Elementary Education


The goal of each of the Elementary Education programs is to prepare knowledgeable and competent practitioners who are dedicated to serving the educational needs of all K-6 learners.


The Department of Education Studies offers three Elementary Education programs:

  1. Bachelor’s degree
  2. Non-Degree Certification Program for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education
  3. Master of Arts in Teaching program for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education

Completion of each program qualifies candidates for Professional Teacher License for grades 1-6. Additional endorsements may be chosen as part of the concentration requirement. 

Program Requirements


Candidates seeking the Bachelor’s Degree complete 125 credit hours of coursework in three areas:

General Education 54 credit hours
Area of Concentration 12 credit hours
Professional Education 54 credit hours

Transfer students

Transfer students who begin their college experience at an Illinois community college should refer to the university Transfer Guides to carefully select courses which will transfer seamlessly. The Transfer Guides can be found HERE.

Non-Degree Certification or Middle School Endorsements

Candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree in a field other than education may choose to complete only those courses which will lead to certification or to Middle School Endorsements.

Master of Arts in Teaching

Candidates seeking the Master of Arts in Teaching Degree complete 34 credit hours of Master’s level work plus 17 credit hours in additional course work for certification. An action research  project thesis will be completed and the final Comprehensive Exam will be taken prior to student teaching.

For All Programs

In addition to coursework, candidates complete approximately 200 clock hours of field experiences in elementary and middle schools prior to student teaching.

  • These experiences include observation, tutoring, teacher aiding, and teaching in elementary schools.
  • The final field experience, student teaching, places candidates in an elementary or middle grade classroom all day, everyday for 16 weeks.

After admission to the university, candidates must eventually apply to the College of Education in order to take restricted professional education courses. In addition to other requirements, candidates must pass the Illinois Certification Test of Basic Skills prior to applying for admission to the College of Education.

Successfully completion of the Illinois Content Area Certification exam in Elementary/Middle Grades is required prior to student teaching, and successful completion of the Assessment of Professional Teaching Certification exam is required prior to graduation/certification.

All candidates must provide evidence of a recent TB test, and a recent fingerprint background check before completing any field experiences.

Contact Us: Education Building, Room 318, (773) 995-3932