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

Applied Linguistics

The major in Applied Linguistics is concerned with increasing the understanding of the role of language in human affairs and thereby with providing the knowledge necessary for those who are responsible for taking language-related decisions whether the need arises in the classroom, the workplace, the law court, or the laboratory.

Educational Studies

The Department of Education offers an undergraduate major and minor in Educational Studies 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.

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 Educational Studies major has 5 pre-approved sites for semester-long study abroad: the University of Edinburgh, Moray House School of Education; Trinity College, Dublin; Danish Institute for Study Abroad, Copenhagen; University of Auckland; and the Washington University Program in Chile. The Chile program has a Spanish language prerequisite. In addition, the summer program sponsored by the School for International Training (SIT) in Durban, South Africa is pre-approved. You may count up to two study abroad courses for your Educational Studies major, but must have the courses approved by your Educational Studies academic advisor.

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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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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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Applied Linguistics Major/Minor

The major in Applied Linguistics is concerned with increasing the understanding of the role of language in human affairs and thereby with providing the knowledge necessary for those who are responsible for taking language-related decisions whether the need arises in the classroom, the workplace, the law court, or the laboratory.

With the major in Applied Linguistics, students learn to evaluate theory and research in different dimensions of the field, such as educational linguistics, second language studies, sociolinguistics, and language policy. Required introductory courses provide the necessary foundation of advanced classes. Courses at all levels include critical analysis of different theories, conceptual models, and research methodologies. Students in Applied Linguistics may engage in international or domestic internships or work with faculty members on their research.

Specifically, the Major in Applied Linguistics at Washington University meets the increasing domestic and international demand for second and foreign language specialists. This major, combined with a major or minor in Educational Studies, any language (Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Swahili, German, Japanese, etc.), Anthropology, Philosophy–Neuroscience–Psychology (PNP), or Psychology, helps students qualify for positions that may involve linguistically and culturally diverse learners in the United States and around the world. The major is also suitable for students who wish to pursue graduate studies in Applied Linguistics, Education, Psychology, and other related fields.

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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.

careers

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. 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.

Visit the bulletin for program requirements