A degree in elementary education prepares students for licensure to teach kindergarten through sixth or eighth grade, and includes opportunities to specialize in teaching a specific area such as art, music, or language arts.

Why Study at Iowa

Iowa’s College of Education is well known for offering a high-quality curriculum that provides solid preparation for teaching careers. 

In addition to its programs for students who want to teach at the elementary school level, the college offers undergraduate teacher education programs in Secondary Education (grades 5-12) and collaborates with other programs for students seeking a BS degree in Science Education.

Course Work

Students in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program in elementary education need to first complete 30 semester hours of course work to apply to the College of Education's Teacher Education Program.

Course requirements include completing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' General Education Program, including courses in rhetoric, science, history, and literacy.

Once admitted in to the TEP, students take a variety of courses relating to classroom technology, management, and a teaching practicum. Students must also complete courses in their areas of specialization, if desired, to teach art, music, etc., and participate in student teaching.

Students can pursue additional endorsements to teach these subjects in grades K-8:

  • Art
  • Language arts
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical education
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Social science (history or social science)
  • Speech communication/theater
  • Special education

Coaching and endorsements to teach talented and gifted classes are available only as additional approval areas.

See Elementary Education in the UI General Catalog to learn more about this major and course requirements. 

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this major need to initially meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and later apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP).

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, 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 elementary teaching licensure in Iowa must complete a semester of student teaching and receive a passing score on the edTPA Program Completion Assessment. 

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

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

The College of Education's Teacher Leader Center hosts a variety of workshops to help with student learning.


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.

The Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources tohelp students find internships and jobs. 


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

Application Process

Application Process Tabs

Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences indicating an interest in elementary education as your major.


Elementary Education (BA)
Teaching Licensure
for grades K-6
Honors Courses