In K-12 classrooms, colleges and universities, and other educational settings, technology is changing the game. With a master’s degree in ed tech, instructors can make the most of all that modern technology has to offer.
The schools in our ranking offer the most affordable ways to become an expert in instructional tech.
What kind of master’s degree in educational technology should you get?
If you’re a full-time educator and you want to continue working while you take classes toward your degree, an online master’s degree program is a perfect fit. Take a look at our ranking for the 50 Best Online Master’s in Educational Technology Degrees to start narrowing down your options for this type of program.
On the other hand, if you want to dedicate your full attention to the pursuit of your degree, visit our ranking for the 50 Best Residential Master’s in Educational Technology Degrees.
How much money do people make with a master’s degree in educational technology?
The average salary for an Instructional Coordinator is $62,460 per year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For educational technology graduates who work as high school classroom teachers, the average salary is $58,030 per year.
What can you do with a degree in educational technology?
Many students who graduate with a master’s degree in educational technology will work as classroom instructors, either in K-12 classrooms or in higher education. Other graduates take jobs as technology coordinators and facilitators, corporate trainers, military instructors, and instructional coaches.
What are the requirements for a master’s degree in educational technology?
Although each program is different, many schools require a culminating project to graduate with a master’s degree. This may be a creative component, a summative portfolio, or a written thesis. Some schools also require students to complete an internship or practicum experience.
What are the most affordable online master’s degrees in educational technology?
This ranking is based on tuition costs and typical financial aid packages at each school. The data for our assessment comes from individual college websites and from the IPEDS database.
Best of luck with your school search!
1. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is regularly ranked by the Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report for exceptional academic quality. It’s also been ranked number 21 among “Best Bang for the Buck Southeast Colleges” by Washington Monthly, ahead of all other schools in the UNC system. UNCG offers an exceptional program for graduate students through the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS).
The graduate program at UNCG prepares students to work in the North Carolina public school system as instructional technology facilitators, directors, and coordinators. Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible to earn North Carolina licensure for technology directors. The program leads to an MLIS with a concentration in Instructional Technology. Required coursework for students in the Instructional Technology concentration includes:
- Computer-Related Technologies for Information Management
- Emerging Technological Trends in Information Access
- Media Production Services for Library Programs
- Assistive Technology for Inclusive Education
The degree track is offered in a hybrid format. All students in the MLIS program will complete either a professional capstone portfolio or a master’s project as their culminating experience. The program is also available as a licensure-only track for students who already hold an MLIS or M.Ed.
2. University of North Texas
A Tier One research institution, the University of North Texas is a leading university in the Southern region. UNT offers 86 master’s degrees and 38 doctoral degrees, including numerous acclaimed programs in teacher education and instructional technology. For 22 consecutive years, Forbes has named UNT to its list of “America’s Best College Buys.”
The Master of Science in Learning Technologies from UNT requires 12 total classes and 36 credit hours. The program is offered 100 percent online. Numerous program tracks are available within the M.S. degree, including Career and Technical Education, Evaluation and Research, Instructional Systems Technology, Teaching and Learning with Technology, and many others. Core courses for all of these tracks include:
- Multimedia in Technology Applications
- Analysis of Research in Learning Technologies
- Instructional Systems Design
- Technology-Based Learning Environments
Students may choose from a number of available add-on certificates as part of their degree program. Options include Emerging Technologies, Technology and Cognition, Web Development and Management, and more. The degree can be completed within 24 months through the regular track, or within 14 months through the accelerated track. UNT awards $45 million in merit- or need-based scholarships and $350 million in financial aid each year.
3. Western Kentucky University
Located in Bowling Green, Western Kentucky University was founded in 1907 as a teacher’s college. Today, WKU continues to offer top-tier teacher education programs, both on-campus and through its distance learning programs. The fully online Master of Science in Library Media Education prepares graduates to become training development specialists, library media specialists, and educational technology specialists.
