The study objective was to determine whether group education is more beneficial than either individual education or usual care for patients with sub-optimally controlled diabetes. In a multisite randomized controlled trial that took place in Minnesota and New Mexico from 2008-2009, 623 adults with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and glycosylated hemoglobin (A1c) >7% were assigned to (1) individual education, (2) group education, or (3) usual care (no education). Education was delivered through the American Diabetes Association accredited program of the patient’s care system. The individual education group received three 1-hour sessions. The group education group received four 2-hour sessions using the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map® program. Main outcomes were change in A1c, general health status (SF-12™), diabetes distress assessed by Problem Areas in Diabetes (PAID), Diabetes Empowerment Scale (DES), Diabetes Care Profile (DCP), nutrition assessed by Recommended Food Score (RFS), and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) physical activity score. General and linear mixed-modeling methods assessed patient-level changes in outcomes from baseline to follow-up. Four months after completing education, mean A1c decreased in all groups, but significantly more in the individual education group than group education (-.25%, p=.01) and usual care (-.27%, p=.02). Compared to usual care, diabetes distress was reduced with individual education (-.37, p=.02) and group education (-.30, p=.05). Individual education (but not group education) improved SF-12 physical component score (+1.98, p=.03), physical activity (+41.17 minutes/week, p=.05), and nutrition score (+.66, p=.06). Empowerment was unchanged with either educational intervention. In the short-term, individual education for this patient population resulted in better A1c levels than did usual care and group education. Diabetes-specific distress was reduced with both educational interventions, but individual education was superior to group education for A1c improvement and other pre-specified outcomes.