What Are the Best Undergraduate Teaching Schools?

Find out what to look for in a good undergraduate teaching program. Read about three schools with top programs in this field, as determined by their national rankings. Review the undergraduate teaching programs offered by these three schools. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What are Some Characteristics of Top Undergraduate Teaching Schools?

Top teaching schools often have significant outside funding and partnerships with other institutions. You might look for opportunities for cross-cultural education and practice teaching experiences, service learning and honors programs. Faculty members are usually active scholars willing to include undergraduates in research initiatives. Another aspect to look for is research institutes, projects or laboratories that address your specific interests. These might include learning technology laboratories or facilities that support education for special students.

What Are Three of the Best Schools for Undergraduate Teaching Programs?

Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI

Michigan State University (MSU) tied for 85th in U.S. News & World Report's national university rankings in 2019, with number 1 rankings in their elementary and secondary teaching graduate programs. Special study abroad programs offer teaching opportunities in Australia, England, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia or South Africa. The school's Confucius Institute partners with Chinese media and China's National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language to improve K-12 Chinese learning in the U.S.

A one-year internship is required after graduation by the Department of Teacher Education. Participation in faculty research projects is encouraged by the College of Education. An international mathematics and science education study and environmental literacy research, both funded by the federal National Science Foundation, are examples of many funded projects. MSU's Service Learning Center encourages volunteer participation in the public schools and the MSU Student Literacy Corps. These two undergraduate degrees are available:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Education - Secondary or Elementary
  • Bachelor of Arts in Special Education

University of Texas - Austin, TX

According to U.S. News & World Report, the University of Texas was ranked 49th among national universities in 2019. You could pursue undergraduate teaching certification in Applied Learning and Development, majoring in Early Child to Sixth Grade Generalist, Early Childhood to Sixth Grade Bilingual Generalist or All-Level Generic Special Education areas. You'll complete a field Professional Development Sequence relevant to your program. You can study abroad in Mexico through the Maymester Program.

The Learning Technology Center provides computer, multimedia and other educational technology and related research services, such as the Assistive and Instructional Technology Lab. UT's UTeach Natural Sciences Program offers a paid internship to math, science or computer science majors considering teaching certification. Potential middle and high school teachers in these and other areas may pursue master's programs after obtaining undergraduate degrees in an area of interest. The College of Education offers these undergraduate degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Applied Learning and Development
  • B.S. in Kinesiology and Health
  • B.S. in Athletic Training

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

In 2019, Vanderbilt University was ranked 14th on U.S. News & World Report's best national universities list. The Peabody College of Education and Human Development offers a bachelor's degree in education with concentrations in child development, early childhood and elementary, secondary or special education. Your field experience will begin in the second semester and carry on to the final 15-week student teaching experience. You could add one year to your program and earn a master's degree in eight disciplines, elementary or secondary specializations or special education.

Peabody publishes the Peabody Journal of Education and Ideas in Action journals and hosts research and outreach centers. As an undergraduate, you might learn from resources provided by the IRIS Center for Training Enhancements for education of the disabled or perform research in the Education and Brain Sciences Research Laboratory. The College of Education offers the following degrees:

  • B.S. in Early Childhood Education
  • B.S. in Elementary Education
  • B.S. in Secondary Education
  • B.S. in Special Education

Ten Other Schools with Top Undergraduate Teaching Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Undergrad In-State Tuition*
Pennsylvania State University4-year, PublicUniversity Park, PA$18,500
Ohio University4-year, PublicAthens, OH$12,000
University of Washington4-year, PublicSeattle, WA$11,000
University of Minnesota4-year, PublicMinneapolis, MN$15,000
Connecticut College4-year, PrivateNew London, CT$55,000
Boston College4-year, PrivateBoston, MA$55,500
University of North Carolina4-year, PublicChapel Hill, NC$9,000
Centre College4-year, PrivateDanville, KY$42,000
Clemson University4-year, PublicClemson, SC$15,000
Villanova University4-year, PrivateVillanova, PA$53,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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