Bachelor’s in Education Degrees

From Early Learners to High Schoolers: Choose Your Education Specialization

Take the first step to becoming a teacher by pursuing your education degree. The on-campus and online education bachelor’s degrees include a broad liberal arts foundation, followed by education in more specialized subject areas. The College of Education offers bachelor’s degrees covering various topics. These include education theories and practices, integrating technology in modern classrooms, understanding cultural competence and diversity in education, and principles of psychology.

Grand Canyon University offers reputable and convenient programs for you to earn your degree, start your career and have the opportunity to make a difference as a teacher. A bachelor’s in education from GCU can help provide you with more than your degree; it can offer a community of supportive, passionate, qualified educators and a curriculum integrated with a Christian worldview.

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AAQEP Accredited Education Majors

The College of Education at GCU is a member of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), a nationally recognized accrediting organization for the high-quality teacher preparation programs. Additionally, GCU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1968, reaffirming its commitment to academic excellence. This accreditation underscores GCU's dedication to providing students with a reputable education. Visit our University Accreditation page for information about the HLC.

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GCU ranked #1 for best Arizona education college according to Niche.com1

Uncover the Benefits of GCU’s College of Education

The College of Education is committed to teaching you essential knowledge and skills required for the challenging, diverse classrooms and district initiatives of modern education. Whether you aspire to specialize in areas such as early childhood education, elementary education or special education, you will have the opportunity to work toward developing the skills essential for building confidence and striving for excellence as a teacher.

If you choose to complete your major on campus, you can enjoy a robust and well-rounded college experience. New residence halls, clubs, sporting events and popular dining options are some of the many perks GCU offers.

You can also enjoy the flexibility that comes from evening or online bachelor’s in teaching degrees, while engaging with faculty and connecting with peers.

Initial Teacher Licensure Scholarship
32% Off Tuition

Online Education Bachelor’s Programs

FAQs for Aspiring Teaching and Education Majors

Explore our frequently asked questions to gain insights into choosing one of GCU’s teaching majors and to discover potential pathways toward a career in education.

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While many graduates go on to teach, there are a variety of other fields you may be interested in pursuing. By earning a bachelor’s in education online or on campus, you can earn many transferrable skills and show employers that you are thoughtful and organized, with a strong work ethic and leadership skills.

Many graduates with a bachelor’s degree in teaching choose to go into the field of education, often teaching in their own classroom for a public, private or charter school. Other graduates may choose to advance their education by pursuing a master’s in education to potentially position themselves to qualify for leadership positions within their school or school district.

Yes. With the flexibility and accessibility of online programs, you can balance your studies with other commitments while preparing yourself to pursue a career in teaching. Depending on your state or district’s specific licensing requirements, you may also be required to pass a state-approved teacher certification exam. Be sure to check specific licensing requirements of the school or district where you intend to teach. Many accredited online programs offer comprehensive teacher preparation courses and practical/field experiences to help equip you to pursue a career in teaching.

The duration of undergraduate education programs can vary based on factors such as the complexity of the subject matter, the institution you attend, whether you bring in any transfer credits and whether you attend full-time, part-time or online. Over 91% of 2022 traditional campus graduates spent less than four years at GCU to complete their degrees. It is important to note that bachelor’s degrees leading to licensure requires practicum/field experiences, in addition to approximately 16 weeks of student teaching.

Course material for special education majors covers a variety of related topics. Here are some topics you can expect to explore:

  • Ethical and legal aspects of special education
  • Child development
  • Developmentally appropriate instruction
  • Language, literacy and communication
  • Child guidance and classroom management
  • Research-based instruction

You will also cover additional course material directly related to the specific level of education you will be teaching (e.g. early childhood education or elementary education).

A secondary education major can help prepare you to teach students in secondary grades, which includes grades six through 12. These programs commonly cover topics directly related to teaching students within this grade range, such as adolescent development, psychology of education, classroom management and technology-based educational practices.

