Best Online Education Degree Programs

A bachelor’s in education is a four-year college degree that prepares students for a career in teaching or education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board at a four-year institution was $28,123 for the 2018-19 school year.

Programs at online schools usually take the same amount of time as in-person programs, however some may be accelerated to allow students to finish more rapidly. Some online schools offer competitive tuition rates to attract more students.

People with a bachelor’s in education most often fill in as elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these positions are projected to grow 7-8% from 2020-30. As of May 2020, median salaries ranged from $60,660 for elementary school teachers to $62,870 for high school teachers.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Education Program?
Great teachers have strong communication skills. This includes listening as well as speaking and composing. They are adaptable, engaging, and able to empathize with their students. They also have patience and a love of learning. Many of these qualities come in handy when earning an online bachelor’s in education.

A bachelor’s in education degree requires around 120 credits and takes about four years to complete. You may be able to complete the program faster assuming you have transfer credits or you take extra credits each semester. You may also be able to shave time off the program by taking classes throughout the summer.

You can reach out to the admissions office at schools you are interested in to figure out more about credit transfer policies and options for finishing your program more rapidly.

Throughout their bachelor’s in education program, degree-seekers learn classroom management skills and how to create lesson plans. They learn how to teach small groups as well as an entire class of students, and appropriate methods for teaching different grade levels. They also learn strategies for designing instruction for students with special needs and how to communicate with families.

As part of the degree program, students must participate in a culminating student teaching experience that helps them set up as a regular occurrence what they have learned throughout their college career. It allows degree-seekers to gain some experience teaching while under the supervision of another teacher. Student teaching experiences vary long and are typically upaid.

Degree-seekers may specialize in elementary education, middle level education, secondary education, special education, or other areas. Programs may award a bachelor of arts (BA), bachelor of science (BS), or bachelor of education (BEd) degree. BA programs typically have more foreign language requirements, whereas BS programs have more science and BEd programs focus more heavily on education.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Education Degree Programs

1. University of Washington
Tuition: $9,765
Graduation rate: 84%

Located in Seattle, UW offers a completely online bachelor of arts in early care and education. Designed for students with at least 45 undergraduate credits, most students can complete the program in two years of full-time study or three years of part-time attendance.

The program focuses specifically on young children and their families’ needs, preparing students to begin a career in early youth education, childcare, or parent support. Through an intentional teaching framework, students learn both theory and practical applications, work in early youth service centers in their own local area, and spend time reflecting on what they learn.

2.2. University of Louisiana at Monroe
Tuition: $9,455
Graduation rate: 44%

Located in northern Louisiana, ULM offers an online bachelor of science in elementary education. Designed to help teachers excel in elementary school classrooms, the program includes general studies, content area studies, professional teaching methods, integrative studies, and student teaching inside the student’s local area.

Students may pursue electives such as music or art education. All first-year students must take a university seminar class to help them adjust to the expectations of college.

ULM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Specialized accreditation for this elementary education program is granted by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

3. Eastern New Mexico University
Tuition: $10,918
Graduation rate: 35%

Located in Portales, ENMU offers an online bachelor of science in early youth education with an emphasis on birth through pre-kindergarten. This degree completion program requires students to hold an associate degree in early youth education or provide transcripts showing successful completion of all 100-and 200-level coursework needed for a bachelor’s degree.

The program does not lead to licensure however can help students meet career goals in home daycare settings, private preschools, Head Start programs, and other areas. All students must complete a nine-credit practicum experience. Local students may complete the practicum at the school’s on-campus kid development center, whenever desired.

4. Biola University
Graduation rate: 73%

An evangelical Christian university in La Mirada, California, Biola offers a completely online bachelor of science in early youth. Designed for those interested in giving faith-based education, the program blends instruction in proven teaching methods with Bible classes.

All students complete 12 credits of integrated biblical studies and education courses and an additional 18 credits of separate theology classes. Students also learn to focus on the family as well as the youngster, taking classes like psychology of marriage and family. Courses last seven weeks.

Biola is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.

5. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Located in Indiana, SMWC offers an online bachelor’s in education. The program prepares students for dual licensure in both general K-6 education and K-6 special education (gentle intervention).

