Top Universities with Elementary Education Programs

Hundreds of colleges and universities across the country offer degree programs for aspiring elementary educators. Read on to learn about two of the top schools offering such programs, including their course offerings and rankings. View article »

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Top Schools for Elementary Education

Elementary education can be found in programs leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Education Specialist (Ed.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Two of the top elementary education programs in the country are offered by the University of Wisconsin - Madison (UW-Madison) and University of Georgia (UGA). Both schools are ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report, and both offer undergraduate and graduate programs in the field.

University of Wisconsin - Madison

The University of Wisconsin - Madison campus was ranked #41 among national colleges by U.S. News & World Report in 2016, and the second best university in the nation for elementary teacher education for 2015.

Graduate students in programs leading to an M.S. or Ph.D. from the School of Education chose an area of study from several subfields, one of which is elementary education. Undergraduates can earn a B.S. in Education with a concentration in elementary education. The undergraduate program has four optional tracks. The first two are: early childhood/English as a second language, which deals with children from birth to age 8 and the middle childhood-early adolescence/ English as a second language track, which focuses on the 6-13 age range. The third track is middle childhood-early adolescence/special education and the fourth track is middle childhood-early adolescence/content focused minor.

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University of Georgia in Athens, GA

The University of Georgia in Athens, GA was #62 in a ranking of the nation's best universities, sixth among U.S. schools for elementary teacher education by U.S. News & World Report in 2015.

The Department of Elementary & Social Studies Education offers programs leading to a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in Teaching that can prepare students to become licensed teachers. Experienced teachers can complete advanced studies in education issues from the school's M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education program. The highest level of education available is at the specialist or doctoral level. Most who want to teach at the K-12 level choose the Ed.S. in Early Childhood Education program, while those interested in teaching or research at the postsecondary level opt for the Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Practice .

Top Schools with Programs in Elementary Education

Below are a list of the top schools with programs in elementary education, with some additional information:

  • Arizona State University has three research centers including, the Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education.
  • Michigan State University was ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's 2015 listing of schools with the best elementary education programs.
  • Ohio State University works closely with programs and public outreach centers such as the Literacy Collaborative.
  • Pennsylvania State University. In 2011, the College of Education received the 'Spirit of Partnership' award from the National Association for Professional Development Schools.
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 28% of graduate students are from underrepresented populations
  • University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university #4 on its list of best schools to offer elementary education programs.
  • University of Texas at Austin. Education centers include the Center for STEM Education, the Institute for Public School Initiatives, the Texas Center for Education Policy, and more.
  • University of Washington - Seattle. Students have the opportunity to teach English abroad.

The tops schools for aspiring elementary school teachers are University of Wisconsin - Madison and University of Georgia in Athens, GA, which are nationally recognized as exceptional schools for elementary education.

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