Undergraduate Studies

The undergraduate course of study at the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development is 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 schools 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, often five days a week for a full semester. Programs of the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development offer a variety of field experiences with course credit values that range from 0 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 (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)
  • 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, 8–12, or 5–12)
  • Social Studies Education (Licensure: Grades 5–8, 8–12, or 5–12)
  • Special Education (Licensure in Moderate Disabilities: Grades Pre-K–8 or 5–12, or Severe Disabilities, Ages 3–21)

Note: For specific programs, see the Programs section.

Gateway Requirements

As part of their professional studies, all undergraduate students in the teacher licensure programs are required to complete SED ED 110/111 Introduction to Education with a B− or higher. Students may retake SED ED 110/111 one additional time if they do not earn a B− or higher. All students in these programs 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.

Students in the Deaf Studies program are required to complete SED DE 381 American Sign Language 1 with a B– or higher. Students may retake SED DE 381 one additional time if they do not earn 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.

BU Hub Requirements

Students must complete all BU Hub requirements in addition to Wheelock College of Education & Human Development requirements. Elective courses should be selected carefully in consultation with an academic advisor to ensure satisfaction of these requirements.

Boston University Dual & Double Degree Programs

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 Wheelock College of Education & Human Development 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 110 with a B− or higher. Interested students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Student Services in the Undergraduate Student Services office at 617-353-3177, or in Room 243 in the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.

Students can earn a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree simultaneously through the Wheelock/CAS Double Degree Program. This program admits applicants directly into the combined degree program, in which students can earn a degree from the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and another from the College of Arts & Sciences. Incoming first-year students interested in Mathematics Education, English Education, Social Studies Education, Science Education, or Modern Foreign Language Education can apply directly to this program on their application to Boston University. Applicants must meet all of the admissions requirements for the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and the College of Arts & Sciences.


The Wheelock College of Education & Human Development sponsors five minors for students enrolled in any school or college within Boston University. Minors are offered in Education, Applied Human Development, Deaf Studies, Mathematics Education, and Special Education. Wheelock minors do not meet requirements for teacher licensure. No grades below a C− will be accepted toward a Wheelock minor. A student wishing to pursue a Wheelock 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 an 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 Program Director, and submitted to the Wheelock 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 Wheelock Records office.