15 Best Online Bachelor's in Education Degrees 2021



Earning an education degree online is the first step for teachers and other education professionals to begin their careers. Prospective teachers must acquire state-issued certification as well. Aside from teaching, students with a bachelor's degree in education also qualify for entry-level jobs in child care, school counseling, or social work.

Online bachelor's in education graduates can find work in non-teaching positions, such as child life counselor or admissions specialist, or they may pursue further education.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 5% job growth for education, training, and library professionals from 2019 to 2029, meaning education graduates can expect good employment prospects. Among teaching positions requiring bachelor's degrees, high school and special education teachers earn the top salaries, with median annual earnings of $61,660 and $61,030, respectively.

The following section explores some of the nation's best online bachelor's degrees in education.

10 Best Online Education Degrees of 2021

Rank School Location
1 University of Washington Seattle, WA
2 Biola University La Mirada, CA
3 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
4 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
5 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College West Terre Haute, IN
6 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA
7 Regis University Denver, CO
8 University of Nebraska Kearney Kearney, NE
9 North Carolina Central University Durham, NC
10 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC
See Detailed Rankings

Why Get an Online Bachelor's Degree in Education?

Teacher training programs started in the 19th century with "normal schools," which made teaching into a standardized profession. Today, universities offer education degrees where students focus on specific grade levels and subjects. Enrollees may also pursue a specialization such as special education, gifted learning, or technical/career training.

These programs fulfill each state's minimum education requirements and prepare students for certification. Online bachelor's in education graduates can also find work in non-teaching positions, such as child life counselor or admissions specialist, or they may pursue further education.

Some benefits of pursuing an online bachelor's degree in teaching include:

Teaching Skills

A bachelor's in education focuses on best teaching practices. Learners can study teaching a specific age group or subject, or they can pursue specializations like English as a second language (ESL), reading and literacy, or special education. Graduates leave their programs prepared to work in the classroom.

Foundational Career Coursework

While many students pursue an education degree to teach, this is not the only career option. The skills acquired in these programs lay the groundwork for a number of other education-related jobs, including school counseling and consulting. A bachelor's degree in education also lays the foundation for further study. Graduate degrees in the field can prepare learners to work in more advanced positions like instructional coordinator.

Flexible Scheduling

If a student pursues their degree online, an asynchronous program can offer flexible scheduling. This is particularly important for learners balancing academic, work, and family obligations.

2021's Top Online Bachelor's in Education Schools

A degree in education is the first step toward a career in a field with high demand. This guide ranks the best 15 bachelor's in education schools in 2021. Click on the link below for more information about our ranking.

Our Ranking Methodology

What the Best Education Programs Have in Common

Though each college offers a unique experience, the best schools usually share the following characteristics:

  • They are accredited. Accredited institutions and programs must meet rigorous standards set by recognized regional, national, or global agencies. These agencies regularly review accredited colleges and programs to ensure accreditation compliance. For example, a program accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation undergoes programmatic assessments every 7-10 years.

    All of the schools in our ranking hold accreditation from one of the following agencies:

    • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
    • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
    • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
    • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
    • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

    Programs or departments within these schools may also hold accreditation from a programmatic accreditor such as:

    • California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)
    • Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
    • Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)
    • Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)
  • Their programs are reputable. Programs with a good reputation can provide career leverage. For example, one in three students at Regis University finds employment before graduating. Within six months of graduation, 95% of Regis graduates hold a job or are in graduate school, and 90% of Regis alumni work in a job tied to their field of study.
  • They foster academic excellence. Schools that foster academic excellence promote an environment of continual learning and provide opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research. Drexel University, for example, achieved 84 inventions and 36 new U.S. patents in 2020, and In 2019, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions awarded the school a prestigious R1 designation.
  • They are affordable. The best schools minimize attendance costs and maximize accessibility by offering a variety of program delivery methods and financial aid packages. At Gardner-Webb University, for example, about 96% of students receive financial aid.

The Best Online Bachelor's in Education

1. University of Washington

Public university in Seattle, WA, accredited by NWCCU


The University of Washington first opened its doors in 1861. Now welcoming more than 54,000 learners every year, UW annually awards 12,000 bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degrees.

Bachelor of Arts in Early Care and Education

The UW College of Education boasts nine alumni chosen as Washington state principal of the year, and seven faculty members selected as fellows by the prestigious American Educational Research Association.

Early education students at UW benefit from a versatile program formatted to support the busy lives of working professionals. With an asynchronous delivery format, learners can access lectures and assignments at their convenience while meeting program requirements and deadlines.

Coursework covers theory, current research in the field of early childhood education, and practical training. Students observe classroom settings, interact with children, and learn directly from professionals working in the field.

Applying to UW

In addition to an online application, interested students must submit a personal statement, resume, and transcripts. Prospective learners must hold at least 45 transferable quarter credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0. New cohorts begin each fall and spring.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $231/credit
  • Required Credits: 180 credits minimum
  • Program Length: 2 years full time
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Other Education Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood and Family Studies | Bachelor of Arts in Education, Communities, and Organizations

2. Biola University

Private university in La Mirada, CA, accredited by WSCUC, ACSI, and CTC


Founded in 1949 as a Bible school offering Christian education in downtown Los Angeles, Biola now offers over 150 undergraduate and graduate programs.

BS in Early Childhood

The fully online BS in early childhood program at the Biola School of Education serves teachers at a variety of career stages. Learners participate in asynchronous coursework, gaining knowledge in childhood development and classroom preparation from a biblical perspective.

With the support of faculty guides and individualized success coaches, students can benefit from a holistic education that focuses on furthering spiritual life along with academics.

Enrollees in the early childhood program may optimize their elective units by pursuing a multiple subject credential. Students may work toward early childhood permits through preparatory coursework and a field practicum.

Applying to Biola

Applicants must submit an online application, essay, official transcripts, and file their FAFSA. Biola offers start dates in the spring, summer, and fall.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $604/credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 2-3 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Other Education Programs

BA in Early Childhood | BA in Liberal Studies, Elementary Education | BA in Liberal Studies, Multidisciplinary

3. Drexel University

Private university in Philadelphia, PA, accredited by MSCHE


Established in 1891 during the rise of industrialization to support the demands of a burgeoning society, Drexel awarded its first bachelor's degree in 1914. As an internationally renowned research school, Drexel hosts a prominent cooperative education program.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education

The part-time online bachelor's in elementary education at Drexel readies students for teacher certification in Pennsylvania. Interested learners may choose a specialization in preK-4 or special education, and can pursue certification in their area of specialization.

Each track supports students with coursework that prepares them to effectively lead, teach, and solve problems in the classroom. Courses focus on childhood development, subject foundations, early intervention, and developing curricula based on the needs of learners with disabilities.

To attain teaching certification, learners must complete 12 successive weeks of full-time student teaching and 190 hours of teaching activities. A non-certification pedagogical approach is also available for students interested in pursuing non-teaching education careers.

Applying to Drexel

Prospective students submit an application, official transcripts, and a personal essay. Transfer students must hold a minimum GPA of 2.50 and at least 36 quarter credits (24 semester credits) from an accredited institution.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $435/credit
  • Required Credits: 180 credits
  • Program Length: 2.5-5 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Other Education Programs

Online BS in Education: Non-Certification | BS in Elementary Education | BS in Secondary Education | BS in Education: Non-Certification | 5-Year BS/MS Dual Degree Program in Education

4. Gardner-Webb University

Private university in Boiling Springs, NC, accredited by SACSCOC and CAEP


With a global mission emphasizing community service, Gardner-Webb hosts over 3,500 students from 37 states and 21 different countries. Founded in 1905 as a high school, Gardner-Webb transitioned to college education in 1942.

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

The Gardner-Webb Teacher Education Program offers a BS in elementary education along with a degree completion program for online transfer students.

Along with general education requirements, elementary education degree students pursuing K-12 teaching licensure must complete 34 additional credits and a professional education minor. Learners interested in supporting diverse students may pursue a specialization in exceptional children.

The state-approved Gardner-Webb elementary education program presents opportunities for classroom observation and teaching in elementary settings.

Applying to Gardner-Webb

Interested students must submit an online application and official high school transcripts with completed work in core subjects. SAT/ACT test scores are not required for fall 2021 admissions. Gardner-Webb offers four start dates throughout the year.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $15,610/semester
  • Required Credits: 128 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Other Education Programs

BS in Birth-Kindergarten Education | BS in Middle Grades Education | BS in Elementary Education for Teacher Assistants to Teachers

5. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Private university in West Terre Haute, IN, accredited by HLC


Founded in 1840 by six Catholic Sisters from France, SMWC began as a school for women and Catholic immigrants. Since 2015, SMWC has welcomed men in all of its programs.

