Best Accredited Online Teaching Degrees 2023

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Updated January 27, 2023

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Choosing an online degree to become a teacher can be more affordable and give you a flexible schedule. Check out our list of the best teaching programs.

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Educating young minds is a rewarding and honorable profession. And with a growing teacher shortage, educators are needed now more than ever.

Want to become a teacher? You can choose from in-person and online teaching programs. An online teaching degree is just as valuable and revered as an on-campus one. Explore our picks for the best online teaching programs today.

Why Should You Get an Online Teaching Degree?

  • You'll get to perform meaningful work and help students succeed.
  • You may benefit from union advocacy and generous time off, especially during summers.
  • You'll usually receive a pension retirement with an employer match.
  • Online teaching programs let you earn your degree on your own schedule.
  • You can gain work experience while going to school online.
  • Online degree programs are often more affordable than in-person programs.

Did You Know?


  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 7% growth for all education, training, and library jobs from 2021-2031.
  • You typically only need a bachelor's degree to become a teacher — no advanced degree necessary.
  • 44% of public schools reported teaching vacancies in 2022, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • The average working week for teachers is about 54 hours.

Get More Options With Our Featured Education Programs


Does Accreditation Matter for Online Teaching Programs?

Accreditation is essential for online teaching programs. In order to earn your teaching license, you must complete your online degree at an accredited school.

When a college holds the appropriate accreditations, it ensures you receive a high-quality education.

Milton Paredes, an online teaching student at Reach University, explained how accreditation played an important role in deciding what school to attend online.

"Academic excellence is the reputation that I was looking for in an online program, and knowing I chose one that was accredited made my decision easier," said Paredes.

An online accredited education degree will also meet the curriculum requirements necessary to become a licensed teacher.

Top 10 Accredited Online Teaching Schools and Programs

Read About Our Methodology Here

#1 Best Accredited Online Teaching Degrees 2023

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Avg. Cost per Credit

Private | $390-650

Degree Offered

Undergraduate Certificate

Liberty University's one-year, 100% online undergraduate preschool certificate program works well for those hoping to work at a daycare or preschool. Through hands-on courses, you'll learn how to manage a classroom and cater to individual students' learning needs.

The program provides instruction from a biblical perspective. Courses include the fundamentals of early childhood education, classroom management, and childhood wellness. To apply, you must submit an application, pay the application fee, and send in transcripts.

Average Tuition
In-state
$14,791
Out-of-state
$14,791
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
93,349
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Accredited Online Teaching Degrees 2023

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Avg. Cost per Credit

In-State | $520

Out-of-State | $660

Degree Offered

Graduate Certificate

The University of Florida offers a fully online graduate certificate in early childhood education. You'll study subjects like developmentally appropriate curricula, how to work with families of young children, and policy and transition in early childhood. The program culminates in the development of a portfolio of coursework.

To get in, you'll need to have a bachelor's degree. The program is open to both current UF graduate students and non-degree-seeking students. You must submit your application through the UF website and pay an application fee.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
31%
Students Enrolled
53,372
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Accredited Online Teaching Degrees 2023

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Avg. Cost per Credit

In-State | $230

Out-of-State | $350

Degree Offered

Bachelor's

Florida International University's online BS in early childhood education provides a strong foundation for a career in elementary teaching. Coursework emphasizes educational psychology, child development, and classroom management. You'll also get paired with an academic success coach.

Admission requirements include transcripts, an online application, and SAT or ACT scores. You must also have at least a 2.5 lower-division GPA, 60 hours of lower-division coursework, and completion of either an associate degree or university core requirements.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,836
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
86% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Accredited Online Teaching Degrees 2023

Eastern Gateway Community College

  • Steubenville, OH
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation

None

Avg. Cost per Credit

In-County | $130

In-State and Select Out-of-State Counties | $140

Out-of-State | $250

Degree Offered

Associate

Eastern Gateway Community College's teacher education associate degree program prepares you to teach children of all ages. Once you finish the program, you may transfer to a bachelor's degree program to focus on the student population of your choice. All credits earned through the transfer programs can transfer to a four-year program at an Ohio state school.

