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An online teaching degree prepares students for rewarding, in-demand teaching careers.

Online learning gives students the flexibility to balance their studies with professional and personal obligations. Teachers with an online education degree can work with students of all ages, and they have a variety of options when it comes to work environments, working in public or private schools or at universities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that high school teachers earn a median salary of just over $60,000 per year. Professionals with postsecondary teaching credentials can expect higher wages, earning a median of $78,470 per year, while graduates of online teaching master's programs can work as elementary, middle, and high school principals, earning a median of $95,310 annually.

Top Ten Online Teaching Programs

Table of Contents

This guide considers cost, outcome, and school reputation when ranking the best online teaching degrees, to help students find the right programs for their needs and professional goals.

The Best Online Teaching Programs

1
Johns Hopkins University
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4

University of Iowa 

Iowa City, IA

About this school

The University of Iowa is the oldest college in the Hawkeye State. The flagship university is home to more than 32,000 learners from all 50 states and 114 foreign countries. UI offers 39 degrees and certificates online. Candidates may take synchronous or asynchronous courses throughout their time at UI.

Students at UI can choose between two online teaching master's programs:

The educational policy and leadership option consists of 36 credits and prepares graduates to fill positions such as principals or special education supervisors at the K-12 level. Courses include foundations of school administration, school and community relationships, supervision and evaluation, and administration of students with special needs. Candidates seeking principal licensure must complete clinical hours.

The teaching and learning option follows guidelines from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Students earn 33 credits through courses such as diversity and identity in K-12 schools, issues in K-12 assessment, conducting school-based action research, and second language classroom learning. Elective tracks allow learners to gain endorsements in specific areas of teaching, such as:

  • Talented and gifted
  • Science, technology, engineering, and math
  • English as a second language

Only applicants for the teaching and learning option need teaching licenses. All candidates must submit personal essays, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
47%
5

University of Pittsburgh 

Pittsburgh, PA

About this school

Learners in 39 states access the University of Pittsburgh's high-quality degrees and certificates in their communities through online offerings. During their programs, distance learners can access helpful resources such as academic advising, library services, the university writing center, and online proctoring services.

Learners across the country can choose between two online master's in education options at Pitt:

Students in both tracks earn 36 credits in five years or fewer. The elementary education curriculum prepares learners to teach in K-6 classrooms, though some graduates go on to administrative positions. Students take courses in leadership in service learning, gender in education, politics and history of higher education, and introduction to research methodology.

The English education track prepares graduates to teach English at the elementary or secondary levels. Courses include teaching English language learners, theory and practice in teaching writing, education and society, and psychology of learning and development for education. Learners in both tracks must pass comprehensive exams.

Pitt considers applicants who do not have teaching certificates, so long as they hold bachelor's degrees. Candidates should also submit goal statements, personal essays, professional references, and resumes.

Graduation Rate
83%
Percent Receiving Loans
56%
6

University of Missouri 

Columbia, MO

About this school

When it opened in 1839, Mizzou became the first public university west of the Mississippi River. The university continues to expand access to high-quality education through its online offerings.

Students who want to work in education can choose between several online teaching degrees at Mizzou at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The university's bachelor's in educational studies includes courses such as human learning, introduction to digital media, introduction to learning spaces, and a capstone course. Learners also choose between two areas of interest:

  • Education games and simulations
  • Educational leadership

This degree does not prepare learners for teaching certifications. Instead, graduates can create games for learning or take on leadership roles at educational organizations. Mizzou offers several online master's in education options, including specializations such as:

  • Autism education
  • Early childhood education
  • Early childhood special education
  • Early childhood special education/autism
  • Elementary education
  • English education
  • Gifted education
  • Literacy education
  • Mathematics education
  • Mental health practices in schools
  • Positive coaching
  • School counseling
  • Social studies education
  • Student learning and well-being
  • Teaching english to speakers of other languages

Each type of master's in education has its own curriculum, learning outcomes, and admissions requirements. All graduate applicants should submit transcripts from all previously attended schools, resumes, and personal data sheets.

Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
44%
7

Michigan State University 

East Lansing, MI

About this school

In 1855, Michigan State University opened as the prototype for the many land-grant universities that followed. Over the years, MSU continued to lead the way in education, and it is now one of the top research universities in the country.

