Elementary Education

The Elementary Education program is recognized in the state and region as one of the very best places to learn to become a teacher. The structured sequence of courses and related classroom field experiences help teacher candidates learn how to inspire and support the learning of all children. Our graduates are prepared to become thoughtful, knowledgeable, and effective professionals.

Program Information

Application Due Dates

  • Fall Admission - April 1
  • Winter Admission - October 1
  • Spring Admission - January 15

Approved Academic Majors

The Elementary Education Certificate Program is the professional coursework about teaching and learning. It is not a major. Students do not earn a degree in Elementary Education, but a teaching certificate with an endorsement in Elementary Education. That endorsement qualifies graduates to teach all subjects at the elementary school level. Teaching at the middle school/junior high school level will require meeting additional 'highly qualified' requirements.

Undergraduate students admitted to this program are required to complete an approved academic major. In most circumstances, students may start the major prior to applying to the program. Post-baccalaureate applicants are generally not required to complete a new major; however, they must contact TeacherEd.Admission@wwu.edu to determine if their major is acceptable.

Below are the majors aligned with the Elementary Education Program; however, additional majors  are possible under advisement through the Dept. Chair of the Elementary Education Program.

The approved majors are:

  Anthropology                       General Science & General Science Middle Level Language, Literacy & Cultural Studies*
Art Geography Mathematics
Communication Geology (Earth Science) Psychology (Human Development)
Environmental Studies German Sociology
French History Spanish

*Admission to the Elementary Program is required to declare this major.

Prepare to Apply

Make sure you meet ALL application criteria. Your application will not be reviewed if you do not meet the following criteria.


  • Seek early advising prior to applying.

  • Remember, Elementary Education is not a major, but a professional teacher certification program. You must choose a major (see above). Post-baccalaureate applicants are not required to complete a new major, but are required to have their major reviewed to determine if it is acceptable for this program. Contact TeacherEd.Admission@wwu.edu for review.

  • Meet minimum GPA of 2.75 through either: a) all college coursework, or b) last 45+ credits. Upon request, we will review your transcript and calculate GPA in advance of applying.

  • Take program recommended GURs (unless you are not attending WWU).

  • Complete a minimum of 45 graded credits by the time you apply (no S/U grades). AP and IB credits count toward the 45 graded credits. GPA is calculated based on credits and grade points; AP or IB credit counts toward the 45 required credits, but not GPA. Scores must meet the following criteria.

    • AP credits: We accept exams with a minimum score of 3. We do not accept any AP science.

    • IB credits: We accept exams with a minimum score of 4. We do not accept any IB science.

  • Meet the West-B basic skills requirement by: a) Passing the West-B exam, OR b) Minimum SAT scores, OR c) Minimum ACT scores. See West-B for details. Applicants may not be admitted without meeting this requirement.

  • Complete an English composition course with a minimum grade of B-. Courses that meet this requirement include:

    • English 101, 202, or 203; Communication 101; Journalism 207 and other English composition courses on transcript.

    • AP English Literature or Language; minimum score of 4.

    • International Baccalaureate; minimum score of 4.

    • SAT Writing; minimum score of 710.

  • Applicants are HIGHLY advised to take program course prerequisites PRIOR to applying. Those courses include:

    • LING 201; this is a GUR

      • May take ELL 432 in place of LING 201

      • Other courses might apply, but only with approval of Elementary Education Department 360.650.7948 or Miller Hall 301D.

      • Minimum grade of C

    • SCED 201; this is a GUR

      • Minimum grade of C

      • WWU students must request an override code for SCED 201 - contact Lori Torres

      • WWU students are HIGHLY encouraged to also take SCED 202 and 203 for remaining Natural Science GURs

      • Whatcom CC students should take the equivalent, PHYSC 104

      • Skagit CC students should take the equivalent, PHYS 111

      • Everett CC students should take the equivalent, NAT S 107

    • MATH 112; this is a GUR

      • Minimum grade of C, OR

      • WWU Math Placement Test (General) with a minimum score of 150 required

      • Course more than 5 years old will not be honored

      • For non-WWU students this is an intermediate college Algebra course (Whatcom and Skagit CC this is Math 99)

  • Open, print, and complete the application. Open and word process the Description of Experiences Word Document (You must have one form for each experience). You will be responsible for following the directions for word processing the responses. The rest of the application is hand-written. There is no fee to apply to the program.

  • Enclose copies of all UNOFFICIAL college transcripts including all community college transcripts. IF you have AP or IB credit, you must also submit the WWU Transfer Equivalency Report with the application.

  • If you are not a WWU student, you must also apply to WWU.

  • Submit application by the required due date to:

Teacher Education Admissions
Woodring College of Education, Miller Hall 150
516 High St.
Bellingham, WA 98225-9090
Email: TeacherEd.Admission@wwu.edu
Phone: (360) 650-3310
Fax: (360) 650-6583

Application Review and Decisions

All applicants who meet the minimum requirements and submit a completed application will have that application reviewed by Elementary Education faculty after the due date.

Enrollment restrictions apply. Applications are evaluated to determine the most qualified applicant.

The application process takes approximately 4 weeks to complete. Students will then be notified by letter and email.