Explore Teaching and Become a Teacher

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Undergraduate Programs


Freshmen planning to major in educational foundations and pursue elementary education enter the university as pre-education (PED) majors. Typically, PED majors spend their first two years fulfilling general education and requirements for admission into the Educational Foundations major as juniors. PED status does not guarantee admission to the educational foundations major.

Educational Foundations

Educational Foundations (EdF) is a degree program for undergraduates who wish to become elementary teachers and are committed to social change. The purpose of the educational foundations program is to prepare future professionals in education and related fields who are critical thinkers, well-informed about theory and practice, and who possess the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be change agents in economically, racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse communities.

Family and Human Services-Early Childhood Emphasis

The family and human services program-early childhood emphasis (FHS-ECE) is designed around you and your busy life. This 62-credit, roughly two-year bachelor’s degree satisfies the federal requirements for teaching in a Head Start program, with a mix of human services and early childhood classes. It also qualifies you to pursue a wide variety of related career paths such as early childhood teacher, family advocate, case worker, or other human-service careers. It also prepares you to pursue an advanced degree, such as a master’s in social work or early intervention/special education.

Special Education Minor

The minor in special education is for students who plan to pursue a career teaching in general or special education, want to work in nonschool settings with individuals who have disabilities, or investigate issues concerning disability. The minor offers three options: educational services, disability studies, and pre-licensure SPED teaching.

Graduate Programs

Curriculum and Teaching/UOTeach Program

UOTeach is a graduate program that leads to a preliminary teaching license and a master’s of education degree in curriculum and teaching. The program offers two strands: elementary multiple subjects and middle-high school education subject areas (English, math, social sciences, sciences, and world languages).

The full-time program runs five quarters, starting mid-June and finishing 15 months later, in time for students to start fall teaching positions. As a learning community, students take courses vital to teacher preparation while experiencing a full academic year of supported and progressive fieldwork in area schools.

The core philosophy of UOTeach is to provide essential teaching preparation, including

  • excellence in subject matter teaching methods,
  • an integrated approach to equity and socialcultural issues in education, and
  • expertise in serving the learning needs of diverse communities and English for speakers of other languages.

Special Education

A master’s in SPED prepares professionals to work as specialists and consultants in programs that serve individuals with diverse learning needs (e.g., behavioral, academic, social). Graduate studies in special education build capacity through personnel preparation, research, outreach, and dissemination. These efforts are focused on systemic approaches to prevent and reduce the incidence and prevalence of disabilities as well as provide support for students with disabilities to successfully participate in schools and communities. The master’s program is aligned with developmental levels and needs of diverse individuals and their families across the life span. Master’s degree students can specialize in: a) early intervention; b) school-age individuals K–12 level; c) a general master’s with an individualized interest. Consistently rated among the nation’s best graduate programs, UO special education has been ranked third in the US since 2000, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Critical and Sociocultural Studies in Education

The critical and sociocultural studies in education (CSSE) program provides a comprehensive approach to educational research that considers the consequences of contemporary schooling systems while developing alternatives to current practices that result in systemic change. The development of empirical work is supported through a course of study that includes a strong foundation in qualitative and quantitative research methodology.

The program takes the examination of injustice in our schools and the promotion of equity and access of opportunity in and through educational scholarship as a core ideal. Teaching, learning, and schooling affects not only the lives and futures of individual children, but also their families, the local communities in which children live, and the national and international communities we all share. This program aspires to an ideal of scholarship that examines an expansive range of educational possibilities and consequences.

Special Education

The doctoral (PhD) program in special education prepares individuals for research and teaching positions in higher education; policymaking positions in state and federal government; and consultation positions in professional education. All PhD students actively engage in small and large-scale applied research projects with internationally recognized experts in special education:

  • Positive behavior support
  • Low-incidence disabilities
  • Early intervention
  • Prevention and academic interventions
  • Secondary/transition services

Educational Leadership

Focused on the development, implementation, and generation of improved outcomes in the organization and management of K–12 education with choice of five areas of emphasis:

  • Global Education Leadership (Online Program)
  • Policy and Leadership
  • Literacy Leadership
  • Quantitative Research Methods (QRM)
  • Educational Technology and Virtual Schools (ETVS)

Not all areas of emphasis are offered every year.