MSU offers several online education degrees at the master's level, including:

  • Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis (MA-ABA)
  • Master of Science in Sport Coaching/Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Arts in Special Education
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology
  • Master of Arts in Special Education Leadership: Multi-Tiered Systems of Support
  • Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum

The special education track offers two concentrations: learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. For learners who live in or around East Lansing, the college also offers a hybrid graduate program in educational psychology and educational technology. All hybrid and online programs admit only 25 students or fewer per class.

Some programs lead to certifications or licenses, including the MA-ABA track. Similarly, some require candidates to complete internships or practica to qualify for graduation. Students can complete these field experiences in their own communities. Each program sets unique admissions standards. Generally, applicants should prepare to submit personal essays, transcripts, resumes, and professional references. Some programs require applicants to have related work or college experience.

Graduation Rate
80%
Percent Receiving Loans
41%
8

Purdue University 

West Lafayette, IN

About this school

Purdue University opened with a noble mission: to expand access to education and to make education as affordable as possible. Over the years, Purdue furthered its mission by expanding to three physical campuses. With online learning, the university continues to make high-quality education accessible to more learners. The university offers completely online degrees and certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Educators who want to move into administrative positions can pursue Purdue's master's leading to building-level administrator licensure. The university also offers many online master's in education options, including specializations such as:

  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Special education
  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Learning design and technology

Each of these programs leads to a Master of Science degree and requires 30-45 credits. Some courses in these programs use synchronous learning with live video sessions. Full-time learners can earn these degrees in 18-22 months. Some options provide additional, career-focused specializations. For example, students on the curriculum and instruction track choose between concentrations such as:

  • English language learning
  • Gifted, creative, and talented students
  • Mathematics education
  • Educational technology
  • Integrated STEM education

Furthermore, the special education option leads to licensure and offers six concentrations:

  • Non-licensure
  • Initial mild only licensure
  • Initial mild and intense licensure
  • Additional mild only licensure
  • Additional mild and intense licensure
  • Additional intense only licensure

Admissions requirements vary between programs. However, all applicants should hold bachelor's degrees from regionally accredited universities. They must submit resumes, personal statements, official transcripts, and three professional recommendations.

Graduation Rate
81%
Percent Receiving Loans
34%
9

Ohio State University 

Columbus, OH

About this school

Ohio State University boasts one of the largest alumni networks in the world, with more than half a million alumni around the globe. Thanks to Ohio State's robust online learning offerings, students have opportunities to join this network wherever they live. The university builds these programs to be as flexible as possible. Many programs offer full-time and part-time options and rolling admissions deadlines. Online learners all pay in-state tuition rates with no campus fees.

Ohio State offers one of the best online teaching programs at the associate level. Learners earn the associate of arts in early childhood development and education with no on-campus requirements. The curriculum requires 60 credits and includes courses such as psychological perspectives on education, family development, child development, and developing age-appropriate curriculum for ECDE. Distance learners must also complete field coursework in their home communities.

The Ohio State program prepares learners to earn associate-level pre-kindergarten teaching licensure in Ohio. The program earns full authorization in every state except Colorado, where it has limited authorization. Still, out-of-state learners should check with their state licensing authorities to learn about requirements. Applicants must hold high school diplomas, GEDs, or the equivalent.

Graduation Rate
84%
Percent Receiving Loans
37%
10

University of Arizona 

Tucson, AZ

About this school

Teaching makes a difference every day, and UArizona offers an online master's in education for students who want to impact their communities. This full-time, one-year program incorporates cohort education, so all learners start and finish the program together. The program requires 36 credits in subjects such as learning theory in education, content area literacy in multicultural schools, structured English immersion, and alternatives in the secondary classroom.

While courses take place online, UArizona uses a hybrid format for the Master of Education in Teaching and Teacher Education. Learners spend half-days in teaching internships throughout the year. Learners must complete this portion of the curriculum in Phoenix-area schools. Graduates become eligible for Arizona teacher certification at the secondary level.

Applicants should hold bachelor's degrees from accredited schools and GPAs of at least 3.0. They must also have at least 24 credits and GPAs of at least 3.0 in the content areas which they wish to teach. Candidates must also submit GRE scores. UArizona gives preference to candidates who apply by January 31.

