Master’s in Secondary Education Degree


Consider an online teaching program currently accepting applicants for 2024.

School Level Program Admissions

American University

Master Online Master of Education in Education Policy and Leadership
CAEP Accredited. Learn how to evaluate, create, and implement effective policy that facilitates exceptional learning experiences for all students.

University of West Florida

Master Online Master of Education Programs
CAEP Accredited. Programs in Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education. Gives classroom teachers a specialized education for their student age group and career goals.

University of West Florida

Master Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction
CAEP Accredited, 3 specializations.

View online teaching programs currently accepting applicants for 2024.

A Masters in Secondary Education degree is for students having a Bachelor's degree in any field who want to earn secondary school teacher certification and licensed teachers wanting to further their training. A secondary education emphasis prepares grad students to work in a choice of high, junior, or middle schools as an administrator or teacher. Students select areas of concentration, such as literacy, music, or science.

Master's students learn about the complex issues students face, apply the knowledge of sociology and psychology to the learning environment. They develop and monitor curricula that meet their schools' needs. Graduates learn aspects of running a secondary classroom, including classroom diversity, utilizing technology, teaching strategies, and assessment methods. Secondary education students analyze modern teaching strategies and current research methods to create supportive and engaging classroom environments. They also study psychology and adolescent development to best support future students.

The Masters in Secondary Education degree is an excellent way to strengthen and update teaching methods. It gives teachers the qualifications, knowledge, and skills needed for students in middle and high school. Graduates need certification in specific content areas. They choose to specialize in physical education, music, art, social studies, science, math, a foreign language, English, or some other teachable subject. Now is an excellent time to earn a Masters in Secondary Education degree as the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected job growth for those teaching high school through 2026.


Consider an online teaching program currently accepting applicants for 2024.

School Level Program Admissions

University of West Florida

Master Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction
CAEP Accredited, 3 specializations.

University of Dayton

Master Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership
Top-ranked online education program. Degree can be completed in as few as two years (additional time if pursuing the principal licensure track). No GRE required to apply.

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Master Master of Administrative Science
CAEP Accredited. 100% online graduate program.

Arizona State University

Master Online Master of Arts in Education
100% online, 9 focus areas of teaching education available. No GRE scores required for application.

View more 100% online teaching programs currently accepting applicants.

Requirements for Masters in Secondary Education

When looking into a Masters of Secondary Education degree, one may encounter a sea of admission requirements. Many degree programs have specific criteria, but there are some generalities. Applicants may be required to hold a GPA of 3.0 or higher in terms of past performance academically. Other admission requirements may include:

  • CV or resume
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Professional teaching portfolio

Completing the program requires students to earn from 30 to 36 credits. Students typically have to have a Bachelor's degree before they can enroll in a Masters of Secondary Education degree program. Many programs require submission of Praxis or GRE test scores. Certain universities require the MAT test. Some schools expect those who apply to obtain teaching certification. Online graduate programs typically require candidates to be certified teachers. Residential programs often do not require a teaching background. Those programs may lead to an initial teaching license.

The University of Nevada, Reno, is very specific in their admission requirements. After completing the program application, candidates complete a basic competency exam. They expect a 3.0 or higher GPA. Prerequisite coursework includes a degree in a major teaching field. The required essay is to be three to five pages long. It should discuss the candidate's understanding of public education purposes and how complex issues that face secondary educators will affect the teaching candidate. The resume is expected to be one to two pages in length. Two letters of recommendation from professionals are required. The program faculty will judge the candidate's qualifications.

Example of Master's in Secondary Education Coursework

Course titles vary from one school to another. Those that are generally part of a Masters in Secondary Education are

  • Law and American Educations
  • Language and Culture
  • Learning Environment Technology Applications

Some laws require adherence in and out of a classroom. Teachers are role models who should hold high ethical and legal standards. The Law and American Education class helps prepare students for the challenge. Colloquialisms, mannerisms, slang, and language are often culturally specific. The Language and Culture class helps differentiate what is culture and what is proper, and how they differ in the classroom. Teachers in the 21st century must be familiar with forms of technology that are available inside and out of the classroom. The Learning Environments Technology Application class helps aspiring teachers reign in the technology options used in the classroom.

