Derick de Souza
Written By - Derick de Souza

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A Master’s in Secondary Education Online is designed for individuals with bachelor’s degrees, regardless of their academic background. Tailored for those aspiring to obtain secondary school teaching certification, this program equips graduate students with the necessary skills for diverse roles in education and administration. With a focus on advanced education techniques, it prepares educators for various teaching environments. Moreover, the flexibility of online learning enables students to pursue doctoral programs or specialized training in related educational fields while honing their teaching skills. This comprehensive approach ensures graduates are well-prepared to excel in the dynamic landscape of secondary education, contributing positively to students’ academic growth and development.

Master’s in Secondary
        Education Online

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Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees in Criminal Justice with Counter Terrorism Concentration

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

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Best Master’s in Secondary Education Online Programs

Every student deserves a well-balanced program that boosts their career and provides them with the correct learning. When choosing from online master’s in secondary education degree programs, graduates should check for essential factors such as the total credit hours, institution ranking, course-affordability, scholarships, quality of faculty, student services, institution infrastructure, coursework, professional licensure, and certification. OMC teams have researched hundreds of master’s degrees and narrowed in on the best master’s in secondary education online for prospective students. Here is the list:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
New York University
70 Washington Sq South, New York, New York 10012
University of Southern California
University Park, Los Angeles, California 90089
North Carolina State University
2101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695
Clemson University
201 Sikes Hall, Clemson, South Carolina 29634
Mississippi College
200 South Capitol Street, Clinton, Mississippi 39058
Ball State University
2000 University Ave, Muncie, Indiana 47306
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
California State University-Fullerton
800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, California 92831
Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Rd, Kennesaw, Georgia 30144
Georgia Southern University
1332 Southern Drive, Statesboro, Georgia 30460
University of Louisiana at Monroe
700 University Avenue, Monroe, Louisiana 71209
University of New Mexico-Main Campus
1700 Lomas Blvd NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
Georgia College & State University
231 W Hancock Street, Milledgeville, Georgia 31061
University of North Texas
1501 W.Chestnut Ave., Denton, Texas 76203
The University of Alabama
739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, California 92182
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, North Carolina 28223
University of the Cumberlands
6191 College Station Drive, Williamsburg, Kentucky 40769
University of Maryland Global Campus
3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, Maryland 20783
University of Maine
168 College Avenue, Orono, Maine 04469

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Master’s in Secondary Education Online Programs

The master’s in secondary education online degree helps students further their professional growth and leadership skills while attaining integrative knowledge simultaneously. The program is designed for bachelor’s students who want to qualify for state teaching certification while parallelly earning their master’s degree. Students can choose from different certification areas like English, General Science, Mathematics, etc.,. Upon completing the program, they will qualify to teach at public and private schools. This program is 30 to 40 credit hours, depending on the institution, program format, concentration, coursework, and add-on courses. The program can be accessed on campus, online, and in a hybrid mode that blends both. Fieldwork experience is a crucial part of the online secondary education degree. With most colleges providing around 75 plus hours of field experience, students can be employed as teachers and simultaneously complete their coursework and teaching requirements. Field placements, part of the curriculum, can be completed in school districts convenient for students.

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Master’s in Secondary Education Online Programs

The master’s in secondary education online requires 30 to 45 credits to complete. This program consists of a curriculum that meets the professional standards required for teaching across the country and prepares graduates for certification as secondary education teachers. The program is known for empirical research and on-ground field work for addressing the educational needs of a diverse set of students. Students can expect an interdisciplinary approach focusing on extensive field-based experiences and developing content and pedagogical practices. While some programs may require students to complete teaching requirements, others may require a capstone.  Most programs have designed similar coursework for secondary education master programs. Some of the standard secondary education courses include but are not limited to:

  • Improving Instruction
    In this course, students learn advanced teaching techniques, curriculum design, and assessment methods tailored for diverse learners. Emphasizing evidence-based practices, the course aims to enhance instructional effectiveness and student engagement, preparing educators for impactful teaching careers.
  • Advanced Planning and Managing
    In this course, students explore strategic curriculum planning, classroom management strategies, and educational leadership principles. With a focus on optimizing learning environments, this course equips educators with advanced skills to lead and manage effectively in secondary education settings.
  • Functions and Methods of Research
    In this course, students explore research methodologies, data analysis techniques, and ethical considerations relevant to educational research. By honing research skills, educators gain insights to inform evidence-based practices and contribute to advancing secondary education.
  • Disciplinary Literacy
    In this course, students explore strategies for teaching literacy skills within specific academic disciplines. By focusing on subject-specific reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, this course equips educators to support students’ academic success across various content areas.
  • Advanced Middle School Curriculum and Instruction
    In this course, students explore specialized pedagogical approaches tailored to the unique needs of middle school students. Emphasizing curriculum development and instructional strategies, this course prepares educators to create engaging and effective learning experiences in middle school settings.

Upon graduating with a master’s in secondary education online degree, graduates will be skilled to take up diverse educational roles based on the expertise and knowledge they acquired through the program. Some skills they will attain upon graduating from the program include the ability to:

  • use the methods of development to focus on the physical, social, cognitive, and personal development of students;
  • integrate current practices of education with advancing technology in the classroom;
  • use skillsets to build diverse curricula and assessments and enhance students’ performance in a school setting;
  • use the enhanced curriculum to focus on diverse learning needs and focus on inclusion to instruct and accommodate students with special needs in a regular classroom environment; 
  • use skills learned through field-based coursework on implementing strategies and skills clearly and effectively for students struggling with complex school coursework;
  • encourage students and instill curiosity in them by using different modes of the deliverance of content and assessing areas of improvement by taking feedback from students; 
  • demonstrate an empathetic approach to students and deliver instructions to them promptly utilizing the resources available in a classroom as well as their immediate environment;
  • use skills to create a supportive and engaging classroom environment that enriches the student’s experience of education; at the same time, deliver high-quality content keeping in mind the diverse needs of students in a secondary classroom setting; 
  • demonstrate high standards of professionalism expected by institutions and the field of education and specialization they are related to; and
  • make quick judgments and solve the problems of students based on their expertise in academics and on-ground experience during their fieldwork.

Master’s in Secondary Education Online Degree Types

Three types of degrees are available for students pursuing an online secondary education master’s. They are Master’s of Arts or MA in secondary education online, Master’s of Science or MS in secondary education online, and Master’s of Education or M.Ed. in secondary education online.

Master of Arts in Secondary Education

The Master of Arts in Secondary Education or MA secondary education is designed for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in non-education fields but want to be considered teachers at the secondary level. It provides an understanding of diverse needs in education, cultural dynamics, and social concerns that secondary schools might go through currently.

Master’s of Science in Secondary Education

The Master of Science in Secondary Education or MS secondary education provides students with instructional techniques and field experience. This program is suitable for students with an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than education. Depending on the institutions, varied concentrations are available to them, like English, Computer Science, Mathematics, etc.

Master of Education in Secondary Education

The Master of Education in Secondary Education or M.Ed. secondary education focuses on the needs and subject areas promising for current secondary school students. This program would prepare students to teach through grades seven to twelve in their chosen concentrations, such as Social Studies, Mathematics, etc.

Specializations in Master’s in Secondary Education Online Programs

Specializations at a graduate level will help students focus on specific areas of study and strengthen their knowledge and skills. Specializing in one major area could help them gain expertise, leading to higher industry recognition. Although a master’s in secondary education is a highly skilled field, having secondary education specializations and the degree could help graduates with better career prospects, higher salaries, and a broader scope of employment. Here are a few specializations available to students in institutions providing a master’s in secondary education online:

