Online bachelor’s in education programs offer concentrations and licensures in diverse areas, providing specializations by subject area, age, learning needs and more. Students attaining an education degree online have hundreds of career paths from which to choose, and millions of jobs to fill.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly 8.5 million U.S. workers are employed in education and training. Overall, jobs in this field are estimated to have higher than average growth through 2022.
Earning a bachelor’s degree in education online offers the additional advantage of technological training. As more and more classrooms incorporate online-based learning, one-to-one technology, and computerized assessments, educators must be adept of the latest advancements. The ability to incorporate technology into teaching has become key. By studying in an online format, students experience and learn to use these tools first-hand.
Teachers typically complete post-graduate work in the form of continuing education credits or a master’s degree. Students with advanced education in mind often opt to complete their bachelor-level degree online for an accelerated and more affordable format. We’ve ranked the best online bachelor’s in education degree programs to help match you with the school that best meets your professional and academic needs.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
East Carolina University
|Greenville||East 5th Street|
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
Students earning an online bachelor's degree in education through East Carolina University must complete their first two years of college courses at community colleges in their area, then apply to ECU. Admission requirements for transfer students includes a 2.5 minimum GPA and 24 transferable credit hours. Freshman admission requires specific high school coursework completion.
ECU offers the following online education bachelor's degree specialties:
Online coursework is completed through the Blackboard learning management system. Coursework is accessible 24/7. Distance learners are taught by the same faculty as on-campus students and complete the same assignments and exams. Discussion forums, real-time chat and group projects are used for faculty and student communication and collaboration.
|Lynchburg||1971 University Blvd|
Lynchburg, VA 24515
Liberty University offers three online education degrees:
All require 120 total credit hours, 30 of which must be taken through Liberty. Additionally, the Early Childhood degree requires one 90-hour practicum. Distance learners may be able to receive credit for real-world experience and professional training.
Online students have access to an online library, writing resources, and study aids. Coursework is completed through the Blackboard platform. Admission to the program requires a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Liberty guarantees admission to graduates of Virginia’s 23 community colleges who have an associate’s degree and a minimum GPA of 2.0.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
|Greensboro||1400 Spring Garden St|
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
Education concentrations available via UNC’s online program include Birth through Kindergarten Licensure and Early Care and Education. The online bachelor's degree in education program is designed for those who have completed a two-year associate’s degree from a participating North Carolina Community College.
The programs emphasize an integration of knowledge from social and behavioral science with educational instruction. The Birth through Kindergarten Licensure qualifies graduates to work in public school pre-kindergarten and public school kindergarten. Those who graduate with the concentration in Early Care and Education will be prepared for careers in child care centers, early childhood agencies, early intervention, private kindergartens, and hospitals.
UNC distance learners use the Blackboard learning management system for coursework completion. Both synchronous and asynchronous classes are included in the program. Courses are offered in fall, spring, and summer semesters on a set rotation. In addition to internet access, students must have a webcam and computer microphone and headset. Online tools available through UNC include advising, writing resources, library and bookstore.
Nova Southeastern University
|Fort Lauderdale||3301 College Ave|
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
NSU offers several education concentrations available in online degree format:
Core coursework prepares future educators with testing procedures, teaching methods, classroom management, and age-appropriate development and learning. Coursework culminates with a 12-week field experience, during which students work under supervision in the classroom setting.
For other coursework, distance learners access the Blackboard learning management system. Discussion forums, real-time electronic classrooms, and online databases are utilized to for class work and communications. Transfer students entering the program may transfer up to 90 credit hours from regionally-accredited institutions toward the completion of their degree.
|Longview||2100 S Mobberly Ave|
Longview, TX 75607-7001
LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christ-centered institution offering a wide range of studies. Two certification options are available via the online education program. Early Childhood through 6th Grade and 4th Grade through 8th Grade. Both require a total of 126 credit hours for completion, including a final semester of student teaching. Core curriculum classes include:
Distance learners at Letourneau University access their coursework through the Canvas learning management platform. They also have access to the online library and bookstore. Courses for the online education bachelor's degree are offered in accelerated format, five weeks in length. Academic weeks are Monday through Sunday, with assignments typically due on Sunday at midnight. Average class size is 16-22.
