The 25 Best Colleges for Teaching Degrees Online 2018

As distance education options have expanded across the country, the choices for online schools for education majors have become impressive. Most of these programs are graduate-level offerings, though some bachelors degree programs are also available. These programs are often taught by the same faculty members who teach on-campus courses, and more often than not, students can locate a program that fits their learning styles and schedules, whether it be an accelerated option, a hybrid format, or asynchronous classes, for example. In this ranking, we explore the top 25 online colleges for education majors.

To develop the following ranking of best online teaching schools, our editors began with an initial pool of nearly 300 schools. Using an affordability filter, we then narrowed this pool to under 50 schools by selecting only those colleges and universities with a cost per credit hour of below $400. Finally, we applied the rating and ranking methodology below. In cases of a tie, the more affordable school was awarded the higher ranking. For those seeking more general information regarding distance learning, please see our ranking of the top online colleges.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Tuition Per Credit Hour Points:

  • Under $400—1 point
  • Under $350—2 points
  • Under $300—3 points
  • Under $250—4 points
  • Under $200—5 points

US News and World Report Recognition as a Top Online Graduate Program for Education

  • Top 10—5 points
  • Top 25 —4 points
  • Top 50 —3 points
  • Top 75 —2 points
  • Top 100—1 point

Customization Options

  • Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point
  • Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option

Terminal Degree Offering

  • Presence of Doctoral Program in Education—1 point

Wow Factor

  • 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

#25 –Campbellsville University

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Points: 3
Campbellsville University offers a variety of online university education degrees in an accelerated format, allowing students to earn their credentials in as little as one year. Offerings include Master of Arts in Educational Administration (Principal P-12), a Master of Education in Montessori Teacher Education, and Master of Arts specializations in School Counseling, Teaching Middle Grades (5-9), Teaching Grades 8-12, School Improvement, and Special Education. The school’s graduate special education program features emphases in Initial Certification and Teacher Leader. It is important to note that this top online school for education majors is a Christian university.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $399

#24 –Roosevelt University

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Points: 3
Roosevelt University provides online university education degrees completely online and via a hybrid format. Students taking coursework fully online take classes both synchronously and asynchronously. The school’s offerings include a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning and a Master of Arts in Second Language Special Education. Enrolled students will take classes like Instructional Methods and Delivery, Foundations of Bilingual and ESL Education, Learning Technologies, Methods and Materials for Teaching ESL, and Instructional Systems Design. Certificates in eLearning are also available.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $395

#23 –Augustana University

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Points: 4
A respected online school for education majors, Augustana University offers a completely online Master of Arts in Education with five concentration options: Instructional Strategies, Reading, Special Populations, STEM, and Technology. The program is a non-thesis offering with Spring, Summer, and Fall cohorts. The program is designed to be completed within 19 months. Augustana University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its online university education degree program is approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $395

#22 –Queens University of Charlotte

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Points: 4
Queens University of Charlotte is a leading online college for education majors desiring principal certification. The school offers a 33-credit hour Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from its Cato School of Education that can be completed entirely online. Enrolled students will take courses such as Building Community, Education Law and Ethics, and Leading in a Global Society. Courses are interactive, and students receive individualized mentorship from expert faculty members. An internship is also required for this online university education degree.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $390

#21 –Georgia State University

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Points: 4
As a popular online school for education majors, Georgia State University offers seven online degree programs as well as two graduate certificates and two non-degree endorsements through its College of Education and Human Development. The degree programs are based on the university’s robust on-campus offerings, and student transcripts do not indicate that the coursework was completed online as opposed to via a traditional format. The school’s online university education degrees include MEd programs in Science, Mathematics, and Health and Physical Education as well as MS programs in Educational Research and Instructional Design and Technology.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $385

#20 –Emporia State University

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Points: 4
Emporia State University is one of the leading online schools for education majors in terms of the variety of education degrees it offers, especially at the graduate level. In addition to an MS in Education Administration PreK-12 and a MEd in Teaching, Emporia State offers an MS in Curriculum and Instruction with four different areas of emphasis: Curriculum Leadership PreK-12, Effective Practitioner PreK-12, National Board Certification PreK-12, and Instructional Coach/Teacher. Online certificates are also available in Teaching with Technology and eLearning & online teaching.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $371

