A good education is key to future growth and prosperity. And to receive a good education, you need great teachers. Great teachers provide their students with the tools to open the doorways to hundreds of different career paths. Teaching is more than just a job. It is a calling. To be effective educators, teachers themselves need a solid education. It needs to harness not only traditional methods but also utilize forward-thinking theories and cutting-edge technology.
Teaching requires a commitment, not only of time and energy, but also of spirit. There are certain benefits to a career in education, but it certainly appeals to very specific people. That means a few things: Firstly, there will always be a demand for educators. Secondly, every country wants more teachers, meaning that you can live in practically any nation you choose! Thirdly, it’s an incredibly diverse profession; you can teach any subject, from English to math to media studies.
But education is still competitive. Like so many other professions, you want the best training so that you can land a place in a great school. So what can you do to get that perfect teaching job?
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The answer is to study in the right college. There are many approaches that can be taken to achieve a degree, and each college has its own style and things that make it stand out. In this ranking, we will explore some of the top institutions for degrees in education.
To help you become an incredible educator, we’ve created a list of the 30 best education colleges in the world. If you choose to study teaching or education in any one of these colleges, you’re highly likely to become a great practitioner in a wonderful institution.
Determining the best teaching colleges is no easy endeavor! Basically every list on the web favors different institutions and has their own biases. Our innovative approach is to use several highly reputable lists that have different selection criteria. We’ve only used sources that have spent rigorous amounts of time studying education degrees, but in different ways. Times Higher Education, for instance, focuses upon the college’s research, the college’s international outlook and its own research on teachers. But Niche.com provides an entirely different perspective by focusing on student reviews.
By combining the rankings of these lists that prioritize rankings differently, we’ve created an incredibly robust guide. That means we’ve calculated where each college is listed on various sites and then done our own research into why the sources think they’re so good. In many ways, this is the list of lists! Essentially, we’ve constructed this list through combining rankings on our methodology references and backed that up with supporting statements from other sources.
Here are our sources:
Best Universities for Education Degrees 2018: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/best-universities/best-universities-education-degrees
2018 Best Colleges for Education: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-education/
Best Education Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/undergraduate-teaching
Best Schools for Education Majors: https://www.teachercertificationdegrees.com/schools/
QS Top Universities Education: https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2018/education-training
Particularly, the rankings on Niche.com have skewered our results. That site uses thousands of student and parent reviews to compile its information. This means that some well regarded colleges have been downgraded, because the students aren’t rating them as highly as the external assessments. In addition to placement on those lists, we’ve determined professor experience, awards and graduate employment rates into our rankings.
Below we’ve ranked the colleges from number 30 to one in terms of quality.
30. University of Maryland, College Park
School Counseling, Master of Education (M.Ed.)
University of Maryland, College Park rounds out the list of educational colleges due to strong rankings in all but one of the methodology lists. While it ranked 59th on Times Higher Education, 45th on Niche.com and 33rd on US News, it only ranks between 101st-150th on QS. However, according to US News, University of Maryland, College Park is leading in its graduate program for Student Counseling and Personnel Services. If you want a career in this very specific area of education, the University of Maryland, College Park should be your number one choice.
29. Indiana University
B.S.E.D. in Early Childhood Education
Indiana University ranks between 30th and 100th on the Methodology education college lists. However, its inclusion as a top 100 college across all lists secures its place here. The staff members at Indiana University are using their positions in society to call for social justice. For example, the Dean of Education, Terrence C. Mason, recently released a statement calling for stricter US gun laws, in the hope of curbing school shootings. That statement is fully in keeping with the college’s commitment to, “prepare reflective, caring and highly skilled educational practitioners and scholars who lead in their chosen professions.”
28. New York University
BS in Educational Theatre
This is a hard college to rank. US News’s top education colleges list places New York University as the sixth best in America. Similarly, Niche.com places it at 13th on its peer-reviewed list. However, QS is not so generous, placing it at 46th in the world. Lastly, Times Higher Education does not include NYU on its list of top education colleges at all. New York University’s educational vision has a global outlook. What this means is that they have lots of opportunities for students to travel abroad and take in educational perspectives from around the world.
27. University of Minnesota
Business and Marketing Education Program
The University of Minnesota is just outside of the best of the best, methodology educational list rankings wise. Times Higher Education places it at 30th. Niche.com places it at 27th. US News places it at 19th. QS places it at 51st-100th. However, Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranked U of M’s education program the number one in the world among public universities in 2017. If you’re a first-generation college student, then U of M may be the best choice for you. Currently, 39% of its freshmen are first-generation students. This means U of M is an expert in training people from non-academic backgrounds to be teachers.
