Virginia Teacher Colleges and Degrees Online Guide

All aspiring teachers in Virginia are required to complete a state teacher preparation program from an accredited school in order to be eligible for employment in the state’s school system. This guide to teaching schools in Virginia provides key information about the several colleges and universities in the state that offer degree programs. In order to find a school that meets your individual needs, take a look at our lists of top-rated teaching programs, table of accredited, state-approved teacher preparation programs, and student reviews found below. For anyone looking to obtain a teaching degree in Virginia, this informative school guide is a great place to start on your new career path.

Quick Facts

  • There are 39 colleges and universities with teacher degree programs in Virginia.1
  • 5 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in education.*1
  • 21 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in education.*1
  • 31 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in education.*1
  • 12 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.2
  • 1 school ranked in Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Education Majors 2020.3
  • 9 schools ranked in US News Best Graduate Education Programs 2019.4
  • 7 schools ranked in US News Best Online Graduate Education Programs 2019.5
  • 28 not-for-profit teacher programs are accredited by the NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP.

*For not-for-profit colleges and universities with teacher degree programs.

Top-Ranked Schools with Education Programs in Virginia

Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019*

  • Washington and Lee University (#9)
  • University of Richmond (#33)
  • University of Virginia (#52)
  • College of William and Mary (#73)
  • Christendom College (#75)
  • Liberty University (#139)
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (#160)
  • James Madison University (#221)
  • Christopher Newport University (#73 in-state, #77 out-of-state)
  • Hollins University (#278)
  • University of Mary Washington (#290)
  • George Mason University (#300)

*Institution-wide ranking.

Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Education Majors 2020

  • College of William and Mary

US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Education Programs 2019

  • University of Virginia (#17)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (#20)
  • College of William and Mary (#39 tie)
  • George Mason University (#59 tie)
  • Old Dominion University (#93 tie)
  • Virginia Tech (#104 tie)
  • Liberty University (#195-258)
  • Regent University (#195-258)
  • Shenandoah University (#195-258)

US News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs 2019

  • Virginia Commonwealth University (#3 tie)
  • University of Virginia (#9 tie)
  • George Mason University (#42 tie)
  • Regent University (#61 tie)
  • Old Dominion University (#105 tie)
  • Liberty University (#189 tie)
  • Radford University (#222)

Comparison of Teacher Preparation Programs

We have designed the following table to help you compare teacher preparation programs in Virginia according to various factors. All of the schools included are not-for-profit institutions approved by the Virginia 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. Read more about the CAEP, NCATE, and TEAC accrediting bodies. We have also included rankings from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a research and policy group that scores teacher preparation programs at the national level using key standards chosen to measure students’ preparation for success in teaching. For further information on the NCTQ’s program rankings, please see the notes below the table.

You will also find data on teacher preparation program enrollment, completion, and licensing exam pass rates by institution for the 2017-2018 academic year in this table. These data points are collected from annual US Department of Education records under Title II (Teacher Quality) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which provides for reporting that holds institutions and state departments of education accountable for increasing academic achievement through improvements in teacher quality.

Programs that are not ranked, or for which data is not available, in a given category are denoted as “-“.

State-Approved SchoolCAEP Accred.?6NCTQ Undergrad Elementary Prog. % (2016)**7NCTQ Undergrad Secondary Prog. % (2017)**7Teacher Prep Prog. Enrollment8Teacher Prep Prog. Completers8Licensing Exams Pass Rate8Net Price***1
Averett UniversityNo13%222298%$22,592
Bluefield CollegeYes1313100%$20,227
Bridgewater CollegeNo74%40%754295%$19,957
Christopher Newport UniversityNo666699%$22,770
College of William and MaryYes1046998%$17,415
Eastern Mennonite UniversityYes70%20%5012100%$23,952
Emory and Henry CollegeYes1839100%$20,257
Ferrum CollegeNo61898%$23,184
George Mason UniversityYes1,076337100%$18,629
Hampton UniversityYes1019100%$26,031
Hollins UniversityYes401499%$19,520
James Madison UniversityYes971295100%$16,154
Longwood UniversityYes92%71%68215899%$18,227
Mary Baldwin UniversityYes19668100%$18,339
Marymount UniversityYes41%134998%$25,387
Norfolk State UniversityYes29%66524100%$14,429
Old Dominion UniversityYes947245100%$15,213
Radford UniversityYes5616799%$13,573
Randolph CollegeYes521498%$26,086
Randolph-Macon CollegeYes2611100%$26,575
Regent UniversityYes95%1154999%$17,820
Roanoke CollegeYes41%46%1082199%$29,573
Shenandoah UniversityYes70%37%7761100%$29,248
Sweet Briar CollegeNo410100%$22,050
University of LynchburgNo54%113196%$24,202
University of Mary WashingtonNo4686299%$20,182
University of RichmondYes81%1133994%$24,575
University of VirginiaYes25314298%$16,594
University of Virginia’s College at WiseYes40%682968%$11,418
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityYes34720699%$20,741
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityYes8177100%$18,700
Virginia State UniversityYes5621100%$16,247
Virginia Union UniversityYes751$20,469
Virginia Wesleyan CollegeNo45%11%30797%$26,231
Washington and Lee UniversityYes78$25,029

*The NCTQ rated undergraduate elementary teaching programs in 2016 and undergraduate secondary teaching programs in 2017 by national percentile based on their overall scores on the NCTQ’s standards for teacher education. Schools that do not provide data on all key standards or that fall below the top 50% of schools nationally are not included by the NCTQ in their ratings. Visit the NCTQ website for more information on its standards and methodologies.
**Net price is per year for undergraduate tuition as calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics 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).

Profiles of Well-Known Schools

University of Virginia: The Curry School of Education at University of Virginia is home to approximately 1,500 students seeking degrees in over 20 areas of study. The college offers degrees at the undergrad and graduate levels. The most popular degree granted by the College is the Masters of Education (M.Ed.), which was awarded over 230 times in 2011 alone. Curry School of Education has four distinct research and learning centers including the highly acclaimed Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning. According to the US News & World Report 2013 rankings, the School has several departments that rank highly such as Special Education (5), Secondary Education (8), Elementary Education (10), and Administration and Supervision (12). Graduates of Curry are known for their diligence in research, lifelong learning attitude, and awareness of keen issues that affect the educational landscape.

Virginia Tech: The School of Education at Virginia Tech offers several degree and career pathways that can lead to rewarding and fruitful careers in education at all levels. Students will find the atmosphere accommodating, challenging, and enlightening. The curriculum within the degree programs at the school combines best practices in education as well as dynamic coursework that challenges the status quo and pushes boundaries. This provides students with a historical framework as well as the ability to think outside of the norm to help students learn and achieve whether it’s in an elementary classroom, high school classroom or college lecture hall. Students can choose from many bachelor’s and graduate degree programs depending on their goals.

Schools with Teaching Degree Programs in Virginia

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.

Averett University
420 W Main St
Danville, VA 24541
(434) 791-5600

Bluefield College
3000 College Dr
Bluefield, VA 24605
(276) 326-3682

Bridgewater College
402 E College St
Bridgewater, VA 22812-1599
(540) 828-8000

Christopher Newport University
1 University Pl
Newport News, VA 23606
(757) 594-7000

College of William & Mary
Sadler Center, 200 Stadium Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185
(757) 221-4000

Student Review: “So far as a sophomore pursing a teaching degree, the college has set me up very well for going to graduate school to become a teacher. The classes I have taken include psychology and sociology classes in order to better understand and help children in elementary and middle school. Furthermore, the management skills and classes I have taken will better my ability to be an effective leader to my future students.” -Student at College of William & Mary

Eastern Mennonite University
1200 Park Rd
Harrisonburg, VA 22802-2462
(540) 432-4000

Emory and Henry College
1 Garnand Drive
Emory, VA 24327-0947
(276) 944-4121

George Mason University
4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
(703) 993-1000

Student Review: “The special education teacher program at George Mason was convenient for individuals to take evening classes if they were already employed as a teacher. The curriculum was outdated and did not focus on real-life situations that teachers face in the classroom. Very little attention was paid to the process of writing and developing individual education programs (IEP). Some of the professors had never taught in a K-12 setting and seemed old and inept with regards to technology. The supplemental texts were okay. The cohort program was nice, as you got to work with the same students, and develop relationships with fellow students.” -Student at George Mason University

Hampton University
Hampton, VA 23668-0099
(757) 727-5000

Hollins University
7916 Williamson Rd NW
Roanoke, VA 24020
(540) 362-6000

J Sargeant Reynolds Community College*
1651 E Parham Rd
Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 371-3000

James Madison University
800 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
(540) 568-6211

Student Review: “My time at in the education program at James Madison University prepared me for the career that I have enjoyed thus far, and has given me the tools I need to be successful in the future. The professors truly care about fostering an environment of learning and develop us into becoming great educators. I loved getting in-classroom experience via practicum classes, and I owe a great deal to my professors.” -Student at James Madison University

John Tyler Community College*
13101 Jefferson Davis Hwy
Chester, VA 23831-5316
(804) 796-4000

Liberty University
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24502
(434) 582-2000

Student Review: “Liberty University is certainly a great university overall, but their teaching program was exceptional. The courses required to take to pass the program were very informative and created the tools that I needed to set a foundation for a career of teaching. The professors were some of the best in the country but always had time for their students. The size of the class allowed them to know each student personally. It was truly the guidance of these professors that made the program so great. My classmates were also all very approachable, and we oftentimes taught each other valuable lessons.” -Jessica B., student at Liberty University
Student Review: “The Masters program for Special Education at Liberty University is fantastic. Even though it’s online there are intensives which are a week long that allow you to interact with your professor and classmates. Working towards my Masters after receiving my bachelors in Special Education has been challenging yet rewarding. I like having to implement biblical principals in each assignment. However, I do not like the fact that before we can student teach that we must pass the Math Praxis test. I also don’t like that I cannot take EDUC 554 which is a reading class unless I pass the Math Praxis test. I think that is ridiculous. I really think that needs to change because hardworking students should not be penalized to take EDUC 554 if they are unable to pass the Math Praxis test.” -Student at Liberty University
Student Review: “I like my education program. It allows me to be flexible and gain working experience while being in college. I have used this to my advantage and only had jobs that align with my degree. Jobs that are education and teaching focused. I have liked all my professors and the work has been challenging yet applicable. However, the only downside is that it is entirely online. For me this works great but it does limit the practical side of teaching the experience of teaching real-life students and working with classmates. There is an option for student teaching should one so desire. Regardless, I have made this work for me by choosing jobs that will give me practical hands-on learning experience. But I know that not everyone has this type of opportunity. That is the only downside to this program that I know of.” -Student at Liberty University
Student Review: “The education program at Liberty was not as vigorous as I had intended. Most of the time was spent with practicums, which varied greatly depending on which teacher you were shadowing. The curriculum did not cover the parent-teacher involvement, or give guidance to potential teachers who could struggle in that regard. The last semester (student teaching) was the only time that Classroom Management was covered, and it was not covered well. The book used was Wong and Wong’s First Days, geared toward elementary school, and did not cover on how to be an effective classroom manager, nor tips on how to retake/ maintain control. Most of that was left up to subjective one on one discussions with an adviser.” -Student at Liberty University