Graduation Rate
64%
Percent Receiving Loans
36%
11

University of Massachusetts-Amherst 

Amherst, MA

About this school

UMass Amherst is one of the top producers of Fulbright scholars and home to recipients of other prestigious scholarships, such as the Churchill, Boren, and Marshall awards. The university's reputation attracted more than 42,000 undergraduate applicants in 2019, only 5,000 of whom earned admission. The university also pushes boundaries with online education opportunities.

UMass Amherst offers two online education degrees:

  • Master of Education in Science Education
  • Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Science Education

The curricula in both tracks blend pedagogy and science content courses. Learners in either program take classes such as investigating science classrooms; nutrition and health in science classroom; theory of learning and teaching in STEM education; and creativity, teachnology, and learning.

Both programs prepare learners to fill the growing need for highly-qualified science teachers. Distance learners complete their coursework entirely online, and most learners take two classes per semester.

All applicants should hold bachelor's degrees and current teaching licenses. The master of education option caters to learners with no previous graduate degrees. Meanwhile, the education specialist option helps students with graduate degrees become specialized teachers without committing to doctoral programs. All candidates should submit resumes, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and personal essays.

Graduation Rate
80%
Percent Receiving Loans
57%
12

University of Utah 

Salt Lake City, UT

About this school

The University of Utah offers undergraduate and graduate degrees that students can earn from anywhere through UOnline. All online programs at the U deliver coursework asynchronously. The U offers distance learners tutoring, a comprehensive writing center, mental health counseling, and technical support, alongside career coaching and library services.

One of the U's many offerings is the master of arts in teaching with an emphasis in fine arts (MAT-FA). Students complete most program coursework online, but the school requires 12-day intensive residencies during summers. Students earn the rest of the credits for this master's in teaching online through courses such as socially engaged arts making, community-based arts teaching, arts teaching project design, and arts teaching project implementation.

The curriculum prepares graduates to work in arts education as teachers, program directors, curriculum designers, and advocates. The U's MAT-FA accepts both licensed and unlicensed arts teachers. Applicants must have one of the following credentials in an area of fine arts: bachelor's degree, state endorsement, teaching experience, or cognate education degree.

Candidates must apply for this program in two steps. First, applicants submit statements of purpose, resumes or CVs, and two letters of recommendation. Candidates who are invited to the second step send arts teaching portfolios.

Graduation Rate
70%
Percent Receiving Loans
30%
13

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville 

Knoxville, TN

About this school

In 1794, the University of Tennessee became the first public university to earn a charter to the west of the Appalachian Divide. The Knoxville campus remains the flagship university for the Volunteer State. Today, UT Knoxville offers more than 900 programs to its more than 29,000 learners. The school continues to grow through the Vols Online, UT Knoxville's distance learning department.

Vols Online partners with UT Knoxville's College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences to offer three online master's in education programs:

  • Educational leadership and policy studies
  • Instructional technology
  • Educational psychology and counseling

Each of these programs lead to a master of science degree. The educational leadership program gives students the option to earn K-12 principal licensure in Tennessee. The instructional technology path teaches students to design and evaluate emerging educational technologies. Finally, the educational psychology and counseling path offers two concentrations: applied educational psychology and adult education. These degrees allow graduates to apply to doctoral programs or enter the workforce.

Candidates for any of these programs must apply through the UT Office of Graduate and International Admission. Applicants should hold bachelor's degrees with GPAs of at least 2.75 or graduate degrees with GPAs of at least 3.3. Candidates submit three letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, and portfolios if required. Applicants are subject to interviews as well.

Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
45%
14

University of Kansas 

Lawrence, KS

About this school

When the University of Kansas opened in 1866, the campus consisted of one building that served a class of 55 learners. Today, KU operates five campuses and an online learning division. With more than 28,000 learners, the thriving research institution serves at the flagship university for Kansas.

KU offers eight online master's in education options:

  • Special education - autism
  • Special education - high incidence disabilities
  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Curriculum and instruction - TESOL
  • Curriculum and instruction - reading
  • Sport management
  • Secondary special ed and transition
  • Educational administration

These programs consist of 30-36 credits each. Students take courses in accelerated eight-week terms and can graduate in two years. All online courses at KU deliver coursework asynchronously. Some programs require internships that working professionals can complete at their current schools. In these highly specialized programs, career options depend heavily on which paths students choose.

Applicants should hold bachelor's degrees from regionally accredited universities with GPAs of at least 3.0. Additionally, some programs require applicants to submit additional materials such as letters of introduction, personal statements, letters of recommendation, resumes, or professional references.

