In this article, we feature the top-ranked and most affordable online master’s in elementary education degree programs.

Teachers who earn an advanced degree in education tend to show a deeper understanding and commitment to the profession. Many employers view the master’s degree as a prerequisite to obtaining leadership and educational practitioner roles. It is important to find an accredited institution that offers the type of program that will leverage your career goals and personal interest.

Ranking Methodology

We reviewed 113 accredited colleges and universities that offered an online master’s in elementary education, early childhood education, or closely related program. The information used to determine our initial pool of schools was taken from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. Among this pool we chose institutions with rankings from at least one major publication, such as Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, or U.S. News and World Report. We then selected the 30 most affordable of these recognized institutions based on recent graduate tuition/fees, also listed by College Navigator. We ranked our schools in order of affordability.

Below are the resulting selections of the 30 most affordable top-ranked online master’s in elementary education degree programs.

#30 – University of Pittsburgh

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Website

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University of Pittsburgh’s online master’s in elementary education program is accredited, ranked, and affordable.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,060

Making our list of online master’s in elementary education degree programs that are accredited, ranked, and affordable, University of Pittsburgh offers an online M.Ed. program designed for working teachers. The program is offered entirely online and mirrors the M.Ed. program found on the Pittsburgh campus. Early childhood education students take classes like education and society, introduction to action research methods, literacy assessments and intervention models, and psychology of learning and development for education. University of Pittsburgh is a top-ranked school by major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 68th best national university in the country. Also, the school’s online graduate education programs rank #66 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#29 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

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Southern New Hampshire University’s online master’s in elementary education degree may be completed in just 15 months!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,810

One of the top online degrees in elementary education found on our list is the M.Ed. program from Southern New Hampshire University. The 100% online program combines educational theory with practical experience in the classroom as students work toward licensing and a graduate-level degree. There is no GMAT or GRE requirement and the program may be completed in as little as 15 months. Courses are delivered online and include early childhood health and science, emerging and early literacy development (K-4), learning theories and instruction, methods for teaching elementary math, social studies, and students with exceptionalities. SNHU is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 101st best regional university in the North and the #1 most innovative school.

#28 – Dominican University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education, ESL or Reading

River Forest, Illinois

Website

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The online master’s in elementary education from Dominican University offers sessions in ESL and reading.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,142

Dominican University offers elementary education online programs designed for licensed teachers to gain additional skills and credentials in a flexible manner. The program is offered entirely online with convenient class scheduling. Also, there are several available start dates and six sessions offered throughout the year. Students are able to earn their master’s degree in just 18 months. Also, the program mirrors the on-campus program. Students receive the same instruction and curriculum as their on-campus peers. Dominican is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In the most recent edition of Best Colleges, Dominican is listed as the 27th best regional university in the Midwest and 2nd best value school.

#27 – Northcentral University

Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education

Prescott Valley, Arizona

Website

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Northcentral University offers a 100% online master’s in early childhood education degree program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,171

Northcentral University offers an online master’s in early childhood education that is designed to prepare students for work in daycare centers, kindergarten classrooms, and public and private schools. The program requires no physical residency requirement, and classes are delivered 100% online. Also, courses are taught by doctoral faculty and mirror the classes delivered on-campus. Northcentral is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In recent years, Best Colleges has listed the school as a best national university. Also, the school’s undergraduate and graduate programs have earned recognition.

#26 – California University of Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education

California, Pennsylvania

Website

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The online master’s in early childhood education program at California University of Pennsylvania is for busy teachers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,707

California University of Pennsylvania offers an accredited online master’s in early childhood education program that is designed for busy and certified teachers. The program is completely online and emphasizes research-based practices for pre-K and early childhood education. Online classes include advanced childhood development, advanced psychology of learning, literacy development, methods of research, science and math in early childhood, and special topics in early childhood education. The university is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges lists the school as a best regional university in the North. Also, the school’s graduate education programs rank #83 out of more than 1,200 similar programs.

#25 – Arizona State University

Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education

Tempe, Arizona

Website

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ASU’s early childhood education master’s degree program is 100% online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,304

Arizona State University offers an accredited online master’s in early childhood education program that is designed to prepare individuals to meet the educational and social needs of children from birth to eight years old. There are three M.Ed. options in early childhood education: M.Ed. with certification, M.Ed. with endorsement, or the general MEd. All classes are delivered online and include community collaboration, early childhood pedagogy, early childhood research, policy analysis and advocacy, and working with children grades K-3. A practicum is required and placement must be completed in person. ASU is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as well as other major publications. In fact, the school’s online graduate education programs rank #34 in the country.

#24 – Western Illinois University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Macomb, Illinois

Website

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No campus visits are required for the online master’s in elementary education degree from Western Illinois University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,990

Students interested in online master’s in early childhood education and elementary education programs may find Western Illinois University to provide a suitable program. The master’s in elementary education has two specializations – elementary curriculum and literacy education. No campus attendance or residency is required and all classes are taught by full-time faculty who routinely teach on the Macomb campus. Courses include assessment and differentiation of instruction, language development and reading, methods of research, reading in early childhood, and social studies curriculum. Western Illinois is a best regional university in the Midwest according to U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school #9 among top public schools.

#23 – Faulkner University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Montgomery, Alabama

Website

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Faulkner University offers an online master’s in elementary education that is accredited and affordable.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,800

The online master’s in elementary education degree program from Faulkner University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The program offers a Christ-centered education due to the school’s Christian roots and heritage. Busy and working students may benefit from the online courses that are taught over an eight-week timeframe. Classes include curriculum, design, assessment, and evaluations; educational psychology and exceptionalities; educational research; philosophy, ethics, and character building; reading skills and comprehension; and technology of learning. Faulkner is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a regional university in the South.

#22 – University of Alabama

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Website

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University of Alabama’s online master’s in elementary education is designed for working teachers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,170

University of Alabama offers an online master’s in elementary education program that is designed for working professionals interested in pursuing an advanced degree to further children’s education. A total of 30 credit hours are needed to satisfy the program requirements and all courses are delivered online. Required courses include elementary school curriculum, evaluation of classroom learning, guiding pupil learning, and introduction to educational research. The university is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 103rd best national university and the 46th top public school.

#21 – University of Northern Iowa

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Cedar Falls, Iowa

Website

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Teachers with licensure may apply to the online master’s in elementary education program at University of Northern Iowa.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,219

University of Northern Iowa’s accredited online degrees in elementary education are designed for K-6 classroom teachers with licensure in elementary education. The program is entirely online so that working students may enjoy the flexible classes that require no campus visits. Online courses include analysis and improvement of science instruction in the elementary school, foundations of instructional psychology, issues and trends in curriculum, methods and materials in literacy education, and studies in multicultural education. University of Northern Iowa is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 20th best regional university in the Midwest and the 2nd top public school.

#20 – Northern Arizona University

Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education

Flagstaff, Arizona

Website

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Northern Arizona University’s online degrees in elementary education are affordable and accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,071

Whether you are interested in online degrees in elementary education or early childhood education, Northern Arizona University offers affordable options. Designed for working students, the early childhood education master’s degree is available entirely online with three emphasis areas: Early childhood leadership, early childhood national board preparation, and early childhood teacher. All classes are delivered online and include development of children’s logical concepts, early childhood curriculum, educational sociology, international education, introduction to research, and selected topics in early childhood education. Northern Arizona is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, the most recent edition of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges lists the school’s online graduate education programs #110 out of more than 1,200 similar programs.

#19 – Eastern Kentucky University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Richmond, Kentucky

Website

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Ranked #78! U.S. News and World Report recognizes the online master’s in elementary education from Eastern Kentucky University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,000

The elementary education master’s degree online program from Eastern Kentucky University is designed to prepare certified teachers to teach in elementary schools (from preschool to grade 5). All classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who teach on campus. Courses include curriculum for teacher leaders, discipline and classroom management, exceptional learners in the regular classroom, foundations of multicultural education, language arts in the curriculum, leadership skills for teachers, and trends in science education. Eastern Kentucky University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 79th best regional university in the South. Also, the graduate education programs rank #78 among more than 1,200 programs.

#18 – Ball State University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Muncie, Indiana

Website

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Ball State University offers an accredited online master’s in elementary education degree program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,904

Ball State University’s elementary education master’s degree online program is customizable and affordable. Six focus areas are available so that teachers may tailor their degree and classes to suit their personal interests and career goals. Focus areas include autism, computer education for teachers, gifted and talented education, human development and learning, middle school education, and response to intervention. All courses are delivered online and include child development, early childhood education, early literacy development, play and creativity in early childhood, and research in elementary education. Several certificate options are also available. Ball State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university and top public school. The online graduate education programs rank #11 out of more than 1,200 similar programs.

#17 – West Virginia University

Online Master’s in Advanced Elementary Education

Morgantown, West Virginia

Website

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West Virginia University’s online master’s in elementary education is NCATE-accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,568

West Virginia University offers an online master’s in elementary education program that is designed for educators who currently work in early and middle school settings. Courses are taught online by the same faculty who teach in the College of Education and Human Services at the university. In order to enroll in the program, students must be certified teachers. The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). In addition to accreditation, the school is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 183rd best national university and 99th top public school. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #89 out of more than 1,200 similar programs.

#16 – Concordia University

Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Website

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Concordia’s online master’s in early childhood education is ranked and accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,550

Concordia University offers an online master’s in early childhood education degree program that can be completed entirely online. Courses are delivered entirely online so that students do not have to travel to campus to meet program requirements. Online courses include ethics for educators, language development and emergent literacy, legal and legislative issues, observation and assessment, and play – theory and applications. According to the program website, 92% of Concordia students receive jobs following graduation. Concordia is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges lists the school #103 among the best regional universities in the Midwest. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #89 out of 1,200 surveyed programs.

#15 – University of North Dakota

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Website

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No out-of-state tuition! University of North Dakota offers an affordable online master’s in elementary education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,461

University of North Dakota offers online degrees in elementary education that are designed for working individuals interested in a convenient online master’s program. In-state tuition prices make the program affordable regardless of residency. This means that students do not have to live in North Dakota to receive in-state tuition. Courses are delivered online and include administration of elementary school curriculum, education and public policy, introduction to the foundation of education, and issues and trends in education. Non-thesis options are available and the program may be completed in just two years. University of North Dakota is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 202nd best national university in the country.

#14 – William Carey University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Website

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William Carey University offers an affordable option for an online elementary education master’s degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,220

The elementary education master’s degree online program from William Carey University is designed to build professional skills that impact classrooms and schools. The 30-hour program may be completed entirely online and in just five trimesters (15 months). Research, evidence-based practice, and technology are used to provide students with an online graduate education. According to the program website, classes are kept small and require no synchronous meetings. Students gain personal attention from their instructors and are able to forge relationships with their peers. Aside from classes, students must complete a portfolio of materials to use in day-to-day instruction. William Carey University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 41st best regional university in the South and the 2nd best value school.

