Best Online Masters in English Education Degrees for 2023

Master's Degree in English Education Career Options & Salary

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Why Earn a Master’s in English Education?

Are you considering a career in English education? If you enjoy reading and writing, and have an aptitude for relaying information to others or are already working as a teacher and are hoping to teach current students in a college education program, a master’s degree in an English education program may be a good fit for you. Depending on the degree earned, graduates will qualify for teaching positions at public and private schools for middle and high school grade students as well as some required courses for college students. Colleges often hire professionals with master’s degrees to teach at the postsecondary level. You could even teach English courses abroad or to teach students online

While a master’s degree in English education is specifically intended for individuals interested in teaching English subject matter, such as English Language Arts, other employment options may also become available for those who complete an English education degree an earn a teacher education certificate.

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All states require that public school educators have a teaching license or certification. It is impossible to attain the appropriate credentials without, at minimum, earning an undergraduate degree. While many educators find work in the field without a master’s degree, there are many reasons to consider enrolling in a graduate program. This course of action is not, however, for everyone. Keep the following advantages and disadvantages in mind.


There are several significant reasons people choose to pursue a master’s degree in English education. One of the most alluring benefits is the potential for a higher salary. According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many occupations pay employees more when they have a graduate degree. They may gain special knowledge in these programs or simply learn more foundational knowledge in their studies.

Not only do educators with a master’s degree make more money each year, but they also become more marketable. Employers tend to give preference to these professionals when hiring new teachers into English language arts positions. They are also more likely to be qualified and considered for administration positions as they become available, whereas individuals with only a bachelor’s degree are not.

Additionally, earning a master’s degree in English education provides an alternative means of becoming certified. If you have already completed an undergraduate degree program unrelated to education, it can be difficult to obtain a teaching license. Many graduate programs offer licensure as part of the degree, which ensures you have the resources and guidance you need to qualify for employment immediately after graduation and allows you to skip earning another bachelor's in English, though you will have to take some prerequisite, required courses.

For professionals who have been teaching for many years, a master’s in English education serves as a means to update their knowledge of and training in relevant teaching practices for English education. Because progress is made all the time in educational methods and technologies, more effective methods of instructing students in English may be available. Going back to school can provide a greater range of resources to help teachers meet the needs of their students.

Further, a master’s degree is often required in order to pursue a doctorate. Those who plan to become college English professors or administrators should earn one.


While there are numerous reasons to consider pursuing a master’s degree in English education, there are some drawbacks you should be aware of as well. One major disadvantage is that earning a graduate degree requires more time in school. Most full-time graduate students need at least two years to complete the coursework and other graduation requirements. Those planning to enroll part-time may need even longer.

More years earning a master’s degree also means more debt. Students will be responsible for paying for at least four more semesters of tuition, fees, books, and housing costs. Because teaching positions are attainable without a graduate degree, some argue that completing a master’s program is not worth this added expense. Individuals with undergraduate degrees may not earn as much money per year as people graduate degrees, but they will begin receiving a regular salary earlier and will not acquire more debt.

Grand Canyon University
Online - Master's in English Education

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Dive into coursework that integrates current applications in English with teaching. Get started with GCU's MS in English with an Emphasis in Education program. Christian Values. Contemporary Skills. Advanced Tactics. Accredited University. Think Critically.

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Compare Popular Online English Education Programs

What are the Best Online English Master's Programs?


Western Governors University

  • Net Price: $10,336
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Total Enrollment: 147,866
  • Undergrad Students: 104,919
  • Graduate Students: 42,947
  • Diplomas Awarded: 166
  • Grads Salary: $75,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 42:1
  • Western Governors University

University of Central Florida

  • Net Price: $11,575
  • Retention Rate: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 71,881
  • Undergrad Students: 61,401
  • Graduate Students: 10,480
  • Diplomas Awarded: 25
  • Grads Salary: $67,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 31:1
  • University of Central Florida

Arizona State University

  • Net Price: $14,934
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 74,795
  • Undergrad Students: 63,124
  • Graduate Students: 11,671
  • Diplomas Awarded: 33
  • Grads Salary: $73,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Arizona State University

University of Missouri-Columbia

  • Net Price: $18,249
  • Retention Rate: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 31,089
  • Undergrad Students: 23,383
  • Graduate Students: 7,706
  • Diplomas Awarded: 3
  • Grads Salary: $69,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • University of Missouri-Columbia

Texas Tech University

  • Net Price: $17,057
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Total Enrollment: 40,322
  • Undergrad Students: 33,269
  • Graduate Students: 7,053
  • Diplomas Awarded: 19
  • Grads Salary: $70,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 19:1
  • Texas Tech University

National University

  • Net Price: $9,966
  • Retention Rate: 45%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Total Enrollment: 18,070
  • Undergrad Students: 8,441
  • Graduate Students: 9,629
  • Diplomas Awarded: 43
  • Grads Salary: $78,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • National University

Louisiana State University

  • Net Price: $21,010
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • Total Enrollment: 34,285
  • Undergrad Students: 27,825
  • Graduate Students: 6,460
  • Diplomas Awarded: 3
  • Grads Salary: $70,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 22:1
  • Louisiana State University

Indiana University-East

  • Net Price: $8,675
  • Retention Rate: 67%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,434
  • Undergrad Students: 3,200
  • Graduate Students: 234
  • Diplomas Awarded: 9
  • Grads Salary: $73,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Indiana University-East

Kansas State University

  • Net Price: $19,874
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Total Enrollment: 20,854
  • Undergrad Students: 16,257
  • Graduate Students: 4,597
  • Diplomas Awarded: 14
  • Grads Salary: $69,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Kansas State University

East Carolina University

  • Net Price: $14,762
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 28,798
  • Undergrad Students: 23,056
  • Graduate Students: 5,742
  • Diplomas Awarded: 38
  • Grads Salary: $65,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 19:1
  • East Carolina University
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Overview of a Master's in English Education

What English Education Master’s Degrees are Available Online?