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
|Wilmington||601 South College Road|
Wilmington, NC 28403-5963
Distance learners at UNCW can earn an online bachelor's degree in education. The program offers several concentration options for their Elementary Education K-6 bachelor’s degree:
Elementary education majors must complete 18 hours of an academic concentration. Program requirements also include three field experiences. Students will spend four hours one day per week in a public school placement site as part of the field requirements.
Online classes are not self-paced. Staff provide a schedule of assignments with due dates. Some courses may be partly synchronous, requiring students to be online at a specified time to meet in a virtual classroom. All online coursework is completed via the Blackboard learning management system.
Appalachian State University
|Boone||Dougherty Administration Building|
Boone, NC 28608
ASU offers distance learners the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Career and Technical Education with teacher licensure in grades 6-12. Concentrations for this major include:
Those graduating with the BSCTE will be qualified to teach courses in their concentration at both the middle and high school levels. Graduates will obtain a North Carolina “A” level teaching license in grades 6-12. CTE is a high-needs area, with teachers in demand in most NC districts in at least one of the above mentioned concentrations. Potential jobs include teaching interior design, robotics, computer applications and carpentry.
This degree completion requires 123-128 total credit hours, including a semester of student teaching at a North Carolina public school. The program takes 2.5 years to complete. Online coursework is completed through AsUlearn, ASU’s learning management system, which utilizes the Moodle platform.
|Winfield||100 College Street|
Winfield, KS 67156-6224
Southwestern College offers two online bachelor’s degrees in the field of education:
The Early Childhood Education program combines early childhood education and early childhood special education into one licensure covering birth through age eight. Student teaching experiences include placement at two grade levels. An on-campus pre-school and partnerships with special education programs provide practice and observation opportunities. The Elementary Education program places an emphasis on leadership, professional development, ethics, diversity and service.
Both degrees require 124 total credit hours for completion. Admission requirements include minimum GPA of 2.75 and three years of post-high school work experience. Online courses are accessed through the Blackboard learning management system. Classes are six-week accelerated format. Prospective students are given the option to Test Drive a Course through the school’s website to decide if online learning is right for them.
Western Governors University
|Salt Lake City||4001 East 700 South, Suite 700|
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
WGU offers a unique set-your-own pace philosophy. Online education bachelor's degree students advance through each course by demonstrating mastery of the material. Students complete as much work as they choose to during each six-month term. Coursework for the online education bachelor's degree is not delivered through a learning management system, but instead with the use of a specially designed portal for each course.
WGU offers several online Bachelor of Arts in Education licensure programs:
All licensure programs include an in-person student teaching requirement.
Post-Baccalaureate studies include a Demonstration Teaching course, which involves in-classroom experience. Students will also create a professional portfolio as part of program requirements.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
|Saint Mary of the Woods||1 St Mary of Woods Coll|
Saint Mary of the Woods, IN 47876-1099
St. Mary of the Woods offers online coursework in an eight-week format, with flexible year-round start dates. Online classes offer the same material as on-campus courses. Students complete written submissions, projects, assignments and online quizzes. Coursework is completed through the Desire2Learn learning management system. Distance learners have also access to campus resources, online tutoring and mentors.
Those seeking a bachelor’s degree in education are offered the following options through online programs at St. Mary of the Woods:
Successful completion of these programs requires passing three "gateways":
University of Wisconsin - Stout
|Menomonie||712 S. Broadway St.|
Menomonie, WI 54751
Online learners at University of Wisconsin, Stout can obtain a B.S. in Career, Technical Education and Training. This program prepares students for careers in post secondary school settings and industrial training programs. It can be completed in two years if classes are taken year-round. Courses are accessed through the UW site’s Learn@UW-Stout. Online students can also access library services and career services.
