How to Become a Teacher with a Bachelor's Degree

Students generally have two options for becoming a teacher with a bachelor's degree: enroll in a teacher education program that is part of their bachelor's degree or enroll in an alternative teaching certification program. Alternative programs are for students who already hold a bachelor's degree but have not completed a teacher education program.

View 4 Popular Schools »

Steps to Becoming a Teacher with a Bachelor's Degree

Step 1: Get a High School Diploma or GED

Most colleges and universities require students to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent prior to being admitted. However, all teacher education programs require applicants to hold a high school diploma or GED.

Step 2: Decide What Type of Teacher You Want to Be

Many types of teachers exist, including elementary, middle, high school and special education teachers. Teachers also work in various settings, including public, private and religious schools, as well as in the home. Before enrolling in a program, students should decide where and what they wish to teach and let the answers direct their postsecondary studies.

Step 3: Enroll in a Teacher Education Program

A student may enroll in a bachelor's program that leads to teacher licensure. The programs are generally 4-5 years long. Teachers at the elementary level tend to teach all subjects, while secondary teachers focus on one or two subjects. Students begin their teacher training in the last or fifth year of their bachelor's program.

Students take courses in teaching strategies, digital learning, social foundations, educational psychology, secondary education principles and multicultural foundations. They are also required to complete a student-teaching internship prior to seeking licensure.

Step 4: Enroll in an Alternative Certification or Licensing Program

Students who have already completed their undergraduate studies but have not completed a teacher education program can take advantage of alternative certification programs. These programs allow students with a bachelor's degree and career experience to earn a teaching license in a non-traditional way. Individuals earning an alternative teaching certification usually teach in the subject area in which they earned their degree.

Students enrolled in an alternative program generally start teaching under supervision while taking education courses. A student may obtain licensure in 1-2 years. This type of program is especially geared toward science and math teachers and individuals who are willing to teach in rural or urban schools.

Step 5: Obtain a License

All public school and special education teachers must be licensed in the United States, although licensure is generally not required for private school teachers. Public school and special education teachers are usually licensed by a state education board and are tested for competency in reading, writing and other basic skills.

Licensure areas for public school teachers include early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, specific subject areas and special subject areas. Licensure areas for special education teachers may include behavioral disorders and learning disabilities.

Show me popular schools

Related to How to Become a Teacher with a Bachelor's Degree

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Could Ms. Frizzle Be a D.C. Teacher?

Washington, D.C.'s new teacher evaluation system IMPACT has made its results felt across the district, letting go of hundreds...

5 Great Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week

It's Teacher Appreciation Week! Do you want to show your favorite teacher how grateful you are for him or her? Here are some...

Wisconsin Teacher Protests Spread to Other States

When teachers and other public workers descended upon Wisconsin's Capitol building in Madison last week to protest an...

What Do You Have to Major in to Become a Teacher?

Teachers educate children and adults at various stages of life. They can teach different subjects at the preschool, elementary,...

America Celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Week

Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
        • Science Teacher Education
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • International and Comparative Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
        • English Teacher Education
        • Mathematics Teacher Education
        • Music Teacher Education
        • Teaching, Reading
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
        • Agricultural Education for Teachers
        • Art Teacher Education
        • English Teacher Education
        • Foreign Language Education for Teachers
        • Mathematics Teacher Education
        • Music Teacher Education
        • Physical Education and Coaching
        • Science Teacher Education
        • Social Science Teacher Education
        • Teaching, Reading
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
        • Agricultural Education for Teachers
        • Biology Education for Teachers
        • Chemistry Teacher Education
        • Home Economics Teacher Education
        • Mathematics Teacher Education
        • Physics Teacher Education
        • Science Teacher Education
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • ESL Teaching
      • International and Comparative Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
        • Art Teacher Education
        • Chemistry Teacher Education
        • Drama and Dance Teacher Education
        • English Teacher Education
        • Foreign Language Education for Teachers
        • Health Teacher Education
        • Latin Teacher Education
        • Mathematics Teacher Education
        • Music Teacher Education
        • Physical Education and Coaching
        • Science Teacher Education
        • Social Studies Teacher Education
        • Teaching, Reading
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
        • Agricultural Education for Teachers
        • Art Teacher Education
        • Business Teacher Education
        • English Teacher Education
        • Foreign Language Education for Teachers
        • Health Teacher Education
        • Home Economics Teacher Education
        • Industrial Arts Teacher Education
        • Mathematics Teacher Education
        • Music Teacher Education
        • Physical Education and Coaching
        • Sales and Marketing Teacher Education
        • Science Teacher Education
        • Social Science Teacher Education
        • Teaching, Reading
        • Vocational Teacher Education

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics