Elementary Education Certification

Academic Breadth Requirements


Academic Breadth

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.

Course Requirements

  • English Language Arts - 2 courses

    • 1 course in Composition or Writing
    • 1 course in Literature
  • Fine Arts - 1 course

    • 1 course in an Applied Art
      (Example: Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Dance, Theatre; art appreciation courses not accepted) 
  • Mathematics

    • 1 course in Mathematics for Elementary Educators
      (Please note: this is a course designed specifically for future elementary teachers; B EDUC 170 Math for Elementary Educators meets this requirement)
  • Science - 2 courses (reduced from 3 courses - change in effect for Spring 2024 cohort)

    • 1 course must have a laboratory requirement
    • 2 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
  • 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 be accepted
  • Courses must be 100-level or higher and be completed at an accredited community college or university
  • Approved Advanced Placement coursework will be accepted 

Transcript Review

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 review to determine if any course requirements are missing.

Lists of Approved Courses that satisfy Academic Breadth Requirements


UW Bothell
UW Seattle
UW Tacoma

Bellevue College

Cascadia College

Edmonds College

Everett Community College

Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Seattle Colleges

Shoreline Community College


Don't see your community college? Request that we review their courses for academic breadth.

Academic Breadth Course Syllabus Review Request

Syllabus Evaluation Form

Current and prospective UW Bothell students may request that a course which is not included in the approved Academic Breadth course lists be considered for Academic Breadth.

Please provide up to two weeks for requests to be processed.