Along with completing an application, prospective students must take a placement test or submit ACT or SAT scores.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,791
Out-of-state
$7,570
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
40,036
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Accredited Online Teaching Degrees 2023

Kennesaw State University

  • Kennesaw, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation

None

Avg. Cost per Credit

In-State | $300

Out-of-State | $1,070

Degree Offered

Doctorate

Kennesaw State University's three-year, 100% online Ed.D. in teacher leadership program shows current teachers how to guide and shape the field of education.

Coursework focuses on curriculum development, assessment, and data-driven instruction. The program administers instruction in conjunction with the school district. All students must complete a thesis project.

Applications must include transcripts, a resume or CV, a personal essay, a mentor form, and proof of employment. You must also hold Georgia teaching certification and currently work as a teacher.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,450
Out-of-state
$15,704
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
41,181
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Best Accredited Online Teaching Degrees 2023

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

  • Cincinnati, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Avg. Cost per Credit

In-State | $550

Out-of-State | $560

Degree Offered

Bachelor's

The University of Cincinnati's flexible online BS in early childhood education program prepares teachers to educate children from birth through age 5. You can choose one of four concentrations: preschool, infant and toddler, nature-based early learning, or administration.

To apply, you must submit official transcripts. Students with previous college experience should have a minimum 2.0 undergraduate GPA. SAT or ACT scores are not required for admission.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,723
Out-of-state
$25,057
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
40,826
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Accredited Online Teaching Degrees 2023

Purdue University Global-Indianapolis

  • West Lafayette, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation

None

Avg. Cost per Credit

In-State | $370

Out-of-State | $370

Degree Offered

Bachelor's

Purdue University Global's BS in early childhood administration prepares you to become an education leader specialized in working with children from birth to age 8. You can even shorten the time it takes to earn a graduate degree through the program's accelerated bachelor's-to-master's pathway.

Coursework centers on the fundamentals of teaching, professional development, and owning a childcare facility. You must have a high school diploma or GED certificate to apply.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,080
Out-of-state
$13,356
Retention Rate
33%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
43,927
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Accredited Online Teaching Degrees 2023

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation

None

Avg. Cost per Credit

In-State | $231

Out-of-State | $231

Degree Offered

Bachelor's

The University of Washington's online BA in early care and education program provides the same curriculum and support offered to in-person students. This program teaches critical subjects like equity, social policy, and family engagement through an intentional teaching framework. You'll also get opportunities for community-based learning.

Applicants must have completed at least 45 transferable quarter credits and earned a minimum 2.0 undergrad GPA. You must also submit a resume, transcripts, and a personal statement.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,629
Out-of-state
$37,998
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
56%
Students Enrolled
48,149
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#9 Best Accredited Online Teaching Degrees 2023

South Texas College

  • McAllen, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation

None

Avg. Cost per Credit

In-District | $80

Out-of-District | $90

Out-of-State | $250

Degree Offered

Associate

South Texas College offers an online AA in teaching for students just beginning their career in education. You can choose a concentration based on the age range of students you wish to teach, such as middle school or grades 8-12.

Coursework balances the philosophy and practice of education. You'll get opportunities outside of class to participate in field observation of local public school classrooms. Applicants must submit transcripts and an online application through the ApplyTexas app.

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,610
Out-of-state
$6,000
Retention Rate
55%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
28,233
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Best Accredited Online Teaching Degrees 2023

East Carolina University

  • Greenville, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Avg. Tuition

In-State | $7,330

Out-of-State | $23,600

Degree Offered

Bachelor's

East Carolina University's online BS in birth through kindergarten teacher education prepares you to teach and care for the youngest age group. Coursework emphasizes hands-on learning and entails a yearlong student teaching experience at a local school or center.

To apply, you must have a passing score on the PRAXIS CORE, SAT, or ACT. You must also submit an essay and interview with the faculty. Note that the online program is only available to residents of North Carolina.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,452
Out-of-state
$20,729
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
28,798
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

What Degree in Teaching Should You Get?

The path to becoming a teacher has many roads — quite a few education degrees can lead to a career in teaching.

With an associate degree in education, you can become a paraeducator, substitute teacher, preschool teacher, or teaching aide. This degree can be a quick start for those eager to jump into the field.

However, you'll need a bachelor's degree to earn a teaching license. You can choose from a bachelor of education (B.Ed.), a BA in education, and a BS in education. You could also get a bachelor's degree in the subject you wish to teach.

A master's degree in education will increase your expertise and can qualify you for higher-paying administrative and leadership positions.

Finally, with a doctorate in education — either a Ph.D. or an Ed.D. — you can teach at the college level, develop curricula, and conduct research.

Common Types of Teaching Degrees
Associate Degree
  • AA in education
  • AS in education
Bachelor's Degree
  • Bachelor of education (B.Ed.)
  • BA in education
  • BS in education
Master's Degree
  • Master of education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of arts in teaching (MAT)
  • MA in education
  • MS in education
Doctoral Degree
  • Doctor of education (Ed.D.)
  • Ph.D. in education

How Much Does an Online Teaching Degree Cost?

In general, expect to pay anywhere from $9,000-$38,000 each year in tuition and fees. The total cost of an online teaching degree will depend on your school, your degree type, and how much financial aid you get.

Here's an overview of the average costs of undergraduate and graduate degrees in the U.S.



In addition to tuition and fees, education students should budget for professional clothing to wear while student teaching.

As an online learner, you'll likely avoid common campus fees, but you may still need to pay technology fees. These typically cover tech assistance and virtual learning platforms.

You'll also need a laptop and high-speed internet access.

And don't forget the cost of getting a teaching license after you graduate!

How Much Money Can You Make With a Teaching Degree?

Many teachers make around $60,000 a year, according to the BLS.

Your earning potential after getting a teaching degree online will depend on your degree level and chosen career. For example, most school districts offer higher salaries to teachers who have master's degrees.

Your location can also affect your salary potential. According to BLS data from 2021, middle school and high school teachers in California earned an average annual salary of $94,600. In Mississippi, teachers earned a much lower average salary of just $48,030 per year.

Here's a quick look at the median salaries and minimum education requirements for popular teaching jobs.


Popular Teacher Jobs and Salaries
Job Minimum Education Requirement Median Salary (May 2021) Job Growth Rate (2021-2031)
Teacher Assistant Some college, no degree $29,360 5%
Preschool Teacher Some college, no degree $29,360 5%
Kindergarten Teacher Bachelor's $60,900 4%
Elementary School Teacher Bachelor's $61,400 4%
Middle School Teacher Bachelor's $61,320 4%
High School Teacher Bachelor's $61,820 5%
Special Education Teacher Bachelor's $61,820 4%
Career and Technical Education Teacher Bachelor's $61,160 2%
Adult Basic and Secondary Education and ESL Teacher Bachelor's $59,720 -6%
Postsecondary Teacher Master's or doctorate $79,640 12%

How to Become a Teacher in 6 Steps

Not everyone's career path to becoming a teacher will look the same, but there are some key steps that can get you there.

1 Determine Your Career Goals

As you begin your journey to becoming a teacher, consider what you'll want to teach, where you'd like to teach, and how you want to get qualified.

For a career in teaching, you'll need to choose what grade level you want to teach and usually a subject to specialize in, such as math or social studies. The career path for a college history professor will look pretty different from that of a kindergarten teacher.

Outlining your goals for your teaching career will guide your choice of where to go to school and what degrees you wish to pursue.

2 Choose a Specialization

A lot of your teaching education will focus on a chosen specialization. You may opt to teach a specific age group or subject area.

Specializations can also cater to administration and leadership roles in education, such as dean and principal.

Common education and teaching degree specializations include:

3 Earn a Bachelor's Degree

For most teaching positions, you'll need a bachelor's degree.

If you're interested in a position that doesn't require a bachelor's degree, it's still a good idea to consider getting this degree for future career opportunities.

When choosing an online degree to become a teacher, take time to vet the program for several features. Make sure the program is accredited, offers your desired specialization, and fits within your budget and schedule.

4 Enroll in an Educator Preparation Program

An educator preparation program is a state-approved program that covers the training requirements you'll need for your state's teaching license or certification.

Most bachelor's degrees in education and teaching will include the teacher preparation program within the curriculum.

Your bachelor's program will also likely include student teaching opportunities. This way, once you've graduated, you can apply for your teaching license right away.

You can also take an alternative route and complete an educator preparation program through a university or a state-sponsored program.

For example, if you earned a bachelor's degree in history and wish to become a teacher, you can participate in Teach for America and earn the same educator preparation requirements for certification.

5 Get State Licensure

Online teaching programs prepare you for state licensure (sometimes called certification), which you'll need in order to teach in the U.S.

Licensure requirements vary by state. Make sure your online teaching program meets the requirements for the state you plan to teach in.

In most states, you'll need to do the following before you can qualify for a teaching license:

  • Earn a bachelor's degree in education or your subject area from an accredited institution.
  • Complete a certain number of hours of student teaching.
  • Complete a teacher preparation program.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Pass your state's teacher certification exam and, if applicable, a subject exam.

Once you've met your state's requirements, you can apply for a teaching license. This license allows you to legally teach in that state.

Learn more about teaching licensure requirements for aspiring teachers in Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

6 (Optional) Pursue a Graduate Teaching Degree

There are many reasons to continue your education as a teacher. A graduate degree can unlock new opportunities, increase your salary potential, and broaden your expertise.

You can get a master's in education and choose a concentration in the subject you teach. You can also specialize in administration and learn to become a school administrator or principal.

A doctorate can qualify you to teach at the university level. With a Ph.D. in education, you can transition into pedagogy, teaching students how to become teachers.

This highest level of education also unlocks research opportunities and respected credentials.

Q&A With a Real Teaching Program Graduate

Milton Paredes serves as distance facilitator for the Ouachita School District in Donaldson, Arkansas. He finds fulfillment in helping students succeed academically in an online environment and when students realize their academic potential. He also works in ministry at his local church as a college and career pastor.

Milton is currently an online student at Reach University, where he is pursuing a bachelor's in global education in order to work as a history teacher.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue an online degree?

I had enrolled in an in-person program but could not continue due to the obligations that one accumulates as an older or nontraditional student. Being employed full-time and with other obligations to manage, an in-person program could not provide that flexibility. … The affordability of an online degree and lack of travel expenses proved to be the best value and opportunity for me to reach my goal of becoming an educator.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue a teaching degree?

Honestly, I feel like teaching is a calling. I had many teachers throughout my school years who were a great influence and played a small part in molding me into the person I am. It will bring me great satisfaction to see students succeed academically when given the tools they need to become the person they choose for themselves.

Q: Should students worry about how employers may view online degrees?

There may have been some apprehension years ago, but now online programs have established themselves academically while filling the needs of schools searching for teachers.

Q: What is something that surprised you about online learning?

I think the thing that most surprised me about online learning is how helpful and willing instructors are in guiding students through the course. I was worried about not having the support one would normally find in an in-class program, but that is certainly not the case.

Q: What is your biggest piece of advice to students considering an online teaching college?

Do not be discouraged if you feel like you are not initially successful in navigating through courses. With a little time, it will become familiar to you and when it does, remember why you started your journey and keep working toward your goal!

Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching Programs

What degree do you need to be a teacher?

To become a certified teacher, you'll need an accredited bachelor's degree. All public schools will require you to have a bachelor's degree in order to hold a full-time teaching position. You'll also need a bachelor's to earn state licensure.

How long does it take to get a teaching degree?

You can typically earn a teaching bachelor's degree within four years. If you pursue an online teaching degree, you may be able to expedite the timeline through an accelerated program.

Students who already hold an associate degree may be able to complete an undergraduate teaching degree in around two years.

Can you be a teacher with an associate degree?

If you have an associate degree, you can be a teacher assistant or educational aide but not a full-time teacher at a public school. All states require you to have a bachelor's degree in order to be eligible for a teaching license.

You can often transfer course credits from an accredited associate degree in teaching to a bachelor's degree program.

Can you be a teacher without a degree?

State teaching credentials require at least a bachelor's degree.

There are a few potential exceptions. Educators at homeschooling co-ops may not need licensure or a degree. The same goes for private, not-for-profit, and charter schools.

Can you become a teacher with an online degree?

Yes, you can become a teacher with an online degree. Earning an online teaching degree is no different than earning one on campus. In fact, your diploma won't have any indication that you earned your degree online.

Online colleges offer the same curricula and quality as on-campus colleges do, largely thanks to the rigorous accreditation standards they must meet.


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