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BA, Individually Structured Major with Elementary Education License


Are you passionate about working with young children, grades kindergarten through 6th grade? Do you want to help shape the minds of the next generation? Then this program could be the path for you.

CU Denver offers multiple options for students interested in becoming Elementary Education teachers. One such option is the joint teacher education program between the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Education and Human Development. This program recognizes that preparing Elementary Education teachers is a highly collaborative process. Students in this degree plan will pursue the Individually Structured Major for Elementary Education, housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students will structure their major around the content departments of English, History, Math and Science. The degree plan provides you with both content and education theory needed to be a successful teacher in K-6 education. This major also prepares you for the Praxis II and PLACE Subject Assessment exams, required for the program. In your final fourth year, you will immediately begin "living the life of a teacher" as you become a vital member of the teaching staff at one of our metro area urban professional development schools . While working as a teacher candidate intern, you will also take teacher education classes here at CU Denver, providing you the opportunity to apply what you learn in your internship classroom.

Our Teacher Education program is nationally recognized for having one of the most innovative, collaborative teacher preparation models where top faculty work side by side with experienced K-12 partner educators to prepare you to have a profound impact on the lives of students in our most urban and diverse schools. In fact, our candidates enter their first year of teaching with the knowledge, skills, and confidence of 2nd and 3rd year teachers!


It is possible to complete the undergraduate BA and your teacher education path in 120 credit hours and 4 years, as part of your undergraduate studies jointly with CLAS and the School of Education and Human Development.

  • Meet with your undergraduate education advisor to discuss the UCTE program timeline and create an individualized graduation plan as soon as possible.
  • Begin your first three years by taking CU Denver Core requirements, CLAS graduation requirements and ISM major requirements. These requirements must be completed by the end of your junior year.
  • Maintain a minimum 2.75 GPA required for acceptance into the Urban Community Teacher Education Program (IMPORTANT NOTE: GPA requirements will change to 3.0 beginning with the 2016 spring application deadline for both initial and professional year admission. Candidates with a cumulative GPA of 2.75-2.99 will be considered for provisional admission based on the overall strength of other required admission criteria).
  • During sophomore year, students should apply for “Initial Admission” into the Urban Community Teacher Education Program (Deadlines for Initial Admission: Oct. 15th for spring start, Mar. 15th for fall start). As an initially admitted candidate, students will take UEDU 4930 Early Internship in which students will work alongside a licensed teacher in the classroom through 120 contact hours over the course of a semester (typically 1 full day per week). Students will also take the first two foundational courses in the program UEDU 4010: Social Foundations and Cultural Diversity in Urban Education and UEDU 4020: Co-constructing Culturally Responsive Classroom Communities.
  • Junior year, take either the Colorado PLACE or PRAXIS II Elementary Education subject assessment exams. Please see your advisor for more details or visit the PLACE or PRAXIS II websites. 
  • 2nd semester junior year, apply to the Urban Community Teacher Education program for “Professional Year Admission” (Deadlines: Aug. 15th for spring start, Feb. 15th for fall start).
  • Attend a collaborative group interview for admission into the program.
  • Transition into the Professional Year of the Urban Community Teacher Education Program.
  • Finish your remaining professional year courses and partner school internships.
  • Apply for your license through the Colorado Department of Education!

Immerse yourself with real work in our professional development schools, helping students ask questions, observe, analyze, explain, and draw conclusions.


Our teacher candidates are highly sought out by districts as our teacher preparation program has a strong reputation in the Denver Metro area and beyond. School administrators describe our teacher candidates as looking like "2nd and 3rd year teachers" coming right out of this program. We prepare you to be a highly effective and compassionate teacher, especially for urban and diverse elementary, middle or high school classrooms or wherever you choose to begin your career. We also prepare you to be a teacher leader, as many of our graduates have gone on to unique positions of educational leadership as their careers have progressed, making a difference for students in multiple ways!


CU Denver School of Education &
Human Development

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