Best Online Science Education Degrees

The study of science is a worthwhile pursuit. Science is all around us, and it helps us understand the natural environment, our bodies, and beyond. Unfortunately, Pew Research has discovered that students in the United States lag far behind other advanced countries in terms of science education, with American 15-year-olds ranking 38 out of 71 countries in an international assessment of scientific knowledge. What’s more, the U.S. is suffering from a severe teacher shortage, especially in the field of science.

If you have a knack for physics, biology, earth science, or chemistry, work well with kids, and enjoy imparting your knowledge to others, a degree in science education may be perfect for you. Not only will it allow you to immerse yourself in what you love for a living, but you’ll also get to contribute to the higher purpose of training the next generation of scientists and innovators. Maybe one of your future pupils will be the one to cure cancer. Who knows? Refer to the information below to learn about science education programs and the best institutions for obtaining this degree.

What Is an Online Science Education Degree?

An online bachelor of science in education is a degree given to those who complete approximately 120 credits in science and education. Science education programs offer updated curricula centered on the modern theories of science and approaches to teaching. Many degree programs allow students to focus their studies on their field of interest by providing concentrations, including chemistry, biology, earth-space science, math, or physics.

Throughout your program, you’ll learn and adopt the following types of skills:

  • Classroom instruction and assessment
  • Problem-solving
  • Real-world applications
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Scientific thinking
  • Scientific literacy

An online science education degree is as valuable as a traditional one completed in person. The primary difference is that online degrees involve learning independently at a computer instead of in a classroom and require diligent self-instruction. If you learn well from textbooks and video instruction and can manage your time wisely, an online degree can be an excellent option for fitting education into a busy lifestyle.

BS vs. BA in Education

The distinction between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) is important to understand. You can obtain either education degree, but note that a BA focuses on social science, arts, and humanities while a BS has more classes in math, science, and technology-related subjects. In other words, a BS involves more quantitative skills and research, while a BA requires holistic thinking, critical thinking, and communication. Thus, a science education degree more commonly falls under the category of a BS.

Featured Online Programs for a Bachelor’s in Science Education

As a prospective science education major, you need honest, unbiased information to help you choose the best program for your needs. Top Online College is here to provide you with a list of some of the best institutions offering online science education degrees based on criteria of academic quality, affordability, availability of online courses, and other indicators of excellence. Refer to our ranking methodology to learn more about how we select the best online science education degrees.


University of Phoenix

BS in Education — Elementary Teacher Education, Science Concentration

Location: Online (based in Phoenix, AZ)

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 28%

Cost of attendance: $398 per credit

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Admission requirements

  • High school diploma/GED
  • 16+ years of age
  • US citizen
  • English proficiency
  • Good academic standing
  • Complete admission forms
  • Submit transcripts

Grand Canyon University

BS — Elementary Education, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)

Location: Online (based in Phoenix, AZ)

Acceptance rate: 73%

Graduation rate: 65%

Cost of attendance: $687.50

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Admission requirements

  • Submission form
  • High school GPA of 3.0+
  • Qualifying scores: 19 ACT, 1380/2400 or 1000/1600 SAT
  • Submit transcripts

Western Governors University

BS — Science Education (Middle Grades)

Location: Online (based in Salt Lake City, UT)

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 64%

Cost of attendance: $3,575 per 6-month term

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Admission requirements

  • Complete the application
  • Pay the $65 application fee
  • Send official transcripts by mail or email
  • Complete FAFSA application
  • Complete intake interview
  • Arrange for tuition payment

Liberty University Online

BS — Elementary Education: Interdisciplinary Studies

Location: Online (based in Lynchburg, VA)

Acceptance rate: 50%

Graduation rate: 29%

Cost of attendance: $390 per full-time credit hour, $455 per part-time credit hour

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Admission requirements

  • Submit an application online or via phone
    • Submit admission documents
    • High school transcripts

Midway University

Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies — Science Emphasis

Location: Online (based in Midway, KY)

Acceptance rate: 73.1%

Graduation rate: 38.8%

Cost of attendance: $395 per credit

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Admission requirements

  • Complete online application
  • Submit transcripts
  • Submit official ACT/ACT scores, if needed

Purdue University Global

BS — Early Childhood Administration

Location: Online (based in West Lafayette, IN)

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 33%

Cost of attendance: $371 per credit

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Admission requirements

  • Complete an information request form
  • Speak with an advisor
  • Complete an interview
  • Sign enrollment agreement

Arizona State Online

BA — Educational Studies

Location: Online (based in Scottsdale, AZ)

Acceptance rate: 88%

Graduation rate: 70%

Cost of attendance: $561–$661 per credit hour

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Admission requirements

  • Review competency requirements
  • Review admissions requirements
  • Complete online application
  • Request ACT/SAT scores
  • Submit transcripts

Earn an Affordable Degree in Science Education

If affordability tops your priorities for a science education program, you’re not alone. Most students and prospective students identify cost as one of their top concerns regarding higher education. If this describes you, the three most affordable institutions from above for science education degrees include:

  • Western Governors University: This institution has a unique pricing structure in which students pay a flat rate per term instead of paying for individual credits. This helps students save money long-term, especially if they take the maximum number of science education online classes each semester.
  • Liberty University: Liberty is one of the most affordable schools in the U.S. Not only do 95% of students receive financial aid in some form, but they’ve also committed to freezing tuition rates for the past five academic years.
  • University of Phoenix: When you enroll here, you get one fixed, predictable, and exceptionally low tuition rate from the beginning of your academic career to the end.

Online Science Education Degree FAQ

Is a bachelor’s in science education worth it?

Yes, especially if being a teacher is a lifelong dream of yours! A bachelor of science in education can be incredibly gratifying when it enables you to combine your love of science with your passion for teaching. Additionally, there is always a need for teachers, so job security in this profession is very high.

Currently, more than half of all jobs in the U.S. require a degree. Many people worry about the prospect of student debt but remember that having a degree will qualify you for higher salaries. If you want to obtain a science-related master’s degree in the future, you’ll also need to have a bachelor’s first. However, a higher degree is not necessary to become a science teacher unless you want to teach at the college level.

How long does it take to get a bachelor’s in science education?

Most people complete a bachelor’s in science education program in four years with full-time enrollment. You can take the program faster or slower; you just need to obtain 120 credit hours. Some people take an accelerated path by attending science education online classes in the summer or taking more credits at once. Remember that you also need to complete your student teaching, which may take up to 20 weeks, depending on the state you live in and the requirements of your school. Consult your academic advisor to find out where you can find student teaching opportunities.

What kinds of skills do you need to succeed in science education?

While a passion for science and sharing knowledge is a good start, prospective science teachers will also need to develop skills in communication, patience, and empathy. In order to succeed in this field, you will need to understand how to help different types of children learn and succeed according to their unique learning styles. An outgoing personality is not a requirement as a teacher, but if you struggle with connecting with people or being engaging, that’s something you should focus on developing throughout your college career.

What classes do you take in a science education program?

Science education majors will become well-rounded as they work their way through their program. This degree involves both science education online classes as well as hands-on lab experiences. Some courses you can expect to take may include:

  • Chemistry lab
  • Biology lab
  • Physics lab
  • Natural science lab
  • Classroom management
  • Fundamentals of science education
  • The American education system
  • Literacy
  • Educational technology
  • Instruction and assessment
  • Educational psychology
  • Human development

What is the average salary range for a bachelor of science education?

Science teacher salaries differ widely based on state and experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, in 2021, the median high school teacher salary was $61,820 per year. This may be more or less for a degree in science education in your state, depending on the cost of living.

How much does a bachelor of science education cost?

On average, tuition and fees for a bachelor of science degree ranged from approximately $9,000 to $37,500 during the 2020-2021 school year. If you choose to attend a school within your own state, your tuition will be lower than if you attend an out-of-state school. What’s more, an online science education degree costs less because you don’t have to pay for room and board.

What kinds of degrees are related to science education?

If classroom instruction is not your end goal, don’t worry — there are dozens of other degrees in the field of science not related to teaching. Science enthusiasts can major in any of the following and more:

  • Astronomy and planetary science
  • Environmental science
  • Health science
  • Sports, fitness, and coaching
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geology

These science education programs can qualify you for work as a chemist, nurse, microbiologist, clinical researcher, pharmacist, exploration geologist, lab supervisor, energy manager, and many others.

How do teachers get licensed?

To become licensed by your state, you must complete a certain number of hours of supervised classroom teaching. Your program will most likely have this component built into your curriculum. Before jumping right into a full-time student teaching experience, however, you’ll observe experienced teachers in the classroom, take notes, and determine which practices you’d like to incorporate into your teaching style.

What to Look for in an Online Degree Program

Identifying the right college or university for your needs is challenging enough when you’re planning on attending school in person. Those looking for the best online science education degrees may feel even more overwhelmed at the prospect of committing to an institution without physically being there to feel it out. If you can’t feasibly visit the schools you’re interested in attending, we have some tips for identifying great online programs from your computer at home.

It may go without saying, but the first things to look for in an online science education degree program include accreditation, reputation, and the ability to meet your needs. That is, the school should provide the degree program you want at a pace and price that works for you and should be well-known for its academic quality. If you have transfer credits, find a school that accepts them. Remember that some programs require lab courses, internships, and practicum hours, so find out how various institutions accommodate distance learners in these areas.

You should also look into the faculty and staff who teach the courses in your program and find out what previous experiences students have had with them. Sites like Rate My Professor can be a good starting point for determining teacher quality and difficulty.

Since your learning will happen online, see if you can find out what kind of learning management system the school uses and how intuitive it is for students to operate. You don’t want to start online school only to find that the platform is confusing and interferes with your learning.