#19 –Old Dominion University

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Points: 4
Old Dominion University is an ideal online school for education majors desiring a flexible bachelors or master’s degree in education. For undergraduate students, ODU offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (Interdisciplinary Studies: Teacher Preparation). Graduate students can pursue a Master of Science in Educational Leadership (Administration and Supervision K-12, Elementary Education for Licensed Teachers, and Elementary Education PreK-6 with initial VA licensure). An education specialist degree program is also available and can be completed entirely online. At ODU, online university education degrees mirror the school’s on-campus offerings and are taught by the same professors.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $355

#18 –University of Missouri

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Points: 4
The University of Missouri is considered a top online teaching school in part because of the wide range of online university education degrees that it offers. The school is home to approximately two dozen degree and certificate programs in the field of education that can be completed entirely online, including bachelor’s, master’s, and even PhD offerings. Specialty areas include Autism Education, Learning Technologies and Design, Educational Leadership, Multicultural Education, Technology in Schools, and Student Learning and Well-Being, for example.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $353

#17 –Lamar University

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Points: 4
Lamar University provides online university education degrees through its College of Education and Human Development. The school’s online Master of Education programs include degrees in School Counseling, Education Administration, Special Education, Educational Technology Leadership, Digital Learning and Leading, and Teacher Leadership. Certificates in Principal Education and Superintendent Education are also available. Lamar University’s online teacher education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $275

#16 –Graceland University

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Points: 5
Graceland University is home to one of the top online teaching schools in the nation: the Edmund J. Gleazer School of Education. The school offers several different Master of Education degree programs, including specializations in Special Education, Curriculum & Instruction: Collaborative Learning and Teaching, Differentiated Instruction, Literacy Instruction, and Management in a Quality Classroom among others. Online professional development classes are also available to working teachers. Graceland University is a recipient of the United States Distance Learning Association’s Platinum Award for Best Practices.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $395

#15 –Utah State University

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Points: 5
Utah State University offers several online university education degrees, the most popular of which are the MA/MS, EdS, and PhD offerings in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences made available through the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. The curriculum for these programs may include courses such as Instructional Development Tools, Computer Applications for Instruction and Teaching, Instructional Evaluation, and Learning Theory. USU’s online education students benefit from a variety of resources, including academic advising, IT assistance, career services, and e-tutoring.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $394

#14 –San Diego State University

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Points: 5
One of the top online teaching schools in the nation and a pioneer in online learning, San Diego State University has been providing distance education opportunities for its students through the College of Extended Studies for decades. In addition to an administrative credential and a reading and literacy authorization, SDSU offers a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership PreK-12 Specialization. The program can be completed entirely online and features courses such as Visionary Leadership, School Improvement Leadership, and Professional Learning and Growth Leadership.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $372

#13 –Southeast Missouri State University

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Points: 5
Southeast Missouri State University offers a range of online university education degrees, including Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Educational Specialist degree programs. Enrolled students have many specialty options available to them, including Elementary Education, Elementary or Secondary School Administration, Exceptional Child Education, Educational Technology, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and more. The programs at this leading online school for education majors are accredited by several accrediting bodies, including the Educational Leaders Constituent Council, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Council for Exceptional Children.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $325

#12 –University of the Cumberlands

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Points: 5
The University of the Cumberlands’ online university education degree programs are offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, making it easy for students to customize their studies to fit their individual lifestyles. The school offers Master of Arts programs in both Teaching and Education, and educational administration certificates are also available. An Education Specialist (EdS) program is also available. On the doctoral level, the university offers a Doctor of Educational Leadership, a PhD Leadership, and an Executive PhD in Leadership.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $315

#11 –Texas Tech University

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Points: 5
Texas Tech University has a long history of providing distance education options for its students through its eLearning and Academic Partnerships Division, including online university of education degrees. Offerings include Master of Education degree programs in Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Leadership and Principal Professional Certification Preparation, Higher Education Administration, Instructional Technology, and Special Education. Several doctoral degree programs are also available including Doctor of Education options in Agricultural Education and Higher Education as well as Doctor of Philosophy specializations in STEM Education and Family and Consumer Science Education, for example.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $300

