A teacher working with students.

An elementary school teacher not only helps children learn, but prepares tomorrow's leaders. Our bachelor's degree in elementary education prepares you to teach kindergarten through sixth grade.

As an elementary education major, you'll have multiple opportunities to work with children and teachers in local schools and community organizations. While gaining a foundation in a wide range of subjects, you'll also choose a specific area of emphasis through one of 12 concentration areas.

Achieving Academic ExcellenceStacey Allred
Stacey Allred

Stacey Allred wants students to learn without realizing they are learning. Learn more about her work.


Program Benefits

You'll learn from and work directly with dedicated faculty members who have at least three years of professional experience in classrooms and other school settings.

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We prepare teachers who are culturally responsive and committed to social justice through engagement with the community.

Our programs offer real-world applications and immersive learning projects, in which you'll gain valuable, hands-on experience working alongside community organizations such as museums, childcare centers, and community agencies.

You also have a variety of opportunities to travel and learn, including studying abroad in England and student teaching in Texas or Germany.

Study Abroad SCC Immersive Learning

As a freshman, you’ll live in Palmer/Davidson Halls with other Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies students.

Our Living-Learning Community will allow you to get to know your classmates and connect with our campus through team-building activities that promote higher academic achievement.

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You'll begin working in the field, directly with students and professional teachers, and this will continue through student teaching to graduation.

Through Ball State's Professional Development Schools program, we partner with a number of elementary schools and early childhood centers to provide placements for our practicum students and student teachers. 

Our Urban Experience, which has been running for more than 20 years, will allow you to take all of your courses off campus at a school in the Indianapolis area. This program is during the first semester of your senior year, which allows you stay in the district to student teach, if you wish.

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Dual Major with Special Education

Dual majoring with special education will make you a highly skilled teacher licensed to work with both general education students and students who require mild interventions to be successful. Learn more about our special education program.

General Requirements

A bachelor of arts or bachelor of sciences in elementary education blends our University Core Curriculum with professional education classes and a concentration area, which gives you an area of specialization.

During your junior year, you must be admitted to the teaching curriculum with a "C" or better on identified courses and a 2.5 GPA.

For a complete list of all courses, their descriptions, and other requirements, please see our Course Catalog.

View Course Catalog

Total Credits


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National Accreditation

The Teachers College is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Learn more.


From complex mathematical equations to recognizing great works of art, elementary and early childhood teachers must have a wide background of knowledge. Our majors will also have deeper knowledge in a particular area of interest through choosing a concentration area.

We recommend you consult with your advisor and other professionals when making a decision on your concentration area. You may also consider adding complementary minors, licensure areas, or certificates to further increase your marketability.

Our English as a New Language concentration will prepare you to work with non-native speakers in English. This includes helping them with listening, writing, reading, and speaking skills.

You may also apply credits from these courses to a licensure in Teaching English as a Second Language.


  • English Linguistics for Educators
  • Theory and Research in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Methods and Materials in TESOL
  • Practicum in TESOL

A concentration in gifted and talented will further prepare you to meet the educational, social, and emotional needs of high ability students.


  • Intro to Gifted and Talented
  • Identification and Evaluation of Gifted Students
  • Models and Strategies for Gifted Students
  • Development of Creative Thinking OR Social and Emotional Needs for Gifted Students

This concentration will enable you to better meet the needs of the youngest elementary school children, particularly those in kindergarten through grade 2.


  • Family and Community Relations
  • Creative Experiences for Young Children
  • Kindergarten Education
  • Early Emergent Literacy

You'll explore, in depth, the theory and content of the study of literature, writing, and language as they relate to the elementary classroom with our Language Arts concentration.


  • Developing Elementary English Language Arts with Multicultural Literature
  • Teaching Writing in the Elementary Grades
  • Literature for Young Children
  • Trends & Issues in the Teaching of Elementary English Language Arts Seminar

Gain an understanding of content standards for the K-12 math curriculum.

You may also apply these courses toward licensure in middle school mathematics.


  • Algebra for Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  • Number Theory for Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  • Geometry for Elementary and Middle School Teachers
Choose One
  • Elementary Probability Statistics
  • Technology for Teaching and Assessing Mathematics

Focus your interest in a language, while at the same time earn a departmental minor in that language.

Classical Culture Option
  • Classical Literature in English Translations
  • Classical Mythology and Theory
  • two additional courses in classical culture, Greek, or Latin
French Option
  • Intermediate French 2
  • Conversation
  • Composition
  • an additional 300- or 400-level French course
German Option
  • Intermediate German 2
  • Conversation
  • Composition
  • an additional 300- or 400-level German course
Japanese Option
  • Intermediate Japanese 2
  • Advanced Japanese 1
  • Advanced Japanese 2
Spanish Option
  • Intermediate Spanish 2
  • Conversation and Grammar
  • Composition and Grammar
  • an additional 300- or 400-level Spanish course
Latin Option
  • Intermediate Latin 2
  • Introduction to Prose 1
  • Introduction to Poetry 1
  • An additional 300- or 400-level classical cultures course

Understand the psychology of children-their thinking, feelings, behavior, development, and learning-as well as the measurement of these characteristics and the environments where they occur.


Four of the following:

  • Fundamentals of Counseling
  • Psychological Interventions
  • Cross-Cultural Counseling
  • Behavior Analysis
  • Tests and Measurement
  • Child Psychology
  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Psychology of Human Adjustment
  • Social Psychology
  • Personality

Expand your understanding of literacy curriculum development, gain many extra hours of teaching in an elementary school, and learn how to tailor literacy instruction to diverse learners by completing a reading concentration that also leads to a license.


  • Teaching Reading to Diverse Learners
  • Reading Strategies and Practices
Choose One
  • Disciplinary Literacy in Elementary Schools
  • Early Emergent Literacy

Learn to use scientific knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to solve problems and think critically about the natural world. You'll take a broad range of courses that cover life, earth, and physical sciences.


Take at least three of the following:

  • Astronomy for Teachers
  • The Sun and Stars
  • Principles of Biology 2 (4 credits)
  • People and Chemistry
  • Genetic, Organic, Biochemical, and Health Sciences (5 credits)
  • Planet Earth and the Geological Environment
  • Earth, Life, and Time

Help lead to the development of solutions that help and extend our capabilities as people with our concentration in Technology. You'll acquire specialized professional knowledge beyond the minimum technical benchmarks expected of all future teachers.


  • Curriculum Integration of Technology
  • Technology Policy and Ethics
  • Technology and Society
One of the Following
  • Introduction to Computer Science and Web Programming
  • Public School Curriculum
  • Computers in Reading Instruction
  • Multimedia Web Design and Development for Educators
  • Learning and Teaching with Emerging Technology
  • Studies in Educational Technology
  • Visual and Digital Literacies
  • Internship in Educational Technology
  • Capstone in Technology

Understand the relationships among wellness, nutrition, and the family environment with our Wellness concentration. You'll be prepared to identify children at risk and apply problem-solving skills by using appropriate community resources.


  • Family Relations
  • Nutrition for Educators
Two of the Following
  • Child and Family Wellness
  • Parenting
  • Principles in Food Preparation and Food Services
  • Food and Culture

Course Plans

Download one of the following four-year course plans for an overview of a common course of study for our students.

A student teacher working with a young group of students.

Student Teaching

You'll participate in a semester of student teaching. This experience will give you a planned, supervised environment where you will demonstrate the knowledge, performance, and dispositions you learned in your Ball State classes. You may choose to student teach here in Indiana or pursue an opportunity throughout the U.S. or abroad. Learn more.

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of scholarships the university offers its students, our department gives awards every year to its own students to recognize them for their achievements. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in pursuing a licensure in elementary education? The first step is to apply as an undergraduate student to Ball State University.

Get Started

More Information

Place matters, and that is particularly true on our beautiful campus-our size, our people, our culture, and our amenities. Come see it for yourself by scheduling a visit through hour Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Of if you'd rather speak directly to someone in our department, feel free to call or email us.

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