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2021 Best Teaching Graduate Certificate Schools

538 Schools Ranked
$45,165 Avg Student Debt

It's not easy to decide which teaching program to enroll in when you have so many options available. Along with traditional schools that require in-person attendence, you can attend one of many reputable online schools. Some programs even offer a hybrid experience. Also, there are a number of trade schools and bootcamp with offerings that you might find attractive.

To help you arm yourself with the information you need to make your decision, Teaching Degree Search has developed this Best Teaching Graduate Certificate Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 538 schools in the United States to see which graduate certificate programs offered the best educational experiences for teaching students. The factors used to develop this ranking include those related to how in-demand the school us, the overall quality of the school, and post-graduation wages, and more.

View our full ranking methodology.

Top Teaching Graduate Certificate Schools in the United States

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

The College of Saint Rose

Albany, New York
775 Total Awards
$15,268 Average Tuition & Fees
$37,587 Avg Student Debt

Our analysis found The College of Saint Rose to be the best school for teaching students who want to pursue a graduate certificate in the United States. Albany, New York is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out graduate certificates to 775 students in 2018-2019.

On average, graduate certificate students take out $37,587 in loans while pursuing their degree.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at The College of Saint Rose. In fact, around 14% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#2

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland
902 Total Awards
$57,556 Average Tuition & Fees
$33,566 Avg Student Debt

The excellent graduate certificate programs at Johns Hopkins University helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best teaching schools in the United States. Johns Hopkins is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Baltimore, Maryland. It awarded 902 graduate certificates in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their graduate certificate, students from this school have racked up an average of $33,566 in student loans.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since Johns Hopkins does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. In fact, around 54% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

Full Johns Hopkins University Report

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128 Total Awards
$14,382 Average Tuition & Fees
$32,258 Avg Student Debt

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend University of Maryland - Baltimore County. The school came in at #3 on this year’s Best Teaching Graduate Certificate Schools list. Baltimore, Maryland is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out graduate certificates to 128 students in 2018-2019.

On average, graduate certificate students take out $32,258 in loans while pursuing their degree.

UMBC does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 21% of graduates took at least one course online in 2017-2018.

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#4

Washington State University

Pullman, Washington
472 Total Awards
$13,095 Average Tuition & Fees

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Washington State University. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Teaching Graduate Certificate Schools list. Wazzu is located in Pullman, Washington and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 472 graduate certificates to qualified students.

Wazzu does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. In 2017-2018 about 22% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

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#5

Towson University

Towson, Maryland
183 Total Awards
$10,530 Average Tuition & Fees
$29,436 Avg Student Debt

The excellent graduate certificate programs at Towson University helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best teaching schools in the United States. Towson is located in Towson, Maryland and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 183 graduate certificates to qualified students.

By the time they get their graduate certificate, students from this school have racked up an average of $29,436 in student loans.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at Towson. In fact, around 19% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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80 Total Awards
$28,909 Average Tuition & Fees
$43,734 Avg Student Debt

St John’s University - New York landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best graduate certificate teaching programs. Located in Queens, New York, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 80 graduate certificate awards in 2018-2019.

On average, graduate certificate students take out $43,734 in loans while pursuing their degree.

One thing to take note of is that STJ does offer online graduate classes in some areas. In 2017-2018 about 28% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

Full St John’s University - New York Report

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#7

McDaniel College

Westminster, Maryland
194 Total Awards
$9,280 Average Tuition & Fees

McDaniel College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for teaching students to get a graduate certificate. It came in at #7 on the list. McDaniel is located in Westminster, Maryland and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 194 graduate certificates to qualified students.

Some students may be able to take online graduate classes at McDaniel. In 2017-2018 about 40% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

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#8

Valley City State University

Valley City, North Dakota
19 Total Awards
$7,240 Average Tuition & Fees

Valley City State University ranked #8 on this year’s Best Teaching Graduate Certificate Schools list. Valley City, North Dakota is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The public school handed out graduate certificates to 19 students in 2018-2019.

Since the graduate programs at Valley City State University are primarily online school, so it is a great choice for returning adults and students who work full time.

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#9

American University

Washington, District of Columbia
66 Total Awards
$31,113 Average Tuition & Fees

American University came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Teaching Graduate Certificate Schools ranking. The American University is a private not-for-profit institution located in Washington, District of Columbia. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 66 graduate certificates in 2018-2019.

