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BA in Elementary Education

Elementary Education (BA)

Offered by the School of Education, College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission to the Program

Admission to Candidacy in Teacher Education

Undergraduates seeking teacher certification in elementary education should contact an advisor in the School of Education as early as possible. Admission to the university and declaration of a major does not constitute admission to candidacy in teacher education, which is based on academic and related performance criteria.

To be admitted to candidacy, students must earn a passing score (as set by the District of Columbia teacher licensing agency) on the PRAXIS CORE or equivalency exam; earn an average grade of 2.70 or higher in EDU-205 Schools and Society FA4 (3) and EDU-420 Psychology of Education (3), pass EDU-321 Field Experience: Observation and Analysis (1), receive satisfactory recommendations from faculty, and have an overall cumulative grade point average of 2.70 or higher. The Teacher Education Committee reviews student applications. Decisions regarding admission to candidacy are made by this committee based on academic performance and references.

Liberal Arts and Science Requirements for Teacher Certification: Elementary

To qualify for teacher certification, students must have completed all of the requirements from the specific curricular areas listed below. Some requirements may overlap with the university General Education requirements. Consult a School of Education advisor for more information.

  • Literature: 3 credit hours in addition to WRTG-101 
  • The Arts: 3 credit hours
  • Health: 3 credit hours
  • United States history: 3 credit hours
  • Social science: 3 credit hours
  • Biological science: 3 credit hours
  • Physical science: 3 credit hours

Note: biological or physical science must include a lab.

  • 120 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better
  • Completion of college writing requirement
  • Completion of university mathematics requirement

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline

Note: Students must consult with an advisor from the School of Education as early as possible to discuss the coordination of General Education requirements with certification requirements.

Major Requirements

  • 74 credit hours with grades of C or better, including 15 to 17 credit hours in a concentration
  • An overall cumulative grade point average of 2.70 or higher
  • All students must complete the Praxis II Exam prior to graduation.

Course Requirements

Required (59 credit hours)

Concentration or Minor (15-17 credit hours)

  • 15-17 credit hours in one of the following concentrations in Art, Biology, History, Literature, Mathematics, or Music; or with approval, students may complete a minor in place of the concentration:

Art (15 credit hours)

Biology (17 credit hours)

History (15 credit hours)

Literature (15 credit hours)

Mathematics (17 credit hours)

Three approved courses at the 300-level or above

Music (16 credit hours)

Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.