Best Online Education Degrees

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by TBS Staff Writers

Updated September 27, 2022

reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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Online Bachelors Degree in Education

An online bachelor's degree in education prepares students for teaching roles in public and private K-12 settings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for high school teachers to grow 4% between 2019 and 2029, amounting to approximately 40,200 new jobs. High school teachers made a median annual salary of $61,660 in 2019, and the top 10% of earners made more than $99,660 during the same timeframe.

This guide ranks the best online bachelor's in education programs to help students find the right programs for their needs. We also cover important information for prospective students, including common courses and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Featured Online Education Degrees

The Best Online Education Degree Programs

#1

University of Missouri

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Missouri enrolls distance learners in 58 programs. Undergraduate degree-seekers can choose from 14 online bachelor's degree programs. From its campus in Columbia, the school offers an online bachelor's degree in early childhood education in a mobile society. The education program offers flexible study options, where students can pursue full- or part-time study while modifying classes as they see fit.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing education-specific coursework. This curriculum consists of general education and advanced coursework. Enrollees can individualize their studies by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

After earning their degree, graduates often benefit from greater access to employment opportunities and higher earning potential. The school reports a median salary of $42,700 for graduates six years after completing a bachelor's degree. Undergraduate students at the college can expect to pay $15,850 in tuition and fees yearly. Students can meet with the education department directly to inquire about admission requirements, application materials, and more.

University of Missouri at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 9,722

Total Online Programs: 58

Online Bachelor's Programs: 14

Admission Rate: 81%

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#2

Prescott College

School Information
Location Prescott, Arizona
Admission Rate 97%
Graduation Rate 33%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Prescott College is a private, nonprofit, four-year institution providing competitive study across 18 bachelor's degree programs. The private college supports 14 online bachelor's programs from its main campus in Prescott, Arizona. The BA in education provides a premier academic experience.

The education program balances rigor with flexibility. Learners seeking to modify their studies can work with their academic advisor. Enrollees can choose electives and minors to supplement their learning.

Undergraduate tuition at the institution is $30,888. Learners can access numerous funding opportunities through the accredited school.

Prescott College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 649

Total Online Programs: 52

Online Bachelor's Programs: 14

Admission Rate: 97%

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#3

Kansas State University

School Information
Location Manhattan, Kansas
Admission Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Kansas State University supports flexible distance learning opportunities across 73 online degree programs. Undergraduate students can choose from 13 online bachelor's programs. Learners seeking competitive, customizable study relevant to the education field will find the school's online bachelor's in educational studies to be an attractive option. Working professionals and busy students often benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. Students also complete general education requirements, gaining additional knowledge. Enrollees can modify their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

Graduates often grow their earning potential with a bachelor's degree. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $41,400 six years after completing their degree. Though educational costs vary, education students can expect to pay an average of $18,103 in tuition and fees. Students interested in learning more about admission requirements and their eligibility for financial aid should connect with the education department.

Kansas State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 5,850

Total Online Programs: 73

Online Bachelor's Programs: 13

Admission Rate: 95%

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#4

Biola University

School Information
Location La Mirada, California
Admission Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 74%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Biola University supports 2,206 distance learners across 14 fully online programs. Undergraduates choose from five online bachelor's programs at the private, nonprofit, four-year school. Students looking to advance in the education field will find the school's BS in early education to be an attractive option. This program offers customization to help students earn a degree that meets their needs.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge during general and advanced classes. These classes incorporate general and advanced knowledge applicable to the education field. While enrolled, learners can customize their studies by choosing electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

Graduates often greatly benefit from their education, gaining access to more job opportunities and a higher earning potential. The school reports a median salary of $38,700 for graduates six years after completing a bachelor's degree. Prospective learners can explore funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, and other opportunities by connecting with the Office of Financial Aid.

Biola University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,206

Total Online Programs: 14

Online Bachelor's Programs: 5

Admission Rate: 70%

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#5

North Greenville University

School Information
Location Tigerville, South Carolina
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Learners seeking advanced online study should consider one of North Greenville University's 18 online programs. Undergraduate students seeking flexible, remote study can choose from one of seven online bachelor's programs. From its campus in Tigerville, South Carolina, the school offers an online bachelor's in elementary education program. Working professionals and busy students often benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. With assistance from their academic advisor, enrollees can customize their studies through electives, minors, and concentration areas.

A bachelor's degree often connects graduates with numerous job opportunities and a higher earning potential. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $27,800 six years after completing their degree. Prospective learners can explore funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, and other opportunities by connecting with the Office of Financial Aid.

North Greenville University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 396

Total Online Programs: 18

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Admission Rate: 63%

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Online Bachelor's in Education Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked the following online bachelor of education programs based on quality, curricula, faculty strength, school awards, rankings, and reputation, including the school's reputation for providing online degree programs.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Choosing an Online Bachelor's Degree in Education

When researching online education degree programs, students should consider several factors, such as program cost, transfer policies, and on-campus requirements. We cover several important considerations for prospective students below.

  • Program Cost: Typically, public schools cost less than private schools, and in-state students pay less than out-of-state students. However, many schools allow all online students to pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.
  • Transfer Policies: Many schools offer transfer credit for prior academic, professional, and military experience, which often saves time and money on a degree.
  • School Size and Type: A school's size and type can affect factors like class sizes, tuition rates, and student engagement. For example, a small, private school may have higher tuition rates but also offer more one-on-one attention from faculty than a larger public school.
  • Program Length: Most programs take four years of full-time study to complete, but some schools offer accelerated programs that allow students to graduate in 2-3 years.
  • On-Campus Requirements: Many bachelor's in education programs exist completely online, while others require learners to visit campus for in-person components. Students should ensure they can meet all on-campus requirements before committing to a program.
  • Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements: Nearly all bachelor's in education programs require a student-teaching practicum. Students should choose a program with practicum opportunities aligned with their interests and goals.

Featured Online Bachelor's Teaching Degrees

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Education Program?

Students pursuing an online bachelor's in education develop knowledge and skills in lesson planning and classroom management. They also learn how to work with exceptional students, support diverse classrooms, and develop innovative instructional methods.

Many bachelor's in education programs offer concentrations in areas like elementary education, secondary education, special education, and science education. Students should ensure their prospective programs offer concentrations aligned with their goals and interests.

Bachelor's in Education Curriculum

  • Child Development: Child development classes examine the principles of human growth and development and how they affect learning. The curriculum focuses on development from conception through adolescence, exploring aspects of cognitive, emotional, physical, and social development.
  • Literacy: This course teaches students how to provide literacy instruction across grade levels. Students learn about developmental processes associated with literacy and reading while building knowledge and skills in effective instruction methods.
  • Subject-Specific Curricula: Subject-specific courses prepare students to instruct a particular subject, such as math, English, or social studies. These classes vary based on the student's intended content area.
  • Theories of Learning: This class examines the various theories and methodologies related to different learning modalities. Students learn when to use different methods and how to determine what strategy is best for a particular class or pupil.
  • Instructional Methods: This course explores teaching and assessment methods, teaching students how to make informed decisions about leading their classrooms and educating pupils.

Bachelor's in Education Licensing and Certification

All states require teachers in K-12 public schools to hold licensure. Licensure requirements vary by state, but all states require a minimum number of student-teaching hours under the supervision of a licensed teacher. Students in a bachelor's in education program usually complete around one semester's worth of student-teaching, gaining practical experience in the field.

Licensure candidates must also pass exams. Exam requirements vary by state, but the Praxis exam and the edTPA are common requirements. Depending on grade level and intended content area, some prospective teachers may also need to pass skills tests or subject area exams.

If a teacher receives licensure in one state but wants to move to a different one, they must meet all of the new state's licensure requirements. Many boards of education provide state reciprocity — making it easier and faster for educators to earn licensure in a new state — but not all, so it's best to check with your local state board.

Teaching Jobs

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in education can pursue teaching jobs in public and private schools. They can work as elementary, middle, and high school teachers. With further study through a master's degree, graduates can also assume administrative education roles. Doctoral graduates can pursue research and faculty positions at colleges and universities. Learn more about the spectrum of education degrees through The Best Schools guide.

Elementary School Teachers

Median Annual Salary: $59,420 Projected Job Growth: 4%

Elementary educators typically work with K-6 students, ensuring they understand the fundamentals of basic subjects before moving to middle school. These teachers create and deliver lesson plans, teach students how to interact with their peers, provide evaluations, and communicate with parents and guardians about their child's progress. Elementary teachers need at least a bachelor's degree. Those who want to work in public schools also need licensure.

High School Teachers

Median Annual Salary: $61,660 Projected Job Growth: 4%

High school teachers instruct 9-12-grade students. They provide instruction in specific content areas, administer assignments and grades, and help learners prepare for standardized tests. They may also write letters of recommendation for students applying to college. Like elementary school teachers, high school educators need a bachelor's degree at minimum. They also need a teaching license if they work in a public school.

Middle School Teachers

Median Annual Salary: $59,660 Projected Job Growth: 4%

Middle school teachers typically work with students in grades 6-8. They create lesson plans, collaborate with other teachers and administrators on issues around student success, prepare learners for standardized tests, and communicate with parents. Middle school educators need at least a bachelor's degree. They also need a license when teaching in a public school.

Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Education Degrees

Students should only consider accredited schools. Accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards with respect to faculty qualifications, academic rigor, and student learning outcomes. Only students at accredited schools can receive federal financial aid, and many schools only accept transfer credits and degrees from accredited institutions. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire candidates with an accredited degree.

Schools may receive regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation typically applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions, while national accreditation applies to for-profit, vocational, and technical schools. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two.

Programs within a school, such as business, social work, and education programs, may also receive accreditation. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation accredits teaching programs. Students can verify a school's accreditation status through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Featured Online Bachelor's Social Work Degrees

Popular Questions About Education Degrees

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Education?

A bachelor's degree in education typically takes four years of full-time study to complete.

Is It a BA or a BS in Education?

Students can earn a BA or a BS in education. BA programs focus more on liberal arts, while BS programs focus more on the sciences.

What Bachelor's Degree Should I Get to Become a Teacher?

Students interested in liberal arts topics should choose a BA program, while learners interested in STEM topics should select a BS program.

How Much Is a Bachelor's Degree in Education?

The cost of a bachelor's degree in education depends on several factors, such as type of school, residency requirements, and transfer policies.

Can I Teach Without a Teaching Degree?

Many states provide alternative paths to teaching certification for individuals with a bachelor's degree in an unrelated subject.

Can You Become a Teacher With an Online Degree?

Yes, as long as the degree comes from an accredited school.

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