#13 – Liberty University

Online Master’s in Teaching and Learning (Elementary Education)

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

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Liberty University’s online master’s in elementary education focuses on teaching and learning.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,000

Liberty University’s elementary education master’s degree online program is designed to prepare professionals with advanced teaching and learning skills. Successful completion of the program earns a master’s of education (M.Ed.) – teaching and learning with a specialization in elementary education. The program is delivered entirely online and includes classes like behavior management, current issues in education, elementary curriculum and methods, foundations of education, learning theory, and understanding educational research and assessment. Liberty University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a best national university. In fact, the online graduate education program ranks #146 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#12 – University of Mississippi

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

University, Mississippi

Website

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Ranked #25 in the country. University of Mississippi’s online master’s in elementary education is highly affordable.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,444

University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) offers an elementary education master’s degree online program that is highly affordable. The online delivery option allows students to gain in-state residency tuition rates no matter where they live in the country. This means that students outside of Mississippi can still qualify for in-state tuition. The program consists of 30-credit semester hours that may be completed in five semesters. A comprehensive examination is also required to complete the degree. Ole Miss is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, major publications like U.S. News and World Report list the school as a best national university. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #25 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs in the recent edition of Best Colleges.

#11 – Indiana State University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Terre Haute, Indiana

Website

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Indiana State University’s online master’s in elementary education program offers two concentrations – early childhood and literacy.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,184

Accredited and affordable online degrees in elementary education can be difficult to find. Thankfully, Indiana State University offers such a program that may be completed in just 18 months if attending full-time. Part-time options are also available for those in need of a less aggressive schedule. All courses are delivered online and taught by the same education professors who teach on the main campus. Online courses include advanced child psychology, development through the lifespan, philosophy of education, the elementary curriculum, and the history of American education. Two 18-credit concentrations are available in early childhood or literacy. Indiana State is a ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report has listed the school as a best national university in recent years.

#10 – University of South Alabama

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Mobile, Alabama

Website

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University of South Alabama’s online master’s in elementary education program is for working teachers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,110

One of the most affordable elementary education online programs on our list is offered by the University of South Alabama. The 30-hour fully online program is designed to provide advanced study to teachers who already hold a professional elementary education certificate (Class B) but want to receive their Class A certificate. Successful graduates of the program earn an M.Ed. in elementary education. All courses are delivered online and include educational research and evaluation, elementary school curriculum, instructional planning in the elementary school, language development in elementary school, teaching science, and trends in teaching mathematics. The school is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a best national university. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #120 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#9 – Western Carolina University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Website

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Concentration options are available in the online master’s in elementary education degree program at Western Carolina University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,065

Teaching professionals on the lookout for an accredited and affordable online master’s in elementary education may find Western Carolina University to offer a quality program. Coursework may be completed entirely online without visits to campus for face-to-face meetings. Two concentrations are available in academically and intellectually gifted (AIG) instruction and literacy. Courses include advanced studies in teacher leadership, assessment of instruction, classroom research design for elementary education, education in a diverse society, and universal design for learning. Western Carolina University is regionally ranked by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent publication of Best Colleges lists the school as the 37th best regional university in the South and the 13th top public school.

#8 – University of North Carolina – Charlotte

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Charlotte, North Carolina

Website

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UNC Charlotte offers a master’s in elementary education that is 100% online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,032

University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Division of Academic Affairs and Distance Education offers elementary education online programs designed for experienced educators who teach in North Carolina. The program is 100% online and offers courses on a part-time basis. Four areas of concentration are available, including academically or intellectually gifted, elementary mathematics, instructional systems technology, and special education. Classes are delivered online and include classroom management and leadership for diverse learners, current issues in global and urban elementary schools, introduction to educational research, and theories of human development and learning in cultural contexts. The institution is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university and top public school.

#7 – Auburn University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Auburn, Alabama

Website

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Auburn University’s online master’s in elementary education program is accredited and ranked.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,016

One of the most affordable online degrees in elementary education on our list is offered by Auburn University. This 100% online program requires 30 credit hours, including 24 hours of teaching field courses and 6 hours of advisor-approved courses. The program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and approved by the Alabama State Board of Education. Auburn is also a nationally ranked and recognized institution. In fact, major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school as the 99th best national university and the 43rd top public school. Also, the school’s online graduate education programs rank #7 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#6 – East Carolina University

