Why This Matters


    There are alternative pathways to certification, but the vast majority of teachers in the United States gain certification after completing an undergraduate degree in education.


    Student enrollment is expected to increase across all levels of education from 2019 to 2029, leading to an expected job growth rate of 5% in the education sector.


    The median annual wage in the education sector is $52,380, with wages rising depending on your specialty. Elementary, middle, and secondary teachers all have average wages above $60,000.

Our Research

This list focuses on undergraduate programs in education, including elementary education, early childhood education, and adult education. Educational degrees can be awarded as Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degrees, in addition to Bachelor of Education degrees. We reviewed programs offered online and via a hybrid format.

There are a number of agencies that accredit educational degrees. We looked at programs accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), as well as programs from regionally accredited schools. It’s important to look for accredited schools to ensure your degree is accepted by the licensing agency in your state.

  • 57 hours to write this article
  • 200 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 380 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Bachelor’s in Education Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

Different types of education degrees can provide you with specializations, such as special education. Future secondary teachers may be able to do a degree in a specialist area and complete a master’s degree in education to gain a teaching qualification.

Look for accreditation from organizations like the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) when choosing an education degree. There are also regional accreditation organizations that can ensure the course gives you the qualifications you need to teach in your state.

Overall, employment in the education sector is expected to grow by 5% from 2019 to 2029. Employment teaching K-12 levels is likely to grow 4% while more specialized jobs, like postsecondary teachers, have a higher job growth rate of 9%.

Licensing requirements for teachers differ between states. All states require a bachelor’s degree, and you may also need to complete skills tests or a background check. Make sure you know the requirements in your state before you decide on a program.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online bachelor’s of education programs:

  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? You can find both synchronous and asynchronous bachelor’s of education programs offered online; however, education programs have a student teaching component. This means you’ll need to be available during school hours to complete this course and your degree requirements.
  • What licensing or certifications are required? You need a teaching license in the state where you intend to teach. You can check with the state department of education that the program you’re interested in is approved for the preparation of teachers. National Board Certification can lead to more career opportunities, and you can apply after three years of teaching.

Check a school’s website for information about the curriculum and concentrations offered, as well as application deadlines and the materials you need for your application. You can also get information from the admissions department.

Teacher shortages in certain subjects and geographical areas means that there are many scholarships available to help future teachers complete their education. Make sure you apply for scholarships on time, and research other sources of financial assistance including TEACH grants and financial aid.