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Elementary Education Major

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**Available to students entering on or after fall 2022.**

The elementary education major leads to initial licensure in Virginia and prepares educators for the 21st century classroom. Powerful teaching results from the interplay of in-depth knowledge of, inquiry into, and reflection upon: children and child development, teaching and learning processes, the children themselves, and the contexts of their lives at home and at school. 

Elementary teachers are one of the 10 critical shortage areas in Virginia

Excellent job placement track record

Graduates teach elementary schools across the country

Total Credit Hours: 120

Major Courses (64 hours)

Elective Courses (14 hours)

General Education (42 hours)

All required coursework and practical experience prepares students for licensure in Elementary Education (Grades PK through 6) in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

What You'll Study

  • 120 credit hours for a Bachelor of Science in Education, including Virginia Tech’s Pathways
  • 61 credit hours of education courses, which includes field work and practicum courses, Educational Psychology for PK-12 Teachers, Educating Exceptional Learners, and Elementary Teaching methods
  • Practical, in-classroom opportunities with experienced educators
  • 30 credit hours of content courses including English, science, history, math, and child development


Curious how the degree requirements will fit into your experience at Virginia Tech? See the roadmaps below for a sample schedule of courses each year. Your academic advisor will help you create a personalized version based on your goals and other areas of interest. The individualized plan will also include your AP, IB, dual enrollment, or transfer credit.

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What is a Major in Elementary Education?

The elementary education major at Virginia Tech prepares for initial licensure in Virginia and leads elementary teachers to be successful classroom teachers. You will learn to develop instruction that welcomes students’ cultural contexts and lived experiences as they engage academically. You will examine a variety of instructional approaches across content areas and understand how to use assessment data to guide your instruction to meet the diverse needs of all students. You'll also learn how to plan lessons that provide for differentiation, accommodation, and modification to meet those needs. 

Why study Elementary Education here?

The major strives to identify and recruit elementary teacher candidates, especially from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Students complete a variety of field experiences and other simulations that allow them to develop and practice their teaching skills with a focus on research-based practices that advance student learning and equity. Our teacher candidates enjoy multiple placements in local school districts with diverse student populations. We encourage engagement in ongoing inquiry into teaching and learning, and provide you with opportunities to practice in the examination of classroom management and design.

Beyond the Classroom

Strong Community 

Student Organizations: 

Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), the International Honor Society in Education

Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA)

Professional Organizations: 

National Council of Social Studies

 Virginia State Literacy Association

students in class

Get Experience

Our program offers in-classroom opportunities that prepare preservice teachers for employment immediately after graduation. Students' complete student teaching in local classrooms, additional optional field study, and volunteer in the community. Preservice teachers participate in field trips to prepare for engaging with community resources for additional instructional opportunities.  


student teacher


Our faculty work with you to advise you on pedagogy, research, and the breadth of opportunities that education opens for you. You can design your own research project, working closely with a faculty advisor to plan a course of action, or you can participate in a collaborative project where you help a faculty member with their research. 



What Our Students Are Saying

Careers and Further Study

What do I do with an Elementary Education major?

Our students will be prepared for licensure in Virginia, which offers licensure reciprocity with states across the U.S. Our teacher candidates have practical experiences that help them land a job after graduation. They also develop expertise that is relevant for their professional and personal future growth. Some graduates choose to teach for several years, and then go on to graduate school to expand their career opportunities. Here are some common job titles of our graduates: 

  • Elementary Teacher
  • Education Consultant
  • Private Tutor
  • Online Educator
  • Academic Advisor
  • Teacher Educators