University of Northern Iowa ranks in top 25% for online master’s in education programs

Schindler Education Center

UNI NEWS SERVICES - The University of Northern Iowa’s online master’s in education programs ranked among the top 25% nationally in a recently released 2021 U.S. News and World Report review.

The UNI programs tied for 72nd among 296 programs for master’s degrees in the first year UNI submitted information for this particular category. 

“UNI has always been known as a teacher’s college, and this ranking only reaffirms that we continue to be a national leader in education,” said UNI President Mark. A Nook. “We are proud of our role in producing the next generation of educators.”

Online programs included in the submission are led by faculty in two UNI colleges:

UNI College of Education: Master of Arts in Education (M.A.E.) in early childhood education, elementary education, literacy education, special education: consultant emphasis, and special education: field specialization; and Master of Arts (M.A.) in physical education-pedagogy and teacher leadership for international educators.

UNI College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences: M.A. in art education and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).  

“The rankings further highlight how well established UNI is in the preparation of high-quality educators who commit to the profession of teaching and lead from their classrooms, no matter the format,” said Colleen Mulholland, dean, College of Education. 

These are nine of the 29 degree programs and eight certificate programs that UNI’s Department of Online and Distance Education supports as entirely online or a combination of mostly online with limited in-person coursework. Kent Johnson, dean of UNI’s Division of Continuing Education and Special Programs, noted the first online master’s programs in education were offered in 2010. 

"It's always gratifying when the high quality of our programs is validated by outside sources.  Being recognized as a top tier university nationally is an honor, certainly,” Johnson said. “Even more gratifying is the affirmation from our students in these online programs — more than 96 percent would recommend UNI's online program to a friend or colleague. That feedback is a reflection of the commitment among UNI faculty in providing great teaching in accessible ways and the staff delivering streamlined, helpful support services.”

The master’s in education programs were assessed by U.S. News and World Report based on engagement, expert opinion, faculty credentials and training, services and technologies, and student excellence. 

Applications are being accepted for fall 2021 cohorts in art education, elementary education, physical education-pedagogy, and teacher leadership for international educators. To apply for these programs, visit  Learn more about the UNI College of Education at and the UNI College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences at