15 Best Secondary Education Degrees

Secondary Education Degree

A secondary education degree is a pathway to a career that is in high demand and where you can help others. When choosing a career, people look at different factors. Some look for high-paying jobs, while others look for jobs that are rewarding and challenging. Teaching is often a career chosen by individuals who have the desire to teach others. Teachers have the ability to not only educate young minds but also find this a very rewarding career with many perks. The secondary education degree is an ideal degree for individuals interested in teaching various grade levels.


The secondary education degree is a four-year bachelor’s degree program that can lead to certification as a teacher. With a secondary education degree, the teacher has the option of teaching at the middle school or high school level. They can also teach a variety of subjects, such as science or math. The secondary education degree is typically offered at four-year colleges and universities.

Depending on the school, the program may be offered as an online or an on-campus program. One of the first things an aspiring teacher should do is choose a college or university that’s accredited through an agency like the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. This will be very important when it’s time to be licensed.

Why a Secondary Education Degree

There are various reasons why a student might choose a secondary education degree. It’s a very popular degree that’s offered at many colleges. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), secondary education degrees are offered at approximately 689 colleges and universities. The bachelor’s degree in secondary education program is offered at more than 325 schools.

Choosing the secondary education degree program opens many doors for aspiring teachers. Teachers are required to be licensed in all the states. Before the candidate can become licensed, he or she must pass a certification exam. However, before this can happen, the student must complete a secondary education degree program.

Once the individual earns the secondary education degree and obtains certification and licensure, he or she can join the workforce as a teacher. One of the things that makes the secondary education degree so popular is that the teacher can choose to teach both middle school and high school students in a variety of subjects, which can make the career even more satisfying and rewarding.

The secondary education degree can also act as a steppingstone towards a master’s degree in secondary education. Although the last several years have brought to light the difficulties many teachers face, there is no doubt for those that pursue this career that working as a teacher offers several benefits.

  • Job Satisfaction – The main reason why individuals have chosen teaching is that they have an interest in shaping young minds and preparing them for adulthood. Many employees can work for many years and acknowledge what they’ve accomplished. Teachers, on the other hand, have the satisfaction of knowing they’ve had a hand in educating others.
  • Lasting Relationships – Although we can all say that we’ve had many teachers throughout our lives, almost every individual will say there was one teacher that they favored over the others. Many aspiring teachers wish to be like a teacher they had when they were young. Many students keep in touch with their teachers even as adults.
  • Opportunities for Advancement – Education is one of the nation’s top financial sectors. While you may think you’ll be a teacher all your life, sometimes our career goals change. Having a secondary education degree qualifies individuals for not only teaching jobs but jobs in various other fields. Education technology is one field that comes to mind. Our world is filled with technology, and that is not about to change any time soon. The secondary education degree qualifies teachers to work in education technology among other fields.
  • Vacation Time – The school year typically only lasts for nine months, which means that teachers have three months’ vacation in the summer. They may still be required to complete certain tasks or courses, but their vacation can still be used to spend time with friends or do other enjoyable things.
  • Good Wages – While most of us will agree that teachers today are underpaid for what they do, teaching does still offer good wages. This is especially true for teachers with multiple certifications or those who teach special education. These are all possible when you have a secondary education degree. Middle school teachers earned an average annual wage of $61,810 as of May 2022 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. High school teachers earned about $62,360 during that same time.
  • Job Security – While there are many occupations that come and go, teaching will always be around. Public and private schools are always in need of good teachers. Very seldom do teachers quit their teaching jobs to switch careers. Middle school teachers and high school teachers are expected to experience job growth of one percent, respectively between 2022 and 2032 according to the BLS.

What to Expect from a Secondary Education Degree

Students who successfully complete the secondary education degree can expect to have many career opportunities available to them not just in the education field but in other industries as well. If they choose to teach, they can teach at a private school or a public school.

They can also choose to teach middle school students or high school students. Other options are working in a program that helps others earn a GED. Depending on the individual’s state licensing requirements, they may also teach special education or adult education. Many teachers with secondary education degrees choose to obtain several certifications in various areas of specialization.

The more certifications the student has the more job opportunities that will be available to them as teachers and educators. For instance, a student who earns a secondary education degree in science education may find a job teaching biology, science, or STEM subjects.

Types of Secondary Education Degrees

Students considering pursuing a secondary education degree can choose from a few different types. Generally, the secondary education degree is either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. However, these two offer several majors. Some common examples include a bachelor’s degree in:

  • History for Secondary Education
  • English for Secondary Education
  • Business for Secondary Education
  • Mathematics for Secondary Education
  • Elementary Education and Special Education
  • Educational Studies
  • Elementary Education: STEM

These degrees are just a few of the many available in this field. There are also various master’s degree programs in secondary education available to students. However, the master’s degree programs are generally for the individual who already has a bachelor’s degree and is already teaching but wishes to advance to higher levels of education and possibly teach college.

