In this ranking, we examine the top values for online teaching degree programs.
Programs in education are one of the most common options that schools offer through online learning. Most of these online teaching degree programs consist of 100% online classes along with a select number of face-to-face practicum requirements. One of the convenient aspects of such a structure is that you can acquire all of the theoretical information you need in a virtual format without sacrificing important hands-on experience. Because of the regulations governing the licensure process, most distance education programs can only guarantee your eligibility for certification in select states. As you read through this list of best values in online teaching degree programs, keep in mind where they are located and double-check that they can give you the career support you need.
Reviewing Each of the Top Online Teaching Degree Programs
20. Fort Hays State University
Online Education Degrees
The Virtual College at Fort Hays State University offers a top teaching program online – actually, it has some of the best online teaching programs simply because of how many it offers! Three distinct education programs are available: Early Childhood, Elementary Education, and Elementary with a Minor in Special Education. Each of these options features a similar balance of general and major-specific courses in its curriculum, including 14-credit-hours of student teaching. In case these options don’t appeal to you, FHSU also houses three accredited online teaching programs in business. You can study Training and Development, Corporate Communication, or even earn your business teaching certification!
Net Price: $11,698/yr
19. University of Cincinnati
Online BS in Elementary Education and Child Development
The Elementary/Early Childhood Education program at UC is one of the top three in the nation, according to USA Today. Why? The flexibility it offers is perhaps the biggest appeal of this accredited teaching degree online, giving professionals and parents the time and space they need to study without shirking other responsibilities. And of course the University of Cincinnati also makes it onto our online teaching programs ranking. Besides its affordability and commitment to student success, UC also excels for the “guiding principles” of its education program. Above all, the university seeks to produce future teachers who are confident, knowledgeable about technology, and eager to improve classroom experiences for young children.
Net Price: $19,739/yr
18. University of Northern Colorado
Online Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Arts: Teacher Education Emphasis (Birth-Grade 3) + Licensure
While many of these online teaching programs can seem pretty similar, there are a few that truly offer something different. The University of Northern Colorado is one of those schools! Students in the Early Childhood Education program take just one course at a time, allowing them to focus all of their energy on a single subject before moving onto the next. And when it comes to field experiences, how would you like to get paid for the time you spend in the classroom? At UNC, you can, thanks to an “apprenticeship model” that allows you to start earning money long before you graduate.
Net Price: $12,978/yr
17. University of Wisconsin Superior
Online Degree-Elementary Education
The University of Wisconsin at Superior has a simple mission: to help students earn an education that is both convenient and rewarding. Why sacrifice personal satisfaction just because you are taking classes online? Indeed, the majority of the affordable teaching degree online courses within this Elementary Education program are available through UW’s Distance Learning Center. However, you will need to complete all of your student teaching requirements in person at an approved site within Wisconsin or neighboring parts of Minnesota. Thus, the program is targeted to students who live locally and simply don’t have the flexibility to make the daily commute to campus.
Net Price: $10,748/yr
16. Asbury University
Online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
There are too many positive features to list about Asbury University’s education program to include them all in one short paragraph! At its core, this teaching degree online aims to help each student to “think like a teacher.” The School of Education meets this goal through coursework that emphasizes both integrity and passion while modeling the most contemporary, 21st century teaching practices. Asbury also distinguishes itself through a “Clinical-Based Model” that constantly seeks to expose students to actual classrooms. By the time you graduate, you’ll already have completed more than 200 hours of field experiences!
Net Price: $20,399/yr
15. University of Southern Mississippi
Online Elementary Education-B.S.
As the flagship public school in the state and a growing leader in online education, the University of Southern Mississippi is a great choice for anyone in need of a distance ed. learning option. One of the programs available at USM is the Elementary Education online teaching degree. This course of study offers certification for grades K-6, a reading endorsement, and a second endorsement in a specific subject. You can choose from subject credentials in English, Math, Science, Social Studies, or Foreign Language. This online program is also NCATE-accredited, so you can be sure you are getting a high quality education that meets national teaching standards.
Net Price: $12,171/yr
14. University of Louisiana at Monroe
Online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
The University of Louisiana at Monroe has plenty to brag about in its accredited teaching degree online. With approval from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), there’s no doubt that ULM’s teaching curriculum is up to the standard – if not above it! As an additional perk, the tuition at ULM is notably inexpensive. “Affordable Colleges Online” even gave the university a “Best Education and Teaching Degrees” ranking for 2014-15. In addition to a “carefully planned” curriculum that emphasizes both general teaching methods and specific subject knowledge, you’ll also benefit from multiple student teaching experiences to improve your comfort in the classroom.
Net Price: $8,287/yr
13. Bay Path University
Online BA in Education Studies
If you’re looking to become a certified teacher, Bay Path University is probably not the college for you. But if you have an interest in education that deviates from this traditional path, BPU could be exactly what you need! The online degree in education studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to the field, offering instruction in areas that frequently intersect with the study of psychology, social work, and society. The “progressive” curriculum will give you the tools to think beyond contemporary teaching, instead focusing on the ideas and theories that could make it better. Graduates are well positioned to work in early childhood centers, after school programs, or private schools, or to pursue a master’s degree and ultimately obtain teacher licensure.
Net Price: $18,995/yr
12. Arkansas Tech University
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education
This very affordable online teaching degree is available through a partnership with two community colleges. While taking classes at one of these regional sites, you can get the other 50% of college credits you need online from ATU. The goal of the program is to train students to work with children from PreK through fourth grade. You will learn about topics that range from how to plan class activities to how to ensure that your young students develop the right skills. ATU will also give you vital training in how to speak with parents and work well with colleagues in the school system.
Net Price: $9,630/yr
11. University of Nebraska at Kearney
Online Bachelor of Arts in Education: Early Childhood Inclusive (ECI)
This B.A. in Education features a great blended program that combines the best aspects of online and on-campus learning. Although a mid-ranked school on our teaching degree online ranking, the University of Nebraska at Kearney is anything but average. The Early Childhood Inclusive degree completion program caters to nontraditional students who want to work with young learners of ages eight and below. Within this range, you have the option to specialize in “Birth to Kindergarten” or “Age 3 to Grade 3.” As with all the best teaching degrees online, UNK combines distance ed. coursework with occasional “supervised school-based experiences” and required student teaching practicums.
Net Price: $14,553/yr
10. Fresno Pacific University
Online Degree Completion Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Arts
It is pretty clear why Fresno Pacific University has one of the best online teaching degree programs out there. Its NCATE-accredited online teaching degree in Early Childhood Education meets all of the standards set forth by both the California State Department of Education and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The program is also distinctly flexible. You can take courses online or in a blended format. And if you choose the latter, FPU will let you take courses at multiple regional sites – such as those in Merced and North Fresno – in order to shorten your commute. Fresno Pacific also uses a “cohort system,” which places adult students in small groups of 12-24 peers, in order to maximize your chances to interact with classmates.
Net Price: $16,325/yr
9. North Carolina Central University
Online Degree Completion BS in Early Childhood Education
Interestingly, the B.S. in Early Childhood Education at NCCU is offered not through the School of Education, but through the Department of Human Sciences instead. Marketed as a “Family and Consumer Sciences” degree, the Birth-Kindergarten Teacher Education program primarily emphasizes familial relationships and early stage development. This holistic approach to learning helps North Carolina Central stand out on this teaching degree online ranking. Both distance and face-to-face courses are available as you take classes like Guiding Behavior in Young Children, Reading and Research in Early Childhood, and Family and Social Systems. Graduates of NCCU often become teachers, but some also find work in daycare centers or early intervention programs.
Net Price: $9,701/yr
8. Florida International University
Online BS in Early Childhood Education
The B.S. in Early Childhood Education at Florida International University “addresses the development of the whole child,” making it one of the best online teaching degree programs available. However, note that although you will learn plenty about general theory and important practices in early childhood education, this program does not offer teacher certification. The curriculum focuses on children from birth to five years old and emphasizes topics like cultural diversity and education for special needs students. FIU’s online modules make this experience convenient and easy; with 24/7 access to the school’s technology, you can get quick feedback from professors, interact with your classmates, and even get advice from a “personal success coach.”