Area of Specialization Description 
History Education This specialization equips students to teach different history-related subjects without requiring an additional degree. Topics include American politics, state history, world history, and other historical topics.
Biology Education The specialization in biology will prepare students to teach biology subjects to secondary school students. The focus here is on high-quality research and a strong foundation in biology.
Social Science Education The specialization in social science prepares graduates with the backgrounds necessary to teach students about the historical and social foundation of society as we know it today. Future teachers gain expertise in geography, civics, government, and economics.
General Science Education The general science specialization provides the essential tools and methods for those aiming to teach science to elementary and secondary students. The focus is on building a strong foundation in the subject and parallelly developing research expertise as well.
Mathematics Education The specialization in mathematics helps graduates understand how to teach math in a secondary school setting. The focus is on creating effective strategies to analyze and deliver mathematics lessons to students.
Arts Education The specialization in arts education aims at preparing teachers who could develop strategies in artmaking and creatively teach students. The focus is on students exploring works of art through cultural, socio-political, and historical viewpoints.
Foreign Language Education The specialization in World or foreign languages focuses on languages like Chinese, German, Italian, Spanish, and so on, depending on the institution. Here, the focus is on the deliverance of language subjects effectively to students in secondary school settings.
Reading Education The specialization in reading focuses on developing the skills required to be a reading specialist, especially in assessment, instruction, and literacy development. Students focus on enhancing instruction for school students struggling with reading.

Timeline for graduation from Master’s in Secondary Education Online Programs

Most master’s of secondary education online degree programs require 30 to 45 credits and about 16 to 24 months to complete. However, the coursework, capstone, fieldwork, concertation, program structure, synchronous vs. asynchronous classes, and other factors would determine the exact duration of the program. Students can take up the coursework either full-time or part-time.

  1. Full-time: a full-time master’s in secondary education online is an intensive mode of study that requires 16 to 24 months to complete the degree, depending on the program.  
  2. Part-time: a part-time master’s in secondary education online is a flexible mode of study that allows students to take their course on a more customized schedule. This is best suited for individuals pursuing full-time jobs or research work for their master’s. Part-time programs would generally require between 24 and 48 months to complete.

Accelerated Master’s in Secondary Education Online Programs

Accelerated master’s programs help students complete their master’s coursework in less time than stipulated. They benefit students interested in earning initial licensure to teach in their respective states soon after graduating. Such programs are economical and help students complete coursework with no residency requirement; they can transfer credits and fast-track the program as well. Here are a couple of colleges offering accelerated master’s in secondary education online:

Master’s in Secondary Education Online Programs Admission Requirements

An online secondary education master’s has a set of requirements that prospective students need to meet to get admitted to the program. Each institution has its own requirements and criteria depending on how the program structure has been designed. Here are the most common master’s in secondary education online admission requirements: 

  • Submission of an online application
  • Minimum two letters of recommendation (academic or professional, depending on the concentration or requirement specified by the institution)
  • Minimum one official transcript showing a bachelor’s degree or progress toward a degree
  • One official transcript showing all work after a bachelor’s degree
  • A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.75 on a scale of 4.0
  • A Graduate Résumé
  • A Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement
  • A copy of the teaching certificate of verification of eligibility for licensure may be required by some institutions.
  • GRE scores (depending on the institution’s policy, as some may require them)

Master’s in Secondary Education Online No GRE Programs

Students applying for graduate programs must sometimes submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. However, at some institutions, applicants with degrees from other accredited universities would be considered without a qualifying GRE score if they have a minimum of 2.75 GPA in their previous coursework and have considerable work experience.  Here are examples of some schools offering master’s in secondary education online with no GRE programs:

Accreditation for Master’s in Secondary Education Online Programs

Accreditation is the process of a holistic assessment of an institution to evaluate them meeting established academic standards. Accreditations reflect the quality of the institution and could affect education immensely. Students should remember that just because a program is accredited, it does not qualify the institution with accreditation and vice versa. Accreditation helps prospective students identify acceptable institutions and determine factors like the availability of federal financial aid and the transfer of credits. Therefore, they should evaluate this criterion thoroughly to make an informed decision. The six regional accrediting bodies in the United States are:

Accredited for master’s in secondary education colleges and programs should preferably be accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)6. CAEP is a professional accreditor that accredits teacher education programs in U.S. institutions.

 For more information on accreditation, read the Accreditation Guide.

