Accredited Online Education Schools and Degree Programs

In order to pursue a successful career in the field of education, teachers and professors must earn college degrees that have been accredited at the institutional and programmatic levels. This article will discuss all of the key accreditation requirements that prospective educators should know, as well as some of the nation’s leading online education degree programs in this field and some statistical data pertaining to some of the most popular education career paths.

  • Accreditation Agencies
  • Career Options
  • Notable Schools

Accreditation Agencies

Accreditation Agencies for Education and Teaching

The following agencies are responsible for accrediting programs at U.S. colleges and universities directly related to the field of education. All of these agencies have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Career Options

Education is one of today’s most popular academic majors, but this credential is not exclusively limited to prospective teachers. We’ve listed some of the most popular career paths for education graduates, as well as figures about nationwide employment and median salary courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Title National Employment Mean Hourly Wage Mean Annual Wage
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers 1,655,800 $25.69 $51,380
Postsecondary Teachers 1,756,000 $31.03 $62,050
Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers 236,100 $43.49 $86,970
School and Career Counselors 281,400 $25.67 $53,380
Elementary and Secondary School Administrators 225,970 $45.40 $90,800

Figures from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

Notable Schools

Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of accredited colleges there are across the nation. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for your specific program. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable online and campus-based schools offering degrees in this subject to help you begin your school search.


Education is one of the most popular academic paths in the United States, and prospective teachers have plenty of online programs to choose from. The following web-based education programs are among the most reputable in the country. Readers should note that some of these programs may include brick-and-mortar components; please contact each school’s registrar office for more information.

St. John’s University

New York, New York / Online

This Queens-based school received the No. 5 spot on U.S. News and World Report‘s list of top graduate schools for education. St. John’s University offers 15 different master’s degrees and advanced certificates that emphasize different aspects of education, including Teaching English as a Second Official Language (TESOL), special education, and school administration and district leadership. Many of these credentials include internship or student-teaching requirements. St. John’s University’s website boasts a 93% employment rate for its alumni, making it a great option for graduates who wish to immediately enter the workforce post-graduation.

Auburn University Online

Auburn, Alabama / Online

The Auburn University College of Education came in 6th on U.S. News and World Report‘s list of best online graduate degree programs in education. This college offers online undergraduate degrees in the following areas: Adult Education, Elementary Education, Career Technical Education, Foreign Language Education, and Special Education. The university also invites master’s students to enroll in more than a dozen web-based graduate degree programs; available specializations include Collaborative Teacher Special Education, Foreign Language Education (French and Spanish), and Library Media.

South Dakota State University

Brookings, South Dakota / Online

South Dakota State University won the 7th place slot for best graduate education programs on the U.S. News and World Report‘s list. SDSU offers two exclusively online master’s degree programs in education. The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction allows students to specialize in the following areas: Adult and Higher Education, Career and Technical Education, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and English as a Second Language. The Master of Education in Educational Administration program emphasizes elementary and secondary institutions, and meets state requirements for a principal endorsement.

Campus Only

In addition to the online programs listed above, these three brick-and-mortar institutions have earned excellent reputations as providers of campus-based education degrees.

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee

Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development is one of the nation’s leading schools of education; it is consistently ranked the No. 1 on U.S. News and World Report‘s best education list. Sixteen master’s degrees ― focused on areas like child studies, English language learners, independent school leadership, and teaching and learning in urban schools ― are available for full-time graduate students. Other programs include a M.D. and M.Ed. hybrid degree; seven early enrollment master’s degrees for undergraduates that may be completed in 12 months; and a 36-month educational doctorate degree. Students have access to top ranked research facilities and a wealth of student support services.

Johns Hopkins University School of Education

Baltimore, Maryland

Although this Baltimore institution is primarily known for its programs related to medicine and human health, the Johns Hopkins School of Education is an attractive option for education professionals seeking an advanced degree. U.S. News and World Report listed this school as it’s 2nd choice for best graduate degree in education. John Hopkins University offers a Doctor of Education degree and six master’s degrees (four of which emphasize science). Additionally, more than two dozen graduate-level certificates are offered. Subjects include: adolescent literacy education; assistive technology; leadership for school, family, and community collaboration; teacher leadership; and urban education.

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Harvard Graduate School of Education earned the 3rd spot on U.S. News and World Report‘s best colleges for graduate studies in education list, which isn’t surprising, given all that Harvard does to promote and implement quality education; the new Doctor of Education Leadership Program is only one example of Harvard’s attempt to produce better education platforms. The Harvard Graduate School of Education offers 13 different graduate-level degrees related to the field of education. In addition to standard programs like education policy and management and language and literacy, the school invites master’s level students to enroll in the ‘Mind, Brain, and Education’ program ― the only one of its kind in the nation.