Washington Teacher Colleges and Degrees Online Guide

The information below is a guide for aspiring teachers looking to become certified to teach in Washington. All teachers must complete an approved teacher preparation program from an accredited school in order to become eligible for employment as a teacher in the state. This guide to teaching schools in Washington provides comprehensive information to help research the various options available. In order to help you find the best option to meet your teaching career goals, this page contains lists of top-rated teaching programs, a table of accredited, state-approved teacher preparation programs, and student reviews. Whether you are a first-time teacher or looking to further your already established career, this guide can serve as a great starting point for an exciting future as a teacher.

Quick Facts

  • There are 56 colleges and universities with teacher degree programs in Washington.1
  • 33 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in education.*1
  • 23 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in education.*1
  • 21 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in education.*1
  • 7 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.2
  • 1 school ranked in Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Education Majors 2020.3
  • 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Education Programs 2019.4
  • 2 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs 2019.5
  • 2 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 Washington

Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019*

  • University of Washington (#96)
  • Gonzaga University (#153)
  • Western Washington University (#250)
  • Whitworth University (#279)
  • Seattle Pacific University (#291)
  • Seattle University (#296)
  • Pacific Lutheran University (#298)

*Institution-wide ranking.

Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Education Majors 2020

  • Gonzaga University

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

  • University of Washington (#14 tie)

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

  • Whitworth University (#69 tie)
  • Gonzaga University (#219 tie)

Comparison of Teacher Preparation Programs

We have designed the following table to help you compare teacher preparation programs in Washington according to various factors. All of the schools included are not-for-profit institutions approved by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction 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
Antioch UniversityNo3620100%
Central Washington UniversityNo17%59%1,26735387%$14,124
Centralia CollegeNo$7,617
City University of SeattleNo425799%
Columbia Basin CollegeNo$8,034
Eastern Washington UniversityNo42%31621193%$11,393
Gonzaga UniversityYes57%89%896499%$34,085
Heritage UniversityNo476787%$$11,742
Highline CollegeNo$8,704
Lower Columbia CollegeNo$7,057
Northwest UniversityNo26%283487%$22,547
Pacific Lutheran UniversityYes805897%$24,567
Pierce CollegeNo38$5,976
Saint Martin’s UniversityYes66%144$22,695
Seattle Pacific UniversityNo876695%$31,078
Seattle UniversityNo397398%$35,581
The Evergreen State CollegeNo3115100%$12,407
University of Puget SoundNo126100%$40,065
University of Washington-BothellNo9657100%$7,536
University of Washington-SeattleNo206213100%$9,443
University of Washington-TacomaNo5747100%$8,674
Walla Walla UniversityNo96%4019100%$23,940
Washington State UniversityNo43%49%343247100%$17,885
Western Governors University-WashingtonNo2,094390
Western Washington UniversityYes86%61%517302100%$16,117
Whitworth UniversityNo49%49%428118100%$29,281
Yakima Valley CollegeNo$7,262

*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 Washington: The University of Washington College of Education is located in one of the most vibrant communities in the western United States. The college offers undergraduate and graduate level degree options for current and future educators. The college is geared mainly towards graduate education but does offer a bachelor of arts in Early Childhood Education and Family Studies along with a Minor in Education, Learning, and Society. The most popular degrees include The Master in Education and the Master in Teaching. Completion of the Master in Teaching program results in a valid Washington State Teaching Certification. Along with instruction, the college is actively involved in research and community partnerships to enhance teaching and learning at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Washington State University: Located in the wheat fields of the Palouse, Washington State University is home to the WSU College of Education. The College of Education is housed in Cleveland Hall in the heart of the campus. Students are able to choose from a wide variety of majors that lead to careers in teaching, educational administration, counseling, advising, and sports management. The faculty are dedicated to teaching and learning at all levels in addition to the research they conduct in their fields of expertise. In addition to in-class learning, the college provides enriching teaching and learning experiences outside of the classroom for students. The college has several statewide learning partners including school districts and agencies. Students can also participate in one of many extracurricular clubs such as the WSU College of Education Students of Color Coalition and Future Cougar Teachers.

