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Bachelor of Arts

Elementary Education Degree

Leads to Teacher Licensure


This Online Elementary Education Degree Qualifies You to Become a Licensed Teacher


Raise your hand if you're passionate about education and love working with young students! If you want to become an elementary teacher, a bachelor's degree in elementary education is exactly what you've been looking for. Put your passion to work with an elementary education degree and teaching career where you can make a meaningful contribution in students' lives as a licensed teacher. This online bachelor's education degree program gives you the skills and credentials you need to educate and care for diverse learners. And this online teaching degree program prepares you for teacher licensure in any of the 50 states, so you will be qualified to obtain your teaching certification no matter where you live. Learn more about teacher licenses in your state.

This bachelor's in elementary education program includes coursework and assessments, as well as a preclinical experience that includes observation hours. While you’ll complete your coursework online, you’ll also get in-classroom experience with a Demonstration Teaching component hosted by an experienced elementary teacher and directed by a clinical supervisor.   

63% of graduates finish within 

30 Months*

WGU lets you move more quickly through material you already know and advance as soon as you're ready. The result: You may finish this teaching bachelor's degree faster.

*WGU Internal Data

Tuition per six-month term is


Do the math and you'll see that you're in control of the cost of your teaching degree. We charge tuition per-term instead of per-credit. Finish faster, pay less!

On average, students transfer

28 credits

Your associate’s degree or previous college may waive some courses through transfer. We review your transcripts for transfer credits, helping you accelerate this bachelor's degree in education.

Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?

Next Start Date: May 1

Start Dates the 1st of Every Month


Elementary Education Courses

Online elementary education courses focused on learning techniques for different kinds of students.

Earning a B.A. in Elementary Education provides theoretical depth and practical experience combined with curriculum planning and classroom management skills. Our goal is to help you connect with students of various levels with different learning techniques and strategies. This teaching degree program is nationally recognized by the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI). This online elementary education bachelor's degree program was designed (and is regularly updated) with input from the experts on our Education Program Council. These experts know exactly what it takes for a graduate to qualify for a teacher’s license and be successful in a career teaching elementary school students. 

Some of the courses in this program may be waived through transfer from your previous college experience. The rest you will complete one at a time as you make your way through your program, working with your Program Mentor each term to build your personalized Degree Plan. You’ll work through each course as quickly as you can study and learn the material. This means that you can finish as many courses as you're able in a term at no additional cost.

Students will take eight professional core courses that will prepare them to handle unique educational situations and become better teachers. These elementary education courses focus on a variety of important topics including social and emotional learning, and technology and diversity inclusion in the classroom. Plus, students will get to use augmented reality experiences to give them the opportunity to practice their work before entering the classroom. These eight professional core courses are also coupled with preclinical experience to help ensure teachers are ready for their classroom.

This online elementary education degree is focused on helping you and your students thrive. The B.A. Elementary Education teaching program is a mostly online program, with some in-classroom requirements. You will complete your courses by studying and working independently with instruction and support from WGU faculty. You will be expected to complete at least 12 competency units (WGU's equivalent of the credit hour) each 6-month term. (Each course is typically 3 or 4 units.)

Washington students, please note that you will be required to complete one additional course that is not listed below: Survey of Pacific Northwest History for Educators. View the Washington program guide.

General Education
General Science Content
Professional Core
Elementary Education Methods
Pre-Clinical Experiences
Demonstration Teaching

40 Courses

Program consists of 40 courses

At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to help you show that you know your stuff.

Professional Portfolio

Special requirements for this program

You will complete a professional portfolio, which will include your resume and Philosophy of Teaching Statement and serve as a way to showcase the skills you have acquired throughout your degree program and Demonstration Teaching. 

“After completing my degree, my husband also completed his degree at WGU and went back to pursue his master's degree at WGU. It is not unreasonable for our family to say that WGU changed our lives.”

—Amanda Rogers
B.A. Elementary Education

WGU vs. Traditional Universities
Compare the Difference

Traditional Universities



Per credit hour

Flat rate per 6-month term


A counselor you have to schedule time with

An individual Program Mentor who knows your goals and schedule


Scheduled time

Whenever you feel ready


Professor led lectures at a certain time and place

Courses available anytime, from anywhere


Approximately 4 years, minimal acceleration options

As quickly as you can master the material, typically less than 3 years


Few accepted, based on certain schools and specific courses

A generous transfer policy that is based on your specific situation

Traditional Universities



Per credit hour


Flat rate per 6-month term


A counselor you have to schedule time with


An individual Program Mentor who knows your goals and schedule


Scheduled time


Whenever you feel ready


Professor led lectures at a certain time and place


Courses available anytime, from anywhere


Approximately 4 years, minimal acceleration options


As quickly as you can master the material, typically less than 3 years


Few accepted, based on certain schools and specific courses


A generous transfer policy that is based on your specific situation

Why WGU?

You Aren't On Your Own

WGU has Program Mentors who work with you from the day you start, all the way through graduation. They help you set up your Demonstration Teaching, learn about teaching certification in your state, and more. You're not alone when you choose an online education degree at WGU.

On Your Schedule

Students choose WGU for their online teaching degree program because of its flexibility. Whether you already have a full-time job, have responsibilities as a parent, or just have a busy schedule, WGU can work for you.

Licensure In Any State

WGU's online elementary education degree prepares you for a teaching license in any state in the United States. It's valuable to learn the other requirements in your state to know the full process for gaining licensure.

Accredited, Respected,

One important measure of a degree’s value is the reputation of the university where it was earned. When employers, industry leaders, and academic experts hold your alma mater in high esteem, you reap the benefits of that respect. WGU is a pioneer in reinventing higher education for the 21st century, and our quality has been recognized.


An Affordable Elementary Education Bachelor's Degree Program

By charging per six-month term rather than per credit—and empowering students to accelerate through material they know well or learn quickly—WGU helps students control the ultimate cost of their degrees. The faster you complete your program, the less you pay for your degree.

Tuition Calculator
Pay less by completing your program faster

A College Degree Is Within Reach

There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:

The average student loan debt of WGU graduates in 2022 (among those who borrowed) was less than half* the national average.

*WGU undergraduate students have approximately half the debt at graduation compared to the national average, according to the Institute for College Access and Success (2022).

Most WGU students qualify for financial aid, and WGU is approved for federal financial aid and U.S. veterans benefits. 

Many scholarship opportunities are available. Find out what you might be eligible for.


A Different Way to Learn: Degree Programs Designed to Fit Your Life—and All the Demands on Your Time

Professional responsibilities. Family obligations. Personal commitments. At WGU, we understand schedules are tight and often unpredictable for adult students. That’s why we offer a flexible, personalized approach to how education should be. No rigid class schedules. Just a solid, career-focused teaching program that meshes with your current lifestyle. You'll be challenged. You'll work hard. But if you commit yourself and put in the hours needed, WGU makes it possible for you to earn a highly respected degree as a busy working adult.

"Getting my degree from WGU helped me achieve the career I always dreamed of having. It opened doors for me to become a life-long learner and go to a job everyday that I love!”

—Sara Hyde
B.A. Elementary Education


Prepare to Lead your Classroom and Impact the Lives of Students with an Online Elementary Education Degree

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2019 and 2029, over 56,000 new kindergarten and elementary teaching positions will be created nationwide. Once you have completed your B.A. Elementary Education degree program at WGU, you’ll be ready to step into this rewarding career. With the knowledge and skills gained from in-classroom experiences and your coursework, you'll be on the road to success as a teacher.

This elementary education degree lets you shape your life, and the lives of students. You'll be prepared to run your own classroom, shape the minds of students, and create a safe and fun place for learning with this online program. Get ready to care for and educate diverse learners and communities with an elementary education degree. The specific grade level you will be eligible to teach will depend on your state’s corresponding license. Earn your elementary education degree today! 

