Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Elementary Education

Rankings, Salaries & Courses

Updated on: 1/20/2020
FIND PROGRAMS is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

After high school, selecting an undergraduate program to earn a degree equals one of the first steps toward a career in elementary education. All states require elementary teachers hold at least a bachelor's degree to receive official licensure. Some states even require elementary teachers specialize in a certain subject, such as English or science. A strong bachelor degree program affects students' success as teachers in the growing education field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that available positions for elementary school teachers will increase 7% by 2026.

Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Elementary Education Degrees in 2020

Rank University Annual Tuition
#1 Liberty University $15,105
#2 Bemidji State University $7,360
#3 Northern Arizona University $8,698
#4 Mayville State University $5,053
#5 University of Nebraska at Kearney $5,460
#6 Judson College $16,248
#7 University of Southern Mississippi $7,549
#8 University of North Carolina Wilmington $4,356
#9 Chaminade University of Honolulu $23,180
#10 University of Wisconsin-Superior $6,535

Students can earn their elementary education bachelor's degrees online. Online programs often offer students more scheduling flexibility than on-campus programs. Additionally, some students find that working from home can save time and money, thus making their undergraduate degree more affordable in the long run.

In the guide below, we consider important details pertaining to courses, financial aid, job outlook, and salary expectations for professionals in elementary education seeking an online bachelor's degree.

Best Online Elementary Education Programs

State College Bedge
Get Seal Methodology


Best Online Elementary Education Programs

Deciding which college to go to is no easy task, so ACO evaluated more than 3,500 colleges to give you the information you need to make the search more manageable. Our 2018 college rankings are based on statistical data from trusted sources, eligibility criteria and various ranking factors

Data Sources: Eligibility Criteria:
  • Each college must be accredited
  • Each college must be a not-for-profit institution
  • Each college must be located in a state (US territories and Washington DC were excluded)
  • Each college must have at least one online program 1
  • Each college must have a maximum four-year tuition of $25,000 or a maximum two-year tuition of $5,000
Ranking Factors:
  • Affordability
  • Quality
  • Flexibility
  • Program

Several individual data points were objectively evaluated to calculate a score for each ranking factor listed above. For affordability, the most impactful data points were tuition2 and grants; for quality, graduation and acceptance rates; for flexibility, part-time enrollment options; and for program, degrees granted in that specific program area. Each score was then weighted, with affordability being the most highly weighted factor for all ACO rankings.

1 Best Vocational Programs included data for both online and campus programs.

2 Both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates were used in our methodology; however, our rankings tool currently only displays in-state rates.

  • A dash in our Rankings Tool indicates IPEDS data was not available.
  • Tuition displayed in in-state and per year unless stated otherwise.
2-Year Schools

When choosing an online elementary education degree, keep in mind that all schools offer their students unique strengths and resources. In addition to considering tuition costs and duration of the degree program, choose a school that provides opportunities for developing a strong skill base or offers a specialty area of expertise within an elementary education degree. The best schools tailor training and education for each student to prepare them as standout choices for prospective employers. In the ranked list that follows, we provide the essential details from the top online elementary education degree programs to help make an informed choice for your academic goals and career aspirations.

Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia $15,105 88% 24% 55% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Liberty University is a private, Christian-affiliated university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty's online Bachelor of Science in elementary education is a fully accredited degree program that can be completed 100% online. An optional 300-hour practicum is available for those interested in obtaining hands-on experience. Students must complete 120 credit hours to earn this degree, with up to 75% of those hours being transferrable from other institutions. An average of 3.5 years is needed for completion of all required studies. Potential career options for graduates include jobs at education centers and private schools, as well as in homeschooling, education ministries, paraprofessional teaching, tutoring and more. This degree does not fulfill all teaching licensure requirements, but licensure requirements for Virginia can be fulfilled by completing a 5th year Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Students from outside Virginia are advised to contact the licensing board of their individual states for details on licensure requirements before enrolling in this Liberty University degree program.

School website
2 Bemidji State University Bemidji, Minnesota $7,360 47% 64% 47% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota, offers its Bachelor of Science in elementary education in an online/on-site hybrid, degree-completion format. This Distributed Learning in Teacher Education (DLiTE) degree program is designed to be completed in 3 years and combines online coursework with 3 face-to-face meetings per year in the Minneapolis area. Face-to-face meetings typically require 2 to 3 days' attendance each. Students must have their A.A. degrees or have completed the MN transfer curriculum, with a 3.0 cumulative GPA, to be eligible for this degree program. Completion of 63 credits in the major course of study are required, all of which must be taken through BSU. The program meets all Minnesota Board of Teaching requirements, leading to teaching licensure in the state. Out-of-state students should contact their own states' licensing agencies for information on licensure requirements before enrolling. A B.S. in elementary education typically prepares graduates for careers as preschool, kindergarten and elementary school teachers.

School website
3 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, Arizona $8,698 82% 78% 54% 1 No Yes Yes

Northern Arizona University's Bachelor of Science in elementary education degree is offered in a blended format that combines online coursework with in-person classes at 1 of 11 community college campuses located throughout the state. NAU's B.S.Ed. in Elementary Education can be completed as a cohort program, school-based program or traditional program and requires a minimum of one semester of student teaching. The degree is available with 5 concentration options: history/social studies, humanities, language/cultural diversity, math and science. Students must successfully earn 120 total credit units, of which 64 may be transferred from other institutions. A total of 66 units must be completed in the major course of study, with an additional 12 units completed in the student's chosen concentration. At least a "C" grade must be earned in all major and concentration courses, with a cumulative GPA of 2.5. Graduates are eligible for state certification in Arizona in Elementary Education for grades 1 through 8. NAU is the only university in Arizona that is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (NCATE).

School website
4 Mayville State University Mayville, North Dakota $5,053 72% 55% 43% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Mayville State University's Bachelor of Science Education in elementary education is designed to allow working adults and others to complete their MSU teaching degrees through a combination of online coursework and evening Interactive Video Network (IVN) classes. IVN classes are offered at 5 North Dakota locations: Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, Williston State College in Williston, North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, Dakota College in Bottineau and the MSU campus itself. As an alternative to in-person attendance, students may attend classes via desktop conferencing for synchronous coursework in North Dakota. Students are also required to choose specializations or minors. Specialization options include early childhood, reading and special education. Minor choices include accounting, business administration, early childhood education, general science, library media and information science, mathematics, science for the elementary teacher and special needs. Students must complete a minimum of 123 credits to earn this degree. Study may be pursued either full-time or part-time, but courses must be taken in the specific order as outlined in the cohort rotation.

School website
5 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, Nebraska $5,460 70% 85% 60% 1 No Yes Yes

The Bachelor of Arts in early childhood inclusive degree offered through the University of Nebraska Kearney's eCampus program is designed for nontraditional students, such as in-service teachers, preschool assistants and HeadStart staff members who are interested in earning their degrees but are unable to attend traditional on-site classes due to work obligations and/or geographic location. This hybrid program consists of online, asynchronous coursework and in-person student teaching and school-based experiences. Students can choose between 2 specialization options: birth through kindergarten, for working with infants and toddlers, or age 3 to grade 3, for individuals interested in teaching at the elementary education level up to 3rd grade. The degree requires completion of 120 credit hours, including 45 general education credits, 50 program-specific credits and 24 professional sequence credits. Students wishing to apply credits previously earned from other schools can consult UNK's Transfer Guide for information on transfer eligibility. Graduates earn early childhood teaching certificates that allow them to teach children ages 0 through 5, in special education settings and children ages 0 through 8 in regular education settings.

School website
6 Judson College Marion, Alabama $16,248 97% 58% 44% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Located in Marion, Alabama, Judson College is a private, Baptist-affiliated institution and the 5th oldest women's college in the United States. Judson offers a hybrid Bachelor of Science in elementary education degree that can be earned through a combination of online classes and field experience participation. Students must complete their general education requirements prior to starting their major degree courses. A cumulative GPA of 2.75 must be maintained throughout the program. Courses are taught in a cohort model, meaning online students begin and finish classes at the same time as their on-campus counterparts. Courses are offered during 3 yearly terms: August to December, January to April and May to June. Judson's B.S. in elementary education is designed to support state and national education standards and prepare graduates for employment as teachers at the K-6 grade levels. However, Judson College certifies Alabama degree candidates only, and all field experience and clinical practice observation placements are made exclusively with Alabama schools.

School website
7 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, Mississippi $7,549 68% 60% 51% 1 No Yes Yes

The University of Southern Mississippi's online Bachelor of Science in elementary education is unique in that it is designed to support persons employed as teacher assistants in obtaining their bachelor's degrees and becoming certified as teachers while maintaining their current jobs. This degree can be completed entirely online. However, as part of the Southern Miss Teacher Assistant Program (TAP), students complete a semester of student teaching in the classroom. Many TA's will complete this student teaching semester in the classrooms where they are currently employed, while others will require separate placements, as determined by the TA's school district. The State of Mississippi requires candidates for teacher certification to obtain endorsements in two subject areas. The degree program itself provides the student with a reading endorsement, and the student chooses a second endorsement in one of the following 6 subjects: social studies, foreign languages, mathematics K-8, mathematics 9-12, English and science. Graduates with this degree typically pursue careers as K-6 teachers, although others may find jobs with titles such as behavior intervention specialist, community education coordinator, curriculum specialist, reading interventionist and many others.

School website
8 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, North Carolina $4,356 50% 72% 71% 1 No Yes Yes

The University of North Carolina Wilmington's online Bachelor of Arts in elementary education is a degree-completion program designed for students entering their junior year of study. It's offered in a hybrid format in which all coursework is completed online, with the exception of in-person tutoring, classroom visits and extensive field experiences in elementary classrooms. For non-resident students, field experience participation is dependent on individual state authorization and UNCW's authorization status with the state. To learn more about your specific state's authorization status, see UNCW's Authorization by State. Students are required to choose from among 9 concentrations: behavioral studies, English as a second language, early childhood, fine arts, international studies, language arts, math and technology, science and health, and social studies. Most courses are asynchronous, meaning that students can access and complete coursework at times most convenient to them. However, coursework is not self-paced and students should expect to complete assignments by given due dates. UNCW's online B.A. in elementary education program leads to licensure in the state of North Carolina to teach grades K through 6.

School website
9 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, Hawaii $23,180 98% 91% 51% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Chaminade University of Honolulu is a private, coeducational university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Marianist religious order. For those interested in the elementary education field, Chaminade offers a Bachelor of Science in elementary education degree. Coursework can be completed entirely online, with the exception of certain in-person activities, including a student teaching experience. Students must pass the Praxis II Licensure Field Content Verification examination prior to student teaching. The degree requires completion of 120 credit hours, which includes general education, pre-major and major required classes and a small number of electives. Upon successful completion of the degree program, graduates are licensed to teach on the K through 6th grade level, based on the Hawaii Teachers Standards Board licensure guidelines. Graduates are also qualified to teach K through 6 in most other states. Students residing outside of Hawaii, however, are advised to consult their home states' licensure agencies prior to enrolling in Chaminade's B.S. in elementary education program to determine if this degree results in eligibility for teaching licensure in their states.

School website
10 University of Wisconsin-Superior Superior, Wisconsin $6,535 27% 76% 46% 1 Yes Yes Yes

The University of Wisconsin-Superior's online bachelor's degree in early education is a hybrid program in which students complete their coursework online and participate in in-person teaching internships in elementary or middle school settings. Students must complete their general education/University Studies requirements or earn their A.A., A.S., B.A., or B.S. degrees from other institutions prior to starting this program. The early education program requires students to choose from among 6 specialized minors. Students successfully completing the minor in early childhood education are eligible for teaching licensure for PK-6 (ages 0 through 12), allowing them to work in early childhood/Head Start programs, 3K, 4K and preschool classrooms. Those completing the special education minor are eligible for licensure to teach grades 1-8 (ages 6 through 13 or 14) and grades 6-8 (ages 12 through 13 or 14) in special education class settings. Minors in geography, health, language arts and social studies lead to licensure in grades 1-8 (ages 6 through 13 or 14) and allow graduates to teach middle school in the field related to the corresponding minor.

School website
11 Fort Hays State University Hays, Kansas $3,789 73% 91% 44% 1 No Yes Yes

Fort Hays State University's Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education program helps students make links between general education coursework and professional education coursework to prepare them for a career in teaching. It's offered online and on campus. Students must complete 127 credit hours of coursework, 55 of which is general education requirements, 25 hours in professional studies courses (e.g., Foundations of Education and Intro to Instructional Technology), 14 hours in elementary education major courses (e.g., Elementary School Music, Educational Psychology and Instructional Tech for Elementary Teachers), 21 hours in internships and methods courses (e.g., Literacy Methods, Mathematics Internship and Literacy Assessment and Intervention) and 12 credits of student teaching courses taken concurrently with the student teacher classroom placement. The program's internship experiences (up to 2 internships can be completed per semester) help students to gain practical experience in teaching.

School website
12 East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina $4,365 42% 70% 61% 1 No Yes Yes

East Carolina University's Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education "Partnership East" program not only prepares future teachers for the classroom, but it also gives teaching students additional licensures to teach reading in K-12. All coursework in the Partnership East program is offered completely online through a cohort model. The part-time cohort students begin each fall and full-time cohorts begin each summer. Partnership East students must complete 43 credit hours of general studies prerequisite courses in English, math, the social sciences, humanities, science, health and computer competency among other general education courses. The Partnership East coursework is almost entirely professional education courses. Students are also required to serve as a full-time student-teacher in a public school setting during their senior year, however students engage with children in the classroom from the beginning of the program.

School website
13 Hobe Sound Bible College Hobe Sound, Florida $5,600 86% - 67% 1 No No No

Hobe Sound Bible College's education programs are rooted in the Christian worldview. The coursework reflects this foundation paired with the standard curriculum for students to achieve Florida state teaching licensure. The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program is offered both online and on-campus. Students have the option to minor in intercultural studies, ministerial studies, music, counseling or Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL). From the beginning of the program, students will be concurrently taking courses toward their degree and working in the classroom interacting with children. To graduate, students must achieve 130 hours of coursework which includes 30 hours of Bible core courses (e.g., Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey and Foundations of Faith), 45 hours of general education courses (e.g., English Composition, Lifespan Development and History of Civilizations), 22 hours of professional education core courses (e.g., Teaching Bible, Foundations of Education and Supervised Student Teaching), 18 hours of elementary education major courses (e.g., Teaching Language Arts and Teaching Social Studies in Elementary), and 15 hours of directed electives.

School website
14 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, Utah $5,780 1% - 19% 1 No No Yes

Western Governors University has a track record in educating future teachers through online education. The Bachelor of Arts Elementary Education program is designed specifically to lead toward licensure that meets the requirements for all 50 states. To complete the degree, students will take 40 courses. About 79% of students complete the program in 18-48 months, and most of the coursework can be done online. Courses to complete the program include general education courses (e.g., English Composition, Survey of World History and Introduction to Communication), foundational teaching courses (e.g., Psychology for Educators and Educational Assessment), pedagogy courses, elementary education methods courses and courses designed to be taken concurrently with the student teaching internship. The average student from the elementary education program transfers 28 credits over to the degree.

School website
15 University of West Alabama Livingston, Alabama $7,286 57% 53% 36% 1 Yes Yes Yes

One of Alabama's oldest colleges, the University of Western Alabama now offers more than 50 online programs. Future teachers can benefit from this flexibility through the hybrid Bachelor of Science Elementary K-6 and Early Childhood Education P-3 degree. Most of the coursework can be completed online, but students will need to complete seminars, field experience courses and an internship in person. The program requires 127 credit hours which includes 60 hours of general education core requirements (e.g., courses in written composition, humanities and natural sciences), 27 hours of professional educational courses (e.g., Introduction to Teaching and Learning, Technology and Education and Educational Psychology), and 40 hours of teaching field courses that will be taken concurrently with student teaching internships. Transfer students may be able to transfer up to 60 credit hours from a 2-year college and up to 90 from a 4-year institution. Students who complete this program will achieve dual certification in both elementary education and early childhood education.

School website
16 Sterling College Sterling, Kansas $23,400 99% 37% 43% 1 Yes Yes Yes

In 2007, Sterling College founded Sterling College Online to expand educational delivery methods rooted in the college's Christian faith mission. Through Sterling Online, future teachers can work toward a degree in teaching through the Elementary Education program. The Sterling Teacher Education Program, also known as STEP, has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the online learning format is makes this education even more accessible. STEP helps students find clinical teaching opportunities in their local community and work toward licensure. To graduate, students must complete 41 credit hours (achieving a grade of C or higher) of core course requirements such as Elementary Art Methods, English Language Arts for K-2 and 3-5, Child and Adolescent Literature and Reading and Testing Diagnostics. In addition to core requirements, students must complete general education courses in sociology, history and physical science.

School website
17 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, Florida $9,900 56% 59% 49% 1 No No Yes

The Baptist College of Florida makes innovation in education a priority by focusing on distance learning opportunities and information delivery systems for curricula. Much of the college's degree programs are geared toward God-focused service. Students who are called to teach have the option of pursuing an English Secondary Education Major that would lead to professional certification. For requirements regarding teaching in a particular state, students should contact the school's Teacher Education Division and the state board of education. To complete the bachelor's program, students must complete a total of 129 credit hours of coursework (33 are general education foundation courses, 15 are core undergraduate course requirements, 12 are biblical and theological foundations courses and 66 are directly related to the major). Courses specifically related to the major include Foundations and Curriculum of Education, Classroom Management, Colonial American Literature and History of the English Language.

School website
18 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, Louisiana $5,788 62% 76% 41% 1 No Yes Yes

The University of Louisiana Monroe offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education that can be completed online. This program is accredited by the the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Its curriculum focuses on 5 components including general studies, professional and pedagogical studies, content studies, integrative studies and clinical and field experiences. Students who enroll in this degree can expect each course to run for approximately 8 weeks. This allows them to complete 2 to 3 courses over an 8-week period rather than trying to juggle 4 to 5 courses over 16 weeks. Once admitted, students are encouraged to work with an academic adviser to design a plan of study. Graduates are often seen working as educators in private or public educational institutions or pursuing a master's degree program.

School website
19 Southwestern Assemblies of God University Waxahachie, Texas $18,900 70% 23% 42% 1 Yes Yes Yes

At Southwestern Assemblies of God University, students have the opportunity to earn an online Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges or SACSCOC. This degree is intended for those who hope to teach preschool through 6th grade. It teaches students how to design elementary curriculums that adhere to state guidelines, create productive classroom environments and establish classroom management strategies. After graduating with this degree, students can become certified teachers in Texas and other states. They may pursue a graduate program or land a position in administration or a classroom setting. Those who enroll in the bachelor's degree in elementary education at Southwestern Assemblies of God University may receive a tuition grant and save up to $750 per semester and up to $6,000. In addition, they can expect small class sizes and access to a career center and job training resources.

School website
20 University of Alaska Southeast Juneau, Alaska $5,936 43% 49% 17% 1 Yes Yes Yes

University of Alaska Southeast offers a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. This program is specifically designed for students in Juneau and rural Alaskan communities who are in search of a flexible bachelor's degree in education. It prepares students to become certified teachers in Kindergarten through 8th grade. This degree consists of 120 credit hours and major courses such as Introduction to Educational Technology, Inclusive Education for Students with Disabilities and Foundations of Literacy and Language Development. Students are required to complete a 9-month student teaching experience during their senior year. For admission to student year student teaching, students must hold a minimum GPA of 3.0, complete all pre-senior year courses with a C or better and submit their Praxis Core/CASE or CBEST exam scores. To graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from University of Alaska Southeast, students must earn at least a C in all courses.

School website
21 Western New Mexico University Silver City, New Mexico $3,740 52% - 25% 1 No Yes Yes

At Western New Mexico University, students may enroll in an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. There are 120 credit hours in this program and courses such as Multicultural Education, Student Growth and Development and Computers in the Classroom. In addition to completing all required courses, students must participate in practice teaching. Practice teaching allows them to gain valuable teaching experience under the supervision of a teacher or a school based faculty. To apply for practice teaching, students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75. Those who hope to practice teach in schools other than the Cobre, Deming, Hatch, Lordsburg, Silver City or T or C school districts must hold a 3.0 and receive permission from the Professional Education Committee as well as complete certain prerequisites. Once they complete the required practice teaching semester, students will be eligible to graduate and/or become a licensed teacher in New Mexico.

School website
22 Lees-McRae College Banner Elk, North Carolina $24,878 100% 63% 39% 1 No Yes Yes

Lees-McRae College's online Bachelor's in Elementary Education program is designed to balance both the mechanics of curricuum development and instruction with instilling a sense of personal value and integrity among teaching professionals. Because the program describes teaching, by nature, being hands-on, there is a requirement to attend an in-person pre-admission interview on 1 of the Lees-McRae campuses. Online students must also possess an associate degree from a regionally accredited institution or have 60 credit hours of general education coursework that will meet North Carolina transfer requirements. Once admitted, all the coursework may be completed online. The program core includes 60 credit hours. Elementary education major requirements include courses such as Educational Psychology, Reflective Teaching, Math and Science Strategies for Elementary School and Literature for Children. Additionally, to graduate, students must participate in student teaching fieldwork within a public elementary school for an entire 15-week semester.

School website
23 Midway University Midway, Kentucky $23,100 74% 60% 29% 1 Yes Yes Yes

Midway University's online Bachelor's in Elementary Education program boasts that the program provides the convenience of online coursework, the affordabilty of competitive tuition and financial aid opportunities, personal attention from responsive faculty and small class sizes to ensure a comprehensive teacher preparation program. Of the 120 credit hours of course requirements, 63 are major course requirements. Students take courses such as Technology in the Educational Setting, Multicultural Education, Foundations of Literacy and Human Growth and Development among the specific subject-matter coursework (e.g., literacy, math, science, social studies). Students are also required to complete the standard student teaching fieldwork in an elementary school setting. Upon graduation, students will meet the requirements for K-5 teaching certification in Kentucky (the state does have reciprocal agreements with other states). Midway boasts that 100% of program graduates pass the provisional licensure exam.

School website
24 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, Kentucky $22,640 100% 71% 36% 1 No No Yes

The University of the Cumberlands' online bachelor's degree in Elementary Education is designed to provide working adults with a convenient class schedule. Graduates can expect to be prepared to become elementary classroom teachers (including licensure prep), as well as acquiring the knowledge and skills to work with special education programs, mentor at-risk students, run youth ministry programs, become a textbook representative, become an educational consultant or teach in international schools. Students must complete at least 128 semester hours to graduate, including 72 hours of general education requirements, 48 hours of P-5 Professional Education courses and 21-23 hours of elective and academic area courses. Examples of the professional education courses include Psychology of Learning and Exceptionality, Classroom Management and Behavior and Effective Teaching Practices including subject-specific courses (e.g., reading, math, etc.). Because of certification requirements, students must also complete the supervised student teaching semester in a P-5 classroom.

School website
25 William Penn University Oskaloosa, Iowa $23,780 99% 59% 31% 1 No Yes Yes

William Penn University's online Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education draws on its Quaker roots to create educational leaders through the development of awareness around social responsibility, diversity and positive group interaction. Even within the online program, the instruction is team-focused with an emphasis on critical thinking and reflective professional development. Beyond the general education requirements, the program requires the completion of 29 program-specific core courses. The elementary education core courses include Social Foundations of American Education, Media Methods, Human Relations for Teachers and Classroom Management. Other required coursework includes Collaboration Strategies, Educational Assessment and Developmental & Educational Psychology. Upon completion of required coursework, students must complete a 16-week student teaching internship where they practice their classroom and behavioral management skills, design and implement curricula and receive mentoring from experienced teachers. Program graduates have gone on to work in elementary and middle schools in the surrounding area.

School website
Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wesson, Mississippi $2,390 35% 33% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
2 Northwest Mississippi Community College Senatobia, Mississippi $2,800 21% 22% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
3 Western Texas College Snyder, Texas $2,088 44% 43% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
4 Arkansas Northeastern College Blytheville, Arkansas $2,156 42% 28% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
5 Northeast Community College Norfolk, Nebraska $2,700 40% 48% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
6 Southern Arkansas University Tech Camden, Arkansas $3,240 44% 43% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
7 Southwestern Community College Sylva, North Carolina $2,128 9% 30% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
8 Yavapai College Prescott, Arizona $2,280 20% 27% 1 Yes No Yes School website
9 Fayetteville Technical Community College Fayetteville, North Carolina $2,432 2% 12% 1 Yes Yes Yes School website
10 Eastern Wyoming College Torrington, Wyoming $2,136 89% 33% 1 No No Yes School website
11 Arizona Western College Yuma, Arizona $1,920 16% 16% 1 No Yes Yes School website

How Much Can You Make in a Elementary Education Career?

