The 5 Best Colleges for Teaching Degrees Online

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Colleges for Teaching Degrees Online

As distance education options have expanded across the country, the choices for online schools for education degree 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 5 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.

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Featured Online Schools

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
  • #1 –Sam Houston State University

    Website | 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

  • #2 –Valley City State University

    Website | 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

  • #3–University of Illinois- Urbana- Champaign

    Website | 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

  • #4 –Pittsburgh State University

    Website | 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

  • #5 –Fort Hays State University

    Website | 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

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