WKU’s M.S. in Library Media Education allows students to choose a concentration in either information services or educational technology. To earn this degree, students will be required to complete between 30 and 33 credit hours. Courses within the 15-credit hour core include:
- Program Organization and Administration
- Issues in Library Media Education
- Survey of Educational Technology Practices
- Principles of Educational Technology Applications
Eligible teachers can receive the Kentucky P-12 Educator Tuition Discount, which is for residents of Kentucky who are certified as classroom teachers or other school personnel and are seeking a qualifying graduate degree from WKU. The Educator Tuition Discount is available for many degree programs, including the M.S. in Library Media Education, the M.A.E. in Literacy Education, the M.A.E. in Gifted Education and Talent Development, and many others. As of the 2017 school year, the discounted rate is $395 per credit hour.
4. Purdue University
Purdue University was ranked number 60 in Times Higher Education’s 2018 World University Rankings. Ranked 27th worldwide by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the College of Education at Purdue is home to a wide variety of degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level. The College of Education serves roughly 800 graduate students, many of whom are enrolled through Purdue’s robust online programs.
Purdue offers an acclaimed Learning Design and Technology (LDT) program, which leads to a Master of Science in Education degree. The degree track requires a minimum of 33 credit hours. All LDT students will take a 27-credit hour educational core. Classes within this core include:
- Learning Theories and Instructional Design
- Strategic Assessment and Evaluation
- Instructional Development Practicum
- Advanced Practices in Learning Systems Design
Program starts for the online M.S.Ed. are available in the fall, spring, and summer terms. Students can choose between the Business/Industry Track and the Education Track within the LDT program. The M.S.Ed. is available as both a thesis and non-thesis track. Candidates who plan to pursue a Ph.D. are strongly encouraged to choose the thesis track.
5. Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University has won widespread recognition for both academic quality and affordability. The school has been named one of the “Best Colleges for the Money” by College Factual. An array of highly respected degree programs are offered fully online, including a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Education in Instructional Leadership, and a Master of Education in Instructional Systems Design and Technology.
The Instructional Systems Design and Technology degree is presented through a collaboration between the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Students will take coursework in both of these departments to complete the program. A total of 30 credit hours are required. All candidates for the degree will take the following courses:
- Technology and Cognition
- Educational Multimedia
- Critical Analysis of Instructional Software
- Distance Learning
Students in the Instructional Systems Design and Technology master’s program will complete a Culminating Research Project during their final two semesters. The project requires students to research, design, evaluate, and implement an online training course. The final product of the project will include a publishable article or paper that the student will submit to an academic conference or journal of their choice.
6. Indiana University Bloomington
The Bloomington campus of Indiana University is the flagship campus of IU’s eight total locations. Numerous graduate education programs at IU Bloomington have been ranked among the top 10 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. Kiplinger’s has also recognized IU Bloomington among the "Best Values in Public Colleges." The School of Education at IU Bloomington offers a number of diverse degree programs in instructional technology.
Students may pursue a certificate, an M.S.Ed., or an Ed.D. in Instructional Systems Technology. All of these programs are available fully online. The M.S.Ed. degree track requires 15 credit hours in core coursework and 12 credit hours in specialization electives. Courses within the M.S.Ed. core include:
- Instructional and Performance Technologies Foundations
- Design and Development of Instructional and Performance Interventions
- Instructional Development and Production: Design Thinking
- Evaluation of Instructional and Performance Improvement Systems
Both the online and residential tracks for the M.S.Ed. degree include a portfolio as the culminating project. However, residential students will be required to complete an internship as part of their degree, while online students will not. Online students can enroll in the program from anywhere in the country, but they will have less flexibility in choosing elective coursework compared to residential students.
7. Texas State University
Over 38,000 students attend Texas State University, located in the Austin metropolitan area. Texas State offers 98 bachelor’s, 91 master’s, and 13 doctoral degrees across a number of highly regarded academic colleges. The university is the largest school in the Texas State University System and the 34th largest public university in the United States. The renowned teacher education programs at Texas State include a Master of Education in Educational Technology.
The M.Ed. in Educational Technology requires a total of 39 credit hours. The degree track does not include a thesis, but a cognate, or minor, is required. After successfully completing the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the Texas Education Agency Master Technology Teacher Certificate exam. Candidates for the M.Ed. in Educational Technology will complete courses such as:
- Models of Integration of Educational Technology
- Implementing Technology in Education
- Instructional Design for Educational Technology
- Issues in Educational Technology
As of the 2016-2017 school year, the tuition rate for graduate students taking 10 credit hours was $3,980 per semester for Texas residents and $8,060 per semester for non-residents. In fiscal year 2016, Texas State offered $221.3 million in loans and student employment, $106.3 million in grants, and $21.5 million in scholarships.
