School of Education students complete comprehensive academic programs that consist of four components: (1) general studies in the liberal arts and sciences; (2) specialized knowledge based on a concentration in a discipline or field; (3) professional studies in instructional design, human development, communication, and evaluation; and (4) practical skills acquired through guided and supervised field experience.
There are eleven majors for undergraduate students in the School of Education:
All undergraduate majors, with the exception of Deaf Studies, may lead to eligibility for Initial licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Commonwealth has reciprocity for its teacher licenses with all of the other states and the District of Columbia via the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement. The Interstate Agreement does not exempt applicants from testing and/or any other state specific pre-requisite requirements. School of Education students may also pursue dual licensure by completing requirements for two concentrations within SED (e.g., Elementary and Special Education), or two grade levels (e.g., Middle and High School Mathematics).
Bilingual Education (ESL)
The Bilingual Education program at Boston University helps students prepare for a teaching career in a variety of classroom settings. Whether the goal is to become a teacher at the elementary, middle, or high school level, the program offers a comprehensive course of study in curriculum development, educational issues, teaching methods, and literacy development.
The Bilingual Education undergraduate program, which leads to licensure for teachers of English as a Second Language for levels Pre-K–6 or 5–12, offers a strong liberal arts component with an emphasis on language and culture. Studies include professional development courses combining theory and practice, specialty development courses focusing on first- and second-language acquisition and linguistics, literary instruction and assessment, and curriculum development. Students have the opportunity to apply the theoretical concepts learned during their coursework in supervised field placements. Placements are made in collaboration with various public school systems in the Boston area.
With careful planning, students have the opportunity to complete dual licensure programs in elementary and bilingual education (English as a second language). Students who select this option prepare to teach in immersion and/or two-way bilingual programs, or general education classrooms that enroll children who are learning English as a second language.
The Deaf Studies program at Boston University affords students the opportunity to develop insight and genuine appreciation for the culture, contributions, and contemporary issues of Deaf people in the United States. Our program is one of few undergraduate programs in the United States to require American Sign Language as the language of instruction and conversation.
The coursework provides information on the historical and cultural background of the Deaf community with particular emphasis on the perspective of Deaf people living in a hearing society. Students entering the Deaf Studies program will explore educational, social, cultural, linguistic, and psychological issues and their application to the issues related to Deaf people, as individuals, as a community, and as a linguistic and cultural minority. A multi-disciplinary approach combined with a strong faculty, many of whom are Deaf, will provide in-depth training presenting a broad multi-cultural view. Our undergraduate Deaf Studies program at Boston University employs a bilingual/bicultural philosophy in its preparation of personnel to work with Deaf people.
Core courses detailing the history, education, literature, and language of the Deaf will be taught by Deaf faculty and conducted in American Sign Language. (American Sign Language courses are required prior to entering advanced core courses in the Deaf Studies program.) Students will participate in field experiences, enabling them to put into practice knowledge gained through academic courses. Competence in American Sign Language (the language of the Deaf) is fundamental to gaining an in-depth understanding of the Deaf Community, and is a requirement of the program.
The undergraduate Deaf Studies program integrates both Deaf and hearing faculty, consultants and students. Deaf and hard of hearing students are encouraged to apply; interpreters and support services are available at no cost to the student. Boston University is committed to equal educational opportunity for all persons.
The program draws on a core faculty with interests in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies, as well as other faculty within the University and the School of Education with expertise in bilingualism/biculturalism, reading, literacy, linguistics and applied linguistics, cognitive and language development, language teaching, special education, and counseling.
A wide range of career opportunities are available to graduates of the Deaf Studies program. Students prepare for careers in education, counseling, human services, psycholinguistics, and other professions requiring competence in American Sign Language. Students frequently apply their knowledge of Deaf people to various graduate fields of study as well.
The Boston University undergraduate program in Deaf Studies does not qualify graduates for licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Completion of an EdM in Education of the Deaf is required to meet state standards for licensure.
Early Childhood Education
Specializing in Early Childhood Education begins with a solid foundation in the liberal arts, including the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and science. In addition, studies focus on psychology and sociology, as well as basic professional educational studies and, of course, intense study in early childhood education.
Students in the Early Childhood Education program will experience extensive fieldwork. Beginning in the freshman year, when they enroll in ED 100: Introduction to Education, they will participate in fieldwork in a local public school. During the junior year they will teach for one semester in the in-house School of Education preschool. For a kindergarten practicum, students are placed in a local public school. As seniors they may complete the first or second grade practicum in a public school, selected by program faculty, or in one of the international schools in Australia, Ecuador, or England that provides overseas student teaching placements for Boston University students who are accepted into the international program.
Albert Einstein acknowledged, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
The Elementary Education Program faculty set as their mission the awakening of such joy. The Boston University School of Education’s Elementary Education program has a strong tradition of preparing exemplary teachers who care deeply about the education of children. Pre-service teachers possess not only demonstrated knowledge of the subject matter integral to the elementary curriculum, but also a passion for the ideas embodied in these disciplines. They bring a high level of pedagogical knowledge to their teaching, translating theory and research into effective practice. They are dedicated to narrowing the achievement gap to ensure that children from all walks of life reach their optimal potential. And finally, elementary education teachers reflect on the qualify of their teaching at every turn, with the goal of enhancing their effectiveness.
