2023 Best Undergraduate Education Schools in Pennsylvania

2022-2023 Education Colleges of Distinction

Published: September 1, 2022

By: Colleges of Distinction Staff

Jump to: Alvernia University | Bucknell University | Cabrini University | Carlow University | Chatham University | Commonwealth University of PA – Bloomsburg | Elizabethtown College | Geneva College | Grove City College | Gwynedd Mercy University | La Roche University | Marywood University | Mercyhurst University | Messiah University | PennWest University | Saint Francis University | Saint Joseph’s University | Seton Hill University | Slippery Rock University | University of Pittsburgh at Bradford | University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown | University of Scranton | Ursinus College | Villanova University | Washington & Jefferson College | Waynesburg University | West Chester University of Pennsylvania | Westminster College | York College of Pennsylvania | Frequently Asked Questions

Simply put, our nation’s teachers are our future; they shape the leaders, politicians, scientists, authors, and artists of tomorrow. Surely we can all recount a few special teachers that made an impact on our lives, and we have their hard work and dedication to thank for that. That is why Colleges of Distinction is proud to share a cohort of schools that excel in their commitment to nurturing and supporting future educators. Freshly selected for the 2022-2023 year, the Education Colleges of Distinction are sure to equip students with the necessary skills and experience needed to excel. Prospective students can choose from our hand-picked list of colleges and universities that offer the following distinct qualities:

Our Pennsylvania top colleges for education offer students an exciting place to learn and thrive, as proven by the following:

Stability and Excellence: These programs have reputations for quality and success, and students know that their degrees will be respected and desired by future employers. Institutions who have earned the education badge have the highest accreditations and have been awarding teaching degrees for at least ten years.

Multidisciplinary Exposure: One of the most important decisions a future teacher will make is what field of education they will go into. Whether it’s childhood, elementary, secondary, or special education, prospective students know there are options to explore at these schools. These well-rounded programs also allow students to earn a specialization to further define and hone their skill set.

Practical Experience: These colleges and universities go beyond the required number of hours of student teaching. They push their students to get practical experience as early and often as possible so they may be prepared and confident when they step into their first classroom.

Non-education Specializations: These programs encourage students to think and learn outside the box. Students can minor or specialize in a different discipline to round out their education and enhance their teaching.

Dedicated Advising and Counseling: The path to a teaching degree can be complex and overwhelming at times. Schools that have earned the Education badge have demonstrated a commitment to supporting students with excellent counselors and advisors.

High-Impact Practices: While all Colleges of Distinction are recognized for their high-impact practices, those with the Education badge ensure that their programs incorporate relevant and focused high-impact practices, including first-year seminars, service-learning among area schools, and collaborative projects.

Industry Connections: Students are able to forge connections for their career through internships, networking events, and alumni programs.

Alvernia University

Reading, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Alvernia offers a unique blend of rigorous liberal arts core education for development of the mind, strong technical training in many high demand majors, experiential learning through study abroad and internship experiences, and engagement with the community through a Franciscan-based community service model. The university calls this model of transformational education the Alvernia Advantage, a style of education that transforms students into ethical leaders with moral courage.

Alvernia has a longstanding commitment to helping students develop their innate talents, discover their passions, and lead successful lives with deep meaning and purpose. Through experiential learning, students graduate well prepared for success in the workplace. The Alvernia Advantage results in a superior track record of career placements and quality graduate school opportunities, with 95% of students either employed or enrolled in a graduate program within six months of graduation.

The Education Department offers programs for a broad range of educators, from prospective to seasoned teachers to educational administrators. Prepare to transform children’s lives and advance your professional career by pursuing a bachelor’s of education degree, teaching certification, master of education degree, or superintendent’s letter of eligibility. All programs are accredited by the Pennsylvania State Department of Education.

Acceptance rate 70%     •     Net price $27,129
Total Undergrad Population 2,560      •      Setting City: Small     •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 61%     •     Retention rate 71%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 14:1

Learn more about Alvernia’s education program

Bucknell University

Lewisburg, PA ‧ Private ‧ 4-year

Discover new opportunities at Bucknell University. Bucknell is a private institution in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania with more than 60 majors and 70 minors. The Department of Education offers specialized degree programs for students with different academic interests and career goals. 

The bachelor of arts in education is designed for students who are interested in studying education as an academic field, but not necessarily interested in a career in public school teaching. The program examines the relationship between educational institutions and society, as well as the nature of learning and learners. Bachelor of arts students select one of two concentrations:

  • Growth, Change and Learning
  • Educational Policy and Social Change

Acceptance rate 38%     •     Net price $39,359     •     SAT Range 1250-1430      •      Students submitting SAT scores 54%
Total Undergrad Population 3,726      •      Setting Town      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 88%     •     Retention rate 92%     •      Student-to-faculty ratio 9:1

Learn more about Bucknell’s education program

Cabrini University

Radnor, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Cabrini University is a nonprofit, co-educational school that offers more than 40 majors, six master’s degrees, and two doctoral degrees. Founded by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and named for St. Frances Cabrini, the patron saint of immigrants, the university embraces learners of all faiths and fosters a supportive academic community.

From their first semester, students learn how to advocate for social change and explore where they stand in the fight for human rights and dignity. They work closely with caring faculty in small classes, participating in research projects, internships, and international service groups that provide crucial hands-on experience. This dedication to action is a great contributor to the outcome of 92 percent of the university’s graduates being employed or in graduate school within 10 months of graduating.

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini said, “It is in your hands [the teachers’] to form new generations, to lead them in the right direction, to instill into them those principles which are the seeds of good works.”

In this light, the Cabrini University Teacher Education Programs provide the knowledge and skills necessary to educate children from all walks of life and encourage the development of a philosophy of education consistent with American Democratic Ideals and Traditions.

Acceptance rate 62%     •     Net price $21,875     •     SAT Range 940-1125     •      Students submitting SAT scores 59%
Total Undergrad Population 2,009      •      Setting Suburb      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 55%     •      Retention rate 76%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 15:1

Learn more about Cabrini’s education program

Carlow University

Pittsburgh, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Carlow emphasizes a well-rounded liberal arts education with a solid foundation in ethics and social justice. Its students carry with them the values that have defined Carlow University for nearly a hundred years. They go on to do good—and do well—in their chosen professions. According to a recent career outcomes report, 97 percent of Carlow alumni were employed or continuing their studies at Carlow or other universities within six months of graduation.

Carlow’s dedication to social justice and service to the community began long before “social justice” became a buzz phrase. Founded in 1929 by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s students and faculty have been at the forefront of such issues as environmental protection, women’s empowerment and education, and racial equality, having participated in different activist events like the Civil Rights marches in Selma.

Whether your interest is in art education, childhood development or special education, Carlow University’s education programs will prepare you for a successful career and professional licensure. You’ll learn from national experts in the field and get hands-on experience with local apprenticeship programs and at Carlow’s Campus Laboratory School. If you’re an established educator, you can further your career with a variety of graduate and certificate programs. Education courses are offered in a combination of on campus and online formats.

Acceptance rate 94%     •     Net price $21,212     •      SAT Range 980-1140     •     Students submitting SAT scores 92%
Total Undergrad Population 1,976     •      Setting City: Large      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 58%     •      Retention rate 85%     •      Student-to-faculty ratio 10:1

Learn more about Carlow’s education program

Chatham University logo

Chatham University

Pittsburgh, PA ‧ Private ‧ 4-year

Founded in 1869, Chatham University is a fully coed institution with an enrollment of over 2,200 students and over 60 undergraduate and graduate programs in four areas of excellence: sustainability; health & wellness; business & communications; and the arts & sciences. Chatham is the alma mater of environmental icon Rachel Carson (Class of ’29) and is recognized as a leader in the field of sustainability, having been selected as one of the Top 50 Green Colleges by The Princeton Review; ranked in the top five nationally for sustainability achievements in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, & Rating System™ (STARS); and mentioned in a 2012 Forbes article as one of the places “contributing to Pittsburgh’s transformation into a destination for green living.”

Chatham’s Education Department offers a major in PreK-4 education, and certificates to teach secondary English, social studies, mathematics, and biology (grades 7-12) and art (K-12). Many Chatham education courses draw from the UN Sustainable Development Goals, preparing you to take steps towards ending poverty, fighting inequality, and stopping climate change from your position as a classroom teacher. As a Chatham education graduate, you will stand out from other new teachers because Chatham will train you to help K-12 students critically examine and solve social problems, economic problems, and environmental problems in their community. 

Acceptance rate 66%     •     Net price $28,310
Total Undergrad Population 2,353      •      Setting City: Large      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 62%     •     Retention rate 76%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 10:1

Learn more about Chatham’s education program

Commonwealth University of PA – Bloomsburg

Bloomsburg, PA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Founded in 1839, Commonwealth University of PA – Bloomsburg is a public institution in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Students can immerse themselves in studies in nearly 60 undergraduate degree programs and more than 66 minors.

Be the teacher who inspires your students to greater heights. We pair a strong foundation of knowledge with quality field experiences. From this, you’ll leave with an understanding of effective classroom teaching and how to put ideas and research into practice. You’ll learn how to adapt in an ever-changing classroom environment so you can make a difference in the educational, social, emotional and behavioral well-being of students.

Acceptance rate 89%     •     Net price $18,302
Total Undergrad Population 8,427      •      Setting City: Small     •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 58%     •     Retention rate 77%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 20:1

Learn more about Bloomsburg’s education program

Elizabethtown College logo

Elizabethtown College

Elizabethtown, PA ‧ Private ‧ 4-year

Elizabethtown College is a selective, independent, residential, coeducational college located on 204-acres in south central Pennsylvania. Its approximately 1,600 undergraduates hail from 28 states and 15 countries.

The Elizabethtown College educational experience blends a high standard of scholarship with the commitment to educate its students in a relationship-centered learning community, foster international and cross-cultural perspectives, complement classroom instruction with experiential-learning opportunities, and prepare students for purposeful lives and meaningful work.

