A young student sits next to a teacher in a field looking at a math workbook
Undergraduate | In-Person

Elementary Education, BA/BS

Children’s most formative years are their youngest years. That places the teachers of our youngest learners at the most critical point of students’ academic careers. While challenging, this makes your job purposeful, impactful and rewarding.

Why Major in Elementary Education? 

There has never been a more important or a more exciting time to consider a career as an elementary school educator. At ground zero for learning, elementary educators teach, nurture, support and love students as they grow and develop academically, socially and emotionally.

Belmont College of Education faculty places great emphasis on advocacy for families and children, particularly children from traditionally underserved populations.

Belmont’s College of Education offers two undergraduate degree programs for preparing early childhood and elementary educators:

Elementary Education: Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, B.A./B.S. (K-5 Licensure)

What You'll Learn 

  • Gain an understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments enable each learner to meet high standards. 
  • Create learning experiences that make the central concepts, tool of inquiry and structures of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content. 
  • Develop multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making. 
  • Plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Program Details


The elementary education major leads to either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science and requires 128 hours of coursework.

  • BELL Core requirements: 53 hours
  • Minor requirements: 18 hours
  • General electives: 9 hours

See All Program Requirements

Courses You'll Take

  • EDU 2100 Foundations of Education
    This course provides an overview of the historical and sociological development of the American education systems and instructs candidates to use advocacy for children, families and the profession to uncover unconscious bias and to critically analyze the myths that exist about American education.
  • EDU 2110 Educational Psychology
    A study is made of the processes of education, including such topics as learning, motivation, human growth and development, individual differences, evaluation of achievement, personality and techniques of studying education.
  • EDU 2221 Child Development, Education and Guidance
    This course emphasizes the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of children; the responsibilities of parents; and guidance of children through age eight. Field experience is required. This course is required for early childhood endorsement.
  • EDU 3800 Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners in the Classroom
    Overview of exceptionalities; introduction to pedagogical, curricular and social considerations involved in educating diverse learners in the classroom. The course has a practicum component.
  • MTH 1060 Mathematics for Elementary Teachers II
    Topics include data analysis, probability, geometry and measurement. Critical thinking and problem solving will be emphasized. This course will not count toward either a major or a minor in mathematics.
  • EDU 1160 The Practice of Education Seminar I
    A discussion of topics related to the practice of teaching. This seminar will prepare future teachers to complete work necessary to complete the Gateway 2 Interview in the College of Education to earn teacher certification in the state of Tennessee.
  • EDU 2160 The Practice of Education Seminar II
    A discussion of topics related to the practice of teaching. This seminar will prepare future teachers to complete work necessary to complete the Gateway 3 Interview in the College of Education to earn teacher certification in the state of Tennessee.
  • EDU 3030 Literacy I
    This course includes the various theories and methods of reading instruction from the readiness period through the intermediate grades. Current research materials, diagnostic procedures and remediation techniques are emphasized.
  • EDU 3040 Mathematics in the Elementary School
    This course emphasizes basic concepts in mathematics, with application to elementary school mathematics and suggestions for teaching these concepts. For elementary teacher licensure only.
  • EDU 3160 The Practice of Education Seminar III
    A discussion of topics related to the practice of teaching. This last seminar will prepare future teachers to complete final requirements for earning teacher certification in the state of Tennessee and in preparation for the School of Education’s Gateway 4 Interview.
  • EDU 3530 Assessment for Decision Making
    Collection and use of educational data to assess and teach students with diverse learning needs. Educational planning, material adaptation and curriculum development will also be addressed.
  • EDU 4230 Literacy II
    Reading, writing, speaking and listening are studied. Emphasis is put on the selection and organization of materials and on the evaluation of pupil growth in the language arts.
  • SCI 4250 Science in the Elementary School
    This course stresses the examination, design and evaluation of experiences for teaching science in the elementary school. Science content is stressed.
  • Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School
    This course focuses upon the objectives of teaching social studies in the elementary school and how resources may be discovered, used and evaluated in the attainment of these objectives. Content is stressed with special emphasis given to geography as an example of the social studies.
  • EDU 4201 Classroom Management PK-5
    Seminar in teaching, designed to help students be better prepared for their enhanced student teaching experience. This course will also use both quantitative and qualitative research to better understand theories of effective classroom organization and management. Based on research findings and reflective inquiry, the students will refine/design proactive systems of classroom organization and management within the contexts of their student teaching placements.
  • EDU 4404 Student Teaching in Elementary Grades
    This laboratory course gives the teacher candidate experience in two elementary school settings with one of the placements serving students with diverse backgrounds. Teacher candidates will have the opportunity to observe and use appropriate classroom instructional methods and procedures under the direct supervision of an experienced mentor teacher.
  • EDU 4110 Reflective Teaching
    This reflective or inquiry-oriented course looks at the complicated activity of teaching and the conceptual schemata teachers must acquire. Emphasis is placed on developing teaching habits that are consciously informed actions. The course will also require candidates to complete an Action research project to demonstrate their impact on student learning.

Master of Arts in Teaching 4+1 

All Students interested in earning a Master's degree can do so in our 4+1 program, allowing students to earn a Master's degree and initial teaching licensure in 5 years.  The program offers a year-long internship experience across two diverse settings under the guidance of licensed experienced teachers. The intern program entails being school based during the day (following the school district’s schedule) and attending classes in the evening. The internship portion of the program runs from fall to spring only, and candidates must have completed the professional core courses before entering the internship part of the program.  This means undergraduate students will major in a core subject area (History, Science, English, Math) and minor in Education and then select a licensure area concentration in their Master's year.

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Teaching program

Belmont Teacher Education candidates have many opportunities to practice their advocacy, leadership and teaching skills through participation in Belmont’s service-learning and volunteer opportunities as well as education department-specific opportunities.

Candidates should explore coaching, teaching and tutoring opportunities, as well as create their own opportunities as they engage in service in their new home community of Nashville.

Our community partners include area charter, independent and public schools, as well as nonprofit and for profit community agencies serving Nashville’s families. Belmont University requires all students to be engaged in community and service-learning opportunities but it is not uncommon for teacher education candidates to go beyond the required hours and in a number of opportunities take leadership roles.

Below are some of the opportunities in which our candidates engage:

Belmont’s Service-Learning and Volunteer Opportunities
Through Get Connected, Belmont’s online volunteer service directory, our candidates can connect with more than 70 area organizations where they can connect and serve. Our teacher candidates take seriously the opportunity to serve the greater-Nashville community and volunteer in programs such as: English Language Tutors with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, athletic coaches with area middle schools, tutoring programs with the YMCA, Martha O’Bryan Center and area faith-based programs.

Best Buddies©
BESTBUDDIES® builds one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), through school and community friendship programs that provide socialization opportunities to help erase the invisible line that often separates students or adults with and without IDD. Best Buddies at Belmont is an active student organization where Belmont students and community members with IDD become friends and hang out together with the focus on reducing barriers and building inclusive communities focused on strengths and relationships.

Homework Hotline
Homework Hotline is the largest provider of tutoring in Tennessee, the only service available by phone, and the only program that provides tutoring in six languages. Belmont University candidates serve as a volunteer satellite of Homework Hotline, housed on the Belmont campus. In this way, Belmont University students practice teaching techniques while providing one-on-one tutoring to at-risk children.

Kappa Delta Pi National Education Society
Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), International Honor Society in Education, fosters excellence in education and promotes fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. Belmont’s Nu Phi Chapter is additionally concerned with assisting the community and has been involved with food drives, raising funds for local literacy programs, as well as helping with Homework Hotline.

Student Teacher Education Association
Through its affiliation with the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) and the National Education Association (NEA), our student program leads tomorrow's teachers to a bright professional future. STEA exists to help our members move smoothly from student on campus to beginning teacher. This is achieved through a variety of avenues including organization meetings with speakers who highlight opportunities at Belmont and beyond to broaden understanding of what it means to be an educator, discussion of issues and trends in education, conference attendance for members to network and develop professionally, and a focus on service to communities and families. STEA is proud to work with Belmont University for Annual Family Literacy Day each spring by forming a reading circle where we read aloud books around a theme with children from the community. We also collect canned goods for local food banks as well as school supplies for teachers and children in Nashville Public Schools. Each spring we also host a campus-wide Valentine’s Day card-making event for the children and families of the Ronald McDonald House and residents of local nursing homes. STEA provides all of the art supplies and the students provide the creativity for these amazing hand-made cards.

Create a BU4U account to apply, request information, and more! Please choose the Traditional Undergraduate Application to apply for admission as a traditional freshman, traditional transfer, undergraduate non-degree seeking or undergraduate re-enroll student.

Belmont University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Belmont University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

Belmont’s Teacher Education Program is approved by the Tennessee Department of Education and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) legacy site visit of 2021.

The Belmont University School of Music is a fully-accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

The Watkins College of Art at Belmont University is an Accredited Institutional Member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Alumni Testimonial

thumb-alum-chasity-donald-coe.png"I student-taught at Waverly-Belmont. I made so many connections with the teachers and staff at the school using the knowledge and training that I received at Belmont that by February of that year, I had already accepted a job at the school. This is now the school I am teaching at and I absolutely love it."

Chasity Donald, Class of 2023

Teacher, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Student Testimonial

"I am so grateful and blessed to be a part of Belmont’s College of Education Program. Every day, I am surrounded by loving friends and faculty who always support me and never fail to put a smile on my face."

Kate D., Class of 2024

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College of Education

Hallie Caddy
Admissions Coordinator
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