Iowa Teacher Colleges and Degrees Online Guide

For aspiring teachers looking for a teaching degree in Iowa, the school guide below is intended to provide information on finding a program that meets your individual needs and career goals. There are many teaching schools in Iowa that offer quality programs to prepare students for a fulfilling career in the education sector. Listed below, you’ll find a table of accredited, state-approved teacher preparation programs, lists of top-rated teaching programs, and student reviews to help make the decision process a bit easier for future teachers.

Table of Contents

Quick Facts

For not-for-profit schools with teacher degree programs.

Comparison of Iowa Schools with Teacher Preparation Programs

We have designed the following table to help you compare teacher preparation programs in Iowa according to various factors. All of the schools included are not-for-profit institutions approved by the Iowa Department of Education for the preparation of teachers. Completing a state-approved teacher preparation program is an important step towards earning licensure.

While accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is not a requirement for licensure, it is included in the following table as CAEP provides a highly-regarded accreditation that is accepted in many states.

You will also find data on teacher preparation program enrollment, completion, and licensing exam pass rates by institution, for both traditional and alternative programs, for the 2018-2019 academic year in this table. These data points are collected from annual US Department of Education reports under Title II (Teacher Quality) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which holds institutions and state departments of education accountable for increasing academic achievement through improvements in teacher quality. Traditional teacher preparation programs are usually completed as part of a bachelor’s degree program. Alternative certification programs are typically designed for career changers looking to enter the field and lead to a postgraduate certificate or a master’s degree. Many schools in our table offer both traditional and alternative programs. Take a look at our Iowa traditional and alternative certification guides for more information.

Finally, we have provided the net price per year for undergraduate tuition, based on the cost of attendance (tuition, books, room and board, and related expenses) for students who qualify for in-state tuition and fees, less the average financial aid award (including grants and scholarships).

State-Approved SchoolCAEP Accred.?5Trad. Teacher Program Enrollment 6Trad. Teacher Prep Prog. Completers6Trad. Licensing Exams Pass Rate6Alt. Teacher Program Enrollment 6Alt. Teacher Prep Prog. Completers6Alt. Licensing Exams Pass Rate 6Net Price1
Briar Cliff UniversityNo5317N.Av.$22,233
Buena Vista UniversityNo46291N.Av.$18,300
Central CollegeNo12235N.Av.$21,690
Clarke UniversityNo6922N.Av.$25,756
Coe CollegeNo9340N.Av.$21,155
Cornell CollegeNo21$25,028
Dordt CollegeNo20047N.Av.$25,982
Drake UniversityNo30282N.Av.$30,321
Emmaus Bible CollegeNo3511N.Av.$15,696
Faith Baptist Bible CollegeNo476N.Av.$16,896
Graceland UniversityNo11652N.Av.$18,434
Grand View UniversityNo6124N.Av.$19,423
Grinnell CollegeNo226N.Av.$32,091
Iowa State UniversityNo734343N.Av.$16,105
Iowa Wesleyan UniversityNo2511N.Av.$31,813
Loras CollegeNo5050N.Av.$22,418
Luther CollegeNo13959N.Av.$25,291
Morningside UniversityNo16449N.Av.2815N.Av.$22,146
Mount Mercy UniversityNo5231N.Av.$25,182
Northwestern CollegeNo13443N.Av.$24,513
Saint Ambrose UniversityNo10048N.Av.$26,497
Simpson CollegeNo16757N.Av.$20,457
University of DubuqueNo5818N.Av.$27,043
University of IowaNo704200N.Av.$17,452
University of Northern IowaNo2,705344N.Av.$16,166
Upper Iowa UniversityNo33095N.Av.$23,187
Wartburg CollegeNo26247N.Av.$23,248
William Penn UniversityNo12130N.Av.$21,256

  • — indicates none or not applicable.
  • N.Av. indicates data was not available or pass rates were omitted for confidentiality.

Top-Ranked Schools with Education Programs in Iowa

Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Education Majors 2022

  • Cornell College

US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Education Programs 2023

  • University of Iowa (#39 tie)
  • Iowa State University (#84 tie)
  • University of Northern Iowa (#106 tie)
  • Drake University (#192 tie)

US News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs 2022

  • University of Iowa (#24 tie)
  • University of Northern Iowa (#53 tie)
  • Northwestern College (#69 tie)
  • Drake University (#108 tie)
  • Buena Vista University (#171 tie)
  • Dordt University (#233 tie)
  • Upper Iowa University (#237 tie)

Select Iowa Schools with Teacher Preparation Degrees

Drake University

The School of Education (SOE) at Drake University offers aspiring teachers education degrees with many customizable options. Undergraduate students can complete a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Education with a focus on Elementary Education or Secondary Education in various content areas. Specializations are offered in several related areas, such as International Teaching, Behavioral Analysis of Developmental Disabilities, and Urban Education. Students in the BS programs must also complete the coursework requirements for at least one area of endorsement. Endorsement programs are also available for current teachers interested in becoming certified in additional teaching areas. The endorsement-only programs are offered at the main campus in Des Moines, at other locations in Iowa, or via blended or online methods. Graduate programs include alternative teaching certification degrees, such as the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), master’s and doctoral degrees in educational studies, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Superintendent Licensure.

Iowa State University

The Iowa State University (ISU) School of Education offers numerous opportunities to study in the field of education, including certification programs for new teachers and advanced degrees for professionals. Undergraduate students can choose to major in Early Childhood Education (ECE), Elementary Education, or K-12 and Secondary Education. Those aspiring to teach secondary students must choose a subject or content area of focus, such as Science Education, English Education, ESL Education, History Education, or Social Studies Education. Applicants who already have a bachelor’s degree can apply for the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program, which offers an alternative pathway to teacher licensure in the state. Other graduate offerings are also available for current educators who wish to enhance their education and skills in order to advance or change career direction, including Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees, Master of Science (MS) degrees, Doctor of Education (EdD) degrees, and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. Some graduate degrees offer online study options, such as the M.Ed. in Higher Education, the M.Ed. in Educational Administration, the M.Ed. in Educational Technology, and the EdD in P-12 Systems Level Leadership, in addition to some graduate certificates

University of Iowa

The College of Education (COE) at the University of Iowa (UI) provides a range of degree programs leading to teaching certification as well as other areas of educational studies. The COE prides itself on offering students a diverse range of experiential teaching opportunities so that graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings. At the undergraduate level, the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree can be completed in Elementary Education or many secondary-level subject areas. A combined BA/Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree enabling students to meet the requirements of both degrees in five years is available in specific content areas, such as Mathematics. Those with an undergraduate degree can apply for the MAT programs to fulfill the educational requirements to become certified teachers in Iowa. Some non-licensure degrees designed for working professionals are offered with online options, such as a Master of Science (MS) in STEM Education; a Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency; a Certificate in K-12 Equity and Inclusion; and a Certificate in Online Teaching.

Schools with Associate Degrees in Education

While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational level required to qualify for state certification, an associate’s degree can be the first step towards a career in education. It can qualify graduates for careers in non-licensed roles in early childhood education, after-school care, and related areas. The credits earned from an accredited associate degree program can also typically be transferred towards a bachelor’s degree. The following Alabama schools offer associate’s degrees in education.1 Schools with an asterisk (*) also offer four-year teaching programs and/or alternative route to certification programs.

Des Moines Area Community College
1100 7th St
Des Moines, IA 50314
(800) 362-2127

Dordt University*
700 7th St NE
Sioux Center, IA 51250
(712) 722-6000

Eastern Iowa Community College District
101 W 3rd St
Davenport, IA 52801
(563) 336-3300

Ellsworth Community College
1100 College Ave
Iowa Falls, IA 50126
(641) 648-4611

Emmaus Bible College*
2570 Asbury Rd
Dubuque, IA 52001
(563) 588-8000

Hawkeye Community College
1501 E Orange Rd
Waterloo, IA 50701
(319) 296-2320

Indian Hills Community College
525 Grandview Ave
Ottumwa, IA 52501
(800) 736-2585

Iowa Central Community College
1 Triton Cir
Fort Dodge, IA 50501
(800) 362-2793

Marshalltown Community College
3700 S Center St
Marshalltown, IA 50158
(641) 752-7106

North Iowa Area Community College
500 College Dr
Mason City, IA 50401
(888) 466-4222

Northeast Iowa Community College
8342 NICC Dr
Peosta, IA 52068
(844) 642-2338

Southeastern Community College
1500 W Agency Rd
West Burlington, IA 52655
(319) 208-5000

Southwestern Community College
1501 W Townline St
Creston, IA 50801
(641) 782-7081

Student Reviews

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Central College
812 University St
Pella, IA 50219
(641) 628-9000

Student Review: “Central College was an excellent educational experience for me. In studying to be an educator, I felt that Central provided many opportunities to grow in that field. Early in my major, I was able to be a part of the Teacher Academy, in which you are paired with a mentor teacher in the community and allowed to work in that classroom for the remainder of your studies. I did my student teaching in that classroom too, which gave me a leg up when I started my career. I was also able to study abroad for a semester and still graduate in four years. During my time in London, I was placed in an international school which provided amazing experiences and added to my strong resume. Central College professors and programs were the perfect combination to help me start my education and they prepared me wholly for the educational workforce.” -Student at Central College
Student Review: “I believe my teacher preparation program was successful in providing me experiences that I needed to become successful in my own classroom. The professors held all of us to high standards, which provided me with an extra sense of accomplishment along with my degree completion. For example, when I started there were eight of us who wanted to be secondary science teachers. Only three of us actually made it to and completed student teaching. The process was so rigorous that to have a degree and teaching licensure from Central College actually means something, especially when compared to some of the other teacher preparatory programs in the state of Iowa. Our professors not only worked with us as their students but by the time we got to student teaching, they treated us like colleagues. I felt like they were truly invested in me as a person, not just a number.” -Student at Central College

Cornell College
600 1st St
Mt Vernon, IA 52314
(319) 895-4334

Student Review: “There are many wonderful aspects to the Education program at Cornell College. To start, the classes are small (10-25) so you have the opportunity to ask your questions and personally try out the techniques you are taught. The staff are all full professors and are understanding, helpful, and energetic. The program combines theory and history of education with practical techniques for lesson planning and classroom management. My least favorite aspect of the program is that they at no point tell all of the aspiring teachers that it is currently nearly impossible to get a teaching job in Iowa, where you end up licensed, and they don’t really offer help with other licensing questions unless you know what to ask.” -Student at Cornell College

Drake University
2507 University Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311
(515) 271-2011

Student Review: “The practical side of Drake University’s teaching program was terrific, but I felt the instructors in my first year of the program to be lacking in abilities. To be brutally honest, the introductory classes were way too easy to navigate. I don’t mind easy classes, but these almost seemed to be a waste of my money. Usually, our assignment was to read a short chapter filled with anecdotes about teaching and then write a reflection on it. The readings were usually interesting, but they did little to teach me about teaching. I did, however, love the practical aspects of Drake’s teaching program. I had a fantastic interaction with my practicum teacher, and the 100 hours I spent in a classroom were extremely helpful when I asked myself tough questions such as: Do I really want to do this? I had the chance, on multiple occasions, to work with real students struggling with real problems, and I learned more from that than in any class. In my final year of study, I had three incredible professors who really made the program worth my time, so I will say that the program at Drake is improving.” -Matthew N., student at Drake University

Emmaus Bible College
2570 Asbury Rd
Dubuque, IA 52001
(563) 588-8000

Student Review: “The school worked really hard to have students working in a classroom from their second semester in the program. We were always learning how to work with kids in the specific classes we were enrolled in. (In math foundations and curriculum, they put us in a classroom where we would be teaching math.) I didn’t like that if you were ahead or behind, it meant that you would be required to take a semester off due to teacher restrictions, but other than that, the program was staffed with friendly and helpful professors who were all hired out of elementary schools. All of my teachers have taught in a school environment, so they know what to expect and can answer any hypothetical question you pose because they have most likely experienced it themselves.” -Student at Emmaus Bible College

Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
(515) 294-4111

Student Review: “The moment my first visit began, I knew that I would be attending this school the next fall. It was beautiful and had the major I wanted. I have since grown to enjoy the people and the various activities on campus. The many clubs and student organizations do an excellent job of providing activities every day of the week. I am from out of state, and it was interesting for me that I seemed to make most of my friends with other people from out of state. Even if they were from the other side of the country. After my first year there, I have grown as a person significantly. Overall I love Iowa State. I am literally counting down the days until my return.” -Ryan S., student at Iowa State University

University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242
(319) 335-3500

Student Review: “The University of Iowa combines great academics with a vibrant social environment. The U of I has many well-known academic programs, including its distinguished Writers’ Workshop, a top-ranked psychology department, a law school, and a full hospital and medical school. I especially liked the interdisciplinary focus of the school and the professors’ encouragement to think deeply and abstractly. The university sits in the heart of Iowa City, IA, the quintessential college town with plenty of activities to keep a college student’s social life full. From April to October, students can go to the large farmers’ market for fresh fruits, vegetables, and baked goods. I especially like Prairie Lights bookstore, a world-famous bookstore with a huge selection and a quiet coffee shop. There are a number of good restaurants in all price ranges, including plenty of quick food outlets for students in a rush and buffets for extra hungry students. In recent years, the school has been high on the party school rankings, and sometimes the partying can be over the top, but recent crackdowns in bars have curbed that somewhat.” -Ashley T., student at University of Iowa

University of Northern Iowa
1227 W 27th St
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
(319) 273-2311

Student Review: “The University of Northern Iowa campus is beautiful and full of many resources that helped me during the course of this program. As an English teaching major, I found the UNICOTE club and the English club to be great resources to meet like-minded people. The professors in this program, for the most part, are excellent instructors and highly knowledgeable in their field. I’ve had a few professors that have really helped me to succeed. One thing that I think could be improved, however, is the fact that they require students to go off campus frequently, but provide no means of transportation. I had to rely on friends and the city bus to get around at all. I think if I am paying that much to go to school, that such a great resource should be provided to people who needed it like me. Overall, a great school, but that would be something to improve upon.” -Student at University of Northern Iowa

Wartburg College
100 Wartburg Blvd
Waverly, IA 50677
(800) 772-2085

Student Review: “The teaching program at Wartburg is very individualized. They give you the opportunity to get into the field right away and start experiencing what it is like to be in the classroom. The community is very helpful in giving a broad and diverse range of experiences in surrounding schools. The professors are also very good at making each student feel that they are special and unique. They care about us as a person and an educator and put a lot of heart into their work. Many of them are active members in the community and truly help to make connections between our college career and the career ahead of us. After taking the essential education courses as well as the course required for our major, we are well rounded and experienced. They provide us a chance to not only study methods, but experience teaching them for ourselves.” -Amy N., student at Wartburg College

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. The Princeton Review. The Best 385 Colleges, 2022 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2021.
3. US News & World Report Best Graduate Education Schools 2023: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/edu-rankings
4. US News & World Report Best Online Graduate Education Schools 2022: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
5. Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP): http://caepnet.org/provider-search
6. US Department of Education 2020 Title II Report: https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Home.aspx