Why earn a master’s in teaching online?
Enhance your skills
Gain the valuable teaching skills and real-world expertise you need before you graduate.
Network with others in the teaching field
Choose the university and network that aligns with your values, without having to worry about where it's located.
Access diverse specializations
Browse programs that align with the career path you want to take and the populations you want to serve as a teacher.
Browse accredited online MAT programs New
MAT vs. M.Ed.
A master's in teaching online (specifically, a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)) and a master’s degree in education online (or a Master of Science in Education (M.Ed.)) prepare students for different career paths within the education space. A MAT focuses on preparing professionals for a career in the classroom, while an M.Ed. focuses on preparing professionals for careers in leadership and administration roles. There are various other online graduate degrees in education and teaching, such as online master's in educational leadership or online Ed.D. programs, for those looking for an advanced degree.
Master’s in teaching requirements
Admissions requirements for MAT programs vary by school. Many accredited master’s programs request the following:
A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university to apply
A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is typically preferred, but may not be required
A statement of purpose that demonstrates how your personal values and career goals align with the university and program
The best way to learn about the specific requirements for any given master’s program is to request information from the universities in which you are interested, or visit their admissions pages to learn more.
How to apply
Application requirements vary by program, but you can generally apply for a MAT program 100% online. The first step is to find your program.
The curriculum in the field of education is largely dependent upon the requirements of each state in conjunction with the certification area or field of teaching an individual is pursuing. Online MAT learners in accredited programs can expect to experience a curriculum and educational experience that reflects the same rigor as on-campus programs. The typical MAT curriculum will provide learners with:
Foundational knowledge in education principles and theory.
Hands-on experience in the field to translate theory into practice.
Specialized courses to customize learning based on individual interests.
The curriculum may also prepare you to pursue teaching certification in your own state. The best way to learn more about a specific program’s curriculum is to browse different master’s programs to see what courses they offer. If you’re unsure if a MAT online is right for you, there’s a breadth of learning education options in the field.
Jobs with a teaching degree
A MAT degree prepares students with the tools and training they need to enter the field of education and teach with care and confidence. It may also allow graduates who hold this degree to sit for the state licensure exams they need to pass to be allowed to teach in the state of their choice.
While most states do not require educational professionals to hold an advanced degree, there are several benefits to earning a master’s degree in teaching online — including the opportunity to set yourself apart in the field and specialize your career.
Common job titles for master’s degree graduates include:
Special education teachers
Career and technical education teachers
Teaching job outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, about 67,100 openings for high school teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade from 2022 to 2032Footnote 1 and 109,000 openings for kindergarten and elementary school teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.Footnote 2
Master's degree in teaching salary
In May 2022, the median annual wage for high school teachers was $62,360, and the highest 10% earned more than $101,710.Footnote 3 The median annual wage for elementary school teachers was $61,690, with the highest 10% earning more than $101,310.Footnote 4
Frequently asked questions
An online Master of Arts in Teaching program is for individuals who want to become K-12 teachers and need foundational knowledge in educational theory and teaching strategies. Accredited online MAT programs can be just as rigorous and valuable as on-campus, traditional programs, with the added benefits of convenience, flexibility, and the ability to maintain your personal obligations.
The duration of an online Master of Arts in Teaching degree program can vary depending on several factors, including a program's structure, the institution offering the program, the student's enrollment status (full time or part time), and whether any transfer credits are applicable. On average, an online MAT degree program takes about two years of full-time study to complete.
Yes, in many cases, graduates of online Master of Arts in Teaching programs are eligible for teacher certification or licensure, provided that the program is properly accredited and meets the requirements of the state where they intend to teach. However, the specific requirements for teacher certification can vary significantly from one state to another. The best way to know if a program aligns with your state’s requirements is to look into your specific program of interest.
Online Master of Arts in Teaching programs often offer a range of specializations or concentrations that allow students to focus their studies on specific areas of interest within the field of education. The availability of specializations varies, but here are some common specializations you might find in online MAT programs: English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Learners (ELL), Early Childhood Education, Special Education, and Curriculum and Instruction.
Online MAT programs vary in cost. The best way to learn about tuition for a specific program is to explore the program website or request more information from the admissions team.
An online master’s in teaching can prepare you to enter your first classroom, or help you specialize your skills to serve the specific populations you want to see thrive. Those passionate about making a positive impact on students' lives as a teacher might find pursuing a MAT to be a valuable step on their career journey.