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Explore the best universities in the US for education degrees, using data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
To become a teacher in the US, you must be licensed by the state in which you want to teach, and most teacher-training courses begin at the postgraduate level. Aspiring teachers will often complete an undergraduate degree in any subject, then enrol in an accredited teacher programme.
However, education can also be studied at many levels beyond teacher training. Education as an academic discipline brings together fields such as sociology, politics, history and psychology to investigate a broad range of education-related problems, from social mobility to international policy. Some universities offer undergraduate education courses as majors or minors.
Below are the best universities for education degrees in the US, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023.
Best universities in the world for education degrees
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Michigan State University established its first formal course in education in 1902 and later in 1952 became the School of Education.
The College of Education has four departments; the department of counselling, educational psychology and special education (CEPSE), the department of educational administration (EAD), the department of kinesiology (KIN) and the department of teacher education (TE).
Each of these departments offer courses for undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD candidates with some including online courses.
The college of education is located at the university’s East Lansing campus
The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers two bachelor’s degrees in education, covering elementary or secondary education. The elementary programme awards students with a bachelor’s degree in education. The secondary programme is three terms long, beginning in a student’s junior year, allowing them to graduate with both an undergraduate degree and a secondary teacher certification.
Postgraduate courses include a master’s in higher education, which looks at institutional research, public policy, and student access and success. The educational studies programme offers courses in design and technologies for learning among a range of other topics.
The doctor of philosophy programme focuses on education and psychology, educational studies, English and education, or higher education. Past graduates have gone on to work as education consultants, policymakers and research specialists.
Harvard University mainly offers education courses at a postgraduate level, but students can also choose classes relating to education as an undergraduate.
Students enrolled in a master’s programme choose one programme to develop a specific expertise. Programmes include education policy and analysis; education leadership, organisations and entrepreneurship; human development and education; and learning design, innovation and technology.
Harvard offers two main education doctoral degrees: the three-year practice-based doctor of education leadership programme, and the five-year doctor of philosophy in education programme, which focuses on research and its impacts.
Since 2018, Harvard undergraduate students have been able to take secondary classes in educational studies. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences offers foundational courses for students wishing to pursue this option, including education in the economy, the social responsibilities of universities, and education and culture.
What can you do with an education degree?
Similar to other US universities, the University of California, Berkeley does not offer an undergraduate education major, but students can opt for a minor in education. Full education courses are then offered from a postgraduate level through the Graduate School of Education.
The master’s degrees offered can be completed via two routes, either through 20 semester units and a master’s thesis, or through 24 semester units and a written exam.
There are two doctoral-level education degrees. The doctorate of philosophy programme is geared towards those interested in research, whereas the doctorate of education degree is better suited to those seeking an advanced professional career in education. The latter focuses on educational leadership, human development and programme evaluation and assessment, and usually includes two years of field-based coursework.
Stanford University offers several pathways to study education. The undergraduate minor in education provides students with an introduction to the subject through research, theory and practice. It is usually taken by those who wish to pursue a postgraduate degree in the field.
Undergraduates can also choose to take an honour’s programme to apply their chosen major to education. This option will include taking additional courses and producing a thesis relating to an educational issue.
Full-time master’s courses in education include the Stanford Teacher Education Program, as well as curriculum and teacher education, policy, organisation and leadership studies, learning, design and technology, international comparative education and education data science. Master’s courses range in length from nine to 18 months.
There are several doctoral education programmes on offer, in which all students undertake a research apprenticeship. Several programmes can be chosen, including elementary education, teacher education and sociology of education.
Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2023 results.
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