BACHELOR'S
CERTIFICATION

Undergraduate Elementary Teacher Education

Overview & Requirements
Applying
Careers & Field Experience

The elementary teacher education program at the University of Michigan has a strong emphasis on developing teachers’ instructional practices for the purpose of disrupting inequities in schools. Students earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and are recommended to the State of Michigan for elementary teacher certification. Prospective teachers (teaching interns) learn teaching practices that adopt a "subject-matter serious" perspective and are rooted in social justice. Students typically begin the four-term program during their junior year.

First-year students interested in elementary teacher education should consider applying for the Teacher Education Preferred Admissions (TEPA) Program.

The elementary teacher education program aims to support teaching interns and help them become elementary teachers that meet the needs of all their students. Every semester, students participate in both academic and professional coursework, while also working in elementary classrooms. This complementary approach to learning allows students’ knowledge and confidence to grow, as the coursework and fieldwork build upon and expand what they have already learned.

The undergraduate elementary teacher education program prepares you to teach in:
  • Grades K–5 all subjects (K–8 all subjects, self-contained classroom)
  • Grades 6–8, subject-specific classrooms (if the state-mandated test in the endorsement area is passed)
Three Pillars of the Elementary Education Program
  • High Leverage Practices  
  • Ethical Obligations
  • Content Knowledge for Teaching

Post-baccalaureate Certification Only
Students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree (and do not seek a second bachelor’s degree) may apply as a non-degree applicant to the School of Education to complete the teacher certification requirements. This Post-Baccalaureate/Non-Candidate for Degree Status program is for the undergraduate level only. 

Additional Certificate and Endorsement Opportunities
English as a Second Language Teaching Endorsement 
Trauma-Informed Practice Mini-Certificate

Requirements

Students are generally admitted to the Elementary Teacher Education program in their junior year, having completed at least 54 credits. To graduate, students must meet the following requirements while completing a minimum of 120–130 credits.

Total Credit Hours Required
120

Core credits

33

Students complete the following courses:

  • EDUC 303 – Student Teaching Seminar (2 credits)
  • EDUC 391 – Educational Psychology (2 credits)
  • EDUC 392 – Foundations of Education & Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (2 credits)
  • EDUC 392 – Foundations of Education & Working with Families (1 credit)
  • EDUC 401 – Literacy I (3 credits)
  • EDUC 403 – Literacy II (3 credits)
  • EDUC 411 – Teaching Elementary School Math (2 credits)
  • EDUC 414 – Managing to Teach I (1 credit)
  • EDUC 414 – Managing to Teach II (1 credit)
  • EDUC 414 – Managing to Teach III: Beginning the School Year (1 credit)
  • EDUC 415 – Children as Sensemakers I (1 credit)
  • EDUC 415 – Children as Sensemakers II (2 credits)
  • EDUC 416 – Teaching with Curriculum Materials (1 credit)
  • EDUC 421 – Teaching Elementary School Science (2 credits)
  • EDUC 431 – Teaching Elementary Social Studies (3 credits)
  • EDUC 443 – Teaching Students with Exceptionalities (3 credits)
  • EDUC 444 – Digital Technologies K–8 (3 credits)

Teaching experience credits

16

Students complete the following courses:

  • EDUC 301 – Student Teaching
  • EDUC 307 – Practicum and Seminar

Pre-professional credits (for students applying to begin the professional sequence Fall 2021 or later)

18

First-Year Writing (3 credits)

Natural Science (6 credits)

  • PHYSICS 420 – Physical Science
  • One course (3 credits) in a different science discipline from this list*:
    • Astronomy
    • Biology
    • Earth Sciences

Race & Ethnicity (3 credits)

Social Science (6 credits)**

  • Two courses (6 credits) in different social studies disciplines from this list*:
    • Civics/Political Science
    • Economics
    • Geography
    • History

Highly Recommended (not required)

  • EDUC 118, EDUC 119, or EDUC 218**
  • Ethnic Studies
  • EARTH/ASTRO 255 – Earth and Space Sciences for Elementary School Educators
  • MATH 385 – Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers
  • WRITING 350 – Excelling in Upper-Level Writing (Off-campus transfer students only)

* AP credit may be used to satisfy this requirement. Please consult an Academic Advisor for details.
** No double counting with Race & Ethnicity

The Michigan Department of Education is in the process of implementing a new teacher certification structure throughout the state. All educator preparation programs will consequently need to modify their curriculum in order to properly prepare students to meet these new standards. Pending final MDE approval, U-M Ann Arbor will be implementing a new program at the Elementary levels (grades PK-3 and 3-6) starting Fall 2021. We are committed to providing the most accurate information available to prospective students; however, please be aware that specific course requirements are subject to change prior to starting our program.