Graduation Rate
65%
Percent Receiving Loans
47%
15

Oregon State University 

Corvallis, OR

About this school

The Beaver State's largest institution of higher education, Oregon State University serves more than 32,000 learners. Nearly 7,500 of these students take their courses through OSU's eCampus, which offers online and hybrid learning options. OSU and the eCampus use quarter terms, as opposed to semesters, and each term lasts 11 weeks. OSU does not charge out-of-state fees for online-only learners.

OSU offers three online and hybrid master's degrees in education in addition to an online doctorate in education:

  • Master of Education in College Student Services Administration (CSSA)
  • Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Ed.D./Ph.D. in Adult and Higher Education

The CSSA program consists of 54 credits, focuses on social justice, and is 100% online. Students in the master's in adult and higher education start in the fall term, earn 45 credits, and complete coursework entirely online. The MAT is a 51-credit program that requires some on-campus participation in either Portland or Beaverton, Oregon.

The doctorate program is also a hybrid option. Distance learners must attend classes at the Portland campus two weekends each term. Doctoral students choose between three paths:

  • Community college leadership
  • Leadership in higher education
  • Ph.D. designation

The Ph.D. designation prepares learners for research-intensive careers, while the other tracks allow graduates to fill leadership roles in colleges and universities.

Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
52%
16

University of Georgia 

Athens, GA

About this school

In 1785, the Peach State chartered the University of Georgia, which became the first public university in the country. Throughout its history, UGA remained a leader in public education and now educates about 37,000 learners per year. Of the university's 17 colleges and schools, the College of Education was the first to offer online programs.

The college now offers eight options for online master's in education programs. These programs lead to M.Ed. degrees in the following areas:

  • Workforce education
  • Educational psychology - gifted and creative education
  • Educational psychology - applied cognition and development
  • Science education
  • Middle grades education
  • Reading education
  • Learning, design, and technology - instructional design and development
  • Learning, leadership, and organization

Distance learners must earn at least 33 credits in each program. Some programs follow cohort structures in which students follow a strict schedule of classes. Others are more flexible and allow learners to take full-time or part-time courses. Many programs allow learners to transfer graduate credits from other regionally accredited universities.

Each master's program also has unique admissions criteria. All require candidates to hold bachelor's degrees from accredited schools. However, minimum GPA requirements vary. Many require candidates to submit GRE or MAT scores.

Graduation Rate
86%
Percent Receiving Loans
33%
17

Louisiana State University 

Baton Rouge, LA

About this school

Louisiana State University offers online education from its campuses in Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Eunice, and Shreveport. Students learn from award-winning faculty members and enjoy concierge-style service when they need it. Support services for distance learners at LSU include concierge teams, tutoring, academic coaching, and a career center in addition to technical support, and access to student health services.

LSU offers online education degrees at the graduate level. The first is a master of education in educational leadership. This program requires 39 credits, which candidates can earn in 15 months. Courses for this program include administration of school personnel, ethics and educational leadership, and understanding and applying research in education. Graduates can work as principals, administrators, and superintendents.

LSU also offers a master of arts in education program with two tracks, both of which require 36 credits:

  • Educational technology
  • Higher education administration

All LSU programs require applicants to hold bachelor's degrees with GPAs of at least 3.0. The educational technology program considers some applicants with lower GPAs for provisional acceptance. None of the programs require GRE scores, but applicants to the higher education administration program may submit their scores if they wish.

Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
36%
18

Saint Joseph's College of Maine 

Standish, ME

About this school

Saint Joseph's College of Maine is a private liberal arts institution rooted in Roman Catholic traditions. The Sisters of Mercy founded the school in 1912, and SJC continues to follow their values today. Distance learners at SJC enjoy resources such as online tutoring, IT services, and access to student support specialists.

SJC offers a master of science in education completely online. Students may enroll in this online master's in education at the start of any of the school's five annual terms, which last 10 weeks each. Learners earn 33-36 credits depending on the concentration they choose. SJC offers five concentration options:

  • Adult education and training
  • School educator
  • Health care educator
  • Catholic school leadership
  • School leadership

The school leadership concentration follows guidelines that the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards sets. Each concentration offers unique curricula with fully online learning. In some cases, learners may meet their states' criteria for alternative teaching certificates through program coursework. Some out-of-state certification candidates may need to earn their Maine teaching licenses and transfer it to their home states.

