Elementary Education K-8

The Department of Education offers a teacher education program for students seeking teaching careers in grades kindergarten through eight (K-8). The Elementary Education major is designed to provide a broad educational foundation with a focus on how science, technology, engineering, and math interconnect within the language arts, social studies, arts, and health enhancement curricula. This program content is essential in the preparation of successful K-8 pre-service teachers.

Prospective elementary school teachers follow a program of study the first two years which is essentially the same for all students. There is sufficient flexibility, however, for specialization in the various teaching options available.

One of the major attributes of the Elementary Education program at Montana State University is its extensive field experience component. This includes service learning experiences in the freshman year, micro-teaching experiences in the After School Partnership in the sophomore year, and two practicum teaching semesters prior to student teaching.  During these semesters, students spend the equivalent of four half-days for a minimum of eight weeks in supervised settings working directly with children while concurrently completing methods courses on campus. The final clinical experience is student teaching where students spend fourteen weeks in a supervised classroom setting.

Students in the Elementary Education K-8 program can choose to add the following options: Early Childhood, Mathematics, Science, and/or Special Education. These options permit students to focus in these specific areas in addition to completing the K-8 degree requirements. The options, while not providing additional endorsements in the specialties addressed, do allow for added study in each area. Students can also pursue teaching minors which would provide additional endorsements in the State of Montana.

Alternately, students interested in working exclusively with younger students may choose to pursue a major in Early Childhood Education & Child Services: P-3 Option, which is administered by the Department of Health and Human Development.

Students in 5-12 and K-12 teaching majors are required to take courses in certain areas of professional education.  A grade of "C" or better is required in all professional education courses; a "C-" is not acceptable. See the Teacher Education Program website for entrance requirements.

Graduate degree programs are offered for students who wish to pursue advanced programs in curriculum and instruction (See The Department of Education's Graduate Program's  website).

Elementary Education K-8 

Note: Students must be admitted into the Teacher Education Program prior to taking their upper-division methods and practicum coursework.

Recommended Program Sequence For Required Elementary Education K-8

Freshman YearCredits
EDU 101US - Teaching and Learning3  
EDU 222IS - Educ Psych & Child Development
or EDU 223IS - Educ Psych and Adolescent Dev
M 132 - Numbers & Operations for K-8 Teachers3  
BIOB 100IN - Organism Function
or BIOM 103IN - Unseen Universe: Microbes
W Core3  
EDU 204IA - Arts & Lifelong Learning  3
M 133Q - Geometry & Measure K-8 Teachers  3
NASX 105D - Introduction to Native American Studies
or NASX 205D - Native Americans in Contemporary Society
or NASX 232D - MT Indians: Cultures, Histories, Current Issues
GPHY 121D - Human Geography
or GPHY 141D - Geography of World Regions
or ANTY 101D - Anthropology and the Human Experience
or SOCI 101IS - Introduction to Sociology
or AMST 101D - Introduction to American Studies
or AMST 201IH - American Identity, American Dreams
Approved STEM Elective  3-4
Year Total: 15 15-16
Sophomore YearCredits
EDU 211D - Multicultural Education3  
EDU 331 - Lit and Literacy for Children3  
PHSX 201IN - Physics by Inquiry
or PHSX 103IN - The Physics of How Things Work
or CHMY 102CS - Applying Chemistry to Society
M 234 - Higher Math for K-8 Teachers3  
HSTA 101IH - American History I
or HSTA 102IH - American History II
or HSTR 101IH - Western Civilization I
or HSTR 102IH - Western Civilization II
EDU 330 - Emergent Literacy  3
EDU 370 - Integrating Tech into Educ  0-3
PSCI 210IS - Introduction to American Government  3
ERTH 101IN - Earth System Sciences
or ERTH 212RN - Yellowstone: Scientific Lab
or GEO 105IN - Oceanography
or GEO 111IN - Dinosaurs
or GEO 140IN - Planetary Geoscience
or ASTR 110IN - Introduction to Astronomy: Mysteries of the Sky
Elective  3-4
Year Total: 16 12-17
Junior YearCredits
EDU 382 - Assessmt, Curric, Instructn3  
EDU 411 - ESL:Teaching Culturally/Linguistically Diverse K-12 Students3  
EDSP 306 - Exceptional Learners3  
EDM 307 - Methods: K-8 Health Enhancement3  
EDP 301 - Practicum I: K-8
or EDP 303 - Practicum I & II (cohort)
EDM 301 - Methods: K-8 Language Arts  3
EDM 303 - Methods: K-8 Science  3
EDU 342 - Managing the Learning Environment  3
Elective   3
Year Total: 15-16 15
Senior YearCredits
EDP 302 - Practicum II: K-8
or EDP 303 - Practicum I & II (cohort)
EDM 304 - Methods: K-8 Math3  
EDM 309 - Methods: K-8 Creative Arts3  
EDM 302R - Methods: K-8 Social Studies3  
EDU 438 - Ltrcy Asmnt, Diagnos and Instr4  
EDU 495R - Student Teaching  12
Year Total: 16 12
Total Program Credits: 116-123

Approved Stem Electives

ASTR 110INIntroduction to Astronomy: Mysteries of the Sky3
BIOB 160Principles of Living Systems4
BIOB 170INPrinciples of Biological Diversity4
BIOE 103CSEnvironmental Science and Society3
BIOM 103INUnseen Universe: Microbes3
CHMY 102CSApplying Chemistry to Society3
Introduction to General Chemistry
and Introduction to General Chemistry Lab
CHMY 141
CHMY 142
College Chemistry I
and College Chemistry I Lab
ECHM 205CSEnergy and Sustainability3
EELE 101Introduction to Electrical Fundamentals3
EGEN 105Introduction to General Engineering2
EGEN 125CSTech, Innovation, and Society3
ERTH 101INEarth System Sciences4
ERTH 212RNYellowstone: Scientific Lab4
M 105QContemporary Mathematics 3
M 121QCollege Algebra3
M 151QPrecalculus4
M 161QSurvey of Calculus4
M 171QCalculus I4
M 420Geometry, Measurement, and Data in the Middle Grades3
M 424Algebraic Thinking and Number Sense in the Middle Grades3
NRSM 101Natural Resource Conservation3
PHSX 103INThe Physics of How Things Work3
PHSX 201INPhysics by Inquiry3
PHSX 205College Physics I4
PHSX 207College Physics II4
STAT 216QIntroduction to Statistics3
STAT 217Intermediate Statistical Concepts3
TE 207Materials and Processes4
TE 250CSTechnology and Society3

A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation; 42 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 and above.


​The following options may be added to the Elementary Education K-8 major, but students are not required to add an option.