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Top Ten Grad Schools for Teaching Degrees in the U.S.

Read about good graduate schools that offer teaching degrees. Get to know the top institutions for pursuing graduate study in education, and explore their programs, rankings and other distinctions.

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Graduate school programs for teaching may result in a master's degree or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education. Some graduate degree programs also lead to teacher licensure, while others are intended for already-licensed teachers.

School Overviews

Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, the University of Oregon and Johns Hopkins University are three of the best graduate schools for teaching. Each of these schools was highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report and/or The Princeton Review for 2017.

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN

School Highlight: Vanderbilt's Peabody College is home to the Peabody Research Institute, which studies the effectiveness of educational programs for both children and adults.

For 2017, Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education and Human Development was named the fifth best school for studying education by U.S. News and World Report. The private university was also named a 'Best Southeastern College' by The Princeton Review in 2017.

Peabody College offers two graduate programs for students and experienced teaching professionals. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) provides professional development opportunities for experienced teachers through courses in English language learners, learning and instruction, learning, diversity and urban studies, and reading education. This program requires completion of a thesis project. The Ph.D. in Learning, Teaching and Diversity is available for professionals interested in advanced teaching and research positions. Doctoral candidates can study teaching language and literacy, diversity and development, math and science or learning sciences.

University of Oregon in Eugene

School Highlight: The University of Oregon's College of Education features numerous research centers and outreach programs, including Behavioral Research and Teaching and the Center for Educational Policy Research.

The University of Oregon tied for 12th best education school in 2017, according to U.S. News and World Report. Students interested in obtaining teaching licensure or professional development can pursue a graduate degree through the Department of Education Studies.

Students can pursue an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching, intended for unlicensed students, or an M.S. in curriculum and teacher education, designed for licensed teachers seeking professional development opportunities. M.Ed. candidates can specialize in early childhood or secondary education. Both tracks teach students to develop course curricula, provide educational services and work with other professionals to develop effective teaching policies. Teacher education master's degree program students take courses in bilingual education and reading endorsement.

Teaching professionals interested in advanced research-based or instructional positions with universities and teaching organizations can pursue a Ph.D. in Critical and Socio-Cultural Studies in Education. Ph.D. program enrollees can focus on Cultural and Linguistic Context of Schools, Psychological Studies in Education, Social Context of Education, and Teacher Education.

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD

School Highlight: At Johns Hopkins, several master's, doctoral, graduate certificate and professional development programs are available.

Through the Department of Education at Johns Hopkins, there are a variety of master's degree programs available, including a Master of Arts in Teaching, which offers concentrations in Elementary and Secondary Education in multiple subjects. Students can also pursue a Master of Science in Special Education or a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in reading, gifted education, or technology, among other subfields. At the doctoral level, students can enroll in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education program or a Doctor of Education (EdD) program, depending on their educational interests and career goals. For 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked the graduate education program at Johns Hopkins as tied for second in the country.

Top Graduate Teaching Programs

Here are a few more highly ranked schools with graduate-level training opportunities in teaching:

  • At Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, the Department of Teaching and Learning has an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) graduate program as a post-master's option for practicing educators with a variety of specializations, in addition to its M.A., M.Ed. and Ph.D. options.
  • New York University in New York, NY, is home to the Steinhardt School, which operates several research centers and institutes, including the Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes and the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education.
  • Stanford University in Stanford, CA, offers several intensive master's programs in education that can be completed in a year; joint master's degree options combining education with law, public policy or business are also available.
  • At the University of California, Los Angeles, the Department of Education provides five academic graduate programs with M.A. and Ph.D. options and four professional graduate programs with M.Ed. and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) offerings.
  • At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, doctoral students can pursue a joint or combined degree program uniting a study of education with studies in psychology or English.
  • Research areas of focus within the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, include education policy, culture or language and education, urban education, teaching and learning and developmental psychology.
  • At the University of Washington in Seattle, several master's and doctoral programs are available in curriculum and instruction; education leadership, policy and organizational studies; education psychology; special education and education, equity and society.

Graduate students can find excellent education programs at many of the nation's top-ranked universities, offering master's and/or doctoral degrees in the field.

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