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. The college ranked among the top 25 at public schools nationwide in U.S.News & World Report’s latest edition rating the country’s best graduate programs.

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) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree programs in elementary education need to first complete 30 semester hours of course work with a cumulative UI GPA of 3.00 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.

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 who have satisfactorily completed 30 semester hours of courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may apply to the TEP. Admission requires:

  • A cumulative UI Grade-Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.00
  • An application that includes a writing sample, letters of recommendation, and agreeing to a criminal history check
  • A score of at least 522 on the PRAXIS I test in mathematics, reading, and writing (170 on individual tests)
  • 10 hours of volunteer experience in a K-12 classroom

Students seeking elementary teaching licensure in Iowa must also complete a semester of student teaching, receive a passing score on the Praxis II, and satisfy all of the TEP requirements.

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

In addition to having nearly 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Living-Learning Communities, Study Abroad Programs, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Students in this major may be interested in the Tomorrow's Teachers Today Living-Learning Community in the residence halls.

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


Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help 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)
Elementary Education (BS)
Teaching Licensure
for grades K-6
Honors Courses