12 of the Best Teaching Schools and Degrees in Pennsylvania

    August 16, 2023 | Admin

    Enrolling in the best teaching schools in Pennsylvania can prepare you for a career that’s rewarding and beneficial to the community. The state requires all teachers to hold a state-approved license, which is only available after a student enrolls in and completes at least a bachelor’s degree through an accredited program. The state has numerous options. Take a look at the best teaching colleges in PA for today’s students.

    University of Pennsylvania 

    Tuition: $1,962 per credit hour

    Credit Requirements: Varies based on the master’s program between 10 and 16 credits.

    As one of the best teaching schools in Pennsylvania, this organization helps prepare students to earn their state-issued certificates. The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education offers a master’s degree program in teaching. 

    Teaching program options include:

    • Urban Teaching Apprenticeship Program
    • Urban Teaching Residency Program
    • Independent School Teaching Residency
    • M.S.Ed in Literacy Studies

    The university also has professional development programs and those geared towards English as a second language educators.

    Penn State

    Tuition: $17,900 per year

    Credit Requirements: 120 credits minimum

    Penn State offers numerous teaching paths for students looking for the best teaching schools in Pennsylvania. The college provides on-campus and online educational opportunities, including those that incorporate innovative technology and modern teaching methods.

    Some of the education programs at Penn State include:

    • Early Childhood Education
    • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
    • Educational Psychology Doctoral Degree
    • Secondary Social Studies Post-Baccalaureate Certification
    • Social Students Education, Graduate Level
    • Middle Level Education
    • Secondary Education

    As one of the largest in the state, Penn State’s educational programs prepare students for a wide range of specialized educational paths.

    University of Pittsburgh

    Tuition: $20,362 per year

    Credit Requirements: 120 credit hours minimum

    The University of Pittsburgh offers a four-year bachelor’s degree in education. The program prepares students to earn their Instructional I certification.

    A range of specializations are offered, including:

    • English
    • Math
    • World Heritage Languages
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Pre-K education

    The university’s program is completed through the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, with a curriculum based primarily on what the student hopes to teach. 

    Drexel University 

    Tuition: $57,136 per year

    Credit Requirements: Minimum of 180 credit hours

    Drexel University is noted for its School of Education. It offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral education degrees, with a total of 48 program specializations across 21 degrees. The school prepares about 1300 students a year for their educational path.

    Some of the school’s specialization options include:

    • Bachelor’s in Secondary Education
    • Undergraduate Certificate in Creativity and Innovation
    • Sport Coaching Leadership Minor Degree
    • BS/MS in Education Degree (a five-year program)
    • Alternative Teacher Certification for Non-Majors

    Those who wish to learn further can complete one of the numerous graduate programs in areas such as Applied Behavioral Analysis, Higher Education Leadership, Educational Administration, and Special Education. 

    Wilson College 

    Tuition: $25,950 per year

    Credit Requirements: Minimum of 120 credit hours

    Offering both bachelor’s and master’s degree paths, Wilson College is noted for its asynchronous coursework, allowing students to learn at their own pace. As one of the best teaching schools in Pennsylvania, it aims to make education as accessible as possible to students.

    Some education specialization areas include:

    • Bachelor of Arts in Special Education
    • Master of Education
    • Master of Mass Customized Learning
    • Master in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
    • Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education

    Though it aims to offer innovative, modern programs, Wilson College was founded as an all-women’s college in 1869 and has produced many educational leaders throughout the years. 

    Messiah University

    Tuition: $39,700 per year

    Credit Requirements: Minimum of 123 credit hours

    Those who want to teach because they love helping others, may find the support and guidance at Messiah University to be a good fit. The program aims to create high-quality teachers, preparing them for the modern teaching environment while providing part-time, accelerated learning paths and online education options.

    Some of the college’s programs include:

    • Education with Teaching Certification for Grades PreK through 4
    • Education with Teaching certification in Grades 4 to 8
    • Special Education N-12 with Teaching Certification PreK – 12
    • Speech and Language Pathology

    The university also offers specializations in English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Combined programs. 

    Temple University 

    Tuition: Starts at $17,136 per year

    Credit Requirements: Minimum of 123 credit hours

    Temple University’s College of Education and Human Development prepares students to choose a career in education customized to meet their specific interests. Both graduate and undergraduate majors exist, with a total of 50 certificates and degree options. 

    The college’s education programs include:

    • Accomplished Teaching
    • Adult and Organizational Development
    • Advocacy and Organizational Development
    • Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Counseling Psychology
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Educational Leadership
    • Educational Psychology

    The school also has a strong research-based educational track that allows students to study a wide range of education-focused topics and contribute to changes in the educational system. 

    Swarthmore College

    Tuition: $61,992 per year

    Credit Requirements: Complete at least 32 credit hours, with each class only counted as one credit hour

    Swarthmore College, a smaller, more private college, provides students with numerous pathways to work as a teacher in the state. The school is noted for its fieldwork, including hands-on learning programs that explore innovative new teaching methods.

    Specialized education in areas such as the following are available:

    • Elementary Education Certificate
    • Secondary Education Certificate
    • World Language Teaching
    • ESL Certification

    The school partners with numerous area programs for field placement and summer internships. 

    Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

    Tuition: $11,798 per year

    Credit Requirements: Minimum of 120 credit hours

    The College of Education at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania provides paths for undergraduate and graduate education training. It also offers an Education Doctorate in Transformational Teaching and Learning, one of the more advanced programs in modern education available today.

    Specialization options in the educational tracks include:

    • Elementary Education (Pre-K to 4) Bachelor of Science and Minor
    • Elementary Education (4-8) Bachelor of Science
    • Library Science, Bachelor of Science
    • Secondary Education, Bachelor of Science in Education
    • Special Education, Bachelor of Science
    • Art Education, Bachelor of Science and Minor
    • Music Education, Bachelor of Science

    Students may wish to remain to complete their graduate program, which offers options in various areas, including a doctorate in education. 

    Duquesne University 

    Tuition: Starts at $47,146 per year

    Credit Requirements: Minimum of 120 credit hours

    Duquesne University’s School of Education aims to offer a top-tier program that helps people become teachers who make an impact. To do this, its accredited undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees and licensure and certificate programs incorporate modern educational methods.

    Some of the teaching program options include:

    • Education Administration Certificate, K-12
    • Educational Administration, K-12
    • Educational Leadership
    • Equity Education Certificate
    • Higher Education Administration
    • Middle Level Education, 4-8
    • General and Special Education

    The university also offers programs that include counseling for certified teachers, supervision programs, and school psychology pathways. 

    Eastern University 

    Tuition: $17,932 per semester

    Credit Requirements: Minimum of 120 credit hours

    Eastern University offers in-person and online educational programs in education. It aims to prepare those interested in entering into the educational field in curriculum development, consulting, and research. This includes anyone, from recent high school graduates and professionals who want to teach to those with other career goals.

    Some of the college’s specialized educational programs include:

    • BS in Early Childhood Studies
    • BS in Special Education
    • MEd in Multicultural Education
    • MEd in TESOL
    • MEd in School Health Services
    • MEd in Special Education

    The university also offers curriculum and instruction programs for most areas of education, specialist certification programs, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Educational Leadership.

    Slippery Rock University 

    Tuition: Starts at $7,716 per year

    Credit Requirements: Minimum of 120 credit hours

    The College of Education at Slippery Rock University offers students a career path in numerous educational paths. The school, which has received praise for its innovative programs and modern educational paths, offers in-person and online educational avenues. 

    Some of its educational degree paths include:

    • Elementary Education / Early Childhood Education
    • Physical & Health Education
    • Secondary Education / Foundations of Education
    • Special Education
    • Masters of Education: Technology for Online Instruction

    This is one of the best colleges in Pennsylvania that also offers a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration, including a path for earning a Principal Certification. 

    Teaching Salary and Job Outlook in Pennsylvania

    The US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that approximately 51,560 people worked as a teacher in elementary schools in Pennsylvania in May of 2022. The annual mean wage for those teachers was $69,700. Demand for teachers is likely to grow steadily over the next ten years at a rate of about 4%, which is as fast as average.

    Type of Teaching Degrees in Pennsylvania 

    The best teaching colleges in PA prepare students for a wide range of educational careers. The state recognizes several types of teacher certifications:

    • Intern Certificate: This allows a person to hold a full-time professional teaching position.
    • Instructional I and II Certificate: The Instructional I certificate is a provisional certificate that allows individuals to begin working in the field for several years. The Instructional II certificate is obtained when the individual meets all eligibility requirements, including teaching experience, coursework, and an induction program.
    • Instructional Add-Ons: The state also recognizes add-ons, which allow students to specialize in a specific subject matter.
    • Vocational Instructional Certificate: This is a vocational teacher certification for those with work experience to teach those skills in a vocational or trade school.

    What Are Teacher Licensure Requirements for PA? 

    The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires students to work through the previously mentioned certifications to obtain their license in the state. 

    Teacher licensure requirements include:

    • Complete a PDE-approved certification program through an accredited college or university.
    • Earn a bachelor’s degree within the teaching or educational field, which will include student teaching
    • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher
    • Pass post-education certification tests in the desired subject area
    • Apply for certification by PDE, which typically includes paying a fee
    • Have a background check and be of good moral character

    What Types of Accreditation Options Are There for Teaching Schools in PA?

    Accreditation is critical for those considering any of the best teaching schools in Pennsylvania. Accreditation is not through PDE. Instead, it is done through a third-party organization that evaluates the educational program, how well students engage with the program, and outcomes. 

    The following provides educational program accreditation for colleges in PA:

    • National Council for Accreditation in Teacher Education (NCATE)
    • Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)
    • The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
    • Teaching Scholarships and Financial Aid in Pennsylvania

    Teaching Scholarships

    Numerous options exist for teaching scholarships in PA. Some examples that may be available for the best teaching colleges in PA include:

    Financial Aid Programs

    Financial aid in Pennsylvania for colleges that offer teaching programs starts with completing the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). From there, the colleges and universities will guide students in applying for their available financial aid through government programs.

    Consider these options:

    In every case, students can turn to the best teaching schools in Pennsylvania to discuss financial aid, loans, grants, and scholarships with the financial aid office. 

    Find the program that’s right for you

    Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

    Woman in graduation cap and gown
    Scroll to Top