General studies credits (for currently enrolled students admitted Fall 2020 or earlier)

42

The State of Michigan requires teacher certification candidates to complete an approved program of general or liberal education. This includes English, literature, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural or physical sciences, and the arts:

Humanities (6 credits)

  • Electives

Natural Science (9 credits)

  • EARTH / ASTRO 255
  • PHYSICS 420
  • Biology elective

Social Science (9 credits)

  • HISTORY 260
  • POLSCI 111
  • Linguistics, 100-level

Mathematics (9 credits)

  • MATH 385
  • MATH 489
  • STATS 250 or MATH 105 or higher

Creative Arts (9 credits)

  • PHYSED 255
  • PHYSED 336
  • EDUC 427 or MUSED 408

Endorsement area credits (for currently enrolled students admitted Fall 2020 or earlier)

26–36

Students choose one or more endorsement areas; see Endorsement Areas section for specific area requirements.

Course Sequence

Semester 1 (Fall)

Students engage in 6–8 hours of fieldwork per week. Additional courses may be taken to satisfy general or endorsement area requirements.

Course Description Credits
EDUC 307 Practicum & Seminar

1

EDUC 391 Educational Psychology

2

EDUC 392 Foundations of Education & Culturally Responsive Pedagogy 2
EDUC 401 Literacy I

3

EDUC 414 Managing to Teach I 1
EDUC 415 Children as Sensemakers I 1
EDUC 416 Teaching with Curriculum Materials 1
EDUC 444 Digital Technologies K–8 1
Total credits 12
Semester 2 (Winter)

Students engage in 6–8 hours of fieldwork per week. Additional courses may be taken to satisfy general or endorsement area requirements.

Course Description Credits
EDUC 307 Practicum & Seminar

1

EDUC 403 Literacy II

3

EDUC 414 Managing to Teach II

1

EDUC 415 Children as Sensemakers II 2
EDUC 431 Teaching Elementary Social Studies

3

EDUC 443 Teaching Students with Exceptionalities 1
Total credits 11
Semester 3 (Fall)

Students engage in 10–12 hours of fieldwork per week. Additional courses may be taken to satisfy general or endorsement area requirements.

Course Description Credits
EDUC 307 Practicum & Seminar

2

EDUC 392 Foundations of Education & Working with Families

1

EDUC 411 Teaching Elementary School Math 2
EDUC 414 Managing to Teach III: Beginning the School Year

1

EDUC 421 Teaching Elementary School Science

2

EDUC 444 Digital Technologies K–8 1
Total credits 9
Semester 4 (Winter)

Students engage in fieldwork full time, 5 days per week.

Course Description Credits
EDUC 301 Student Teaching

12

EDUC 303 Student Teaching Seminar

2

EDUC 443 Teaching Students with Exceptionalities 2
EDUC 444 Digital Technologies K–8 1
Total credits 17
Total program credits: 49

Endorsement Areas

under construction

Endorsement Areas

Elementary Integrated Science (minimum 33 credits)*
* Requirements for those currently enrolled (admitted Fall 2020 and earlier)
Requirement Description
BIOLOGY 171 Introductory Biology: Ecology and Evolution
BIOLOGY 172 Introductory Biology: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental
BIOLOGY 173 Introductory Biology: Laboratory
CHEM 125 General Chemistry Laboratory I
CHEM 126 General Chemistry Laboratory II
CHEM 130 General Chemistry: Macroscopic Investigations and Reaction Principles
EARTH 255 Earth and Space Sciences for Elementary School Educators
PHYSICS 420 Physics for Educators
AT/HF 220 Applied Human Anatomy & Physiology
AT/HF 221 Applied Human Anatomy & Physiology Laboratory
Electives Electives (if needed) to meet 33-credit minimum.

Ethical Obligations

Our elementary teacher education program uses nine ethical obligations that serve as principles to guide interns' decision-making while teaching.

High Leverage Practices

Our elementary teacher education program focuses on 19 high-leverage practices that interns develop over time.

Endorsement Areas

Questions?

Questions?

Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective students

Prospective Students

SecMAC Natural History Museum field trip, 2019
Discover more offerings from EPP

Educator Preparation Program

Connect with EPP

Academic Advising

Schedule an academic advising appointment (current and newly admitted students):

https://go.oncehub.com/soeadvisors

Recruitment

Interested in teacher certification? Schedule an appointment with our recruitment team:

https://go.oncehub.com/embed

Contact

Phone: (734) 615-1528
te.program@umich.edu

Application Deadlines

Priority
February 1
Currently enrolled U-M and transfer students
Final
March 1
Currently enrolled U-M and transfer students
January 15
Teacher Education Preferred Admit

Application Process

Step 2: Prepare application materials
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
    • Academic Letter (typically from a professor or instructor): this letter should speak to your intellectual curiosity, preparedness for university study, receptivity to feedback, and/or perseverance. If you are applying to the secondary program, a letter from a professor or instructor from the content area in which you are seeking certification is preferred.
    • Teaching Potential Letter: this letter should comment specifically on your potential to become a successful teacher. This may include personal characteristics; work ability; and capacity to work with people, especially youth. 
    • Your recommenders can submit their letters directly to soeadmissions@umich.edu. Be sure that your recommenders include your name and, if possible, UMID or uniqname.
    • Due to COVID-19, we are aware that complications may arise when seeking
      your letters of recommendation. Please view the letter of recommendation
      requirements *as guidelines* for the type of information we are seeking as
      you determine your two recommenders. We will offer additional flexibility
      as we understand the complications during this time of gathering letters of
      recommendation that speak to these requirements.
  • Essay prompt #1
    • Please answer in approximately 500-1000 words (4000 characters) maximum. 
    • Discuss where you would like to teach and/or the types of students you would like to teach and how you developed this commitment. 
    • Discuss what you are most interested in teaching and why.
    • If you are applying to the secondary program, discuss the academic subject area you are most interested in teaching.
    • If you are applying to the elementary program, discuss a school subject or skill that you are most interested in teaching or a disposition that you are most interested in cultivating.
    • Applicants upload essays directly into the online application. 
  • Essay prompt #2 
    • Please answer in approximately 250 words (2000 characters) maximum. 
    • Describe your experiences (work and/or volunteer) engaging with youth. 
Contact us

Educator Preparation Program & the Office of Student Affairs 
610 East University Ave, Suite 1228 SEB 
p. 734.615.1528 | f. 734.647.9158 
E-mail: te.program@umich.edu 
Scheduling: https://go.oncehub.com/embed

Quick Facts

Part-time option available

No

Scholarships available

Yes

Field placements guaranteed

In-school placements every semester, plus additional courses that occur in schools

Yes

Connect with EPP

Academic Advising

Schedule an academic advising appointment (current and newly admitted students):

https://go.oncehub.com/soeadvisors

Recruitment

Interested in teacher certification? Schedule an appointment with our recruitment team:

https://go.oncehub.com/embed

Contact

Phone: (734) 615-1528
te.program@umich.edu

Careers

89%

of known graduates found employment in education or pursued a higher degree

100%

of known graduates are highly satisfied or satisfied with their current position

100%

of known graduates found a job within 6 months
Hiring organizations and job titles

In-state

Organization Job Title Location
Burns Park Elementary 2nd Grade Teacher Ann Arbor, MI
Distinctive College Prep Redford 2nd Grade Teacher Redford, MI
Erickson Elementary 5th Grade Teacher Ypsilanti, MI
Galesburg-Augusta Primary School 1st Grade Teacher Galesburg, MI
Geer Park Elementary School 3rd Grade Teacher Dearborn, MI
Great Oaks Academy K–5 At-Risk Teacher Warren, MI
Lake Forest Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Sandy Springs, MI

Out-of-state

Organization Job Title Location
Al Hekma International School 4th Grade Teacher Bahrain, UAE
Burr Elementary School 5th Grade Teacher Chicago, IL
Glen Grove School 4th Grade Teacher Glenview, IL
New Highland Academy 3rd Grade Teacher Oakland, CA
Westgate Elementary School 3rd Grade Teacher Fall Church, VA
Great Oaks Academy K–5 At-Risk Teacher Warren, MI

Field Experience

Classroom Experience 

Having a real-world experience within the settings of your chosen profession is an essential part of your educational preparation. In the first three terms, you will spend 6–9 hours per week in classrooms as a teaching intern. You will observe the classroom in action and collect data on student learning and teaching practice. You will contribute to the classroom instruction by tutoring, co-teaching, and planning with mentor teachers and your university partners.

The culminating field experience is the student teaching term, when you will follow the calendar and schedule of your placement classroom for a period of 14–15 weeks. During this experience, you will spend 5 days per week for the full school day immersed in the classroom. You will slowly and deliberately take on all aspects of instructional responsibility, building toward lead teaching, when you will be responsible for most or all aspects of the school experience for your K–8 students. Lead teaching generally happens between the 8th and 10th week of the student teaching experience and lasts 2–3 weeks.

School Partnerships

Substantial field experience in a diverse array of classrooms, urban to rural, is a key component of the program. You will have one field placement in a school in Ann Arbor and at least one placement in a neighboring district. You should expect to be assigned to grade levels spanning K–6.