Bachelor of Science in Education, Kindergarten – Grade 6 / Mild Intervention

Approved by the Indiana Department of Education, the SMWC bachelor's in education prepares learners to teach grades K-6 with dual licensure. Education students develop the skills and knowledge to work in K-6 classrooms, including special education classrooms.

Students learn directly from educators in the field and from expert SMWC faculty. Field experiences are integrated throughout the program and conclude with a student teaching practicum.

For added flexibility, learners may choose a traditional term of 16 weeks or an eight-week accelerated term, and an on-campus or online delivery format.

Applying to SMWC

Interested students must submit an online application and high school transcripts or a GED certificate. SAT/ACT test scores are optional. The school seeks applicants with a rigorous high school record, including participation in extracurricular activities. Prospective transfer students must submit an official college transcript.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $496/credit (part time); $29,950/year (full time)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online or hybrid

Other Education Programs

BS in Education, Preschool – Grade 3 / Mild Intervention

6. University of Louisiana at Monroe

Public university in Monroe, LA, accredited by SACSCOC and CAEP


Established in 1931 in eastern Monroe, ULM's 238-acre campus is sprinkled with lush trees and borders the shores of the Bayou DeSiard.

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

The BS in elementary education at ULM supports educators' career development goals. The program offers opportunities to investigate teaching methodology, strengthen curriculum, and refine classroom management skills through field experiences.

Transfer students interested in completing their elementary education degree through ULM may apply some credits toward the degree requirements in courses where they have maintained a minimum 2.00 GPA.

Coursework in the online elementary education program covers topics such as assessment, educational psychology, and behavioral support for disabled students. The program concludes with a classroom teaching residency supervised by experienced professionals.

Applying to ULM

Interested students must submit an online application and official transcripts. Some students may need to submit additional documents, such as SAT/ACT test scores. ULM offers sessions starting in the spring, summer, and fall.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $400/credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Other Education Programs

BS in Elementary Education (Grades 1-5) | BS in Secondary Education and Teaching: Biology Education (Grades 6-12) | BS in Secondary Education and Teaching: Chemistry Education (Grades 6-12) | BS in Secondary Education and Teaching: English Education (Grades 6-12) | BS in Secondary Education and Teaching: French Education (Grades 6-12) | BS in Secondary Education and Teaching: Social Studies Education (Grades 6-12) | BS in Secondary Education and Teaching: Spanish Education (Grades K-12)

7. Regis University

Private university in Denver, CO, accredited by HLC


As the only Jesuit Catholic university in the Rocky Mountains, Regis University prioritizes its role in the local community. The school offers opportunities for students and neighbors to work together on collaborative projects.

Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education

The elementary education program at Regis challenges its students to confront the complex issues of illiteracy, underserved community needs, and the effect of education on job security. With a goal of supporting educators in making a positive impact, the elementary education program fulfills bachelor's degree and initial teacher licensure requirements at an accelerated pace.

Enrollees may pursue a dual endorsement in elementary and special education. To accommodate working professionals, the school offers classes online or on campus in evening, weekend, and summer sessions until the final teaching practicum begins.

Applying to Regis

Prospective students must submit an online application, official transcripts, a resume, and a teacher candidate interview. Interested students can contact an admissions counselor to begin the process. Regis offers rolling admissions with start dates throughout the year.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $475/credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Delivery Format: 100% online or on campus

Other Education Programs

BA in Elementary Education | BA in Secondary Education

8. University of Nebraska Kearney

Public university in Kearney, NE, accredited by HLC and CAEP


The University of Nebraska Kearney is home to Louie the Loper, a mythic American antelope representing the adaptability and might of its students. UNK has been training students to become educators since its foundation in the early 1900s.

Online Early Childhood Inclusive Bachelor of Arts in Education

The UNK online early childhood bachelor's offers students a wealth of field experience opportunities in classroom settings. Through courses on assessment and intervention, education students practice screening and monitoring methods with the support of experienced educators.

Working in various classroom settings, learners gain valuable experience with students of a variety of ages and developmental stages. This degree prepares students to teach in special education classrooms with children up to five years old, or teach nondisabled children up to eight years old.

Applying to UNK

Prospective first-year students must submit an online application, SAT/ACT test scores, and a high school transcript. Transfer students must have graduated from an accredited high school and hold a minimum 2.00 GPA in all previous coursework.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $259/credit (in state); $396/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Other Education Programs

BA in Education, Elementary Education Teaching Field Endorsement | BA in Education, Middle Level 5-9 Teaching Subject Endorsement | BS in Education, Middle Level 5-9 Teaching Subject Endorsement | BA in Education, Special Education K-12 Teaching Field Endorsement | BA in Education, Special Education K-6 Teaching Subject Endorsement | BA in Education, Special Education 7-12 Teaching Subject Endorsement, BA

9. North Carolina Central University

Public university in Durham, NC, accredited by SACSCOC and CAEP


Founded by businessman Dr. James E. Shepard in 1910, NCCU began at the peak of Black Wall Street's success. In 1923 NCCU became the country's first public liberal arts college for Black students.

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Birth-Kindergarten

Enrollees pursuing the early childhood education birth-kindergarten bachelor's degree at NCCU complete preparatory work in curriculum development, adapting classroom environments, and family engagement. This degree equips students with the skills to support nondisabled children and at-risk or disabled children.

The program concludes with a senior seminar incorporating foundational theories into work with children and families in a classroom setting under the direction of experienced teachers.

Delivered by the same expert faculty members as on-campus courses, the online early childhood education program offers a variety of career-driven services, including internships and networking opportunities.

Applying to NCCU

Interested students must submit admissions packets by May 1 for summer term, July 15 to begin in the fall, or November 15 for spring admission. In addition to submitting an online application and high school transcripts, prospective students must hold a satisfactory GPA and meet UNC admission requirements. SAT/ACT test scores are currently optional.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $184/credit (in state); $584/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Other Education Programs

BA in Elementary Education | BA in Middle Grades Education | BS in Early Childhood Education | BS in Early Childhood Education (2nd Degree)

10. University of North Carolina Wilmington

Public university in Wilmington, NC, accredited by SACSCOC and CAEP


The University of North Carolina Wilmington welcomed its first class of students in 1947. UNCW was founded by a group of community leaders to bring more academic opportunities to southeast North Carolina.

Elementary Education Distance Learning Program

UNCW partners with Watson College of Education, Coastal Carolina Community College (CCCC), the local public school system, and nearby military installations to offer opportunities for networking and field practice. Education majors at UNCW gain experience by tutoring students at the CCCC education laboratory, building relationships with public school teachers through classroom practica.

Students in the elementary education distance learning program can specialize in tracks such as behavioral studies, language arts, science and health, math and technology, and social studies.

Applying to UNCW

Prospective first-year students must submit an online application, high school transcripts, and a personal essay. The admissions committee considers applicants' class standing, GPA, coursework, and extracurricular activities. SAT/ACT test scores are optional.

For entry into the Watson College of Education, students must apply in their sophomore or junior year and complete prerequisite classes.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $4,400/year (in state); $18,508/year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Delivery Format: 100% online or on campus

Other Education Programs

Education of Young Children | Elementary Education | Middle Grades Education | Secondary Education | Special Education | Physical Education and Health | Music Education | World Language Teacher Education

11. University of Missouri

Public university in Columbia, MO, accredited by HLC


As one of four schools in the UM system, Mizzou is part of a collaborative alliance offering over 260 programs. With traditions like the "tiger walk" and "tiger prowl," where Mizzou students ceremonially walk through the columns on campus at the beginning and end of their college careers, the school promotes an environment of community and connectivity.

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society

Ideal for long-distance students with a mobile lifestyle, the fully online BS in human development and family science provides training applicable to classrooms in civilian and military environments.

As a member of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, Mizzou offers opportunities to learn with expert instructors from partner universities.

Mizzou education students complete rigorous coursework covering topics such as child development, curriculum development, and assessment of young children. The program includes three in-classroom practicum assignments.

Applying to Mizzou

Prospective students complete prerequisite high school courses and achieve minimum SAT/ACT scores. For Fall 2021, students can submit a personal statement and resume in lieu of test scores.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $306/credit (in state); $920/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Other Education Programs

Bachelor of Educational Studies

12. Eastern New Mexico University

Public university in Portales, NM, accredited by HLC


Known for its affordability and personal touch, ENMU is a premier regional college in New Mexico with over 3,900 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students. ENMU encourages its students to "explore, experience, and excel" as learners and beyond.