Candidates should fill out SJC's free online application and send official transcripts. They should hold bachelor's degrees with GPAs of at least 2.5. Applicants for the health care educator concentration must submit resumes that demonstrate experience in health care.

Graduation Rate
63%
Percent Receiving Loans
81%
19

West Virginia University 

Morgantown, WV

About this school

WVU builds student support into its online learning platform, providing access to enrollment coaches and academic advisors. Students learn from award-winning faculty, and most online programs charge flat tuition rates regardless of each student's residency status.

WVU provides four graduate online education degrees, each of which awards a master of arts:

  • Literacy education with certification
  • Advanced elementary education
  • Instructional design and technology
  • Higher education administration

The award-winning literacy education program allows graduates to sit for the PRAXIS test and earn certification as literacy specialists. Students in all of WVU's online education programs can complete coursework entirely online. Nevertheless, learners can also choose to take some classes on campus in certain tracks. Some programs use eight-week accelerated terms, while others follow a more traditional semester schedule.

Each program sets its own admissions standards. Candidates for the advanced elementary education and literacy education tracks must hold valid teaching certificates. Most of the programs require undergraduate GPAs of at least 3.0, but learners with GPAs of 2.75 can earn acceptance into the advanced elementary education program. Only the instructional design and technology track requires GRE or GMAT scores, but applicants can waive this requirement with two years of relevant work experience.

Graduation Rate
60%
Percent Receiving Loans
57%
20

University of Cincinnati 

Cincinnati, OH

About this school

The University of Cincinnati provides a robust online learning experience with personalized support. UC's online programs focus on maximizing flexibility and enhancing careers. Learners can earn their degrees while on active duty in the military, raising children, or working full time. The career-focused curriculum helps 87% of graduates land job offers within 90 days of graduation.

Practicing early childhood education professionals can advance their careers and earn a bachelor's degree in education online through UC. This program focuses on early childhood education, which includes children from birth to age five. The curriculum builds on associate-level courses in the field. Learners can either complete an internship or choose one of the following courses:

  • Social emotional development and guidance for infants and toddlers
  • Physical, cognitive, and language development in infant and toddlers

UC also offers several online master of education options in the following areas:

  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Special education
  • Educational leadership
  • Medical education for healthcare professionals
  • Instructional design and technology: teaching specialization
  • Literacy and second language studies

Each of these programs includes unique curricula that require approximately 30 credits. Some programs offer further specialization options and electives to create personalized learning experiences. For example, students in the literacy and second language program choose among several concentrations that allow them to teach different types of students.

Graduation Rate
68%
Percent Receiving Loans
52%
21

Auburn University 

Auburn, AL

About this school

Since its founding in 1856, Auburn has grown and evolved to meet student needs. Nowadays, the university provides many online and hybrid degree options.

Auburn offers 11 hybrid and online education degrees for students seeking master's degrees:

  • Special education
  • Adult education
  • Early childhood and elementary education
  • Educational administration and leadership (K-12)
  • Music education
  • Library media and technology
  • Language and literacy
  • Agriscience education
  • Counselor education programs
  • Business/marketing education
  • Reading education

Many of Auburn's online master's programs in education allow learners to choose between master of education or master of science degrees. Furthermore, some programs have additional specializations available. For example, the language and literacy track offers further specialization in these areas:

  • English for speakers of other languages
  • Reading education
  • English language arts education
  • Foreign language education

Each program has unique admissions requirements. In general, applicants should prepare to send three letters of recommendation, transcripts, GRE or MAT scores, and personal statements.

Graduation Rate
78%
Percent Receiving Loans
32%
22

New England College 

Henniker, NH

About this school

New England College is a relatively small and diverse liberal arts college with just under 4,000 learners. About 33% of these students self-identify as people of color. Furthermore, online and on-campus learners at NEC come from all 50 states and at least 28 foreign countries. All of NEC's programs are rooted in the liberal arts tradition and emphasize experiential learning.

NEC's online master's in education suits students both with and without current teaching certifications. While most courses take place entirely online, classes in some concentrations require learners to attend in-person meetings in sites throughout New England. Core courses include psychology of learning communities, dynamics of curriculum and instruction, and dynamics of educational reform and systems change. Students also create professional portfolios and complete internships and practica.

