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BAES vs. Licensure Program
Ready to Level Up in Your Career in Education?
Get started on a BAES degree or bachelor's degree leading to licensure from WGU.
Educational Studies Degree or Licensure Program?
Are you wondering whether you should pursue a degree in educational studies or a degree that leads to teaching licensure? What’s the difference? Which is right for you?
Either a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies (BAES) degree or a bachelor's program that leads to licensure would provide you with teaching skills needed for specific subject areas and grade levels. However, choosing between these degree options may depend on your goal. If you’re interested in education but unsure whether you want to become a licensed teacher, a bachelor’s in educational studies may be best. An educational studies degree gives you a good foundation should you decide to pursue teacher licensure later. It also prepares you for non-teaching roles within education or jobs in other fields that require a knowledge of education. An educational studies degree does not include demonstration teaching. If you’re set on being a public-school teacher, it’s best to pursue a degree that leads to licensure.
What is an Educational Studies Degree?
A bachelor’s in educational studies provides you with general knowledge and skills in specialized areas. It doesn’t prepare you for teacher licensure, and it doesn’t include demonstration teaching. This type of degree is best for those who want to gain a solid baseline understanding but aren’t looking to become licensed teachers. They may pursue other careers in education or might be able to teach at non-public schools that don’t require a state teaching license. There are many specialties even in educational studies degree programs. For instance, you could pursue a BAES in anything from elementary education to special education or math education for secondary students.
What are Bachelor’s Degrees Leading to Licensure?
Bachelor’s degrees leading to licensure prepare you to become a licensed teacher in your state. Much like educational studies degrees, these programs are specialized by subject and even grade level. For example, if you want to teach high school math, you’d pursue a different degree than if you’re interested in teaching middle school science. Upon completing a degree program that leads to licensure, you’ll be ready to pass your state certification exam. WGU degrees prepare you for licensure in any of the 50 states.
Tracks in the Educational Studies Program
- Elementary Education—B.A. Educational Studies
Elementary and Special Education—B.A. Educational Studies
Mild to Moderate Special Education—B.A. Educational Studies
Secondary Biology Science Education—B.A. Educational Studies
Secondary Chemistry Science Education—B.A. Educational Studies
Secondary Earth Science Education—B.A. Educational Studies
Secondary Physics Education—B.A. Educational Studies
Middle Grades Science Education—B.A. Educational Studies
Secondary Mathematics Education—B.A. Educational Studies
Middle Grade Mathematics Education—B.A. Educational Studies
Demonstration Teaching Courses
Degree programs leading to licensure are more rigorous since they prepare graduates to become licensed teachers. They contain additional courses, requirements, and observations that are not part of the BAES programs. These include:
A teacher performance assessment
A professional teaching portfolio
Six supervised demonstration teaching observations
A weekly cohort seminar
Educational Studies Career Options
While an educational studies degree won’t prepare you for teacher licensure, it will give you a solid start should you choose to pursue a license later. It can also serve as a springboard for future graduate work in other fields where an understanding of education is key. Jobs you can pursue immediately with an educational studies degree include:
Community outreach partner
Private or charter school teacher (depending on your state)
Teaching roles outside of traditional public education
Licensure Degree Career Options
A degree leading to licensure will prepare you to become a public-school teacher in a specific subject at a certain grade level. Possible careers include:
Elementary special education teacher
Middle school math teacher
Middle school science teacher
High school physics teacher
High school biology teacher
High school earth science teacher
There are many reasons MBA and MSML students pick WGU. Here area few:
A teaching degree can dramatically impact your earning potential. After graduation WGU students report earning $15,729 more per year.
On Your Schedule
Competency-based education means you can move as quickly through your degree as you can master the material. You don't have to log in to classes at a certain time—you are truly in the driver's seat of your education
You can do your coursework at night after working at your full-time job, on weekends, while you're traveling the world or on vacation—it's entirely up to you.
COST & TIME
An Affordable Bachelor's Degree
By charging per 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.
Prepared for Success
on the Job
From a 2021 Harris Poll of 300 employers of WGU graduates
97% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.
95% of employers said that they would hire another WGU grad.
98% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.