If you are interested in becoming a teacher and wish to use your skills to help prepare students for college, consider entering a secondary education degree program. These degrees cover a wide range of subjects and specializations. For example, you can choose to improve your skills in everything from mathematics and general science to communication and chemistry. Whether you’re seeking a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, you can find a wide range of degree programs that are fully online and can be completed at your preferred pace.

Best Secondary Education Degrees

Choosing from all of the secondary education degrees can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the best secondary education degrees available online. You can check out our ranking methodology here.

1. Point Park University

Master of Education in Secondary Education

Point Park University offers a reputable Master of Education in Secondary Education degree program that allows current or prospective teachers to become more proficient in the subject of secondary education. If you take this fully online degree, you’ll receive 42 credits upon completion and earn a Pennsylvania certification. This is among the best secondary education degrees because it has nearly a dozen specialties that you can focus on, which include:

  • Social studies
  • Computer science
  • Communications
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • General science
  • English
  • Citizenship
  • Biological sciences
  • Chemistry

The types of courses you’ll take include Special Education Inclusive Practices, Human Behavior and Classroom Management, and Instructional Methods for Secondary Teachers.

2. Fort Hays State University

Master of Science in Education

Fort Hays State University offers a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in secondary education that allows students to prepare for work as a middle or high school teacher. All coursework is available online.

You’ll learn how to integrate online platforms and software into your teaching methodologies. This is one of the best secondary education degrees because it gives you the opportunity to earn a secondary education license in Kansas. You can choose to specialize in everything from foreign languages and business to physics and biology.

3. Chaminade University of Honolulu

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education

You can also find a fully online Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education at Chaminade University of Honolulu. This is a four-year, 120-credit program that prepares graduates to become licensed teachers in Hawaii and many other states across the U.S.

You’ll learn about topics like assessment methods and tools, managing school environments, and exceptional children. You can choose to specialize in mathematics or science depending on the types of subjects you’re looking to teach. While this program can be completed online, you’ll be tasked with doing some in-class teaching before you graduate.

4. University of Southern California

Master of Arts in Teaching

If you’re looking to develop your skills and improve your resume with a master’s degree, consider the Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of Southern California. This is among the best degrees because it allows students to take part-time or full-time tracks depending on their schedule.

Full-time learners can graduate in just one year. By completing the course, you’ll be ready to earn licensure in California. If you’re interested in secondary education, you can take core courses in literacy development and instruction, integrated language development, and pedagogy.

5. Arizona Christian University

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education

The Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education is a popular program at Arizona Christian University. Completing this degree gives you the knowledge required to become a teacher at a public, private, or charter school.

A fully remote curriculum is available for students who don’t want to go to campus for their classes. The types of subjects you’ll focus on during your studies include classroom management and educational psychology. Every student at Arizona Christian University has access to financial aid, which is one of the best aspects of this program.

6. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education

If you’re interested in taking a more unique path to teaching, consider the Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Once you enroll in this program, you’ll need to select the secondary education track.

Completing this degree prepares you for starting a career as a high school teacher, young farm instructor, and literacy coordinator. You’ll take classes in animal science, agricultural business and marketing, and rural sociology. Additional courses include sustainability and natural resource conservation. Once you graduate, you’ll have many of the requirements needed to earn North Carolina licensure.

7. Western Governors University

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education

Western Governors University offers a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education program that’s administered by the Teachers College. There are five distinct secondary education programs you can choose from, which include specializations in chemistry, earth science, biology, and physics.

If you enter the mathematics education program, you’ll learn about advanced calculus and linear algebra. Enrollment isn’t too challenging. Along with passing a skills test, you’ll also need to take part in a 30-minute interview over the phone.

8. The University of Alabama

Master of Arts in Secondary Education
The Master of Arts in Secondary Education is a degree program from the University of Alabama that provides students with 30 credits in courses that include computer-based instructional technologies and educational research. To graduate, you’ll need to complete a written exam and earn some student teaching experience. All other aspects of the program can be completed online.

9. Saint Joseph’s University

Master of Science in Secondary Education

The Master of Science in Secondary Education is a fully online degree from Saint Joseph’s University that provides students with the education they need to earn licensure in Pennsylvania.

You can complete the master’s program in just one to two years. During your studies, you’ll learn about instructional techniques and adolescent psychology. Along with 36 total credits of coursework, you’ll also need to complete a semester of student teaching. Keep in mind that you don’t need to submit your GRE scores to enroll.

10. Drexel University

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education

Drexel University offers a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education that focuses on STEM subjects and instructional technology. The specific subject you choose to specialize in determines what courses you’ll take. However, every student learns about instructional evaluation and inclusionary teaching practices. Once you complete your sophomore year, you’ll be taken through an evaluation process that identifies if you qualify for enrollment into their teacher certification program.

11. Mississippi College

Master of Education in Teaching Arts

Mississippi College offers many fully online master’s programs, one of which is the Master of Education in Teaching Arts. You must earn 30-33 credits to graduate.

Your coursework will involve dimensions of learning, curriculum development, and modern methodologies in secondary education. Like most degrees in this guide, you’ll be required to take a student teaching internship before you graduate. Once you finish the degree, you’ll be prepared for Mississippi licensure.

12. Ottawa University

Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education

The Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education program is available at Ottawa University, which is a private college in Kansas that offers eight-week classes. You’ll benefit from a fully remote curriculum that allows you to complete your coursework in any location.

Once you graduate, you can apply for licensure in Arizona and Kansas. This is one of the best secondary education programs because it allows students to earn licensure in a wide range of subjects, including English, mathematics, and business. During your studies, you’ll learn how to develop, implement, and analyze instructional materials.

13. Great Basin College

Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education

Great Basin College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education that gives you the opportunity to earn teacher certification through the Nevada State Board of Education. The five separate endorsements you can pursue include mathematics, biological science, social sciences, business education, and English.

Even though your coursework can be completed online, you’ll gain hands-on experience by taking part in teaching internships. Keep in mind that you’ll need to pass a professional conduct review as well as background checks before you’re approved for this degree program.

14. Prescott College

Bachelor of Arts in Education with Secondary Education Certification

Prescott College provides students with the Bachelor of Arts in Education degree program, which allows for a secondary education certification. The subjects you’ll focus on include applied reading methods and adolescent psychology. Before you graduate, you’ll be involved in a research-focused senior project that makes up a significant portion of your grade. One benefit of enrolling in Prescott College is that they offer numerous financial aid programs, which extend to scholarships and grants.

15. Union Institute & University

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education

Union Institute & University provides a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education that you can complete in as little as three years. The reason why this program is one of the best secondary education degrees is because it offers ample versatility. You can take a part-time or full-time approach to your studies.

Once you’ve earned the 120 credits needed to graduate, you can transfer up to 90 of them. Courses start at eight-week intervals, which means that you can study at your own pace. Your coursework will include everything from educational assessment to classroom management.

Admission Requirements

If you wish to complete a secondary education degree at a specific college, it’s a good idea to submit an application as early as possible. Before you can enroll in a secondary education program at an accredited college or university, you must satisfy the school’s admission requirements. Although they may vary by school, most have the following requirements.

  • Must show proof of high school diploma or equivalency
  • Must meet specific GPA requirements
  • Must provide a personal essay
  • Must have a couple of letters of recommendation
  • Must submit standardized test scores
  • Must send in application fees with the application

Structure and Content of Secondary Education Degree

Throughout a student’s school years, they will typically complete three types of schools. The first one is primary education, which is also known as elementary education. The secondary area covers two programs: middle or junior high school, and high school. When students enter college, they are in higher education. Students completing the secondary education degree can teach at the secondary level. Students earning this degree can expect to complete the following content.

The one thing that secondary education students can expect is to work very hard and have a commitment to learning. The special education degree takes four years to complete. The student will complete several steps, which include general education courses, major-related courses, specialization courses, and internships.

At the beginning of the secondary education program, the students will complete general education courses. The purpose of the general education courses is to ensure the student has a well-rounded education and can understand the basics of each course. Some students choose to take general education courses online to get them out of the way. General education courses generally include:

  • English
  • Math
  • Social sciences and art, which might include courses like philosophy, music, drama, sociology, or photography
  • Communication
  • Foreign languages, such as French, Chinese, Spanish, or Japanese

During the four-year program, the student can expect to complete the following.

  • Four years in math (may include geometry, algebra, and trigonometry
  • Four years of English (may include drama, classic and period literature, writing, and research)
  • Three classes of history (may include civics, world history, or U.S. history)
  • Three science classes (may include chemistry, physics, and biology)

The secondary education program may also offer courses like:

  • Education Policies
  • Assessment of Student Learning
  • Issues in Education
  • Human Development and Learning
  • Principals of Instructional Design

Midway through the secondary education program, the student may declare an area of concentration or specialization. They can also study for a specific grade level of teaching, such as middle school or high school. They will also complete courses that prepare them for certification in these areas of specialization. Some common areas of concentration include:

  • Middle Grades
  • STEM
  • Special Education
  • Gifted and Talented Education
  • ESL/Bilingual Education
  • Other Subject Areas, such as Biology, History, or English

Towards the end of the secondary education degree program, the student will complete a practicum course or internship. The student will work in an actual classroom under the supervision of a certified and licensed teacher.

Next Steps

These are among the best secondary education degrees in the country, all of which you can access online. Before applying to one of these degree programs, identify the admission requirements and gather all of the needed documentation.