Online learners choose from 13 concentrations:

  • Storytelling
  • Alternative education
  • STEM
  • Collective impact leadership
  • School principal
  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Special education
  • Digital and media literacy
  • School climate leadership
  • Digital equity leadership
  • Literacy: reading and language arts
  • Literacy: math
  • Educational leadership

NEC delivers all online coursework asynchronously. Each term in the program lasts seven weeks. Candidates must submit official transcripts and resumes. Applicants do not need to send other common application materials, including essays, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.

Graduation Rate
25%
Percent Receiving Loans
86%
23

George Fox University 

Newberg, OR

About this school

The private, Quaker-affiliated George Fox University seeks to help learners grow spiritually, academically, and professionally. George Fox University serves over 4,000 learners with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14-to-1. This tight-knit community seeks to foster spiritual growth through meaningful relationships. Graduates join a network of more than 30,000 alumni who live in all 50 states and 51 other countries.

George Fox offers an online master's in education that allows practicing teachers to prepare for leadership roles. This program differs from the school's master of art in teaching, which leads to initial certification. In the M.Ed. program, students earn 15 credits through core courses such as foundations of educational practice, curriculum and instruction, overview of qualitative and quantitative research methodology, and action research.

Students earn the remaining 15 credits from courses in their chosen specializations. Learners choose that specialization from among the following options:

  • Special education
  • Reading
  • Educational leadership
  • English as a second language

The educational leadership option leads to a principal license in Oregon. The other options allow graduates to earn endorsements in content areas. Out-of-state learners may transfer these credentials to their home states. Learners can take up to eight semesters to complete the program, though many graduates in four. Applicants must hold bachelor's degrees from regionally accredited institutions with GPAs of at least 3.0 during their final 60 credits.

Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
70%
24

Texas A&M University 

College Station, TX

About this school

Texas A&M University was the first public institution of higher education in the Lone Star State. Today, the university offers one undergraduate degree, 48 graduate degrees, and 29 certificates online. Distance learners gain access to an academic success center, career advisors, technical assistance, a 24/7 help desk, and a writing center.

Texas A&M offers an online master's in education in curriculum and instruction. The fully online, 36-credit master's degree combines theory, content area, and methodology courses. Required courses cover cultural foundations of education, trends in curriculum and instruction, curriculum development, and analysis of teaching behavior.

Students also complete five elective courses. Within these electives, students can choose one of four other emphasis areas:

  • STEM
  • Reading and literacy
  • Graduate teacher certification
  • Urban education

Candidates must first apply through the universal Apply Texas system and submit official transcripts.

Graduation Rate
82%
Percent Receiving Loans
32%
25

Biola University 

La Mirada, CA

About this school

In 1908, Union Oil Company president Lyman Stewart and Reverend T.C. Horton banded together to found Biola University. Today, Biola educates more than 6,000 students on campus and through online learning.

Students can pursue online education degrees at Biola, including a master of arts in education. The program's core curriculum consists of classes such as philosophy and values in schools and society, educational research and statistics, professional writing, and research in culture and intercultural instruction. Distance learners must complete either a thesis or a capstone in their final semester.

Students also choose between eight concentrations:

  • Curriculum and instruction (online)
  • Special education (mild/moderate) credential (online)
  • Early childhood (online)
  • Special education (online)
  • Induction/clear credential (online)
  • Single subject credential (hybrid)
  • Multiple subject credential (hybrid)
  • Personalized (online or hybrid)

The concentrations in mild/moderate special education and induction/clear credential are only open to California residents. Some concentrations require fieldwork, which must occur during school hours. Out-of-state learners seeking credentials in any area should speak to their state licensing boards before enrolling.

Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology

Online Teaching Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected schools providing online education programs based on the quality of their programs and the types of courses offered, as well as the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school's reputation for effectively providing quality online teaching degree programs.

How to Get Teacher Certification

Many of the same conditions which apply to traditional educators will apply to students earning an online teaching degree. In order to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in the United States, an individual must obtain a teaching certificate. Some private schools also require a teaching certificate. The Board of Education of each individual state controls the certification process. Certification requirements may vary, however all states require aspiring teachers to obtain at least a bachelor's degree. Some states require at least a master's degree in teaching or a related field before candidates can obtain certification.

