Best Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

Amy BoyingtonASO Rankings Team
Updated September 20, 2023
Edited by
Reviewed by
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Elementary school teachers in the United States educate about 35.1 million students every year. That means there are more than 35 million opportunities for skilled educators to contribute positively to the education field.

An online bachelor’s degree in elementary education can transition education enthusiasts into high-quality educators who understand what it takes to manage classrooms and help students thrive. Continue exploring this guide to learn what to expect from an elementary education degree program and how to find suitable options.

Why Should You Earn Your Elementary Education Degree Online?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects elementary school teaching jobs to increase in demand by 4% from 2021-2031. Although not a massive jump, the need for qualified teachers could continue to grow as schools prioritize smaller classroom sizes and long-term teachers transition into retirement.

Additionally, elementary education can be a gratifying career path. From teaching in a traditional classroom to assisting students with special needs, elementary education graduates can pursue various fulfilling roles.

An online elementary education degree also has specific benefits for learners, including:

  • Flexible Scheduling: Many programs offer asynchronous classes, allowing learners to complete their studies on a self-paced schedule. This pacing sometimes leads to earlier degree completion.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Schools sometimes charge online tuition for distance learners at a similar or more affordable rate than traditional in-state tuition rates. Students may also save on transportation and housing costs when attending school online.
  • Skill-Building: Students completing an online degree must learn to study independently, become self-motivated, and develop time management skills. These skills can transition well into the teaching classroom.

Did You Know?

Some states, including California, New York, and Washington, pay elementary school teachers over $85,000 annually, on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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Top 10 Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

Read About Our Methodology Herearrow-right

#1 Best Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

Brenau University

  • Location-markerGainesville, GA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$30,000
  • Out-of-state$30,000
  • Retention Rate53%
  • Acceptance Rate92%
  • Students Enrolled2,813
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment70%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

University of Alaska Southeast

  • Location-markerJuneau, AK
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,250
  • Out-of-state$23,154
  • Retention Rate63%
  • Acceptance Rate64%
  • Students Enrolled2,070
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment84%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

Ottawa University-Online

  • Location-markerOttawa, KS
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$10,856
  • Out-of-state$10,856
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled221
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

Friends University

  • Location-markerWichita, KS
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$29,670
  • Out-of-state$29,670
  • Retention Rate67%
  • Acceptance Rate58%
  • Students Enrolled1,671
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment52%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

Chaminade University of Honolulu

  • Location-markerHonolulu, HI
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$26,800
  • Out-of-state$26,800
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate89%
  • Students Enrolled2,208
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment61%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Best Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

Mayville State University

  • Location-markerMayville, ND
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,025
  • Out-of-state$9,038
  • Retention Rate63%
  • Acceptance Rate53%
  • Students Enrolled1,168
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment68%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Best Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

Southwestern College

  • Location-markerWinfield, KS
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$33,100
  • Out-of-state$33,100
  • Retention Rate53%
  • Acceptance Rate56%
  • Students Enrolled1,413
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment55%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Best Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

Gardner-Webb University

  • Location-markerBoiling Springs, NC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$31,220
  • Out-of-state$31,220
  • Retention Rate68%
  • Acceptance Rate78%
  • Students Enrolled3,536
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment74%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Best Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

University of the Cumberlands

  • Location-markerWilliamsburg, KY
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,875
  • Out-of-state$9,875
  • Retention Rate66%
  • Acceptance Rate81%
  • Students Enrolled19,110
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment99%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Best Online Elementary Education Bachelor’s Degrees

Fort Hays State University

  • Location-markerHays, KS
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,140
  • Out-of-state$14,580
  • Retention Rate78%
  • Acceptance Rate91%
  • Students Enrolled15,033
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment57%
  • AccreditationYes

What Do You Learn in an Online Elementary Education Degree Program?

An online elementary education bachelor’s program often includes a general education curriculum followed by foundational coursework. The foundational core explores subject areas elementary students learn, like math, science, and language arts.

Then, students complete teaching-specific topics, such as classroom management, curriculum development for diverse learners, and parent-teacher-community collaboration. Programs leading to teaching licensure also require several weeks of student teaching, allowing future educators to apply their knowledge to classroom settings.

Some elementary education programs offer concentrations, such as special education, elementary literacy, or bilingual education, for students seeking specific teaching pathways.

Common Courses in Elementary Education Bachelor’s Programs

  • Written and oral communication
  • Reading for diverse learners
  • Integrating technology into the classroom
  • Child development and its role in education
  • Elementary math methods
  • Bridging schools and communities

Does Accreditation Matter for Elementary Education Bachelor’s Programs?

Institutional accreditation highlights schools that meet specific standards for academics, faculty, and student outcomes set forth by accrediting agencies. Most schools that accept transfer credits require those credits to come from an accredited school. Additionally, a student’s eligibility to receive financial aid hinges on whether their school is accredited.

Programmatic accreditation for elementary education bachelor’s programs is as essential as institutional accreditation. This type of accreditation endorses specific programs meeting quality standards and may be required for students seeking teaching licensure.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) are reputable accrediting bodies for educator preparation programs, both recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The CAEP and AAQEP grant accreditation lasting for seven years.

What Jobs Can You Get With a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education?

Most commonly, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education fill teaching roles in K-5 classrooms or childcare settings, as highlighted in the table below.

However, an online elementary education degree can lead to other positions in the education field, especially for learners who complete a degree specialization. For example, intervention specialists, reading specialists, and curriculum developers may hold this degree. Childcare workers, health educators, and community outreach coordinators are also possible job titles.

Of note, many in-school positions require a teaching license. The steps for teaching licensure vary by state but usually include general education tests and passing the Praxis exam. Prospective educators can explore their state’s requirements through its Department of Education.

Popular Careers in Elementary Education
Job TitleMedian Annual Salary (May 2022)Job Growth Rate (2021-2031)
Kindergarten Teacher$60,4904%
Elementary School Teacher$61,6904%%
Special Education Teacher$62,3904%
Teaching Assistant$30,9205%
Childcare Center Director$49,6908%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Elementary Education Degrees

question-mark-circleWhat are the admission requirements for a bachelor’s program in elementary education?

A bachelor’s in elementary education program often requires students to submit their official high school transcript, pay an application fee, and fill out an online application. Some schools may require SAT or ACT scores or proof of English language proficiency.

question-mark-circleHow much does an online bachelor’s in elementary education cost?

The average cost for one year of a four-year bachelor’s degree program at a public college or university was $9,700 in the 2020-2021 school year. Meanwhile, the same year at a private nonprofit school cost $37,600 and $18,200 at a private for-profit school. Students can expect an online bachelor’s degree in elementary education to have similar costs.

question-mark-circleHow long does an online bachelor’s in elementary education take?

An online elementary education degree usually requires 120 credits to complete in about four years. However, some schools offer accelerated options to complete the degree faster, while others allow students to attend part time, which could add another year or two onto the program.

question-mark-circleIs an online elementary education degree worth it?

Yes, an online elementary education degree can be worth it for people interested in becoming teachers or pursuing another role in elementary education, which usually require at least a bachelor’s degree. An undergraduate education degree is essential for teaching licensure in any state.

question-mark-circleWhat skills do elementary school teachers need?

Elementary school educators need excellent communication, time management, interpersonal, and classroom management skills to build relationships with their students and keep their classrooms running smoothly. Active listening and critical thinking skills can also ensure that educators effectively meet their students’ needs.

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Page last reviewed August 14, 2023. All rankings and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by the ASO Rankings Team.

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