All Elizabethtown College students complete at least two Signature Learning Experiences (SLE) as part of their graduation requirements. Signature Learning Experiences are cataloged into five unique categories: supervised research; community-based learning; cross-cultural experiences; internships, field experiences or practicums; and capstone experiences. The Signature Learning Experiences challenge students to think beyond the classroom, traveling across borders and going behind the scenes.

The mission of the Education Department at Elizabethtown College is to provide its students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become thoughtful and responsible teachers who, informed by scholarship and research, are prepared to meet the social, intellectual, and professional challenges of today’s culturally diverse and inclusive pre-K to 12 classrooms. We believe that our purpose is best achieved through adherence to the Pennsylvania Department of Education standards for teacher certification, and through modeling research-based practices of effective instruction and assessment within a relationship-centered climate that supports academic excellence.

Acceptance rate 86%     •     Net price $25,767     •     SAT Range 1080-1280      •      Students submitting SAT scores 85%
Total Undergrad Population 1,881      •      Setting Suburb      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 72%     •     Retention rate 89%     •      Student-to-faculty ratio 12:1

Learn more about Elizabethtown College’s education program

Geneva College

Beaver Falls, PA ‧ Christian ‧ 4-year

Geneva College, founded in 1848, is a private, four-year, comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences, and professional studies governed by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA). Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).

Geneva’s faculty of 100% committed Christians challenge students with a curriculum emphasizing the liberal arts and certain professional fields within the context of a Biblical view of life and the world. Faith is integrated into all academics, activities, and athletics, which includes 18 NCAA Division III varsity sports.

Teachers leave students with lasting impressions of life and our world. As a student in Geneva’s secondary education program, you will learn how to develop your passions to teach individuals through our distinctive “teaching redemptively” perspective. Prepare for certification that honors the call of Christians to careers of meaning and purpose in high schools teaching biology, chemistry, English, math, physics, or social studies.

Acceptance rate 73%     •     Net price $19,967
Total Undergrad Population 1,349      •      Setting Suburb     •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 72%     •     Retention rate 78%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 12:1

Learn more about Geneva College’s education program

Grove City College

Grove City, PA ‧ Christian ‧ 4-year

Pursue Truth Freely. Grow in Community. Serve Others Confidently.
Faculty and staff equip students to discover and pursue their unique callings through an academically excellent and Christ-centered learning and living experience. Students flourish at Grove City College because faith is the foundation of everything they do. From the classroom to the practice fields, from the dining halls to the dormitories, the entire College community seeks to understand how they might bring God’s glory into all daily activities. Such a campus-wide commitment encourages and supports students as they develop into leaders with these core values: faithfulness, excellence, community, stewardship, and independence.

Earn a Bachelor of Science in Elementary EducationSpecial EducationMiddle Level EducationSecondary Level Education, or a K-12 Teaching License to teach music, French, or Spanish at any level. You could also pursue post-baccalaureate licensure in education as a current student or graduate who holds a baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degree. No matter your calling, our award-winning education department will prepare you to enter diverse K-12 educational settings as an influential teacher committed to helping all school students reach their God-given potential.

Acceptance rate 73%      •      Tuition $19,990      •      SAT Range 1137-1368
Total Undergrad Population 2,317      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 87%      •      Retention rate 89%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 13:1

Learn more about Grove City College’s education program

Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Valley, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

As one of 16 Sisters of Mercy colleges and universities in the United States, GMercyU is shaped by its Catholic identity and Mercy heritage. It’s a place where values are valued, open dialogue is encouraged, and service is expected. Focusing on educating the whole person—intellectually, spiritually, socially, and morally—GMercyU offers professional education grounded in the liberal arts, so students are prepared to do more than just do. Distinctive Mercy Graduates are prepared to think critically, communicate clearly, and live productive and meaningful lives.

GMercyU’s School of Education will help you become the teacher or education administrator you aspire to be.

With state-of-the-art technology and experienced educators as your guide, you will develop the teaching, classroom management, and educational leadership skills you need to make a real and lasting difference in the lives of students.

Acceptance rate 88%     •     Net price $25,219     •      SAT Range 950-1140      •      Students submitting SAT scores 90%
Total Undergrad Population 2,737      •      Setting Suburb      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 61%     •     Retention rate 78%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 11:1

Learn more about GMercyU’s education program

La Roche University

Pittsburgh, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

A small, private institution in Western Pennsylvania, La Roche University provides a skills-driven education to prepare students for success in today’s global economy.

With more than 50 undergraduate majors, La Roche offers competitive programs in both high-demand fields and creative industries, with particular strengths in business, criminal justice, design, education, psychology, and health and medical sciences.

Located just 15 minutes north of downtown Pittsburgh, this residential university provides a vibrant campus community for more than 1,400 men and women who enjoy over 30 student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. La Roche welcomes students of all religions, nationalities, and backgrounds, including students from 16 states, two territories and 37 countries.

Whether you want to earn a bachelor’s degree or continue your education, our programs help you achieve your goals as a teacher.

La Roche University offers a variety of programs to prepare you for the demands of today’s education field. No matter which one you choose, you’ll find dedicated faculty, engaging coursework and opportunities for growth.

