the country due to its accelerated timeline and rigorous curriculum. The program features courses such as organizational and systems leadership, professional learning and growth leadership, school improvement leadership, and visionary leadership and can be finished in just one year. In addition to efficiency, the program is well-regarded by U.S. News and World Report as evidenced by its #25 ranking in best online graduate education programs and its #68 ranking in top public schools. The program is designed for current teachers.

#17 – University of Central Florida

Online Master’s in Exceptional Student Education

Orlando, Florida

Website

University of Central Florida - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
100% online – University of Central Florida – Accelerated M.Ed. online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,872

The University of Central Florida offers an online accelerated M.Ed. program focusing on preparing educators to work with students with special needs and disabilities. And because the program is 100% online, students who matriculate can continue other commitments such as work and family. The program is designed specifically for current educators already certified to work with special needs students in K-12 settings. With a sound reputation as an institution due to its #166 ranking in national universities by U.S. News and World Report, students can feel confident they are earning a well-respected graduate degree from a fully regionally accredited institution.

#16 – University of Arkansas

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Website

University of Arkansas - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
GRE scores required! University of Arkansas – Online M.Ed. program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,612

The University of Arkansas offers one of the top accelerated education programs with a focus in educational leadership. The program is for individuals seeking leadership in K-12 or baccalaureate settings. All course content is delivered online, making it an excellent option for working professionals. Students can complete the required internship in their own community upon approval of the program. The 33-credit program can be completed in just two years and requires students to have a current teaching license. Students with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 are not required to submit GRE test scores. U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Arkansas #46 in best online graduate education programs and #153 in national universities.

#15 – Oklahoma State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Website

Oklahoma State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Only 18 months for the accelerated M.Ed. online degree at Oklahoma State University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,460

Oklahoma State University offers an online accelerated M.Ed. program with options in school administration and higher education. The school administration program is a hybrid model and allows students to take a blend of online courses and face-to-face classes. It is cohort-based and can be completed in just 18 months. To ensure program quality, the curriculum follows the Educational Leadership Constituent Council guidelines and is recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Application components include academic vitae/resume, career objective statement, a critical issues essay addressing an issue in education, three letters of recommendation, and MAT or GRE test scores.

#14 – Lamar University

Online Master’s in Education Administration

Beaumont, Texas

Website

Lamar University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Education administration! Lamar University offers accelerated M.Ed. online programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,174

Lamar University provides working professionals with an online master’s in education administration in preparation for a career as a licensed principal. The program does not provide licensure but readies students for the principal certification exam in the state of Texas. Prospective students should inquire if the program meets the certification standards in their own state. The 30-credit degree is housed in the Lamar University College of Education and Human Development and can be completed in only 16 months. In addition to U.S. News and World Report ranking of #159 in best graduate education programs online, the College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

#13 – University of Utah

Online Master’s in Fine Arts Teaching

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

University of Utah - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
30-credit accelerated M.Ed. online program – University of Utah.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,151

Housed within the University of Utah College of Fine Arts, the accelerated M.Ed. online prepares educators to deliver quality instruction in fine arts. The program is a two-year commitment with online coursework and a short on-campus residency. The institution is highly regarded as a quality research and teaching institution with a national ranking of #104 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report. The 30-credit program provides coursework such as arts teaching applied theory, art teaching project design, community-based arts teaching, and music and dance materials and methods. The program is appropriate for licensed or non-licensed teaching artists.

#12 – Western Governors University

Online Master’s in Educational Learning and Technology

Raleigh, North Carolina

Website

Western Governors University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
WGU’s online M.Ed. programs have accelerated pathways.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,790

Western Governors offers one of the top online M.Ed. programs in educational technology and design. The program helps students to effectively integrate the latest teaching and learning technologies into classrooms and institutions as a way to increase student outcomes. Applicants do not need a teaching license to apply for the program. Graduates have gone on to careers in educational administration, lead technology instructors, IT department heads, and more. The 12-course degree provides core classes such as foundations of instructional design, instructional design analysis, instructional design production, and issues in instructional design. To enroll in the program, applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have access to a community of learners.

