Elementary Education

The application to the Teacher Education Program (TEP) must be completed online in Submittable. Please note that the deadline for applications submitted in autumn 2023 for a spring 2024 start in the TEP will be due on September 15, 2023.

Program Overview

Students preparing to teach in elementary schools are either licensed for grades Preschool through Grade 3 (P-3), or Kindergarten through Grade 8 (K-8), and complete a major in Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education. The undergraduate early childhood and elementary education programs embed content coursework, general education coursework, and professional licensure coursework into 120-credit bachelor's degrees. Candidates must complete all specific requirements listed with a grade of "C-" or better. None of these courses may be taken as credit/no credit, except where that is the only option.

Early Childhood Education (P-3 Licensure) - Major Requirements Form

Elementary Education (K-8 Licensure) - Major Requirements Form

*Courses for each Level are co-requisites; they must be taken during the same semester. This blocked format allows for the integration of curriculum, modeling of cooperative learning and collaborative teaching, and corresponding developmental field experiences.

All UM general education requirements are included in the elementary education course requirements.

Prior to admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP), which is usually at the end of the sophomore year, Education majors are advised by their academic advisor in the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education. After admission to the Teacher Education Program, candidates begin completing the professional studies requirements and continue to work with their academic advisor for scheduling purposes, and are also assigned a faculty member (mentor) within the Department of Teaching and Learning to mentor them in areas of academic and professional interests.

Individuals who have already earned a bachelor's degree and are interested in obtaining an elementary teaching license have two options for doing so; They can enroll as post-baccalaureate students and complete the program described above for undergraduate credit, or they can apply for the master of education degree (M.Ed.) program in Curriculum and Instruction with initial licensure. Please visit the master of education program website for more information.

Transfer students, post-baccalaureate students, and graduate students should consult their academic advisor for transcript evaluation. (See below for contact information.)

Admission to the Teacher Education Program

The application for the Teacher Education Program will be open late July/early August for Autumn 2023 submissions. All students seeking licensure to teach must apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP). Admission to the TEP is required before students can enroll in licensure (EDU) courses. Admission is limited to approximately 125 elementary and 125 secondary candidates per year. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission. Undergraduate deadlines for applications are September 15th and February 15th. Students are eligible for consideration for admission if they have:

  • Been admitted to the University of Montana;
  • Completed at least 30 semester credits (not including developmental or technical courses);
  • Achieved a minimum cumulative GPA (including all transfer credits) of 2.75;
  • Achieved or are making progress toward a 2.75 GPA in the Elementary Core courses;
  • Completed an English composition course (WRIT 101), with a grade of C- or better;
  • Evidence of competent writing ability as provided in the application writing sample;
  • Appropriate experience working with children or youth;
  • Supportive recommendations from two faculty members familiar with the applicant's college-level academic work;
  • Results from a completed national fingerprint-based background check (background check packets are available in the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education in Teacher Education Services).

*Please note: We recommend students apply to the Teacher Education Program when all or most of the core course content has been completed or is in progress. Please see your academic advisor if you have any questions.

Teacher Education Program Application

P-3 Core Content Courses

K-8 Core Content Courses


Licensure and Testing Requirements

Beginning in the spring of 2013, teacher candidates completing an accredited Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) program in Montana must meet the content knowledge requirements described below to be recommended for licensure/endorsement. This policy is the result of ongoing dialogue and consensus between the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and the EPPs. This policy ensures consistency across state programs. It also assures Montana school districts that Montana teacher candidates meet the federal Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirements for Montana, as defined by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 2001, and the Montana Board of Public Education requirements.
Teacher candidates must earn at least 7 points on the Montana Assessment for Content Knowledge prior to recommendation for licensure/endorsement by an accredited Montana EPP. The possible range for the Content Knowledge Score (CKS) is 0-10.

Teacher candidates earning fewer than 7 CKS points or who score zero on any of the three rubric components shall not be recommended for licensure/endorsement. For candidates who receive a score of 1* on rubric components 1, 2, or 3, each Montana EPP will conduct a further individualized review of the candidate’s content knowledge and teaching skills, based on established policy, to ensure that the candidate merits recommendation for licensure/endorsement. This multiple measure assessment consists of content coursework GPA, an assessment of content knowledge demonstrated during student teaching, and the Praxis II Elementary Content Knowledge test (5018). Click here for a pdf of the multiple measure assessment. Testing requirements vary by content area. Please visit Teacher Education Services for a list of current required state-approved tests if you are completing a program other than elementary education.

Contact Us

Department of Teaching & Learning
2nd Floor - Teacher Education Services