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Best Education & Teaching Programs in Washington for 2024: Online & On-Campus

Discover the best education and teaching programs in Washington — both on-campus and online. Read on to explore your 2024 guide to top programs from high-quality schools, the type of delivery method each offers, links to helpful resources, and what you can expect once you earn your degree.

Editor: STEPS Staff

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Are you passionate about shaping young minds and building a brighter future? If so — and if you’re interested in studying or living in the northwest — Washington is an ideal destination to earn your education degree. In fact, Washington and the entire western U.S. are characterized by a rampant shortage of teachers, with the state ranking 39th in the nation for teacher-to-student ratios.

This detailed guide showcases Washington’s best teaching and education programs for 2024. Here, you’ll find on-campus and online options tailored to various educational aspirations, from classroom teaching to educational leadership.

Explore diverse degree choices, insightful financial aid information, and more, all designed to enlighten your educational journey and equip you for a fulfilling career in the educational sector. Dive into this guide to unlock your potential and begin a rewarding educational path — either on-campus or online — in one of Washington’s top education and teaching programs.

Best Colleges to Earn a Teaching Credential in Washington: Campus-based

Starting your teaching career begins with choosing the right degree program. With various options available, we’ve spotlighted three top teaching and education programs in Washington that combine affordability, accreditation, and comprehensive student support, offering a solid foundation for your future teaching career. These selections represent a preview of our full 2024 ranking — coming soon — so feel free to use this as a resource guiding you toward making an informed decision in your educational journey.

University of Washington (UW) – College of Education

The University of Washington’s College of Education is renowned for its innovative and comprehensive teaching programs. With 300+ partnerships with schools and non-profits, the college’s programs are deeply embedded in schools and communities throughout Washington state and beyond.

  • Curriculum Details: Emphasis on research-informed teaching practices and experience in economically marginalized schools.
  • Learning Outcomes: Focus on equity, educational justice, and developing flexible, committed teachers.
  • Admissions Requirements: Academic prerequisites and a focus on commitment to teaching in urban settings.
  • Tuition and Fees: Tuition starts at $4,081 for Washington residents. Detailed information can be found on their tuition page.
  • Financial Aid Opportunities: Various funding and financial aid options include scholarships and research and teaching assistantships.


  • On-Campus
  • Part-Time
  • Full-Time
  • Online

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Early Childhood & Family Studies
  • Early Care and Education (online)
  • Education, Communities & Organizations
  • Education, Learning & Society
  • Education Studies

Graduate Programs:

  • Teaching, Learning & Curriculum
  • Educational Foundations, Leadership & Policy
  • Learning Sciences & Human Development
  • Special Education
  • School Psychology
  • Measurement & Statistics

Specialization Options:

  • Elementary Teaching
  • Secondary Teaching
  • Special Education

Washington State University (WSU) – College of Education

Washington State University’s College of Education features a long legacy of teacher preparation and educational leadership and a robust research portfolio.

  • Curriculum Details: A blend of classroom learning with practical experiences, such as practicums or internships.
  • Learning Outcomes: The program equips students with the skills to address 21st-century education challenges.
  • Tuition and Fees: Tuition starts at $5,777 for Washington residents. Detailed information can be found on their tuition page.
  • Standout Student Services: You’ll find support for diverse educational needs and research opportunities, with professional relationships with over 130 school districts.
  • Financial Aid Opportunities: WSU has a range of scholarships and financial aid options.
  • Accreditation Status: Fully accredited education programs.


  • On-Campus

Undergraduate Programs:

Graduate Programs:

  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Educational Psychology
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Educational Psychology

Specialization Options:

  • Elementary Teaching
  • Secondary Teaching
  • Special Education
  • Education Psychology
  • Language, Literacy, and Technology
  • Educational Leadership

Western Washington University (WWU)

Western Washington University’s Woodring College of Education is known for its inclusive teaching programs.