#11 – Indiana State University

Online Master’s in Teaching and Learning

Terre Haute, Indiana

Website

Indiana State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
18-24 months! Indiana State University’s accelerated M.Ed. online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,616

Indiana State University’s online master’s in education provides students with a wide range of professional tracks such as assessment, curriculum and instruction, early childhood, elementary education, gifted and talented, and literacy. The 33-credit offering can be completed in just 18-24 months and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education as well as the Indiana Department of Education. Coursework includes leadership of reading programs, learning theory and instructional strategies, measurement and evaluation in education, and research in elementary and early childhood education. U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution #293 in top national universities.

#10 – Louisiana State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Shreveport, Louisiana

Website

Louisiana State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
LSU’s accelerated M.Ed. online program takes 12 months when enrolled full-time.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,349

Louisiana State University at Shreveport offers an accelerated M.Ed. online that can be completed in just 12 months. The program is geared towards individuals who work full-time and are not able to attend on-campus classes and need flexibility with their course schedules. The 34-credit graduate degree welcomes people from all academic backgrounds and does not require a teaching certificate. Admission standards include a bachelor’s or graduate degree from an accredited institution with at least a 2.5 GPA overall or in the last 60 credit hours. Additionally, students must submit official transcripts and have three years of professional work experience by the end of the program. Some of the courses may include creating a professional learning community and leading with vision.

#9 – University of North Texas

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Denton, Texas

Website

University of North Texas - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
30 credits and 12 months! University of North Texas.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,338

Offering educators one of the most efficient accelerated education programs, the University of North Texas prepares its graduates with the tools needed to be a successful leader and administrator through its rigorous educational leadership program. The 30-credit offering consists of 10 courses such as administration and leadership for student education services, administration of the K-12 curriculum, campus level school law, organizational change and school improvement, and school communications and public relations. Students can complete the degree in as little as 12 months and may earn up to 6 transfer credits from other institutions. U.S. News and World Report ranks the program #13 in the country.

#8 – Tarleton State University

Online Master’s in Educational Administration

Stephenville, Texas

Website

Tarleton State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Ranked and accredited – Tarleton State University’s M.Ed. online accelerated program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,024

Tarleton State University’s online accelerated M.Ed. program is designed for students seeking careers in educational administration. In addition, students may tailor their degree by choosing concentrations in EC-12 principalship, higher education leadership, post-master’s superintendent certification, and educational technology leadership. The program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Texas Education Agency to confer the master’s degree to students who successfully complete the 18-month program. The program ranks across multiple U.S. News and World Report categories for the 2020 listings including #228 in best online graduate education programs and #31 in top public schools.

#7 – The University of Texas

Online Master’s in Special Education

Edinburg, Texas

Website

The University of Texas - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Only 10 months! University of Texas – online M.Ed.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,889

Among online M.Ed. programs, the University of Texas at Rio Grande offers one of the top-ranked graduate degrees in special education. The program prepares students with the skills and knowledge they need to successfully work with students with disabilities and special needs. An initial teaching certificate is not required to matriculate to the program although many of its students are certified teachers seeking additional licensure and credentials. Courses may include action research for inclusive settings, consultation and collaboration in inclusive settings, foundations of assessment in special education, introduction to applied behavior analysis and positive behavior supports, and teaching individuals with low incidence disabilities in inclusive settings. This accelerated program can be finished in just 10 months.

#6 – Valdosta State University

Online Master’s in Curriculum and instruction

Valdosta, Georgia

Website

Valdosta State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
16 months from start to finish! Valdosta State University’s accelerated M.Ed.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,628

Valdosta State offers an accelerated M.Ed. online that requires no campus visitations. The program is geared towards building students’ teaching capacities towards accomplished teaching status and is geared towards licensed educators. The 12-course 36-credit program can be completed in just 16 months with four consecutive full-time semesters. Students may take classes part-time if not able or willing to attend full-time. And because the program is fully online, it is an excellent option for working teachers. Students may earn up to nine semester hours of transfer credit upon approval and the credit cannot be more than seven years old from the time of matriculation.

