20 Best Online Schools for Education (Graduate) 2017-2018

In this article, we highlight the 20 best online schools for education (graduate level) in 2017-2018.

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, education still pays and is in demand. The demand for elementary, secondary, and postsecondary teachers continues as enrollment rates increase. While there is a projected employment growth of 6 percent through the year 2024, job availability does vary by region. To accommodate the growing demand for teachers, online programs from accredited colleges and universities are popping up. Some of the nation’s best-ranked public universities and private colleges are now offering online options for working teachers to go back to school and earn an advanced degree.

Methodology:

This ranking was created to find the best colleges and universities offering online graduate education degrees. The data collected below was taken from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator based on specific methodology: student-to-faculty ratio, percentage of applicants admitted, graduation rate, and the overall cost of in-state graduate tuition and fees. We examined schools that offered online master’s in education degrees or closely related programs. From our original pool of 131 institutions, we applied our ranking criteria and developed a list of 20 best online schools for education.

In the event of a tie, the institution with the lowest graduate tuition price was awarded a higher placement on our list. Our point system is listed below.

Student to Faculty Ratio
15:1 and under – 3 Points
16:1 to 20:1 – 2 Points
More than 20:1 – 1 Point

Graduate Tuition/Fees
Less than $10,000/year – 3 Points
$10,001-$20,000/year – 2 Points
More than $20,000/year – 1 Point

Applicants Admitted
Less than 50% – 3 Points
More than 50% – 1 Point

Graduation Rate
50% or Greater – 3 Points
25%-49% – 2 Points
Less than 25% – 1 Point

Below is our list of the top 20 best online schools for education degrees for 2017-2018 (graduate level).

#20 – University of Texas

Denton, Texas

University of Texas - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

University of Texas offers online MEd programs designed with the working teacher in mind.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,165
Points: 8

University of North Texas earns a spot on our list of best online schools for education degrees due to the higher than average graduation rate and affordable graduate tuition costs. Individuals interested in online education degrees have seven programs to choose from. Online MEd programs include curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, educational psychology, special education, and teaching. An accelerated MEd program is offered with five available start dates and flexible eight-week courses. Admission to the graduate education programs requires a 3.0 GPA on the last 60 semester credit hours at the bachelor’s level, a letter of intent, current resume, and a completed essay. The graduate online education programs are ranked #16 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News and World Report.

#19 – Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Sam Houston State University - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

Sam Houston State University’s affordable tuition earns it a spot on our list of best online schools for education.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,213
Points: 8

Sam Houston State University is one of the most affordable online education schools on our list to offer various graduate degrees in education. Online MEd programs are available in administration, curriculum and instruction, instructional leadership, instructional technology, and international literacy. All courses are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. For those interested in pursuing a doctoral degree, Sam Houston offers an EdD in developmental education administration. Sam Houston State University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online graduate education programs are ranked #22 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#18 – University of Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska

University of Nebraska - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

University of Nebraska’s online education programs include master’s and doctoral degrees.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,556
Points: 8

One of the most affordable education schools online to offer graduate level programs is the University of Nebraska. Several online graduate degrees in education are available, including master’s and doctoral programs. From special education to educational leadership and higher education, the school offers programs designed for working educators who want to advance their education careers. University of Nebraska is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and public school. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #4 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News, making the university a top school for education degrees.

#17 – University of Houston

Houston, Texas

University of Houston - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

High graduation rates and low tuition earn University of Houston a spot on our list of best online schools for education.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,074
Points: 8

Affordable graduate tuition, high selectivity, and an above average graduation rate earns University of Houston a spot on our list of best online schools for education degrees. Six online master’s in education degree programs are available, including curriculum and instruction in early childhood education, higher education, and special populations. The school also offers an online professional leadership Ed.D. designed for individuals who want to earn a doctoral degree in education. The University of Houston is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top public school and best national university. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #2 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#16 – Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

Auburn University - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

Auburn University’s online graduate education programs are top-ranked.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,418
Points: 8

Auburn University is among our top picks for best education schools online due to the affordable graduate tuition costs and high graduation rate. The school also offers a lower than average student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1, adding to the benefits of flexible online courses. Several graduate level education degrees are available and designed to be completed entirely online. Programs include administration of elementary and secondary education, early childhood special education, elementary education, and foreign language education. Auburn is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 99th best national university and 43rd top public school. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #10 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#15 – University of Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia

University of Georgia - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

University of Georgia is one of our top picks for online schools for education!

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,750
Points: 8

University of Georgia is one of our top online education schools due to its relatively low acceptance rate, high graduation rate, and affordable tuition. Ten online education graduate degree programs are available, including adult education, educational psychology, learning and design, middle grades education, reading education, and workforce education. Admission to the programs varies, but transcripts and a complete application package are required. University of Georgia is ranked as the 56th best national university by U.S. News and World Report. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #6 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#14 – Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Central Michigan University - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

5 online master’s degrees available! Central Michigan University is a top choice for best online schools for education.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,770
Points: 8

Central Michigan University is one of our best online education degree schools on our list due to the high graduation rate and affordable tuition. The institution offers five master’s degree programs including education, educational leadership, educational technology, reading and literary K-12, and special education. All programs are taught online by university professors. Within each degree there are several emphases offered like charter school leadership, curriculum and instruction, and virtual education leadership. All programs are accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks Central Michigan’s online graduate education programs #29 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#13 – University of Massachusetts

Lowell, Massachusetts

UMASS Lowell - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

Affordable tuition earns UMASS a top spot on our list of best online schools for education.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,799
Points: 8

University of Massachusetts is listed among the best online schools for education degrees due to its affordable tuition and relatively selective admission acceptance rate. The university offers five master’s in education degree programs, three Ed.S. programs, and two doctor of education (Ed.D.) programs. Several of the master’s degree education programs have licensure or specialization options. All programs are offered fully online with classes taught by university professors. The institution is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 152nd best national university in the country and 78th top public school. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #16 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#12 – University of Dayton

Dayton, Ohio

University of Dayton - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

Low student-to-faculty ratio earns University of Dayton a spot on our list of best online schools for education.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,764
Points: 8

University of Dayton is one of the best online education degree schools on our list due to the reasonable graduate tuition, low student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1, and high graduation rate. The school offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate online education programs, including the master’s in early childhood leadership and advocacy, literacy, teacher as leader, and trans-disciplinary early childhood education. A number of online education endorsements and certificates are also available. Classes are delivered online and taught by the same instructors who teach on campus. University of Dayton is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and best value school. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #15 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#11 – Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

Michigan State University - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

Michigan State University’s high graduation rate helps place it on our list of best online schools for education.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,122
Points: 8

Michigan State University is one of our top online education degree schools to offer high-quality programs that can be completed entirely online. Michigan State earns a top spot on our list due to the lower than average student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1 and high graduation rate. Eight online education programs include a master’s in education, master’s in educational technology, and master’s in teaching and curriculum. The university is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution. In fact, the publication ranks Michigan State as the 82nd best national university. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #8 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#10 – University of Illinois

Champaign, Illinois

University of Illinois - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

Master’s and doctoral degrees in education can be completed online at University of Illinois.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,041
Points: 8

University of Illinois earns a top spot on our list of best online education degree schools due to its high graduation rate and lower than average student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1. The school offers several online education programs, including the online master’s in teaching biology and online Ed.M. and Ed.D. certificates in diversity and equity in education and foundations of eLearning in higher education. University of Illinois is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 44th best national university. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #10 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#9 – George Washington University

Washington, DC

George Washington University - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

George Washington University’s low student-to-faculty ratio earns it a spot on our list of online schools for education.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $27,851
Points: 8

While not the most affordable of education schools online, George Washington earns a spot on our list due to the low student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, the high graduation rate, and admission selectivity rate. The school offers six types of online master’s in education degrees and an EdS in educational leadership and administration. Classes are taught by distinguished George Washington professors, and the online programs are designed to mirror the on-campus programs. George Washington University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 56th best national university and 64th best value school in the nation. Also, the school’s online graduate education programs rank #16 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#8 – University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

University at Buffalo - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

University at Buffalo is one of our top schools for education online.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,165
Points: 9

University at Buffalo is one of our top online education degrees schools due to the affordable tuition prices for graduate students, low student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, and high graduation rate. The Graduate School of Education offers several online education programs, including Ed.M. degrees in education technology and math education. All courses are delivered online and taught by the same professors who teach on campus. The university is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent publication of Best Colleges ranks the school 99th among best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #10 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News, making the institution one of the top online education schools.