You can pursue a wide array of careers with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that education positions, including kindergarten, preschool, and elementary school teachers, will grow 7-8% by 2026. According to Payscale, acquiring an elementary education degree with a emphasis on a specialty area such as science, reading, or Spanish may increase earning potential. Bear in mind that no degree guarantees a career or particular salary. In the section below, several careers that graduates with a bachelor's in elementary education typically pursue are listed.

Job Growth 2016-2026: 7%
Job Description

Elementary school teachers typically teach students in grades one through five. In this position, knowledge of all basic school subjects including science, math, and social studies is required. Strong leaders and communicators, these teachers also provide constructive feedback for students and their parents. Day-to-day responsibilities include lesson planning, grading papers, and developing engaging educational activities.

Job Growth 2016-2026: 7%
Job Description

Childcare workers work directly with elementary school children, combining unintrusive supervision with tutoring. With a bachelor's degree in elementary education, you can supplement the classroom-based academic instruction and inform parents and teachers of students' problem areas and achievements.

Job Growth 2016-2026: 18%
Job Description

While located within the elementary education profession, those with a bachelor's degree in elementary education possess the necessary organizational, interpersonal, and leadership skills to be social or community service managers. They often work within communities to develop service programs for children, the homeless, aging adults, or veterans.

Job Growth 2016-2026: 8%
Job Description

Teaching assistants help reinforce the lessons presented by the primary instructor by reviewing material with students. Assistants work in both one-on-one and small group settings. Some assistants specialize in working with special needs children, including blind, deaf, autistic, and students with learning disabilities.

Job Growth 2016-2026: 9%
Job Description

Recreational work is another popular career path outside of the traditional elementary school setting. In these positions, highly organized and skilled instructors work with people from all walks of life. Recreational workers often work with children at summer camps, gyms, aquatic centers, libraries, and public parks.

Sources: BLS 2018

For professionals with this bachelor's degree, salary and job outlook for elementary school teachers varies depending on geographic location. Contributing factors to this variation include the local demand for educators and the cost of living in that area. States that employ the most elementary school teachers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois.

What Courses Can be Taken for an Online Elementary Education Degree?

Each online bachelor's degree in elementary education curriculum includes foundational education courses and a selection of classes indicative of the program's strengths and unique faculty members. In that way, each school offers a unique higher education experience. Below is a small sample of courses you may encounter in an undergraduate elementary education program.

Child Development

Education professionals need to have a foundational knowledge of children's physical, cognitive, and emotional development. In this course, students explore child development philosophy and learn from recent case studies regarding students' rate of maturation, familial and societal influence, innate abilities, and developmental variations.

Collaboration Methods

Elementary educators work with colleagues, specialists, agencies, and families to provide the best instruction and garner support for students. With careful preparation and communication, elementary educators can build a supportive, collaborative network that improves students' quality of learning and create positive experiences that last beyond the classroom.

Community Building in the Classroom

Educational professionals learn to create safe and supportive classroom environments that promote social and emotional development while helping their students develop responsibilities and a sense of community. In many cases, this course requires hands-on training at an approved location.

Legal and Ethical Issues

Educators must understand the legal and ethical issues within the context of the classroom and other educational settings. This course focuses on the ways these issues affect student learning, the classroom environment, and the personal conduct of elementary teachers.

Elementary Reading and Language Arts

In this course, students learn current research, theory, and teaching methods for reading instruction. They also learn to develop comprehensive, standard lesson plans based on useful instructional models and techniques.

How to Choose the Best Online Elementary Education Program

Several important factors affect which online degree program to choose. Every school has unique characteristics, from online resources and faculty members to its elementary education curriculum. In addition to cost, graduation rates, and retention rates, consider what the faculty, student resources, and major curriculum offer in terms of career preparation. The value of an education is also tied to a school's reputation and accreditation status. Below are the answers to commonly asked questions of prospective students related to this important choice.

How should I choose my elementary education courses?

Online bachelor's degree programs typically list the major core courses, general education, and available electives online. Transfer credits may reduce the number of general education credits required. Most programs predetermine required major specific classes and allow students to choose one or more elective courses. An academic advisor can help decide on which courses best fit your needs.

How do I know if I will be a good fit in a department?

When considering schools to earn an elementary bachelor's degree online, it is helpful to look at the list of required courses for the major and biographies, research interests, and curriculum vitaes of the faculty in the education department. While information about faculty may not be available online for all prospective schools, this information indicates the strengths of the program and what kinds of student interests would mesh well with the department's current interests.

Will all my classes be online?

While many or all of classes can be completed remotely, most elementary education programs require hands-on learning at some point during the program. In many cases, this means completing a certain number of supervised hours working with children in a classroom. Some schools require more extended field experience or internship requirements up to eight weeks in duration. Official student teaching, typically a 16-week culminating field experience, is also often necessary.

What can I do with this degree outside of teaching in an elementary school?

As shown throughout this guide, many careers open to students after completing an online bachelor's degree in elementary education. The leadership, organizational, and instructional skills acquired while earning this degree are useful in virtually any position that has an educational component, especially for those who work with children.

Should I find a specific curriculum focus?

A specialization can increase earning potential. That is not, however, a reason to pursue an aspect of elementary education. In most cases, choosing a specialized area of study during enrollment isn't necessary. Students have time within their first couple semesters to determine what interests them and which, if any, specializations makes sense for their academic needs and career aspirations.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Elementary Education Programs

Exhausting all funding possibilities, especially scholarships and grants, is important and can make a significant difference in pursuing higher education. These two forms of funding are especially helpful because they do not require repayment. In addition to applying for internal scholarships at prospective schools, be sure to seek out external awards through private organizations and foundations. In many cases, scholarships reserved for students in elementary education are available.

American Foundation for the Blind – Rudolph Dillman Memorial Scholarship

The Dillman Memorial Scholarship offers four awards of $2,500 each, reserved for current full-time undergraduate or graduate students in education. Those who plan on rehabilitating or educating the blind or visually impaired should definitely apply. Applicants must submit proof of legal blindness from an optometrist or opthamologist, two letters of recommendation, an outline of career plans, and answer three essay questions.

Edward G. and Helen A. Borgens Elementary Teacher Education Scholarships

The Daughters of the American Revolution considers applications for the Borgens scholarship from students 25 years or older who plan to teach at the elementary school level. Applicants must be at least a college sophomore with a minimum 3.50 GPA at an accredited college or university. The one-time $1,500 award is not renewable, but recipients may reapply for consideration each year as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.

Isabel M. Herson Scholarship in Education

Provided by the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority National Education Foundation, the Herson scholarship ranges from a $500 to $1,000 award for one academic year. Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in elementary education programs are eligible to apply. Applications must include three letters of recommendation from a college professor, minister or community leader, and one other person of significance for the applicant, as well as a personal essay and documentation of community service activities.

Nancy Larson Foundation Scholarship

The Nancy Larson Foundation sponsors annual scholarships for college juniors, seniors, and graduate students pursuing a major in elementary education. The award is a minimum of $1,000 and reserved for applicants enrolled in an accredited teacher preparation program with an outstanding academic record, involvement in community service, and have an interest in teaching elementary school science or math. Applicants must submit a personal narrative describing why they wish to teach children and should have some previous teaching experience.

Phi Delta Kappa Prospective Educator Scholarships

Phi Delta Kappa awards over 30 scholarships each year, worth $500 to $5000, to prospective high school seniors and current undergraduate students. To be eligible, you must be a member of either Phi Delta Kappa International, Educators Rising, or Pi Lambda Theta. Phi Delta Kappa reserves some of the 30 awards for applicants who meet specific criteria, such as those who plan to attend an historically black college or university or attend select Catholic parishes.

Take the next step towards your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

Woman working at desk