  • On-Campus
  • Online

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Building Bridges with Migrant Youth
  • Compass 2 Campus
  • Disability and Advocacy Major
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Education and Social Justice
  • Elementary Education Professional Program
  • Family & Community Engaged Teaching (FACET)
  • Human Services
  • Inclusive Education
  • Multilingual Education

Graduate Programs:

  • Adult and Higher Education
  • Education Leadership
  • Language and Literacy, MEd
  • Master in Teaching

Specialization Options:

  • Justice & Engagement Programs
  • Teaching in Inclusive Environments

Top Online Teaching Degree Programs in Washington

When researching your school of choice, you’ll find the best online teaching and education programs in Washington provide an excellent alternative to traditional on-campus education, especially for working professionals and individuals needing the added flexibility and affordability of online learning.

Earning a teaching degree online is feasible, with various programs offering complete online courses that lead to certification. These programs often include interactive coursework, virtual classroom experiences, and some in-person fieldwork or internships, allowing you to balance studies with other commitments.

Below, we’ve identified the top education and teaching programs in Washington that excel in online delivery, offering you a glimpse of our full rankings list — which will be available soon.

Seattle Pacific University (SPU)

Seattle Pacific University offers a menu of hybrid and online undergraduate and graduate education and teaching programs tailored for individuals seeking an education that integrates faith with learning.

  • Curriculum Details: Includes courses in learning theory, general teaching methods, education reform, and educational technology. The program integrates Christian faith and values, including ethics courses, into its curriculum. You’ll also undertake a 70-day internship in a school setting, providing practical, hands-on experience in teaching.
  • Standout Student Services: Graduates join a supportive community of alumni, connecting them with a network of professionals.

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Early Childhood Education

Graduate Programs:

  • Accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master in Teaching Math and Science
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Education in Digital Education Leadership
  • Master of Education in Literacy, Language, and Equity
  • Accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching/Master of Arts in Teaching to Master of Education in Literacy, Language, and Equity

Program Options:

  • Online

Specializations Offered:

  • Principal Certification
  • Program Administrator Certification
  • School Executive Leadership Program
  • Superintendent Certification

City University of Seattle (CityU)

City University of Seattle offers 20 different online degrees that are online or hybrid and is known for its comprehensive approach to teacher education.

  • Curriculum Details: The curriculum encompasses extensive coursework in curriculum design, instructional methods, assessment, and feedback.The program includes practical experiences through internships, allowing students to apply their learning in real-world settings.
  • Tuition and Fees: Detailed information can be found on their tuition page.
  • Accreditation: The program’s reading endorsement is accredited through the International Dyslexia Association, ensuring access to the field’s most current research and practices.

Undergraduate Programs:

  • BA in Education

Graduate Programs:

  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master in Teaching
  • MEd in Educational Leadership: Administrator Certification
  • MEd in Leadership
  • MEd in Special Education
  • Master of Education in Adult Education and Instructional Design

Program Options:

  • Online
  • Hybrid

Specializations Offered:

  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education
  • Multilingual/ELL
  • Reading

Western Governors University (WGU)

Western Governors University offers a range of online teaching degrees through its Teachers College and is noted for its affordability and flexibility.

  • Curriculum Details: The curriculum includes courses in educational theory, teaching methods, subject-specific content, and classroom management, preparing students for the realities of teaching.
  • Learning Outcomes: WGU uses a competency-based approach, allowing students to progress through their degree at their own pace by demonstrating mastery of the subject matter.
  • Tuition: WGU tuition starts at $3,825. Visit its tuition page for more information.
  • Accreditation: WGU’s Teachers College is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), ensuring that the programs meet high teacher education standards.

Undergraduate Programs:

  • BA Elementary Education
  • BS Science Education (Middle Grades)
  • BS Science Education (Secondary Chemistry)

Graduate Programs:

  • Master of Science in Education
  • MA in Education Program
  • MA in Teaching

Program Options:

  • Online

Specializations Offered:

  • Elementary Education
  • Middle Grades Science Education
  • Secondary Chemistry Education

Types of Education & Teaching Degrees You Can Earn in Washington

Washington offers a diversity of top teaching and education programs to cater to students at different stages of their educational and professional journey. Whether you prefer the flexibility of online learning or the traditional on-campus experience, you’ll find accredited programs that meet your needs. Below, we explore each degree type available from the best education and teaching programs in Washington and examples of accredited universities offering these programs.