Educational Leadership

The Master of Education (MEd) is available specifically for students enrolled in the Preliminary Administrator Licensure program who have teaching experience, but do not yet have a master’s degree.

Most master’s degree students graduate in less than two years. The DEd program offers virtual delivery of content accessable from anywhere in Oregon for practicing educational professionals with a choice of concentrations: equity, literacy, or policy.

Licensures and Endorsements

Curriculum and Teacher Education/Stand-alone Endorsements

Curriculum and teacher education (CTED) offers master’s level programs for individuals with a teaching license and includes professional development choices emphasizing cultural awareness and social justice. 

  • Master (MS) program for those who have a teaching license and want to add to their knowledge by adding endorsements and acquiring the latest in scholarship on teaching.
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • New/additional subject area endorsements (e.g., math)
  • Instructional level license (elementary multiple subjects or mid-high school subject areas)

Administrator Licensure (Preliminary/Professional)

Preliminary: This program provides preparation for school administrators to lead and manage schools that maximize learning for all students. May be combined with master’s program. Professional: This program integrates the knowledge base of accademic study with professional self-reflection and career-long learning. May be combined with doctoral program.

Reading Endorsement (literacy leadership and multicultural/multilingual)

Are you looking to add to your Oregon teaching license by developing skills in teaching reading? The University of Oregon has a unique program that offers you two options designed to serve your choice of goals. Reading literacy leadership is focused on systems-level reading/literacy planning and implementation, data management, and organization. Offered through hybrid, online learning. Reading multilingual/multicultural offers a linguistically and culturally inclusive approach to literacy education and requires several campus-based courses.

Special Education Licensure/Endorsement (K–12, early intervention or endorsement only for current teachers)

The special educator license program may be completed as part of a planned degree program leading to a master’s degree or as a standalone endorsement for educators who already hold master’s degrees and/or initial teaching licensure in other subject areas. There are courses leading to the Oregon Special Educator initial teaching license or add-on endorsement for two levels of authorization: Birth-K, K–12.

The K–12 special education licensure/endorsement programs prepare professionals to work with children identified as needing special education services in elementary, middle, and secondary schools, as well as to assist families and students to identify and achieve their postschool goals by providing the necessary skills and knowledge to access postschool resources. Students in this program are prepared to provide quality educational services to students across a range of disabilities including students with learning disabilities, behavior disorders, autism, and developmental disabilities.

Special Education Early Intervention Program

The early intervention program is guided by a transactional philosophy that emphasizes the interactive nature of child-environment exchanges and the importance of these exchanges to a child’s developmental progress. This philosophy permeates the early intervention personnel preparation programs that include master’s and doctoral degrees as well as state-approved teaching licensure in Oregon.

Middle/Secondary Licenses/Endorsements
Early Childhood/Elementary and Middle/Secondary Licenses/Endorsement

The UO Teach program supports students in obtaining an initial early childhood/elementary license or endorsement or middle/secondary license with endorsements in one or more of the following:

  1. Foreign language(French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish
  2. Language arts
  3. Basic mathematics
  4. Advanced mathematics
  5. Science (biology, chemistry, integrated science, physics)
  6. Social studies

This program offers K–12 Oregon teacher licensure preparation emphasizing cultural awareness and social justice.

Music Teaching License

The University of Oregon offers a five-year program composed of a four-year bachelor of music degree in music education and a one-year certification program culminating in an Oregon initial music teaching license. The fifth-year certification program also includes a substantial portion of the course work required for the master of music degree. Our graduate degrees offer intensive study in practical techniques for teaching musical materials useful in all levels of education, educational psychology and philosophy, and research practices related to music learning.

English Speaker of Other Language Endorsement

The English language learner faces many social and educational barriers to acquiring content learning in a mainstream classroom. The teacher who understands the cognitive and social processes of second language acquisition is better equipped to help the second language learner negotiate the demands of classroom learning activities. We have several paths for K–12 teachers to gain the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement.

If you are a currently licensed teacher, you can add the ESOL endorsement through our program in two ways. It can be added as a standalone endorsement or incorporated into the curriculum and teacher education master’s degree. With an ESOL endorsement and a demonstrated fluency in a second language, you can earn an ESOL/bilingual endorsement.