Net Price: $11,552/yr
7. Winston-Salem State University
Online Birth to Kindergarten Education Degree
Similar to programs in Early Childhood Education, the BKE program at Winston-Salem State University focuses on teaching for students aged zero to eight years old. 99% of the courses for the BKE degree are available online, including a concentration option in Early Intervention and Preschool. Students who complete this online teaching degree take 120-credit-hours of coursework and earn their initial licensure, qualifying them to teach in North Carolina public schools. Some graduates opt instead to earn an advanced degree, and WSSU’s quality training enables them to pursue higher education in areas like Child and Family Studies and Social Work.
Net Price: $7,737/yr
6. Western Carolina University
Online Birth-Kindergarten (BK) Program
If you are interested in working with young students who are just getting exposure to the classroom, you might like Western Carolina University’s BK program. So named because it focuses on learning from birth to kindergarten, this affordable teaching degree online provides “the skills to meet children’s social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs” in various learning environments. Students have the option to concentrate in either Professional Education or Early Childhood. You must also complete an internship with an approved group (these include public pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms and the HeadStart program), so the degree is best suited to students who live in state and have some commuting flexibility.
Net Price: $12,916/yr
5. The Baptist College of Florida
Online Elementary Education Major
If you choose the Baptist College of Florida for your affordable teaching degree online, be prepared for an experience that is quite similar to traditional learning. BCF’s distance ed. courses are not self-paced, nor is it solely based on electronic correspondence. Rather, you’ll be expected to log on regularly to participate in discussions, take scheduled exams, and complete weekly assignments. This structured approach to learning will help you secure a solid foundation in education topics and prepare you to be a successful teacher in the state of Florida. Note that as a religious school, BCF also requires you to complete 18 credit hours in “Biblical Foundations.”
Net Price: $14,712/yr
4. University of North Carolina Greensboro
Online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education
Much like NCCU, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has a teaching degree online that is housed within the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Both the BK and Early Care programs are “2Plus,” meaning they are degree completion tracks that require applicants to first earn an associate’s degree from a “participating North Carolina community college.” Specifically, UNCG asks that you secure a two-year diploma in Early Childhood Education before transferring into this online program. Also, keep in mind that only the Birth through Kindergarten option qualifies you for teacher licensure; if you opt for the Early Care and Education track you will be better suited for jobs in private classrooms and children’s centers.
Net Price: $6,812/yr
3. University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
Online Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has high standards for its teachers, so you’ll need to acquire an equally high quality education if you dream of working as a Wisconsin educator. Through the accredited teaching degree online at UW Stevens Point, you can get all the instruction you need – and then some! The B.A. in Elementary Education includes licensure options for grades K-6 or 1-8, depending on your career interests. UW also requires students to select a subject minor in order to graduate and earn full licensure. You can choose from concentrations in Social Studies, Geography, Arts/Reading, Health, Library Science, Early Childhood, or Special Education.
Net Price: $11,561/yr
2. University of North Carolina Wilmington
Online Teaching Degree: Elementary Education
There are many education programs available at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, but only one teaching degree online. The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education offers licensure for grades K-6. “Extension students” take the exact same courses as traditional learners, including Reading Lab, Integrating the Arts, and Number and Algebraic Reasoning. And despite being a distance program, this affordable online teaching degree is extremely “hands on” when it comes to career preparation. You will complete three different field experiences, each of which require 40 hours of classroom work, plus a 14-credit-hour internship that consists of multiple seminars and a K-6 practicum.
Net Price: $14,418/yr
1. Hobe Sound Bible College
Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Education
Hobe Sound Bible College is a Christian school with a lot of degrees in religious subjects. For example, you can major in Ministerial Studies or General Christian Studies. However, Hobe also offers some online programs for future teachers through its many online teaching degrees. The college aims to prepare students for work in Christian day schools around the country as well as for teaching positions within churches. Options include Elementary Education and Secondary Education, and there are subject specialties available in Physical Science, Social Science, Biology, and English. Teaching majors also must complete practicums as classroom assistants as well as seven hours of field education in Christian Service.
Net Price: $4,607/yr
This concludes our ranking of the top 10 values for online teaching degree programs.
See our methodology page for more information about how we calculated this ranking.
Published January 2016