Course work in the Elementary Education program is designed to provide a coherent learning experience that culminates in a successful student teaching semester. At CU Boulder, teacher licensure is structured around a “degree plus licensure” framework. Undergraduate students that plan to pursue careers as elementary school teachers may complete the teacher certification program in conjunction with their bachelor’s degree. The elementary program requires 41 semester hours of education (EDUC) coursework in addition to a student’s major requirements. Students who plan their coursework carefully can complete the requirements for their degree and the teaching license in four years

Checklist of required courses for Elementary Licensure Program. 

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Elementary Education program is competitive; satisfying the minimum criteria does not guarantee acceptance. Please also note that some requirements will take longer than others to complete. All applicants should plan accordingly.

Two cohorts of students will be admitted for each fall semester, and one cohort of students will be admitted each spring semester. Approximately 25 students compose a cohort.

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following:

  1. Minimum 2.75 GPA overall
  2. At least 26 semester hours of college coursework completed or in progress
  3. 25 hours of youth interaction with children ages 5-12, within the past five years. Unacceptable experiences are any form of peer counseling performed in high school, any work as a babysitter or nanny, any experience supervised by a relative or friend, and any experience involving your own children, relatives, or a friend’s children.
  4. Demonstration of Basic Skills (Math and Verbal). The state of Colorado mandates that all teacher education students demonstrate basic skill competence in mathematics and literacy. Students may complete an appropriate course in mathematics and composition with a grade of “B-” or better, or submit an approved standardized test score.

Application Process

Please refer to the Undergraduate Application Instructions for the application process and all application materials.

There are a number of reasons that an applicant may be denied admission, such as number of spaces available in a cohort and the overall strength of the applicant pool. Students whose applications are rejected are encouraged to improve their application and reapply for a future term.

Elementary applicants can begin the program in either the fall or spring semester.

Applications to the teacher education program are considered on a rolling admissions basis.

Fall Term:

  • February 1: Priority deadline for admission notification by mid-March.
  • April 15: Deadline to submit materials for admission notification by July.
  • After April 15: we will consider applications on a rolling, space-available basis.

Spring Term:

  • September 15: Priority deadline for admission notification by mid-October.
  • November 1: Deadline to submit application materials for admission notification by mid-December.
  • After November 1: we will consider applications on a rolling, space-available basis.

All application materials must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the deadline in order to be considered. 

Program Requirements

Coursework in the Elementary Education program is designed to provide a coherent learning experience that culminates in a successful student teaching semester.  The program is a four-semester sequence that candidates may start in either fall or spring semester. Two courses are prerequisite courses that may be taken prior to admission to the program or in the first two semesters.

Three education courses, EDUC 3013, EDUC 4411, and EDUC 4311 are required for the program but may be taken prior to admission. Although not required, students interested in the Elementary teaching license are encouraged to take EDUC 3013 during the fall semester of their sophomore year and EDUC 4411 during the spring semester of their sophomore year. Both courses provide students with an introduction to the education program and are a good representation of what students can expect throughout the program. In addition to the School of Education requirements, Elementary candidates must satisfy Liberal Arts requirements to prepare them in the necessary content knowledge.

Bachelor’s Degree Major

We recommend that students in the Elementary Education program declare one of the following majors, as it is possible to graduate with the degree and teaching license in four years. Students that do not declare one of the majors below may still enroll in the teacher education program. However, it may require more than four years to complete the requirements for both programs and there may be stipulations to your admission.


Ethnic Studies
Political Science

*Several additional majors are pending Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) approval. We will update this list as majors are approved.

Liberal Arts Course Requirements

Liberal Arts requirements do not need to be completed in order to apply to the program. However, all requirements must be satisfied prior to the student teaching semester. The Liberal Arts requirements have been aligned with the Common Core requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences as much as possible. Students that carefully plan their schedule can satisfy degree requirements and Education requirements simultaneously.

Student Teaching

In the final semester, candidates student teach for a minimum of 17 weeks. This involves a full-time (all day) commitment. To student teach, candidates must complete all course requirements and pass a state-approved content area licensure exam prior to the Student Teaching semester.