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, secondary and postsecondary levels. Aspiring teachers can choose a major based on the level and subject they want to teach.

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What Aspiring Teachers Can Major In

A bachelor's degree is the minimum level of education required to earn a teacher's license, which is necessary to teach at public schools. The State Board of Education usually grants teacher licensure, and students should check their state's requirements before deciding on a major. Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degree programs in different areas of education. Depending on the age and subject they wish to teach, students can choose from an array of options.

Practical Experience

A component that all education curricula include is student teaching, which usually occurs during senior year. These field experiences place student teachers in real classrooms with active students. Student teachers gain hands-on training under the supervision of certified teachers. Many states require teachers to complete student teaching to qualify for licensure.

Early Childhood Education

A major in early childhood education suits students intending to teach pre-kindergarten to third grade. This major teaches them to serve as a role model as well as an educator, since such teachers often play a vital role in the early development of children.

Elementary Education

Individuals interested in teaching at the elementary level, which typically includes kindergarten through eighth grade, can major in elementary education. At this stage, education majors can specialize in a specific subject, including English, math, history or science.

Secondary Education

Aspiring teachers who want to work with older students specialize in secondary education, which can encompass between sixth and twelfth grade. They can also choose a specific liberal arts field to concentrate in, such as English literature, calculus, American history or physics.

Postsecondary Education

Students intent on teaching at the college or university level need to pursue a master's degree or doctorate in graduate school. As undergraduates, they can major in whichever subject they would like to teach.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • Colorado (2)
    • Florida (3)
    • Hawaii (1)
    • Missouri (1)
    • New Mexico (1)
    • Nevada (1)
    • Utah (1)

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • B.A. Science (5-9)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Chemistry)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Geosciences)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Physics)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Biological Science)

    What is your highest level of education?

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

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