Certification requirements may vary, however all states require aspiring teachers to obtain at least a bachelor's degree.

Many prospective teachers obtain a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. In addition to providing teaching skills, these programs typically include study in an academic subject such as English, history, math, or one of the sciences. Some prospective teachers choose an alternative route consisting of a bachelor's degree in an academic subject, plus supplementary coursework in pedagogy.

All states require classroom experience or student teaching. In addition, some states require aspiring teachers to pass a special examination.

Some states have alternative teaching certification programs for people who don't have education degrees. There are also alternative certifications for those interested in career and technical education.

Accredited Online Teaching Degree Programs

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) serves as an accreditation organization for teacher education programs in the United States. CAEP was established in 2013 through the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).

CAEP has received recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the nation's largest institutional higher education membership organization. CHEA provides quality aassurance and oversight of accrediting agencies alongside the U.S. Department of Education.

Alternative Teaching Certification Programs

Every state requires teachers to have at least a bachelor's degree but it's not typically necessary that it be a Bachelor's in Education Degree. Students earning bachelor's degrees in a variety of subjects can still go on to earn a teaching certification. States have alternative certification programs for individuals with a bachelor's degree in a subject other than education. Individuals basically have two types of certification programs to choose from: Programs provided through the state; and programs provided through independent agencies.

Individuals basically have two types of certification programs to choose from: Programs provided through the state; and programs provided through independent agencies.

Many states do not provide specific types of teaching certificates to alternative pathway candidates, such as those intersted in special education or those with online teaching degrees. Some states only allow alternative pathway teachers to teach in shortage areas or at specific grade levels, often secondary grades. Since alternative pathway teachers already have a bachelor's degree, many programs give these students the chance to earn a master's degree while simultaneously working toward a teacher licensure. Many teachers who select the alternative certification path go on to acquire a master's degree. Students can typically complete a master's degree program in two years.

Teachers at private schools are not required to meet the state requirements for public school teachers. However, private high schools usually prefer teachers with a bachelor's degree and a major in a subject area. Private schools usually prefer kindergarten and elementary school teachers with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and middle school teachers with a bachelor's degree and a major in elementary education or a content area. A teaching license or certification may not necessarily be required to teach at a private school.

Alternative Certification in Career and Technical Education

Career and technical education (CTE) covers a wide array of subjects such as information technology, agriculture, business, and health sciences. Some states provide options which allow prospective CTE teachers to substitute previous work experience and education for bachelor's degree credits.

The most commonly used guidelines for prospective career and technical education teachers allow individuals with sufficient knowledge and experience in their subject to teach full-time under a provisional certificate while an experienced teacher mentors them. Individuals on this path often need to complete a professional development plan which includes supplemental coursework in teaching strategies and standards. Individuals who complete these requirements along with testing requirements from their state, may advance from a provisional teaching certificate to a basic teaching certificate.

Graduate Teaching Degrees

Master of Education

Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree programs attract individuals with an interest in specialty training in the educational field or in a leadership position, such as a school principal or an educational administrator. M.Ed. programs meet the academic and professional interests of professionals in the education field.

Some M.Ed. programs cater to educators who already have a teaching license and some cater to individuals seeking education employment outside of a traditional classroom. Some programs provide M.Ed. degrees to individuals without teaching experience.

Master of Education programs typically cover the strategic and theoretical aspects of education as well as subjects related to human psychology and behavior which apply to the science of education and instruction. They cover instructional and professional subjects applicable to school and student performance.

Graduates can use this degree to advance careers as educators, but the leadership and organizational skills they've learned could also apply to a wide variety of industries unrelated to education.

Typcially, students in Master of Education programs must also gain practical experience in a formal or informal education setting through student teaching, a fellowship, internship, or formal observation hours. Program lengths vary, generally between one and two years.

Master of Education degree specializations include:

  • School Counseling
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Adult Education
  • Museum Education
  • Classroom Technology
  • Economics and Policy
  • Reading and Literacy
  • Leadership
  • Instructional Design
  • Curriculum Development
  • School Psychology
  • Administration

Master of Arts in Teaching

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree programs attract current and prospective K-12 teachers who seek additional certification to advance in their careers or seek their initial teaching license. MAT degree programs attract individuals interested in improving teaching methods and style or enhancing their expertise in a specific content area.

Master of Arts in Teaching programs have a focus on the act of teaching as well as the practical skills and knowledge teachers use to teach groups and individual students. MAT degree programs examine education theories, methods, philosophies, concepts and styles and develop skills in areas such as curriculum design and literacy. Enrollees learn how to improve student performance. Students also learn how to effectively integrate technology into instruction.

Students study theoretical and practical educational research and perform their own research. Students in a Master of Arts in Teaching degree program typically select a specialized subject in the education field.

Master of Arts in Education specializations include:

  • Specific subject area such as English or mathematics
  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Gifted Education

Some MAT degree programs require students to complete a master's thesis. Online MAT degree programs typically include a student teaching experience. Everyone seeking their initial teaching license must gain student teaching experience and teachers who seek to gain additional certification in a different grade and/or subject must gain teaching experience. Student teaching typically spans between one and two semesters.

Program lengths vary, generally between one and two years.

Doctorate in Education

A Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.), a terminal degree, focuses on applying foundational knowledge and research to real-world issues in education. Ed.D. programs prepare students for administrative, academic, professional, clinical or research positions in K-12 and higher education, public institutions, civil service, and private organizations.

Instead of focusing on developing new research (such as with a Ph.D. program), Doctorate of Education students utilize existing research to inform decisions about specific issues which can lead to improving practices within their specialization areas.

Doctorate in Education programs prepare students for leadership positions such as school district executives, training supervisors, chief learning officers in large corporations, faculty at the university level and more.

Doctor in Education programs include specializations such as counseling, educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, postsecondary education, administration, special education and more.

Ph.D. in Education

Ph.D. in Education programs prepare professionals to become education researchers, university faculty members, senior-level education leaders, policymakers, practitioners and scholars in many settings.

Professionals with a Ph.D. in Education may have an impact on education research, practice, and policy.

Ph.D. in Education programs typically emphasize producing new knowledge in the education field while improving research and analytical skills. Ph.D. students can specialize in areas such as education policy and program evaluation, education leadership, literacy studies, higher education administration and policy, education, special education, society and culture, human development, learning and teaching, and more.

Jobs with a Teaching Degree

Teaching and non-teaching careers in education include:

  • Adult Literacy and GED teacher
  • After-School Programs and Youth Organizations Professional
  • Career and Technical Education Teacher
  • Childcare Center Director
  • Curriculum Developer/Instruction Specialist
  • Early Childhood Education Teacher
  • Education Administrator
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • ESL Teacher
  • Health Educator
  • High School Teacher
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Middle School Teacher
  • Online Instructor
  • Professional Tutor
  • Special Education Teacher
  • School Counselor
  • School Principal
  • Youth Worker

Non-teaching careers outside of education include:

  • Corporate Trainer
  • Education Coordinator at Museum, Zoo, Aquarium, etc.
  • Educational Sales
  • Government Organizations
  • Human Resources
  • Interpreter
  • Publishing
  • Technical Writer

Teacher Salary Information

Salaries in the teaching profession depend upon three major factors: geography, educational level, and length of service. The following are the 2016 median annual salaries for the following positions according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Career Median Salary
High school teachers $60,320
Special education teachers $59,780
Middle school teachers $58,600
Elementary school teachers (except special education) $58,230
Kindergarten teachers (except special education) $55,470

Job Outlook for Teachers

Teachers seeking employment in vital subjects such as math, science and special education or who are willing to work in regions with teacher shortages may find employment more readily. The The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment growth of 3-4% from 2018 to 2028 for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers. Many schools report having difficulty finding teachers for specific subjects such as math, science (especially chemistry and physics), special education, and English as a Second Language (ESL). The BLS also reports that teachers at every level likely have better job opportunities in urban and rural school districts than in suburban school districts.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

The Federal Student Aid Office of the U.S Department of Education mentions two types of loan forgiveness programs for teachers:

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

Under this program, teachers who teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in specific elementary and secondary schools or in educational service agencies which serve low-income communities may qualify for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on their Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans as well as their Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. If teachers have only PLUS loans, they are not eligible for this type of forgiveness.

The Teacher Cancellation Program

Teachers with a loan from the Federal Perkins Loan Program may qualify for loan cancellation for full-time teaching at a low-income school, or for teaching in specific subject areas. They can also qualify for deferment for these qualifying teaching services. Teachers should check with the school which made their Federal Perkins Loan for more information.

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