A degree in elementary education prepares students for licensure to teach kindergarten through sixth grade and includes opportunities to specialize in teaching a specific area such as art, music, or language arts.
Why Study at Iowa
With a 10:1 student to faculty ratio, Iowa's education 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.
Iowa's elementary education students contribute to the education of school children from their first semester in the Teacher Education Program, starting in local Iowa City classrooms. Field experiences, observing, and assisting in classrooms begin with the major's orientation course and continue throughout the program, culminating in the student teaching semester, which offers opportunities across Iowa and the US, as well as in other countries. Graduates continue to contribute to the education of school children through successful teaching careers in Iowa and around the world.
Iowa's teacher education students complete additional professional development that sets them apart. Through the Baker Teacher Leader Center, students complete a one-of-a-kind certificate program that provides additional training and skill development in high need areas such as special education instruction, English language learning, social-emotional learning, global education, anti-racist education, research development, and gifted and talented education.
Iowa’s College of Education is well known for offering a high-quality curriculum that provides solid preparation for teaching careers. Iowa's College of Education ranks 47th nationally among all public and private education colleges and 34th best public college of education, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2021 edition of Best Graduate Schools.
Other programs offered by the College of Education include seven majors that prepare students for secondary school teaching; an Education Studies and Human Relations BA for students interested in a helping profession or in education but who do not wish to pursue classroom teaching; and a Science Studies BS for students considering jobs in informal learning settings such as park naturalists or museum educators, or who want a broad foundation of science knowledge for science teaching.
Elementary education students complete 81 semester hours in the major, including courses and school field experiences that prepare them for teaching Kindergarten through Grade 6.
Specializations available in additional teaching areas (added endorsements) include:
- Art K-8
- Athletic Coach K-12
- English as a Second Language K-12
- English/Language Arts K-8
- Mathematics K-8
- Middle School 5-8
- Music K-8
- Physical Education K-8
- Reading K-8
- Science K-8
- Social Science (history or social science) K-8
- Speech Communication/Theatre K-8
- Special Education (Instructional Strategist I Mild/Moderate) K-8
- Talented and Gifted PK-12
Education majors also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) GE CORE general education requirements.
See Elementary Education in the UI General Catalog to learn more about this major and course requirements.
First-year students apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and declare Elementary Education Interest as their major. Some first-year students qualify for direct admission to the elementary education major.
Students who do not qualify for direct admission may apply to the Teacher Education Program when they have earned 30 semester hours of credit.
First-year students with an ACT composite score of 27 of higher and a high school GPA of 3.8 or higher are admitted directly to the elementary education major. These students must complete, typically in their first semester at Iowa, a 10-hour, pre-admission school field experience in an elementary classroom for admission to the Teacher Education Program.
Admission to the Teacher Education Program
Students may apply to the Teacher Education Program after they have earned 30 semester hours of credit. Requirements for admission to the program include completion of a 10-hour, pre-admission school field experience in an elementary education classroom, an essay, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and agreeing to a criminal history check.
Admission Requirements Tabs
Overall, 100 percent of our elementary teacher education graduates are professionally employed. Iowa teachers can be found teaching in 26 states and in countries around the world. Teaching salaries vary by region and school district.
The Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.
Application Process Tabs
Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and indicate Elementary Education Interest as your major.