In order to teach in public schools in the US, you need to have passed a suitable program of study and obtained teacher certification (licensure). There are various specifically designed masters programs to help you, such as those on this page. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, you can take one of the masters teaching programs that satisfy licensing requirements. In this way you obtain your teaching license and also enhance your career prospects by having the higher degree. If you want to move into administration, you might also want to look at the Administration and Leadership page for details of suitable masters programs.
Masters teaching programs are an excellent way to qualify for a teaching career, obtain the best jobs and get promotion. This page gives details of the programs and where they can be found.
What is studied in teaching programs at masters level?
A masters in teaching program might include topics such as educational psychology, reading strategies, teaching methods, curriculum design and development. Program titles to look for include: MA in Education/Teacher Education for Elementary Licensure, M.Ed. in Elementary Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Teacher Licensure, and MS in Special Education Teaching.
Those masters with an emphasis on administration and leadership, such as an M.Ed. Education Admin, might include topics such as curriculum development, school administration, organizational theory, legal issues, school finance, and leadership. Check the Administration and Leadership page for more details of these programs.
The masters programs very often include assignments using observational and practice-based experiences, for which you need access to a suitable school. You will also need to have supervised practice in a classroom or an internship. All this ensures that education is the appropriate career for you. A masters degree may also include a research project.
How do you obtain teacher certification?
State teacher certification requirements are often slightly different in each state in the US, so you should check the specific requirements where you want to teach. However, in general terms, most states require the following to gain certification:
- Completion of a teacher training program which includes supervised practice teaching;
- A degree:
- To teach at an elementary school level, an undergraduate major or minor in education or a Masters degree in education;
- To teach secondary subjects, an undergraduate degree in the desired subjects, as well as the completion of an educational program which usually includes a student teaching and/or practicum component;
- The passing of a state-administered exam.
Some states require a Master’s degree, although it is sometimes acceptable to be close to finishing one.
Even if you are not actually teaching, but are working in an educational setting, it is useful to have teacher licensure.
What are the career prospects for teachers
Career prospects for graduates with an online masters in teaching are good – according to the United States Department of Labor the job growth for teachers is expected to be around 12% over the next several years. Salaries vary according to state, qualifications and experience. Teachers in K-12 education earn an average income of $43,000 a year, but the figure is higher in some states and lower in others. See the table in the right hand column for recent salary details.
List of schools and programs
- Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
- Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
- 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
- No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
- Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
- Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
- Global Training and Development - Master of Education
- International Education - Master of Education
- General Education - Master of Education
- And more...
- Master of Arts in Teaching
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
- MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
- MA in Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers Grades 5-12)
Capella combines outstanding academics with a supportive faculty and staff in a program designed for working adults.
An education that blends theory and practice to fuel your career
- MS - Integrative Studies
- MS - K-12 Studies in Education
- MS - Evaluation, Research, and Measurement
- And more...
- Curriculum & Instruction MAE
- Special Ed MAE
- Master of Arts in Education - Educational Technology
- Master of Arts in Education - Curriculum & Instruction
- Master of Arts in Education - Educational Leadership
- And more...
LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christ-centered university offering more than 80 programs that prepare students for success in areas including the arts and sciences, aviation, business, education and engineering. Graduate degree offerings include business, education, engineering and psychology.
- Master of Education - Curriculum and Instruction Specialization (M. Ed.)
- Master of Education - Teaching and Learning Specialization (M. Ed.)
- Master of Education - Education Administration Specialization (M. Ed.)
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
- M.Ed. Teaching & Learning: History
- MA Teaching: Middle Grades
- M.Ed. - Teaching and Learning
- And more...
Brandman University, part of the prestigious 150-year-old Chapman University system is a private, non-profit regionally accredited university that offers a high quality education for non-traditional adult students.
At Brandman University, students can choose from over 50 undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs in Arts and Sciences, Business and Professional Studies, Education and Nursing and Health professions.
- MA in Teaching with Secondary Education Emphasis
- MA in Education (Leadership in Early Childhood Education)
- MA in Teaching with Elementary Education Emphasis
- And more...
- Master of Science: Education
- Master of Arts: Teaching
- Master of Science in Higher Education - College Teaching
- And more...