26. University of Washington
Education, Communities and Organizations Program
This well-regarded college varies on the methodology’s education lists. Times Higher Education places it 19th. Even better, US News places it at 9th. However, it’s joint 50th on QS and 96th on Niche.com. For anyone interested in working with schools that help the poverty impacted and the culturally diverse, then the University of Washington is a clear choice. Its mission is to transform education by helping people who have historically had fewer opportunities. It does this by preparing prospective teachers to become change agents that will improve the quality of the education system. Additionally, in the last 10 years, nine alumni have been named Washington State Principal of the Year.
25. University of Pennsylvania
M.S.Ed. in Language and Literacy
Coming in at ninth on Times Higher Education, fourth on US News and joint 50th on QS, University of Pennsylvania’s education department has a strong reputation. This isn’t reflected in Niche.com’s student review led rankings, where it doesn’t feature in the top 380 education colleges. However, what may be contributing to University of Pennsylvania’s lower ranking is that its education department is small. There are 40 tenured and tenure-track professors, which teach less than 1,300 students per year. If you’re looking to study at an incredible smaller college, the University of Pennsylvania could be perfect for you!
24. University of California Berkeley
Ranking fifth globally on the Times Higher Education list, 19th Nationally on the US News list and eighth globally on the QS list, Berkeley has a lot to be proud of. The only downside is that Niche.com’s student and parent education degree reviews were not high enough for it to feature in its list of the top 380 US education colleges. One thing that could really boost Berkeley’s ranking from 2018 onwards is the completion of its Graduate School of Education’s new building. It will house the educational degrees with the Department of Psychology and School of Public Health. This building has been in construction since 2015 and will offer world-leading education degree training!
23. University of California Los Angeles
Higher Education & Organizational Change Program
UCLA is highly placed on education lists on Times Higher Education (joint seventh place,) US News (first place) and QS (10th place.) However, it doesn’t rank in Niche.com’s peer-led top 380 education colleges list. Part of what ensures UCLA’s placement on this list is its attitude toward continuous improvement. Continuous improvement is a core part of the college’s culture and encourages students to submit feedback about all aspects of the college’s education department. Additionally, UCLA participates in a range of innovative educational events that will give its students an edge in the teaching world. For example, it recently participated in an event that honored the 1968 school walkouts in East Los Angeles.
22. Stanford University
Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP)
Stanford is another college that ranks highly on most lists but is let down by the peer reviews. It is, in fact, ranked first on the Times Higher Education list, as well as fourth on US News and third on QS. However, the education students aren’t giving the same opinion on Niche.com, where it doesn’t make the top 380 education colleges. Stanford has a reputation for forging strong links with the industries in San Francisco, and its education school is no different. Since 2009, it has been partnering with schools all across San Francisco, bringing its world-leading research into the classroom, which also aides its graduates in finding jobs in this highly competitive city.
21. Harvard University
Arts in Education Program
Website It may be shocking to see such a prestigious college rank in the final third of this list. And it’s true that Harvard does rank as the second-best college on the Times Higher Education, US News and QS lists. Also, Teacher Certification Degrees considers Harvard to have some of the best master of education programs in the USA. But it doesn’t make Niche.com’s list of the top 380 education colleges, and this lack of peer reviews damages its score. As you may expect, Harvard’s staff members have no shortage of awards. Most recently, Senior Lecturer Elizabeth City was awarded the Morningstar Family Teaching Award.
20. Arizona State University
Secondary Education (Spanish) (BAE)
Arizona State University has strong placings on every methodology education list. Times Higher Education places it at 28th. Niche.com has it at 57th. US News puts it at 15th. And QS places it between 51st-100th. However, another impressive ranking for the college, in general, is that US News has named it the world’s most innovative college overall in 2016, 2017 and 2018. And this innovation is a strong part of the ASU’s education department. One of its core values is to create something called intrapreneurship, which means encouraging students to ask the right questions, navigate uncertainty and work in teams.
19. The Ohio State University
Education Specialist (EdS)
Ranking 23rd on Niche.com, 41st on Times Higher Education, 23rd on US News and between 51st-100th on QS, the education department at The Ohio State University is a world leader. The success of The Ohio State University’s educational degrees comes from an innovative merging of departments. In 2006, the College of Education and the College of Human Ecology, which were both approximately 100 years old, combined into one. The formerly separate departments formed a joint vision to inspire innovation in learning and living. Also, the staff at Ohio State University’s education department are having a huge impact on the world and winning awards for it. Husband and wife professors Paul Granello and Darcy Haag Granello both recently won American Counseling Association awards for their work in preventing suicides.
18. Florida State University
Educational Leadership/Administration – Modified Program
Another consistent college, Florida State University is well regarded by every education degree list. The Times Higher Education list places it at 34th. US News has it at 46th. Niche.com has it at 15th. And QS has it between 51st-100th. Even better, Teacher Certification Degrees states that Florida State University has one of the best online degree programs of any college. And it’s combining degrees in ways that really pay off for students. FSU’s College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences work together so that students studying math or science also receive a degree in secondary teaching at the same time. If you want to study math or science and also think you may want to try teaching, then Florida State University will give you the opportunity to pursue both at once!