Northwest University: Northwest University is home to several competitive programs in education and teaching. NU’s School of Education and Social Policy offers bachelor’s degrees in elementary teaching, secondary teaching, and learning sciences, among other areas. The NU College of Education offers a Master of Education (MEd) and a Master in Teaching (MIT). The curricula for these programs are designed to help students become leaders in the classroom. Flexible evening class schedules for NU’s MEd and MIT programs are designed with the working professional in mind. The MED program is offered online as well as on campus. All teacher preparation programs at Northwest University that are designed to lead to initial certification include an internship component. All programs also emphasize reflective teaching practice, continuous assessment, and the social contexts of education, as well as creating and maintaining collaborative environments between students, faculty, and other education stakeholders. In 2017, the NCTQ ranked Northwest University in the 26th percentile nationally (which is within the top seven in Washington State) for undergraduate secondary teacher preparation; the school received an “A” rating, the highest possible, in the areas of Secondary Methods Coursework and Secondary Content in the Sciences.

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Washington

Question: I have a bachelor’s degree in another area, but I’m really interested in teaching. What would I have to do to obtain a teaching certificate in Washington State?

Answer: In order to be approved to work in Washington State, you must enroll in a master’s or certificate program that is approved by the state.

Schools with Teaching Degree Programs in Washington

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.

Bates Technical College*
1101 S Yakima Ave
Tacoma, WA 98405
(253) 680-7000

Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Cir SE
Bellevue, WA 98007-6484
(425) 564-1000

Bellingham Technical College*
3028 Lindbergh Ave
Bellingham, WA 98225-1599
(360) 752-7000

Big Bend Community College*
7662 Chanute St
Moses Lake, WA 98837-3299
(509) 793-2222

Central Washington University
400 E University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7501
(509) 963-1111

Student Review: “The education program at Central Washington University was essential in preparing me for teaching in the real world. The small student body allowed for smaller class sizes and more one on one instruction with professors. All of my professors knew me by name and would go above and beyond in making themselves available for additional attention. The flexible class schedules allowed for pursuing other interests outside the classroom. While on my teaching internship I would call my professors with any questions I might have and they would provide guidance and words of encouragement. Overall the teaching program at CWU was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend the program to aspiring students.” -Jacob S., student at Central Washington University
Student Review: “First, let me say that I loved Central Washington University. The actual teaching program, well, parts of it I enjoyed, other parts, not so much. As a Business Education major I had to take classes in the business/technology area as well as the general education courses that all teachers take. I found the classes within my specialty to be great. I enjoyed most of the professors, found them knowledgeable and felt like these classes actually prepared me for teaching. The general education classes, however, were miserable. I distinctly remember Reading in the Content Area, which was a class where you learn how to teach reading. In this class I sat next to a couple of future high school P.E. teachers and we constantly complained about how irrelevant this was to what we were actually going to be doing. I also remember Ed Law being the most boring class on common sense ever imagined.” -Jeff B., student at Central Washington University

Clover Park Technical College*
4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW
Lakewood, WA 98499-4004
(253) 589-5800

Columbia Basin College*
2600 N 20th Ave
Pasco, WA 99301
(509) 547-0511

Eastern Washington University
526 5th St
Cheney, WA 99004-2496
(509) 359-6200

Everett Community College*
2000 Tower St
Everett, WA 98201
(425) 388-9100

Evergreen State College
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia, WA 98505
(360) 867-6000

Student Review: “The first introduction and ending programs were taught by an amazing professor who was an elementary mixed-classroom teacher in a diverse and high-risk school. She was fantastic at not only teaching us the issues of special education but also gave us significant time to hone our teaching skills, including lectures and hands-on activities. The middle classes of the program were taught by a teacher, though, that I felt was rude and inconsiderate of us as students. She was herself an elementary school special education teacher and it was saddening to see her treat us as college students so bad. But, I enjoyed having the student teaching and practicum experiences through Evergreen, as they had great support for me and my practicum teacher.” -Rachel B., student at Evergreen State College
Student Review: “The Masters in Teaching Program at Evergreen was a pretty good experience overall. I do not doubt that there are better programs out there. The best part about my time in the MiT program was the excellent support from the faculty. I have heard from friends who completed the program in other years, however, not all faculty are as great as mine was. The small class size and “cohort” concept really worked well for me, but I think that it might be better in terms of preparation for working as a teacher to be exposed to more of a variety of learning environments and colleagues. I feel like what I got the most out of was my time observing and teaching in the local schools, which does address some of the need for variety. My biggest complaint is that I couldn’t get approval for a placement in an alternative school setting, which is frustrating because I really wanted that experience.” -Student at Evergreen State College

