Obtaining a master's in education degree requires skill, determination, and a thirst for improving the world. If this sounds like the right path for you, we've created a list that represents the top 30 best master's in education degree programs from accredited colleges and universities.

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Ranking Methodology

We looked at approximately 375 accredited institutions listed in U.S. News and World Report's Best Education Graduate Schools for 2017. From this list, we narrowed our selection by applying the following criteria: More than one available concentration or specialization; top national or program rankings from U.S. News and World Report; and affordable in-state graduate tuition/fees. We listed our schools in order of affordability.

#30 – Johns Hopkins University

Master's in Education

Baltimore, Maryland

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $50,510

Johns Hopkins University is a top-ranked research school known for its academic rigor. The school offers a master's in education with concentrations in seven areas, including gifted education, reading, school administration and supervision, and technology for educators. The program requires 33 to 39 credits, depending on the selected concentration. Admissions requirements include official transcripts with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, current resume, completed essay, and two letters of recommendation. The program requires 33 to 39 credits, depending on the selected concentration. Johns Hopkins is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the School of Education is ranked #2 in the most recent publications of Best Graduate Education Schools, tied only with Harvard.

#29 – Northwestern University

Master's in Education

Evanston, Illinois

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $49,064

The School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University offers a master's in education (K-12) degree program that is designed to equip students to become teachers or leading teachers. For those interested in administration or leadership, a teaching leadership concentration is available. The K-12 teaching program prepares students for instruction roles in elementary and secondary schools. Part-time and full-time scheduling allows for flexible classes so that students can continue working and gaining valuable employment experience. Northwestern is a top-ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Also, the graduate education school ranks #8 in the country–tied with the University of Washington.

#28 – Stanford University

Master's in Education

Stanford, California

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $46,320

Stanford University's graduate teaching program, called STEP (Stanford Teacher Education Program), is a 12 month program which awards graduates both a master's degree in education and a preliminary California Teaching Credential in a specific subject area. The courses vary depending on the specialization that you choose. Students enrolled as elementary STEP candidates enjoy a small class size of around 20 people, and secondary STEP candidates will be enrolled with about 70 others. Although you will either need good financial aid or a full bank account to afford to attend this school, Stanford University's reputation alone will help you long after you obtain your master's in education. According to U.S. News and World Report's most recent publications of Best Education Schools, Stanford ranks #1.

#27 – Columbia University Teachers College

Master's in Education

New York, New York

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $44,176

The Teachers College at Columbia University is the oldest graduate program of education in America, and as such, requires recommendations, stellar grades in your previous college classes, and much more. Admission to this prestigious program can be tough. If you are admitted to the program, you will be able to pursue a master's in education degree with a focus on a particular subject. The Teachers College consists of ten different departments comprised of more than 100 programs that are specifically designed to teach you how to teach others. Columbia's Teachers College is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 7th best education graduate school in the nation.

#26 – Vanderbilt University

Master's in Education

Nashville, Tennessee

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $44,050

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education and Human Development offers master's degrees in education that include education policy, elementary education, and secondary education. Several joint degree programs and concentrations are available so that students may tailor their degree to suit career goals and personal interests. For those seeking an education career after earning a bachelor's that did not include teacher licensure, options are available in elementary and secondary education. Peabody College of Education is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 5th best graduate education school in the nation.

#25 – Harvard University

Master's in Education

Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $42,874

Harvard University is recognized for its prestige and reputation. It is ranked by all major publications as a top national university. Those interested in graduate education find Harvard's School of Education to provide them with rigorous master's level degree options, including the master's in school leadership and teacher education. Admission is highly selective, and the process includes test scores, letters of recommendation, and essays. According to the most recent publication of Best Graduate Education Schools by U.S. News and World Report, Harvard ranks #2 in the country–tied with Johns Hopkins University.

#24 – New York University

Master's in Education

New York, New York

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $40,984

New York University's Steinhardt School of Education offers one of the top-ranked master's in education programs in the country. Elementary, secondary, and educational leadership programs are available. Depending on the chosen major, students may take classes that cover diverse learners, gifted education, and teacher leadership in the classroom. Admission guidelines include a prepared application, resume/CV, statement of purpose, recommendation letters, transcripts, and the GRE or Miller Analogies Test (MAT). NYU's Steinhardt School is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 15th best graduate education school in the nation–tied with Michigan State University and the University of Kansas.

#23 – University of Pennsylvania

Master's in Education

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $34,268

University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education is one of the top ranked education schools in the country. Ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report, Penn's School of Education is listed as the 6th best graduate education school. Penn offers master's in education degrees with various concentrations and specialties like education entrepreneurship, education policy, and higher education. Admission to the master's programs is competitive. High test scores, well-written essays, and letters of recommendation are required. Penn's School of Education is ranked #6 in the country for best education graduate schools, according to U.S. News and World Report.

#22 – Boston College

Master's in Education

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $26,262

The Lynch School of Education at Boston College offers master's in education programs in 15 areas of study, including elementary, higher, and secondary education. Students are required to possess a strong background in their content area, and a bachelor's degree is needed. The programs emphasize foundational and professional courses and practicum experiences. Admission to the Lynch School of Education is competitive, and the process includes letters of recommendation, essays, and test scores. Lynch is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 23rd best graduate education school in the country–tied only with University of Illinois.

#21 – University of Pittsburgh

Master's in Education

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,060

University of Pittsburgh's School of Education is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 30th best graduate education school in the country. Master's in education degrees include a full range of specialty programs like early childhood education, elementary education, education leadership, and secondary education. Students benefit world-renowned faculty, an extended alumni network, and inquiry-based curriculum. Programs are designed to prepare the next generation of teachers, researchers, and administrators. Admissions procedures include a completed application, official transcripts, statement of career goals and degree objectives, three letters of recommendation, and a resume or curriculum vitae. Admission can be highly selective.

#20 – University of Michigan

Master's in Education

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,966

University of Michigan's School of Education offers top-ranked master's in education programs that include either elementary or secondary teaching certification. All graduate education programs are customizable and allow students the flexibility of probing areas of specialized interest tailored towards career goals. Admissions can be competitive and requires a traditional application, letters of recommendation, and test scores. University of Michigan is a top-ranked public institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report's most recent edition of Best Graduate Education Schools ranks the institution as having the 12th best education school in the nation–tied only with University of Oregon.

#19 – University of Illinois

Master's in Education

Champaign, Illinois

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,041

University of Illinois' College of Education is a top-ranked graduate school that offers programs designed to equip students for careers as educators and administrators. Students benefit from being part of a research university while developing their own interests. Four areas of concentration include curriculum and instruction, educational psychology, education policy and organization and leadership, and special education. University of Illinois' College of Education is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 23rd best graduate education school in the nation–tied with Boston College's Lynch School of Education.

#18 – University of Minnesota

Master's in Education

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,289

University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development offers several accredited master's in education degree programs that provide students with cutting-edge research and practical applications designed to help them become teachers. Many of the graduate programs also have certificates or teacher licensure available. Admissions can be competitive, as the school is known for being a world-renowned research university. In fact, the graduate education programs are well respected in Minnesota school districts. University of Minnesota's College of Education is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 20th best graduate education school in the country, according to the most recent edition of Best Colleges.

#17 – University of Virginia

Master's in Education

Charlottesville, Virginia

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,094

University of Virginia's Curry School of Education is ranked among the top graduate schools of education in the nation. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Curry #21, tied only with USC. The school prides itself on offering rigorous yet practical education research that supports both the quality of teaching and clinical practices in the state. There are over 15 master's of education degree programs, including administration and supervision, curriculum instruction, educational psychology, higher education, and speech communications. Admission requires a complete application, current GRE with competitive scores, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. Many of the M.Ed. programs are designed to prepare students for doctoral admissions.

#16 – University of Washington

Master's in Education

Seattle, Washington

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,278

The College of Education at University of Washington offers a number of specialized graduate programs that focus on research and field study. Five specialized areas of focus include curriculum and instruction, education and equity, educational policy, educational psychology, and special education. There are also teacher preparation programs designed to allow teacher candidates to work in a variety of field-based learning opportunities, including elementary teacher prep and secondary teacher experience. University of Washington's College of Education is highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 8th best education school in the country–tied only with Northwestern University.

#15 – Michigan State University

Master's in Education

East Lansing, Michigan

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,122

Michigan State University's master of education program is well known for its research with children and its contributions to policy development. The MEd degree here is perfect for people who want to be involved in the research end of education. This university is large with more than 30,000 attendees, although graduate education classes tend to favor a low student-to-faculty ratio. Courses often taken for the graduate degree include: concept of a learning society, curriculum in its social context, elementary reading assessment, psychology of classroom discipline, and technology and leadership. Michigan State is a nationally ranked public institution. In fact, major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the graduate education school #15 in the nation.

#14 – University of Oregon

Master's in Education

Eugene, Oregon

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,040

University of Oregon's College of Education offers several master's in education programs that emphasize areas of focus like curriculum and teaching, educational leadership, prevention science, and special education. Most programs take between 14 months and two years to complete. Since the university is a research institution, the master's in education programs prepare students for careers through research-based study. Licensure and endorsement preparation is also offered so that students may earn K-12 Oregon teacher licensure in specific areas like reading endorsement or special ed. Oregon's College of Education ranks #12 in the most recent edition of U.S. News and World Report's Best Graduate Education Schools, tied only with University of Michigan.

#13 – University of Connecticut

Master's in Education

Storrs, Connecticut

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,296

The Neag School of Education at University of Connecticut is one of the nation's leading education colleges. Master's in education degrees are offered in numerous specialties like adult learning, curriculum and instruction, and special education. Graduate certificates and teacher certification programs are also available. Also, many of the programs are designed to meet the needs of working students who do not want to give up valuable work experience to attend classes. Hybrid and summer programs, or sixth-year degree options are available. In the most recent edition of Best Graduate Education Schools published by U.S. News and World Report, University of Connecticut ranks #26–tied with Indiana University or University of Maryland.

#12 – University of Maryland

Master's in Education

College Park, Maryland

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,896

The College of Education at the University of Maryland offers several top-ranked M.Ed. programs, including English and literacy education, middle school mathematics teaching and learning, and reading education/reading specialist. A teacher leadership M.Ed. program is also available with various sub-specializations like elementary/middle school, English, social studies, and special studies. Graduate students receive rigorous study with research opportunities woven into their classroom experiences. The education college is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 26th best graduate education school in the nation–tied only with University of Connecticut's Naeg School of Education.

#11 – Virginia Commonwealth University

Master's in Education

Richmond, Virginia

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,779

Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Education offers seven master's in education programs designed to prepare students for careers as educators, specialists, and teachers. M.Ed. programs in adult learning, curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, and special education offer concentrations so that students may specialize their degree even further. For those interested in a business pairing with education, the school offers a dual-degree M.Ed. and MBA program. Virginia Commonwealth is a nationally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Also, the education school ranks #33 among the best graduate education schools in the country.

#10 – University of Florida

Master's in Education

Gainesville, Florida

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,737

University of Florida's College of Education is one of the top-ranked graduate education schools in the country. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report have ranked the institution and its education programs. In fact, the College of Education ranks #30 among the top graduate education schools–tied with University of Pittsburgh and Utah State University. A total of 17 M.Ed. programs are available in areas of study like curriculum and teaching, early childhood education, educational technology, and elementary education. Within many of the M.Ed. programs, subspecialties are offered so that students may tailor their degree to highlight specific interests or meet career goals.

#9 – University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Master's in Education

Los Angeles, California

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,629

UCLA is another highly selective school with a rigorous master's of education program. The education school is particularly known as a leading institution for equipping teachers who want to make a difference in urban and multi-ethnic environments. Several different programs are available to choose from, including the two-year graduate program and the IMPACT program. UCLA also offers a more rigorous four-quarter master's of education in urban teaching. Fees for each term will vary depending on your resident status. The program offers a variety of courses, all focused on making your transition to being an educator seamless. According to U.S. News and World Report's most recent publications of Best Graduate Schools for Education, UCLA ranks #11 in the country.

#8 – Ohio State University

Master's in Education

Columbus, Ohio

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,425

The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology offers several M.Ed. programs that equip students for leadership roles in education. Some of the programs include the master's of education in early childhood, English and integrated language arts, hearing impairments, mathematics, and vision impairments. Most of the master's in education programs also offer specializations so that the students may tailor their degree to suit their interests or career goals in teaching. Admission can be selective, as The Ohio State University is a top-ranked research institution. According to the U.S. News and World Report's best graduate education schools list, Ohio State's College of Education is ranked #18 in the country.