Online Master’s in Birth Through Kindergarten

Greenville, North Carolina

Website

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The online master’s in elementary ed from East Carolina focuses on birth through kindergarten.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,857

East Carolina University’s elementary education online programs include the MAEd in birth through kindergarten (BK). The master’s degree program consists of 39 semester hours and is designed to prepare educators for master teacher roles. Several specialty areas are offered so that students may tailor their degree to suit personal interests and career goals. These specialties include assistive technology, autism and autism spectrum disorder, community college instruction, deaf-blindness, teaching English, or an individualized strand. East Carolina is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a best national university. Also, the school’s online graduate education programs rank #14 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#5 – Kennesaw State University

Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education

Kennesaw, Georgia

Website

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Kennesaw State University’s online master’s in early childhood education takes just 13 months to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,740

Kennesaw State University’s online master’s in early childhood education is designed for individuals who are already certified early childhood educators and want to gain advanced skills. The program allows elementary education teachers to earn their master’s degree in just 13 months without stepping away from their current career. Endorsement opportunities are also available and include ESOL, gifted education, leaders pre-service, online teaching, reading, and teacher leadership. All classes are delivered online and include diversity and global education, integrated models of instruction, and trends and issues in science for early childhood education. Kennesaw State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a best national university.

#4 – Delta State University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Cleveland, Mississippi

Website

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Delta State University offers one of the most affordable online master’s in elementary education programs on our list.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,112

One of the most affordable elementary education online programs on our list is offered by Delta State University. The program is designed to prepare teachers with the advanced skills needed to work in leadership roles of the elementary school. All courses are delivered online to provide students with the flexibility needed for advancing their careers without disrupting their current employment duties. Online classes include classroom management, curriculum theory development and revision in elementary education, fundamentals of early childhood education, literary instruction in elementary education, and methods of educational research and statistics. Delta State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

#3 – University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Pembroke, North Carolina

Website

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UNC Pembroke’s online master’s in elementary education is for experienced teachers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,667

One of the more affordable online degrees in elementary education on our list is offered by University of North Carolina at Pembroke. The online MEd in elementary education program is designed to prepare experienced teachers for leadership roles, researchers, and master practitioners in the elementary school and district. Twelve courses make up the 36-semester hour program. All courses are delivered online and include advanced elementary mathematics and science, advanced elementary social studies and language arts, applied educational research, effective educational leadership, and professional development and leadership. UNC-Pembroke is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 91st best regional university in the South and the 37th top public school. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #53 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#2 – Missouri State University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Springfield, Missouri

Website

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Missouri State University’s master’s in elementary education program is entirely online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,500

Missouri State University offers an accredited online master’s in elementary education degree program that is designed to equip teachers with advanced elementary ed skills and knowledge. The program is flexible and may be tailored to suit specific career goals and personal interests. In fact, students may choose one-third of their classes to showcase early childhood, ESL, math, middle school, reading, science, social science, special education, or technology. Courses may include contemporary issues in elementary curriculum, elementary school curriculum, problems in education, and standards-based integrated curriculum. Missouri State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 71st best regional university in the Midwest and the 16th top public school.

#1 – Eastern New Mexico University

Online Master’s in Elementary Education

Portales, New Mexico

Website

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Our #1 spot for top affordable online master’s in elementary education degrees goes to Eastern New Mexico University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,310

The most affordable online master’s in elementary education degree program on our list is offered at Eastern New Mexico University. In fact, the school has the most affordable tuition in New Mexico and is considered one of the cheapest schools to attend in the United States. The elementary education master’s program is offered entirely online and designed to prepare students to become education practitioners. Courses include content area literacy, creativity across the curriculum, critical pedagogy in educational reform, instructional leadership, teacher as researcher, and trends in math and science. What makes the program unique is its dedication to emphasizing differentiated instruction and working with a diverse student population. Eastern New Mexico University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best regional universities in the West.

This concludes our listing of the top-ranked and most affordable online master’s in elementary education degree programs.