Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate courses of study at the School of Education are designed to help prepare students to become professional educators in any one of several fields. Competency is developed through two kinds of courses:

  1. Liberal arts and sciences courses designed to give students a strong background in the arts, humanities, and sciences, generally, and in greater depth through a disciplinary or interdisciplinary sequence as required by specific programs.
  2. Professional studies that include:
    • general education courses that introduce students to educational policy and practice;
    • specialized programs of study focused on specific fields in education; and
    • clinical practice classes completed in school and agencies.

As a component of professional study, undergraduates enter into coursework that focuses on human development, learning and curriculum theories, methods of teaching, classroom management, studies of educational policy and practice, and studies pertinent to providing educational services. Some courses have guided field experience components in them, and some include laboratories where teaching, learning, and diagnostic and evaluative materials are prepared and tested. For those seeking initial teacher licensure,  successful completion of the practicum, which includes assignment as a student teacher in a preschool, elementary, middle, or high school, is required. The practicum entails intense, professionally supervised, and increasingly independent work in an appropriate educational setting, as often as five days a week, for up to a full semester. Programs of the School offer a variety of field experiences with course credit values that range from 4 to 12 hours.

Specialized Programs of Study

Undergraduates choose their major field of professional specialization from among the following. With the exception of Deaf Studies, all offer licensure at the undergraduate level.

  • Bilingual Education (no Licensure as Teacher of English as a Second Language) (Licensure: Grades Pre-K–6 or 5–12)
  • Deaf Studies (no Licensure)
  • Early Childhood Education (Licensure: Grades Pre-K–2)
  • Elementary Education (Licensure: Grades 1–6)
  • English Education (Licensure: Grades 5–8, 8–12, or 5–12)
  • Latin & Classical Studies Education (Licensure: Grades 5–12)
  • Mathematics Education (Licensure: Grades 5–8, 8–12, or 5–12)
  • Modern Foreign Language Education (Licensure: Grades 5–12)
  • Science Education (Licensure: Grades 5–8 or 8–12)
  • Social Studies Education (Licensure: Grades 5–8, 8–12, or 5–12)
  • Special Education (Licensure in mild/moderate disabilities at the elementary and secondary levels and in severe disabilities, ages 3–21)

Note: For specific programs, see the Programs section.

Gateway Requirements

As part of their professional studies, all undergraduate students are required to complete SED ED 100/101 Introduction to Education with a B− or higher. Students may retake SED ED 100/101 if they do not earn a B− or higher. All students are also required to complete either SED SE 250 Disability, Education, and Public Policy or SED SE 251 Special Education and Adolescents with a B– or higher.

Residency Requirement

Students must complete a minimum of 48 Boston University credits immediately preceding graduation. Exceptions may be granted on a petition basis. Please also refer to the University-wide policy.

Boston University Dual Degree Program

In 1976, the Trustees of Boston University approved the establishment of collaborative opportunities for dual degree programs among the schools and colleges of Boston University. For example, an undergraduate student may complete both a Bachelor of Science degree offered by the School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in a field such as psychology, history, or French. Currently, a qualified undergraduate student may apply for a dual degree program during the first semester of the sophomore year at Boston University, but not later than the first semester of the junior year. Boston University Dual Degree program degrees require at least 36 courses (144 credits), three semesters of residency, good overall standing, a statement of intent, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and the completion of SED ED 100/101 with a B− or higher. Interested students should contact Stephanie Gonzalez, the School of Education Boston University Dual Degree program coordinator, at 617-353-3177, or in Room 243 in the School of Education.

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.


The School of Education sponsors five minors for students enrolled in any school or college within Boston University. Minors are offered in Education, Deaf Studies, Mathematics Education, Physical Education, Health Education & Coaching, and Special Education. SED minors do not meet requirements for teacher licensure. No grades below a C− will be accepted toward an SED minor. A student wishing to pursue an SED minor may use no more than two courses from a major to fulfill the requirements for a minor.

Students intending to declare a minor must complete a Minor Declaration form in the Records/Advising offices of their home school.

Directed Study

Directed study enables the undergraduate to pursue research under the guidance of a faculty specialist. Typically, directed study proposals are designed in consultation with a faculty advisor, approved by the department chair, and submitted to the SED Records office no later than one week before early registration. Undergraduate students are not permitted to enroll for more than 8 semester credits of directed study as part of their minimum degree requirements. Additional information and applications for directed study are available in the SED Records office.