Designed for students located in Indiana or Illinois, the program heavily emphasizes student teaching in the final year. The program places students in diverse local classrooms in both public and private schools. Most courses follow a traditional 16-week pace or an accelerated eight-week option. Students only take two credits of open electives, however they can provide feedback on the type of teaching placement they would like.

6. University of Missouri – Columbia

A state funded college located in Columbia, Missouri, Mizzou offers an online BS in early youth education in a mobile society. The program covers a wide variety of topics, including kid development, educational plan design, and working with families. However, this program does not include basic teaching certification.

All students take professional development courses in areas such as health and nutrition, diversity, and technology and young children. Students must also complete three practicum placements.

7. The Baptist College of Florida

A Christian university in Graceville, BCF offers an online bachelor of arts in elementary education. The program prepares Christian educators to teach students in kindergarten through sixth grade in broad daylight or private classrooms. All students must take 12 credits of biblical foundation courses. The program allows students to choose specific subject matter courses in their own areas of interest, such as geography or Western civilization. Participants also complete internships.

All students must present a recommendation structure from their pastor as part of their application packet. BCF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

8. University of North Carolina – Wilmington

A public research university in southeast North Carolina, UNCW offers an online bachelor of arts in elementary education. Offered in collaboration with Watson College, Coastal Carolina Community College (CCCC), the province government funded school system, and nearby military installations, this degree completion program focuses heavily on local students. However, the program does not require on-campus attendance.

Whenever desired, program participants may tutor students at the CCCC education lab or participate in UNCW’s international experiences. The program offers various concentrations, such as behavioral studies, English as a second language, and science and health. Applicants should have an associate degree.

9. University of Alaska

Located in Juneau, UAS offers an online bachelor of arts in elementary education. Designed for Alaska residents, the program includes more than 1,200 hours of hands-on, in-classroom teaching experience.

Courses cover a variety of subject areas, including local Alaskan culture. Students must take courses in general education fields, such as science and the humanities, however they also choose specific classes that align with their areas of personal interest. Participants complete student teaching and a professional portfolio during their final semester.

10.Regis University

A private university in Denver, Colorado, Regis offers a completely online bachelor of arts in elementary education. Designed for working professionals, the flexible program allows participants to keep their occupation until their final-semester student teaching placement.

The program follows an eight-week course schedule, with start dates available six times throughout the year. Students may follow either an elementary education track or a dual-enrollment track that includes special education. The two tracks lead to initial licensure.

Before beginning student teaching (typically in the last year of the program), students must pass the appropriate Praxis exam. To prepare students for their student teaching experience, the program features field experiences throughout each year.

11. Liberty University

An evangelical Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty offers a completely online bachelor of science in early youth education. This non-licensure program prepares students for home daycare or non-licensed classroom roles. It can also ready graduates to move into a licensure preparation program.

Courses cover a wide variety of early youth topics, from health and wellness to different learning styles. Participants also discover the important role that families play in early youth education, as well as how to develop a classroom style that mirrors their personal philosophy. All students receive electronic textbooks for their entire program at no extra cost.

12.North Greenville University

A Baptist university located in Tigerville, South Carolina, NGU offers an online or blended bachelor’s degree in elementary educational studies. Deeply rooted in the Christian faith, the program requires all students to take core courses in biblical studies, as well as such general education topics like mathematics and history. Online students must be at least 22 years old to enroll in this program.

Students choosing the blended program can meet once per week with professors and peers in a face-to-face session. Participants also work on a personal website throughout the program, graduating with a completely finished site filled with clips and sample projects.

13.Prescott College

A private college in central Arizona, Prescott College offers a completely online bachelor’s in education. Students create their own areas of emphasis, weaving together courses drawn from fields like psychology, the arts, and cultural studies to supplement their core educational coursework. The program also offers emphasis areas in social justice education and environmental education.

Core competencies include a broad variety of educational topics, such as learning differences, assessments, and ethical practice. All students must complete a research paper and an in-depth senior project.

14.Wilmington University

A private university in New Castle, Delaware, WilmU offers a non-licensure online bachelor of science in education studies. Designed to prepare students for a variety of non-licensed classroom positions, the program offers four concentrations: early youth education, elementary education, middle-level education (with a focus on English, math, social studies, or science), and skilled and technical sciences.

