The Elementary Education B.A. program is committed to preparing outstanding K-6 teachers who will truly realize the capabilities of every learner in their future classrooms.

The Elementary Education program emphasizes learning as a human right, and nurtures creative, responsive, and reflective practitioners who challenge their students to become global citizens in a diverse, ever-changing world.

Program Requirements

The Elementary Education program links research and theory to classroom practice. As you study and learn to become a generalist in the field of elementary education, you increase your content-based knowledge while you work with children in the field.

Your academic advisor, along with the Program Guide, will help guide you through the requirements for degree completion. Download the Program Guide here:

Elementary Education program guide (PDF)


Foundation Courses

Our foundation courses will help you increase your knowledge about the history of education, realize the importance of inclusion of all students in classroom settings, and develop the foundation of knowledge you need to be a great teacher.

  • EPLS:3000 Foundations of Education
  • PSQF:1075 Educational Psychology and Measurement
  • EDTL:4900 Foundations of Special Education
  • EDTL:2122 Creativity, Imagination, Play and Human Development in Art

First Semester Coursework:

  • EDTL:3190 Orientation to Elementary Education
  • EDTL:3002 Technology in the Classroom
  • EDTL:3123 Reading and Responding to Children’s Literature

Methods Courses

The Elementary Education methods courses will help you fine tune your unique pedagogical skills while studying research-based ways of teaching. Each content area methods class includes unique field experience opportunities that allow you to practice what you are learning and develop your skills.

  • EDTL:3120 Methods and Materials: Music for the Classroom Teacher
  • EDTL:3127 Methods and Materials: Physical Education and Health
  • EDTL:3160 Primary Reading and Language Arts Methods, K-3
  • EDTL:3164 Intermediate Reading and Language Arts Methods, 3-6
  • EDTL:4171 Diversity and Exceptionalities in Literacy Instruction
  • EDTL:3161 Social Studies for Elementary Teachers
  • EDTL:3165 Science Methods I
  • EDTL:3166 Science Methods II
  • EDTL:3170 Classroom Management
  • EDTL:3163 Methods Elementary School Mathematics
  • EDTL:3103 Assessment Instructional Planning and Practice

Elementary Education Math Requirements:

  • EDTL:3141 Numbers and Operations
  • EDTL:3142 Geometry and Measurement
  • STAT:1010 Statistics and Society

Elementary Education Field Experiences:

  • EDTL:3174 Elementary Mathematics Practicum
  • EDTL:3172 Elementary Reading Practicum


Students can pursue added endorsements to teach these subjects in grades K-8:

  • Art
  • Language arts
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical education
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Social science (history or social science)
  • Speech communication/theater
  • Special education

K-12 Athletic Coach, PK-12 Talented and Gifted, 5-8 Middle School, and K-12 English as a Second Language are available as additional approval areas. Please see Elementary Endorsements for more information or contact your advisor.

Field Experiences

Field experience (broadly defined) is supervised practice in K-12 classroom settings where you apply your knowledge in working with students. In the Teacher Education Program (TEP), these experiences fall into two main categories:

  • Practicum and pre-student teaching experiences include 80-100+ hours (10 hours before admission) in a variety of settings. Most of these curated experiences are associated with required courses and give you experience in a wide range of subject areas. These practicum are completed prior to student teaching.
  • Student Teaching is an immersive, all day, full-semester placement in a school setting for a minimum of 16 weeks. You will be paired with a supportive, cooperating teacher to help you gain real-world experience in classroom management, lesson planning, and teaching. Student teaching is completed during your final semester in the TEP program.

Teacher Leader Certificate

The Teacher Leader Certificate is a professional development program required of all teacher education students prior to student teaching. You’ll complete six workshops (in-person or online) in high need areas such as: special education instruction; English language learning; social emotional learning; global education; anti-racist education; research development; and gifted and talented education.The certificate also includes a community-based volunteer experience. The certificate’s goal is to train teachers that schools need: technology savvy sincere collaborators, with a vested interest in student achievement.

Admission to the Teacher Education Program

Students must first complete 30 semester hours of course work at Iowa or another institution before applying to the program. Admission also requires completion of 10 hours of Pre-Admission School Field Experience in a K-12 classroom, submission of an essay, resume, two letters of recommendation, and agreeing to a criminal history check. 

Direct-admit, transfer, and international student information is available on the TEP Program Admission page.

After completing the TEP course work, students file a student teaching application and professional progress is reviewed to verify readiness for a student teaching experience. Students seeking elementary teaching licensure in Iowa must complete a semester of student teaching and receive a passing score on the edTPA Program Completion Assessment. 


Iowa’s tuition and fees are among the lowest in the Big Ten. These are the estimated 2020-21 costs of attending the University of Iowa for an undergraduate student enrolled full time (12 or more semester hours) for the fall and spring semesters. These figures include a one-time University Records and Document Fee of $225 for new students.

  • Iowa Residents: $9,830
  • Nonresidents: $31,793

Tuition and fees vary for international students. Tuition and fees for part-time and online students (enrolled for fewer than 12 semester hours per semester) are assessed based on the number of semester hours.

For more information on associated costs of living, please visit the Admissions' finance page. 

Numerous scholarships are available as well. Please visit the university's scholarships page for information.