Acceptance rate 69%     •     Net price $23,932     •     SAT Range 890-1110      •      Students submitting SAT scores 78%
Total Undergrad Population 1,292     •      Setting Suburb      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 58%     •     Retention rate 65%     •      Student-to-faculty ratio 12:1

Learn more about La Roche’s education program

Marywood University

Scranton, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Marywood University is a Catholic institution in Scranton, Pennsylvania founded in 1915. With an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, you’re sure to get personalized engagement with your professors.

Marywood’s educational tradition is more than 85 years old, but that doesn’t mean we take an “old school” approach to learning. Instead, our students benefit from innovative, personalized programs that balance theory and research with practical application of that knowledge in real school settings. We offer a variety of programs and teacher certifications, both online and in person.

As an undergraduate, you’ll begin field experience in local schools during your first year of study, have the opportunity to learn in first-rate facilities, find supportive faculty who are dedicated to your development as a teacher, and benefit from a program whose graduates are actively recruited. On the graduate level, a range of certifications, specialized endorsements, and advanced degrees meet the educational needs of practicing teaching professionals and future leaders in education.

Acceptance rate 82%     •     Net price $21,657     •     SAT Range 1000-1180     •     Students submitting SAT scores 96%
Total Undergrad Population 2,613      •      Setting City: Small     •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 71%     •      Retention rate 83%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 11:1

Learn more about Marywood’s education program

Mercyhurst University

Erie, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Mercyhurst University, founded in 1926 by the Sisters of Mercy, is a fully accredited, four-year, Catholic comprehensive institution for men and women in Erie, Pennsylvania. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors, nine graduate programs, and a variety of post-baccalaureate and advanced certificates. Additionally, Mercyhurst provides certificate and associate degree offerings at branch campuses in North East, Corry, and the Booker T. Washington Center. It also maintains an academic center in Dungarvan, Ireland. Learn more at www.mercyhurst.edu.

Mercyhurst’s motto—Carpe Diem, Latin for “Seize the Day”—is at the heart of everything the university does. At Mercyhurst, students find a community that celebrates experiences both inside and outside the classroom, experiences that challenge them to write more, practice harder, dig deeper, and see the world from an unconventional perspective. College isn’t about reveling in what you’ve done in the past; it’s about uncovering who you are and who you want to become.

Mercyhurst University is graduating teacher leaders who are impacting young minds around the world. You can choose to major in early childhood education (PreK-4) to teach children at the elementary level, or in our dual-degree program in early childhood/special education (PreK-8), which will enable you to meet the needs of all learners, including students with special needs, in today’s diverse, 21st Century classrooms.

Our program’s focus on evidence-based practice and clinical, hands-on experience sets us apart from other education programs. It’s our mission to develop educators who are intellectually and spiritually sensitive, as well as professionally and socially responsible. As future role models for our youth, we aim to create teachers who aim to help their students grow and develop. We teach our students to be effective educators, with the knowledge of the world, an understanding of human relationships, and a wide perspective encompassing the humanities, arts and sciences.

Acceptance rate 88%     •     Net price $26,942
Total Undergrad Population 2,790      •      Setting City: Small     •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 70%     •     Retention rate 80%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 15:1

Learn more about Mercyhurst’s education program

Messiah College is now Messiah University logo

Messiah University

Mechanicsburg, PA ‧ Christian ‧ 4-year

Messiah University is nationally recognized for bringing together top-tier academics and Christian faith. The University’s motto, “Christ Preeminent,” shapes every experience its students have at school. Lifelong friendships. Support from faculty mentors. Outstanding preparation for life and career. Championship athletics. Celebrated arts programs. Transformational service and ministry. Eye-opening study abroad. At Messiah, one’s life, faith, world, and possibilities open up. Students come to see anew.

Messiah University is a liberal arts and applied sciences University founded in 1909 by the Brethren in Christ Church. Though it is no longer legally owned by the Brethren in Christ Church, the University continues to emphasize its Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan theological heritage. Now the University’s faith base is broadly evangelical and includes students and employees from a variety of denominations and Christian faith traditions.

Messiah University has a long-standing commitment to high-quality teacher preparation. All of our programs are accredited by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, enabling our graduates to obtain Pennsylvania State Teacher Certification.  At Messiah, you’ll learn how to apply your developing knowledge and skills in the context of your Christian faith, assisted by experienced and committed education professors.  All programs provide you with early and continuing field experiences in local public schools and a 12-week supervised student teaching experience.

The Messiah University Department of Education provides opportunities for students to study the dynamic and complex field of education.

Acceptance rate 78%     •     Net price $27,641     •     SAT Range 1080-1310      •      Students submitting SAT scores 92%
Total Undergrad Population 3,370      •      Setting Suburb     •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 79%     •     Retention rate 86%     •      Student-to-faculty ratio 13:1

Learn more about Messiah University’s education program

Mount Aloysius College logo

Mount Aloysius College

Cresson, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Established in 1853, Mount Aloysius is a liberal arts and science-based institution with a commitment to career-directed study. Rooted in Catholic tradition, Mount Aloysius is one of the nation’s 17 Mercy-sponsored colleges. MAC began as an Academy and has since evolved into a comprehensive college that provides undergraduate and graduate education.

