Best Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education Programs of 2021

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Individuals who enjoy working with young learners can earn a bachelor's in elementary education online. This degree can lead to rewarding career opportunities at public and private schools. Additionally, practicum and student teaching experiences provide networking opportunities for students prior to graduation.

This page includes a general overview of elementary education degree programs, including common coursework, admission requirements, and top college program options. Other topics include potential career paths, frequently asked questions, and similar bachelor's degree tracks.

What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 University of Alaska Southeast Juneau, AK
#2 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC
#3 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
#4 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
#5 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
#6 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
#7 Arizona Christian University Glendale, AZ
#8 Southwestern College Winfield, KS
#9 Friends University Wichita, KS
#10 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN

Earning a bachelor's in elementary education online may lead to state licensure, which qualifies graduates for lead classroom roles as kindergarten and elementary school teachers. Without a bachelor's (or higher) in this field, professionals usually only qualify for teacher assistant positions.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that elementary school teachers earn a median annual salary of $57,980, while teacher assistants earn about $27,000. BLS data also projects a 3% increase in demand for elementary and kindergarten educators between 2018 and 2028.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education Programs

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University of Alaska Southeast View School Profile Juneau, AK

Based in Juneau, UAS offers an online bachelor's in elementary education. The program prepares students for a career in K-8 education while also teaching them the tools needed to listen, learn, and respond to the unique needs of their own Alaskan communities. Candidates living outside Alaska may apply, but the school requires Alaska residence to complete the program.

Students meet online with advisors and peers for ongoing support. Each student may complete their student teaching requirements in their home communities.

UAS is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
School Status: Public
Tuition: $234 per credit (lower division); $282 per credit (upper division)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5-3.0 minimum required, depending on test scores
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

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University of North Carolina Wilmington View School Profile Wilmington, NC

Located in Wilmington, UNCW offers an online bachelor's in elementary education. The program shows aspiring teachers how schools, educators, and students can help shape their communities. Focused on grades K-6, students can select concentrations in areas like behavioral studies, international studies, language arts, math and technology, and social studies.

This program is designed for students who have already completed their first two years of college. For their practicum and fieldwork experiences, students need to work in schools identified as professional development schools, as approved by UNCW.

UNCW is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
School Status: Public
Tuition: $169 per credit (in-state); $644 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 64 credits
Degree Completion Program: Yes
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.7 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Praxis

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Gardner-Webb University View School Profile Boiling Springs, NC

A Christian university based in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, GWU offers an online bachelor's in elementary education degree completion program. This program helps prepare future teachers for a career instructing at the pre-K to sixth grade levels. The curriculum allows participants to practice servant-leadership in their communities.

Courses focus on topics like healthful living, mathematics for elementary teachers, and diverse populations in 21st century schools. Participants also have the option to pursue an exceptional children concentration where they complete 14 additional credits of coursework in classes like critical components of special education and specially designed instruction for exceptional learners.

GWU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
School Status: Private
Tuition: $448 per credit
Credit Requirements: 61 credits
Degree Completion Program: Yes
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA

Based in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty offers an online bachelor's in elementary education. The program focuses on adaptive learning, direct instruction, and lesson planning.

The school provides students with electronic textbooks for all undergraduate courses at no additional cost. An online writing center helps students improve their academic writing and offers live online feedback sessions for those interested in more detailed tips for improvement.

Liberty offers significant discounts to qualifying military members and first responders. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
School Status: Private
Tuition: $390 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 3.5 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Fort Hays State University View School Profile Hays, KS

Based in Hays, Kansas, FHSU offers an online bachelor's in elementary education that fulfills licensure requirements for K-6 teaching in Kansas. The program also offers flexibility to students to help them complete licensure in other states.

Covered course topics include instructional technology, educating diverse learners, and children's literature. Aspiring educators complete internships and 12 credits of student teaching, enabling hands-on learning experiences where participants can apply their knowledge to a professional environment. FHUS's teacher education department offers scholarships specifically for students in this program.

FHSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
School Status: Public
Tuition: $227 per credit
Credit Requirements: 127 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: ACT or CORE required

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Chaminade University of Honolulu View School Profile Honolulu, HI

A Catholic university based in Hawai'i, Chaminade offers an online bachelor's in elementary education. The program focuses on helping future educators build skills that can help them create vibrant, effective learning environments.

The program offers future educators strong peer connections, individual attention from faculty, and a culturally responsive curriculum. Required courses include educational psychology, educational technology, assessments, and seminars. Students also complete courses like studying contemporary peoples of Hawai'i, intercultural communication, and world regional geography.

Chaminade is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
School Status: Private
Tuition: $565 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Arizona Christian University View School Profile Glendale, AZ

A Christian university based in Phoenix, ACU offers an online bachelor's in elementary education. The program meets certification requirements for those preparing to teach in Arizona. The school's general education requirements offer students faith-based introductions to theology, human narrative, and cultural awareness, along with courses designed to help students interpret the Bible and develop Christian practices of devotion and vocation.

Major course topics include educational psychology, curriculum and instruction methods for kindergarten through eighth grade, and classroom management. ACU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
School Status: Private
Tuition: $450 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Southwestern College View School Profile Winfield, KS

Based in Winfield, Kansas, SC oversees an online bachelor's in elementary education program. The program boasts a support structure that helps both first-time and transfer students smoothly transition into the world of teaching. The program also fulfills requirements for licensure in Kansas.

Courses specifically focused on emotional intelligence help future teachers develop skills in empathy, listening, and building community in the classroom. Other course topics include foundations of education, introduction to the reading process, and observation and supervised teaching in elementary school.

The program allows students to transfer in up to 94 credits toward this degree. SC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
School Status: Private
Tuition: $550 per credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Request more information about this program.

Friends University View School Profile Wichita, KS

Based in Wichita, Kansas, Friends offers an online bachelor's in elementary education. The program prepares future educators for licensure in K-6 education in the state of Kansas. New students can enroll in January or May. To qualify for this degree completion program, students must already have at least 90 college credits earned at an accredited institution.

The program covers topics like reading, science, diversity, kinesthetic learning, and special education. Specific major requirements include brain-based learning, classroom management and assessment, and learning how to learn. Online students can attend virtual job fairs and get help finding internship opportunities.

Friends is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
School Status: Private
Tuition: $250 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Degree Completion Program: Yes
Program Length: 2-3 semesters
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Praxis exam optional

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Bemidji State University View School Profile Bemidji, MN

Based in Minnesota, BSU offers an online bachelor's in elementary education. This degree completion program provides flexible options for those seeking a career in education, and it fulfills licensure requirements for Minnesota. To apply, students must have completed at least 30 college-level credits.

Most program requirements can be met online. However, the school does require students to visit campus three times each year. Course topics include an introduction to the foundations of education, creative process foundations, and student teaching. Students may opt to pursue one of five teaching endorsements by completing 20-30 additional credits. Endorsement options include pre-primary, middle school math, and middle school science.

BSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
School Status: Public
Tuition: $313 per credit
Credit Requirements: 63 credits
Degree Completion Program: Yes
Program Length: 4-6 semesters
Format: Online, three in-person sessions required per year
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Midway University View School Profile Midway, KY

Based in Kentucky, Midway offers an online bachelor's in elementary education. The program fulfills the requirements for Kentucky K-5 teaching licensure.

The school boasts a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and offers learners the chance to interact closely with their professors and peers throughout the program. The faculty's dedication to developing students extends to spiritual care, leadership development, and other resources — all accessible through the school's website. The program emphasizes preparing future educators to work with students from various reading levels and offers training to develop plans for their success.

Midway is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
School Status: Private
Tuition: $395 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Minimum ACT score of 18 required (or the equivalent SAT score)

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University of Wisconsin-Superior View School Profile Superior, WI

Based in northwest Wisconsin, UW-Superior offers an online bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in elementary education. The program fulfills requirements for licensure in the state of Wisconsin for grades K-9. All participants minor in instruction, and students also have the option to add a minor in early childhood education or special education.

Course highlights include a focus on developing individualized education plans and fostering inclusivity in the classroom. Students work with a field experience coordinator to find individual classroom placements.

UW-Superior is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts or Science in Elementary Education
School Status: Public
Tuition: $305 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum required
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

Contact the School

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Southwestern Adventist University View School Profile Keene, TX

Based in Keene, Texas, SWAU offers an online bachelor's in elementary education that leads to licensure in Texas. The program prepares future educators to teach early childhood through sixth grade, focusing on classroom assessment and management.

Students take 72 credits in their major, including professional development classes like educational psychology and legal foundations of education. Required major courses cover topics like kindergarten materials and methods, mathematics in elementary schools, and multicultural perspectives.

SWAU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
School Status: Private
Tuition: $462 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum required
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

Contact the School

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Colorado Christian University View School Profile Lakewood, CO

A Christian school located in Lakewood, CCU offers a fully online bachelor's in elementary education. In addition to a degree, students can also obtain their teaching license, allowing them to teach kindergarten through sixth grade in public and private schools.The 120-credit program is set up in five-week blocks and requires students to take one course at a time. Major courses include literacy methods, student teaching, and integrating technology into education. Undergraduate students must complete a writing sample and an interview with a program director before entering into the professional major core.CCU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
School Status: Private
Tuition: $469 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

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Campbell University View School Profile Buies Creek, NC

A private Baptist institution located in Buies Creek, North Carolina, Campbell offers a bachelor's in elementary education. The university delivers online classes in a flexible eight-week format, allowing students to balance their studies with other responsibilities.

This degree requires participants to complete 58 credits of general education courses, 12 credits of elective courses, and 54 credits of education concentration courses. Major-related classes cover topics like educational technology foundations, methods of teaching reading, and writing across the curriculum.

Campbell holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
School Status: Private
Tuition: $450 per credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education Program Overview

Students who earn a bachelor's in elementary education online cover historical and contemporary theories and methods of instruction, developing an understanding of the learning process at multiple stages of life. Specific subjects include instructional development in language arts, social studies, science, and math; data-driven instruction methods; educational research; development; and psychology.

Coursework prepares students to become independent classroom teachers who can develop curricula, differentiate instruction for diverse learning needs, and effectively manage behavior. Many of the best programs also include special education coursework, preparing general education teachers to build inclusive classrooms. While students complete most of their coursework online, a bachelor's in education does emphasize supervised teaching experiences to prepare graduates to oversee their own classrooms.

Graduates are prepared to find success after graduation. However, students should note that state requirements for employment vary. For instance, some states require students to earn a master's degree in order to receive a teaching license. Check with your state's education department to determine applicable requirements.

Regardless of state or individual school requirements, teaching professionals often go on to earn a graduate-level education to qualify for leadership roles, teach specialized content, and/or earn higher wages.

Common Bachelor's in Elementary Education Degree Courses

Child Development

This course explores the socioemotional, physical, and cognitive progression of children. Other covered topics may include environmental influences on the development of young children, the impact of diversity on their identity, family patterns and practices, and challenging biases.

Fundamentals of Differentiated Instruction

This course offers base knowledge regarding qualitative instruction for students with varying abilities and interests. Students explore high-quality curriculum, the benefits of homogenous and heterogenous group work, continuous assessment, and the importance of classroom culture. This course also provides strategies for analyzing teaching environments and developing innovative solutions to meet students' needs.

Educational Psychology

Students examine applied and theoretical components of learning, human development, personality, assessment in educational settings, and motivation. Other topics include socialization and affective processes. Course objectives highlight the importance of understanding student behavior.

Classroom Management and Discipline

This course teaches students about the relationships between classroom behavior, learning, and environment. Coursework emphasizes disciplinary models and how they relate to student governance. Other topics include interactive and reflective discipline, proactive techniques, and effective decision-making. Course outcomes include developing comprehensive management plans and generating effective management recommendations.

Data Driven Decision-making

Data driven decision-making teaches emerging educators how to improve student learning and make effective instructional decisions. Topics include using data to develop age-appropriate instructional experiences, identifying and analyzing data in a continuous and systematic manner, and analyzing intersections of data to understand student achievement. Students must also create action plans to foster instructional change in classrooms.

Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education Admission Requirements

Transcripts let schools know that prospective students have completed the coursework necessary to succeed in a graduate program. Students with some college experience must submit official transcripts from their former schools, while first-time college students need to submit high school transcripts or GED scores. Transcripts from public and private schools typically meet these requirements, although homeschooled students should ensure their program covers the minimum requirements.

Postsecondary schools usually consider a student's GPA during the admissions process, and most schools outline a minimum GPA requirement. Students with a high GPA may qualify for honors or accelerated programs, as well as merit scholarships.

At the bachelor's level, students often need to submit SAT or ACT scores. Applicants should visit a school's website to see which of these test scores the school prefers.

Colleges and universities may require letters of recommendation to learn more about a student's character. Recent high school graduates should consider asking former teachers and/or academic counselors. Students with some work or college experience may want to consider asking employers or professors to write a letter.

International students attending college in the U.S. may need to complete the TOFEL. This exam evaluates students' mastery of English and their ability to study at the postsecondary level. This exam features four sections: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. International students have four hours to complete this exam.


Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education Career Paths

Earning a bachelor's in elementary education online can lead to employment opportunities beyond the entry-level education jobs of teacher assistants and preschool teachers.

Graduates may become a preschool or childcare director, or they may pursue work as kindergarten or elementary classroom teachers. A bachelor's in elementary education meets the minimum educational requirements needed to sit for the Praxis exam, which students may need to pass before qualifying for a teaching license.

Students can also pursue a concentration in elementary special education, which prepares them to earn a special education license. Special education teachers often work alongside general education teachers in the classroom.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a bachelor's in elementary education?

A bachelor's in elementary education program includes general education and core courses. Additionally, participants usually engage in a practicum and student teaching. Students typically earn their degree in four years with full-time attendance; part-time students take significantly longer to graduate. Some online programs offer coursework through the summer, which can shorten a learner's time commitment.

What can I do with a bachelor's in elementary education?

Some graduates may immediately sit for the Praxis exam and then apply for jobs as classroom teachers at public, private, and charter schools. Others may need to pursue a master's degree to qualify for teaching licensure. Students may also become directors of preschools, childcare centers, or other education-related programs. Some nonprofit organizations that work with children may also offer rewarding career opportunities.

Can you get a bachelor's in elementary education online?

Many schools strive to accommodate nontraditional learners by offering coursework online. However, this degree does require hands-on experience, so schools may require a methods course where students observe licensed classroom teachers at a local school. All programs leading to a license require a practicum and student teaching at an approved location.

What jobs can I apply for with a bachelor's in elementary education?

Graduates in some states can become classroom teachers with a bachelor's degree. Students who specialize in special education can work with other classroom teachers or lead their own classrooms. Other opportunities can be found at nonprofit organizations, and graduates may also consider tutoring jobs.

How much does a bachelor's in elementary education cost?

Public schools tend to charge lower tuition rates than private institutions — especially to in-state learners. Students who attend college out-of-state may need to pay steeper tuition rates, although some universities offer in-state rates to all online learners. Students can also save money by completing general education coursework at a community college.

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