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Elementary Education Program

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Program Overview
Area of Concentration Requirement
Admission to the Teacher Education Program
Licensure and Testing
Contact Information

Program Overview
Students preparing to teach in elementary school are licensed for grades K through 8 and complete a major in elementary education. The undergraduate elementary education program embeds content coursework, general education coursework, and professional licensure coursework into a 128-credit bachelor's degree. Candidates must complete all specific requirements listed with a grade of "C-" or better. None of these courses may be taken as credit/no credit except where that is the only option.

Course GER Prerequisite Credit
WRIT 101 College Writing I      3

LIT 110L Introduction to Literature OR
LS 151L Introduction to the Humanities OR
LS 152 Introduction to the Humanities

Lower Division
Writing Course
and L

WRIT 101
or placement
3 or 4
M 135 Math for K-8 Teachers I   M 095
or placement
M 136 Math for K-8 Teachers II Symbolic
M 135 4

GPHY 121S Introduction to Human Geography OR
GPHY 141S World Regional Geography

S   3

HSTA 101H American History OR
HSTA 102H American History OR
Any approved "H & Y" History course

H & Y   4
HSTA 255 Montana History (Fall only)     3
PSCI 210S Introduction to American Government S    3
NASX 105 Introduction to Native American Studies X   3
SCI 225N General Science: Physical and Chemical Science (Fall only) N M 135
or equivalent
SCI 226N General Science: Earth and Life Science (Spring only) N M 095
or equivalent
HEE 233 Health Issues of Children and Adolescents     3
ARTZ 302A Elementary School Art A Sophomore 2
THTR 239 Creative Drama/Dance K-8     2
MUSE 397 Methods: K-8 Music     2
Current First Aid Card with CPR (Must complete at least one semester before student teaching)
Admission to the Teacher Education Program is required to enroll in the courses listed below.

Taken with Block I or II:
HEE 302 Instructional Strategies in Elementary Physical Education


HEE 233


Taken with Block I or II:
SCI 350 Environmental Perspectives



Block I:
EDU 202 Early Field Experience
EDU 221 Educational Psychology and Measurements
EDU 370 Integrating Technology into Education
EDU 345 Exceptionality and Classroom Management



Block II (All courses corequisites):
EDU 395 Field Experience: Grades PK-8
EDU 331 Literature and Literacy for Children
EDU 397 Methods: PK-8 Language Arts


EDU 202


Taken with Block II or III:
EDU 407E Ethics and Policy Issues



Block III (All courses corequisites):
EDU 491 Classroom Management/Field Experience
EDU 497 Methods: K-8 Mathematics
EDU 497 Methods: K-8 Social Studies
EDU 497 Methods: K-8 Science
EDU 497 Methods: PK-8 Reading

  Block I
Block II


EDU 495 Student Teaching
EDU 494 Professional Portfolio



Click here for a printable PDF version of the elementary education major requirements.

Click here for a printable PDF demonstrating how the elementary education major requirements fulfill UM's General Education Requirements.

Prior to admission to the Teacher Education Program, which is usually at the end of the sophomore year, students are considered Pre-Education majors and are advised by the Education Academic Advisor in the College of Education and Human Sciences. After admission to the Teacher Education Program, candidates are considered Elementary Education majors and begin completing the professional studies requirements. They continue to work with the Education Advisor for scheduling purposes and are also assigned a faculty member (mentor) within the Department of Curriculum and Instruction to mentor them in areas of academic and professional interests.

Individuals who have already earned a bachelor degree and are interested in obtaining an elementary teaching license have two options for doing so. They can enroll as post-baccalaureate students and complete the program described above for undergraduate credit, or they can apply for the master of education degree (M.Ed.) program in Curriculum and Instruction with initial licensure. Please visit the master of education program website for more information.

Transfer students, post-baccalaureate students, and graduate students should consult the Education Advisor for transcript evaluation. (See below for contact information.)

Please visit the UM Mathematics Education blog to learn more about M 135 and M 136. You may also find contact information for all individuals involved with mathematics education on the UM campus.

Area of Concentration Requirement
Twelve of the 128 credits required for the baccalaureate degree in elementary education must consist of an area of concentration. Areas of concentration are selected from one of the following six categories: (1) English/language arts; (2) fine arts; (3) health and human performance; (4) mathematics; (5) science; and (6) social science. See the elementary education major course requirements above for a complete list of areas of concentration.

Students should keep in mind that completing a second teaching major, a teaching minor or K-12 endorsement can take the place of a general area of concentration. These options, unlike an area of concentration, lead to a separate endorsement on the teaching license, which could increase an individual’s future employment options.

The K-12 minor endorsement areas include special education, library media, reading/literacy, and English as a second language. Students must have full admission to the Teacher Education Program or be a licensed teacher before applying to one of these specialized programs.

Teaching minors and K-12 endorsements do require a greater number of credits than the twelve necessary for an area of concentration. This should not deter students from pursuing these options, however. Students are urged to consult their advisor to discuss their options and develop an appropriate long-range course plan.

Admission to the Teacher Education Program
All students seeking licensure to teach must apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP). Admission to the TEP is required before students can enroll in licensure (EDU) courses. Admission is limited to approximately 125 elementary and 125 secondary candidates per year. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission.  Undergraduate deadlines for applications are September 15th and February 15th. Students are eligible for consideration for admission if they have:

  • been admitted to the University of Montana
  • completed at least 30 semester credits (not including developmental or technical courses)
  • achieved a minimum cumulative GPA (including all transfer credits) of 2.75
  • achieved or making progress toward a 2.75 GPA in the Elementary Core courses
  • completed an English composition course (WRIT 101), with a grade of C- or better
  • evidence of competent writing ability as provided in an application writing sample
  • appropriate experience working with children or youth
  • supportive recommendations from two faculty members familiar with the applicant's college-level academic work
  • results from a completed national fingerprint-based background check (Background check packets are available in the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences in Teacher Education Services.)

Please click here to read a handout that contains TEP application information and suggestions for successful preparation.

The Teacher Education Program application may be downloaded here.

Licensure and Testing Requirements
Beginning Spring 2013, candidates completing teacher preparation programs through any of the accredited postsecondary institutions in Montana must meet the requirements described below to be recommended for licensure. This policy is the result of ongoing dialogue and consensus with the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the Montana Council of Deans of Education. This policy insures consistency across state programs. It also assures Montana school districts and teacher candidates that they meet the federal highly qualified teacher (HQT) regulations in Montana as defined by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 2001.

Elementary Education teacher candidates shall pass the Montana Assessment for Content Knowledge with at least a score of 7 to be recommended for licensure by an accredited Montana postsecondary education preparation program. The possible range for the Content Knowledge Score (CKS) is 0-11. Teacher candidates scoring lower than CKS = 7, or who score zero on any of the three multiple measures, shall not be recommended for licensure. This multiple measure assessment consists of content coursework GPA, an assessment of content knowledge demonstrated during student teaching, and a passing score on the Praxis II Elementary Content Knowledge test (0014 or 5014). Click here for a pdf of the multiple measure assessment. Teacher candidates earning a minor must complete the minor program of study and pass the appropriate Praxis II content knowledge test. Testing requirements vary by content area. Please visit Teacher Education Services for a list of current required state-approved tests if you are completing a program other than elementary education.

Contact Information

For general inquiries and to schedule appointments, please contact:

Katie Mulford
Teacher Education Services Support Specialist
Jayna Lutz
Academic Advisor
Teacher Education Services