Kentucky Teacher Colleges and Degrees Online Guide

This teacher preparation guide was designed for aspiring teachers looking for information on teaching schools in Kentucky. The state of Kentucky is home to several colleges and universities that offer degree programs that prepare students to enter a career in education. Scroll through the page below for details on how to obtain a teaching degree in Kentucky as well as lists of top-rated teaching programs, a table of accredited, state-approved teacher preparation programs, and student reviews. Whether you’re looking to switch careers or are fresh out of college, starting your search here will help you find a program that meets your individual career goals as a new teacher.

Table of Contents

Quick Facts

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

Comparison of Kentucky Schools with Teacher Preparation Programs

We have designed the following table to help you compare teacher preparation programs in Kentucky according to various factors. All of the schools included are not-for-profit institutions approved by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) 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 Kentucky 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 Enrollment6Trad. Teacher Prep Prog. Completers 6Trad. Licensing Exams Pass Rate6Alt. Teacher Program Enrollment6Alt. Teacher Prep Prog. Completers 6Alt. Licensing Exams Pass Rate6Net Price1
Alice Lloyd CollegeNo3510N.Av.$15,196
Asbury UniversityYes1234694%253N.Av.$23,086
Bellarmine UniversityYes1315498%3018N.Av.$24,425
Berea CollegeYes491292%$4,938
Boyce CollegeYes25$27,314
Brescia UniversityNo2711100%$14,464
Campbellsville UniversityYes1084996%463N.Av.$19,321
Eastern Kentucky UniversityYes57419193%552893%$14,151
Georgetown CollegeYes7615100%16444100%$18,056
Kentucky Christian UniversityNo271180%$20,608
Kentucky State UniversityYes186N.Av.33N.Av.$7,254
Kentucky Wesleyan CollegeNo4612100%$19,348
Lindsey Wilson CollegeYes882190%$14,647
Midway UniversityNo501890%$24,781
Morehead State UniversityYes12912992%10429100%$12,498
Murray State UniversityYes18219393%5817100%$11,628
Northern Kentucky UniversityYes12914989%157N.Av.$9,664
Spalding UniversityYes171292%3210N.Av.$23,003
Thomas More UniversityYes1515100%1610N.Av.$20,868
Transylvania UniversityNo109100%$26,054
Union CollegeYes2213100%$18,027
University of KentuckyNo26825195%84N.Av.$19,831
University of LouisvilleYes12416693%13036100%$17,894
University of PikevilleNo1811100%$13,797
University of the CumberlandsYes12411697%83825594%$13,764
Western Kentucky UniversityYes21226594%205N.Av.$12,705

  • — 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 Kentucky

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

  • University of Kentucky (#64 tie)
  • University of Louisville (#103 tie)
  • Western Kentucky University (#163 tie)
  • Bellarmine University (#211-277)
  • Morehead State University (#211-277)
  • Murray State University (#211-277)

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

  • University of Kentucky (#14 tie)
  • University of Louisville (#60 tie)
  • Eastern Kentucky University (#108 tie)
  • Western Kentucky University (#120 tie)
  • Georgetown College (#188 tie)
  • Campbellsville University (#205 tie)
  • Asbury University (#214 tie)
  • Morehead State University (#214 tie)
  • University of the Cumberlands (#221 tie)
  • Midway University (#226 tie)
  • Kentucky State University (#242-321)
  • Lindsey Wilson College (#242-321)
  • University of Pikeville (#242-321)

Select Kentucky Schools with Teacher Preparation Degrees

Eastern Kentucky University

Located in Richmond near I-75, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is home to the College of Education and Applied Human Sciences, and its Department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership. The Department offers Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education, as well as BS degree programs in Career and Technical Education or Special Education with a focus on Deaf and Hard of Hearing or Learning Behavior Disorders (LBD). EKU’s graduate offerings include several Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) programs including Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Special Education, and School Leadership. Students’ knowledge and pedagogy are developed through a variety of instructional strategies focused on the development of critical thinking, independent study and research, cultural experiences, and supervised applied learning at clinical sites. The EKU faculty shares a commitment to individualized teaching and learning and a belief in modeling effective practices.

University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky’s (UK) College of Education serves nearly 3,000 students with more than 70 degree programs. The College is divided into seven academic departments: Curriculum & Instruction; Early Childhood, Special Education & Counselor Education; Educational Leadership Studies; Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation; Educational, School & Counseling Psychology; Kinesiology & Health Promotion; and STEM Education. These departments offer programs including a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Education in Elementary or Middle Level Education, a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Education in Special Education, a Master of Science (MS) in Higher Education or Education Policy Studies, and multiple concentrations for Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctorate of Education (EdD) degrees. Several master’s programs at UK, as well as the EdD in Educational Leadership Studies, are available in fully online and hybrid formats.

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is located in Bowling Green and its College of Education and Behavioral Sciences is one of the largest colleges on campus. WKU offers undergraduate programs with majors in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Science and Mathematics Education, Special Education, and Secondary Education. A number of graduate programs are also offered, including a Master of Arts in Education (MAE) in various subjects, as well as graduate endorsements in Elementary Mathematics Specialist, Environmental Education, Gifted and Talented Education, Instructional Computer Technology, Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), and Teacher Leader. Several Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs with numerous concentration options are available–many with online options–as an alternative pathway to teacher licensure for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree. For those on a non-teaching path, graduate certificates include Advanced Behavior Management, Elementary Mathematics Specialization, Gifted Education and Talent Development, Instructional Design, Literacy in Post-Secondary Settings, and Literacy P-12. Finally, a Doctor of Education (EdD) is offered in Educational Leadership.

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.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College
1 Bert Combs Dr
Prestonsburg, KY 41653-1815
(606) 886-3863

Bluegrass Community and Technical College
470 Cooper Dr
Lexington, KY 40506
(859) 246-6200

Campbellsville University*
1 University Dr
Campbellsville, KY 42718-2799
(270) 789-5000

Eastern Kentucky University*
521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
(859) 622-1000

Gateway Community and Technical College
500 Technology Way
Florence, KY 41042-3224
(859) 441-4500

Jefferson Community and Technical College
109 E Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202-2005
(502) 213-2200

Kentucky Christian University*
100 Academic Pkwy
Grayson, KY 41143-1199
(606) 474-3000

Murray State University*
102 Curris Center
Murray, KY 42071-3318
(270) 809-3011

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
700 College Rd
Cumberland, KY 40823-1046
(606) 589-2145

Union College*
310 College St
Barbourville, KY 40906-1499
(606) 546-4151

Western Kentucky University*
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000
(270) 745-0111

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.

Alice Lloyd College
100 Purpose Rd
Pippa Passes, KY 41844-9005
(606) 368-2101

Student Review: “The Teacher Education Program (TEP) at Alice Lloyd College has had many ups and downs. On the upside, a student is not liable to find a program that will prepare him or her better for a career as an educator. This institute requires of all students to be involved in the academics via a work-study program, and the actual TEP program requires students to be involved in community activities and school activities. The one drawback is the quality of the instructors. The director of the program is brilliant; I can never say anything bad about her. As for the other instructors, they can be a bit lacking at times. They are brilliant, don’t get me wrong, I just question the validity of their ability to actually teach. Last year, the program lost its greatest asset when the assistant director of the program decided to retire. This man was a gem to me. He was the only reason that I stuck with the program and didn’t give up altogether.” -Eric T., student at Alice Lloyd College

Campbellsville University
1 University Dr
Campbellsville, KY 42718-2799

Student Review: “The school of education at CU was structured much like any other education program in Kentucky. There were a few introductory courses that gave you insight into the program, but quite honestly did not give any insight into the career. As I progressed further into the teaching program my classes became more “useless” in relation to real teaching experience. The classes were full of presentations to our peers followed by review and discussion of our techniques and methods. I believe the program would have been much more productive if we spent more time teaching in actual classrooms in our desired field of study. The program taught us very well how to navigate the Teaching Standards and develop lessons, but lacked greatly in hands-on experience.” -Lucas A., student at Campbellsville University

Eastern Kentucky University
521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
(859) 622-1000

Student Review: “The education program at EKU is great until you get into student teaching. The semester before student teaching is known as “methods.” During this time, you spend 3 days a week in the classroom, as well as in the school setting, for practicum. You teach lessons and have “solo” weeks. It really prepares you to be a teacher. Once you get into student teaching, you have nobody to guide you or help you with your problems. They just throw you out to sea to see if you sink or swim.” -Student at Eastern Kentucky University
Student Review: “As a student in the College of Education at EKU, I would rate my program a 3 out of 5. The professors know what they are teaching and they can be understanding. They can be helpful and the workload is not too bad. The program really helps us learn how to be good teachers and will even tell us stories and tips for our future classrooms, and many classes can be fun and hands-on to really let us understand how to be good teachers. However, there are some professors in the program who tend to share their prejudice views because they believe that telling us about children of a different ethnicity or culture can prove that stereotypes can be ‘true.’ Although these issues were reported, the chair was not very responsive and dismissed the case. Some courses are not helpful because I plan to teach elementary students and I won’t be teaching algebra, DNA codes, or huge English texts from the 1500s to kindergarten students. Overall, the College of Education is a good program, however, not every program is perfect and so I would rate my program a 3 out of 5.” -Student at Eastern Kentucky University

Murray State University
102 Curris Center
Murray, KY 42071-3318
(270) 809-3011

Student Review: “Murray State University is a wonderful school. Nestled in the heart of Murray, Ky, Murray State is surrounded by a community full of support. With almost 10,000 students the school has a very small town feel. The school focuses on building relationships by establishing residential colleges instead of dorms. This allows you to develop unity with peers from day one. As an education major, I can say the school is at the top of its game when it comes to any education program. The only con is that the school does have a huge emphasis on greeks and can sometimes cause non-greeks to feel excluded.” -Kara B., student at Murray State University

University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0032
(859) 257-9000

Student Review: “The education department is great in the sense that there is a lot of hands on experience provided. There are opportunities to get internships with local schools. The professors have deep connections with the local community that they are willing to exercise if needed or requested. The education department is very practical and stresses the application of what is learned in the classroom into the actual classroom. The only thing I wish the department did more was bridge the practice of education in the classroom with education research or psychology-education research. I believe that research can inform the practices in the classroom and also the practices (practical experience) most definitely can inform research. Otherwise, the department is extremely helpful and great in preparing students in the education realm.” -Student at University of Kentucky

University of Louisville
2301 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40292-0001
(502) 852-5555

Student Review: “I had an exceptional experience at University of Louisville. There’s nothing like the people-friendly state of Kentucky while having the amenities of a mid-sized city like Louisville. One of my favorite parts of U of L was the support provided by professors and peers alike. I was in a cohort of students all switching careers to become special education teachers; we stuck together closely and developed lifelong friendships as we went through the challenges of grad school. My professors took a strong interest in me and offered personal mentorship. I still meet regularly with one mentor, and he has now helped me begin full-time doctoral studies at U of L. One thing I would maybe change were the occasional adjunct professors who were less experienced, particularly in a few summer courses I took. However, those classes were rare and had little negative impact on my overall learning and experience. I couldn’t be more thankful for all the opportunities U of L has provided me.” -Chris S., student at University of Louisville
Student Review: “The University of Louisville’s campus is spread apart and easy to navigate; having been here for 4 years, I know my way around the entire campus, including buildings I’ve never been in or had classes in. The library is fairly decent and includes a mechanical retrieval system for the more rare and unique books. Food selection is fairly poor, especially if you live on campus and have to use the meal plan for your food. The majority of one’s options are fast food with a few “campus” restaurants in-between, which are expensive and of mediocre quality.” -Caleb W., student at University of Louisville

Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000
(270) 745-0111

Student Review: “My experience in the teaching program at Western Kentucky University was great! My classes prepared me for the real world of teaching, giving me a broad knowledge base about various disabilities, teaching strategies and the legal implications associated with special education. My professors were both knowledgeable and approachable, and I always felt like I could ask questions for clarification. They encouraged me to join my professional organization and to become involved in my field even before graduating. My student teaching placements were very beneficial because I was able to see an elementary school in a county school system and a high school in the city school system. This gave me a wide variety of perspectives and helped guide me to choose the age range of students that I wanted to eventually work with.” -Amanda L., student at Western Kentucky University
Student Review: “During my time at Western Kentucky University, I really enjoyed my experience. The music education program was (and still is) run by top-notch faculty. I learned immensely about music theory, music history, and general education curriculum. One of my best experiences was with my elementary and middle grades classroom teacher, who was a phenomenal educator and taught me many skills that I use in my classroom today. My applied studio professor was also a wonderful person and a great influence on me as I stepped into the world of teaching. The only thing that I disliked at the time was the amount of time that I had to spend on coursework, but after being in the ‘real world’, I have found that the experience actually mimics the ‘real world’ experience quite well.” -Johnathan C., student at Western Kentucky University
Student Review: “Western Kentucky University is the home of the Hilltoppers, and when they say Hilltoppers, they mean it! Set atop a rather steep hill, this university will work your body nearly as much as your mind, as you traverse to and from class. This can be a bit daunting at first and has caused many a freshman to miss class, but the exercise is worth the knowledge you will get. There is a friendly staff and faculty willing to help give you opportunities you might not find elsewhere.” -Jennifer W., student at Western Kentucky University

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 2022: 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