Graduate Programs in Online Teaching

Engage in the Digital Age.
Make Education Ever Better.

Do you want to better serve your students by leveraging online technologies? Do you want to increase your teaching options by becoming an expert online teacher?
Pre-COVID-19, online courses were already growing in the United States and around the world, yet during the pandemic they became a necessity for many institutions. And it’s not likely we will ever fully go back to the previous situation, as we can expect the demand for online courses to dramatically increase now that most students have got used to this new modality, and many institutions have invested in it. Both today’s and as we move forward to a “new normal” in education, we need teachers, specialized staff, and instructional leaders who can ensure quality delivery of online and digitally-rich instruction.

The Warner School is among a select few schools of education across the country to offer programs that will teach you the strategies and skills necessary to design and implement learning experiences that leverage online and digital learning in a variety of instructional settings. Best of all, there are no education prerequisites, and there are multiple options to fit your context and career goals.
Gain A Competitive Advantage.

Program Quickview

These programs focus on preparing instructors, instructional leaders, and support staff to leverage online learning and digital devices to improve student learning in a variety of contexts.

If you are interested in other programs involving learning in the digital age and instructional technology, including doctoral level programs, check our Related Programs.
  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • Content knowledge in the subject areas you would like to teach.
Key Program Features:
  • Combining Theory and Practice: Includes both coursework and practicum experiences focusing on how to teach online and how to capitalize on digital technologies in any instructional setting.
  • Rich Experiences as Online Learners: Students engage as a learner in innovative digitally-rich learning activities – both online, and face-to-face (when possible!) – to personally experience their power and limitations.
  • Fully Online Option:  If desired, all required and elective courses in these programs can be taken fully online (meeting weekly in synchronous online sessions). 
  • Flexible: Program can be customized to be most relevant to your instructional setting and role, and to leverage courses taken in prior or concurrent programs.
  • Combined Program Option:  Students adding at least one advanced certificate may enroll in a “combined program” that will help secure the appropriate visa for international students and extend loan eligibility for domestic students.

Warner Programs in Online Teaching

Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching (OT1): 15 credits or less; for anyone interested in learning how to better design and facilitate online courses, as well as use online and digitally-enhanced learning to increase students’ learning opportunities, in a variety of instructional contexts; some choices available to customize the program; can be taken as a stand-alone or in addition to other University of Rochester programs.

This advanced certificate program does not lead to licensure or prepare students for the practice of any profession in NYS. It is designed to give professionals additional insight and tools to promote Online Teaching.

MS in Online Teaching and Learning (OT2)
: 33 credits; for people seeking a master's-level credential to teach online and/or support institutional efforts to provide high-quality online offerings; includes 15 credits of electives that can be customized to meet specific interests and career goals.

MS in Online Teaching and Learning (combined option) (OT4): This combined program will allow you to pursue the master’s program described above concurrently with at least one advanced certificate (see list below)– thus leading to multiple credentials for only a few additional credits.  The length of the combined program and its total number of credits will depend on the chosen advanced certificate(s) and other optional enhancements.  This option may be especially desirable for international students interested in additional specializations and willing to devote 4-5 semesters to their master’s program.

Opportunities for Additional Specializations(for only a few additional credits):
Advanced Certificate in Digitally-Rich Teaching in K-12 Schools: Prepares you to support the most recent advances in instructional technology and their implications for transforming K-12 schools

Advanced Certificate in Program Evaluation: Strengthens your research and skills in planning and conducting evaluations of existing programs.

Especially for UR Faculty:
Advanced 6-credit Series in Online Teaching

educators at a meeting around a conference table

Opportunities to Complement/Combine the Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching with Another Program

While an Advanced Certificate in Online Learning is great on its own, it is also a helpful and marketable complement to an existing Warner program. Learn what it will take to add the Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching to each of the following programs, especially if you are already enrolled in or you are considering one of the programs below.

Master's in Teaching Not Leading to New York State Certification
Warner offers several master’s degrees that prepare for teaching in settings other than U.S. K-12 public schools (where state teaching certification is required), with options to pursue various areas of specialization. These programs can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study, and include several electives. Learning to integrate online learning and digital technologies will make you stand out for any teaching position you may be interested in! By choosing your electives strategically, you may only need three additional credit hours to earn an Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching.

To learn more, visit Master's in Teaching (Without Certification).
Programs Leading to New York State (NYS) Professional Certification for Individuals Holding Initial NYS Certification
This advanced certificate can also be pursued as part of one of our master’s degree programs approved by New York State as leading toward professional teaching certification – as a complement, or an alternative, to an Advanced Certificate in Digitally-Rich Teaching in K-12 Schools. Adding this advanced certificate will prepare you not only to teach online courses if available in your school, but also to offer online professional development to your colleagues – a skill that is in increasing demand in K-12 schools. By choosing your electives strategically, you may only need three additional credit hours to earn an Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching.

To learn more, visit Programs Leading to New York State Professional Certification.
Programs Preparing K-12 School Leaders
This advanced certificate can also be pursued as part of one of our master’s degree programs leading to New York State Certification as a School Building Leader (SBL) and/or School District Leader (SDL) – as a complement, or an alternative, to an Advanced Certificate in Digitally-Rich Teaching in K-12 School. Adding this certificate will prepare you to offer online professional development to teachers, administrators, and other staff in your district – a skill that is in increasing demand in K-12 schools – as well as to make more informed decisions about resources and curriculum, especially in districts that are already engaging in or considering digital conversion.  Courses taken to satisfy this advanced certificate can be used as electives or count toward the 60 credits of graduate work required by NYS for SDL certification.

To learn more, visit Programs Preparing K-12 School Leaders.
Master’s in Educational Leadership
Educational leaders in any school today will greatly benefit from a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of online and digitally-rich teaching and learning.

Warner offers a flexible master’s degree to prepare educational leaders who are not interested in New York State school certification (only required for administrative positions in K-12 public schools). This master’s program requires only one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. By choosing your electives strategically, you may only need three additional credit hours to earn an Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching.

To learn more, visit Master’s in Educational Leadership.
Doctoral Programs
Any doctoral student at Warner may choose to pursue an Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching to gain skills and credentials that will make him/her more competitive when seeking a faculty position after graduation.

By choosing your electives strategically, you may only need three additional credit hours to earn an Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching.

To learn more, visit the doctoral program of most interest to you among the following options at Warner:

Our Approach

Preparing K-12 Educators to Leverage Online Learning in the Digital Age.

Warner’s distinctive approach to online teaching and learning will provide you with unique perspectives and experiences to ensure you create more engaging, interactive learning experiences for students – both during this pandemic, and for the “new normal”.

At Warner, we see the use of technology in instruction not as a goal in itself, but rather as a tool to be leveraged to improve student learning. To be effective, technology adoptions need to be accompanied by significant changes in curriculum, teaching practices, and expectations. We aim to prepare educators who understand the potential of online and digitally-rich learning and its implications, and are able to leverage this potential as a catalyst for better student achievement.
teachers in a classroom attending professional development
Learn More About Warner’s Approach to Online Teaching and Learning
Online learning is becoming increasingly common in our society.  This is happening not just in higher education, but also in K-12 schools and other informal educational settings, as an online format is increasingly used for training in industry and orientations, webinars are substituting for or enhancing traditional conference presentations and workshops, and students as well as customers expect to be able to find information and tutorials on the web so they can learn how to do things on their own.  It is not surprising, then, that individuals seeking teaching and leadership positions, regardless of context and specialization, are increasingly expected to be able to teach online and understand the implications of online learning and teaching for their students.

Online or digital learning – as it occurs in a digital space rather than face-to-face, with interactions taking place asynchronously (i.e., students can engage with the course materials at different times) or synchronously (i.e., students and instructors meet “online” at a specified time) – has some important differences from learning in traditional courses that meet regularly face-to-face, as well as many commonalities.  Our position is that one modality is not necessarily better than the other, but rather that online and face-to-face learning each have different strengths and limitations.  Therefore, online learning experiences may be more or less effective than face-to-face learning experiences depending on the type of content and instructional goals, on one hand, and the learning preferences and constraints of individual learners, on the other hand.

In practice, this means that to be a good online instructor, or to include valuable online learning experiences in traditional courses, one needs first of all to understand and apply many of the same principles and best practices required to design any good learning experience. Yet, it is also important to be aware of the unique strengths and limitations of online learning, as well as the many powerful tools that can be used in an online space, in order to design the best possible online experiences for one’s students.  Figuring out which kind of instructional goals or learning activities are most suited to an online, versus traditional, format is an important skill for all teachers to develop.

In particular, it is important for online teachers to realize the unique potential of specific Web 2.0 tools to encourage and support co-construction of knowledge – as pointed out by scholars in New Media Literacies, among others.  Becoming aware of the unique affordances of a few of these powerful tools, and learning how to best capitalize on that potential to support learning in a formal context, is also something our programs aim to offer. 

We also realize that, while everyone has had extensive experience of traditional teaching as a student him/herself, not everyone has experienced learning online in a formal educational setting – although more and more people probably engage in some form of online learning in the course of their everyday practice.  Therefore, we believe it is especially important for future online instructors as well as instructional leaders to experience as learners themselves the power and limitations of online learning, so they can fully appreciate its potential for their own teaching.

Consistent with this approach, our programs prepare graduates to:
  • Gain a nuanced appreciation of the potential and limitations of online learning.
  • Develop foundational knowledge in the areas of motivation, learning, teaching, and instructional design, as needed to inform the design of high-quality online learning experiences for diverse learners.
  • Gain awareness of and proficiency in using a rich set of online tools, technologies, resources, and best practices for online teaching.
  • Achieve proficiency in designing and implementing high-quality online learning and courses.
  • Learn how to evaluate online learning experiences and courses to improve future practice.

