Accredited Online Teacher Licensure Programs

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 3/25/2021
Quick Facts
Accreditation: CAEP, MACTE, NCATE, TEAC
Average Tuition: $25,140
Average Salary: $62,071

Online teaching degrees, including those that lead to licensure, are available in all fifty states and are offered by a wide variety of colleges. We highlight online schools offering teaching degrees with licensure below. We also rank the best online master's in teaching programs based on annual tuition and alumni salaries. Earning a teaching degree can be a first step toward a career in education; in all US states, public school teachers must have at least a bachelor's degree, as well as a valid teaching license.

Many states require teachers to have a degree that has been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

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Online Teaching Licensure Programs

Much like lawyers and medical practitioners, aspiring teachers must acquire a professional license to be able to practice in a given area. The following schools offer state-recognized online degrees that qualify students to apply for licensure. While most online schools on this list prepare students for licensure exams in the state in which the campus is located, Western Governors University helps students prepare for licensure in any of the 50 states. Read more about licensing requirements below.

Filter List:
School Annual Tuition Licensure State
# American University $48,459 District of Columbia
# Arkansas State University $15,297 Arkansas
# Biola University $40,488 California
# Boise State University $23,776 Idaho
# Bowling Green State University-Main Campus $19,093 Ohio
# California Baptist University $33,478 California
# California University of Pennsylvania $15,726 Pennsylvania
# Campbellsville University $25,400 Kentucky
# City University of Seattle $16,973 Washington
# Colorado Christian University $31,866 Colorado
# Colorado State University Global $8,400 Colorado
# Columbus State University $16,920 Georgia
# Concordia University - Wisconsin $29,450 Wisconsin
# Delta State University $7,246 Mississippi
# Drexel University $53,244 Pennsylvania
# East Carolina University $23,465 North Carolina
# Eastern Kentucky University $19,444 Kentucky
# Eastern Michigan University $12,508 Michigan
# Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus $8,247 New Mexico
# Georgia College & State University $28,060 Georgia
# Georgia State University $23,971 Georgia
# Grand Canyon University $17,050 Arizona
# Huntington University $26,158 Indiana
# Indiana State University $19,836 Indiana
# Indiana Wesleyan University Online $9,816 Indiana and Ohio
# Jackson State University $19,279 Mississippi
# Johns Hopkins University $53,740 Maryland
# Lesley University $27,975 Massachusetts
# LeTourneau University $30,210 Texas
# Liberty University $11,700 Virginia
# Marian University - Wisconsin $27,400 Wisconsin
# Mercer University $36,894 Georgia
# Minnesota State University at Mankato $16,235 Minnesota
# Mississippi State University $23,250 Mississippi
# Morehead State University $13,546 Kentucky
# New Mexico State University $21,770 New Mexico
# New York University $51,828 New York
# North Carolina A&T State University $19,822 North Carolina
# North Carolina State University $28,444 North Carolina
# Northern Illinois University $14,617 Illinois
# Northern Michigan University $16,225 Michigan
# Northwestern State University of Louisiana $18,710 Louisiana
# Nova Southeastern University $30,900 Florida and Nevada
# Old Dominion University $29,460 Virginia
# Portland State University $27,437 Oregon
# Regis University $36,810 Colorado
# Saint Joseph's University $44,974 Pennsylvania
# Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College $29,960 Indiana
# Saint Xavier University $33,880 Illinois
# Southern Arkansas University $12,866 Arkansas
# Southwestern Assemblies of God University $19,582 Texas
# St. John's University $41,760 New York
# Stephen F. Austin State University $18,276 Texas
# Tennessee Tech University $24,595 Tennessee
# Texas A&M University-College Station $37,495 Texas
# University of Central Florida $22,467 Florida
# University of Central Missouri $14,442 Missouri
# University of Colorado Denver $25,771 Colorado
# University of Dayton $42,900 Ohio
# University of Florida $28,659 Florida
# University of Houston $21,273 Texas
# University of Louisiana-Monroe $20,654 Alabama (and 41 others)
# University of Maryland Global Campus $12,336 Maryland
# University of Memphis $21,029 Tennessee
# University of Minnesota Online $20,946 Minnesota
# University of Nebraska at Kearney $13,742 Nebraska
# University of North Carolina at Charlotte $20,287 North Carolina
# University of North Carolina at Wilmington $21,156 North Carolina
# University of North Texas $20,812 Texas
# University of Northern Colorado $21,786 Colorado
# University of Phoenix $9,552 Arizona
# University of Southern California $56,225 California
# University of Southern Mississippi $10,624 Mississippi
# The University of Tennessee - Martin $15,552 Tennessee
# The University of Texas at Tyler $21,282 Texas
# University of the Cumberlands $23,000 Kentucky
# The University of West Florida $19,241 Florida
# Upper Iowa University $30,450 Iowa
# Valdosta State University $17,196 Georgia
# Walden University Not Provided Minnesota
# West Texas A&M University $9,304 Texas
# Western Carolina University $7,926 North Carolina
# Western Governors University $6,670 All
# Western Kentucky University $26,280 Kentucky
# Western Michigan University $15,373 Michigan
# Wheeling University $29,290 West Virginia