17. University of Georgia
BSEd in English Education
The University of Georgia stands out for a number of reasons. Niche.com lists it as 9th for best education college in America. This figure is backed up with almost 5,000 onsite student reviews. Times Higher Education lists it as the 55th best education college in the world. US News places it as the 37th best education college in America. Lastly, QS places it between 51st and 100th. And if you’re looking for an innovative approach to teaching, then the University of Georgia is the place to go. The college’s education degrees have strong technology, learning as play, learning through youth participatory action research and emerging markets focuses.
16. Boston University
Bachelor of Science in Science Education
Boston University is just slightly lower than local rival, Boston College, on the education scale. Like Boston College, Boston University is lucky enough to feature on all the methodology lists, albeit lower in all instances. On the Times Higher Education list, it’s 81st in the world. On US News’s list, it’s 34th. On Niche.com, it’s 14th. And on QS, it’s between 51st-100th. However, the education department at Boston University is changing rapidly. In June 2018, Boston University’s two schools of education merged into one. Whether this merger will improve or detract from BU’s rankings is yet to be seen. Hopefully, the two schools pitching their resources together will give all students a boost.
15. King’s College London
Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching MA
Placing at 18th on Times Higher Education’s list and joint 24th on QS’s list, King’s College London is the second London college to rank on this list. Its specialisms include science and math education; language, culture and communication; and public policy. And King’s College is impacting education across the world. For instance, a senior lecturer recently visited Guyana to work on the country’s Advancing Computing Education week. And a Ph.D. student also recently published a book based on his collaboration with education experts in Mexico.
14. The University of Sydney
Education (Early Childhood) BEd
QS places the University of Sydney at 12th on its list of the world’s best education colleges. Times Higher Education places it slightly lower, at 24th. US News ranks it as the 34th best college in the world. The University of Sydney’s world-class educational events are particularly notable. For example, it hosts the annual Successful Learning conference every year, which focuses on improving childhood education through implementing new educational practices. The education department is also establishing a research institute for community languages education, which aims to revolutionize Australia’s community language schools.
13. Boston College
Secondary Education Program
Boston College has consistent rankings across the top education college lists. It’s 39th on the Times Higher Education list, 21st on the US News list, 7th on the Niche.com list and joint 33rd on the QS list. The education department’s mission is to enhance the human condition, expand human imagination and make the world more just. And guiding the college on this mission is a faculty of award-winning professors. For example, five individual professors at the school just won awards for excellence from the American Educational Research Association.
12. The University of British Columbia
Leadership Education for Physical Activity, Sport, and Health
With a consistent ranking of joint 13th and 18th on Times Higher Education and QS’s respective lists, the University of British Columbia is the second best Canadian college for education degrees. Additionally, US News ranks it as the 27th best global college in the world. Where the University of British Columbia has an advantage over Toronto, however, is in its community outreach. It’s assisting with the Dadaab Refugee Camp, giving students community field experience and putting VR into educational initiatives. In the last few years, many Americans have stated that they want to move to Canada. If you’re one of them, then studying education at University of British Columbia is perhaps the best ways of staying in the country permanently. More than 45% of current educators in British Columbia attended this college!
11. University of Toronto
Master of Teaching (MT)
The Times Higher Education and QS lists have a rare alignment with the University of Toronto. Both place it at 11th place for the best education colleges in the world. US News places the University of Toronto at 20th for best global colleges. U of T’s education department is certainly doing some interesting and original things to teach students. The college’s approach includes teaching students about the indigenous people of North America in original ways, such as creating a medicine garden for plants that Native Americans consider sacred.
10. University of Melbourne
Master of Education
Coming in at sixth on QS’s list of the best education colleges and 21st on the Times Higher Education list, the University of Melbourne is the best place to study education in the southern hemisphere. Among its distinctions includes studioFive, a space to teach music, drama and visual arts, which has won awards for excellence in educational facilities. Additionally, the most recent Universitas 21 Award for excellence in the internationalization of higher education went the college’s Professor Lo Bianco. This is just the latest in a large crop of award wins for the college.
9. University of Cambridge
Education, Psychology and Learning Program
QS places Cambridge’s education school very highly, at fourth place on its list. Times Higher Education isn’t quite so generous and places it at 17th for education. However, its graduates end up teaching in the best schools and winning awards for their work. For example, Stephanie Hill, an alumnus, recently won the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Reflective Practice Award for 2018. And Dawn Piper, another alumnus, won The Association for Language Learning Secondary Teacher of the Year Award for 2017 and the German Embassy Peter Boaks prize for excellence in German teaching.
8. The University of Hong Kong
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education in Language Education (Chinese)
Hong Kong, the city where east meets west, has some incredible colleges. The University of Hong Kong is generally ranked as the best such college, and its education department is overperforming. For example, Times Higher Education currently ranks the University of Hong Kong as the 40th best college in the world, but it lists the educational department as the fourth best in the world. Similarly, QS places the University of Hong Kong as the 26th best in the world but lists its educational department as seventh best in the world. US News doesn’t list the world’s top educational institutions but ranks the University of Hong Kong as the 109th best college in the world. And like the best teaching colleges, the University of Hong Kong’s professors are winning many awards. This includes the American Educational Research Association Outstanding Publication Award 2018 and the IEEE Tale 2017 Best Paper Award.
7. University of Oxford
MSc Education (Child Development and Education)
Oxford is the second UK institution on this list. It ranks third on the Times Higher Education list and fifth on QS‘s list. On US News’s global college rankings, Oxford is 5th. Additionally, its education school’s research department has been ranked first in the UK by the Research Excellence Framework. This research department focuses on three educational areas: 1 Language, cognition and development. 2. Economy, policy, and society. 3. Knowledge, pedagogy, and design. Also, for such an old institution, the University of Oxford is constantly innovating. For example, its recent report on reducing teacher workloads focused on ways teachers can mark papers and other work more efficiently.
6. Pennsylvania State University
Elementary & Early Childhood Education (EECE) Program
Pennsylvania State University’s education department ranks 25th on Niche.com, 25th on Times Higher Education, 43rd on US News and joint 28th on QS. Special commendation must go to Pennsylvania State University’s professional adoption of technology. For example, its EDUCATE initiative introduces teachers to using modern technologies in the classroom for childhood personal growth. Additionally, its Learning, Design, and Technology Program is world leading and trains people to use emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, in the classroom.
5. Michigan State University
Teacher Preparation Program
This college ranks 10th on the Times Higher Education best education degrees list, 22nd on US News’s list, 20th on Niche.com’s list and 24th on QS’s list. There’s no denying that Michigan State University is a great place to become a teacher. What sets this college apart is its practical approach to making teachers the best they can be. It’s the only college in the state and one of very few in the US that requires all students to complete full internships in a K-12 institution before granting teaching certificates. It also has programs that teach people to thrive in high need urban schools and in schools populated with a range of culturally and linguistically diverse people.
4. University College London
Education Studies BA
QS ranks UCL as the top college in the world for education. The Times Higher Education list places it slightly lower, at 16th. And while US News doesn’t rank international colleges for education, it does place UCL at 22nd place for the best global university. Where UCL is really leading among its competitor colleges is with its strong network of supporting schools. It currently works with over 500 London schools. This will make moving to the UK (which is introducing ever stricter immigration laws) that much easier after graduation, as you’ll likely be able to secure a job fast! Additionally, UCL’s education department won the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015.
3. University of Michigan- Ann Arbor
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Elementary Teacher Education
The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is one of only two colleges to be ranked in the top 20 on every list in the methodology, with the other being the University of Wisconsin Madison. On Niche.com, it’s listed as the eighth best education college, with an impressive 3,927 reviews giving it an aggregated score of 4 out of 5. Times Higher Education places it at joint seventh in the world. US News places it at 14th. QS places it at 20th. And the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor has been able to achieve this because it’s a pioneer of education. It was the first college in America to have a professional chair devoted to the science and art of teaching. And it’s been refining its techniques ever since!
2. Vanderbilt University
The rankings for Vanderbilt University are high across the various lists. Niche.com places it at number one in America for education, with over 1000 onsite student reviews backing this up. The Times Higher Education list places it at joint 11th in the world. US News states that it’s the eighth best college in America to become a teacher. However, QS places it at joint 44th in the world for education degrees. Lastly, Teacher Certification Degrees names it as one of the two best US colleges for earning a master of education (the other college is Harvard.) When it comes to looking at the facts, it’s easy to see why it ranks so highly on every list. Seven of its professors are part of American Enterprise Institute’s list of the 200 most influential education scholars. Also, 96% of education students get jobs just months after graduating, which is much higher than the national average of 83%, securing the college’s place at number two!
1. University of Wisconsin – Madison
ART EDUCATION, B.S.
The University of Wisconsin has a unique distinction among education colleges. It has the combined highest score of all of the methodology’s top education college lists. On US News, it’s ranked joint second, with Harvard. Times Higher Education places it at sixth. Niche.com places it at 11th, with almost 3000 student reviews giving it a rating of four out of five overall. Lastly, QS places it at 19th. How has the University of Wisconsin managed to rank so highly across the various education lists? The chair of the college’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction puts it down to, “dedicated faculty members with a long tradition of intellectual creativity that’s made possible due to ongoing institutional support.”
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