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Undergraduate Programs

Whether your goal is to teach young minds, discover how humans learn, or better understand educational institutions and policies, the Department of Education at Washington University offers a chance to explore your interests, develop your skills, and begin your journey to a rewarding career. We offer undergraduate programs in the following areas:

Teacher Education

The elementary, middle school, and secondary undergraduate teacher education programs are designed to produce teachers who take an inquiry-oriented approach to education. Based upon the belief that teaching is a complex normative and changing activity, teacher education is viewed as an on-going, problem-solving process as opposed to a search for the "one right" answer or "one best" way.

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Educational Studies

The undergraduate major or minor in Educational Studies is for persons interested in the study of educational processes and institutions. Students in the Educational Studies program apply the perspectives and methods of a number of disciplines to questions about educational institutions, educational processes, and the social and cultural factors that affect them. The program provides an entry point into the study of the multidimensional field of education, analysis, the individual and the collective.

Teacher Education Majors

The Department of Education offers undergraduate majors in Teacher Education with Elementary, Middle School, and Secondary specializations.

Elementary Education

The Elementary Program prepares students to teach grades 1-6 and requires course work in three areas: general education pedagogy, professional elementary education, and a second academic major or minor.

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Middle School Education

The Middle School program prepares students to teach grades 5-9 and requires a major in Education and a major in an appropriate academic area related to either English, science, mathematics, or social science.

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Secondary Education

The Department of Education offers an undergraduate major in Secondary teacher education in specific subject areas. Art and foreign languages are K-12 certifications; all other areas are for grades 9-12. In each case, the certification program involves a major in Education and a major in the appropriate academic area.

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Undergraduate Opportunities

Study Abroad

The Education Department has six pre-approved sites for semester-long study abroad in New Zealand, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Chile, and Australia and two pre-approved sites for summer study abroad in South Africa and across Scandinavia.

Study Abroad Opportunities

International Honor Society in Education

In 2007, the Department of Education reestablished its Kappa Delta Pi chapter. This international honor society is dedicated to scholarship and excellence in education and gives our students access to some of the best resources and brightest minds in education today. Through quality publications, electronic discussion boards, and conferences that bring together top educators and scholars, membership in Kappa Delta Pi ensures that our students stay on the cutting-edge of education theory and practice.

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Honors Program

Honors in the Department of Education involves both the demonstration of acquired knowledge and a report on an original research project. Eligibility is determined by GPA and faculty recommendation.

Honors Program Eligibility

Community Outreach

Many students at Washington University, including education students, choose to give back to the community. Schools and programs in the St. Louis area seek tutors or other volunteers - put your skills to use and make a difference!

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Educational Studies Major & Minor

The Department of Education offers an undergraduate major and minor in Educational Studies for persons interested in the study of educational processes and institutions. The major entails 24 hours of study, while the minor requires 18 hours of advanced study in an area of concentration. The Educational Studies major and minor do not lead to teacher certification. 

Students in the Educational Studies program apply the perspectives and methods of a number of disciplines to questions about educational institutions, educational processes, and the social and cultural factors that affect them. The program provides an entry point into the study of the multidimensional field of education, analysis, the individual and the collective. Psychology, for example, focuses on individual change and growth. Applied linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and political science focus on societal and institutional transformation and stasis. History and philosophy straddle both individual and collective, through examining individual lives and lines of thought and patterns of large change and consistency.

By becoming familiar with both streams in educational research and writing, students in Educational Studies are expected to develop such basic inquiry skills as problem formulation, selection of perspectives to guide inquiry, basic analytic methods, design of empirical research, and the analysis and interpretation of results, as well as critical understanding of how educational institutions function, individuals grow and change, and social groups are shaped by educational processes. These tools should help students to develop the ability to integrate and apply systematic knowledge in order to guide personal action and professional development, and to understand and possibly transform social and institutional policy.

The Educational Studies program is appropriate for social science majors who want to enhance their understanding of the application of systematic knowledge to questions of social educational policy; for students who plan careers in fields where they might deal with issues related to individuals and educational institutions; and for students interested in a broad introduction to educational issues they have confronted as students as well as those they will confront as citizens and parents.

Many occupations - ranging from social worker to psychologist to physician - include a concern for education. Students interested in such education-related occupations should consider the possibility of an Educational Studies major or minor. Upon graduating, many of our alumni become teachers, advisors, advocates, and researchers and work in K-12 education, non-profits, policy organizations, and higher education. Additionally, our graduates go on to complete graduate or professional programs in educational policy, educational research, psychology, sociology, social work, medicine, and law. 

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Education Careers

What can you do with a degree in education? There are a wealth of options both in and outside the classroom! Learn about our career services and see what recent grads are up to.

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