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Bachelor's Degree in Education

What is a bachelor's degree in education?

A teacher is leading a class of elementary school children. There are various posters on the wall, and drawings on the chalkboard. Students are putting up their hands to answer a question.

A bachelor's degree in education is a crucial first step to becoming a teacher in the classroom. In most states, a bachelor's degree is required in order to become a licensed teacher, and those states will typically require your bachelor's degree be in an education field. There are some alternative routes to licensure options, but if you do not already have a bachelor's degree, earning a bachelor's degree in education will be vital to becoming a teacher.

A bachelor's degree in education can have many specialties that allow you to focus your degree and prepare for specialty licensure, so it's important to know what kind of grade and subject you want to teach as you prepare for a bachelor's degree. 

WGU offers a wide variety of bachelor's degrees in education to help students prepare for an exciting and rewarding career in the classroom. If you're considering becoming a teacher, WGU can help you reach your goal in a way that works for you. Learn more about bachelor's degrees in education and why WGU could be the perfect fit to help you reach your career goals.

What is a bachelor's degree in education called?

Bachelor's degrees in education will either be a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). This can sometimes be confusing for students who are unsure what the difference is. Simply put, B.A. training focuses more on liberal arts, while B.S. training focuses more on sciences. One is not necessarily better than the other—degrees are given this distinction based on the subject matter and the focus of the program, and both are needed and seen as valuable for educators. WGU offers both B.A. and B.S. education degree programs for students simply based on the subject, the grade level, and the focus of the program. 

Bachelor's degree in education specialties.

When you choose a bachelor's degree in education, you'll also need to choose grade levels and subjects that you want to focus on as part of your learning. There are many specialties you can choose from and it's important to understand the outcome of each before deciding. The specialties you can choose from include: 

Grade Level

Elementary education, middle school, and high school are all different grade levels you can focus on teaching. You can additionally pursue an early childhood education degree which would prepare you for preschool or younger students. Elementary education degrees and certification prepare you for licensure in K-6 classrooms. Secondary education degrees and certification prepare you for licensure in middle school or high school classrooms. There may be specialties that focus just on middle grades, 6-8. Consider carefully if you think a career as an elementary school teacher, a high school teacher, or even an early childhood educator would be the best fit.

Subject

Math, science, English—there are many subjects that teachers can choose from. If you opt for an elementary education degree, you won't choose a specific subject to teach as elementary teachers focus on all of the subjects. But if you want to get a secondary education degree and teach middle school or high school, you'll likely need to pick a specific subject to specialize in. Licensure requirements vary by state, but usually you will need education and specific exams in a certain specialization in order to be qualified to teach. Your education degree program will focus on that subject to help you learn it thoroughly, and ensure you're prepared to teach it to students.

Diverse Students

Special education students and English Language Learners are important students in every classroom and school. Teachers can get additional qualifications and specialization so they are equipped to help diverse learners thrive in the classroom. Special education degree programs and ESL or ELL degree programs and certifications can be essential in helping teachers propel their career forward. Many special education teachers also opt for elementary education licensure because in some states this is a requirement. Additionally to be ELL certified you will also need a bachelor's degree and licensure in another subject area to begin.

Learn about a career in education

Take a look at all the degree programs you can choose from that help you further your education career.

View all education degrees

WGU Bachelor's Degrees in Education

Elementary Education – B.A.

An online teacher certification program for aspiring elementary...

An online teacher certification program for...

An online teacher certification program for aspiring elementary teachers.

Leads to teacher licensure. Specific grade levels will vary depending on teaching certification in your state.

  • Time: 60% of grads earned this degree within 36 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,520 per 6-month term.

Candidates for this program often include:

  • Aspiring elementary school teachers who currently lack a teaching license
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career-changers
  • School paraprofessionals
  • Others who feel the call to teach

This elementary education degree program includes courses in the foundations of teacher education, instructional planning and presentation, assessment, and classroom management. Core teacher education courses focus on diversity, disciplinary literacy, elementary education methods, and pedagogy. It requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time demonstration teaching. This online teaching degree program helps you to be eligible for teaching certification in any of the 50 states.

Mathematics Education (Secondary) – B.S.

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for...

An online teaching degree and teacher...

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for aspiring middle school math teachers and high school math teachers.

Leads to teacher licensure. Specific grade levels will vary depending on licensure in your state.

  • Time: 71% of grads earned this degree within 42 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,520 per 6-month term.

Candidates for this math teaching degree program often include:

  • Aspiring junior high and high school math teachers who currently lack a teaching license
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career-changers with a passion for math
  • School paraprofessionals
  • Others who feel the call to teach

This online math teaching degree program includes courses in the foundations of teaching, general education, mathematics content, math education, instructional planning and presentation, and pedagogy. It requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time demonstration teaching. This online math teaching degree program helps students become eligible for math teaching certification.

Science Education (Secondary Chemistry) – B.S.

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for...

An online teaching degree and teacher...

