Top 10 Best Master’s Programs in Education (M.Ed)

When assembling this list of the Top 10 Best Master’s Degrees in Education (M.Ed.), the quality of the curriculum was the first consideration.

Ranking the Top 10 Best Master’s Programs in Education

These institutions are highly respected and known for producing graduates who are well prepared for a career in education or further study in the field.

#1 Vanderbilt University

Executive Summary

Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College has been ranked as the No. 1 graduate school for education by U.S. News & World Report for 2011. This school has placed in the top 10 for the past 15 years.

Tuition

The Masters in Education program at Vanderbilt costs $1,205 per credit hour.

Unique Features

Vanderbilt is highly selective in its admissions policy; less than 18 percent of applicants are accepted. Students who are admitted to Vanderbilt will work through a challenging curriculum that will leave them very well prepared to take on a leading role in an educational setting.

Concentrations

  • Elementary Education (Degree plus Licensure)
  • English Language Learners
  • Learning and Instruction
  • Learning, Diversity, and Urban Studies
  • Reading Education
  • Secondary Education (Degree plus Licensure)

#2 Harvard University

Executive Summary

Harvard is one of the leading post-secondary schools in the world. This institution prides itself on the diversity of the student body and the high caliber of its curriculum.

Tuition

Full-time students pay $36,992.00 per academic year to attend Harvard.

Unique Features

The Masters in Education program offered by Harvard University lasts for one year. Students can expect an intense and challenging curriculum which focuses on providing general theory that students can use when continuing their education or apply in the classroom.

Concentrations

  • Arts in Education
  • Education Policy and Management
  • Higher Education
  • Human Development and Psychology
  • International Education Policy
  • Language and Literacy
  • Learning and Teaching
  • Mind, Brain, and Education
  • Prevention Science and Practice/CAS in Counseling
  • School Leadership
  • Special Studies Program
  • Teacher Education Program
  • Technology, Innovation, and Education

#3 Michigan State University

Executive Summary

MSU’s Master’s degree programs in Elementary and Secondary Education are ranked as being the best in the nation and have had this designation for 17 years in a row.

Tuition

Michigan residents pay $569 per credit hour and non-resident students will be charged $1,117.50 per credit hour.

Unique Features

Courses are taught by faculty members who are some of the most respected educators in the nation.

Concentrations

  • Health Professions Education
  • Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education
  • K-12 Educational Administration
  • Kinesiology
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology
  • Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Special Education
  • Student Affairs Administration

#4 University of Texas at Austin

Executive Summary

The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education has the distinction of having a Community College Leadership program which has graduated more deans and presidents than any other program in the nation.

Tuition

In-state students will pay $1,099 per credit hour. Out-of-state learners are looking at $1,549 per credit hour to obtain a Master’s degree.

Unique Features

Prospective students must have a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 to be considered.

Concentrations

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Psychology
  • Educational Administration
  • Kinesiology and Health Education
  • Special Education

#5 Pennsylvania State University – University Park

Executive Summary

Penn State’s graduate program in Higher Education Administration is ranked as No. 1 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Tuition

Estimated tuition to attend Penn State’s School of Education for PA residents is $18,032 (fall and spring semesters). Out-of-state residents will pay $29,656 in tuition for these two semesters.

Unique Features

The College of Education at Penn State’s Placement rate for graduates is 98 percent within one year of finishing their program.

Concentrations

  • Adult Education
  • College Student AffairsComparative & International Education
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Counselor Education
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Educational Leadership
  • Educational Psychology
  • Educational Theory & Policy
  • Higher Education
  • Instructional Systems
  • School Psychology
  • Special Education
  • Teacher Certification
  • Workforce Education & Development

#6 University of California – Los Angeles

Executive Summary

UCLA’s School of Education and Information Studies is consistently ranked as having one of the best graduate programs in the nation. This school is highly selective about admissions, with less than 25 percent of applicants being accepted.

Tuition

Resident students will pay $14,617.89 for a three semester program at UCLA’s graduate school of education. Tuition for nonresident students is $29,719.89.

Unique Features

Sixty Master’s degree applicants are admitted each year. All students enrolled in School of Education programs at the graduate level must do so on a full-time basis, which means taking at least three courses per quarter.

Concentrations

  • Higher Education & Organizational Change
  • Principal Leadership Institute
  • Psychological Studies in Education
  • Social Research Methodology
  • Social Science and Comparative Education
  • Student Affairs
  • Teacher Education

#7 University of Pennsylvania

Executive Summary

Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania is a top-rated educational institution. Its graduate schools are among most selective for admissions in the country.

Tuition

Estimated tuition to attend Penn GSE is $20,316 per semester (five course units).

Unique Features

Penn’s Graduate School of Education offers programs which are student centered and designed to create leaders in the field of education.

Concentrations

  • Counseling and Mental Health Services
  • Education Policy
  • Education, Culture and Society
  • Educational Leadership
  • Educational Linguistics
  • Executive Program in School and Mental Health Counseling
  • Higher Education
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development
  • International Education Development Program
  • Language and Literacy
  • Learning Science Technologies
  • Policy Research, Evaluation, and Measurement
  • Reading, Rating, Literacy
  • School Leadership
  • Statistics, Measurements, and Research Technology
  • Teach for America
  • Teacher Evaluation Program
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

#8 Northwestern University

Executive Summary

Northwestern offers programs for learners interested in teaching primary and middle school grades as well as high school. Specialized programs are offered for people who wish to focus on a particular subject or teaching gifted children.

Tuition

Estimated tuition for the 15 courses required to complete a Master’s degree at Northwestern is $41,745.

Unique Features

Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy has established a reputation for being an innovative educational institution. With approximately 300 grad students, it provides a close-knit learning community.

Concentrations

  • Learning and Organizational Change
  • Elementary Teaching
  • Secondary Teaching
  • Advanced Teaching: Mathematics, Science or Literacy
  • Advanced Teaching: The Gifted
  • Higher Education Administration and Policy
  • Learning Sciences

#9 Stanford University

Executive Summary

Stanford first opened its doors to students in 1891. To gain admission to this top-ranked graduate school, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate previous work experience in the education field.

Tuition

The tuition for a Masters in Education degree program at Stanford is $13,350 per semester.

Unique Features

Except for the Learning, Design and Technology program, all Masters in education programs at Stanford are offered on a full-time basis only. The School of Education does not offer any distance-learning programs.

Concentrations

  • The Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP)
  • Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies (POLS)
  • International Comparative Education (ICE)
  • International Education Administration and Policy Analysis (IEAPA)
  • Learning, Design and Technology (LDT)
  • Curriculum and Teacher Education (CTE)

#10 University of Michigan

Executive Summary

The University of Michigan’s School of Education has been included on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the top 10 institutions in the country.

Tuition

Michigan residents pay $9,515 and non-Michigan residents are charged $19,244 per term.

Unique Features

The School offers a Master of Arts as well as a Master of Science degree in Educational Studies. A Master’s degree in Higher Education is also offered.

Concentrations

Master of Arts in Education Studies:

  • Elementary Teacher Certification
  • Secondary Teacher Certification
  • Digital Media and Education
  • Educational Assessment and Evaluation
  • Educational Policy and Leadership
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Urban Pedagogy
  • Peace Corps Master’s International
  • K-12 Educational Administration and MBA (Dual Degree)

Master of Science in Education Studies:

  • Post-Secondary Science Education

Master of Arts in Higher Education:

  • Higher Education
  • Higher Education and Master of Public Policy (Dual Degree)
  • Philanthropy, Advancement and Development
  • Higher Education and MBA (Dual Degree)

Further Reading

Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Education Degree Programs (M.Ed.)