Licensing and Certification Requirements for Teachers

Professional licensure requirements for teachers may vary per state, however most will require that you complete a Teaching Preparation Program (TPP) before applying for a license. There are three basic kinds of licensure available; temporary, initial, and professional.

A temporary teaching license is valid for a short period of time and cannot be renewed, while an initial license is valid for period of five years and may be renewed a limited number of times. A professional license is valid for five years and is renewable every five years thereafter. To acquire a professional license, it is commonly required that you first possess an initial license for more than three years. 

On top of having a teaching license, aspiring teachers may also have to get teaching endorsements. While a license refers to your authorization to teach in a given area, an endorsement refers to the area or subject you will be teaching (special education, elementary math, secondary English, etc.). Having a teaching endorsement assures the school you are applying to teach in that you are equipped with up-to-date knowledge and the right skills set to teach a specific subject. 

A bachelor's degree is typically required for you to be able to apply for licensure. While most colleges and universities from across the country offer online teaching degrees, only accredited programs lead to licensure. If you wish to pursue a career in education but cannot acquire a bachelor's degree, you can opt for an online associates degree that leads to a fulfilling career as a teaching assistant or childcare specialist. 

Many states require a final exam before candidates can earn their teaching licenses. This may be the Praxis II test, or an exam developed by your state. The certification board may also require a criminal background check and drug test. Visit Teach.org and the National Education Association to learn more about specific state requirements for becoming a teacher.

Students looking for online teaching degrees that will enable them to apply for licensure should look at our list of colleges and universities offering teacher licensure preparation programs. Each school on this list offers at least one online teaching degree that can lead to licensure. These programs generally lead to licensure in one specific state so prospective students should pay close attention to the licensure state when deciding which program to attend.

The Importance of Choosing an Accredited Online Teaching Program

In order to have the best opportunities for success in the teaching profession, it's in a student's best interest to attend a degree program that has been carefully evaluated and vetted by an accreditation agency. To ensure that educators have received an adequate education themselves, most states require teaching license applicants to have an accredited bachelor's or master's degree. Most teaching degree programs are regionally accredited by one of six accrediting boards. Students can check the accreditation status of any school by visiting the national US Department of Education website.

There is also a national accrediting board that specifically evaluates and advocates for teacher training programs called the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP is a consolidation of two previous teaching program accreditation agencies, the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Check out your state's teacher licensing board to make sure that any degree program you are considering meets their requirements.

Can You Get A Teaching Degree Online?

It is possible to become a teacher entirely online, including fulfilling student teaching requirements. The road to becoming a certified elementary, middle school or high school teacher, begins with deciding on what grade level you would like to teach as this will inform which certifications you will need. A bachelor's degree is a requirement for anyone who wants to teach, and individuals planning for a career teaching in public schools must also complete the teacher licensure requirements specified by the state where they plan to work.

Generally speaking, teacher education requirements include coursework in education philosophy and methods, developmental psychology and a semester of supervised student teaching. Many teachers begin their journey by earning a bachelor's in education, but there are many online teacher certification programs that prepare individuals with a bachelor's degree in another field to meet state teacher licensure requirements. A master's in education will prepare you even more for licensure and should be considered as a viable option.

As you research the various types of teacher education programs, it's important to remember that teacher education requirements vary from state to state. The ideal program for you should prepare you to meet all of the teacher education requirements for your state, regardless of degree level.

Teacher Certification Programs by Degree Level

  1. A bachelor's degree in education. For students who don't already have a college degree, this may be the most convenient route to certification because the bachelor's degree includes all of the coursework required to meet state licensure for the grade school level of choice.
  2. A master’s degree in teaching or education. Students who already have an undergraduate degree in a different field can meet teacher licensure requirements through a master’s program designed for those coming from a non-education related background.
  3. An Alternative Certification Program (ACP). ACPs are designed for adults with undergraduate degrees in other fields who are ready to make a quick transition into full-time teaching. Note that many ACPs don't offer teacher certification tracks for individuals who want to teach in areas such as early childhood education or special education as these areas require additional coursework not covered in alternative certification training.

ACP Programs

  • Texas Teachers of Tomorrow is an online program that offers training that allows individuals to complete their Texas teacher certification in a year while they work as school teachers. The program includes teacher education courses and career guidance advice.
  • The Intensive Pedagogical Training Institute (IPTI) at Ohio State University prepares students for the Ohio Alternative Resident Educator license. The online program is self-paced and takes about four months to complete.
  • The Michigan Teachers of Tomorrow program offers online teacher training that prepares students for an Interim Teaching Certificate. The school also helps students get their first full-time teaching job. Students complete the rest of their teacher education online and qualify for a standard Michigan license in three years.
  • The Career Switcher program in Virginia can be trained for the classroom through a number of Virginia colleges like Old Dominion University, Regent University, Shenandoah University, and in the Virginia Community College System.
  • The Lateral Entry program in North Carolina allows qualified potential teachers to teach immediately while they are obtaining their license. Teachers are given 3-year provisional licenses in their specific area.

How to Become a Teacher

Getting a teaching degree online can be a great alternative for those with tight schedules or who prefer learning in an online medium. There are numerous programs that allow you to obtain your teaching degree online, whether you are becoming a teacher for the first time or are pursuing continuing education as a current educator. This page covers programs that lead to teaching licensure, with programs that satisfy state requirements such as student teaching.

Obtaining a degree in teaching can be the start of a secure career, as educators are often in high demand. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, degrees in education-related fields are among the most popular programs in the nation. Approximately 92,000 undergraduate degrees, 147,000 master's degrees and 40,000 doctoral degrees in education-related programs were earned in the 2014-2015 academic year. It's an ever-growing field.

Online universities offer all stages of education: associate's, bachelor's, master's and even doctoral programs. While not all education careers require a degree, the vast majority do. In fact, every state requires at least a bachelor's degree in order to teach at a public school; meanwhile, privately-funded schools may not require a degree but having one is preferred. Many online universities offer both accredited programs and access to classrooms to fulfill the requirement of in-person student teaching for licensure.

There are two types of teaching degrees that can be obtained online:

Degrees that lead to state licensure

If you want to become a teacher, this is the degree for you. These degree programs lead to teaching licensure and access to resources to fulfill other state requirements such as entrance exams and subject-matter mastery tests. Through this exhaustive list of digital degree programs, you can find online universities that offer licensure for teaching in your specific state.

Degrees that do not lead to licensure

If you are already teaching and want to pursue continuing education, this is the degree for you. An ideal candidate would be teachers who are already licensed seeking to further their teaching careers, or those who wish to obtain a teaching degree without also pursuing licensure. These degrees can be used as leverage to negotiate for higher pay or apply for leadership positions.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.