Return on Your Investment


The number of positions for all elementary teachers in the United States is expected to grow by 4% by 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

WGU Has Alumni Teaching in Schools Across the Country

Graduates of WGU's online Teachers College have found meaningful, rewarding teaching careers in classrooms at:

  • Inclusionary K–12 classrooms
  • Middle/junior high schools
  • High schools
  • Private and charter schools

Impressive Class of Graduates

Graduates of the WGU Teachers College include recipients of many professional honors, including:

  • Gates Millennium Scholars
  • Intel Grant for Mathematics and Technology
  • Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award
  • Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award
  • Association of Public Charter Schools Educator of the Year Award


Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education Admission Requirements

Students who are seeking initial teacher licensure in a bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate, or master’s program must also pass a state-specific basic skills test for the state in which they live as a prerequisite to Demonstration Teaching (student teaching). (Registering and paying for the test is the student’s responsibility.) This requirement can be met either prior to admission or before beginning the Foundations of Teaching subject area once you are in your WGU program.

WGU’s teacher licensure programs also include Demonstration Teaching (student teaching). You must be at least 18 years of age before you may begin the application process or participate in Preclinical Experiences and Demonstration Teaching. You must also submit to a criminal background check prior to entering the classroom for this component of your program.

An Enrollment Counselor can help you best determine whether you have the sufficient background for entry into your program of choice.

Transfer Credits

If you’ve taken courses or received a degree from a community college or another college or university, you're likely already well on your way to a WGU degree. You can almost always transfer credits when you send bachelor's or associate's degree transcripts to WGU for a college transfer evaluation. 

Get Your Enrollment Checklist

Download your step-by-step guide to enrollment.

Get Your Questions Answered

Talk to an WGU Enrollment Counselor.


Becoming a Licensed Teacher


State-specific licensure requirements: Each state in the U.S. has specific testing requirements that must be met or completed in addition to completing your teaching degree program at WGU. Teacher licensure requirements vary depending on state laws and may include a number of factors, such as:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree program
  • Submission of transcripts
  • Completion and clearance of a background check
  • Passing of required entrance exams and basic skills tests

Preclinical Experiences    

As part of this program, you'll participate in a wide range of in-classroom teaching experiences through at least 75 hours of in-classroom observation.

Demonstration Teaching

To help you prepare to work in classrooms, this program includes a student teaching component (we call it Demonstration Teaching, or DT). DT is a full-time, supervised, in-classroom experience of a minimum of 12–20 weeks during which you will be hosted by an experienced teacher and observed by a Clinical Supervisor. Your host teacher will evaluate your performance based on accepted professional standards. Learn more.

More About the B.A. in Elementary Education

It depends on your state and which Teachers College program you complete, so it is best to ask your Enrollment Counselor. Typically, teachers with an elementary education license can teach anywhere from kindergarten through 8th grade, and secondary teachers in math, English, or science can teach anywhere from 5th to 12th grades. K–12 special education licenses typically enable teachers to work with students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

It depends on your state and your program, but for most Teachers College programs, Demonstration Teaching is typically about the length of one full traditional school semester. DT is a minimum of 12–16 weeks, but it can be longer in other programs.

WGU has a team that works with you to connect you with schools in your area, and with host teachers that will support you through your Demonstration Teaching.

Your Enrollment Counselor can provide more details about your specific situation. While you can provide recommendations of a school you want to be placed in, generally, our Field Placement Office will be selecting and setting up the placement in the end.

Your Enrollment Counselor has access to an up-to-date database that tracks requirements and eligibility for all WGU programs and all US states and territories, so a conversation with your Enrollment Counselor can quickly verify this for you based on where you live and your desired program.

An elementary education program will include many courses such as:

  • Science methods
  • Math methods
  • Social studies methods
  • Language arts methods
  • Classroom discipline
  • Children's literature
  • Inclusive classrooms
  • World history
  • U.S. history
  • Health and wellness

You can choose a traditional college or an online program for your elementary education degree—the best choice for you will depend on your current schedule, your lifestyle, and how motivated you are to pursue a degree online. For many students, an online degree program allows for crucial flexibility that can make earning an elementary education degree a better option.

Not every education degree program will prepare you for a teaching license, so it's important to do your research and understand what kind of program you are enrolling in. You also need to make sure the college you attend is accredited and recognized so it can help you get your license.

An online elementary education bachelor's degree should prepare you to become a teacher in a K-6 classroom, giving you skills in math, English, science, social studies, and more so you can properly teach children.