There are many different types of English education online master’s degrees available. Specific online program titles will vary from institution to institution, but most colleges and universities offer online Master of Education (MEd), online Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed), Master of Science in Education (MS Ed), and online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree options. While all of these online programs help to prepare graduates for employment in the field, there are several important differences you should be aware of.

  • Online Master of Education (MEd)
    An online Master of Education (MEd) is often preferred by experienced, certified professionals who want to enhance their knowledge and teaching skills within a certain concentration (i.e. language arts). Students usually take courses on research methodologies, instructional material development, and educational material effectiveness. Many MEd graduates also seek to become certified as a reading specialists.
  • Online Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed)
    An online Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed) is a very flexible degree option with numerous concentrations and specializations available. These will vary and much of the coursework will relate to the specific area of study. Many online programs also include classes in education philosophy, child psychology, educational ethics, and education research methods. MA Ed degrees are ideal for professionals who want to advance their careers inside and outside of the classroom.

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  • Online Master of Science in Education (MS Ed)
    An online Master of Science in Education (MS Ed) is a good option for individuals who already have an undergraduate degree and are certified to teach. Most of these online degree programs are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for advanced positions in education. Graduates often apply for jobs as principals, academic directors, and school district leaders. There are very few MS Ed degrees available with concentrations in English.
  • Online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
    An online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is ideal for people interested in entering the field of education. In most cases, students have an undergraduate degree but no background in teaching. These online programs are available for almost every academic field and usually include licensure. MATs are also appropriate for current educators seeking to change concentrations.

Admission Requirements

Most colleges and universities have requirements that potential graduate students must complete before they can enroll.

While every institution is a little different, some of the most common requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in education or a relevant field
  • Minimum overall academic grade point average
  • Passing GMAT or GRE scores
  • Professional/academic resume
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

Depending on your intended degree type, you may or may not be required to have a teaching license. Programs that do not include certification as part of their curriculum expect candidates to have it already. They may also stipulate that candidates have so many years of professional experience before enrolling.

How long does it take to earn a English Education Master’s Online?

Generally speaking, most online master’s degrees take approximately two years for full-time students to complete. Programs usually consist of 60 credit hours of coursework, but this can vary. Some colleges and universities offer accelerated master’s degree programs and accept graduate-level transfer credits, which can shorten this time frame.

It is important to realize, however, that students enrolled part-time are unlikely to graduate on time. Those who take only a few classes per semester often graduate within five to eight years.

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Potential Careers in English Education with an online Master’s

There are numerous employment opportunities available to individuals who have graduated from an online master’s degree program in English education. Some of the most popular job options include high school English teacher, reading specialist, curriculum specialist, corporate trainer, and school principal.

  • High School English Teacher
    High school English teachers are responsible for instructing students in language arts via lectures, discussions, and demonstrations. They also create, administer, and grade assignments and tests specifically designed to measure student progress. These professionals must also maintain accurate student records and enforce school policy.
    According to PayScale, the average salary for a high school English teacher is $49,000.
  • Reading Specialist
    Reading specialists are responsible for determining literacy training needs and developing courses that utilize both traditional and non-traditional methods for students. They must also be able to research and assess literacy needs to improve curriculums. These professionals often advocate for and support early literacy knowledge and skills development programs.
    According to PayScale, the average salary for a reading specialist is $51,200.
  • Curriculum Specialist
    Curriculum specialists analyze the effectiveness of class frameworks and help to design initiatives to improve instruction. They often develop and refine tests, scoring guides, and curriculum, as well as respond to test feedback and questions. These professionals also provide courses intended to fill academic gaps and meet known needs.
    According to PayScale, the average salary for a curriculum specialist is $55,300.
  • Corporate Trainer
    Corporate trainers are responsible for developing, revising, and delivering training to company or organization employees. They may perform instruction in classrooms or online. These professionals must also organize training rooms and materials, as well as track attendance, class satisfaction, and training success.
    According to PayScale, the average salary for a corporate trainer is $55,300.

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  • School Principal
    School principals typically oversee school administration, curriculum, programming, services, and academic resources. They are responsible for creating, achieving, and communicating school goals and maintaining productive relations with parents, community members, and the school board. These professionals also establish academic and behavioral standards, as well as administer discipline to students who do not uphold them.
    According to PayScale, the average salary for a principal or headmaster is $85,000.

Salary by Occupation

Occupation Entry-Level Mid-Career Late Career
Writer $40,900 $54,200 $65,2000
Composition $38,900 $51,000 $66,800
Journalist $30,900 $44,800 $57,900
Rhetoric $46,000 $58,000 $70,000
Film/TV $50,500 $72,100 $106,500
Digital Strategist $55,600 $69,700 $124,800

Options to Advance

Individuals with an online master’s degree in English education often choose to continue teaching language arts. They may, however, seek higher profile positions as college professors at private institutions. In some cases, graduates decide to pursue administrative positions within a school district. It is not uncommon for those with graduate degrees to become principals, education directors, or school district leaders.

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