Bachelor's Degrees in Elementary Education: Online & Campus-Based Programs

Get information about degree options for aspiring elementary school teachers. Learn about classes usually offered in these programs along with requirements for employment. Schools offering Elementary Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Admissions Requirements Exist for a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education?

Prerequisites for online and campus-based elementary education programs are about the same and typically include a high school diploma or the equivalent. You may need to demonstrate that you've worked with children in the past and complete an interview with a member of the faculty. You may also need to pass a Praxis I test prior to enrollment. According to the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers the test, most states require individuals who want to teach to take the Praxis (

Many online programs require that you have 40-60 undergraduate credits prior to enrollment. This can be obtained from an associate's degree or by completing general education credits.

Program PrerequisitesHigh school diploma or equivalent, Praxis I test; prior experience working with children may be helpful
Common CoursesLiteracy for young children, methods of teaching, classroom management, cultural diversity, educational studies
Online Program DetailsCoursework can be online, but programs may have some on-campus requirements; student teaching in a school setting required
Median Salary (2014)$53,760* (for kindergarten and elementary teachers)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is Covered in this Program?

Through online and campus-based bachelor's degree programs in elementary education, you will learn to teach children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The program involves creating lesson plans with projects and assignments to facilitate learning and teach math and science. Some courses cover testing and assessment. You may also study educational psychology and child development so you can note abnormal behaviors, which could indicate a learning disorder. Other topics could include:

  • Literacy for young children
  • Perspectives in education
  • Methods of teaching
  • Planning and integrating curricula
  • Classroom management
  • Cultural diversity
  • Educational studies
  • School and society

How Do Programs Work?

Many online programs are actually hybrids, which combine online learning with in-class instruction. This means you may have to be on campus once per week, once per semester or once per year for tests, residencies, seminars or training sessions. The on-campus courses cover similar material. For both program formats, you'll learn to use modern technologies, such as cell phones, computers and the Internet, to enhance your teaching skills.

The completion of your online or on-campus courses will culminate in a student teaching experience, which usually takes a semester. You will gain hands-on experience working with other educators to teach students, create lesson plans and grade tests and assignments.

Will I Be Ready to Teach Right After Graduation?

Besides your degree, you need a license from the state you plan to teach in before you can work as an elementary school teacher in a public school, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). You may be able to teach in a private elementary school without a teaching license. The BLS says that most states require that you demonstrate competency in basic skills, although other requirements vary by state ( The ETS explains that a Praxis II test is part of many states' licensure processes. In 2014, elementary teachers made a median annual salary of $53,760, according to the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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