#5 – American Military University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Charles Town, West Virginia

Website

American Military University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Transfer credits accepted – American Military University’s online M.Ed.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,600

Prospective students seeking online M.Ed. programs will find American Military University a plausible choice, due to its affordable tuition and accelerated format. The program is designed to be completed in just two years and culminates with a graduate degree in educational leadership. In addition to the two year accelerated format, students can earn up to 15 transfer credits towards the 36-credit degree, further accelerating the time to completion. Students can choose concentrations from athletic administration and virtual school in addition to the general K-12 track. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, writing sample, and documentation of at least three years teaching experience or three years managerial experience in an instructional setting.

#4 – Arkansas State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Website

Arkansas State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Ranked and affordable – Arkansas State University’s accelerated M.Ed. online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,210

Arkansas State University offers one of the top accelerated education programs for those seeking a degree in educational leadership. The program’s curriculum is application based and helps students become master teachers and building level administrators. Courses include administration and supervision in special education, introduction to statistics and research, planning and resource allocation, and school and community relations. The program is not only accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation but is ranked #115 in best online graduate education programs by U.S. News and World Report. The 36-credit graduate degree program can be completed in just 20 months.

#3 – Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Durant, Oklahoma

Website

Southeastern Oklahoma State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Education leadership! Southeastern Oklahoma State University offers online M.Ed. programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,022

Southeastern Oklahoma State University provides licensed and non-licensed individuals with one of the leading accelerated education programs focusing on developing future leaders and administrators. The accelerated program can be done completely online, making it an excellent option for those seeking maximum flexibility. In addition, the degree is very efficient and can be completed in just 12 months. And with multiple start dates, students do not need to wait between the time they are accepted and when classes begin. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 2.0 GPA. No GRE test scores are required as part of the application. Southeastern Oklahoma State is a fully accredited institution and is ranked #87 in regional universities West by leading ranking organization U.S. News and World Report.

#2 – Fitchburg State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Website

Fitchburg State University - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
Only 12 months to earn an accelerated M.Ed. online degree at Fitchburg State University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $3,824

When searching for online M.Ed. programs, students may find the Fitchburg State University offering in educational leadership a plausible option that consists of 33 credits that can be completed in just 12 months. The program is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and ranks #228 in best online graduate education programs by U.S. News and World Report. The program welcomes both current and aspiring educators, provided they have a bachelor’s degree and 2.8 minimum GPA. No test scores are required to apply for admission. Courses may include leaders promoting success for culturally and linguistically diverse learners, managing human resources and budget development, and researching perspectives in education.

#1 – University of the People

Online Master’s in Advanced Teaching

Pasadena, California

Website

University of the People - Top 50 Accelerated M.Ed. Online Programs
#1 most affordable accelerated M.Ed. online program – University of the People.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $2,000

The University of the People offers the top ranked accelerated M.Ed. online with concentrations in elementary/middle school and secondary school. Graduates go on to successful teaching and administrative careers across the K-12 spectrum, community colleges, and other educational settings. The program is tuition free and only requires students to pay fees. The institution and program are accredited to confer the degree of master of education upon successful completion of the coursework and other related duties. The 39-credit offering takes approximately 1.5 years to complete. And because it is fully online, students are able to keep their other commitments while pursuing an education.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with an accelerated masters in education online degree?

There are several career options for individuals with an accelerated M.Ed. online degree. Programmatic pathways often dictate the career path with online M.Ed. programs offering specialties in K-12 administration, postsecondary administration, instructional design, and special education.

The vast majority of programs focus on educational leadership within the K-12 system. Programs of this nature prepare students for building level leadership positions such as assistant principals and principals. Principals engage in a wide variety of duties including managing staff, implementing curriculum standards, observing teachers, and meeting with students and parents. The duties of principals vary depending on the size of the school and may require the assistance of an assistant or vice principal.

In addition to building-level leadership, individuals with an online M.Ed. degree can move into postsecondary leadership positions at the baccalaureate or community college levels. Postsecondary environments have more leadership opportunities due to their size and organizational structure. Graduates of online M.Ed. programs will typically go on to entry level leadership positions as assistant directors or directors of various departments such as financial aid, advising, grant programs, counseling, and more.

There are several other less common career options for online accelerated M.Ed. graduates such as athletic coaching, instructional design, special education, and curriculum development.

What is the job outlook for individuals with an accelerated masters in education online degree?

