Iowa offers excellent teacher education programs that prepare students to seek licensure to teach at the secondary level (grades 5-12) in art, English, mathematics, music, science, social science, or a world language.
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 ranks 47th nationally among all public and private colleges and 34th best public college of education, according to the U.S.News & World Report’s 2021 edition of Best Graduate Schools.
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.
Through the Baker Teacher Leader Center, Iowa's education students complete additional professional development that sets them apart. 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 also offers undergraduate programs in:
- Elementary Education (K-6 or K-8)
- Education Studies and Human Relations (for students interested in a helping profession but who do not wish to pursue classroom teaching)
- Science Studies (for students considering jobs in informal learning settings such as park naturalist or museum educator, or who want a broad foundation of science knowledge for science teaching)
Students who want to teach at the secondary school level must complete two bachelor degrees: a BA from the College of Education and a bachelor degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) in the primary subject they want to teach.
Iowa provides secondary school teacher preparation programs in seven majors. The following course work is required:
Art Education - Take 48 s.h. from the College of Education and complete CLAS requirements for a BA or a BFA in art.
English Education - Take 41 s.h. from the College of Education and complete CLAS requirements for a BA in English or English and creative writing.
Mathematics Education - Take 42 s.h. from the College of Education and complete CLAS requirements for a BA or a BS in mathematics.
Music Education - Take a minimum of 44 s.h. from the College of Education and complete CLAS requirements for a BM in music with a performance subprogram of brass/woodwind, percussion, organ, piano, piano with teacher education, strings, or voice.
Science Education - Take 44 s.h. from the College of Education and complete CLAS requirements for a BA or BS in biology; a BA or BS in chemistry; a BA or BS in environmental sciences; a BA or BS in geoscience; a BA or BS in physics; or a BS in science studies.
Social Studies Education - Take 39 s.h. from the College of Education and complete CLAS requirements for a BA or BS in anthropology; a BA or BS in economics; a BA or BS in geography; a BA in history; a BA or BS in political science; a BA or BS in psychology; or a BA or BS in sociology, plus 15 s.h. in an additional social studies area.
World Language Education - Take 48 s.h. from the College of Education and complete CLAS requirements for a BA degree in one of the following: Asian languages and literature with a Chinese or Japanese subprogram, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, or classical languages with a Latin language emphasis.
Course work includes one semester of student teaching and pre-student teaching field experiences in schools.
Student must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences CLAS Core general education program requirements.
See Teaching and Learning in the UI General Catalog for detailed information on required course work.
First-year students apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and indicate a major in the field they would like to teach.
Students may apply to the Teacher Education Program when they have earned 30 semester hours (s.h.) of credit. Teacher Education Program application requirements include completion of 10 hours of pre-admission school field experience in a K-12 classroom, an essay, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and agreeing to a criminal history check.
Music Education offers direct admission for qualified high school applicants.
The University of Iowa's teacher education programs for secondary and K-12 teaching are approved by the state of Iowa as preparation for teacher licensure, with endorsements to teach one or more subjects in those grades.
Programs available for additional teaching areas (added endorsements) include athletic coach, English as a second language, middle school, talented and gifted, and reading.
Teacher preparation programs for special education and school teacher librarian are available at the graduate level.
Overall, 97 percent of our secondary education program graduates are professionally employed after graduation.
Teaching is one of the few professions offering substantial choices in terms of job location. Iowa graduates can be found teaching a variety of subjects in 26 different states and overseas. Salaries vary by region and by school district.
Our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.
The College of Education, the Office of Admissions, and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.
Application Process Tabs
If you want to teach at the secondary school level, apply to the university for admission as a major in the field you plan to teach. You will later apply to the Teacher Education Program. Review our Areas of Study to see the majors available in your area of interest.