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with Emphasis in Birth through Pre-K (Non-Licensure)

The BS program in early childhood education prepares students to pursue careers in home daycare, private preschools, and early intervention. Students who hold an associate degree or transfer coursework covering all 100- and 200-level requirements may complete the program entirely online in an asynchronous format.

Students complete nine credits of practicum work featuring active observation of childhood development and successful family support systems. On-campus students may also visit the Child Development Center Laboratory School to observe children in an educational environment.

Enrollees interested in pursuing the early childhood education non-licensure degree must complete all lower level coursework or hold an associate degree in early childhood education.

Applying to ENMU

Prospective students must submit an online application, high school transcripts or a GED certificate, a completed FAFSA, the ENMU scholarship application, and ACT/SAT test scores.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $2,037/semester (in state); $3,057/semester (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Delivery Format: Hybrid

Other Education Programs

BS in Early Childhood Education with an Emphasis in Birth-Pre-K (Licensure) | BS in Early Childhood Education with PreK-Grade 3 (Licensure) | BS in Early Childhood Education with an Emphasis in Family, Infant, and Toddler Studies (Non-Licensure)

13. University of Illinois Springfield

Public university in Springfield, IL, accredited by HLC


Founded in 1969 as Sangamon State University in southeast Springfield, UIS now serves over 4200 students. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best Midwest public regional universities for over 13 years, UIS celebrates diversity and excellence in online education.

Online Teacher Education

UIS students pursuing an education degree through the Department of Teacher Education may study on campus or online in a cohort. Online learners interact with their cohort several times each semester during weekend conferences. The school offers many virtual student life opportunities, including virtual meetings, gaming events, and films.

Learners pursuing a degree in middle grades education or secondary teacher licensure specialize in a content area such as math, science, social science, or English. Through an internship and a corresponding seminar course, students explore child development and literacy methods for content delivery.

Applying to UIS

Prospective students must submit high school transcripts, an online application, and ACT/SAT scores. The admissions committee may also request a personal statement on a case-by-case basis.

For admission into the Teacher Education Program, students must submit an application and evidence of a minimum 2.50 GPA in all college coursework.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $289/credit (in state, on campus), $604/credit (out of state, on campus); $362/credit (online)
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Delivery Format: On campus or online with some in-person requirements

Other Education Programs

Elementary Education | Elementary Teacher Licensure

14. Liberty University

Private university in Lynchburg, VA, accredited by SACSCOC and CAEP


Founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, Liberty serves over 100,000 enrolled students, including 30,000 members of the military. The school offers over 700 academic programs and emphasizes holistic evangelical Christian education.

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

Ideal for working professionals, the online BS in early childhood education offers an asynchronous format and eight-week terms. Students can complete the program in 3.5 years.

Coursework covers topics such as childhood development, curriculum adaptation, learning styles, and classroom leadership methods. Learners may also gain hands-on teaching experience with an optional in-person classroom practicum near their home.

Upon graduation, students may work in a non-licensed capacity and continue their studies with a licensure program.

Applying to Liberty

Interested students must submit an online application, a high school certification form and official transcript, and a completed FAFSA.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $390/credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 3.5 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Other Education Programs

Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education | Bachelor of Education in Middle Education | Bachelor of Education in Special Education | BS in Elementary Education Interdisciplinary Studies | BS in Special Education Interdisciplinary Studies

15. Kansas State University

Public university in Manhattan, KS, accredited by HLC and CAEP


Founded in 1863, Kansas State University continues to uphold its mission of supporting high-quality instruction and research to advance society on local and global levels.

Elementary Education Bachelor's Degree

Recognized for its cutting-edge collaborative elementary education program, the K-State College of Education received a national award from the Association of Teacher Educators.

Learners pursuing the online degree in elementary education may specialize in areas such as communications, humanities, and quantitative studies. At K-State, students participate in new classroom management techniques and use technology to broaden the scope of elementary education.

Students can implement their knowledge through field experience in the classroom, where their work is monitored and assessed by instructors through video recordings. K-State elementary education graduates are eligible to apply for initial K-6 teaching licensure upon completion of the program.

Applying to K-State

Competitive applicants must hold a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.25, or a 21 ACT score/1060 SAT score and a minimum high school GPA of 2.0. K-State offers three start dates throughout the year.