Longwood University
201 High St
Farmville, VA 23909
(434) 395-2000

Student Review: “Longwood University did an excellent job preparing me in the field of education. The biggest reason was the time we were required to spend inside the classroom (three 2 week session, one semester in a classroom with classes, and one semester entirely in a school). I believe learning to teach isn’t something you learn from a book, but rather experiences. They also had great classroom management classes which many programs omit.” – Student at Longwood University

Lynchburg College
1501 Lakeside Dr
Lynchburg, VA 24501-3199
(434) 544-8100

Student Review: “Lynchburg College has an excellent teacher preparation program. The faculty and staff that work as part of the school of education at Lynchburg College are dedicated, motivated, and competent. The teacher preparation program does an amazing job teaching its students how to achieve licensure, how to manage your classroom, and how to teach effectively. Academic texts that correspond to courses are always used, and supplement the in-class lectures well. A majority of the faculty are previous teachers, and present course material with an extensive academic understanding, and an experienced point of view. I love how motivated the professors are, and how well they understand and are able to impart their subject onto their students. I dislike how the courses are scheduled, especially when taken as a minor. Most courses are only offered once a semester, and if they conflict with a class relating to your major, you will have to wait for the next semester to take the course. The school of education offices at Lynchburg College manage licensure information well, and keep an up to date portfolio for every student in the education program. This reduces the stress of trying to achieve licensure. Overall a great program.” – Student at Lynchburg College

Mary Baldwin University
101 E Frederick St
Staunton, VA 24401
(540) 887-7019

Student Review: “Great program! Mary Baldwin’s program ensured I was ready to meet the challenges of my first teaching job. The professors were accessible and provided great insight into the profession. I liked the progression of classes and enjoyed every class I took, especially the reading classes. The work required for Practicums and Student Teaching was meaningful and helped me develop lesson planning skills. Mary Baldwin’s Legal Systems in Education class was really eye opening. Out of all the classes, this one was the only the addressed legal expectations of teachers. I felt prepared for my first job and understood, legally, the options I had when dealing with students.” – Student at Mary Baldwin University

Marymount University
2807 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22207-4299
(703) 522-5600

Norfolk State University
700 Park Ave
Norfolk, VA 23504-8000
(757) 823-8600

Student Review: “Any school is what you make it out to be. In my experience, the professors here are lenient graders. This can be looked at as a good or as a bad thing. However, if you choose not to apply yourself, you are shooting yourself in the foot whether you chose to go to work or go to graduate school upon graduation. The food choices are excellent. There is everything from Tropical Smoothie Cafe to a place where you can get grilled subs made to your specifications on campus. The main cafeteria is also excellent. It is all you can eat though so unless you want to gain weight, be careful. The food is good but at times it can be a little heavy on the oil and butter. To their credit though, healthier choices are offered. The campus itself is safe and the campus police make their presence known. There are a lot of extracurricular programs and free dances and social opportunities for students. You will not be bored. My biggest piece of advice is to just apply yourself. This is the lowest cost four year school in the area, so by going here you have the opportunity to graduate with far less debt than the average college graduate (at least if you are an in-state student). Do not waste this opportunity. School is what you make of it. You have access to the same books and the same World Wide Web as someone going to MIT. Don’t limit yourself and take advantage of everything the school has to offer from free cultural activities to the Career Center.” -Krystal B., student at Norfolk State University

Northern Virginia Community College*
4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd
Annandale, VA 22003-3796
(703) 323-3000

Student Review: “I liked my time at Northern Virginia Community College. It was very challenging at times but I felt like I learned a lot. The Composition and English classes were a breeze for me but I had a very hard time with Biology. It wasn’t that the subject was very hard but had more to do with the professor. I felt he was not very professional. One thing I will say is that it’s pretty easy to get all A’s at Northern Virginia Community College. All you have to do is show up to most classes and you will get a great grade. Some professors like to give the students a harder time though so it’s not all easy. Overall I felt like my time at NOVA was well spent and I earned my degree and it really helped prepare me for a career in the teaching field.” -Noah V., student at Northern Virginia Community College

Old Dominion University
5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000

Student Review: “The Old Dominion University program was excellent. I always felt that the teachers really cared how I was doing and if I was staying interested in their classes. The program included a student teaching portion and the university helped to place me into an elementary school with an excellent teacher. If I had to do it all over again, I would still choose Old Dominion University because I just felt so at home here. With great professors and welcoming classrooms, you just can’t go wrong choosing this school. ODU was my first choice in colleges and I’m very happy that it worked out to my benefit.” -Eugene M., student at Old Dominion University

Patrick Henry Community College*
645 Patriot Ave
Martinsville, VA 24112-5311
(276) 656-0311

Radford University
East Main St
Radford, VA 24141-0672
(540) 831-5000

Regent University
1000 Regent University Dr
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
(757) 352-4127

Shenandoah University
1460 University Dr
Winchester, VA 22601-5195
(540) 665-4500

Sweet Briar College
134 Chapel Dr
Sweet Briar, VA 24595-9998
(434) 381-6100

University of Mary Washington
1301 College Ave
Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5300
(540) 654-1000

University of Richmond
28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
(804) 289-8000

University of Virginia
1721 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 924-0311

Student Review: “I participated in a combined BA/MT program where I did a Bachelor’s in Psychology as well as a Master’s in Teaching. The curriculum was great and we had many of the same teachers over the course of the program. As well, the same cohort of teachers was together and so I felt we were really able to learn and grow together. As opposed to the typical ‘student teaching’ experience only at the end of a teaching program, we had many of these experiences! Every semester we were placed in a different teaching placement experience with different responsibilities. My placements ranged from early intervention in the community (birth to age 3), special education preschool classroom, after-school tutoring program, and work in a typical elementary school (1st-grade classroom). I’ve been teaching now for 4 years and feel like the program really prepared me for real life teaching!” -Lauren E., student at University of Virginia
Student Review: “The teacher preparation program at the University of Virginia had many strengths. I was able to learn from well-respected professors who know and conduct very relevant and key studies in the field of education. I gained a wide variety of experience in local schools. I was also able to take a wide variety of classes, even within my field of special education. I feel as if I graduated with very well-rounded knowledge and experience about the teaching profession. However, there were many undergraduate students who accelerated into the Masters program, and as someone who was seeking a post-graduate Master of Teaching, I felt like the younger students brought down the quality of the program.” – Student at University of Virginia

Virginia Commonwealth University
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23284-2512
(804) 828-0100

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0131
(540) 231-6000

Student Review: “There were many aspects of my education that I loved. My general courses were taught by helpful professors who knew the material and how to convey it. I took several courses that weren’t required just because the professors were so good. The teaching aspects of my program were mixed. My internship was with a very helpful teacher, but I was the only one in my program assigned to a primary school (k-2) rather than an elementary school (k-5,) so my experience was limited. My main education professor was vague in his assignments and disorganized in his instruction. Overall, I think I got a great education, but wish I had some more relevant experience.” -Jackie D., student at Virginia Tech

Virginia State University
One Hayden Dr
Petersburg, VA 23806
(804) 524-5000

Virginia Union University
1500 N Lombardy St
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 257-5600

Virginia Wesleyan College
1584 Wesleyan Dr
Norfolk, VA 23502-5599
(757) 455-3200

An asterisk (*) denotes a two-year or certificate program in education. While a two-year degree will not qualify graduates for teacher certification, it can be a good starting point for a teaching career. To learn more about what you can do with this degree, see our guide to associate’s degrees in education.

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 385 Colleges, 2020 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2019.
4. US News & World Report Best Graduate Education Schools 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/edu-rankings
5. US News & World Report Best Online Graduate Education Schools 2019: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
6. Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP): http://caepnet.org/provider-search
7. National Council on Teacher Quality Teacher Preparation Program Review: https://www.nctq.org/review/home
8. US Department of Education 2018 Title II Reports: https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Home.aspx