Free Courses for Master’s in Secondary Education Online Students

There are no credible, free online master’s in secondary education programs available for graduates. However, a few free courses in the field of secondary education are available online, which students could use to build on their skills, knowledge, and expertise. These free courses are not accredited and cannot be used in place of accredited courses to get lucrative jobs. Nonetheless, they are useful to students who want to gain additional knowledge and better understand their field of interest. Here are a few free master’s in secondary education online courses:

Course Provided by Description 
Teaching Special Needs Education7AlisonThe Teaching Special Needs Education course offers foundational knowledge in Special Educational Needs (SEN), covering disability, relations, and the classification of SEN into four main areas. It explores SEN support and assessment procedures, emphasizing the significance of quality teaching, addressing teaching methods, and the social, emotional, and psychological challenges SEN pupils face.
Diploma in Outcome-based Education and Academic8Alison This course focuses on implementing outcome-based education and  ensures educational excellence. Participants gain expertise in innovative teaching methods, quality assurance practices, and leveraging eLearning for enhanced educational outcomes. The course prepares educators to deliver world-class teaching experiences while adapting to contemporary educational trends.
Education Leadership and Collaboration9Alison This course explores the important role of leadership in fostering teamwork among stakeholders for educational success. Participants gain essential skills to drive lasting impact, navigating the responsibilities of teachers, support staff, governors, parents, and governmental bodies.

How to Pay for a Master’s in Secondary Education Online Program

A master’s in secondary education degree online program cost depends on the institution, program, and specialization selected. The cost of the master’s degree could also vary depending on delivery format and enrollment status. Unverified sources peg the tuition fee for a secondary education master’s between $8,200 and $35,350 (or more), depending on the institution. To offset the high tuition fees, prospective students can consider the following sources of financial aid:


Students with good academic records can apply for scholarships in their relevant institutions. Several factors qualify a student to apply for a scholarship, like community, socioeconomic background, etc. Students are frequently given scholarships based on their academic performance by institutions, national organizations, or individual agencies. 


Grants are funds provided by a public body, charitable foundations, or institutions making grants. They are offered for research and education in specific groups. Grants differ from scholarships because they are not solely based on academic merit. An applicant’s financial need is usually considered while giving a grant.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships offer graduate students valuable opportunities to gain professional experience, financial support, and academic mentorship. Typically, students assist professors with research, teaching, or administrative tasks while pursuing their studies. These positions provide hands-on learning, networking opportunities, and, sometimes, partial or full tuition waivers.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is a form completed by prospective and current students in the United States. It is filled to understand the eligibility for student financial aid and the possibility of receiving financial assistance from the United States Federal Government.

Learn more about college funding, scholarship scams, and additional information in the Financial Aid Guide.

Scholarships for Master’s in Secondary Education Online Students

Scholarships are financial aid that could help students further their education. Depending on the donor, they could be awarded based on criteria such as academic merit, athletic skills, diversity, inclusion, etc. It is always advisable for Information about Graduate School Scholarships to be researched by students before applying. Here are some scholarships for master’s degrees in secondary education programs:

ScholarshipSTEM Teacher Scholarships10
DescriptionThe AFCEA educational foundation offers competitive scholarships for students pursuing graduate degrees or credentials or licensure for engineering, science, technology, teaching, or math (STEM) subjects at U.S. schools in grades K-12. 
Application DeadlineMay, annually
ScholarshipPi Lambda Theta Graduate Student Scholar Award11
DescriptionThis scholarship is awarded to students who have completed at least 12 credit hours of a graduate degree in education. The student must have a graduate GPA of 3.75. They should have made unique contributions to their education discipline.
Application DeadlineApril, annually
ScholarshipIsabel M. Herson Scholarship12
DescriptionThis scholarship is awarded for full-time study for one academic year. The students should be enrolled in a degree program in either elementary or secondary education.  
Award/Amount$500 to $1,000
Application DeadlineVaries

Careers and Salary Outlook for Master’s in Secondary Education Online Graduates

Earning an online master’s in secondary education will give graduates a scope to work in secondary school settings. They can take up several other diverse roles in designing curricula, leadership, creating resources and instructional material, and so on for secondary school students. Graduates also have the option to work in public and private schools and educational institutions in administrative positions.