#7 – University of Colorado

Master's in Education

Boulder, Colorado

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,320

The School of Education at University of Colorado is ranked #28 by U.S. News and World Report as a best graduate education school. Five graduate programs are offered in curriculum and instruction, educational equity and cultural diversity, educational foundations and policy, learning sciences and human development, and research and evaluation methodology. Graduate students work in small groups and collaborate with faculty members who are education scholars with years of experience. The admission process includes a personal statement, three letters of reference, and unofficial transcripts. Students must hold a bachelor's degree in order to qualify for application. Due to the school's rankings, admission can be competitive.

#6 – University of Wisconsin

Master's in Education

Madison, Wisconsin

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,870

University of Wisconsin's School of Education offers a broad range of graduate programs in over a dozen areas of education. Master's of education degrees in curriculum and instruction, K-12 leadership, and special education are just some of the areas of study available to students at this top ranked school. All master's in education programs are designed to equip students with the advanced skills necessary to work as leaders in the field of education or enter doctoral research programs, which are also offered at the institution. University of Wisconsin is a top-ranked national university. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the School of Education as the 4th best graduate education school in the nation.

#5 – Arizona State University

Master's in Education

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,304

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University creates teachers and educational leaders who have the knowledge needed to take action and improve education. Eleven master's in education degrees are offered, including curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, educational technology, higher and postsecondary education, and secondary education. Many of the degrees offered also provide teacher certification opportunities. Graduate admission requires a personal statement, three professional recommendations, and resume or CV. For master's with teacher certification programs, a copy of the fingerprint clearance card is required. According to U.S. News and World Report's most recent publication of Best Graduate Education Schools, ASU's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College ranks #14 in the country.

#4 – University of Texas

Master's in Education

Austin, Texas

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Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,934

The University of Texas College of Education offers research-driven experiences for graduate students in pursuit of a master's in education degree. There are five general departments that each offers their own master of education degrees. These departments include curriculum and instruction, educational administration, educational psychology, kinesiology and health education, and special education. Depending on career goals, students may tailor their studies to fit their interests. Some of the M.Ed. programs include cultural studies in education, early childhood education, higher education leadership, and special education. University of Texas is a nationally ranked institution, and its College of Education is ranked #10 by U.S. News and World Report among the best graduate education schools.

#3 – University of Kansas

Master's in Education

Lawrence, Kansas

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,958

University of Kansas offers several master's in education degrees designed to prepare students and teachers for various leadership roles in education. From curriculum and instruction to special education, the School of Education offers rigorous courses that delve deep into each topic discussed. Students apply classroom content to the classroom while gaining hands-on work experience. Graduate admission is standard, requiring a completed application, letters of reference, and resume. University of Kansas is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university. Also, the School of Education ranks #15 for best graduate education institutions in the country.

#2 – Indiana University

Master's in Education

Bloomington, Indiana

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,743

Indiana University's School of Education offers a wide number of master's, specialist, and doctoral degree programs. Individuals interested in earning a master's in education may choose from one of twenty areas of study–from early childhood education to elementary education. Teaching licensure is also available. Admission to the top-ranked programs may be competitive. Students must have a bachelor's degree, a strong GPA, letters of recommendation, and other criteria as stated on the program website. Indiana University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. Also, in the most recent edition of Best Education Graduate Schools, Indiana ranks #28–tied with University of Maryland and University of Colorado.

#1 – Utah State University

Master's in Education

Logan, Utah

Website

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,092

Utah State University's Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services offers several master's in education degree programs, including the M.Ed. in elementary education, instructional leadership, and secondary education. All master's programs are designed to prepare students for careers in education or entry into a doctoral education program. The admissions process includes a completed application, GRE or GMAT (depending on which program you are applying to), transcripts, and any other forms required by the department. Utah State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top institution. Also, the College of Education is ranked #30 in the most recent edition of Best Graduate Education Schools for 2017. Utah State is the most affordable school for a master's in education on our list.

Related Resources:

Top 10 Online Ed.D Programs in Educational Leadership
Top 10 Best Online Graduate Schools

GSH Staff
February 2017