The Warner Advantage

Preparing Graduates to Innovate, Advocate, and Elevate.

Warner can help you stand out as an educator that is best prepared for the "digital age."
  •  Learn to best utilize online learning and technologies to better serve your students, while also expanding your career opportunities.
  • Learn from experts in online teaching and learning and become an innovator and a thought leader in this emerging field.
  • Increase access to quality learning opportunities for underserved populations through attention to equity issues related to online learning.
  • Leverage the reputation of a leading research university to give your degree even more recognition.
  • Shorten the pathway toward your doctoral degree by earning transferable credits.
Our flexible programs have been designed to meet the needs of working professionals as well as full-time students.
  • Use your electives to specialize in your area of interest.
  • Take advantage of online learning options to significantly reduce trips to campus - even after this pandemic.
  • Start the program in any semester and go at your own pace.
  • Are you a University of Rochester employee? Make sure you make full use of your tuition benefits.

All About Experience

Your experience at Warner will be informed by the many research projects and community initiatives we are engaged in. In addition, you'll benefit from the experience of faculty that include nationally recognized researchers, award-winning authors and accomplished practitioners.

Center for Learning in the Digital Age

Center for Learning in the Digital Age

Benefit from faculty who have been involved in transformative uses of digital technology to enhance teaching and learning well before COVID-19. LiDA collaborates with various educational partners to leverage the potential of digital technologies for education for the long term.

Nationally Recognized Expert in Online Education

Nationally Recognized Expert in Online Education

Program Director Eric Fredericksen’s leadership in the area of online teaching in higher education has been recognized with his appointment to President of the Online Learning Consortium, the most prominent professional organization in the field.

Connecting with Edtech Companies

Connecting with Edtech Companies

Warner is committed to staying on the cutting edge of teaching and learning in the digital age. Program advisor Dave Miller has taken students to visit edtech companies who are developing innovative solutions for teachers at all levels.

Career Opportunities

Advancing Education and Your Career to the Next Level.

Our graduates will be competitive for positions that require:

  • Designing and/or teaching online courses.
  • Engaging in digitally-rich teaching as part of their everyday practice.
  • Supporting colleagues in designing and implementing online and digitally-rich instruction.
  • Providing professional development that utilizes online components.
  • Designing and implementing fully-online and hybrid-online programs.
  • Leading curriculum innovations that leverage online learning.
students working online at the library with the help of librarian


An Accessible, Supportive Faculty of Researchers and Accomplished Practitioners.


Making Warner Affordable.

The Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester is pleased to offer a number of merit-based scholarships to eligible students who enroll in these programs. Contact admissions for more information about merit-based scholarships.

Are you a full-time PhD student at the University of Rochester? If so, your current tuition waiver will carry over to courses taken in these programs.

Are you a UR employee? Inquire about your tuition benefits. If eligible, up to 95% of your tuition costs can be covered depending on your position. Contact the UR benefits office at

Vasquez in class at table with studnets

Try Us Out

Get a Taste of What Warner Has to Offer.

Take A Course! You can experience the Warner advantage as a non-matriculated student for a highly discounted price.

We recommend you consider taking EDE484: Online Teaching & Learning, the first course in our sequence preparing online instructors. Even if you do not continue to pursue the full certificate or master’s program, this course will enable you to design and facilitate high-quality online modules. This course is offered every semester; a fully online version is offered each summer – and the forthcoming Spring 2021 course will also be offered fully online. 

Contact admissions to learn more about opportunities for non-matriculated students.
students working in computer lab


Meliora means 'Ever Better.' To our graduates, it means making a world of difference.

  • Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

    “As educators, it’s our job to make sure we’re giving students the knowledge to be successful when they move on in their life….Warner was the best grad school experience I’ve ever had because it prepared me extremely well to jump into my career, and I will forever be grateful for that.”

    Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

  • Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

    "The most important thing I received there was the opportunity to be immersed in the study of education and leadership with very talented people, that think-tank mentality of being surrounded by the best of the best. The intellectual stimulation from both the staff and fellow classmates really did allow me to think about things differently."

    Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

  • Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

    “I had a very unique situation. I wasn’t going down the typical path of a Warner student, and the school was just so flexible and supportive.”

    Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

  • Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

    “It was more than I expected. Not only what I learned in the program, which I’ve been able to put into practice every day since, but also the connections I was able to make and the relationships I was able to form."

    Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

  • Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

    "The growth I’ve realized in myself is something I will be forever grateful for. I’ve learned to question, analyze, think and create in ways I never considered. I’ve changed as an educator and as a person."

    Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

  • Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

    “When it came time to interview for jobs, it was very easy for me to talk about anything in the field, and that set me apart,” he says. “You name it, and I had at least one experience in it—largely due to Warner.”

    Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

Contact Admissions

The admissions team looks forward to assisting you as you explore graduate education at the Warner School. Please feel free to use the form below to contact us with any questions. You can also email us at or call (585) 275-3950.

Application Deadlines

The next application deadline is December 15, 2022. View all Admissions Deadlines.

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