Regardless of their concentration, all participants take core competency courses that cover topics like learning theory, kid development, and educational psychology, as well as hands-on practical classroom skills.

15. South Dakota State University

Located in Brookings, SDSU offers an online bachelor of science in early education and care. A collaboration between seven universities, the program prepares students to work with young children whose families are highly mobile. Many graduates work in local area based programs or those located on military installations. The program does not lead to licensure or certification.

Students study a wide variety of topics, including working with families, developmental differences, and educational program development. All students must complete practicum placements and a 15-week capstone experience.

Courses in an Online Bachelor’s in Education Program
Educational Foundations
This course covers educational theory with an emphasis on politics, philosophy, ethics, and history. Students study the history of American education and teachers’ legal roles and responsibilities.

Introduction to Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
By the end of this course, students will actually want to evaluate important issues in teaching, demonstrate the skills and personality traits of effective teachers, and plan clear, standards-based lessons and assessments.

Educational Technology for Teaching and Learning
This course focuses on strategies for integrating technology into the classroom to support digital learning experiences, creativity, and student engagement. Prospective teachers learn to use technology effectively in their classrooms.

Educational Psychology
Educational psychology gives degree-seekers an overview of the principles and theories of psychology that relate to education. Students explore how children learn, how to motivate them, and how they develop psychologically.

Managing Engaging Learning Environments
This course presents practical and theoretical principles and research to help prospective teachers learn to make decisions regarding classroom layout so as to provide positive behavioral reinforcement.

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor’s in Education Program?
While admission requirements vary slightly starting with one school then onto the next, they are also very similar. Whether you want to attend a college or university, online or on campus, you’ll need to finish up an application, pay an application fee, and prove that you’ve graduated from high school or have a GED diploma. There may be other requirements, such as essays, test scores, or letters of recommendation.

Application
Although each school has its own application, there is another option for those who are applying to multiple schools. The Common App allows candidates to apply to many schools simultaneously, eliminating the amount of time you’ll need to spend finishing up apps. Unfortunately, you’ll still have to pay the application fee for each school.

Test Scores
Many schools require test scores from college entrance exams such as the ACT and SAT. Some may require least scores for admission, while others require you to take additional courses assuming that your scores are too low. These extra courses don’t typically figure in with the credits needed for your degree.

Letters of Recommendation
You will probably need to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation. Assuming that you have recently graduated from high school or are about to graduate, ask teachers who realize you well. You can also ask a counselor, coach, club advisor, or even the high school principal. In the event that you have work experience, you should ask your supervisor at work.

Essays
Many schools require you to write short college application essays. They need to convey to the admissions team that you are a dependable candidate with a positive attitude. Your essay must establish your unique strengths as a candidate and convince the admissions team that you deserve a spot on campus.

Official Transcripts
You’ll probably have to provide your official high school transcripts or a duplicate of your GED diploma. On the off chance that you have attended college previously, you’ll need to submit your official college transcripts as well. Your new school will use your transcripts to determine whether any of your previous credits transfer to your new program.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor’s in Education Degree?
Career Outlook
While the demand for teachers may not be as strong as for some of the most popular college majors, the BLS reports the projected development rate for elementary to high school teachers as average. As of December 2021, there were over 90,000 results for “teacher” on Indeed.

Pay scale salary data from December 2021 shows an average base salary between $52,000-$55,000 for those with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and $63,000 for those with a BS in education.

See where a bachelor’s in education degree can take you. Learn more about teaching careers.

Career Paths
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers teach students how to socialize with others their own age and observe students to determine their strengths and weaknesses. They develop lesson plans based on requirements for the district, assemble relationships with families, and engage in professional development. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers need to be certified in the state where they teach.

Median Annual Salary: $60,660

Middle School Teachers
Middle school teachers assess their students’ abilities and plan how to teach them the required subjects. They create lesson plans, grade assignments and tests, and talk to students’ families. They prepare students for state-mandated standardized tests. They usually teach students in grades 5-8. Middle school teachers need to be certified in the state where they teach.

Median Annual Salary: $60,810

High School Teachers
High school teachers usually teach a specific subject, such as science, math, or English. They plan lessons, create assignments and tests, and grade assignments and tests. They may also sponsor clubs and help mentor students in college and career readiness. High school teachers need to be certified in the state where they teach.

Median Annual Salary: $62,870

Adult Basic and Secondary Education and ESL Teachers
Adult basic and secondary education and ESL teachers create lesson plans designed to help adult students learn English or gain their high school equivalency credentials. They help their students develop strong study skills and track down local area resources. Adult basic and secondary education and ESL teachers need to be certified in the state where they teach.

Median Annual Salary: $55,350

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor’s in Education Program?
Cost
According to NCES, the average tuition and fees at a four-year college or university were $16,318 per year in 2018-19. That’s $65,272 for quite a long time, and that doesn’t even include food and lodging. Whether you will be attending on-campus or online, to calculate the true program cost you should also factor in room, board, transportation, textbooks, and lost income from not being able to work.

Program Format
Before choosing an online bachelor’s in education, consider whether the program is synchronous or asynchronous and whether it follows a full-time or part-time schedule. Synchronous programs require students to sign in at specific times for live lectures. Asynchronous programs allow more flexibility. Some schools have accelerated programs that allow students to finish faster than the typical four years.

Location
Assuming you’re searching for an online bachelor’s in education, you may not think location matters, but rather you need to make sure you will actually want to complete your student teaching locally even on the off chance that you are attending classes online. You also need to check to make sure your state’s licensing board accepts the program.

Accreditation
There are two main types of accreditation: regional and national. Credits from colleges with regional accreditation are more likely to transfer starting with one school then onto the next assuming that you change schools. You are also eligible for federal financial aid in the event that you attend a regionally accredited school. National accreditation is not common for bachelor’s in education programs.

Student Support
Before deciding on a school, contemplate what student services you could need and check to see in the event that the school offers them. Many schools offer academic advising, tutoring, mentorship, career services, and internship placement services. Even assuming that you’re attending school online, you should have access to online student services.

Bachelor’s in Education Programs Frequently Asked Questions

Is a bachelor’s in education worth the effort?

If you want to be a teacher, a bachelor’s in education is definitely worth the effort because it opens the way to your dream work. However, keep as a top priority that the average annual salary for someone with a bachelor’s in education is lower than average salaries in other fields such as business administration and computer science. Also consider the cost of the degree when deciding whether a specific school is worthwhile. Some schools cost considerably more than others.

What can I do with a bachelor’s in education?

A bachelor’s in education, along with state certification, opens up a variety of teaching jobs. You could teach at the kindergarten, elementary, middle school, or high school level. You could also teach adult education or career and technical education. In addition, getting a bachelor’s in education is the first step toward administrative jobs such as school principal or superintendent. Teachers who want to become administrators may benefit from returning to school to earn a master’s in education or even a doctorate in education.

Are education majors in demand?

According to the BLS, the demand for elementary, middle, and high school teachers is average, with the amount of jobs for these educators projected to climb 7-8%. The BLS projects that the demand for career and technical education teachers will develop by 5% in that same time period, which is lower than average. The demand for adult basic and secondary education and ESL teachers is projected to fall 5% from 2020-30. The BLS projects 111,500 new jobs for kindergarten and elementary school teachers between 2020 and 2030, 44,800 jobs for middle school teachers, 78,200 jobs for high school teachers, and 9,800 jobs for career and technical education teachers. The number of jobs for adult basic and secondary education and ESL teachers is projected to fall by 2,400.

How much money can I make with a bachelor’s in education?

According to the BLS, teachers earn a median salary of $55,350-$62,870 per year, depending on the type of teaching they do and the students’ age. Teachers who want to earn more money often earn a master’s degree to get a slight pay increase. This also helps them qualify for administrative jobs such as school principal or school superintendent. Some states offer different levels of teacher certification that may also be tied to your earning potential. To move up to a different level, you may need to complete additional coursework or professional development opportunities. Those with advanced degrees in education and at least five years of work experience may qualify for jobs as elementary, middle, and high school principals. According to the BLS, these professionals earned an annual median salary of $98,490 as of May 2020.

What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor’s in education?
High school teachers earn slightly more than teachers at the middle and elementary levels, with a median salary of $62,870. In addition to teaching classes and grading assignments, they also help students prepare for standardized tests. Middle school teachers earn a median of $60,810 per year and typically teach students in sixth eighth grade. They perform the same duties as high school teachers however work with younger students.

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