Students complete a comprehensive range of liberal arts courses as well as professional education courses to meet licensure requirements. With careful planning, students have the opportunity to complete dual licensure programs in elementary education and recommendation to the State of Massachusetts for licensure in elementary and special education or elementary and English as a second language. Earning two teaching licenses will require credits beyond the minimum undergraduate degree requirements.
Boston University’s English Education Undergraduate Program is designed to prepare teachers of English (grades 5–8 and 8–12) and those planning careers in related fields such as publishing, instructional materials and curriculum development, and educational research. Students develop a wide range of classroom strategies specific to the age of the learners, the educational environment, and the subject matter.
In addition to thirteen English literature and writing courses, and liberal arts courses in social sciences, mathematics and natural sciences, students complete nine courses in the School of Education including a freshman field-based course, curriculum, methodology, and student-teaching.
Students who complete Boston University’s state-approved teacher program are eligible for licensure in Massachusetts and may be eligible for licensure in 44 other states through a reciprocal agreement.
Boston University’s Mathematics Education program helps develop expertise in fundamental mathematical concepts and processes, the development of mathematics curriculum materials, and teaching methods applicable to a variety of age levels, interests, and aptitudes.
The undergraduate program leads to an initial teaching license in mathematics for grades 1–6, 5–8, or 8–12. The School of Education offers both professional preparation for teaching, including extensive fieldwork, and substantial coursework in mathematics and/or computer science. Specialty programs in the teaching of mathematics are available for students who are seeking an initial teaching license as an elementary or special education teacher. After completion of the appropriate program, graduates are qualified to teach mathematics, to act as mathematics resource leaders in team-teaching situations, and to organize and manage mathematics resource areas.
Qualified undergraduates in Mathematics Education may seek dual degrees with the College of Arts & Sciences through the Boston University Dual Degree Program (BUDDP).
Modern Foreign Language Education
The Modern Foreign Language Education program at Boston University emphasizes effective communication and leadership skills while preparing teachers of modern languages. The program offers the advantage of learning in an environment that offers close coordination of class work in education, field experiences, and modern foreign language methodology. Students are also given the opportunity to student teach, allowing them to put their knowledge into practice and refine their skills. Boston University’s foreign language courses emphasize communication as well as grammar, culture, and literature.
The program emphasizes effective communication and strong interpersonal skills, as well as leadership ability in curriculum development and instruction. Foreign language courses emphasize communication in addition to grammar, culture, and literature. The program reflects current theory and practice in foreign language teaching, and follows guidelines established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
Qualified undergraduates in Modern Foreign Language Education may seek dual degrees with the College of Arts & Sciences through the Boston University Dual Degree Program (BUDDP). Students planning to teach French, Italian, or Spanish are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the study abroad programs offered through Boston University International Programs.
Boston University’s Science Education program prepares students for professional responsibilities in designing, teaching, and supervising science programs at the elementary, secondary, and college levels. The program connects emerging teachers to the foundations of what makes a quality science educator today: up-to-date science content with innovative, diverse pedagogy.
Students are challenged to develop and practice techniques so that they will engage their students in the learning process, allowing young learners to experience science actively rather than being passive receptacles. The science education experience is one of belonging to a responsible, closely knit learning community determined to make a difference in the lives of children and teenagers.
Boston University’s Science Education undergraduate program fosters the development of motivated and versatile science educators while promoting strong roots in fundamental science content. Special courses have been developed in collaborative efforts between the School of Education and the College of Arts & Sciences combining pedagogy with in-depth exposure to contemporary science.
Qualified undergraduates in Science Education may seek dual degrees with the College of Arts & Sciences through the Boston University Collaborative Degree Program.
Social Studies Education
The Social Studies Education program prepares students for a variety of professional careers, ranging from classroom teachers to museum educators to social studies curriculum specialists. Our program reaches beyond the traditional mission of developing classroom history and social studies teachers to serve the many diverse professional goals of our students.
The undergraduate degree in Social Studies Education leads to licensure as a middle or senior high school teacher. It is possible to develop talents for a career in educational publishing, museum work, or educational policy. The program’s professional education component is built upon field-based activities throughout the four undergraduate years, culminating in a student-teaching experience. Boston University enjoys long-standing relationships with many inner city and suburban school systems in Greater Boston that offer students rewarding field experiences under the guidance of expert teachers and faculty.
Qualified undergraduates in Social Studies Education may seek dual degrees with the College of Arts & Sciences through the Boston University Dual Degree Program.
The undergraduate Special Education program at Boston University provides opportunities for students to prepare for a variety of careers working with and supporting the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families, in positions as teachers and residential care support.
Undergraduate preparation in the School of Education can lead to recommendation to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for teaching licenses at the Initial Level as Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (Pre-kindergarten through grade 8), Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (Pre-kindergarten through grade 8) combined with Elementary Education (Grades l through 6), Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (Grades 5 through 12), and Teacher of Severe Disabilities (Ages 3 through 21). Field and practicum experiences are incorporated systematically throughout programs.
Some students who enter the Special Education program with an interest in children and youth with disabilities have an interest in working with individuals in non-school settings. The Disabilities Studies program option gives students a basis on which to pursue further degrees or careers in residential, vocational, or recreational programs for individuals with disabling conditions, without also completing requirements for licensure as a teacher.
SED/CAS Double Degree
Students can earn a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree simultaneously through the SED/CAS Double Degree Program. This program allows highly motivated students to earn two degrees in the majors of their choice from both the School of Education and the College of Arts & Sciences. Incoming first-year students can apply directly to this program on their application to Boston University. Applicants must meet all of the admissions requirements for the School of Education and the College of Arts & Sciences.