What Are the Different Types of Teaching Degrees?

There are several types of teaching degrees and each one leads to a different career path. Read on to learn about how to become a teacher, including the common teaching degree types, what grade level they're suitable for, and other requirements. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Teaching Degrees Overview

There are different types of teaching degrees for every role in the field of education. Here we'll look at some of the most common degrees and what you can do with them.

Degree Program Length of Completion Possible Positions
Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education 4 years Preschool Teacher
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education 4 years Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher
Bachelor of Science in Special Education 4 years Special Education Teacher
Master of Arts in Teaching 1-2 years Middle or High School Teacher

How to Become a Teacher

Most teachers need at minimum a bachelor's degree in teaching or a subject field related to what they teach. For example, art and physical education teachers may need a degree in art education or physical education. Most teachers also need to complete continuing education in order to keep up to date with teaching methods or renew certification. Requirements vary by state.

Teachers who work in a public school will also need teacher certification. They may need special certification depending on the grade level and subject they teach. Teacher certification usually requires an in-person student-teaching experience, so it is best to do some research if an online teaching degree is desired.

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

A bachelor's degree in early childhood education is a common requirement for preschool teachers. These programs teach early cognitive development, educational psychology, and courses pertaining to a subject area, such as art or science, among other things. Bachelor's programs typically take 4 years to complete and admissions requirements include a high school diploma and transcripts.

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

A bachelor's degree in elementary education is a good start for kindergarten and elementary school teachers. Elementary education programs teach childhood cognitive development, how to manage a classroom, teaching methods, and courses pertaining to a certain subject, such as math. Some elementary school teachers can earn a bachelor's degree in a subject area, such as science or history, and take teacher education courses alongside their degree.

Bachelor of Science in Special Education

A bachelor's degree in special education is a typical requirement for special education teachers, but they can also major in elementary education or another subject area and minor in special education. The requirements vary by employer. Special education courses can include disability studies, teaching methods for exceptional learners, and characteristics of learning.

Some schools have combined special and elementary education programs for individuals who wish to work with elementary children. These programs teach basic instructional methods, but they also teach methods of instruction for special learners. They also learn about different types of disabilities and how to provide support for special learners. Graduating from a special education program or completing courses can lead to obtaining a special education endorsement on a teaching license.

Master of Arts in Teaching

It is commonly required for middle and high school teachers to earn a master's degree in a teaching field. One example of a typical program is a Master of Arts in Teaching. These programs usually prepare students to teach k-12 and common courses can include teaching special learners, diverse students, and educational psychology. They also typically allow students to choose a concentration related to the subject they wish to teach, such as English or history.

Depending on the program, there may be special courses or requirements for different concentrations. Admissions requirements usually include a bachelor's degree, transcripts, a resume/CV, essay or personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Master's programs typically last 1-2 years and may require a teaching residency.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

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  • Strayer University

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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

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  • Baker College

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    Popular programs at Baker College:

    • Bachelor Degrees
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    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Michigan: Online Campus, Allen Park, Auburn Hills, Cadillac, Clinton Township, Flint, Jackson, Muskegon, Owosso
  • Pacific Oaks College

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    Popular programs at Pacific Oaks College:

    • Master
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    • California: Pasadena, San Jose
  • Liberty University

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    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Doctoral
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  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

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  • Walden University

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    Popular programs at Walden University:

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