One thing to take note of is that The American University does offer online graduate classes in some areas. Of all the graduate students enrolled at the school during the 2017-2018 academic year, around 12% took at least some of their classes online.

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#10

Messiah University

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
53 Total Awards
$12,420 Average Tuition & Fees
$20,296 Avg Student Debt

Messiah University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for teaching students to get a graduate certificate. It came in at #10 on the list. Located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 53 diplomas to qualifed graduate certificate students in 2018-2019.

Graduate Certificate recipients from Messiah accumulate an average of $20,296 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Depending on your major, you may be able to take online graduate classes at Messiah. During the 2017-2018 year, about 86% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#11

Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa
343 Total Awards
$10,990 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #11, Iowa State University did quite well on this year’s best schools for teaching students working on their graduate certificate. This large public school is located in Ames, Iowa, and it awarded 343 graduate certificates in 2018-2019.

Iowa State does have options available for those who want to take online graduate classes. You will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your specific major. In fact, around 24% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#12

Tufts University

Medford, Massachusetts
218 Total Awards
$53,658 Average Tuition & Fees
$253,747 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #12, Tufts University did quite well on this year’s best schools for teaching students working on their graduate certificate. Tufts is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Medford, Massachusetts. It awarded 218 graduate certificates in 2018-2019.

Graduate Certificate recipients from Tufts accumulate an average of $253,747 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Some students may be able to take online graduate classes at Tufts. In 2017-2018 about 5% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

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#13

Hamline University

Saint Paul, Minnesota
180 Total Awards
$9,596 Average Tuition & Fees
$16,187 Avg Student Debt

Hamline University landed the #13 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best graduate certificate teaching programs. Hamline is a private not-for-profit institution located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The school has a small population, and it awarded 180 graduate certificates in 2018-2019.

Graduate Certificate recipients from Hamline accumulate an average of $16,187 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

You may have the opportunity to take online graduate classes at Hamline. In fact, around 37% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#14

Bethel University Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota
111 Total Awards
$11,700 Average Tuition & Fees
$24,911 Avg Student Debt

Bethel University Minnesota ranked #14 on this year’s Best Teaching Graduate Certificate Schools list. Located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 111 graduate certificate awards in 2018-2019.

Graduate Certificate recipients from Bethel University Minnesota accumulate an average of $24,911 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

Bethel University Minnesota does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. During the 2017-2018 year, about 74% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

Full Bethel University Minnesota Report

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#15

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California
1,510 Total Awards
$47,107 Average Tuition & Fees
$104,326 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #15, University of Southern California did quite well on this year’s best schools for teaching students working on their graduate certificate. Located in Los Angeles, California, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 1,510 graduate certificate awards in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their graduate certificate, students from this school have racked up an average of $104,326 in student loans.

Some students may be able to take online graduate classes at USC. In fact, around 29% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#16

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, California
244 Total Awards
$17,842 Average Tuition & Fees

Azusa Pacific University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for teaching students to get a graduate certificate. It came in at #16 on the list. Azusa Pacific is a private not-for-profit institution located in Azusa, California. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 244 graduate certificates in 2018-2019.

Azusa Pacific does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. During the 2017-2018 year, about 54% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#17

Rider University

Lawrenceville, New Jersey
156 Total Awards
$21,398 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #17, Rider University did quite well on this year’s best schools for teaching students working on their graduate certificate. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and it awarded 156 graduate certificates in 2018-2019.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since Rider does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. To give an idea of how popular online courses are at the school, 47% of graduates took at least one course online in 2017-2018.

Full Rider University Report

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#18

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, New York
298 Total Awards
$13,558 Average Tuition & Fees
$43,177 Avg Student Debt

Stony Brook University came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Teaching Graduate Certificate Schools ranking. Stony Brook, New York is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out graduate certificates to 298 students in 2018-2019.

On average, graduate certificate students take out $43,177 in loans while pursuing their degree.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since SUNY Stony Brook does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. In 2017-2018 about 23% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

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#19

Fairfield University

Fairfield, Connecticut
27 Total Awards
$18,890 Average Tuition & Fees
$64,741 Avg Student Debt

Fairfield University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for teaching students to get a graduate certificate. It came in at #19 on the list. Fairfield U is a private not-for-profit institution located in Fairfield, Connecticut. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 27 graduate certificates in 2018-2019.

Graduate Certificate recipients from Fairfield U accumulate an average of $64,741 in student debt by the time they complete their degree.

One thing to take note of is that Fairfield U does offer online graduate classes in some areas. During the 2017-2018 year, about 26% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

Full Fairfield University Report

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#20

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois
195 Total Awards
$56,567 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #20, Northwestern University did quite well on this year’s best schools for teaching students working on their graduate certificate. Northwestern University is a large private not-for-profit school located in Evanston, Illinois that handed out 195 graduate certificates in 2018-2019.

Online graduate courses are available at Northwestern U, but you will need to check with the school to see if they are available for your field of interest. In 2017-2018 about 5% of the graduate students at the school chose to take one or more online courses.

Full Northwestern University Report

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#21

City University of Seattle

Seattle, Washington
73 Total Awards
$11,430 Average Tuition & Fees
$36,703 Avg Student Debt

With a ranking of #21, City University of Seattle did quite well on this year’s best schools for teaching students working on their graduate certificate. City University of Seattle is a small private not-for-profit school located in Seattle, Washington that handed out 73 graduate certificates in 2018-2019.

On average, graduate certificate students take out $36,703 in loans while pursuing their degree.

CityU does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. During the 2017-2018 year, about 62% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#22

Texas A&M University - College Station

College Station, Texas
422 Total Awards
$10,173 Average Tuition & Fees
$43,334 Avg Student Debt

Texas A&M University - College Station ranked #22 on this year’s Best Teaching Graduate Certificate Schools list. Located in College Station, Texas, the large public school handed out 422 graduate certificate awards in 2018-2019.

On average, graduate certificate students take out $43,334 in loans while pursuing their degree.

Texas A&M does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. During the 2017-2018 year, about 8% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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#23

Mount St Mary's University

Emmitsburg, Maryland
37 Total Awards
$13,209 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #23, Mount St Mary’s University did quite well on this year’s best schools for teaching students working on their graduate certificate. Mount St Mary’s University is located in Emmitsburg, Maryland and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 37 graduate certificates to qualified students.

Mount St Mary’s University does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. In fact, around 12% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

Full Mount St Mary’s University Report

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#24

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, Indiana
217 Total Awards
$9,992 Average Tuition & Fees
$20,337 Avg Student Debt

Purdue University - Main Campus landed the #24 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best graduate certificate teaching programs. This large public school is located in West Lafayette, Indiana, and it awarded 217 graduate certificates in 2018-2019.

By the time they get their graduate certificate, students from this school have racked up an average of $20,337 in student loans.

Purdue does offer online graduate classes for certain degree levels. In fact, around 24% of the graduate population registered for at least one online class in 2017-2018.

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#25

Salisbury University

Salisbury, Maryland
11 Total Awards
$10,713 Average Tuition & Fees

Salisbury University landed the #25 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best graduate certificate teaching programs. Salisbury, Maryland is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out graduate certificates to 11 students in 2018-2019.

If you are interested in distance education, be sure to check with the school since Salisbury does offer online graduate classes for certain majors. During the 2017-2018 year, about 36% of the graduate students at the school took at least one online course.

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Rest of the Top 15% Best Teaching Graduate Certificate Schools in the United States

Not only did these schools make the top 48 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#27

The College of New Jersey

Ewing, New Jersey
#28

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia
#29

Manhattan College

Riverdale, New York
#30

Olivet Nazarene University

Bourbonnais, Illinois
#31

Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts
#32

New York University

New York, New York
#33

Saint Mary's College of California

Moraga, California
#34

University of St Thomas Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota
#35

Fordham University

Bronx, New York
#36

George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia
#37

Illinois State University

Normal, Illinois
#38

University of Redlands

Redlands, California
#39

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania
#40

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Oshkosh, Wisconsin
#41

University of Massachusetts - Boston

Boston, Massachusetts
#42

CUNY Lehman College

Bronx, New York
#44

The College of Saint Scholastica

Duluth, Minnesota
#45

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota
#46

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle, Washington
#48

University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our best teaching schools ranking:

Rank School Location
49 Gannon University Erie, PA
50 Touro College New York, NY
51 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
52 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
53 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
54 Whitworth University Spokane, WA
55 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
56 Georgia College & State University Milledgeville, GA
57 University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD
58 Ball State University Muncie, IN
59 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
60 CUNY Hunter College New York, NY
61 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
62 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
63 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
64 University of Florida Gainesville, FL

Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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