Typical bachelor's degree programs will take 4 years to complete. However, if you choose an online, flexible program you may be able to finish faster. At WGU, most students finish their bachelor's in elementary education in just 36 months.

An elementary education bachelor's degree is an undergraduate program that is focused on giving future teachers the skills and credentials they need to become licensed and enter the classroom.

Absolutely! An accredited online university like WGU allows you to get your elementary education bachelor's degree entirely online. This degree is accredited and respected and leads to teacher licensure in any of the 50 states.

Yes. Transcripts are used by your program mentor to help develop your personalized degree plan. WGU requires that official transcripts of previous academic work completed at other colleges or graduate schools be submitted for evaluation. It is your obligation to request official transcripts from the institutions you have attended when applying for admission. At the present time, we don't require a minimum grade point average (GPA) or SAT/ACT scores for admission.

Yes. Students applying to a graduate degree program must send bachelor's degree official transcripts verifying their receipt of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally or DETC-accredited institution. The Records and Admissions Departments should receive the official transcripts by the 1st of the month prior to the start of your program. WGU accepts limited college transfer credits at the graduate (master’s) level in only a few programs: M.S. Nursing and Master of Health Leadership. Transfer credit is not accepted in all other master's programs. For all other graduate-level programs, requirements are not cleared through transfer because of prior graduate school study. However, competencies obtained through prior study will help students to accelerate toward degree completion.

Your official transcripts will be evaluated by a member of the Transcripts Department. The time it takes to review your transcripts and report which subject areas (domains) are cleared will vary. We will inform you via email when your transcripts arrive, and we endeavor to report transfer decisions through your Enrollment Counselor within two weeks of that date.

Because your mentor will use your transcripts to help develop your personalized Degree Plan, it is important we receive official transcripts directly from all the colleges and universities you have previously attended no later than the 1st of the month prior to your intended start date. WGU will not award transfer credit based upon the work identified by transcripts received after your start date.

If you have questions about your transcripts prior to submission of your official transcripts, you may contact your Enrollment Counselor to discuss the Transfer Evaluation Guidelines for your intended degree program.

Yes. If you’re applying for a bachelor’s degree program and have completed college coursework at another institution, you may have your transcripts evaluated and may be able to have some or all of the requirements for lower-division courses cleared through transfer credits. In some programs, professional certifications may clear additional requirements.

Many students transfer into a WGU degree program already having accumulated many credit hours or having earned an associate’s degree. Transcripts are evaluated on a course-by-course basis according to the following general guidelines:

  • If you hold an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree from an institution that is recognized as nationally or regionally accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, you should clear all or many of the lower-division requirements for a bachelor’s degree in Business or Information Technology. For Health Professions and Teachers College programs, a course-by-course evaluation is typically required. Only an official transcript evaluation can determine how many requirements you may be able to waive.
  • If you earned an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) or other applied associate’s degree, you may be able to clear a significant portion of WGU's lower-division degree requirements.
  • If you have completed college courses but have not earned a degree of any type, you may also be able to have some degree requirements cleared through a course-by-course transcript evaluation.
  • WGU accepts limited college transfer credits at the graduate (master’s) level in only a few programs: M.S. Nursing and Master of Health Leadership. Transfer credit into the M.S. Nursing and Master of Health Leadership programs will only be considered for new students beginning their program on February 1, 2021, and beyond. Transfer credit is not accepted in all other master's programs. For all other graduate-level programs, requirements are not cleared through transfer because of prior graduate school study. However, competencies obtained through prior study will help students to accelerate toward degree completion.

It depends on how well the courses you’ve already taken match the competencies in the WGU degree program you’re applying for.

Each WGU degree program specifies the competencies you must possess and demonstrate mastery of in order to receive your degree; having accumulated credits isn’t sufficient proof that you have mastered the competencies.

Prior courses must be relevant. If your prior coursework directly matches the requirements for your WGU bachelor’s degree, you may be able to clear one or more required lower-division courses. However, if your coursework was in subject areas that don’t match WGU's degree requirements, the amount of transfer credit you receive may be limited.

Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?