Program at a Glance

  • Tuition: $383/credit
  • Required Credits: 120 credits
  • Delivery Format: 100% online

Other Education Programs

Early Childhood Education Bachelor's Degree | Educational Studies Bachelor's Degree

What To Expect From Bachelor's Degrees in Teaching

Most bachelor's degrees require four years of full-time study, though many online bachelor's degrees in education offer accelerated paths to graduation. Online education programs may deliver courses synchronously (live), asynchronously (pre-recorded), or through a combination of both methods.

The typical online bachelor's degree in education requires 120 semester credits. Programs leading to teaching certification usually require a practicum and student teaching experience, which requires students to earn field hours in the classroom of a local school.

Read More About Bachelor's in Education Degrees

Admission Requirements

Many schools include common requirements for admission into a bachelor's degree in education. A bachelor's degree in teaching generally requires applicants to be at least 18 years old and pass a criminal background check for the student teaching requirements in their state.

Most schools evaluate applicants for the online bachelor's in education based on their academic transcripts. Schools routinely require SAT or ACT scores for undergraduate admission. Some programs require a resume, personal statement, or letters of recommendation.

Many colleges and universities use the Common App, which allows students to use a single application platform for multiple schools.

Degree and Concentration Options

Schools commonly offer BA or BS degrees in education with specializations geared toward various subjects and grade levels. Some schools also offer bachelor of education (B.Ed.) degrees.

An online bachelor's in education enables learners to complete core courses online and still satisfy in-person student teaching credits locally.

While the BA and BS typically offer some of the same concentrations, BAs emphasize liberal arts coursework, while BS degrees require more rigorous math- and science-related classes. B.Ed. programs may focus more on the technical aspects of teaching, offering courses in instructional design and pedagogy.

Most students choose an education degree based on their preferred teaching subject or grade level, with states awarding corresponding certification in these areas. Students can earn a general education degree to teach multiple subjects in a particular grade level, or pursue a specialized subject. For example, programs may offer specializations in music, ESL, or gifted and talented learning.

Some states offer alternative paths to licensure. Students who did not pursue a bachelor's in education can often complete a standalone teacher preparation program to meet state certification requirements.

Popular Education Courses

An online bachelor's degree in education typically requires general education, pedagogy, and core content coursework. Additionally, online education degrees require student teaching experience. Many programs culminate in a student teaching seminar, though some require a separate capstone project. Some education degrees incorporate additional practica or clinical requirements. The following list includes common general education and pedagogy courses:

Popular Courses

Integrated Language Arts

Though degree requirements vary by grade level and subject, most early childhood education and secondary education degrees feature some integrated language arts coursework. This class explores the holistic practice of incorporating reading, writing, speaking, and active listening into the daily curriculum.

Learning Theory and Development

Learning theory and development courses teach prospective educators about learning models, which explain how students acquire and retain information. These classes are often geared toward grade or subject specializations to ensure strategies align with students' educational development.

Classroom Environment and Management

Aspiring teachers require effective classroom management skills. This course explores learner-oriented strategies for managing student behavior and creating a safe, productive classroom environment. Students also explore legal, ethical, and social behavioral management issues. This course may involve a field component.

Field Experience

Students must complete a student teaching practicum to qualify for teaching certification in their state. This requirement includes multiple hours of supervised student teaching in the prospective educator's area of specialization. Each state sets its own hourly student teaching requirements. Online students can usually complete the practicum near their residence.

Capstone

The capstone requirement typically includes a professional portfolio or other form of cumulative reflection. These capstones usually occur alongside or after student teaching hours, near the end of bachelor's program.

How Much Will a Bachelor's in Education Cost?

Several critical factors affect the cost of an online education degree. Tuition varies based on whether a school is private or public, in state or out of state, and in person or online. Typically, in-state public schools offer the lowest tuition, and online learners may qualify for these prices regardless of their home state.

Most students complete the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for financial aid. This application can reduce how much a bachelor of education online costs by connecting learners to grants and scholarships, which do not need to be repaid. The FAFSA can also qualify applicants for federal student loans, which come with lower interest rates than private loans. Future teachers should also investigate loan forgiveness options, as some school districts partner with local governments to eliminate student debt in exchange for several years of teaching.

Follow the links below to learn more:

Jobs for Bachelor's in Education Graduates

The projected job growth for educators correlates with a projected rise in school enrollment over the next decade, especially among kindergarten and elementary school students. Students with only an associate degree may qualify for preschool teaching positions. Master's graduates can pursue specialized jobs, like instructional coordinator.

Teachers generally require a bachelor's degree and certification to teach in public schools. Among kindergarten through secondary teaching occupations, high school teachers and special educators rank as top earners, as shown below.

Jobs for Bachelor's in Education Graduates

Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers provide an education in basic subjects like math, reading, and science to children ages 5-12. Some states require elementary school teachers to earn certification in a specific content area, though most states award general certification for this age group. All 50 states require public school teachers to hold licensure.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Job Outlook (2019-29): +4%
  • Median Annual Salary: $59,420

Special Education Teacher

Special educators teach students with mental, physical, emotional, and learning disabilities. All states require special educators to hold at least a bachelor's degree, and public schools require licensure. Some states require teachers to hold a special education degree, while others allow degrees in a specific age group, such as elementary or high school education, with a minor in special education.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Job Outlook (2019-29): +3%
  • Median Annual Salary: $61,030

Middle School Teacher

Middle school teachers educate students in grades 6-8, building on an elementary school education and preparing students for high school. Most states require middle school teachers to specialize in a teaching subject such as science or math, while others allow a more general focus in elementary education. Middle school teachers must hold state licensure to work in public schools.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Job Outlook (2019-29): +4%
  • Median Annual Salary: $59,660

High School Teacher

High school teachers educate students in grades 9-12. These teachers help prepare students academically and developmentally for college or the job market. Most high school teachers specialize in a particular content area such as science, history, or math. Public high school teachers must hold teaching certification in their state.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Job Outlook (2019-29): +4%
  • Median Annual Salary: $61,660

Explore Education Careers

Choosing the Right General Education Degree

Rankings offer a good starting point for finding the best bachelor's degree in education, but many other factors — including accreditation — should affect the school selection process. Schools may earn national or regional accreditation, which demonstrates that a school meets standards of academic excellence. Regional accreditation is more rigorous, carries more prestige, and is required for students to qualify for federal aid.

Some online bachelor's in education also earn programmatic accreditation from an agency such as the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation. Programmatic accreditation ensures that a degree prepares students for careers in their field.

Aside from accreditation, the following factors are some of the most common considerations for education degrees:

  • Concentrations/Specializations

    Education majors must consider programs with coursework that aligns with the content area or teaching age they want to focus on.

  • Future Education Opportunities

    Some schools offer accelerated or dual degrees for students looking to pursue a master's or a specialized education program.

  • Cost/Financial Aid

    Pursuing online or in-state programs can help lower the total cost of completing a bachelor's degree in education.

  • Location

    If you attend a school in one state but intend to find work in another, ensure the degree would help you meet requirements for teaching licensure in other states.

  • Career Services

    Many schools offer placement services for students completing a practicum or student teaching experience. Others may offer resume workshops and mock interviews.

Why You Should Get Your Bachelor's Degree in Education Online

Many education degrees are offered in person and online. Distance programs continue their trend of upward growth, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. An online bachelor's in education enables learners to complete core courses online and still satisfy in-person student teaching credits locally. Distance learners also eliminate the unnecessary costs of commuting, housing, and campus amenities.

Online programs may also familiarize students with the latest learning and assistive technologies. Though especially suited to majors in curriculum and instruction, education technology, and adaptive learning, online programs can benefit all students, regardless of specialization.

Many online education students enjoy accelerated schedules, in-state tuition rates, and flexible enrollment formats. These distance learning programs are ideal for students with career and family obligations; moreover, time management and self-sufficiency are key to successfully completing an online education degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get an education degree online?

Yes. Many schools offer affordable, convenient online education degrees that meet the requirements for teacher certification in all 50 states. Distance students often enjoy in-state tuition rates, flexible scheduling, and accelerated completion times.

What can I do with a degree in education?

A bachelor's degree in education prepares aspiring kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school teachers and special educators to pursue required teaching certification. Students may also become school counselors or education consultants.

What degree do you need to be a teacher?

Public schools in all 50 states require teachers to hold at least a bachelor's degree and pursue state-issued teaching certification. Private schools do not require teaching certification.

What types of teaching degrees are there?

Schools offer education degrees from the associate to the doctoral level, though bachelor's degrees are especially popular since they meet the minimum requirement for state certification. Options include a BA or BS in education, educational studies, or a specialization like early childhood education.

Directory of Accredited Online Bachelor's Degrees in Education Programs

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