Best Colleges and Universities for Education Degrees

The best education degree programs are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best education degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding education faculty.

Best Colleges and Universities for Education Degrees

Majoring in education can help you start a career as a classroom teacher, guidance counselor, special education expert, district administrator, university professor and much more. The education major is among the most popular college degree programs both because it provides a clear pathway to a career in education, and because it is extremely versatile. Majoring in education can open the door to a wide range of career prospects.

Note: If you plan to teach public school for grades K-12, you must earn a bachelor’s degree from a recognized teaching education program, sit for your state license, and in some states or districts, earn an advanced degree. To learn more about earning an advanced degree, find out what you can do with a master’s in education.

If you’re getting started on the path to an undergraduate degree in education, note that the best bachelor’s degrees in education are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of education concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Degree popularity: Education bachelor’s degrees are the 24th most popular undergraduate degrees across all student demographics. It’s most popular among women, for whom it ranks as the 13th most desired degree. Education bachelor’s degrees rank as he 7th most popular degrees for white women, 11th for white men, and 15th for Black women, according to the number of degree earners reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions About Education Bachelor’s Degrees

Majoring in education can open you up to a wide range of career prospects, not just in public school teaching, but also in child psychology, family counseling, corporate training, educational technology and much more. Leaders in education have a profound influence on those whose lives they touch—both those who work one-on-one with students in the classroom and those who produce innovations that impact the lives of thousands. Today, top influencers in education are focusing their efforts on the theory of multiple intelligences, examining critical race theory and its relation to education debt in America, the modern small schools movement, and much more.

Back to Top

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that rising enrollment in elementary, middle and high schools across the U.S. will increase the demand for teachers at every level of compulsory education over the next decade. The BLS does warn though that this demand will vary by region. As an aspiring educator, take stock of the career opportunities in your community and region.

However, note that wherever you teach, you have a good opportunity to achieve long-term job security. Once hired as a public school teacher, you’ll begin on your path toward tenure. While it can be challenging to achieve this status, tenure will provide you with inbuilt job protection against unfounded dismissal or dismissal based on budget cuts. Moreover, teachers are represented by a powerful labor union, which creates a strong negotiating position for fair pay, health coverage, retirement benefits and, of course, summers off!

Back to Top

Once you’ve declared your major in education, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized education electives, there are a number of common courses that most education majors will be required to take, including:

  • Introduction to Instructional Design
  • Adult Learning Theories
  • Teaching for Cognitive Growth
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Science and Engineering Programs for Teachers
  • Foundations of Positive Psychology
  • Learning to Teach Online
  • Literacy Education

Back to Top

Naturally, majoring in education is the starting point if you wish to teach in the classroom. But it’s also the logical starting place if you hope to become a guidance counselor, high school principal, or college professor, as well as a good place from which to launch a career in educational technology, online teaching, college consulting, and much more. Your education major can lead to a wide range of career opportunities, including these top jobs:

Back to Top
Best Colleges and Universities for Education Degree Programs

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.
Back to Top

Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.
Back to Top

Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

Back to Top

The Best Colleges and Universities for Education Degrees

Best Education Major Research Universities

  1. Harvard University
  2. Columbia University
  3. Cornell University
  4. University of Michigan
  5. New York University

Go to The Best Education Research Universities

Best Education Major Liberal Arts Colleges

  1. Swarthmore College
  2. Wellesley College
  3. Bowdoin College
  4. Middleberry University
  5. Colgate College

Go to The Best Education Liberal Arts Colleges

Best Education Major Online Colleges

  1. University of Georgia
  2. University of Missouri
  3. Arizona State University
  4. University of South Carolina
  5. University of Arkansas

Go to The Best Education Online Colleges

The Best Education Schools in Your State

Go to the best education schools in Alabama! Go to the best education schools in Alaska! Go to the best education schools in Arizona! Go to the best education schools in Arkansas! Go to the best education schools in California! Go to the best education schools in Colorado! Go to the best education schools in Connecticut! Go to the best education schools in Delaware! Go to the best education schools in District Of Columbia! Go to the best education schools in Florida! Go to the best education schools in Georgia! Go to the best education schools in Hawaii! Go to the best education schools in Idaho! Go to the best education schools in Illinois! Go to the best education schools in Indiana! Go to the best education schools in Iowa! Go to the best education schools in Kansas! Go to the best education schools in Kentucky! Go to the best education schools in Louisiana! Go to the best education schools in Maine! Go to the best education schools in Maryland! Go to the best education schools in Massachusetts! Go to the best education schools in Michigan! Go to the best education schools in Minnesota! Go to the best education schools in Mississippi! Go to the best education schools in Missouri! Go to the best education schools in Montana! Go to the best education schools in Nebraska! Go to the best education schools in Nevada! Go to the best education schools in New Hampshire! Go to the best education schools in New Jersey! Go to the best education schools in New Mexico! Go to the best education schools in New York! Go to the best education schools in North Carolina! Go to the best education schools in North Dakota! Go to the best education schools in Ohio! Go to the best education schools in Oklahoma! Go to the best education schools in Oregon! Go to the best education schools in Pennsylvania! Go to the best education schools in Puerto Rico! Go to the best education schools in Rhode Island! Go to the best education schools in South Carolina! Go to the best education schools in South Dakota! Go to the best education schools in Tennessee! Go to the best education schools in Texas! Go to the best education schools in Utah! Go to the best education schools in Vermont! Go to the best education schools in Virginia! Go to the best education schools in Washington! Go to the best education schools in West Virginia! Go to the best education schools in Wisconsin! Go to the best education schools in Wyoming!
Back to Top

Learn More About Education

If you want to know more about education, then check out our related content:

Resources for College-Bound Students

Want to be an Academic Influence Insider?

Sign up to get the latest news, information, and rankings in our upcoming newsletter.

Join!