Gonzaga University
E 502 Boone Ave
Spokane, WA 99258-0001
(509) 328-4220

Green River Community College*
12401 SE 320th St
Auburn, WA 98092-3622
(253) 833-9111

Heritage University
3240 Fort Rd
Toppenish, WA 98948
(509) 865-8500

Highline Community College*
2400 S 240th St
Des Moines, WA 98198-9800
(206) 878-3710

Lower Columbia College*
1600 Maple St
Longview, WA 98632-0310
(360) 442-2311

Northwest University
5520 108th Ave NE
Kirkland, WA 98083-0579
(425) 822-8266

Pacific Lutheran University
1010 122nd St S
Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
(253) 531-6900

Pierce College*
9401 Farwest Dr SW
Lakewood, WA 98498-1999
(253) 964-6500

Renton Technical College*
3000 NE Fourth St
Renton, WA 98056-4195
(425) 235-2352

Saint Martins University
5300 Pacific Ave SE
Lacey, WA 98503-7500
(360) 491-4700

Seattle Pacific University
3307 3rd Ave W
Seattle, WA 98119-1997
(206) 281-2000

Seattle University
900 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122-4340
(206) 296-6000

Shoreline Community College*
16101 Greenwood Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133-5696
(206) 546-4101

Skagit Valley College*
2405 E College Way
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 416-7600

Spokane Falls Community College*
3410 W Fort Geo Wright Dr
Spokane, WA 99224-5288
(509) 533-3500

Tacoma Community College*
6501 S 19th St
Tacoma, WA 98466-6100
(253) 566-5000

The Evergreen State College
2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW
Olympia, WA 98505-0001
(360) 867-6000

University of Puget Sound
1500 N Warner
Tacoma, WA 98416
(253) 879-3100

University of Washington-Seattle Campus
1400 NE Campus Pkwy
Seattle, WA 98195-4550
(206) 543-2100

Student Review: “The University of Washington in Seattle is a high quality public school that provides instruction in a variety of practices and disciplines. The campus is set in the shadow of beautiful Mt. Rainier and features a fusion of metropolitan lifestyles as well as a consciousness for environmental health. Within the campus, there are a bevy of different landscapes that can accommodate those who enjoy the Seattle lifestyle as well as those who prefer a more academic environment. “The Ave” is a nearby street that features food and entertainment that most college students can enjoy. In addition, University Village also provides high-class shopping experiences to those that fancy that type of lifestyle.” -Bob W., student at University of Washington

Walla Walla Community College*
500 Tausick Way
Walla Walla, WA 99362-9267
(509) 522-2500

Washington State University
French Administration Building
Pullman, WA 99164-1009
(509) 335-3564

Student Review: “When I first enrolled at WSU I was determined to begin my journey as a teacher. From what I had heard the WSU teaching program was one of the best in the area and would suit me very well. But after my first few months during the semester I was starting to question my decision. The class sizes for the courses I was in were extremely large and made you feel extremely insignificant. It was a challenge to get any individual question answered during a lecture and there was almost no luck of being able to meet with the professors outside of the class. The courses that were provided did teach me a lot about the field I was now entering but I didn’t feel that I was being ‘taught’ the information well enough. Rather it seemed like I was being fed the dry information and was expected to be able to process and remember it. It wasn’t long into my second semester of my freshman year that I decided to change majors from teaching to fine arts. I disliked the WSU teaching program so much that I actually decided to change my major.” -Connor F.

Western Washington University
516 High St
Bellingham, WA 98225-9008
(360) 650-3430

Whatcom Community College*
237 W Kellogg Rd
Bellingham, WA 98226
(360) 383-3000

Whitworth University
300 W Hawthorne Rd
Spokane, WA 99251
(509) 777-1000

Yakima Valley Community College*
South 16th Ave. & Nob Hill Blvd
Yakima, WA 98907-2520
(509) 574-4600

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