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Elementary Education: BS, BA

Elementary Education

Students who major in elementary education can become licensed to teach grades 1-8 and are "highly qualified" to teach grades 1-6, based on federal standards for "No Child Left Behind." All students in the program gain a broad knowledge of subjects in elementary education and then choose an emphasis to study more thoroughly. Students may choose more than one emphasis, but only one is required.

Utah State’s program in elementary education is unique in that students have the opportunity to work with children starting their first year in the program rather than waiting until their junior year, which is typical at other universities. By the time students graduate, they will have spent more than 600 hours in eight different practicum experiences.

The major in elementary education is particularly well suited to students transferring with an associate’s degree because the curriculum is designed so students can easily transition into the program and finish in a timely manner.

The Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services is ranked 10th in the nation among colleges of education in external research dollars.

Students receive a BS by completing all required courses in the major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.


  • Art: Students in this emphasis take art history courses as well as courses on teaching art in elementary education settings.
  • Fine Arts: In this emphasis, students take courses in music, theater, English, and visual arts.
  • Foreign Language: Students pursuing the foreign language emphasis design their emphasis area to include coursework in one specific foreign language.
  • Health/Wellness/Nutrition: Coursework for this emphasis covers topics in nutrition and wellness, including first aid, food, drugs, and general health.
  • Language Arts: This emphasis prepares students to teach language arts through speech, English, and theater courses.
  • Mathematics: Students take courses in mathematics, and with additional coursework, students can recieve a Mathematics Endorsement.
  • Music: Students take courses about the history and appreciation of music in this emphasis.
  • Physical Education: Students in this emphasis take courses in fitness and sports activities.
  • School Library Media: In this emphasis, students learn procedures and technology required to be a school librarian. With additional coursework, students can receive a School Library Media Endorsement.
  • Science: This emphasis prepares students to teach both physical science and biology.
  • Science/Mathematics: Students in this emphasis take courses in mathematics, physical science, and biology.
  • Social Studies: Students in this emphasis gain proficiency in various areas in social studies, including anthropology, economics, political science, history, sociology, and geography.

Students who major in elementary education are qualified to be licensed to teach grades 1-8 and are highly qualified to teach grades 1-6, based on federal standards for “No Child Left Behind.”

Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.

Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the elementary education program has additional requirements:

  • Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to the pre-major.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 3.00 total GPA for admission to this major.
  • Teacher Education Program Requirements: In order to become an elementary education major, students must be accepted into the teacher education program, which includes the following:
    • Completion of 30 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 3.00
    • Receive minimum ACT scores (21 Composite- 20 English, 19 Math, 18 Science, 18 Reading)
    • Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
    • Complete a speech and hearing test
    • Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
    • Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before applying)
    • Pass the Praxis II elementary education multiple subjects exam (this should be done at least one semester prior to applying)
    • Participate in a group interview and earn a minimum score of three

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

Association for Childhood Education International: CEI is a global community of educators and advocates who unite knowledge, experience, and perspectives in order to exchange information, explore innovation, and advocate for children.

National Association for the Education of the Young: NAEY is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. NAEYC is committed to becoming an increasingly high performing and inclusive organization. NAEYC is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children.

Labs, Centers, Research

With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.

Center for Persons with Disabilities: The CPD is a nationally recognized research center that joins the expertise of researchers and faculty with community partners to address the most difficult challenges facing persons with disabilities and their families. Research addresses issues that cross fields ranging from biomedicine to education. In clinical experiences, learners join teams of professionals, family members, and individuals with disabilities to deliver services and supports.

Center for the School of the Future: The CSF is a research center dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of education by identifying effective educational practices and supporting their dissemination and adoption in local circumstances.

Edith Bowen Laboratory School: EBLS is one of Utah’s charter schools, offering services to more than 300 students grades K-5. The school, in cooperation with Utah State University, trains more than 200 pre-service teachers preparing to become professional educators, as well as supporting several other departments/colleges on campus, including special education, physical education, music, psychology, and business. Because the school is funded through state funds and donations, no tuition is charged to students.

Emma Eccles Jones Center for Early Childhood Education: This center provides educational experiences and resources for teachers and parents that reflect the development of children from birth through age eight.


School of Teacher Education and Leadership


Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services

Academic Advising

Shannon Burgin
Office: EDUC 377
Phone: (435) 797-0391

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Jennifer Caines
Office: EDUC 376
Phone: (435) 797-2224

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Denise Taylor
Office: EDUC 383
Phone: (435) 797-0391

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Bobbi Crabtree
Office: EDUC 381
Phone: (435) 797-0391

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Liz Prettyman
Advisor Price
Office: Jennifer Leavitt Student Center
Phone: 435-613-5588

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Cindy Higgins
Advisor Blanding
Office: BAEC 2
Phone: (435) 678-8512

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