The main difference between an early childhood education major and elementary education major lies in the age range of the students you will be teaching and interacting with. An early childhood education major focuses on curriculum that can help prepare you to teach children from birth through third grade. Meanwhile, elementary education majors focus on learning to teach children in a K-8 setting.

The major that is best for you is dependent on the grade level you wish to work with and the material you want to cover. Specific coursework and topics covered in each program will vary according to what is appropriate for the grade level you are seeking to teach.

Popular Bachelor’s in Education Degrees

Bachelor’s degrees in education require you to spend between 100 and 200 hours in quality practicum/field experiences prior to student teaching. If you are in a bachelor’s program that leads to licensure, you will begin student teaching after completing the required field experience hours. When student teaching, you have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, practice your professional dispositions and build relationships with schools, staff and teachers.

Graduates from GCU’s bachelor’s in education online and on-campus programs may be prepared to become teachers in public, private and charter schools.

Early Childhood Education and Educational Studies

Bachelor’s degrees for early childhood education and educational studies are tailored to teach you child development theories, effective teaching methods and curriculum design for young learners. As an elementary school teacher, you will also explore educational policies, cultural influences on learning and strategies for inclusivity and diversity in education.

BS in Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education focuses on teaching fine and large motor skills to infants and young children, as well as early reading, phonics and language acquisition. As an early childhood education major, you have the opportunity to nurture and teach children from birth through third grade. Our curriculum includes instructional strategies, teaching methodologies, assessment techniques, theories of early childhood growth and development, classroom engagement techniques and the impact of family and cultural diversity on early childhood.

BS in Educational Studies

As an educational studies major, you can study the fundamental knowledge to make a meaningful impact in the educational arena. In this program, you will examine pedagogical theories, laws and practices, and analyze learning environments through a Christian perspective. You will work toward becoming a well-rounded professional in the education industry, working to drive positive change in various educational settings.

Degrees for Teaching Elementary Education

Graduates of an elementary education degree are looking to innovate and build relationships with students in grades K-8. Elementary teachers work with children in developing their academic, social and motor skills. As an elementary teacher, you can develop lesson plans and teaching strategies, teach lessons, lead discussions and learning experiences and assess students.

Bachelor’s Degrees for Secondary Education

Bachelor’s degrees for secondary education are tailored to help prepare you for teaching in middle or high school environments. These programs include specialized coursework in subjects like English, math, science, social studies or foreign languages, along with education courses covering teaching methods and classroom management. Practical experiences in secondary schools are also integrated and can help you prepare to pass a state-approved licensure exam. Visit GCU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences page to learn more about our specialized secondary education bachelor’s degrees.

Dual Degrees for Bachelor’s in Education Majors

Special education is a field that continues to need extraordinary individuals to positively impact and teach students with exceptionalities. The College of Education offers dual degree options for special education majors in both early childhood education and elementary education that can help you prepare for a career in education. As a dual education major, you will be taught how to assist students by implementing individualized education plans.

Male bachelor's in education degree student working with young student in classroom

Scholarship Opportunities for Teaching Majors

GCU has many scholarship opportunities available. These scholarships can help alleviate the financial load of tuition and expenses, allowing aspiring educators to focus on their studies and pursue their passion for teaching.

Teacher Preparation Scholarship

For qualifying school district employees seeking initial teacher licensure, GCU is offering 32% off tuition for online bachelor’s education programs, if you qualify.

View Scholarships & Grants

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1 Niche. (n.d.) 2024 Best Colleges for Education in Arizona. Retrieved on March 6, 2024.

◊ MOU 9238: This scholarship is only valid for applicants who are currently working for an accredited school or district, who are seeking initial teacher licensure and who are not already a licensed teacher, and who are applying for one of the following bachelor’s programs: Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education, Elementary Education (any emphasis), Elementary Education and Special Education, Educational Studies, Secondary Education (any emphasis). This scholarship cannot be used in conjunction with any other GCU scholarships. This scholarship will be applied toward your tuition only, and you will not receive funds in excess of your charges.

If you are ready to apply for one of GCU’s teaching or education majors, or have additional questions, we are happy to help!