An online master’s degree in foreign languages serves one of two purposes. It either further qualifies you to teach K-12 foreign language or qualifies you to teach at the introductory college level. If you love the study of languages and want to continue in your current position, then an online master’s in foreign language could be in your future. These programs are 30-36 hours in length and, depending on your attendance status (full or part-time), can be completed in as few as 2-3 years. This list of the top 15 online master’s in foreign language education can help you decide which program fits your interests and wallet.
To come up with our ranking of the top 15 master’s in foreign language education, we began by compiling a list of more than 30 degree programs. To narrow down the list to the top 15, and to determine the final ranking, we used the following point system:
Program Cost (Estimate):
Under $70,000 — 1 point
Under $60,000 — 2 points
Under $50,000 — 3 points
Under $40,000 — 4 points
Under $30,000 — 5 points
Under $20,000 — 6 points
Under $10,000 — 7 points
Annual Percentage of 20-Year Net Return on Investment (ROI):
0-2% — 1 point
3-4% — 2 points
5-6% — 3 points
7-8% — 4 points
Above 9% — 5 points
#1. Minnesota State University, Mankato
Online Master of Science in Spanish for the Professions
Estimated Program Cost: $15,099
The online Master of Science in Spanish for the Professions at Minnesota State University, Mankato is intended to help professionals in the multicultural workplace, but can also be utilized for community college teaching. Totaling 34 credits, the degree comprises study in oral reasoning and interpretation. Hourly tuition for the online MS in Spanish for the professions at Minnesota State University, Mankato clocks in at $427 per unit of instruction. A bachelor’s degree in Spanish is preferred, but individuals will be considered if they can otherwise prove a suitable level of fluency. Similar programs in French and German are also available.
#2. University of Florida
Online Master of Latin
Estimated Program Cost: $16,337
Ranking #1 on US News and World Report‘s ranking of top online graduate education programs (2021), the University of Florida’s online Master of Latin can be completed in under three years. The program requires two comprehensive exams and two Summer Latin Institutes, the latter of which is a two-week intensive at the Gainesville campus. Tuition for the program is $544.56 per unit of credit. A minimum of three years of college Latin is recommended for entry into the online Master of Latin at University of Florida. An online Master of Arts in Latin is also offered, and requires a thesis to complete.
#3. New Mexico State University
Online Master of Art in Spanish
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Estimated Program Cost: $14,814
The 36-credit hour Master of Arts in Spanish at New Mexico State University has two areas of focus from which to choose: linguistics and literature. Tuition for the program is $411.50 per unit of instruction. New Mexico State University is looking for applicants with an earned BA in Spanish or another language and an undergraduate upper division GPA of at least 3.0.
#4. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Online Master of Arts in Foreign Languages, Cultures, and Literatures w/ concentration in Multilingual Studies
Estimated Program Cost: $26,010 (Virginia residents), $50,692.50 (out of state)
The online M.A. in Foreign Languages, Cultures, and Literatures with concentration in Multilingual Studies at Virginia Tech provides a comprehensive overview of the Hispanic and French/Francophone worlds. $867 is the tuition per hour for the degree for Virginia residents, while out-of-state residents pay $1,689.75 per credit hour. The 30-credit minimum program offers an exam option and a thesis option. Applications to the program should include a minimum GPA of 3.0 and TOEFL/IELTS score(s).
#5. Auburn University
Online MEd in Foreign Language Education
Estimated Tuition Cost: $18,900
Auburn University has an online Master of Education in Foreign Language Education that offers a certification option (a non-certification Master of Science is also available). The school placed at #35 on the US News and World Report compilation of the best online education programs (2021). Regardless of residency, students are charged $630 per online credit hour. The 30-hour minimum degree can be pursued in either French or Spanish. Prerequisites for the program include an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 and a clear background check.
#6. Troy University
Online Master of Science in Second Language Instruction
Estimated Program Cost: $15,314 (non-thesis), $16,302 (thesis)
Troy University features an online Master of Science in Second Language Instruction that is intended for teaching outside of a K-12 setting. The 31-33 credit program allows the transfer of up to 12 hours of previously earned credits. Tuition at Troy University for the online MS in second language instruction is $494 per hour of credit. Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree in a language-related field, and two letters of recommendation in English. Students may choose between a thesis option and a non-thesis option.
