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The 30 Best Colleges for Education Majors

What’s Covered:

 

Education is one of the 10 most popular majors in the country. And given the high need for qualified educators in every age group and level, from early childhood through higher learning, that’s great news. 

 

If you’re looking to study education in college, where should you look? One of the 30 best colleges for the discipline may just be the answer!

 

How We Made This List

 

To create this list, we evaluated a number of factors, including the reputation of the program, the overall school quality, the popularity of the major within the school, and the size of the program relative to the size of the school.

 

30 Best Schools for Education Majors

 

1. Vanderbilt University

Location: Nashville

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,800

Acceptance Rate: 12%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1470-1570/33-35

 

Through Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, students can pursue programs in areas like Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education. Future teachers will gain classroom experience early on in college, and students are required to pursue a non-education second major in most instances in order to gain knowledge in other topics. Special Education undergraduates obtain some 500 hours in classrooms in Nashville and beyond.

 

Peabody also offers 21 master’s programs, 2 Ed.D. program tracks, and six Ph.D. programs. The university’s online education doctorate was ranked no. 1 by Fortune.

 

2. Michigan State University

Location: East Lansing

Undergrad Enrollment: 39,400

Acceptance Rate: 76%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1100-1300/23-29

 

Ranked among U.S. News’ best places in the country to earn an online master’s degree in education, MSU also boasts top undergraduate education programs. Both the elementary and secondary programs have been ranked no. 1 in U.S. News for 28 consecutive years. 

 

Fieldwork is central to the curriculum. Students grow their understanding of pedagogy through internships and experiential learning. MSU has developed strong relationships with schools in Michigan and beyond, and students gain hands-on experience teaching in real-world settings.

 

3. University of Washington

Location: Seattle

Undergrad Enrollment: 32,000 

Acceptance Rate: 56%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1200-1457/27-33

 

The UW College of Education offers a wide variety of programs taught by nationally-recognized faculty, including undergraduate studies in areas like Early Childhood & Family Studies; Education, Communities & Organizations; Education, Learning & Society; and more. Future teachers can prepare through a Seattle Teacher Residency, where they will take part in a year-long classroom apprenticeship with integrated, graduate-level coursework. 

 

UW collaborates with diverse schools in the state to solve real-world educational challenges in order to prepare future generations of educators to become change agents.

 

4. Ohio State University

Location: Columbus

Undergrad Enrollment: 46,800

Acceptance Rate: 68%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1210-1430/26-32

 

Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology encompasses a wide variety of programs at the undergraduate level and beyond. There are numerous general and traditional educational programs, such as Child and Youth Studies, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and many others, as well as niche programs like Business Education.

 

Students have the opportunity to explore a wide array of topics and practices in the discipline, gaining the knowledge and skills to educate learners from all backgrounds and conduct research in the field.

 

5. University of Texas at Austin

Location: Austin

Undergrad Enrollment: 40,800

Acceptance Rate: 32%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1210-1470/26-33

 

At UT Austin, students will learn how to teach children with different backgrounds and abilities. Focusing on leadership, the program provides future teachers with nearly 800 hours of hands-on experience working with children in classrooms over several semesters — well beyond the state requirement. You will graduate well prepared to take the teacher certification exams — graduates of the program pass the exam at a rate of more than 95%

 

The university also offers non-certification programs that prepare students to work with students and youth in settings like daycare centers, after-school programs, and more.

 

6. University of Georgia

Location: Athens

Undergrad Enrollment: 29,600

Acceptance Rate: 48%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1220-1400/27-32

 

Education students have the option of several different pathways to pursue at UGA. Via the BSEd program, they can study areas like English Education, Health and Physical Education, Middle Grades Education, Science Education, Special Education, and more. Meanwhile, dual degree programs enable students to study education while pursuing another academic area simultaneously, typically in the same amount of time as it would take to pursue just one degree.

 

Another option is the so-called “Double Dawg,” a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree pathway. Students may earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years or fewer. Examples include an AB in French/MAT in World Language Education, AB in Political Science/MAT in Social Studies, and BSEd in Science Education/MEd in Science Education. No matter what the program, students receive mentorship and experiential learning opportunities.

 

7. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Location: Madison

Undergrad Enrollment: 31,700

Acceptance Rate: 57%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1260-1460/27-32

 

UW Madison’s School of Education offers a wide array of undergraduate programs. While undergraduate degrees are not available in every department, each division does offer courses at the undergraduate level — Art, Counseling Psychology, Curriculum and Instruction, Dance, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, Educational Policy Studies, Educational Psychology, Kinesiology, Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, and Theatre and Drama.

 

Students have a breadth of opportunities to conduct research and participate in experiential learning, such as volunteering, internships, and study abroad. The programs within the School of Education rank in the top 10 in all nine of the U.S. News’ education specialty areas, including Educational Psychology, which ranks no. 1.

 

8. Pennsylvania State University

Location: University Park

Undergrad Enrollment: 40,300

Acceptance Rate: 54%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1150-1340/25-30

 

Penn State’s College of Education stays true to the belief that its students have the potential to positively impact the lives of others. The university prepares students through flexible academic offerings, including eight majors with teacher preparation in 20 specialty degree programs. 

 

Students will be equipped with the knowledge to pursue a range of careers across fields like policy-making, educational psychology, counseling, special education, and more. Students also have the opportunity to gain field experience through hands-on learning.

 

9. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Location: Champaign

Undergrad Enrollment: 33,900

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1210-1470/27-33

 

One of the first land-grant schools of education, the College of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is known for groundbreaking research, preparation of educator-leaders, community outreach, and a global impact. 

 

The College creates a diverse community of learners. In 2014, UIUC received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award, recognizing its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Students can pursue licensure and non-licensure pathways, all while engaging with fellow educators, participating in research, studying abroad, and more.

 

10. Columbia University

Location: New York, NY

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,200

Acceptance Rate: N/A

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1470-1570/33-35

 

Columbia’s world-renowned Teachers College has extended well beyond the field of teaching, but the graduate school remains one of the top graduate schools of education in the country, offering a breadth of innovative programs like hip-hop pedagogy and the revival of Inca languages in Latin American schools.

 

Undergraduates, too, can begin their journeys as educators through programs like the Barnard Education program (currently limited to Barnard students), which offers Educational Studies and an Urban Teaching minor, leading to teacher certification. 

 

11. Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, MA

Undergrad Enrollment: 9,900 

Acceptance Rate: 5%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1460-1580/33-35

 

Undergraduates at Harvard are encouraged to pursue the Teaching and Teacher Leadership (TTL) program at the Graduate School of Education, which houses the Harvard Teacher Fellows Program and its residency fieldwork model pathway. This will allow students to complete the courses and field experiences necessary for a Massachusetts teaching license in English, history, math, or science.

 

On top of their primary field, students may also pursue a secondary field in Educational Studies, allowing them to examine the field of education from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Meanwhile, GSA offers master’s and doctoral degrees, including online options.

 

12. Arizona State University 

Location: Tempe

Undergrad Enrollment: 42,800 

Acceptance Rate: 88%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1100-1320/21-28

 

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College offers degrees that blend subject matter knowledge, classroom techniques, and professional teaching experience — all before graduation. Students can explore topics like childhood education, gifted and special education, and beyond.

 

Students can pursue 100% online degree options and customize their academic experience with minors as well as majors, as well as certification programs.

 

13. Florida State University

Location: Tallahassee

Undergrad Enrollment: 32,400 

Acceptance Rate: 32%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1220-1350/27-31

 

The FSU College of Education offers world-class academics and a close-knit community. Students engage in educational research, all while learning in the classroom and enjoying an engaging student experience.

 

Faculty are pioneers in their fields — and students can work directly with them, at the forefront of education. They also have access to cutting-edge technology and resources, the most advanced teaching technology for testing and learning. There are many pathways, including combined bachelor’s/master’s degree programs across several disciplines.

 

14. Stanford University

Location: Stanford

Undergrad Enrollment: 7,000

Acceptance Rate: 5%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1420-1570/31-35

 

Through Stanford’s renowned Graduate School of Education, undergraduate students can explore pathways in teaching and learning, too. In fact, GSE is the only graduate school at the university with an office dedicated to undergraduates. 

 

This is an undergraduate minor in education that offers a broad and focused study of research, theory, and practice. The undergraduate Honors program allows students to supplement their majors by applying their studies to education, pursuing independent inquiry under the mentorship of GSE faculty.

 

15. Indiana University Bloomington

Location: Bloomington, IN

Undergrad Enrollment: 33,300

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1120-1350/24-31

 

The no. 1 school of education in Indiana, IU offers a bachelor’s degree in areas like Counseling and Student Services, Music Education, Special Education, Visual Arts Education, World Languages, and many others. These pathways prepare you to become a licensed preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, or high school teacher.

 

Taught by well-known scholars and experts, graduates are routinely named the best teachers in Indiana. Programs are nationally ranked and have a worldwide impact.

 

16. University of Florida

Location: Gainesville, FL

Undergrad Enrollment: 35,400

Acceptance Rate: 31%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1290-1460/29-33

 

The College of Education at the University of Florida continues to dominate the rankings, with a top (no. 2) spot as the home of one nation’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs. Meanwhile, UF’s BA in Education Sciences, launched in 2020, is ranked no. 1 in U.S. News’ list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

 

This program gives students a foundation in education, preparing them to further explore a career in the field. Several options, including remote and in-person, are available.

 

17. University of Kansas

Location: Lawrence, KS

Undergrad Enrollment: 19,500

Acceptance Rate: 91%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1070-1320/22-29

 

Offering the no. 1 Special Education Public Program, KU’s School of Education and Human Sciences offers a broad array of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Bachelor’s degree programs span areas like Elementary Education, Foreign Language Education, Music Education, Physical Education, Secondary English, Secondary History & Government Education, STEM, and Visual Art education, ultimately leading to initial licensure.

 

18. University of Maryland, College Park

Location: College Park, MD

Undergrad Enrollment: 30,700

Acceptance Rate: 49%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1270-1480/29-34

 

The College of Education at the University of Maryland offers extensive research opportunities at multiple levels, both graduate and undergraduate, along with practice-oriented programs. Undergraduates can explore majors like Art Education, Elementary Education, Music Education, Secondary Education, and more.

 

Combined/dual-degree options are available, too, as are several minors and certificate programs, such as Disability Studies, Human Development, Leadership Studies, and others.

 

19. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Undergrad Enrollment: 34,400

Acceptance Rate: 70%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1240-1460/25-31

 

The College of Education and Human Development offers teacher education programs that prepare students to be experts in their fields. In some instances, students may earn a bachelor’s degree and teaching license in four years. 

 

There are several tracks, including Early Childhood, Special Education, and Elementary Education. After obtaining their bachelor’s degree, students may also apply to one of the university’s combined master’s teaching licensure programs. All CEHD students complete an internship, teaching practicum, or experiential coursework.

 

20. University of Michigan

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Undergrad Enrollment: 30,300

Acceptance Rate: 26%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1340-1560/31-34

 

Ranked no. 1 in Education & Educational Research by the Center for World University Subject Rankings — and home to several top 10 specialty programs per U.S. News, including a no. 1 ranking in Higher Education — the University of Michigan offers several well-regarded education programs at different levels.

 

At the undergraduate level, students may pursue a BA or BS in Elementary Teacher Education with Teacher Certification, aimed at developing instructional practices to disrupt inequities in schools. Alternatively, they may pursue a three-year Secondary Teacher Education program. Either way, first-year students should consider applying through the Teacher Education Preferred Admissions Program.

 

21. University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia

Undergrad Enrollment: 11,800

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1460-1570/33-35

 

UPenn’s Graduate School of Education offers several pathways for graduate students, including multiple joint and dual degree offerings. Undergraduates, too, can gain preparation for a career in education. Students can take a number of courses taught by GSE faculty and learn alongside graduate students. There is also an Urban Education Minor for undergraduates, cosponsored with the College of Arts & Sciences.

 

Another option is submatriculation. Full-time juniors or seniors may take up to four courses in GSE, applying them toward both degrees, beginning their graduate work early.

 

22. Clemson University

Location: Clemson, South Carolina

Undergrad Enrollment: 19,600

Acceptance Rate: 62%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1210-1390/27-32

 

A transformative leader in education, Clemson’s College of Education has a particular focus on serving underserved communities, offering award-winning programs in a range of areas. The College equips students for careers that make a difference in South Carolina and beyond and has ranked as the no. 8 Best College for Education Majors for three consecutive years by CollegeMagazine.com.

 

Students have the opportunity to participate in organizations, study abroad, and collaborate as a part of a close-knit community. Special programs include Call Me MISTER, which helps minority male students prepare for careers in elementary education, and ClemsonLIFE, which provides life skills and a college experience for students with intellectual disabilities.

 

23. University of Oregon

Location: Eugene, OR

Undergrad Enrollment: 19,100

Acceptance Rate: 83%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1090-1290/22-29

 

The no. 7 public college of education — home to the no. 3 special education program — Oregon’s College of Education offers an array of programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels, along with certificates. 

 

One mission of the College is to close the inequity gap. The school emphasizes research and inclusion, striving to change lives and eliminate barriers. 

 

24. New York University

Location: New York, NY

Undergrad Enrollment: 26,700

Acceptance Rate: 21%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1370-1540/31-34

 

Founded in 1890 as the first school of pedagogy in the US, NYU Steinhardt continues its mission of educating educators and fostering innovation and creativity. The school offers a breadth of degrees at multiple levels, including undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

 

At the undergraduate level, students study in the classroom, while also pursuing internships, study abroad, and other experiential learning opportunities. Dual degree pathways are available as well.

 

25. University of Alabama

Location: Tuscaloosa

Undergrad Enrollment: 33,000

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1070-1330/23-31

 

UA’s College of Education’s undergraduate programs focus on teacher education in the various fields of early childhood elementary education, physical education, music education, secondary education, and special education, leading to licensure in Alabama.

 

Just some of the many pathways include Counselor Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Educational Neuroscience, Educational Psychology, Gifted Education, Music Education, Reading Specialist, Physical Education, and Severe Disabilities. Many online options are available.

 

26. Texas A&M University

Location: College Station, TX

Undergrad Enrollment: 53,700

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1160-1380/25-32

 

Offering 21 undergraduate programs and more than 30 graduate programs, the School of Education and Human Development seeks to grow future leaders through four academic areas: Educational Administration and Human Resource Development (EAHR), Educational Psychology (EPSY), Health and Kinesiology (HLKN), and Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC).

 

The school prepares students to become certified school personnel across organizations. It is a leader in certifying teachers in math and science. Students begin their teaching experience in their first semester, starting hands-on experience early.

 

27. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Location: Chapel Hill

Undergrad Enrollment: 19,100

Acceptance Rate: 24%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1270-1470/27-33

 

Over its 130-year history, UNC’s School of Education has served the state, educating teachers in a range of specialties. Today, the School offers undergraduate degrees in Human and Organizational Leadership Development, Human Development and Family Science, K-12 Music Education, and Education in Science and Teaching. There is also a minor available.

 

A Pre-Master of Arts in Teaching is an early affiliation option for undergraduates who want to receive graduate credit while pursuing their bachelor’s degrees. Also of note is the NC Teaching Fellows program, designed to encourage students to pursue teaching careers in high-needs STEM areas.

 

28. University of Missouri

Location: Columbia

Undergrad Enrollment: 22,400

Acceptance Rate: 82%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1110-1320/23-30

 

Mizzou’s College of Education & Human Development has a number of pride points. For one, it’s ranked no. 4 in the nation among the best online master’s education programs for veterans in U.S. News. 

 

The College offers bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees in several niches and disciplines, and students engage in research and real teaching beginning sophomore year, completing their coursework in classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Elementary and special education programs culminate in a year-long senior year internship, called Senior Year On-Site Program. There are also Teach Abroad Programs.

 

29. University of California, Los Angeles

Location: Los Angeles

Undergrad Enrollment:  31,500

Acceptance Rate: 14%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1290-1520/29-34

 

The UCLA School of Education & Information Studies is “at the forefront of a global transformation in education.” It is the only global public research university that began as a public research university and UCLA’s longest-running school, bringing more than a century of experience in education, emphasizing teaching in urban communities and multi-ethnic environments.

 

The school offers plenty of opportunities, including research through the centers within the school.

 

30. University of Virginia

Location: Charlottesville

Undergrad Enrollment: 16,700

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1320-1510/30-34

 

Future teachers and current teachers alike have access to a range of degree and certificate programs at the UVA School of Education and Human Department. Just some of the niches students can pursue include Curriculum & Instruction, ESL Education, Gifted Education, Instructional Technology, and Social and Emotional Learning. Online options allow students the flexibility to learn on their own terms.

 

The Contemplative Teaching and Learning Lab is home to research projects exploring how practices like mindfulness and yoga can be adapted and applied to improve teaching and learning, collaborating with other organizations within and outside UVA.

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance to These Top Schools for Education Majors?

 

What are your chances of getting into the best colleges and universities for education in the country? Find out with our free chancing engine. This tool will estimate your real odds of admission to hundreds of top schools — plus give you tips on how to improve your profile.

 


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.