Studying for a Masters in Secondary Education offers students a unique opportunity to further professional and scholarly development. Programs vary from institution to institution. Many research interests and potential course topics are core elements of the Master's program. Students examine leadership in educational, community, professional, and organizational settings. The programs enhance graduate student learning for the economic, cultural, social, and digital needs of today's students. Policy and curriculum studies for historical and current educational systems are taught through a global context. Students analyze educational movements that have to do with the current understanding of policy and curriculum in education. They will relate current education issues to researcher, educator, administrator roles.

How Might a Master’s in Secondary Education Help One’s Career

Employability is a concern when considering career advancement. There is research that supports teachers with Master’s degrees are more effective, and students are more successful than those with a Bachelor’s degree. The job market for middle and high school teachers will reward those with a Masters in Secondary Education degree and certification specific to this segment of the educational spectrum.

A Masters in Secondary Education degree can prepare one for a range of careers in the education field. The careers vary in specific duties. Professionals use the knowledge and skills found in the graduate program to help middle/junior/high school students grow and learn. Some of the careers for Masters in Secondary Education degree holders include:

  • Elementary, Middle, or High School Principals
  • High School Equivalency Diploma and Adult Literacy Teachers
  • High School Teachers
  • Instructional Coordinators
  • Secondary School Special Education Teachers

Those already teaching can stay at a current job or seek a position that offers additional leadership opportunities such as a department chair or a curriculum designer. Earning a Masters in Secondary Education often leads to an increase in pay, depending on the school district policies. Principals not only need a Master’s degree, but they also have to be able to work well with faculty, students, and parents. They prepare, and sometimes present district, state, and federal reports. Alternative positions include instructional coordinators or counseling. These professionals work with teachers and students to prepare young people for the years after high school. Teaching on a college level is an option for those with a Masters in Secondary Education degree.

What Is It Like to Get This Degree Online?

Online Masters in Secondary Education programs are designed to prepare graduate students for advanced positions in various fields of education. They are typically not limited to traditional K-12 classroom environments. The coursework in educational leadership and curriculum design also prepares students for consulting and administrative positions. Citing California State University – Fullerton’s online program for a Masters in Secondary Education, educators explore technologies, teaching strategies, and evaluation methods to advance to curriculum development positions or improve classroom skills.

Their secondary education degree requires 31 credit-hours in courses such as secondary school writing, assessing student learning, and survey of education research. Degree seekers have to complete a culminating experience. They can choose a curriculum-design assignment, research project, thesis, or an exam. Students earn a classified standing in the degree program after creating an approved study plan. Admission requires

  • A 3.0 GPA
  • A teaching credential
  • Recommendation letters
  • A statement of purpose

The curriculum varies somewhat by the university. San Diego State University offers an online Masters in Secondary Education that requires a capstone. Students study theory and research for encouraging ethnically diverse classrooms and building curriculum. The coursework address fairness in K-12 settings, problem-solving, and assessment. Candidates must have a teaching credential to be admitted. The department grants credit for credentials up to six years old.

Example of Online Master’s in Secondary Education Programs

This list of schools was researched and found to be among the best Masters in Secondary Education programs. Most of these have tuitions that are less than $10,000. The number one pick is Mercy College. The tuition for that program is close to $15,000. It offers three secondary education programs, which makes it a strong choice for online learners. The advanced certification track of secondary education has a capstone requirement. A GPA of 2.5 and a Bachelor’s degree are required. There is a one-year teaching experience stipulation.

The other schools, in order of tuition from least to greatest are:

  • University of New Mexico
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • University of Alabama
  • Mississippi State University
  • University of North Texas
  • California State University – Fullerton
  • Old Dominion University
  • University of Memphis
  • Ball State University
  • Liberty University
  • Troy University
  • New York University

California State University was ranked number two. It also offers three Masters in Secondary Education degrees. Each program focuses on deepening students’ skill base and knowledge and preparing them for public and private school roles. The programs are either 30 or 31 credits. Each requires a three-credit culminating experience. A Bachelor’s degree, a GPA of 3.0. and current teaching credentials are required. The most expensive program is New York University, Admission to the program requires a Bachelor’s degree and strong MAT or GRE scores and GPA.