5 Best Master’s Degrees for Teachers 2022

Interested in a career in education? Check out our list of the best master’s degrees for teachers!

TCM Staff

26th January 2022

Being a teacher has a lot of perks. Stable income and summers off appeal to many — maybe that's why the US has over 3.2 million teachers as of 2019

Almost half of that 3.2 million teachers hold master’s degrees, even though they’re technically not required in most cases. There are other benefits though, which we’ll cover in this article. 

But what kind of master's degree should a teacher get? Does it have to be a master’s of education? Not quite. There are a few options for master’s degrees to choose from.

Ready to explore master’s degrees for teachers? Keep reading!


Why Consider a Master’s Degree for Teachers?

Teacher employment requirements vary from state to state. For example, most states don’t require you to have more post-secondary education than a bachelor’s degree. However, some states like Maryland and New York require a master’s degree from prospective teachers. 

The State of Kentucky used to require teachers to obtain a master’s degree by their tenth year of teaching but recently removed the requirement to help address the country’s teacher shortage. 

But if most states don’t require it, why get a master’s degree for teachers?


Better Salary Potential: Like with any profession, employees holding more advanced educational qualifications like a master’s degree have better salary potential. This is also true for teachers. In fact, teachers with master’s degrees earn about $5,000 more per year than teachers without. 


More Job Opportunities: New York, Ohio, and Massachusetts require all teachers to obtain a master’s degree within their first five years. Other states like Maryland also have varied requirements that entail a master’s degree at some point. To open more employment opportunities in certain states, you’ll need a master’s degree. 

Additionally, studies show that classrooms led by teachers with master’s degrees perform better, which makes a resume with a master’s degree attractive to school employers, even in states that don’t require the certification.

Let’s move on to some of the best master’s programs for teachers.


What Are the Best Master’s Degrees for Teachers?

Contrary to popular belief, the master’s of education isn’t the only graduate degree you can take as a teacher. Here’s a solid list of degree options for your teaching career:

    1. Master of Education

A popular graduate choice, the master of education covers many teaching-related topics like teaching theory, curriculum development, and pedagogy. You have two options with this degree: either a Master of Arts or Science. The M.A.Ed is a great option if you’re interested in theoretical topics like curriculum development, child development, and reading literacy. The M.S.E is great for those who desire a more practical approach and aspire to obtain higher roles in educational leadership.

    2. Master of Special Education

If you feel a calling to guide children with special needs, this degree will give you the tools to provide unique teaching to children with disabilities and other challenges. Oftentimes, this is a specialization that comes with the M.Ed  degree we mentioned earlier. 

    3. Master’s in Teaching

Similar to the M.Ed. a master's degree in teaching helps you gain the skills to teach specific subjects and learn strategies for focus areas like elementary education, secondary education, and education for gifted students. You’ll usually have to take an in-class teaching internship program within this degree. 

    4. Master’s in Mathematics Education

Many children struggle with math at the elementary and secondary school levels. That’s why there’s a specialized mathematics specialization for aspiring teachers. This degree helps you learn strategies to support students through specific math topics like calculus, geometry, and trigonometry. 

    5. Master’s in Early Childhood Education

If you’re interested in working with children, a master’s in early childhood education might be a good match. With this degree, you’ll learn about topics like child development and psychology, empathy building, preschool curriculum, and more. 

Still not seeing the right graduate program for you? Check out a few more options to help you pick the best master's degree for teachers.

  • Master of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Higher Education
  • Master of English Education
  • Master of Educational Technology
  • Master of School Counseling

If you’ve picked a program that fits your interests, it’s time to learn about common entry requirements for education master’s programs. 


Common Requirements for Master’s Programs in Education

Here are some common entry requirements for teaching master’s programs. 

  1. GPA: Each school has a different threshold, but you should aim for a 3.0 in your undergraduate courses and your graduate courses. 
  2. Letters of Recommendations: Ideally these will be from university professors or others who can speak to your passion or experience in education
  3. Statement of Purpose: This is your chance to outline what you would bring to the school and program and why you want to study at a particular school. 
  4. Resume: Your resume should outline some experience in the education field, or relatable roles. 



Now you have a solid list of  Master's Degrees for Teachers to consider before applying. Think about the benefits, like higher salary potential and more job opportunities as a motivation to pursue this certification. Interested in online studies? Check out our list of the best online colleges.

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