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Top Universities with Elementary Education Programs

Hundreds of colleges and universities across the country offer degree programs for aspiring elementary educators. Read on to learn about two of the top schools offering such programs, including their course offerings and rankings.

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Top Schools for Elementary Education

Elementary education can be found in programs leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Education Specialist (Ed.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Two of the top elementary education programs in the country are offered by the University of Wisconsin - Madison (UW-Madison) and the University of Georgia (UGA). Both schools are ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report, and both offer undergraduate and graduate programs in the field.

1. University of Wisconsin - Madison

The University of Wisconsin is one of the nation's largest public university systems, and its Madison campus was ranked #41 among national colleges by U.S. News & World Report in 2014. The publication also named this school the second best university in the nation for elementary teacher education for 2014.

Graduate students in programs leading to an M.S. or Ph.D. from the School of Education choose an area of study from 19 subfields, one of which is elementary education. Undergraduates can earn a B.S. in Education with a concentration in elementary education. The undergraduate program has two optional tracks - the early childhood/middle childhood track, which deals with children from birth to age 11, and the middle childhood/early adolescence track, which focuses on the 6-13 age range.

2. University of Georgia in Athens, GA

UGA was #60 in a ranking of the nation's best universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2014. That same year, U.S News & World Report ranked UGA fifth among U.S. schools for elementary teacher education.

The Department of Elementary & Social Studies Education offers programs leading to a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in Teaching that can prepare students to become licensed teachers. Experienced teachers can complete advanced studies in education issues from the school's M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education program. The highest level of education available is at the specialist or doctoral level. Most who want to teach at the K-12 level choose the Ed.S. in Early Childhood Education program, while those interested in teaching or research at the postsecondary level opt for the Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education.

List of Good U.S. Schools with Programs in Elementary Education

School Name Distinction Location
Arizona State University Exceptional undergraduate students enrolled in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College can take part in the Educators Academy, gaining access to leadership seminars, networking opportunities and scholarship options. Tempe, AZ
Michigan State UniversityMSU ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's 2014 listing of schools with the best elementary education programs. East Lansing, MI
Ohio State University OSU's Department of Teaching and Learning edits six professional journals, including Language Arts. Columbus, OH
Pennsylvania State University In 2011, the College of Education received the 'Spirit of Partnership' award from the National Association for Professional Development Schools. University Park, PA
University of Georgia In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university #33 among the best schools to offer education programs overall. Athens, GA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign The College of Education has received an 80% increase in grants and contracts expenditures during the past five years. Champaign, IL
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university #4 on its list of best schools to offer elementary education programs. Ann Arbor, MI
University of Texas at Austin Education centers include the Center for STEM Education, the Institute for Public School Initiatives, the Texas Center for Education Policy, and more. Austin, TX
University of Washington - SeattleStudents have the opportunity to teach English abroad. Seattle, WA
University of Wisconsin - Madison In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university #11 on its list of top public schools. Madison, WI
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