We offer a major, teaching certification in a subject area (mainly at the secondary level), or a minor.
The study of education is interdisciplinary and can spark profound insights about one’s own educational experience and about practices and functions of education in society. It can also prepare students for a wide range of work in education after graduation: not only teaching in a range of settings (public or private schools, schools in foreign countries, programs like Teach for America, museums and other institutions), but also careers and/or graduate study in fields such as education policy, social justice, education law, higher education, and counseling.
The Education department offers:
1) an Educational Studies major, consisting of 36 credits;
2) a teaching certification program that leads to state licensure to teach specific academic subjects, mostly for grades 7–12 but in some cases for grades K–12. Certification students major in the subject they intend to teach and take 38 credits in the Education department, including student teaching. (They may also earn the Educational Studies major as a second major with the addition of eight credits in the Education department. See details below).
3) a minor in Educational Studies, consisting of 20 credits.
For all students, including those who might be interested in taking a course or two, the department brings a rigorous, liberal arts approach to the study of education, including a focus on the social, political, cultural, historical, and philosophical contexts in which teaching and learning take place. Education students apply academic learning to educational problems and practices, in schools as well as society.
Requirements for Majors
Educational Studies majors must earn a minimum of 36 credits as follows:
- Core/foundational courses: EDUC-100, 265, 280, and EDUC/PHIL-310W;
- Four electives from among the following: EDUC-270, 290, 320, 330, 346, 350W, 375, 380; PSYC-240, 340, 342. Students may receive departmental permission to substitute a different non-EDUC course, not on this electives list, if they provide compelling evidence for its relevance to the major. No more than two courses taken outside of the Education department can count toward the major.
- EDUC-450. This course fulfills the oral presentation requirement.
- Students pursuing honors should also register for EDUC-491 and EDUC-492 in succession.
- Students who complete the teaching certification program and take two additional courses may earn the Educational Studies major; see details under “Requirements for Teacher Certification.”
Students fulfill their writing requirement by taking EDUC-310W, and fulfill the oral requirement and major capstone by taking EDUC-450.
Requirements for Teaching Certification
Ursinus College is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to offer initial Pennsylvania state certification (transferable to more than forty other states), to teach in the following subject areas and grade levels:
- Chemistry (7–12)
- Physics (7–12)
- Biology (7–12)
- General Science (7–12) (offered only in conjunction with Biology, Chemistry or Physics certification)
- Mathematics (7–12)
- English (7–12)
- Social Studies (7–12)
- Latin (K–12)
- German (K–12)
- French (K–12)
- Japanese (K–12)
- Spanish (K–12)
- Health and Physical Education (K–12)
Note: Due to Educational Testing Service’s elimination of the Praxis II exam in Environmental Education, there is currently no pathway to a teaching certification in that subject in Pennsylvania. Students can teach Environmental Science/Studies in Pennsylvania schools by certifying in another science. Please talk to the Ursinus College Education Department and the Department of Environmental Studies as early as possible if interested in pursuing this pathway.
NOTE: The department does not offer certification in elementary education (though as noted above, some subject area certifications span grades K–12).
To pursue one of these subject area certifications, students must major in that subject and complete 38 credits in the Education department as follows:
- Core/foundational courses: EDUC-100, 265, and 320;
- Methodological courses: EDUC-350W, 360 (two credits), 375, and 443 (two credits) (Students seeking certification in Health and Physical Education are required to complete HEP-355 and 356 instead of EDUC-350W and 443.)
- EDUC-453 (student teaching, 12 credits) and 454 (two credits).
Teaching certification students must also meet various criteria, including required grade point averages (cumulative, subject area department, and Education), standardized test scores, and recommendations from the subject area department and the Education department, in order to be 1) admitted into the program (typically at the end of sophomore year); 2) approved for a pre-student teaching field placement in EDUC-443 (junior year); 3) admitted to student teaching (senior year); and to receive approval for state certification. See the Education department website for more specific details on requirements at each stage of the program, as well as recommended course sequences.
Students pursuing the teaching certification program may also earn the Educational Studies major as a second major (in addition to the major in the content area) with the addition of eight credits in the Education department. At least one of the additional courses must be EDUC-280 or EDUC/PHIL-310W. Other possible courses are EDUC-270, 290, 330, 346, 380, and PSYC-340 or 342.
For such students, the combination of EDUC-453 and 454 will serve as the capstone for the Educational Studies major and fulfill the oral presentation requirement. Health and Physical Education students who wish to earn the second major should include EDUC/PHIL-310W as one of their two courses, to ensure fulfillment of the “W” requirement in Education.
Requirements for Minors
A minor in Educational Studies requires EDUC-100; either EDUC-265, 280, or EDUC/PHIL-310W; and three courses from among the following (at least two of which must be EDUC):
- EDUC-265, 270, 280, 290, 320, 330, 346, 350W, 375, 380, 491, 492; EDUC/PHIL-310W
- PSYC-240, 340, 342
- HEP-223 and 224 (must take both to count as one course)
- HEP-366, 464
Students may receive departmental permission to substitute a different non-EDUC course, not on the above list, if they provide compelling evidence for its relevance to the minor. Education minors who undertake study abroad in Education may work with the department to determine adequate substitutions for required courses.