Best Online Bachelor’s in Education Programs of 2021

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by Heather Mullinix
Published on August 20, 2021

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As schools across the country closed for in-person learning over the past year, many teachers took on virtual instruction to help their students grow academically. Nevertheless, many schools struggle each year to find good teachers, particularly in areas of math and science. A Frontline Education survey in June 2021 found that two-thirds of school systems experience teacher shortages.

As students return to their classrooms, school systems seek teachers who can ignite a love of learning in their pupils and help them succeed. The first step to becoming a teacher is earning your bachelor's in education. This degree prepares you for the challenges and rewards of a teaching career.

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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 Education Programs

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University of Washington View School Profile Seattle, WA

Located in Seattle, UW offers a fully online bachelor of arts in early care and education. Designed for students with at least 45 undergraduate credits, most students can complete the program in two years of full-time study or three years of part-time attendance.

The program focuses specifically on young children and their families' needs, preparing students to begin a career in early childhood education, childcare, or parent support. Through an intentional teaching framework, students learn both theory and practical applications, work in early childhood service centers in their own community, and spend time reflecting on what they learn.

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


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Early Care and Education
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $231 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 180 quarter credits (including transfer credits)
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Program Length: 2-3 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

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University of Louisiana at Monroe View School Profile Monroe, LA

Located in northern Louisiana, ULM offers an online bachelor of science in elementary education. Designed to help teachers excel in elementary school classrooms, the program includes general studies, content area studies, professional teaching methods, integrative studies, and student teaching within the student's local community.

Students may pursue electives such as music or art education. All first-year students must take a university seminar class to help them adjust to the expectations of college.

ULM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Specialized accreditation for this elementary education program is granted by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $400 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

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Eastern New Mexico University View School Profile Portales, NM

Located in Portales, ENMU offers an online bachelor of science in early childhood education with an emphasis on birth through pre-kindergarten. This degree completion program requires students to hold an associate degree in early childhood education or provide transcripts showing successful completion of all 100- and 200-level coursework needed for a bachelor's degree.

The program does not lead to licensure but can help students meet career goals in home daycare settings, private preschools, Head Start programs, and other areas. All students must complete a nine-credit practicum experience. Local students may complete the practicum at the school's on-campus child development center, if desired.

ENMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Birth Through Pre-K
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $2,037 per semester (in-state); $3,057 per semester (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits (including transfer credits)
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Program Length: 2-3 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Biola University View School Profile La Mirada, CA

An evangelical Christian university in La Mirada, California, Biola offers a fully online bachelor of science in early childhood. Designed for those interested in providing faith-based education, the program blends instruction in proven teaching methods with Bible classes. 

All students complete 12 credits of integrated biblical studies and education courses and an additional 18 credits of separate theology classes. Students also learn to focus on the family as well as the child, taking classes like psychology of marriage and family. Courses last seven weeks.

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


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $1,849 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 minimum required
  • Standardized Tests: Waived through fall 2021

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Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College View School Profile Saint Mary of the Woods, IN

Located in Indiana, SMWC offers an online bachelor's in education. The program prepares students for dual licensure in both general K-6 education and K-6 special education (mild intervention).

Designed for students located in Indiana or Illinois, the program heavily emphasizes student teaching in the final year. The program places students in diverse local classrooms in both public and private schools. Most courses follow a traditional 16-week pace or an accelerated eight-week option. Students only take two credits of open electives, but they can provide feedback on the type of teaching placement they would like.

SMWC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Education: Kindergarten to Grade 6/Mild Intervention
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $496 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT optional

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of Missouri - Columbia View School Profile Columbia, MO

A public university located in Columbia, Missouri, Mizzou offers an online BS in early childhood education in a mobile society. The program covers a wide variety of topics, including child development, curriculum design, and working with families. However, this program does not include basic teaching certification.

All students take professional development courses in areas such as health and nutrition, diversity, and technology and young children. Students must also complete three practicum placements.

Mizzou is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $388 per credit (in-state); $473 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Sliding scale depending on standardized test scores (2.0 minimum)
  • Standardized Tests: Sliding scale depending on GPA (17 or higher on the ACT 17 or 920 or higher on the SAT)

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The Baptist College of Florida View School Profile Graceville, FL

A Christian university in Graceville, BCF offers an online bachelor of arts in elementary education. The program prepares Christian educators to teach students in kindergarten through sixth grade in public or private classrooms. All students must take 12 credits of biblical foundation courses. The program allows students to choose specific subject matter courses in their own areas of interest, such as geography or Western civilization. Participants also complete internships.

All students must present a recommendation form from their pastor as part of their application packet. BCF 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: $360 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 124 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online
  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of North Carolina - Wilmington View School Profile Wilmington, NC

A public research university in southeast North Carolina, UNCW offers an online bachelor of arts in elementary education. Offered in collaboration with Watson College, Coastal Carolina Community College (CCCC), the county public school system, and nearby military installations, this degree completion program focuses heavily on local students. However, the program does not require on-campus attendance.

