Online Secondary Education Degree Programs

Explore the best graduate and undergraduate online secondary education degrees

Last Updated: 05/11/2022

2022’s Best Online Secondary Education Degrees

Do you want to help shape young minds and prepare them to become successful adults? Have you always wanted to stand in front of a classroom and share your knowledge? A career in secondary education may be a good fit for you.

This is a rewarding career path—and a huge responsibility—that requires specialized training from a quality degree program. In order to help future educators narrow their choices, we’ve compiled the following list of the best online secondary degree programs in the nation. We scored schools based on important factors like proper accreditation, overall affordability, availability of student support services, and number of online programs. Learn more about each college below and see which one has the best online degree in secondary education for you.

About the ranking

Methodology for the STEPS Best Online Programs in 2022

Generate List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

Assign Impact of Data Points

After generating the list of eligible schools, the STEPS data team then assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability. Online program availability and overall affordability received the heaviest weightings.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. When unable to verify this number, a star-based system was used to signify the number of programs relative to peers.

Affordability

  • Cost:
    Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid:
    Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling:
    Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement:
    Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our Data

All STEPS rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2021

1
Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 13:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 78%
Online Students 16,231

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 59%
Online Students 8,715
3
Carlow University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 10:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 100%
Online Students 832
4
Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 11:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 100%
Online Students 717
5
CUNY Queens College

Queens, New York

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 6%
Online Students 1,462
6
George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 13:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 71%
Online Students 304
7
University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 15:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 89%
Online Students 17,100
8
The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 20:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 65%
Online Students 24,765
9
Mississippi State University

Starkville, Mississippi

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 90%
Online Students 14,756
10
University of Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 76%
Online Students 17,813
11
University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbia, Missouri

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 82%
Online Students 18,312
12
University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 68%
Online Students 16,307
13
Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 61%
Online Students 17,882
14
Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 14:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 59%
Online Students 12,174
15

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 96%
Online Students 5,582
16
University of Maine

Orono, Maine

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 99%
Online Students 6,175
17
Texas State University

San Marcos, Texas

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 22:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 31%
Online Students 23,961
18
Boise State University

Boise, Idaho

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 52%
Online Students 11,071
19

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 26:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 55%
Online Students 22,714
20
Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 79%
Online Students 10,080
21
Idaho State University

Pocatello, Idaho

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 13:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 70%
Online Students 4,221
22
Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw, Georgia

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 22:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Institutional Financial Aid 7%
Online Students 22,893
23
Purdue University Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 13:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 80%
Online Students 4,124

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 21:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 88%
Online Students 11,123
25
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Wilmington, North Carolina

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Institutional Financial Aid 45%
Online Students 10,206
26
Northern Kentucky University

Highland Heights, Kentucky

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 84%
Online Students 6,677
27

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 20:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 82%
Online Students 7,200

Can You Get a Secondary Education Degree Online?

Whether you want to teach English, math, science, or social studies, online secondary education degree programs can help prepare you to work with students in the sixth through twelfth grades. These programs cover the pedagogical theories educators need to know when working with this age group, as well as the practical ways these ideas are applied in the classroom. Since the concepts of secondary education degrees can be taught online, many schools offer distance opportunities to its students, which can include programs that are fully or partially online. Continue reading for more information about the different types of secondary education degree programs available.

What You Learn in an Online Secondary Education Degree Program

There are many online secondary education programs available, but they won’t all be a good fit for your career goals and needs. What you learn in a specific education program depends on the level you choose, as well as the concentration you focus your studies on. However, there are still common competencies that students can expect to learn on each degree level, which are illustrated in the descriptions below.

Online Associate in Secondary Education

On the associate level, students in secondary education degree programs get the foundation they need to begin an education career, and may study topics such as adolescent development, education trends, and education technology. Some of the competencies students learn include:

  • Applying different teaching theories to classroom situations
  • Understanding the technologies used by educators
  • Understanding cognitive, emotional, and physical characteristics of adolescent students
  • Developing critical thinking skills
  • Understanding approaches to curriculum creation

Online Bachelor’s in Secondary Education

Bachelor’s in secondary education degrees, which are the minimum degree level required in order to obtain a teaching license, are designed to prepare students for the rigors of the modern classroom through coursework on assessments, literacy, and adolescent psychology. When students complete these degrees, they are able to:

  • Utilize critical thinking skills to solve problems in the classroom
  • Understand how emotional and psychological changes affect adolescents in a school environment
  • Work effectively with students from diverse backgrounds
  • Create classroom rules and discipline students as necessary
  • Perform assessments on students and create a plan to address their needs

Online Master’s in Secondary Education

A master’s degree in secondary education is a good choice if you want the opportunity to learn advanced skills and gain expertise in teaching a specific subject area—which can go a long way toward commanding higher salaries. These programs help foster the following knowledge and skills:

  • Curriculum design
  • Trends in secondary education
  • Classroom management and teaching techniques
  • Legal issues in education
  • Student motivation

Online Doctorate in Secondary Education

These degrees are for education professionals who want to conduct research to advance the knowledge base of the field, work as an administrator, or build an educational consulting business. Students who enroll in online doctorate in secondary education programs will gain the following skills:

  • Applying research methods when creating and executing an education study
  • Designing a secondary school curriculum in a specific subject area
  • Understanding the history and politics of secondary education and how those concepts apply to education today
  • Assessing students numeracy and literacy skills
  • Understanding education policy

Online Secondary Education Concentrations

If you want to expand your expertise in a particular education area, you may have the opportunity to enroll in a concentration in order to get the knowledge you need in that subsection of the field. Concentrations can help you prepare to teach a specific subject or obtain a precise skill set, which can help make you more attractive to employers. This section explores some of the concentrations that are available in online secondary education programs.

Subject-based Concentrations

Biology

Students who want to teach high school biology can enroll in this concentration to learn how to challenge students in lectures and labs. Topics covered may include biology areas such as ecology, genetics, and anatomy and physiology, as well as teaching skills like lesson planning and being creative in the classroom.

Chemistry

This concentration covers STEM teaching methods that lead to positive student outcomes, as well as subjects such as general chemistry topics, calculus, and laboratory formats and safety procedures.

English

Those who enroll in the English concentration will learn data-driven methods for successfully teaching topics like world literature, grammar, linguistics, and composition. In addition, people learn how to motivate students in their classroom and foster the critical thinking skills they will need throughout their education.

Environmental Science

In the environmental science concentration, teaching students are exposed to classroom methods that help adolescents develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Specific topics may include climate change, environmental biology, and calculus.

History

History buffs who want to share their knowledge can enroll in this concentration to learn how to teach history topics, including controversial historical events, to students of different populations. The curriculum may cover historian theory and practice, themes in U.S. history, and war.

Mathematics

Math can be a challenging subject for many students, so those who choose this concentration learn how to help adolescents navigate complex mathematical principles. In order to do this, coursework may cover mathematical modeling, classroom management, geometry, trigonometry, and working with exceptional students.

Physics

Aspiring physics teachers can get skills like science instruction methods and being inclusive in the classroom through this concentration. In addition, students may learn how to teach calculus, conceptual physics, magnetism, and electricity.

Social Science

Social science teachers are required to promote civic competence in the classroom by covering topics like sociology, religion, philosophy, political science, and history. This program helps students cultivate these skills through coursework in curriculum development, strategic development, and ethics in the classroom.

Visual Art

This concentration teaches future visual art teachers how to nurture the technical skills and artistic abilities of high school students. Coursework may include digital art, studio art, drawing, and sculpture, as well as assessment, classroom management, and secondary school teaching strategies.

Skill-based Concentrations

Curriculum and Instruction

The quality of the classroom instruction students receive is rooted in the quality of the curriculum that educators use. Students who enroll in this concentration learn how to use education theory to create a curriculum, as well as how a curriculum is applied to classroom instruction. Other topics studied may include literacy, educational psychology, and teaching policies.

Leadership in Education

Those who aspire to take a leadership role in a high school or board of education can enroll in this program to learn how to face the challenges that come with this important position. Coursework may cover instructional design, leadership techniques, and education law.

Literacy

In order to give students the skills they need to teach reading and writing, this program focuses on how to assess literacy skills, understand the needs of individual students, and select and use texts to help students improve their literacy. Specific topics may include writing theory, the politics of literacy, and developing a second language.

Social Studies/Justice

The social studies and social justice concentration is for those who are interested in addressing inequalities that exist in different societal systems, including education. Classes may cover health education, technology in the classroom, and teaching in urban communities.

Special Education

Special education teachers not only need to have classroom skills, they also need to know the pedagogical principles associated with teaching adolescents with special needs. In order to train people on the challenges of being a special education teacher, this concentration offers coursework in student engagement, transitional services for students with disabilities, and strategies for creating an inclusive classroom.

STEM

Those who are interested in focusing their careers on education in a STEM discipline can enroll in this concentration to learn strategies for handling these subject areas in the classroom. Coursework may address how to create a challenging learning environment and perform student assessments.

Supporting Language Learners/TESOL

Students who are navigating a new language and culture need teachers with specialized skills. In order to train ESL teachers, this concentration focuses on sociolinguistics, language development theories, and behavior management in the classroom.

In some cases, schools allow students to combine concentrations, so you can further customize coursework based on your specific career goals.