Apart from teaching, there are other roles in secondary education where graduates can use their secondary education online master’s. Here are examples of some job roles:

  • Instructional Coordinator
  • Adult Literacy and High School Equivalent Diploma Teacher
  • Educational Policy developer
  • Curriculum Developer
  • Instructional Design Specialist
  • Education and Content Writer
  • Educational Consultant
  • Youth Program Director
  • School Operations Manager

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor of Statistics (BLS), secondary school teachers instructing high school students in various subjects have an annual median salary of $62,360 with a job outlook of 1% between 2022 and 2032. This projection is as fast as the average for all occupations. Listed below are highlights of some statistical data by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on a few career options that graduates can consider after earning a secondary education online master’s:

Occupation Median Annual Salary Job Growth (up to 2030) Job Description 
Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals13$101,3201% (little or no change)Elementary, Middle and High School Principals manage all aspects of school operations, ensuring a safe, productive learning environment. They coordinate curriculums, oversee staff, and handle daily activities to foster academic growth. Principals are crucial in shaping school culture and promoting student success across grade levels.
Instructional Coordinators14$66,4902% (as fast as average)Instructional coordinators oversee school curricula and teaching standards. They are also responsible for developing instructional material, implementing resources, and assessing effectiveness.
School and Career Counselors and Advisors15$60,1405% (faster than average)School counselors help students develop their academic and social skills. Career counselors and advisors also help people in choosing a path to employment.
Librarians and Library Media Specialists16$61,6603% (as fast as average)Librarians and library media specialists help people find information about conducting research for personal or professional use. They work for local governments, schools, and other diverse organizations.

Certifications and Licensing for Master’s in Secondary Education Online Graduates

Certifications are designated credentials given to individuals to verify their competency and legitimacy to perform a job. Certification shows that the person, as a professional, is trained and educated to meet a specific set of criteria to perform the role of secondary education teacher. Professional certifications are earned through an educational institution or professional organization. However, licensure is required by law and obtained through a state agency. 

Most schools require teachers to obtain secondary education teacher licensure to teach grades 6 to 12. The online master’s in secondary education program often prepares students to complete state certification/licensure exams in their respective states.  Each state has its specific requirement or licensure requirements; here, the geographical location of the graduates and where they are placed for fieldwork is critical. Students should explore requirements and programs for teaching certification17 for better clarity. 

Another board-based certification for online master’s in secondary education graduates to consider, recognized in many states, is National Board Certification18. It was designed to develop, recognize, and retain accomplished teachers and generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is one of the highest certifications a teacher can obtain.

Additional Resources for Master’s in Secondary Education Online Graduates

A master’s in secondary education online, students could benefit from diverse resources when they join different organizations. These institutions could offer some common features like career aid and certification programs. Students could benefit from teachers’ involvement in education leadership organizations, while accessing other resources could provide expertise, teaching methodologies, curriculum ideas, and the development of different tactics for classroom administration. Here are a few resources to gain more insights:

  1. National Education Association
    The National Education Association is the largest organization representing professional employees. It aims to promote and advance educators in different public education fields, from preschool to graduate programs. Association members can access discounted legal services, lesson plans, discussion forums, and other classroom activities. 
  2. American Federation of Teachers
    The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals focusing on democracy, economic opportunities, healthcare and public services for students, and high-quality public education. The organization focuses on community engagement through the work of its members. 
  3. Association of Leadership Educators
    The Association of Leadership Educators is a grassroots-level volunteer organization that is personal, inclusive, collaborative, and adaptable. Leadership educators focus on empirical knowledge and practical experience to promote educational initiatives supporting people, organizations, and communities. 
  4. Association of International Education Administrators
    The Association of International Education Administrators is exclusively dedicated to senior leaders in the field of international education. Members serve as leaders of higher education institutions and organizations that support international higher education. 
  5. Association of American Educators
    The Association of American Educators is one of the largest national professional educator organizations, advancing the profession by offering a modern outlook on teacher representations and advocacy of education. They focus on promoting professionalism, excellence, and collaboration in education.

FAQs About Master’s in Secondary Education Online Programs

What is a master’s in secondary education?

A Master’s in Secondary Education is a graduate-level program that prepares educators for teaching roles in middle and high schools. It provides advanced training in pedagogy, curriculum development, classroom management, and subject-specific instruction. Graduates have the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in secondary education settings.

What can you do with a master’s in secondary education degree?

How long is a secondary education master’s?

Is a secondary education master worth it?

Can I do a master’s in secondary education without an undergraduate education degree or teacher certification?

Master’s in education vs master’s in secondary education – what is the difference?