#7 – Indiana University

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana University - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

Offering 5 online master’s in education degrees, Indiana University is a top pick for best online schools for education.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,743
Points: 9

One of the most affordable online schools for education degrees is Indiana University. The School of Education offers five online master’s degree programs, two doctoral degree programs, and eight online certificate programs. All courses are taught online, and programs are designed to suit working students with busy daytime schedules. Some of the master’s degree programs include adult education, educational leadership, instructional systems technology, literacy and language education, and special education. Indiana University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #22 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#6 – Ohio University

Athens, Ohio

Ohio University - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

Ohio University’s affordable tuition and high graduation rate earns it a spot on our list of best online schools for education.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,510
Points: 9

Ohio University is one of our top online education degrees schools due to the affordable graduate tuition, high graduation rate, and lower than average student-to-faculty ratio. The school offers two online master’s in education programs: Master of Curriculum and Instruction and Master of Reading Education. Both programs are designed for teachers with a teaching license or certificate at any P-12 level. Ohio University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 146th best national university and 74th top public school. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #10 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#5 – Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina

Clemson University - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

100% online! Clemson University offers various online education programs for teachers.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,220
Points: 9

Clemson University is one of our top picks for education schools online due to its affordable graduate tuition, high graduation rate, and selective admissions. The school offers a master’s in education with teaching and learning focus that can be completed 100% online. The program is designed for current K-12 educators and can be completed in just 18 months. Clemson is a nationally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 66th best national university. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #10 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#4 – University of North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina

UNC Greensboro - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

UNC Greensboro is a top choice for best online schools for education due to its affordable tuition costs.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,489
Points: 9

One of the most affordable online education schools on our list is University of North Carolina. Not only does the school offer affordable tuition for graduate students, but also has a lower than average student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1. The school offers master’s degrees in interdisciplinary studies education and development and teacher education with elementary mathematics education focus. An online Ed.S. in educational leadership degree is also available for students wanting advanced administration and leadership roles in education. UNC is ranked as a top public school and best national university by U.S. News and World Report. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #22 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#3 – East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

East Carolina University - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

East Carolina University is one of the best online schools for education on our list.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,857
Points: 9

East Carolina University is one of our top online education degrees schools due to its affordable graduate tuition, high graduation rate, and lower than average student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1. The school offers a number of online education master’s degrees, including adult education, elementary education, middle grades education, reading education, and science education. An online doctoral degree (Ed.S.) is also available in educational leadership. All courses are delivered online and taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. The university is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top public school and best national institution. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #16 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#2 – University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

University of Iowa - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

University of Iowa’s low student-to-faculty ratio and affordable tuition place it #2 on our list for best online education schools.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,693
Points: 10

The University of Iowa is among our best online education degree schools due to the affordable graduate tuition costs, low student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1, and high graduation rate. The school offers four types of master’s in education degree programs, including educational leadership, educational measurement, teaching and leadership, and learning sciences. Some programs are offered as non-thesis degrees. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. University of Iowa is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 82nd best national university in the country. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #16 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#1 – Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Ball State University - 20 Best Online Schools for Education

Ball State University is our #1 choice for best online schools for education.

Website
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,904
Points: 10

Ball State University is listed as our #1 pick for online schools for education degrees. The institution offers a low student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1, highly affordable tuition for graduate students, and a reasonably high graduation rate. A number of online master’s in education programs are available, including adult and community education, curriculum and educational technology, educational administration and supervision with principal’s license, educational psychology, elementary education, and secondary education. Ball State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top public school and best national university. The school’s online graduate education programs rank #16 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News. Ball State is our top selection for best online education degree schools.

BCS Staff
March 2017

This concludes our list of the 20 best online schools for education in 2017-2018 (graduate level).