8. East Carolina University
The degree programs at East Carolina University have earned an array of regional and national accolades. The school has been named among the "Best Southeastern Colleges" by the Princeton Review, and the secondary teacher preparation programs at the undergraduate level were ranked in the 96th percentile nationwide by the National Council on Teacher Quality. The teacher training programs at the graduate level have also earned a reputation for excellence and value.
The Master of Arts in Education for Instructional Technology from ECU is ideal for students who plan to serve as technology facilitators, coordinators, or program directors in public schools. The curriculum requires 36 credit hours, all of which are offered fully online. Core coursework for the M.A.Ed. includes:
- Analysis and Evaluation in Instructional Technology
- Selection and Integration of Multimedia for PreK-12 Schools
- Planning and Administration of School Technology Programs
- Technology Specialists as Teacher Leaders in K-12 School Systems
The culminating project for the M.A.Ed. is either a professional portfolio or a thesis with an oral defense. Both the portfolio and the thesis track require an internship. ECU also offers a Master of Science in Instructional Technology, which has a broader focus and prepares students for careers in corporate, collegiate, healthcare, governmental, and military settings.
9. University of Central Arkansas
Founded in 1907, the University of Central Arkansas is located in Conway, about 30 miles north of Little Rock. The university serves a total student body of over 11,000. Graduate students at UCA pursue 32 master’s degrees and 10 graduate certificates. The Master of Science in Instructional Technology offers a number of concentration options, allowing students to tailor their degree path to their professional interests.
Available concentrations for the M.S. in Instructional Technology include Distance Education, Media Design and Development, and Technical Support in Instructional Technologies. Each of these concentrations requires 12 credit hours beyond the 18 credit hours in the Instructional Technology core curriculum. Another six credit hours will come from a list of approved electives. Coursework within the Instructional Technology core includes:
- Technology Planning and Leadership
- Intellectual Property and Copyright
- Foundations of School Leadership
- Trends and Issues in Instructional Technologies
Students applying for this program are required to submit their GRE scores. Local students in an on-campus program may pursue a graduate assistantship. About 10 to 15 percent of graduate students become a graduate assistant to help pay for their tuition. UCA also offers a number of payment plans and financial aid opportunities for online graduate students.
10. Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a world-class university with strong academic programs for both residential and distance learning students. U.S. News & World Report ranked ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College fourth among the best graduate colleges of education in all public universities nationwide. The Educational Technology program at ASU prepares graduates to work in traditional K-12 and higher education classrooms, as well as in other settings such as museums, corporations, nonprofits, and government organizations.
The Master of Education in Educational Technology from ASU features a 30-credit hour curriculum. Twenty-four credit hours will come from a required core. Three credit hours will come from an elective course, and the final three credit hours will come from the Applied Project course, which is the culminating experience for the program. Courses within the required core include:
- Design and Development of Instruction
- Learning Theories and Instructional Strategies
- Design of Effective Communications
- Issues in Online and Distance Education
ASU partners with civic groups, private foundations, individuals, and federal and state governments to offer extensive financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students. During the 2012-2013 academic year, ASU awarded more than $1 billion in financial aid, including $413 million in scholarships and grants.
11. Utah State University
Located in Logan, Utah State University is a land-grant, public research university that was founded in 1888. USU operates regional campuses in Brigham City, Tooele, and Uintah Basin, as well as extension offices in 28 of Utah’s 29 counties. An array of academic programs are also available through USU’s acclaimed distance learning programs. The Department of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences offers a fully online graduate program in educational technology.
The program at USU leads to an M.Ed. in Educational Technology and Learning Sciences. Students move through the two-year program as part of a cohort. Master’s level electives in the Educational Technology and Learning Sciences department include:
- Design Thinking
- Mobile Technologies
- Grant Writing
- Sociocultural Perspectives in Learning
Within the M.Ed. program, students may choose to add a Distance Learning Endorsement. For students who wish to work as an administrator in a school library, an optional specialization in Information Technology and School Library Media Administration is available. The program is offered fully online and through a large number of campuses, including Kanab, Moab, St. George, Park City, and many more. USU is the second highest-ranked public university in the nation with the lowest tuition in Forbes’ “America’s Best Value Colleges” list.
12. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Money Magazine ranked North Carolina State University as “the best college for your money” in North Carolina, with affordable tuition as well as outstanding academic quality. Eleven graduate programs at NC State are among the top 30 in their field based on national rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The highly acclaimed Learning Design and Technology program at NC State is available as either a Master of Education or as a Master of Science.
Both the M.S. and the M.Ed. degree tracks in Learning Design and Technology are available fully online. The M.S. requires 30 credit hours, while the M.Ed. requires 36 credit hours, including a thesis. Licensed teachers who complete either program will be eligible for a North Carolina Instructional Technology Specialist endorsement. Students in the Learning Design and Technology program may take coursework such as:
- Digital Learning Program and Staff Development
- Emerging Technologies for Teaching and Learning
- Multimedia Design and Applications in Instruction
- Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Learning Environments
NC State also offers a fully online graduate certificate in Teaching, Training, and Educational Technology. According to U.S. News & World Report, the average student at NC State graduates with 28 percent less student loan debt than the typical college student.
13. Ball State University
Ball State University is home to a comprehensive array of academic options for post-baccalaureate students. The university’s Graduate School offers over 140 certificates, master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and specialist degrees. The online programs at Ball State emphasize collaboration and teamwork, allowing students to build a professional network of peers. The online teacher education programs at Ball State are renowned for their innovative, practical, and flexible curriculum.
The fully online program at Ball State University leads to a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Educational Technology. The program allows students to choose between an Educational Technology concentration or a Curriculum concentration. Both concentrations share a common core of foundational coursework. Within the Educational Technology track, students will take courses such as:
- Multimedia Web Design and Development for Education
- Distance Education and Distributed Learning Technology
- Educational Informatics and Technology Leadership
- Computer Technology and the Learner with Special Needs
Over 75 percent of all Ball State students receive some form of financial aid. This includes a large percentage of online students, many of whom continue to work full- or part-time while pursuing their degree. As of Fall 2017, the cost for online graduate coursework is $402 per credit hour for Indiana residents and $603 per credit hour for non-residents.
14. University of Central Missouri
Established in 1871, the University of Central Missouri has spent over 140 years fostering a culture of service and future-focused academics. UCM is located in Warrensburg, Missouri, and serves over 12,000 students from nearly all 50 states and 50 countries. Graduates of the UCM Educational Technology program have gone on to become K-12 teachers, instructional designers, technology coordinators, corporate trainers, military instructors, and more.
The online Master of Science in Educational Technology from UCM requires a total of 30 credit hours. Six of these credit hours will be in graduate level electives, while the remaining 24 will be earned through the Educational Technology core. Required coursework for this degree includes:
- Communication in Online Learning
- Educational Technology Leadership
- Assessment and Evaluation in Online Instruction
- Online Course Development
At the conclusion of the M.S. degree track, students will present a summative portfolio that they build throughout the program. UCM also offers a fully online graduate certificate in Online Teaching and Learning. A number of scholarships are available for graduate students through the UCM Foundation, including the Graduate Student Achievement Award, the Graduate Non-Resident Scholarship, and the Reid Hemphill Award.
15. Iowa State University
Iowa State University is a public land-grant institution, noted for strong programs in manufacturing, agriculture, technology, and education. The university has a total student body of over 36,000. Iowa State was recognized as a Best Buy School in the 2017 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Graduate students can take advantage of Iowa State’s award-winning affordability through the school's acclaimed programs in instructional technology.
The online Master of Education in Instructional Technology is a competitive program that accepts only the most highly qualified candidates. Enrollment is limited to just 15 to 18 students. Full-time classroom teachers can complete the program in three years. Students will take only one course per semester. The M.Ed. in Instructional Technology requires the following courses:
- Designing Effective Learning Environments
- Principles and Practices of Flexible and Distance Learning
- Technology Diffusion, Leadership, and Change
- Educational Psychology of Learning, Cognition, and Memory
For residential students, Iowa State also offers a Master of Science in Instructional Technology. While the M.Ed. track requires a creative component as the culminating experience, the M.S. track requires the completion of a written thesis. All students enrolled in the online M.Ed. will receive in-state tuition, regardless of state residency.