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Top 25 Teaching Colleges in the U.S.

Read about 25 of the top teaching colleges in the United States. Learn about the degree options at four of these top schools, and find a table with at-a-glance facts about other top colleges and universities in the country that offer teacher preparation programs. View article »

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94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)

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  • 0:03 School Overviews
  • 1:08 Michigan State University
  • 1:48 University of Georgia
  • 2:30 University of…
  • 3:33 Boston College
  • 4:34 Top Teacher Education Programs

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

Elementary, middle, and secondary teachers must complete a teacher training program and obtain a state license before they can work in a U.S. public school. Aspiring teachers may want to look into the nation's top tier teaching colleges in order to get the highest quality preparation for their careers. Four of the top 25 teaching colleges include Michigan State University, the University of Georgia in Athens, the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and Boston College. All four universities offer teacher preparation programs that lead to a bachelor's degree, the minimal educational requirement for obtaining a position, as well as graduate programs. In general, teacher education programs include courses in instructional theory and a major subject area, as well as an internship. These four schools have all been ranked by U.S. News & World Report for either being top schools in the nation, offering some of the nation's best education graduate schools, offering top-ranked graduate specializations in education, or all three.

Michigan State University

School Highlight: U.S. News & World Report ranked Michigan State University (MSU) first in the nation for both its elementary and secondary teacher graduate education programs in 2016.

Michigan State University in East Lansing tied for 33rd place among national public universities in 2017, according to U.S. News & World Report. At the undergraduate level, Michigan State offers five-year teacher preparation programs for elementary, secondary, and special education teachers. Michigan State University offers special programs in urban and global education for students who wish to gain experience teaching in differing contexts.

University of Georgia

School Highlight: U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Georgia as tied for 18th among national public schools in 2017, as well as sixth in elementary education and fourth for secondary education at the graduate level for 2016.

The University of Georgia in Athens offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in elementary, middle school, adult, and workforce education. For those interested in teaching language and literacy, the university offers English, teaching language to speakers of other languages (TESOL), and world language education programs. UGA also offers an online B.S. in Special Education program.

University of Wisconsin - Madison

School Highlight: The graduate teaching program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison ranked as the fourth best in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report in 2016.

The University of Wisconsin - Madison tied for 10th among public schools in 2017, according to U.S. News & World Report. The School of Education received recognition as well, with eight graduate specializations ranked in the top 10 of their field. These programs include:

  • First in curriculum and instruction
  • Third in educational policy
  • Second in administration and supervision
  • First in educational psychology
  • Fourth in elementary teacher education
  • Third in secondary teacher education
  • Ninth in special education
  • Tied for sixth in student counseling and personnel services

Future teachers at the University of Wisconsin can pursue an individualized teacher education program that includes a major and minor area of study. Graduate students may be interested in the online Master of Science for Professional Educators.

Boston College

School Highlight: Boston College offers special preparation programs for teachers in urban areas.

Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, is ranked #31 among the top universities in the nation for 2017, according to U.S. News and World Report. The Lynch School of Education at Boston College offers undergraduate majors in elementary and secondary education as well as a wide variety of graduate programs. Master's-level programs of study include international higher education, curriculum and instruction, and educational leadership, while doctorates are available in applied developmental and educational psychology and educational research, measurement, and evaluation, among other fields. Offering a graduate education school that is tied for 23rd place in 2016 U.S. News and World Report rankings, Boston College has ranked graduate specializations in curriculum and instruction, elementary teacher education, and student counseling and personnel services.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agricultural Education for Teachers
  • Art Teacher Education
  • Biology Education for Teachers
  • Business Teacher Education
  • Chemistry Teacher Education
  • Drama and Dance Teacher Education
  • Driver Safety Teacher Education
  • English Teacher Education
  • Foreign Language Education for Teachers
  • French Language Teacher Education
  • Geography Teacher Education
  • German Language Teacher Education
  • Health Occupations Teacher Education
  • Health Teacher Education
  • History Teacher Education
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  • Latin Teacher Education
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  • Music Teacher Education
  • Physical Education and Coaching
  • Physics Teacher Education
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  • Science Teacher Education
  • Social Science Teacher Education
  • Social Studies Teacher Education
  • Spanish Education for Teachers
  • Speech Teacher Education
  • Teaching, Computers
  • Teaching, Reading
  • Technical Teacher Education
  • Vocational Teacher Education

Top Teacher Education Programs

Here are more top teaching programs in the nation:

School Name Distinction Location
Arizona State University Students may choose a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction: English as a Second Language Phoenix, AZ
Columbia University Tied for fifth place, as ranked by high school counselors, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2017 New York, NY
Harvard University Harvard Graduate School of Education has been active for nearly 100 years Cambridge, MA
Indiana University Offers online master's degree programs in elementary, secondary, and special education Bloomington, IN
Montclair State University Teacher Education Advocacy Centre supports and encourages minority teachers Upper Montclair, NJ
New York University Has short-term graduate programs in more than 20 countries New York, NY
Ohio State University Tied for first in technical/vocational teacher education, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2016 Columbus, OH
Pennsylvania State University Offers over 30 teacher preparation programs University Park, PA
Stanford University Ranked as the number one school for graduate teacher education, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2016 Stanford, CA
University of California - Los Angeles National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Project helps teachers earn National Board Certification Los Angeles, CA
University of California - Berkeley Offers two research centers: the Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research (BEAR) Center and the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) Berkeley, CA
University of Connecticut Integrated Bachelor's/Master's Program (IB/M) for teachers Storrs, CT
University of Florida Online program boasts 3,967 unique students Gainesville, FL
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign Has the largest public university library in the world Champaign, IL
University of Maryland Has a 5-year combined bachelor's/master's program for secondary and special education students College Park, MD
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Offers secondary teacher education programs that include 18 majors and 17 minors Ann Arbor, MI
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Most teacher preparation programs culminate in a master's degree Twin Cities, MN
University of Texas at Austin Operates the University of Texas Elementary School Austin, TX
University of Virginia Offers 21 areas of study Charlottesville, VA
University of Washington - Seattle Has field-based training prepares teachers for challenging classrooms Seattle, WA
Vanderbilt University U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanderbilt's Peabody College of Education and Human Development as the fifth best school of education in 2016 Nashville, TN

Whether for their rankings from U.S. News and World Report or for the unique education opportunities they offer, the schools featured in this article offer some of the best teaching programs in the nation.

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