Admission to the program requires a minimum GPA of 2.75 from the last school attended. This is a degree completion program, designed for those who have already obtained an associate’s degree or equivalent credits. Students expand their expertise in course instruction, evaluation, and leadership, receive specialized training in technical education and complete the coursework needed to finish out their bachelor’s degree.
University of Central Florida
|Orlando||4000 Central Florida Blvd|
Orlando, FL 32816
UCF offers distance learners the opportunity to earn a B.S. in Technical Education and Industry Training. The program is designed for those seeking to pursue technical teaching in the following fields:
Admission to the online education bachelor's degree program requires an associate’s degree from an approved Florida community college and a minimum GPA of 2.5. In addition to online coursework, students must complete an internship over one to two semesters in a school or industry setting or as an intern to UFC faculty. Courses total 75 credit hours. Online classes are accessed through Webcourses@UFC.
|La Jolla||11255 North Torrey Pines Road|
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
Future educators can obtain an online B.A. in Early Childhood Education through distance learning at National University. Three concentrations are available:
This program meets requirements for the Child Development Associates National Licensing and the State of California Child Development Permits. Students residing in or desiring to teach in other states should verify requirements with that state’s Department of Education. Additional licensure may be required. The program focuses on child development in the areas of parenting, peer cooperation, brain development, cognition and literacy, as well as emphasis on child advocacy, ethics and teaching through play.
All online coursework is accessed through the Blackboard learning management system. Completion of the degree also requires hands-on field experience. Students must undergo a background check and TB clearance for this field work.
University of Southern Mississippi
|Hattiesburg||118 College Drive # 0001|
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
USM offers an online education bachelor's degree. Students completing this degree will attain an elementary teacher’s license for grades K-6 and an endorsement in one of the following areas:
Endorsements include 21 credit hours in the chosen area. Students completing this program will gain knowledge of elementary education content, assessments, differentiated instruction, technology integration and higher-order critical thinking teaching methods.
Admissions to the program are based on test scores and GPA in general core curriculum completed. Students must also undergo a background check. Once admitted, students access all online coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Online students are also provided with resources including online databases an academic support.
Chadron State College
|Chadron||1000 Main St|
Chadron, NE 69337-2690
Chadron offers extensive online education degrees for those seeking to pursue a career in education. Online students can obtain a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, choosing from the following endorsements:
Coursework covers a broad range of educator skills, focusing in on teaching methods, multicultural studies, technology in the classroom, assessments, as well as basic curriculum and instruction appropriate for the chosen age and subject area. Online coursework is completed via the Sakai learning management system.
The college offers open admission. No minimum test scores or GPA are required. Students simply need proof of graduation from an accredited high school.
Bemidji State University
|Bemidji||1500 Birchmont Dr|
Bemidji, MN 56601
All online undergraduate programs at BSE are transfer programs. The Distributed Learning in Teacher Education (Dlite) is a 2+3 program, meaning students must have completed an associate degree (2 years) and then finish the last three years of coursework online through BSU to earn the bachelor’s degree. Foundational coursework including intro to public education, educational psychology and learning environment design are built on with major coursework covering language arts, math, science and methods of elementary school education. Student teaching is also required to earn the online education degrees.
The program involves accessing coursework online through the Brightspace learning management system. Students must also attend three face-to-face meetings each year. These are typically two or three day commitments and occur in the Minneapolis area. The total program is a minimum of 120 credits. Admission requirements include previous degree and 3.0 GPA. Online students have access to tutoring, technical support, writing resources, disability services and online library materials.
Indiana State University
|Terre Haute||210 N 7th St|
Terre Haute, IN 47809
ISU offers a nine-credit hour program for licensed teachers who wish to teach driver education. The online undergraduate licensure program for driver education is only available to Indiana residents. Students must hold a valid Indiana driver’s license, have completed 60 hours of undergraduate credit and pass a limited criminal history from the Indiana State Police.
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723-9646
Those interested in pursuing a career in early childhood education can obtain a degree online from WCU. The program offers a B.S. degree with birth-kindergarten minor and a concentration in early childhood or professional education, leading to licensure. Both include core curriculum covering childhood development, instruction, interventions and disabilities. Selection of several elective courses diverge the two concentrations. Completion of either program requires two semesters of internship. Site placement for internships are limited to public NC Pre-K, Headstart and Kindergarten classrooms.
Admission for online education degrees is competitive, with no more than 30 students accepted each semester. Continuance in the program requires maintaining a minimum 2.75 GPA. Classes are asynchronous, allowing students to complete them on their own time. Coursework is accessed through the Blackboard learning management system. Distance learners can also access online tutoring resources, library services, career services and technology resources.
West Virginia University
|Morgantown||Stewart Hall, 1500 University Avenue|
Morgantown, WV 26506-6201
West Virginia University offers a unique degree option for online learners. The online Multidisciplinary Studies bachelor’s degree allows students to create a custom degree that matches their own career goals. Instead of choosing one major, students choose three minors. A variety of minors related to the field of education are available:
Core curriculum for any combination of minors includes completion of basic english and math courses, at least 60 credit hours of 200-level or above coursework, and a capstone course. Total program completion requires a minimum of 120 credit hours. Transfer students may transfer up to 72 credit hours of general education courses. All online coursework is completed asynchronously through WVU’s eCampus.
University of Missouri
|Columbia||105 Jesse Hall|
Columbia, MO 65211
Online learners at U of M Columbia can earn a Bachelor of Educational Studies with an interdepartmental emphasis. Designed for those with previous work experience or those who have earned an associate’s degree, the program prepares students for careers in adult learning. Potential areas of employment include human resource training, continuing professional education and workforce development. The program is appropriate for those seeking to work in educational programs focused on:
The degree does not certify graduates to teach in the public school system.
Coursework is available in self-paced or semester-based formats. Classes are accessed through the Blackboard learning management system. Admission for freshmen is based on ACT/SAT scores and high school academics. Transfer students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA and at least 24 credit hours from a regionally accredited college.
Athens State University
|Athens||300 N Beaty St|
Athens, AL 35611
Pursuing an online degree in education at Athens State University offers students several options.
Coursework covers core educational training including classroom management, technology integration, curriculum design and adaptation and exceptional learners. Each degree culminates with a student teaching experience, during which the student takes on full-time teaching responsibilities for 14 weeks under supervision of a mentor teacher.
All coursework for these online degrees is completed through the Blackboard learning management system. Online students can also access technology services, bookstore resources, counseling services and writing services.
Admission to the program requires transfer students to have completed at least 60 semester hours of college credit from a regionally accredited institution or attainment of an associate’s degree, plus a minimum GPA of 2.0.
|Gaffney||1115 College Drive|
Gaffney, SC 29340-3799
Limestone College offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Distance learners completing this degree will be qualified to teach grades 2-6. The program emphasizes communication skills, curriculum integration, learning styles, and continuous professional growth. Completing the program requires a minimum of 123 credit hours.
Requirements include three sequential incremental field experiences in a classroom setting working with students. Other online coursework is completed through the Blackboard learning management system. Online students also have access to library resources and career services.
Limestone offers continuous enrollment, meaning students can be admitted any time of year. Freshmen admission requires a high school diploma or GED and SAT or ACT scores. For those 21 years or older or in military service, test score requirements are waived.
University of Toledo
|Toledo||2801 W Bancroft|
Toledo, OH 43606-3390
The University of Toledo offers a fast-track program for an online BS in Early Childhood Education. Students who have completed core curriculum with an associate’s degree complete their bachelor’s in just four semesters. Each semester includes nine hours of online coursework and seven hours of field work. Field work is completed through in-person educational experiences in your area. Classes are accessed through the Blackboard learning management system. Online learners also have access to the eLibrary, eTutoring and tech support.
The program is accredited by The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); however, UT suggests each student verify with their home state’s Department of Education that this program meets their criteria for licensure or certification.
California Baptist University
|Riverside||8432 Magnolia Ave|
Riverside, CA 92504-3297
CBU online studies include a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies. Students completing this program will learn assessments and developmentally appropriate learning environments for non-disabled and disabled children 0-8 years of age. Those interested in K-12 teaching can obtain credentials for K-12. Those who desire to focus on Pre-K special day classes or children with developmental disabilities ages 0-8 can seek the Early Childhood Education Specialist Credential.
Coursework includes core childhood development, curriculum and interventions classes. Students are also required to complete an overview of the Bible course and Foundations of Christian Thought (6 credits total).
The average completion for the program is just 16 months. All online coursework is completed through the Blackboard learning management system. Online students also have access to the campus store, career services and library.
|Irvine||16355 Laguna Canyon Road|
Irvine, CA 92618
The Brandman University online BA in Early Childhood Education prepares students for careers in the care and education of children up to age eight. The program emphasizes research-based practices, child development, comprehensive assessments and diversity. Coursework covers childhood development, learning standards, exceptional needs students and dual language learners.
This program is available for California residents only. Students must also have at least 12 transferable bachelor’s level credits. Completion of the degree requires a total of 120 credits, with at least 30 credits attained at Brandman University.
Students complete their online coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Classes are asynchronous, allowing students to set their own flexible schedule. Online students are also offered support services through the school’s online math and writing community, career services and disability services.
A bachelor’s degree in education leads to a wide range of career opportunities. Online degree programs allow for specialization in everything from developmental disabilities to technical instruction and beyond. Career prospects include special education specialist, preschool teacher, early childhood educator or specializations in dozens of different subject or grade-focused education.
U.S. Teacher Trends
|Position||Median Salary||Job Growth|
|High School Teacher||$55,050||6%|
|Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher||$53,090||12%|
|Middle School Teacher||$53,430||12%|
|Special Education Teacher||$55,060||6%|
|Career and Technical Education Teacher||$51,910||9%|
Keys To Online Success
- Verify state certification requirements. Educational certifications vary across the nation. Be sure to verify that the licensure and/or certification from any online program you are considering meets the requirements for your state. Check with your state’s Department of Education for specifics.
- Be ready for field experience. While all coursework can be offered online, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in education will require some in-person experiences. Fieldwork completed as a practicum, internship, or student teaching will be necessary for the completion of almost any degree in the field of education.
- Embrace technology. As a student, online learners should remember they will soon be on the other side of the equation, providing assignments rather than completing them. As coursework is completed, distance learners should soak up as much knowledge as possible about the system used to deliver their program, the best methods to use for online-based teaching, and the latest advancements in educational technology. These tools will be helpful as the students become the teachers who must now incorporate technology into their own lessons and assessments.
Once you’ve chosen an online bachelor’s of education program, several components become key to success both during and after degree completion.
Field experience – While this portion of the online degree will actually be in-person rather than distance learning, it is typically one of the most important factors affecting your job search after graduation. If you will be seeking a job working with a specific age group or in a certain subject area, be sure to use your required field time to gain experience in this area. Potential employers will want to see that you know the job for which you are applying. Work with your advisor to get the best practicum or student teaching placement for your career goals.
Networking – This aspect is closely tied to your field experiences, but also connects with the entire degree program. Establish as many connections as possible during your schooling. Many educators are hired because a teacher recommended someone to their principal or an administrator was impressed with a student teacher’s performance. Create strong positive networks with as many professionals in the education industry as possible.
Continued professional development – As an educator, learning is never complete. The bachelor’s degree is just the beginning. Begin taking additional classes as soon as a job is obtained. School districts usually offer continuing education courses with reimbursed tuition. These offer an affordable way to move up the pay scale, which is typically based on total education obtained. Educators also commonly acquire a master’s degree, which provides additional salary increases and career opportunities. Beyond college courses, professional trainings in the most recent curriculum trends and technology are also important. Keep skills fresh by attending in-services, conferences, and workshops offered in your district or online.