If desired, program participants may tutor students at the CCCC education lab or participate in UNCW's international experiences. The program offers various concentrations, such as behavioral studies, English as a second language, and science and health. Applicants should have an associate degree.

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: $150 per credit (in-state); $625 per credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 64 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: Yes
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.7 minimum 
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of Alaska - Southeast View School Profile Juneau, AK

Located in Juneau, UAS offers an online bachelor of arts in elementary education. Designed for Alaska residents, the program includes more than 1,200 hours of hands-on, in-classroom teaching experience. 

Courses cover a variety of subject areas, including local Alaskan culture. Students must take courses in general education fields, such as science and the humanities, but they also choose specific classes that align with their areas of personal interest. Participants complete student teaching and a professional portfolio during their final semester.

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 lower-division credit, $282 per upper-division credit (in-state); $800 per lower-division credit, $848 per upper-division credit (out-of-state)
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: 18 or higher on the ACT or 955 or higher on the SAT (for students with a 2.5-2.99 GPA)

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Regis University View School Profile Denver, CO

A private university in Denver, Colorado, Regis offers a fully online bachelor of arts in elementary education. Designed for working professionals, the flexible program allows participants to keep their job until their final-semester student teaching placement.

The program follows an eight-week course schedule, with start dates available six times throughout the year. Students may follow either an elementary education track or a dual-enrollment track that includes special education. Both tracks lead to initial licensure.

Before beginning student teaching (typically in the last year of the program), students must pass the appropriate Praxis exam. To prepare students for their student teaching experience, the program features field experiences throughout each year.

Regis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education or Dual-Track with Special Education
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $475 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits (elementary education); 132 credits (dual track)
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT optional

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA

An evangelical Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty offers a fully online bachelor of science in early childhood education. This non-licensure program prepares students for home daycare or non-licensed classroom roles. It can also ready graduates to move into a licensure preparation program.

Courses cover a wide variety of early childhood topics, from health and wellness to different learning styles. Participants also discover the important role that families play in early childhood education, as well as how to develop a classroom style that mirrors their personal philosophy. All students receive electronic textbooks for their entire program at no extra cost.

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


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (Non-Licensure)
  • 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: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

North Greenville University View School Profile Tigerville, SC

A Baptist university located in Tigerville, South Carolina, NGU offers an online or blended bachelor's degree in elementary educational studies. Deeply rooted in the Christian faith, the program requires all students to take core courses in biblical studies, as well as such general education topics like mathematics and history. Online students must be at least 22 years old to enroll in this program.

Students choosing the blended program can meet once per week with professors and peers in a face-to-face session. Participants also work on a personal website throughout the program, graduating with a fully finished site filled with clips and sample projects.

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


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Adult and Online Elementary Education Degree
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $440 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online or blended

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.8 or higher recommended
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact the School

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Prescott College View School Profile Prescott, AZ

A private college in central Arizona, Prescott College offers a fully online bachelor's in education. Students create their own areas of emphasis, weaving together courses drawn from fields like psychology, the arts, and cultural studies to supplement their core educational coursework. The program also offers emphasis areas in social justice education and environmental education.

Core competencies include a broad variety of educational topics, such as learning differences, assessments, and ethical practice. All students must complete a research paper and an in-depth senior project.

Prescott College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Education
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $617 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Wilmington University View School Profile New Castle, DE

A private university in New Castle, Delaware, WilmU offers a non-licensure online bachelor of science in education studies. Designed to prepare students for a variety of non-licensed classroom positions, the program offers four concentrations: early childhood education, elementary education, middle-level education (with a focus on English, math, social studies, or science), and skilled and technical sciences.

Regardless of their concentration, all participants take core competency courses that cover topics like learning theory, child development, and educational psychology, as well as hands-on practical classroom skills.

WilmU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Education Studies
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $381 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120-122 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT optional 

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

South Dakota State University View School Profile Brookings, SD

Located in Brookings, SDSU offers an online bachelor of science in early education and care. A collaboration between seven universities, the program prepares students to work with young children whose families are highly mobile. Many graduates work in community-based programs or those located on military installations. The program does not lead to licensure or certification.

Students study a wide variety of topics, including working with families, developmental differences, and curriculum development. All students must complete practicum placements and a 15-week capstone experience.

SDSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Early Education and Care
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $351 per credit
  • Credit Requirements: 120 credits
  • Degree Completion Program: No
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Format: Online

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.6 minimum (if alternate requirements such as test scores or class rank are not met)
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT (if GPA or class rank requirements are not met)

Contact the School

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What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Education Program?

A bachelor's degree typically requires four years of study and about 120 credits. You should check with your state's department of education to verify that the degree meets their teacher preparation program requirements. Also, make sure your chosen program holds both regional accreditation and programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Schools may offer a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science in education (BS). A BA degree provides a greater focus on liberal arts, while a BS degree focuses on science. So long as the degree meets your state's requirements, you can choose the degree that best suits your interests.

A bachelor's degree in education offers many opportunities for concentration. You can focus on teaching a specific subject, age group, or student population. Below are a few common options:

While you may complete most of your online bachelor's in education program remotely, you must complete classroom observations, a practicum, and student-teaching experience. Many schools help coordinate these experiences with your local school system.

