Elementary Education (B.A.)


Channel your love of children, learning and helping to shape the future by majoring in elementary education. This program will prepare you to teach grades two through six. You’ll begin with a generalist education so you’ll be qualified to teach all subjects. Then, you will choose from one of our two emphasis areas focused on high-needs subjects — mathematics and science or literacy, culture and diversity. A diverse range of field experiences will help you hone your skills early in the program. Clemson has the only program in the state that allows you to enter specialty areas or to focus on elementary-level English as a second language (ESOL). In addition, the program features the nationally acclaimed Call Me MISTER® program, which is dedicated to increasing the number of teachers from diverse backgrounds.


  • Our program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI).
  • We have the only program in the state with elementary English as a second language (ESOL) classes.
  • In the mathematics and science emphasis area our students take more of these courses than any other program in South Carolina.
  • Our students exceed by 73 hours the state's minimum requirement for field hours before student teaching.
  • Our 72-day student teaching internship exceeds the state's certification requirements for student teaching by 12 days.


In your freshman year, you'll begin with an orientation into the field of education focusing on what it means to be an educator and how your role as a teacher will impact future generations of citizens. During your first three semesters, you'll concentrate on increasing your content knowledge in subjects you’ll teach in the elementary classroom — social sciences, English language arts, mathematics and science.

During your fourth and fifth semesters, you’ll begin to explore theory and pedagogy within the profession of education, and you’ll take courses in child development, educational foundations, assessment and special education. Once you enter the professional development sequence, you’ll take pedagogical methods courses and learn how to teach art, physical education, science, mathematics, reading, social studies and English language arts.

During the second semester of your junior year, you can choose to specialize in one of two high-needs areas. Your senior year will focus on field experiences in which you’ll spend each day in a second- to sixth-grade classroom, partnering with a highly qualified practicing teacher so you can experience firsthand what it’s like to educate young learners in a school setting.

Popular Minors

  • American Sign Language Studies
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Psychology
  • Sociology


The College of Education is committed to providing all students with purposeful, challenging and diverse experiences. It is through a range of carefully constructed, challenging and classroom-based instruction and field-based experiences that students recognize the inherent dignity and value of all individuals, promote equity in education and advocate on behalf of children, families and communities.

 Conduct research through Creative Inquiry projects like the “I Never Knew …” newsletter that exposes students to African-American children's literature. The Geek Squad project allows you to learn instructional classroom technology.
 You can gain firsthand experience working with children in this University-sponsored intervention program at local elementary schools. This after-school program provides academic assistance, physical recreation and goal-setting exercises.
 Damian Williams talks about how he is being prepared to be an elementary school teacher.
 Kappa Delta Pi is an international honor society dedicated to scholarship and educational excellence. Clemson's chapter is the oldest chapter in the state. The organization fosters mutual cooperation, support and professional guidance.
 Clemson University International Literacy Association Student Council strives to promote reading instruction and to provide a professional organization for preservice teachers. Members are students, faculty or staff members of the University.
 America Reads is a program that allows work-study students and student volunteers to tutor children at Clemson Elementary School. The University has developed a partnership with this school and its after-school program.
 Maymester in Italy provides a cross-cultural experience for education majors. You'll be exposed to Italian culture and approach to education, while living with an Italian family and working with local teachers and students.



Your college decision isn't really about the next four years. We get it. It's about what doors are opened by your degree and whether those opportunities are what you had envisioned for yourself. Here's a snapshot of what life after graduation looks like for some of our most recent students.


  • Third Grade Teacher

    Fort Mill School District, S.C.

  • Fourth Grade Teacher

    Anderson School District Five, S.C.

  • Fifth Grade Teacher

    Forsyth County Schools, Ga.

  • Second Grade Teacher

    School District of Pickens County, S.C.

  • Second Grade Teacher

    Anderson School District One, S.C.

  • Third Grade Teacher

    Houston Independent School District, Texas

  • Fifth Grade Teacher

    Greenville County Schools, S.C.

  • Third Grade Teacher

    School District of Oconee County, S.C.


  • M.Ed.

    University of Virginia

  • M.Ed.

    Clemson University

  • Master in Speech Pathology

    University of South Carolina

  • M.Ed.

    University of Texas at Austin


    • Most graduates go on to teach in the state and region while some continue with graduate education.
    • Second through sixth grades
    • Teaching


Have more questions or want more information? Fill out the form below, which goes directly to the following department contact. If you’d also like to receive general University information from Clemson’s admissions office, please follow the link to the right and sign up to join our mailing list.

Michelle Cook

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies