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.

There is not an Iowa degree program in secondary education. Instead, students who want to teach at this level major in one of the approved subject areas and also apply to and complete Iowa's Teacher Education Program (TEP) in that subject area.

Iowa also offers a BA degree programs in Elementary Education for students who want to teach grades K-6 or K-8 and a BS degree program in Science Education for students considering jobs in informal learning settings, such as park naturalists or museum educators.

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.

Course Work

Iowa provides secondary school teacher preparation programs in the following areas:

  • Art Education (includes art history)
  • English Education
  • Foreign Language Education (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish)
  • Mathematics Education
  • Music Education
  • Science Education (biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, geoscience, physics, 9–12 all science)
  • Social Studies Education (anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology, sociology)

Coaching, English as a second language, journalism, hearing impaired, middle school, talented and gifted, and reading are available only as additional approval areas. If you plan to teach art or music, completing a program qualifies you to be licensed at both the elementary and secondary level.

Review the Program Guides for Secondary Teacher Education Programs on the College of Education website for more details.

Admission Requirements

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 secondary teaching licensure in Iowa must complete a semester of student teaching.

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. 

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

Application Process

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.


Teaching Licensure
for teaching grades 5-12