Because students in a bachelor's in education program often go on to work in classrooms, they must often undergo a background check. Some states also require passing the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exams. Schools may also require passing this exam as part of their program.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Education Program?

Educational Data and Assessment
Teachers need skills in data analysis to help identify student strengths and weaknesses. Through pre-assessments and annual standardized exams, teachers gather data that helps them understand which skills students struggle with. They then use that data to design appropriate interventions to help their students succeed.
Integrating Instructional Technology in the Classroom
Teachers use a variety of tools in their classrooms each day, including new technology. This course helps students learn how to use technology to spark student interest and engagement. Strategies include using online quizzes or games, incorporating multimedia presentations, and developing a virtual lesson plan.
Teaching Reading in the Content Area
Reading forms the foundation of many content areas, including science, social studies, and even math. This course helps teachers select relevant materials suitable for the age and skill of their students, with a focus on developing reading comprehension.
Materials and Methods of Teaching English
Teachers spend a lot of time developing lesson plans and activities that focus on specific academic standards. This course helps English teachers select appropriate learning materials, such as supplemental reading or activity sheets, and design accompanying lectures or class activities.
Differentiation for Learning
Teachers often stand before a class of 30 or more students. While some may learn through listening or reading, educational research has identified seven primary learning styles. Teachers must incorporate instructional methods that help all students learn based on their learning style and skill level.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Education Degree?

Most students who earn a bachelor's in education enter the teaching field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 5% job growth from 2019 to 2029 in education, training, and library occupations, which pay a median annual salary of $52,380.

Student enrollment continues to increase at schools across the country, driving the need for more teachers. However, many public schools must balance this increase in enrollment with budget restrictions.

Many teachers continue their education with a master's degree, which offers the chance to move into administrative positions or work as a curriculum specialist. Others may find their education degree prepares them for jobs with curriculum publishers, educational technology companies, and company training and employee development positions.

See where a bachelor's in education can take you. Learn more about education careers.

Early Childhood Teacher
These teachers specialize in teaching children from birth to kindergarten. They typically work in private childcare centers or private schools. Licensure requirements for preschool teachers vary by state. These teachers use various instructional methods, including one-on-one instruction and productive play, to teach students basic skills, such as identifying numbers, colors, shapes, and letters.
Special Education Teacher
Special education teachers help students with identified learning, mental, emotional, or physical disabilities. They typically work in public schools with a team of teachers, guidance counselors, and psychologists to develop individual education plans that meet each student's unique needs. They stay in close communication with parents or guardians regarding student progress or additional needs.
High School Teacher
These teachers work with students in grades 9-12. High school teachers often specialize in a specific subject and plan lessons to prepare students for graduation and postsecondary education. High school teachers supervise students in and out of the classroom, grade assignments, and communicate student progress to parents or guardians.
Adult Education Teacher
These teachers work with adult learners on basic skills, such as reading, writing, and math. Students often work toward earning a high school equivalency diploma or improving specific skills as part of job search training. Adult education teachers assess each student's skills and learning gaps to develop an individual instructional plan to help them succeed.
Elementary Teacher
These teachers instruct students from kindergarten through sixth grade. They work in public or private schools and may teach all subjects or specialize in reading, math, or science. Teachers develop lesson plans, observe students, grade assignments, and communicate with parents or guardians.

Education Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Education Programs

Is a bachelor's in education worth it? true

Many teachers consider education a worthwhile career pursuit. They can share their love of a subject with the next generation and inspire a joy of learning. Education remains an in-demand career. The BLS projects 5% job growth in education, training, and library occupations from 2019-2029. Approximately two-thirds of school systems in a 2021 survey said they had trouble filling open teaching positions.

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

A bachelor's in education can prepare you to become a licensed teacher. The requirements for teachers vary by state, so check with your state's department of education to ensure your program meets their standards. You can specialize within the education field to teach elementary or high school students, focus on a specific subject, or work with students with special needs.

Are education majors in high demand? true

The BLS projects 4% job growth for kindergarten and elementary school teachers and high school teachers between 2019 and 2029. In addition, many current teachers are nearing retirement age. In 2018, about 16.5% of all teachers were 55 years old or older. Schools must recruit teachers to fill new positions resulting from increased enrollment and replace teachers who retire.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in education?

The BLS reports that kindergarten and elementary teachers earn a median annual salary of $60,660, while high school teachers earn a median annual salary of $62,870. Salary expectations can vary by location, education, and experience. California, for example, reported the highest average annual salary for elementary teachers at $85,110. Mississippi reported the lowest average average salary at $43,280.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in education?

The highest-paying job for graduates with a bachelor's in education is likely high school teacher. These professionals earn a median annual wage of $62,870.

We've ranked the top online master's in higher education programs. Compare schools and figure out where you can earn your master's in higher education online. We've ranked the most affordable online bachelor's in education programs. Compare schools and decide where to earn your bachelor's in education online. We've ranked the best online master's in education programs. Learn how you can advance your career by earning a master's in education online.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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