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. For anyone pursuing a teaching degree in Washington, there are several colleges and universities that offer degree programs. In order to find the best option for your future career goals, this page contains a list of accredited teacher preparation programs as well as 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 new future as a teacher.

School Facts:

  • There are 59 colleges and universities with teacher degree programs in Washington.1
  • 23 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in education.1
  • Highest graduation rate*: University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 81%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Heritage University, 23%.1
  • Highest net price per year*: University of Puget Sound, $33,439.1
  • Lowest net price per year*: Seattle Community College-Central Campus, $3,666.1
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for teaching degree programs in Washington*: $14,440-$40,250.2
  • Two schools in the Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2013: University of Washington (17), Western Washington University (74).
  • One school ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2013 (top 100): University of Washington (46).
  • Seven teacher programs are accredited by the NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP (see below).*

*For 4-year colleges and universities with teacher degree programs.

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.

Top-Rated Teacher Preparation Programs

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) evaluated and rated 1,100 US college programs that prepare teachers for a career in education (Teacher Prep Review 2013 Report). The rating system found only one program in Washington that met the requirements for the NCTQ “honor roll” of 3 stars or higher. For more information, read more about the NCTQ Teacher Prep Review 2013 Report.

The following teacher preparation programs in Washington received the highest ratings by the National Council on Teacher Quality:

    Washington State University (Undergraduate Secondary) 3stars
    Central Washington University (Undergraduate Secondary)2-5stars
    University of Washington – Seattle (Graduate Special Education) 2-5stars
    Western Washington University (Undergraduate Special Education) 2-5stars
    Northwest University (Undergraduate Secondary) 2stars

The following reviewed schools were cited as problematic (no stars):

    University of Washington – Bothell (Graduate Secondary) 0stars
    University of Washington – Tacoma (Graduate Secondary) 0stars

Teacher Preparation Programs Accredited by the NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP

  • Gonzaga University
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Seattle University
  • Saint Martin’s University
  • Western Washington University
  • Whitworth University

Read more about the CAEP, NCATE, and TEAC accrediting bodies.

School Programs for Becoming a Teacher in Washington

Request free information from the following schools to learn more about your options for choosing a teacher degree program. We recommend you: Request information from one or more of these schools

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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 masters or ‘cert only’ 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 East 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 Street
Cheney, WA 99004-2496
(509) 359-6200

Everett Community College
2000 Tower Street
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

Greenwood Academy of Hair
8501 Greenwood N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 782-0220

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 Street
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 So
Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
(253) 531-6900

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom
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 Parkway
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

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-education/