Evolving Internet technology has made it possible for future educators to complete their bachelor’s degree in education online. Many universities offer education programs that blend online courses with teaching practicum to minimize campus trips. Studying online can be ideal for teacher aides, childcare providers, or career changers needing a flexible format to satisfy their education goals.
In this article, we’ve researched the top 10 Online Bachelor of Education Degree Programs in the United States. We began by reviewing the best online bachelor’s programs as ranked by the U.S. News and World Report. Faculty credentials, student engagement, online technology, graduation rates, and education expenses were considered in this publication’s rankings. We traversed the list to find top-ranked online colleges offering bachelor’s in education degrees. Education schools achieving NCATE or TEAC accreditation were given preference. Affordability is essential on a teacher’s salary, so we eliminated any colleges with average annual undergraduate tuition above $30,000. Coursework had to be predominantly online with actual, resume-building teaching experience too.
1. University of Georgia
Endowed for $1 billion, the University of Georgia is a public, land-grant research powerhouse serving more than 35,100 students from Athens, Tifton, Griffin, and online. Crowned Forbes’ 95th Top College Overall, the University of Georgia has the nation’s fifth Best Online Bachelor’s Programs according to the U.S. News and World Report. The College of Education offers an National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accredited Bachelor of Science in Special Education online for PreK-12 certification. Only two campus visits are required for this 60-credit degree completion program. Aspiring educators document field practicum teaching students with disabilities in the Foliotek ePortfolio system.
Tuition: $11,622 (in-state) or $29,832(out-of-state)
2. Arizona State University
Classified as a public, metropolitan research institution, Arizona State University utilizes its $643 million endowment to educate over 82,000 students across Greater Phoenix. Ranked #1 nationally for innovation by the U.S. News and World Report, Arizona State University hosts America’s 11th Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The top-rated Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies (BAE). This 120-credit curriculum spans eight terms to prepare for community-based education positions, not teacher certification. There’s also a “Fast Track” option for transfers to graduate within 2.5 years.
Tuition: $10,158 (in-state) or $25,458 (out-of-state)
3. Regent University
Established in 1977 by Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson, Regent University is a private, evangelical Christian research institution located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Regionally accredited via the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Regent is distinguished for the 17th Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees by the U.S. News and World Report. The School of Education holds Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) accreditation for its online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. The 120-credit, non-licensure program trains students to develop curriculum for young children (Birth-8). At least 90 clock hours of field experience are required. There’s also a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies with Teacher Education concentration.
4. Fort Hays State University
Headquartered on a former military outpost in north-central Kansas, Fort Hays State University is a public, co-educational teaching institution educating over 11,200, including 6,000 online students. Offering approximately 60 majors, Fort Hays State University is acclaimed by the U.S. News and World Report for having America’s 24th Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. Through the Virtual College, future teachers can pursue the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accredited Bachelor of Science in Business Education, Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, or Bacherlor of Science in Elementary Education. Each of these four-year programs includes 12 credits of student teaching to fulfill state licensure requirements.
Tuition: $4,654 (in-state) or $13,657 (out-of-state)
5. Ball State University
Enrolling more than 21,000 students, Ball State University is Indiana’s fourth largest public, co-educational research institution operating campuses in Muncie, Fishers, Indianapolis, and online. Placed 168th overall, Ball State has the country’s 34th Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees according to the U.S. News and World Report. Among Ball State University’s five online options is the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with a built-in special education minor. This 48-credit, non-licensure program is available for associate degree holders wishing to teach children birth to kindergarten. Courses are taught by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NATE) accredited Teachers College’s faculty.
Tuition: $9,498 (in-state) or $25,016 (out-of-state)
6. Brandman University
Founded in 1958, Brandman University is a private, non-profit “Military Friendly” institution educating more than 11,000 working adults on 25 West Coast campuses and online. Known for its iDEAL curriculum model, Brandman hosts America’s 47th Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The National Council for Accreditation on Teacher Education (NCATE) accredited School of Education confers a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential. Both 120-credit programs are restricted to California residents for a student teaching capstone. Following Common Core Standards, the online curricula surveys teaching language arts, math, history, and science.
7. Old Dominion University
As one of the United States’ largest online educators, Old Dominion University is a public, space-grant research institution serving over 24,000 students from its Hampton Roads headquarters. Declared Forbes’ 191st Best Public College, Old Dominion University has the 49th Best Online Bachelor’s programs. Within the Darden College of Education, students can pursue the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accredited Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Bachelor of Science in Special Education, or Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Adapted Education online. These 82-credit degree completion programs are available for Virginia and Washington State residents with transferrable education.
Tuition: $9,480 (in-state) or $26,220 (out-of-state)
8. Drexel University
Named after financier Anthony J. Drexel in 1891, Drexel University is a private, non-profit multi-campus research institution based in Philadelphia that’s educating over 26,300 students. Recognized for America’s 72nd Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, Drexel won the USDLA Best Practices Award in 2008. At 40 percent lower tuition, Drexel Online awards the Bachelor of Science in Education part-time. Over 2.5 years, students with transferrable credits prepare for PreK-4 or PreK-4 and Special Education certification in Pennsylvania. At least 190 hours of elementary school practicum and 12 weeks of student teaching are embedded.
9. Granite State College
Boasting New England’s cheapest tuition, Granite State College is a public, co-educational higher learning institution in Concord, New Hampshire, with around 2,600 students. Crowned the fifth top liberal arts school for “social mobility” in Washington Monthly, Granite State is recognized for the 79th Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees. With National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation, the School of Education offers an online Bachelor of Arts with Teacher Certification. Specializations include Elementary (K-8), Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (K-12), Early Childhood (N-3), Special Education (K-12), and Mathematics (7-12). Passing school-based practicum and the Praxis exam is mandatory.
Tuition: $7,257 (in-state) or $8,025(out-of-state)
10. Liberty University
Affiliated with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, Liberty University is a private, non-profit Christian institution located in Lynchburg to enroll 100,000+ online learners. Ranked as “competitive” in Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges, Liberty has the 100th Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees according to the U.S. News and World Report. Aspiring educators could earn the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accredited Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, or Bachelor of Science in Special Education. Primarily online, the 120-credit programs include just one 90-hour field practicum. Graduates qualify for teaching certification from the Association of Christian Schools International.
Why Should I Get My Education Degree Online?
Online bachelor’s degrees in education equip undergraduates with the pedagogical skills required to promote children’s learning. Virtual classrooms allow budding teachers to practice creating and delivering effective lesson plans. Having a bachelor’s in education can qualify you for in-demand K-12 teaching specialties, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Teachers of English To Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and special education. Overall growth of 8 percent is expected in education jobs.
Although education is often listed among the worst majors for Return On Investment, it’s unlikely that you’ve chosen the teaching profession to get rich. Education is an altruistic vocational calling for those committed to sharing their knowledge and being good role models to children. Whether you want to teach first graders or high school seniors, having at least a bachelor’s degree is required for teacher certification in all 50 states. Consider these Top 10 Online Bachelor of Education Degree Programs that make learning to teach more convenient, less expensive, and of great quality: