Academic Breadth

Elementary Education Endorsement Prerequisites

Washington state elementary school teachers must be certified to teach and must hold an elementary education endorsement. To be eligible for the elementary endorsement, students must complete college-level coursework which demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of the subject areas elementary school teachers cover in their classrooms: Social Studies, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Fine Arts. 

Specific elementary education competency areas are outlined by the State of Washington Professional Educator Standards Board.

On this webpage

Lists of UW and community college courses that satisfy Academic Breadth prerequisites can be found here.

Subject Area Course Requirements

Art – 1 course

  • 1 course in an Applied Art
    • Examples: drawing, painting, ceramics, dance, theatre performance
    • Art appreciation courses not accepted

English Language Arts – 2 courses

  • 1 course in Composition or Writing
  • 1 course in Literature

Mathematics – 1 course

  • B EDUC 170 Math for Elementary Teachers or equivalent course
    • Note: this is a course designed specifically for future elementary teachers

Science – 2 courses (reduced from 3 courses – new requirement in effect for Spring 2024 cohort)

  • Courses must be from different science categories:
    • Life Science – biology, ecology, genetics, zoology; nutrition courses not accepted
    • Earth or Space Science – astronomy, climate science, geology, oceanography
    • Physical science – chemistry, physics, engineering
  • 1 course must have a laboratory requirement

Social Studies – 2 courses

  • 1 course in United States History
  • 1 course in United States Government or Civics, Geography, or Economics

Additional Requirements

  • Courses with a minimum grade of 2.0 (C letter grade) will satisfy Academic Breadth prerequisites
  • Courses must be 100-level or higher and be completed at an accredited community college or university
  • Advanced Placement coursework transcribed on a university transcript will be accepted 

Transcript Evaluations

It is strongly recommended that Elementary Education students or applicants work with an admissions or School of Educational Studies advisor to complete an Academic Breadth transcript evaluation.