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for aspiring middle or high school chemistry teachers.

Leads to teacher licensure. Specific grade levels will vary depending on licensure in your state.

  • Time: 71% of grads earned this online chemistry degree within 42 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,520 per 6-month term, plus a one-time fee of $350 to cover the cost of an at-home science lab.

Candidates for this online chemistry degree program often include:

  • Aspiring junior high or high school chemistry teachers who currently lack a teaching license
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career-changers with a passion for chemistry
  • School paraprofessionals
  • Others who feel the call to teach

This chemistry teaching degree program includes online classes in the following areas: general education, foundations of teaching, general science, mathematics, chemistry, pedagogy, and science education. It requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time demonstration teaching. Earn a chemistry degree online and be eligible for a teaching certification.

Special Education (Mild to Moderate) – B.A.

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for...

An online teaching degree and teacher...

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for aspiring K–12 special education teacher. Leads to your teaching license in states that offer a single teaching license in K–12 special education.

This special education bachelor's degree program will help you prepare for an exciting future helping exceptional students. If your state requires—or if you're interested in—dual licensure in both elementary education and K–12 special education, consider the B.A. Special Education (K–12) program.

  • Time: 62% of grads finish similar online teaching degree programs within 3½ years.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,520 per 6-month term.

Candidates for this special education degree program often include:

  • Aspiring special ed teachers who currently lack a teaching license.
  • Substitute teachers.
  • Career-changers.
  • School paraprofessionals.
  • Others who feel the call to teach.

This online degree program includes coursework and assessments tailor-made for future teachers who are committed to working with students who have mild to moderate learning exceptionalities. It offers deep engagement in serving special education students and leads to your K–12 special education license in states that do not require dual elementary-ed and special-ed licensure. It also includes a preclinical experience with face-to-face observation hours and a Demonstration Teaching component hosted by an experienced teacher and directed by a clinical supervisor.

Compare B.A. Special Education (K–12)

Special Education and Elementary Education (Dual Licensure) – B.A.

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for...

An online teaching degree and teacher...

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for aspiring K–12 special education teachers. Leads to dual licensure—elementary education teaching license and special education teaching license.

(Specific grade levels will vary depending on licensure in your state.) If your state offers a single K–12 special education teaching license and you are interested in focusing on teaching students with mild to moderate exceptionalities, consider the B.A. Special Education (Mild to Moderate) online teaching degree. 

  • Time: 62% of grads earned this degree within 3½ years.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,520 per 6-month term.

Candidates for this online teaching degree often include:

  • Aspiring special ed teachers who currently lack a teaching license
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career-changers
  • School paraprofessionals
  • Others who feel the call to teach

This special education teaching online degree program prepares you to teach students with mild-to-moderate disabilities, with courses in the foundations of teaching, instructional planning and presentation, assessment, and classroom management. Core elementary and special education courses focus on diversity, disciplinary literacy, elementary education methods, and special education topics such as law, assessment, and behavioral management. This program requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time demonstration teaching. Compare B.A. Special Education (Mild to Moderate)

 

Science Education (Middle Grades) – B.S.

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for...

An online teaching degree and teacher...

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for aspiring middle school science teachers. Leads to teaching license in all states that have a middle-grades general science teaching license.

Specific grade levels you are qualified to teach will vary depending on teaching certification in your state.

  • Time: 69% of grads earned this science teaching degree within 36 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,520 per 6-month term, plus a one-time fee of $350 to cover the cost of an at-home science lab.

Candidates for this online science teaching degree often include:

  • Aspiring junior high or middle school science teachers who currently lack a teaching license
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career-changers with a passion for science
  • School paraprofessionals
  • Others who feel the call to teach

This science teaching degree program includes coursework in the following areas: general education, foundations of teaching, science, mathematics, pedagogy, science education, field experience, and a teacher performance assessment. It requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time demonstration teaching.

Science Education (Secondary Physics) – B.S.

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for...

An online teaching degree and teacher...

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for aspiring middle or high school physics teachers.

Leads to teacher licensure. Specific grade levels will vary depending on teaching license options in your state.

  • Time: 67% of grads earned this online physics degree within 36 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,520 per 6-month term, plus a one-time fee of $350 to cover the cost of an at-home science lab.

Candidates for this online teaching degree often include:

  • Aspiring junior high or high school physics teachers who currently lack a teaching license
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career-changers with a passion for physics
  • School paraprofessionals
  • Others who feel the call to teach

This physics teaching degree program includes online courses in the following areas: general education, foundations of teaching, general science, mathematics, physics, pedagogy, and science education. It requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time demonstration teaching. Graduates of this online teaching degree program will be eligible for teaching certification.

Mathematics Education (Middle Grades) – B.S.

An online teacher certification program for aspiring middle...

An online teacher certification program for...

An online teacher certification program for aspiring middle school math teachers. Leads to teaching license in states that have a middle-grades math teaching license.

Specific grade levels will vary depending on teaching licensure in your state.

