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2021 Best General Education Master's Degree Schools

285 Colleges
$49,239 Avg Salary
$27,728 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best General Education Master's Degree School for You

In 2018-2019, 31,066 people earned a degree or certificate in general education, making the major the #40 most popular in the United States.

There are so many programs in today's world that it can tough to figure out which one is the right one for you. Along with traditional schools that require in-person attendence, you can attend one of many reputable online schools. Some programs even offer a hybrid experience. Alternatively, you may choose a trade school that prepares you to enter the workforce with knowledge in a specific field.

The Best General Education Master's Degree Schools ranking is one of many tools that Course Advisor has developed to help you make your educational decision. This report analyzed 285 schools in the United States to see which ones offered the best master's degree programs for students. The factors used to develop this ranking include those related to how in-demand the school is, the overall quality of the school, and post-graduation wages, and more.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best General Education Master’s Degree Schools in the United States

Check out the education master's degree programs at these schools if you want to get the best education that money can buy.

Top 25 Top Schools for a Master's in Education

#1

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

Our analysis found Brandman University to be the best school for general education students who want to pursue a master’s degree in the United States. Brandman is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Irvine.

On average, education graduates from Brandman take out $26,494 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $242.

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#2

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

The excellent master’s degree programs at Stanford University helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best general education schools in the United States. Located in the large suburb of Stanford, Stanford is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that education majors at Stanford take out while working on their Master's Degree is $34,444. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $324, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Claremont Graduate University. The school came in at #3 on this year’s Best General Education Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in the suburb of Claremont, Claremont Graduate University is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#4

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Out of the 285 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Johns Hopkins University landed the # 4 spot on the list. Located in the large city of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

On average, education graduates from Johns Hopkins take out $21,924 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $239.

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#5

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

The excellent master’s degree programs at Harvard University helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best general education schools in the United States. Harvard is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Cambridge.

While working on their Master's Degree, education majors at Harvard accumulate an average of around $32,771 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $239.

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University of Delaware landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree general education programs. U of Delaware is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Newark.

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With a ranking of #7, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign did quite well on this year’s best schools for general education students working on their master’s degree. UIUC is a very large public school located in the small city of Champaign.

While working on their Master's Degree, education majors at UIUC accumulate an average of around $27,599 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $251.

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#8

University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

University of San Diego did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for general education students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #8 on the list. U of San Diego is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large city of San Diego.

On average, education graduates from U of San Diego take out $34,340 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $369.

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#9

Martin Luther College

New Ulm, MN

With a ranking of #9, Martin Luther College did quite well on this year’s best schools for general education students working on their master’s degree. Located in the town of New Ulm, MLC is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly small student population.

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Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies landed the #10 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree general education programs. Located in the suburb of Kirkland, Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

While working on their Master's Degree, education majors at Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies accumulate an average of around $25,157 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $239.

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California State University - Dominguez Hills landed the #11 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree general education programs. California State University - Dominguez Hills is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Carson.

On average, education graduates from California State University - Dominguez Hills take out $22,665 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $239.

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With a ranking of #12, California State University - Bakersfield did quite well on this year’s best schools for general education students working on their master’s degree. Located in the large city of Bakersfield, California State University - Bakersfield is a public school with a large student population.

The average amount in student loans that education majors at California State University - Bakersfield take out while working on their Master's Degree is $15,866. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $159.

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#13

National University

La Jolla, CA

National University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the city of La Jolla, National University is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

Education majors at National University take out an average of $33,697 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $362.

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#14

Augustana University

Sioux Falls, SD

Augustana University came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the medium-sized city of Sioux Falls, Augustana Sioux Falls is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

After completing their Master's Degree, education graduates from Augustana Sioux Falls carry an average student debtload of $13,142. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $142, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#15

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT

Fairfield University landed the #15 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree general education programs. Fairfield U is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Fairfield.

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California State University - Long Beach landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree general education programs. Located in the large city of Long Beach, Cal State Long Beach is a public school with a fairly large student population.

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#17

University of the Pacific

Stockton, CA

University of the Pacific ranked #17 on this year’s Best General Education Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in the large city of Stockton, Pacific is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population.

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#18

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Master’s Degree Schools ranking. UPenn is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia.

After completing their Master's Degree, education graduates from UPenn carry an average student debtload of $53,041. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $588, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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California State University - Fresno did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for general education students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #19 on the list. Located in the large city of Fresno, Fresno State is a public school with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that education majors at Fresno State take out while working on their Master's Degree is $20,303. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $215.

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Point Loma Nazarene University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for general education students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #20 on the list. PLNU is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of San Diego.

While working on their Master's Degree, education majors at PLNU accumulate an average of around $38,856 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $426, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#21

Hamline University

Saint Paul, MN

Hamline University came in at #21 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the large city of Saint Paul, Hamline is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

On average, education graduates from Hamline take out $17,215 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $184.

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With a ranking of #22, University of Minnesota - Duluth did quite well on this year’s best schools for general education students working on their master’s degree. Located in the small city of Duluth, UMN Duluth is a public school with a large student population.

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#23

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University - Main Campus came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Purdue is a fairly large public school located in the city of West Lafayette.

While working on their Master's Degree, education majors at Purdue accumulate an average of around $31,450 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $341, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#24

Tufts University

Medford, MA

Tufts University came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the suburb of Medford, Tufts is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

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University of Wisconsin - Stout came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best General Education Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the distant town of Menomonie, UW - Stout is a public college with a moderately-sized student population.

The average amount in student loans that education majors at UW - Stout take out while working on their Master's Degree is $23,332. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $235.

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Rest of the Top Best General Education Master's Degree Schools

#26

Boston University

Boston, MA
#27

University of Saint Joseph

West Hartford, CT
#32

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA
#33

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA
#34

Messiah University

Mechanicsburg, PA
#39

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA
#41

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, PA
#42

Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best General Education Master's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
43 Washington State University Pullman, WA
44 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
45 California State University - San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA
46 Southwest Minnesota State University Marshall, MN
47 Elmhurst University Elmhurst, IL
48 Manhattanville College Purchase, NY
49 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
50 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
51 University of California - San Diego La Jolla, CA
52 University of Wyoming Laramie, WY
53 Valparaiso University Valparaiso, IN
54 Seattle Pacific University Seattle, WA
55 University of Washington - Bothell Campus Bothell, WA
56 Whitworth University Spokane, WA
57 University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA

General Education by Region

View the Best General Education Master's Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 14 majors within the area of study, general education has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 100,925
Educational Administration 44,381
Teacher Education Subject Specific 43,516
Special Education 30,639
Curriculum & Instruction 18,767

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to KOKUYO.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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