#7. Central Connecticut State University
Online Master of Arts in Spanish
New Britain, Connecticut
Estimated Program Cost: $16,060 (Connecticut residents), $20,857 (New England residents), $32,590 (out of state)
The 30-credit online Master of Arts in Spanish at Central Connecticut State University offers a choice between thesis and comprehensive exams. Only two courses in the program are required: the Structure of the Spanish Language and Research Methods in Modern Languages. The other eight courses are electives. Tuition for the online Master of Arts in Spanish varies depending on whether the student is a resident of Connecticut or New England, or is out of state. Students have six years to complete the coursework and capstone of either a thesis or a comprehensive exam.
#8. Michigan State University
Online Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching
East Lansing, Michigan
Estimated Program Cost: $20,850
Michigan State University’s online Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching comprises 30 hours of graduate study. The program consists of eight courses and two experiential modules. Tuition for the program is $695 per credit unit. While the school was ranked #4 on the 2021 US News and World Report list of top online graduate education programs, this one does not provide K-12 licensure. Application packets for the online MA in Foreign Language Teaching at Michigan State University must contain:
- a personal statement
- an academic statement
- three letters of recommendation
- a current resume.
#9. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Online Master of Education in Bilingual Education
Estimated Tuition Cost: $20,739 (Texas residents), $32,496 (out of state)
The online Master of Education in Bilingual Education at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is a 36-hour program. It’s engineered to help meet the needs of native Spanish speakers and offers bilingual, biliterate and bicultural opportunities to all students. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is looking for candidates in Bilingual Education who have a background and professional experience in education, and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale.
#10. Rutgers University
Online Master of Education in Language Education
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Estimated Program Cost: $22,170 (New Jersey residents), $37,680 (out of state)
Taking a minimum of 30 hours to complete, the non-certification online Master of Education in Language Education at Rutgers University serves those who will likely seek scholarship in the disciplines of language education. Applications are accepted in the fall and spring. Admission requirements include a personal statement and an academic writing sample. Coursework in the MEd in Language Education online at Rutgers University includes foundations of language and language in society.
#11. Valdosta State University
Online MAT in Foreign Language Education (French or Spanish)
Estimated Program Cost: $10,548
Valdosta State University’s online Master of Arts in Teaching in Foreign Language Education is open to those looking for initial certification as a teacher of either French or Spanish. It is not an appropriate program for already certified teachers of any subject. There are 36 units in the degree program. Applications are accepted three times a year, and they offer regular and probationary acceptance. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required on coursework in this program for graduation.
#12. University of Southern Mississippi
Online Master of Arts in the Teaching of Languages (French)
Estimated Program Cost: $16,900
The University of Southern Mississippi’s online Master of Arts in the Teaching of Languages (French) will allow up to six hours of previous coursework to be transferred into the program. Tuition for the 33-credit program is $512.12 per unit. GRE scores that are less than five years old are required for the admissions process. The online MA in the Teaching of Languages (French) at the University of Southern Mississippi can be completed in 5-6 semesters of study.
#13. University of Nebraska Kearney
Online Master of Arts in Education in Spanish Education
Estimated Program Cost: $11,340 (Nebraska residents), $18,144 (out of state)
The online master of arts in education in Spanish education at the University of Nebraska Kearney is not designed for K-12 teaching or for further pursuit of a PhD in Spanish. This degree is intended for those who wish to teach the language at the undergraduate level. This 36-credit hour degree offers the opportunity to study abroad. Tuition for the affordable MAE in Spanish education at the University of Nebraska Kearney is just $302 per hour of credit for residents of Nebraska.
#14. University of New Orleans
Online Master of Arts in Romance Languages
New Orleans, Louisiana
Estimated Program Cost: $30,360 (Louisiana residents), $45,593 (out of state)
The University of New Orleans offers an online Master of Arts in Romance Languages that allows up to 12 hours of credit to be transferred from another institution of higher learning. It is a 30-33 credit hour program depending on whether you elect the thesis option or not. Students may choose to complete the program in either French or Spanish. Within each language, further track options include:
- Literature or Language
#15. Nova Southeastern University
Online Master of Science in Education w/ a specialization in Spanish Language Education
Estimated Program Cost: $39,420
Nova Southeastern University presents their online Master of Science in Education in Spanish Language Education to practicing teachers of Spanish It’s also for individuals with a background in Spanish, but a bachelor’s in another field, who are interested in becoming Spanish teachers. The 36-hour program is conducted completely in Spanish. $1,095 per hour is the tuition rate for this program. Admission to the online MSE in Spanish Language Education at Nova Southeastern University requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or a recent (within five years) GRE score.