Top University with Teacher Education Programs - Seattle, WA

Jan 02, 2019

Students interested in studying teaching in Seattle, Washington, have many schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition, and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

The Seattle area is home to nearly 20 schools that offer programs in teacher education, and, based off of rankings and program offerings, the top three schools in the area are the University of Washington, Seattle University, and Seattle Pacific University.

Students who plan to become teachers in Washington State generally start out by earning a Residency Certificate. To obtain the certificate, students must complete a bachelor's degree program as well as a teacher education program approved by the state. All three of the following universities have teacher education programs that are approved by the Professional Educator Standards Board.

  • Winner: The University of Washington ranked among the top 15 graduate education programs by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) in 2013. It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, as well as post-graduate certificates.
  • Runner-Up #1: Seattle University's graduate education program was ranked in the top 180 in 2013 by USNWR. It offers master's and doctoral degrees, along with post-graduate certificates.
  • Runner-Up #2: Seattle Pacific University's education program was unranked, but USNWR named the school one of the 15 best regional universities in the West in 2013. It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Washington Seattle University Seattle Pacific University
Rankings Ranked 12th among Best Education Schools*
Seven individual education programs have a top 15 ranking*
Ranked 13th among top national public universities*
Ranked 46th among all national universities*
Ranked 10th among best regional universities in the West*
Ranked 174th among Best Education Schools*
Ranked 15th among best regional universities in the West*
Ranked 2nd among best value schools in the West *
Location Seattle, WA Seattle, WA Seattle, WA
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $12,383 (undergraduate, in-state)
$29,938 (undergraduate, out-of-state)
$14,358 (graduate, in-state)
$26,768 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$34,800 (undergraduate)
$19,338 (graduate)**
$32,067 (undergraduate)
$20,546 (graduate)**
Education Programs Offered Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; postgraduate certificate Master's and doctoral degrees; postgraduate certificate Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees
Education Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 501** 212** 209**
Most Popular Teacher Education Program (2011-2012) Master's Degree in General Education (347 awarded)** Master's Degree in Teacher Education for Multiple Levels (80 awarded)** Master's Degree in Secondary Education and Teaching (86 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree program time) for 2005 Entering Class 80%** 71%** 74%**

Sources: *2013 U.S. News & World Report rankings, **NCES College Navigator.

Winner: University of Washington

  • Education courses meet the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards' guidelines for certification preparation
  • All teaching programs include an internship and student mentoring
  • Member of the Association of Colleges and Schools of Education and the American Associate of Colleges for Teacher Education

The university's only bachelor's degree program, a Bachelor of Art in Early Childhood and Family Studies, could be a good introductory program for prospective teachers, but there are no undergraduate options for obtaining teaching certification. University of Washington's elementary and secondary education master's degree programs allow students to obtain a teaching certificate after one year so that they can begin teaching before completing the degree. Elementary education majors can specialize in teaching English learners, special education, or one of the subjects taught in elementary schools. Secondary education students focus on the subject that they plan to teach once they finish the program. Those who plan to teach special education have several specializations to choose from, depending on age and type of disability. U.S. News & World Report ranked all three of these master's programs in the top 10 nationally for graduate schools in 2013.There are also programs for those who have already earned their credentials, including postgraduate certificates and master's and doctoral degrees in education.

Runner-Up #1: Seattle University

  • Graduates of Seattle University's teaching programs had a 100% pass rate on the teacher certificate exam in 2011-2012, according to USNWR
  • Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Member of the American Associate of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education

Seattle University is a Roman Catholic school with a number of programs for students who wish to obtain teaching credentials, in addition to programs for teachers who want to receive additional training. Although the only program that results in a teaching certificate is the Master in Teaching program, those who are already certified have several options, like earning graduate degrees and/or endorsements, in areas like special education. Other teaching programs include a master's degree in adult education and a master's degree in teaching English as a second language. The education programs offer night and weekend classes in order to accommodate the schedules of students who are already teaching professionally.

Runner-Up #2: Seattle Pacific University

  • Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Member of the American Associate of Colleges for Teacher Education

Seattle Pacific University, a Free Methodist school, has several teacher education programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can graduate in four years with a bachelor's degree and a teaching certificate with an endorsement in pre-K to secondary, elementary, secondary or special education. For those who have already earned a bachelor's degree, there are post-bachelor's certificate and master's degree programs that can lead to a teaching certificate. The Master of Education in Literacy is for those who have already earned a teaching certificate; it provides students with methods for teaching reading and writing. There is also a professional education program for teachers who want to earn additional endorsements in subjects such as reading, bilingual education, or special education. Doctoral programs in education are also available.

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