According to our research conducted using data from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for individuals with an accelerated M.Ed. online degree is about average when compared to all other occupations during the ten-year period of 2018-2028. Specifically, the growth rate for all occupations during this time is expected to be 5% compared to a 4% increase for K-12 administrators and 6% growth for postsecondary administrators.

Numerous factors such as state and local budgets and student enrollment drive both growth and stagnation for K-12 administrators. School districts in growing metropolitan areas have need of additional human capital but are often constrained by a lack of fiscal liquidity and cannot afford to hire additional leadership staff. Moreover, lack of funding can also delay the opening of new schools, which negatively impacts job growth numbers. However, school districts able to receive adequate funding often choose to open new schools and hire additional leadership staff at existing schools resulting in leadership positions being filled.

As postsecondary education continues to be a salient political and economic issue, prospective candidates can expect slightly better than average job growth. Factors driving growth include the emphasis of students receiving some sort of postsecondary education in the form of a certificate or degree leading to an increased need for qualified leaders within institutions. Similar to their K-12 counterparts, much of the growth will depend on state and local funding.

How much money will I earn with a fast masters in education online degree?

Salaries vary for individuals with an accelerated M.Ed. online degree due to the variety of career paths an individual can take. For many graduates, the goal is to become a building-level administrator, which means a position as a principal of assistance principal.

According to our research data taken from the United States Department of Labor, the median (average) salary for an elementary, middle, and high school principal is $95,310 annually with the lowest 10% earning $61,490 compared to the highest 10% earning $144,950. For context, the average salary for all occupations is $38,640, which highlights the economic attractiveness of a principal’s salary no matter where it lies in relation to the median figure. When sorting by public and private schools, the numbers show public school principals are paid more than their private school counterparts ($96,760 versus $84,990).

Those seeking careers in postsecondary administration can also expect to earn an attractive salary well above the national average. College-level administrators earn on average $94,340 annually with the highest 10% earning $190,600. The lowest 10% earn $54,680.

College, university, and professional school administrators earned more than their junior college counterparts, with average salaries coming in at $95,910 versus $90,440. Students living in large metropolitan areas should expect more job openings than in rural areas.

How long does it take to earn a fast masters in education online degree?

As the name implies, an accelerated M.Ed. online is designed to be completed in a short period of time. While timelines vary by program and institution, prospective students should expect it to take anywhere from 12-20 months to graduate.

For programs designed for current educators with a teaching license, students can expect to finish in 12-18 months with either full- or part-time enrollment, depending on programmatic design.

It is important to note that full-time enrollment is vastly different at the graduate level and requires students to take six credits per term, which is usually two courses. Some programs require students to take two courses simultaneously while others shorten the duration, allowing students to maintain full-time enrollment taking one course at a time.

Some programs consist of coursework and an internship, which can extend the time the degree takes to complete. Internships can typically be done at the student’s own workplace (provided they work at a school) so as to not interfere with their current job or classes.

Students seeking an accelerated online M.Ed. should also consider when programs allow students to matriculate. Programs with multiple start dates throughout the semester provide convenience in terms of not having to wait to matriculate. Once the application is turned in, an admission to the program is offered.

What is the difference between a fast masters in education online degree and a traditional program?

There are several differences between online M.Ed. and traditional programs. The most significant are the time to completion, and the residency requirements.

Accelerated programs are structured to get the student to graduation in less than two calendar years. The majority of accelerated programs can be completed in 12-16 months from the time of enrollment, which allows the student to begin reaping the rewards of their graduate degree right away. For those seeking programs with internships and practicums, most accelerated programs include time spent in the field as part of the 12-16 month timeline, so it is important for students to ask a college staff member if internships are included or not.

In addition to shorter completion times, traditional programs have higher rates of residency requirements, requiring the student to visit campus. Residency options often include coursework and networking in an effort to build community and knowledge acquisition through face-to-face engagements.

Because accelerated programs value efficiency without sacrificing rigor, these programs can require students to have teaching experience and a valid license. The extra preparation allows programs to reduce the coursework and move students right into specialized graduate classes and content. Conversely, programs that accept prospective educators from diverse academic backgrounds must provide foundational coursework because their students have no teaching experience or academic background in education.

BCO Staff
December 2019

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This concludes our list of the top 50 affordable accelerated masters in education online programs of 2020.