Undergraduate Teaching/Education Degrees in Washington

Associate Degrees in Education

Associate degrees in education are an excellent starting point for those interested in teaching. These two-year programs cover essential educational theories, child development, and instructional techniques. Graduates are equipped to become teaching assistants and childcare workers or to continue their studies in a bachelor’s degree program in education, further expanding their teaching opportunities.

Accredited Washington Colleges with Associate Degrees in Education

Bachelor’s Degrees in Education

Bachelor’s degrees in education are comprehensive programs designed for individuals aiming to become licensed educators. Over four years, students engage in extensive coursework covering pedagogical theories, classroom management, curriculum development, and inclusive teaching practices. The program also includes student-teaching experiences, providing practical classroom experience essential for a career in teaching.

Accredited Washington Colleges with Bachelor’s Degrees in Education

Graduate Education Degrees in Washington

Master’s Degrees in Education (MEd)

Master’s degrees in education cater to individuals seeking to deepen their knowledge and skills in education. These advanced programs, often completed in one to two years, offer specialization in educational leadership, curriculum design, special education, or educational technology. They’re ideal for current educators looking to advance in their careers, move into specialized roles, or take on administrative positions in educational settings.

Accredited Washington Colleges with Master’s Degrees in Education

Doctorate of Education (EdD) Programs

EdD programs are designed for experienced educators who aspire to take on leadership and administrative roles in educational institutions or districts. These rigorous programs, usually completed in three to five years, focus on the practical application of academic research and theory to address complex challenges in the education system. Graduates are prepared for high-level educational policy, administration, and leadership positions.

Accredited Washington Colleges with Doctorate (EdD) Programs

Education PhD Programs

PhD programs in education are intensive, research-focused degrees ideal for those seeking to contribute original research and scholarship in educational theory, policy, or practice. Typically taking four to six years to complete, these programs prepare individuals for academic careers, research institutions, and high-level educational policy and analysis roles. Students of top education and teaching PhD programs in Washington deeply study educational methodologies, policy analysis, and educational psychology, culminating in a dissertation that contributes new knowledge to the field.

Accredited Washington Colleges with Education PhD Programs

Graduate Certificates

Graduate certificates in education are specialized, short-term programs designed for educators seeking expertise in a specific area of education. Ranging from a few months to a year, these programs offer focused study in areas like instructional technology, special education, English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching, or educational leadership. They are ideal for educators seeking to enhance their skills, stay current with educational trends, or meet continuing education requirements.

Accredited Washington Colleges with Education Graduate Certificates

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Education Students in Washington

Education and teaching students in top Washington programs can access various financial aid options, including scholarships, loans, and other programs, to help fund their degrees. The Washington State Educator Workforce Program (EWP) offers financial aid specifically to attract and retain teachers in high-need subjects and locations. Most of these are conditional scholarships requiring a service commitment in return for funding. The Teacher Shortage Conditional Grant also encourages individuals to become teachers in designated shortage areas with financial aid based on need.

Specific schools may also offer scholarships to education and teaching students; for example, Washington State University provides approximately $325,000 annually in scholarship support to its education students.

For more comprehensive information about funding your teaching degree, you can explore STEPS’ financial aid guide and scholarships guide.

Job Outlook and Earnings Potential for Teachers in Washington

In Washington, the job market for graduates of top education and teaching programs, particularly in popular metro areas, is promising and competitive. Teaching positions are in high demand, reflecting a steady growth rate across various educational roles between 2021-2026.

Notably, salaries for education professionals in Washington are quite favorable, often surpassing the national average. This financial incentive and the state’s commitment to education make Washington an attractive location for aspiring educators.

Here’s a snapshot of the job outlook and earnings potential for some key roles in the education sector in Washington:

Job Growth Rate
Average Annual Openings (2021-2026)Annual Mean Wage (2023)
Elementary School Teacher2.19%724$85,580
Special Education Teacher2.34%2,152$83,460
Secondary School Teachers2.22%352$88,530
Librarians and Media Collections Specialists1.5%85$87,710
Education Administrators2.22%139$139,980

Sources: Washington State Employment Security Department; Bureau of Labor Statistics

Washington Teaching Professional and Student Resources