Teaching is a demanding vocation that carries with it real responsibilities. Mount Aloysius supports our Education students through one-on-one access, early exposure to the classroom and a commitment to your professional development.

At Mount Aloysius your career preparation includes a sturdy grounding in liberal arts balanced with practical teaching skills, a commitment to embracing technology as a learning resource, and the extensive experience of excellent professors. Education studies at Mount Aloysius reflect the College’s core values of mercy, hospitality, service and justice.

Acceptance rate 95%     •     Net price $22,082
Total Undergrad Population 2,806      •      Setting Town      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 40%     •      Retention rate 76%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 11:1

Learn more about Mount Aloysius College’s education program

Neumann University, a Franciscan Catholic university in Aston, Pennsylvania

Neumann University

Aston, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Discover the NU You at Neumann! Founded in 1965, Neumann University is a private, Catholic institution in the Franciscan tradition. With an emphasis on respect for individuals, concern for the environment, and social responsibility, Neumann excels throughout its bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs as well as its numerous student activities and 24 Division III sports teams.

Neumann is a small school full of big opportunities. In addition to the traditional liberal arts degrees, students can tap into such in-demand fields as Cybersecurity, Data Science and Analytics, Nursing, and the Health Sciences. Regardless of major, every student gets professional experience through real-world, hands-on internships, clinical placements, or student-teaching practice. The location, suburban Philadelphia, provides ample opportunities for jobs and internships and is in close proximity to New York City and Washington, D.C.

The School offers B.A. degrees in Education Studies, Early Elementary Education (PK-4)/Special Education (PK-12) and Secondary Education concentrations, as well as a fully online Master in Education, an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, and a number of specialized certifications and endorsements. In addition to its educational programming, the School is home to the Department of Theological and Pastoral Studies, which offers minors, as well as a CACREP-accredited, clinically oriented M.S. in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The School also houses a robust, CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program and is home to the on-campus Child Development Center.

Acceptance rate 80%     •     Net price $29,471     •     SAT Range 900-1080      •      Students submitting SAT scores 87%
Total Undergrad Population 2,506      •      Setting Suburb     •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 51%     •      Retention rate 77%     •      Student-to-faculty ratio 14:1

Learn more about Neumann’s education program

PennWest University

California, PA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Turn your love for children into a rigorous and rewarding career with a bachelor’s degree in grades pre-K to 4 education from PennWest California. With a combination of research-based instruction and hands-on experience, this degree program will give you the knowledge, skills and dispositions essential to becoming a successful classroom leader.

This program is rooted in the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Upon successful completion of your bachelor’s degree, you will be eligible for a Pennsylvania teaching certificate for pre-kindergarten to grade 4.

You’ll also receive the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Integrative STEM Education Endorsement, an additional credential that documents your ability to integrate science, technology, engineering and math concepts into early childhood and elementary education.

Acceptance rate 94%     •     Net price $19,116     •      SAT Range 920-1120      •      Students submitting SAT scores 79%
Total Undergrad Population 6,885      •      Setting Suburb     •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 50%     •     Retention rate 70%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 19:1

Learn more about PennWest’s education program

Saint Francis University logo

Saint Francis University

Loretto, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Saint Francis University offers academic study within the Franciscan tradition of using one’s talents to serve others. The more than 60 offerings include highly targeted, career-focused majors grounded in the liberal arts tradition of inquiry and self-discovery. Highly regarded programs in health science, education, business, and science attract a diverse student body to the beautiful campus setting. The values of respect, faith, generosity, and joy run deep in the University culture and help to prepare ethical, knowledgeable professionals with a passion to shape the world. This holistic approach to career preparation is supported by respected faculty who work closely with students in small settings to meet individual goals.

The Education Department provides the learning environment in which prospective teacher candidates develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will enable them to become reflective decision-makers. Through active participation, the department’s educational program emphasizes connections between theory and research-based practice.

Acceptance rate 59%     •      Net price $29,393     •      SAT Range 1010-1220      •      Students submitting SAT scores 89%
Total Undergrad Population 2,769      •      Setting Town      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 63%     •      Retention rate 96%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 14:1

Learn more about Saint Francis University’s education program

Saint Joseph’s University

Philadelphia, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Saint Joseph’s University is a nationally recognized, Catholic, Jesuit university that has advanced the professional and personal ambitions of men and women by providing a rigorous education. We believe that the work of education and behavioral health professionals is essential to individual and community advancement. Careers in these sectors are more than jobs, they are driven by passion and purpose. The School of Education and Human Development challenges students to embrace the Jesuit concept of cura personalis — care for the whole person — in their professions, in the way that they serve students, patients, clients and communities.

Through our undergraduate programs, you’ll earn a solid education in the liberal arts, engage with local communities and gain the knowledge you need to earn certifications and credentials in your field. Our offerings also include adult learner programs and accelerated, 4+1 pathways to a master’s degree.

Acceptance rate 80%     •     Net price $35,780      •      SAT Range 1100-1290      •      Students submitting SAT scores 64%
Total Undergrad Population 6,779     •      Setting City: Large     •     Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 81%      •      Retention rate 89%      •      Student-to-faculty ratio 11:1

Learn more about Saint Joseph’s University’s education program

Seton Hill University

Greensburg, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Since its founding by the Sisters of Charity in 1918, Seton Hill University has been a pioneering force of innovative higher education. It has flourished from its beginnings as an institution for young women and now brings unique opportunities for both male and female students of all ages. And thanks to its small size and years of educational expertise, the University excels in providing a personally fulfilling experience that teaches students to think and act critically, creatively, and ethically as productive members of society. As a Catholic institution, Seton Hill opens its doors to students of all faiths, creating a warm environment for those with a passion to make a difference in the world. 

At Seton Hill, we’ve been preparing educators for more than a century. Today, our education faculty continue to combine classroom experience at all levels with an unmatched dedication to preparing tomorrow’s teachers. As a result, Seton Hill’s Education Department provides current and future teachers with the skills and strategies they need to meet the needs of all students.

Acceptance rate 79%     •     Net price $23,008
Total Undergrad Population 1,935      •      Setting Suburb     •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 66%     •     Retention rate 81%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 14:1

Learn more about Seton Hill’s education program

Slippery Rock University logo

Slippery Rock University

Slippery Rock, PA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Founded in 1889, Slippery Rock University is a Carnegie Master-L, four-year, public, coeducational, comprehensive University offering a broad array of undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 8,800 students.

The University, a member of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, provides students with a superior learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with applied learning opportunities that will help them succeed in an increasingly complex world.

SRU is committed to serving a diverse student body and empowering anyone regionally, nationally and internationally who can benefit from its programs and lifelong learning opportunities.

Welcome to the College of Education at Slippery Rock University!

Whether you are an interested student, current student, or an alumnus, there is a lot our college has to offer you.

We are a college that:

  • Reached an 11-year high in enrollment in the College of Education at 1,862 (2022)
  • Earned the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) National Accreditation for our Counseling Program, no areas for improvement cited (2022)
  • Earned the recommendation by the site visit review team to earn the Council of the Accreditation of Education Programs (CAEP) national accreditation, no areas for improvement cited (2022)
  • Produced the 3rd most teachers out of 98 Universities in PA with teacher education (2019)

Acceptance rate 74%     •      Net price $18,117     •     SAT Range 980-1150     •      Students submitting SAT scores 89%
Total Undergrad Population 8,860      •      Setting Town      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 69%     •     Retention rate 83%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 21:1

Learn more about Slippery Rock University’s education program

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

Bradford, PA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is a supportive, friendly institution for students who want to earn a world-renowned degree in a personalized environment. Pitt-Bradford’s 1,500 students enjoy the close-knit campus community, which means they receive personalized attention from their professors as well as administrators and staff on campus. Since Pitt-Bradford is a regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh, students receive the University of Pittsburgh degree, which is recognized and respected all over the world.

Pitt-Bradford offers more than 40 majors and more than 50 minors and pre-professional programs, from biology, criminal justice, and psychology to nursing, accounting, and energy science and technology. Most classes are small—the average class size is 19—which enables professors to get to know their students. Students also have ample opportunities to take part in the robust campus life: Division III athletics, intramurals, and recreational activities; more than 60 student clubs and organizations; and arts and cultural events.  

Acceptance rate 79%     •     Net price $15,519     •      SAT Range 950-1145      •      Students submitting SAT scores 88%
Total Undergrad Population 1,305     •      Setting Town      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 44%     •     Retention rate 73%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 17:1

Learn more about Pitt–Bradford’s education program

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Johnstown, PA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

The first regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh system—and one of the first regional campuses of a leading university in the United States—University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown supports inquisitive minds across 70 programs of study. Its founding in 1927 sparked an impressive development in higher education, providing the world-class University of Pittsburgh education to a comfortable residential campus within the lush Laurel Highlands.

Pitt-Johnstown is proud to support its community of Mountain Cats with a curriculum that is up to date with the world’s demands. No matter the discipline, the University has continually evolved its programs to ensure that every student gets the most out of their education. This kind of responsive educational framework creates leaders who are prepared for careers in nursing, engineering, the humanities, and more.

The mission of the Division of Education of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is to provide high-quality programs that produce exemplary educators who are knowledgeable, resourceful, and well-prepared to make contributions to the schools and communities in which they work. We want to prepare you for your transformation as an educator who is ready to make a difference in the lives of your students. Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown’s Education Division offers several optional certifications and endorsements, which provide further specialization, real-world experience, and marketability to our graduates.

Acceptance rate 87%     •     Net price $17,574     •      SAT Range 1010-1190      •      Students submitting SAT scores 93%
Total Undergrad Population 2,356      •      Setting Suburb      •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 54%     •     Retention rate 78%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 17:1

Learn more about Pitt–Johnstown’s education program

University of Scranton

Scranton, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Situated in the heart of Scranton, Pennsylvania, the University of Scranton offers students the opportunity to stand out. The University of Scranton is a private Catholic university that prepares students to make an impact in the classroom and beyond. The Jesuit educational tradition is based on the principle that students must be prepared to lead in their faith as well as their academic careers, and it’s with these roots that the University of Scranton gives students the chance to change world for the better.

Infused with Jesuit values ​​of learning, service, and social justice, The Department of Education and the University of Scranton is committed to developing informing, inquiring, skilled education professionals.

We also provide professional growth for practical educators, assist in the educational growth of students in schools, and foster the advancement of knowledge through research in education.

Acceptance rate 79%     •     Net price $36,093     •     SAT Range 1100-1280     •      Students submitting SAT scores 79%
Total Undergrad Population 4,957      •      Setting City: Small     •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 82%     •     Retention rate 89%     •      Student-to-faculty ratio 12:1

Learn more about University of Scranton’s education program

Ursinus College Logo Stacked

Ursinus College

Collegeville, PA ‧ Private ‧ 4-year

Here, any one or combination of 60 majors and minors develop the intellect and character needed for a rapidly changing world. Starting with a thought-provoking first-year seminar course, students develop the ability to think critically, leading to lives of purpose and professional achievement.

What is the purpose of education? What, and how, should students learn in school—and in what ways does education take place outside of school? What makes a great teacher? How does education shape—and how is it shaped by—politics, social inequalities, philosophical assumptions, and our culture and historical moment? How might education be changed for the better?

More so than many people realize, these and other questions about education are up for debate, with various possible answers depending partly on one’s values and on scholarship and research. In the Education department, that’s exactly what we do—ask important questions and apply our thinking and knowledge to educational problems and practices.

Acceptance rate 80%     •     Net price $31,400     •     SAT Range 1150-1330      •      Students submitting SAT scores 67%
Total Undergrad Population 1,493      •      Setting Suburb      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 74%     •     Retention rate 85%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 11:1

Learn more about Ursinus’s education program

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Villanova University

Villanova, PA ‧ Catholic ‧ 4-year

Villanova University was founded in 1842 by the Order of St. Augustine. To this day, Villanova’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition is the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University’s six colleges.

Ignite Change! Our programs in Education and Counseling combine theory with practical experience to prepare students to help improve the quality of the lives of others.

The Department of Education and Counseling deems itself distinctively positioned to help the College of Arts and Sciences meet its goals of “promoting intellectual curiosity, instilling the fundamentals of critical insight, mature judgment, and independent thinking, and awakening in its students a sense of the importance of values and the moral responsibility of caring for others.” We believe that these capacities are central to the preparation of teachers, administrators, counselors and every truly educated person. We seek to nurture these skills and dispositions in the students enrolled in each of our courses.

Acceptance rate 31%     •      Net price $38,303     •      SAT Range 1320-1460      •      Students submitting SAT scores 60%
Total Undergrad Population 11,032      •      Setting Suburb     •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 92%     •     Retention rate 96%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 11:1

Learn more about Villanova’s education program

Washington & Jefferson College

Washington, PA ‧ Private ‧ 4-year

Washington & Jefferson College is a private institution in Washington, Pennsylvania that has been creating leaders for over 200 years. Students engage with each other and the community—with mover 20,000 hours of community service last year.

Washington & Jefferson College has been preparing the best and brightest students to be our nation’s finest teachers for well over two centuries. Building on this historic tradition, W&J’s education department has become nationally and internationally recognized for its cutting edge, hands-on teacher education programs. Its curriculum and professors have won numerous awards. Most importantly, its students have among the highest job placement rates of any college or university in the state. Our active learning motto is “Docendo Discimus – we learn by teaching.”

Acceptance rate 90%     •     Net price $27,477
Total Undergrad Population 1,167      •      Setting Suburb     •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 65%     •      Retention rate 85%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 10:1

Learn more about Washington & Jefferson College’s education program

Waynesburg University

Waynesburg, PA ‧ Christian ‧ 4-year

Waynesburg offers more than 70 major concentrations and five integrated bachelors-to-masters programs in athletic training, business, counseling, criminal investigation, and education. The University also offers graduate programs, with some available 100 percent online. The University’s top academic programs include business, communication, criminal justice, education, forensic science, and nursing.

What makes Waynesburg truly special, though, is that its academics are not just about class. They’re the foundation for a culture of growth, championed through academic excellence and personalized guidance that nurtures mind, spirit, and future. Waynesburg programs accelerate student growth through hands-on learning, research, internships, leadership work, service trips, and career planning.

You’ll take classes that emphasize the knowledge, skills, and competencies required for successful teaching in the 21st century  classroom. Your studies will focus upon research-based, developmentally appropriate instructional practices. Field experiences are integrated with course work beginning in the freshman year.

You can specialize in early childhood, middle level or secondary education with a focus on social studies, science, mathematics, or English.

Acceptance rate 90%     •      Net price $20,029     •     SAT Range 980-1170      •      Students submitting SAT scores 76%
Total Undergrad Population 1,576     •      Setting Town      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 65%     •     Retention rate 79%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 11:1

Learn more about Waynesburg’s education program

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

West Chester, PA ‧ Public ‧ 4-year

Located just 25 miles from Philadelphia, West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCUPA) is a public, regional, comprehensive institution committed to providing high-quality undergraduate education as well as a vibrant on-campus community.

The College of Education and Social Work (CESW) prepares highly-skilled and ethical professionals to become fair-minded critical thinkers and change agents who act with integrity in the pursuit of knowledge and strive for excellence within their professions. The CESW fosters a culture of reflection, evidenced-based practices, intellectual discourse, and respect for human diversity. CESW empowers students to make a significant impact on the world to improve individual and family lives and strengthening educational, health or community systems.

Acceptance rate 86%     •     Net price $19,336     •     SAT Range 1010-1180      •      Students submitting SAT scores 90%
Total Undergrad Population 17,719      •      Setting Suburb     •      Public 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 75%     •      Retention rate 85%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 20:1

Learn more about West Chester’s education program

Westminster College

New Wilmington, PA ‧ Private ‧ 4-year

Nestled within the charming town of New Wilmington, just one hour north of Pittsburgh, the Westminster College community studies hard, priding itself in strong academics, outstanding faculty, and individualized attention with an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It expands horizons with opportunities to study abroad and make connections with a strong alumni base. It encourages participation, sponsoring 22 varsity sports, 18 honor societies, and more than 80 clubs. It’s a platform for spiritual freedom, providing the independence for students to think and participate in what’s most important to them. It’s a place to call home to nearly 1,200 students each year. Be a part of something real.

Westminster College’s School of Education prepares students to become dedicated educators who will teach, inspire, and lead future generations. Program curriculum is rooted in global learning and social justice—you will actively seek new perspectives, cultivate a sense of social responsibility, and act towards greater equity.

Graduates of the School of Education will leave Westminster prepared to be responsive to students from diverse backgrounds and of diverse learning styles. Practical experiences you participate in during your studies will give you the opportunity to learn through doing—at Westminster, your education is much more than what can be found in the confines of a textbook or in the instruction you receive in the classroom.

Acceptance rate 77%     •     Net price $21,101
Total Undergrad Population 1,228      •      Setting Town      •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 71%     •     Retention rate 80%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 11:1

Learn more about Westminster’s education program

York College in York, PA

York College of Pennsylvania

York, PA ‧ Private ‧ 4-year

Students come to York College of Pennsylvania because they want to take action. They want internships and paid cooperative learning. They want to conduct research with faculty and meet with their professors one-on-one. They want to get engaged right away, joining the school’s award-winning radio station or entering in the Elevator Pitch Competition. And, most of all, they want to pay half of what other top private colleges are asking without sacrificing a solid education. From day one, York College does all that and more.
Students come to York College of Pennsylvania because they want to take action. They want internships and paid cooperative learning. They want to conduct research with faculty and meet with their professors one-on-one. They want to get engaged right away, joining the school’s award-winning radio station or entering in the Elevator Pitch Competition. And, most of all, they want to pay half of what other top private colleges are asking without sacrificing a solid education. From day one, York College does all that and more.


York College has the academic focus that students want and employers need throughout more than 60 majors, including such new degrees as Integrated Marketing Communications, Cybersecurity Management, Public History, and Civil Engineering. Plus, with everything from a rock climbing wall to huge concerts on a campus that pulses with activity, there’s always something to do with friends old and new on the 4,000-student campus.

“Not only did I receive the educational tools necessary to land a job and start a career in accounting, I was provided social and community service opportunities that helped develop my leadership skills, which ultimately led to my career and personal life successes.” – Shane Skinner ’95, Co-founder and CEO, Record360


York College is consistently rated as a “Best Value” for its nationally acclaimed academic programs. It’s an ideal campus for students who don’t believe a private education needs to come with a big price tag, but who nevertheless have big dreams that are made a reality through truly personalized attention. Students who thrive here want professors who know them, want to dive into their academic program (or want a school that will help them find a perfect major), and who want to have a fun time outside of class with something to do every night.

“York College may be a small school, but the learning environment and quality of teaching is better than what you find at many big schools.” – Graham Lau ’07, Astrobiologist and Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder

Acceptance rate 71%     •      Net price $22,876     •     SAT Range 990-1190      •      Students submitting SAT scores 92%
Total Undergrad Population 4,039      •      Setting Suburb     •      Private 4-year
Graduation rate (6 year) 65%     •     Retention rate 77%     •     Student-to-faculty ratio 14:1

Learn more about York College’s education program

What it’s like to attend education schools in Pennsylvania and other FAQ:

What are average tuition costs in Pennsylvania?

The average tuition & fees of Pennsylvania colleges is $13,416 for in-state students at public institutions, $18,065 for out-of-state students at public institutions, and $25,781 for students at private institutions.

Most popular education degree programs in Pennsylvania

The largest share of education degrees awarded in Illinois in 2020 were specialized by the following:
Early Childhood Education and Teaching
Special Education and Teaching – General
Teacher Education – Multiple Levels
Elementary Education and Teaching

Cheapest education degree program in Pennsylvania

University of Pittsburgh-Bradford has an average net price of $15,519 making it the least expensive education degree program in Pennsylvania that made our list.

Easiest education degree program to get into in Pennsylvania

Mount Aloysius College has an acceptance rate of 95%, making it the least exclusive college on our list.

Education degree program with lowest student debt in Pennsylvania

Chatham University has a median total debt after graduation of $22,250. This is the typical debt for a student who completed their undergraduate degree.

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