Qualified teachers are in great demand due to teacher attrition and retirement plus increased school enrollment.

Over 50 million students entered 98,200 public elementary and secondary schools for the Fall 2017 term, and public and private school enrollment in the United States is projected to increase significantly in the coming years. 

Why Study at Iowa

With an 11:1 student to faculty ratio, Iowa students enjoy a Big Ten university experience with a small-college feel. Faculty are on a first-name basis with our students and our program provides an enriched learning environment that celebrates diversity.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the UI College of Education in the nation's top 14 percent and our secondary programs in the top 5 percent. The National Council on Teacher Quality ranks our elementary education program in the nation's top 6 percent and our secondary education program in the nation's top 2 percent.

We are Iowa's STEM leader. Our teachers graduate with a degree in their subject area, making them content experts. We offer a 4+1 program that allows students to graduate in five years with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics and the Master of Arts in Teaching.

Because Iowa is home to the world-renowned Iowa Testing Programs and the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education, our students have hands-on experience with and learn to excel in assessment and  giftedness.

The Teacher Leader Center offers a professional development series that integrates mobile technology into the curriculum. Through clinical and service learning experiences and professional development, students graduate with the digital skills necessary to enhance learning, teaching leadership, and global connectivity in their classrooms. 

Our graduates receive a Teacher Leader Certificate that sets them apart from other teachers nationwide. Derived from what employers tell us teachers need to be successful in 21st century classrooms, our students receive advanced training and professional development opportunities in the areas of assessment, technology, and diversity and community engagement.

Course Work

Iowa's B.A. degree in elementary education offers instruction in teaching foundations and methods plus content-area course work in liberal arts and sciences.

A College of Liberal Arts and Sciences bachelor's degree in the main subject you wish to teach, combined with a secondary education Teacher Education Program, provide preparation for secondary-level teaching. Programs are available to add additional licensure in other subjects.

Completing programs in music and art qualifies students to be licensed at both the elementary and secondary level. 

After completing the teacher education course work, students file a student teaching application. Progress is reviewed to verify readiness for the student teaching experience.

Elementary Education Licensure/Certification Areas

In addition to the general elementary endorsement, students may seek endorsements to teach these subjects in grades K-8:

  • Art
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • English language arts
  • Mathematics
  • Middle school
  • Music
  • Physical education
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Social sciences
  • Special education (Instructional Strategist I: Mild/Moderate)
  • Speech communication/theater

Talented and Gifted and Athletic Coaching endorsements also are available.

Secondary Education Licensure/Certification Areas

  • Art (includes art history)
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Science (biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, all science)
  • Social science (anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology, sociology)
  • World languages (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish)

BS in Science Education

Students in the science education program declare a primary and secondary area of emphasis from these options: biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics.

Minors in Educational Psychology, Human Relations

See College of Education in the General Catalog for more information.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in the BA program in elementary education or the BS program in science education need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Students interested in teaching at the secondary level need to meet the requirements for admission associated with a major in the area in which they plan to teach. Review our Areas of Study and the list of secondary education programs available for admission requirements related to the selected major.

Secondary education has more specific requirements than some other subject areas, so be sure to talk with an adviser in the secondary program area of your choice before applying to the program.

Programs in elementary education and music education offer direct admission to high school students who meet grade and test-score criteria.

Admission to the Teacher Education Program

Students must first complete 30 semester hours of course work at Iowa or another institution before applying to the program.

Admission also requires satisfactory scores on the Praxis Core exam, completion of 10 hours of Pre-Admission School Field Experience in a K-12 classroom, submission of an essay, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and agreeing to a criminal history check.

After completing the TEP course work, students file a student teaching application and professional progress is reviewed to verify readiness for a student teaching experience. 

Students seeking teaching licensure in Iowa must complete a semester of student teaching. 

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Study Abroad Programs and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.


Overall, 96 percent of our teacher education graduates are professionally employed. Our science and math teachers are 100 percent professionally employed after graduation. Teaching is one of the few professions offering substantial choices in terms of job location, subject area, schedule, and school type. Salaries vary by region and by school district.

The Teacher Leader Center helps students acquire technical skills they'll need to translate their ideas and paper materials to an electronic portfolio on the Internet. Students can upload video recordings of themselves teaching a class, counseling a child, or holding a conference with a family. Prospective employers may view the electronic portfolio online while speaking to the student on the telephone, making the interview process convenient and inexpensive for both.

Our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs. 


The College of Education, Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

Application Process Tabs

Elementary education
Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and indicate an interest in elementary education. After admission to the university, you will apply to the Teacher Education Program.

Secondary education
Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and indicate a major in the field you would like to teach. After admission to the university, you will apply to the Teacher Education Program.

Science education
Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and indicate science education as your major. After admission to the university, you will apply to the Teacher Education Program.


Elementary Education (BA)
Science Education (BS)
Educational Psychology
Human Relations
Teaching Licensure
Elementary, Secondary Levels
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan
Not available because of student-teaching requirements
Competitive Admission


A Music Education Major
A Music Education Major