  • Time: 61% of grads earned this degree within 30 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,520 per 6-month term.

Candidates for this science teaching degree program often include:

  • Aspiring junior high math teachers who currently lack a teaching license
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career-changers with a passion for math
  • School paraprofessionals
  • Others who feel the call to teach

This science teaching degree program includes online courses in the following areas: general education, foundations of teaching, science, mathematics, pedagogy, science education, field experience, and a teacher performance assessment. It requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time demonstration teaching. This science teaching degree prepares you to be eligible for a teaching license in any of the 50 states.

Science Education (Secondary Biological Science) – B.S.

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for...

An online teaching degree and teacher...

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for aspiring middle or high school biology teachers.

Leads to teacher licensure. Specific grade levels will vary depending on licensure in your state.

  • Time: 76% of grads earned this online biology degree within 42 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,520 per 6-month term, plus a one-time fee of $350 to cover the cost of an at-home science lab.

Candidates for this online teaching degree often include:

  • Aspiring junior high or high school biology teachers who currently lack a teaching license
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career-changers with a passion for biology
  • School paraprofessionals
  • Others who feel the call to teach

This biology teaching degree program includes online courses in the following areas: general education, foundations of teaching, general science, mathematics, biology, pedagogy, and science education. It requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time demonstration teaching.

Science Education (Secondary Earth Science) – B.S.

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for...

An online teaching degree and teacher...

An online teaching degree and teacher certification program for aspiring middle or high school earth science teachers.

Leads to teacher licensure. Specific grade levels will vary depending on teaching license options in your state.

  • Time: 69% of grads earned this middle school teaching and high school teaching degree within 42 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,520 per 6-month term, plus a one-time fee of $350 to cover the cost of an at-home science lab.

Candidates for this science teaching degree program often include:

  • Aspiring junior high or high school geoscience teachers who currently lack a teaching license
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career-changers with a passion for earth science
  • School paraprofessionals
  • Others who feel the call to teach

This geosciences teaching degree program includes online courses in the following areas: general education, foundations of teaching, general science, mathematics, earth sciences, pedagogy, and science education. It requires in-classroom observation and a term of full-time demonstration teaching. This high school teaching degree program prepares you for teaching licensure in any of the 50 states.

Frequently asked questions about education bachelor's degrees.

How long is a bachelor's degree in education?

A traditional bachelor's degree in education will take 4 years to complete. However, an online bachelor's degree in education may be faster to complete. Schools like WGU offer competency-based education which allows you to accelerate your courses and graduate faster. Most WGU education bachelor's degree students finish in just 36 months. 

What can I do with a bachelor's in education?

Most bachelor's degrees in education are designed to prepare you to become a teacher. Early childhood education degrees may not lead to licensure in your state, but most other bachelor's degrees in education should help you prepare for a teaching license. Whether you want to teach elementary education, secondary education, special education, or something else, a bachelor's degree in education can help you get there.

What will I learn with a bachelor's degree in education?

A bachelor's degree in education is designed to train you for life in the classroom. While a traditional math degree will teach you all about certain math skills, a degree in math education will teach you those same skills along with strategies for teaching to students. Some of the things you can learn include: 

  • Teaching diverse learners
  • Classroom management
  • Developmental understanding
  • Understanding learning theories and styles
  • Unique approaches to teaching students

What are the benefits of a bachelor's degree in education?

While you may not be required to get a bachelor's degree in education in order to become a teacher, there are many reasons this type of degree program may be the best fit for your career. An education bachelor's degree focuses not only on the subject matter you will be teaching, but gives you important training and skills on how to work in the classroom with students. This training prepares you to take your knowledge and translate it into meaningful lessons, discussions, and assignments for all kinds of learners. A bachelor's degree in education has the sole focus of helping you be the best possible teacher by giving you skills and credentials that prepare you for that important work.

What is student teaching?

Student teaching is an important element of a bachelor's degree in education that prepares you for actual work in the classroom. In student teaching, you work with a licensed educator inside a classroom to understand what it is really like to work with students every day. You will teach lessons, help students who are struggling, give assignments, and more as part of your student teaching experience. Having this in-classroom experience is vital to helping you be ready for having your own classroom, and many states will require in-classroom experience before giving you a teaching license. A bachelor's degree program in education can help you set up your student teaching so you are ready to move forward and experience educating students first-hand.

Why choose WGU for your bachelor's degree in education?

WGU is a great fit for your online bachelor's degree in education for many reasons, including:

  • Low, flat-rate tuition means that you're charged the same amount per six-month term, regardless of how many classes you take. 
  • Competency-based education means you can use your knowledge to your advantage, accelerating your program and graduating faster. Graduating faster also saves you money. 
  • We offer scholarships and financial aid to help with our already affordable tuition, making college education accessible for even more students.
  • Respected and accredited programs ensure that your education degree is meaningful for you as a teacher.

Learn about a career in education

Take a look at all the degree programs you can choose from that help you further your education career.

View all education degrees