2023 Best Online Elementary Education Degrees
An online bachelor’s degree in elementary education is designed for aspiring teachers who want to positively impact their students’ futures. Elementary education degree programs focus on the skills needed to teach kindergarten through eighth grade, including lesson planning and classroom management. Typically, an online bachelor’s in elementary education, or early childhood education, will include courses like Learning Theory, Educational Psychology, and Curriculum and Instruction. In addition, prospective students can expect to complete an internship, capstone course, and several hours of supervised student teaching in the classroom.
Graduates of an online bachelor’s in elementary education may obtain further education by getting an online master's in elementary education. Others may decide to directly pursue careers in education, like elementary teachers, education consultants, and education administrators.
Online Elementary Education Bachelor's Degrees You May Be Interested In
2023 Best Online Elementary Education Degrees
|Rank||School||Salary Score||Median Starting Salary|
|# 1||Wilmington University||$41,661|
|# 2||St. Petersburg College||86||$41,290|
|# 3||Southern Utah University||80||$40,144|
|# 4||National University||77||$39,572|
|# 5||Northern Arizona University||72||$38,858|
|# 6||Saint Leo University Online||70||$38,620|
|# 7||Drexel University||70||$38,545|
|# 8||Indian River State College||66||$38,030|
|# 9||Kansas State University||65||$37,947|
|# 10||University of Louisiana - Monroe||61||$37,373|
2023 Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's Degrees
#1 Wilmington University
Wilmington University (WilmU) is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Education Studies - Elementary Education K-6 (Non-Licensure). Totaling 120 credit hours, the degree can take four years to complete at a full-time pace. WilmU’s acceptance rate is 100%, and it has a 45% graduation rate.
WilmU facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning via Canvas. This program’s curriculum is designed for students seeking educator roles that don’t require a license. Sample courses are E-Folio, Assistive Technology, and Creating Environments for Learning. Prospective careers for graduates include child care center administrators, curriculum developers, and camp directors.
#2 St. Petersburg College
St. Petersburg College (SP College) is a public institution that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, which requires 120 credit hours. Full-time students can expect to complete the program within four years. The college accepts 100% of applicants, with 33% of students graduating.
At SP College, online students complete coursework asynchronously via the learning management system (LMS) D2L Brightspace. This online bachelor’s in elementary education gives students the skills and knowledge to become licensed or non-licensed elementary teachers. Some of the courses are Learning Theory and Student Development, Curriculum and Instruction, and Classroom Management and Communication K-12. Students are required to complete internships, a capstone course, and 220 school-based hours. Potential career opportunities for graduates include instructional coordinators, health educators, and teacher assistants.
#3 Southern Utah University
At Southern Utah University (SUU), a public institution, prospective students can pursue an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Totaling 120-123 credit hours, the degree program can take four years to complete on a full-time basis. SUU’s acceptance rate is 76%, and it has a graduation rate of 53%.
SUU students complete their online coursework asynchronously and synchronously through the popular LMS Canvas. The program’s curriculum provides students with the foundational knowledge and skills to become successful teachers. Sample courses are Educational Psychology, Human Development through the Lifespan, and Educating Exceptional Students. Students must complete a teaching practicum to graduate. Alumni often become elementary teachers, community education officers, and education administrators.
#4 National University
National University (NU) is a private, nonprofit institution that offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development with an Inspired Teaching and Learning Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential (California) requiring 180 quarter units (or 120 credit hours). Full-time students can expect to spend four years completing this program. NU’s acceptance rate is 89%, and 34% of students graduate.
NU facilitates asynchronous and synchronous remote learning through Blackboard. This online program gives students the strategies and techniques to provide an elementary education curriculum. Sample courses include Diversity: Development and Education, Ethical and Legal Issues, and Play as Pedagogy. Students must complete 45 quarter units on NU’s campus. The program’s graduates may pursue careers as career advisors, librarians, and homeschool consultants.
#5 Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Education - Elementary Education - Learning and Pedagogy, which requires 120 credit hours. It can take four years for full-time students to complete this program. The university accepts 82% of applicants, with 59% of students graduating.
NAU facilitates asynchronous and synchronous virtual learning on the Blackboard LMS. An online bachelor’s in elementary education covers the techniques, skills, and knowledge required to be successful in the education field. The program’s courses are Elementary School Curriculum - Learning and Pedagogy, Educational Psychology for Educators, and Assessment and Eligibility of Exceptional Children. It's also required that students complete an independent study and student teaching experience. Potential careers for graduates are instructional designers, elementary teachers, and after-school program directors.
Overview of Online Elementary Education
While an online associate degree is not enough to work as a teacher, there are associate degree programs designed specifically to ease the transition to a four-year bachelor's program in elementary education.
Bachelor's programs in elementary education can be found online, and this is the minimum level of education that must be completed in order to work as an elementary school teacher.
There are also master's programs online, and there are programs available for those who don't have a teaching background and who want to switch careers, or those who work in education but want to earn an advanced degree.
An online doctoral program may be an appropriate choice for someone who is interested in working at the university level as a professor or in research, or in top leadership or administration positions within the field of education.
Lastly, there are various online certificates available for current teachers and aspiring teachers alike. Certificates can be earned by those who have a bachelor's in a subject not related to education or teaching, but who want to go into teaching without committing to a master's program. Licensed educators may earn additional endorsement certificates online in order to add to their skill sets. For example, a licensed elementary school teacher may choose to earn a certificate in teaching math at the elementary school level.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Elementary Education
Those seeking a flexible way to earn their bachelor's in elementary education may be interested in pursuing their degree online.
This type of program can be found at colleges and universities and typically takes four years and 120 credits to complete. Some programs may have an option to complete a fifth year in order to also earn a Master's in Teaching and licensure. Admission to one of these programs will require a high school diploma or GED, and may also require such application materials as an admissions essay or statement of purpose and SAT or ACT test scores. The cost of tuition will depend on the program attended, but will likely be at least $12,000 a year.
Students will learn about teaching methods, lesson planning, and classroom management, as well as how to cater to a variety of students who may have unique needs, such as ESL students or students with a disability. Student teaching will also likely be required. Some programs might have teaching certification preparation built into the program, while others will not.
Upon graduating with a bachelor's in elementary education individuals will be qualified to find work in public schools at the elementary level—if their program included a licensure component—or to seek out the necessary additional requirements for licensure based on their state. They can also sometimes find work in private schools without certification. Graduates will also be prepared to move on to master's-level programs in the field of education.
When choosing a degree program, an important thing to keep in mind is accreditation. There are three main types of accreditation: national, regional, and programmatic. National and regional accreditation have to do with accrediting the school as a whole and making sure that the school meets certain standards of quality. National accreditation focuses mostly on vocational or trade schools while regional accreditation deals with degree-granting schools. Accreditation is important for many reasons, including ease of transferring credits, access to federal financial aid, and an assurance that future employers will see the degree as valid.
Programmatic accreditation is when an organization that specializes in a certain subject area accredits programs within that subject. For instance, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the current main accrediting body for education programs. CAEP was formed when The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) merged with the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). Students looking to get a degree in teaching or education should make sure that they are enrolling in a program that has received programmatic accreditation. Either way students enrolled in a program accredited by one of these agencies can be sure that they are receiving a quality education that will prepare them well for their future career.
In order to work as an elementary school teacher within the public school system, an individual will need to become certified. The requirements to earn a teaching certificate will differ from state to state, so aspiring teachers should check on the requirements for the state that they want to teach in. Some typical requirements include earning a bachelor's degree, completing student teaching, and passing a certification examination. Continuing education may be required to keep certification up-to-date, and some states want teachers to earn a master's degree after they have earned their certification. There are also programs in every state that allow those who have a bachelor's degree in a non-teaching related subject to go through extra training in order to become a certified teacher. This type of certification is known as an “alternative route.”
- CAEP. Accessed March 1, 2018. http://caepnet.org/.
- Additional Endorsement – Elementary Mathematics. Baker College. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://www.baker.edu/programs-degrees/education/additional-endorsement-elementary-mathematics/.
- Associate of Arts in Elementary Education. Northland Pioneer College. Accessed March 1, 2018. http://www.npc.edu/associate-arts-elementary-education.
- Bachelor of Science Elementary Education Interdisciplinary Studies. Liberty University Online. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://www.liberty.edu/online/bachelors/elementary-education/.
- Bachelor Of Science In Elementary Education - Initial Teacher Licensure. Grand Canyon University. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://www.gcu.edu/degree-programs/bachelor-science-elementary-education.
- Certificate in Transition to Teaching in Elementary Education. American College of Education. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://www.ace.edu/academics/graduate-education-certificates/certificate-in-transition-to-teaching-in-elementary-education.
- Current Tuition and Fees. Front Range Community College. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://www.frontrange.edu/paying-for-college/tuition-and-fees/current-tuition-rates.
- Doctor of Education - in Curriculum & Instruction- Elementary Education. Liberty University Online. Accessed March 1, 2018. http://www.liberty.edu/online/degrees/doctor-of-education-in-curriculum-instruction-elementary-education/.
- Doctor of Education Curriculum. Liberty University Online. Accessed March 1, 2018. http://www.liberty.edu/media/1270/DECI-EDD-D.pdf.
- Doctor of Philosophy in Education - K-12 Studies. Capella University. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://www.capella.edu/online-degrees/phd-k-12-studies/.
- Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education. Western Governors University. Accessed March 1, 2018. http://www.wgu.edu/education/teacher_certification_elementary_master_degree.
- Master of Arts in Teaching – Elementary Education. Liberty University Online. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://www.liberty.edu/online/masters/teaching/elementary-education/.
- Master of Education Degree with a Specialization in Elementary Education. American Intercontinental University. Accessed March 1, 2018. http://www.aiuniv.edu/degrees/education/masters-elementary-education.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook - Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers. Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States of America. Accessed March 1, 2018. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-4.
- PhD in Education, K-12 Studies in Education Specialization - Gainful Employment. Capella University. Accessed March 1, 2018. http://capellaresults.com/assets/includes/gainfulemployment/cta/GE/GE15/doctoral/PhD_Ed_K-12_gedt.html.
- Post-Bachelor's Teaching Certificate - Grade PreK - 4 Education. Drexel University Online. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://online.drexel.edu/online-degrees/education-degrees/cert-pbt/index.aspx.
- Reading Literacy, Assessment and Evaluation: PhD in Education. Walden University. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://www.waldenu.edu/doctoral/phd-in-education/curriculum/reading-literacy-assessment-and-evaluation.
Why Trust Us?
27 Data Researchers
60,000 Degrees Researched Annually
20,000 Hours Spent on Research Annually
Launching Rankings Since 2009