#10 –University of Texas- Arlington

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Points: 5
The online university education degrees from the University of Texas- Arlington are both affordable and accelerated. Master’s degree programs in education can be completed in as few as 15 months. The school provides a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies as well as a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with concentrations in Literacy Studies, Mathematics Education, and Science Education. A 9-month superintendent certificate is also available entirely online. This top online school for education majors features multiple start dates per year for their students’ convenience.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $273

#9 –Georgetown College

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Points: 6
Georgetown College offers several different online university education degree options for both certified and noncertified professionals. These programs are offered entirely online as well as in a blended, cohort format. No thesis is required, and students can complete their degree in as few as 20 months. This top online college for education majors is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, and its education offerings are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education programs.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $395

#8 –William Carey University

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Points: 6
As one of the leading online schools for education, William Carey University offers many of its specialists and doctoral degree programs either entirely online or via a hybrid format. Online offerings from the university are typically delivered via a cohort model, encouraging collaboration throughout the learning process. It is important to note that WCU is a Christian university and as such approaches some educational topics from a religious and/or values-based perspective. The University’s School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education/Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (NCATE/CAEP).
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $350

#7 –University of Central Missouri

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Points: 6
As a top online school for education majors, the University of Central Missouri offers several master’s degree programs and educational specialist programs in areas such as educational technology, curriculum and instruction, and learning resources. Courses are taught by the same faculty members who teach on-campus classes, and coursework is identical as well. UCM’s online university education degree students receive support services such as academic advising, technical support, and writing assistance.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $324

#6 –University of West Georgia

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Points: 6
The University of West Georgia offers online university education degrees on a hybrid or fully online basis. These offerings include MEd programs in Early Childhood Education, Reading Instruction, and Special Education and Teaching, Education Specialist degrees in Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership, Media, Special Education, and Professional Counseling, and EdD programs in Nursing Education, Professional Counseling, and School Improvement. A MM in Music Education and a MAT in Special Education are also available.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $312

#5 –Fort Hays State University

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Points: 6
Fort Hays State University offers several fully accredited online university education degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and education specialist levels. Many of its offerings have versatile concentration options for students to choose from. For example, at the bachelor’s level, students can choose an emphasis in Early Childhood Unified, Elementary Education, and Elementary Education with a Special Education Minor. At the master’s level, there are available concentrations in Educational Administration (Principal), Special Education, and Instructional Technology. Education specialist majors can choose tracks in Educational Administration (Superintendent) and Educational Leadership. This innovative online school for education majors uses technology communication tools such as blogs, wikis, YouTube, and Google Apps for Education.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $273

#4 –Pittsburgh State University

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Points: 6
When it comes to an online university education degree, Pittsburg State University has plenty of options. The school offers both MA and MS degree programs in ESL, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and English Education, for example. It’s also home to an MS in Educational Technology as well as an MS in Educational Technology with emphases in Library Media Specialist and Technology Information Specialist. Online students pay in-state tuition fees, making this top online teaching school an affordable option.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $259

#3–University of Illinois- Urbana- Champaign

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Points: 7
A top online college for education majors, the University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign offers over 75 different online degrees and certificates, including online degrees in education. For example, teachers with at least two full years of teaching experience can pursue a Master of Education degree with a Teacher Leader specialization from the university in order to enhance their teaching skills or prepare for positions such as department chair, instructional coach, or development coordinator. This online university education degree features courses such as Critical Thinking for Teachers, Leading School Improvement, and Educational Law. The University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign also offers several doctoral degree programs in education.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $351

#2 –Valley City State University

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Points: 7
Valley City State University is a top online school for education majors looking for a convenient way to advance their skills in teaching and earn professional credentials. The school offers a Master of Arts in Teaching program as well as a Master of Education degree program with six available concentrations: Library and Information Technologies, Technology Education, Technology and Teaching, Elementary Education, English Education, and Teaching English Language Learners. A variety of scholarships are also available from this leading online college for education majors.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $293

#1 –Sam Houston State University

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Points: 9
Sam Houston State University offers nearly a dozen online university education degree programs at the masters and PhD levels. For master’s degree students, the school offers a Master of Arts in Teaching program as well as Master of Education programs in Instructional Leadership, Instructional Technology, and Curriculum & Instruction. The university prides itself on providing online education students the same rigorous curriculum as it delivers on campus. SHSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tuition Per Credit Hour: $286

This concludes our ranking of the 25 best online teaching degree programs.

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