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School of Teacher Education

School of Teacher Education

Liberal Studies
SDSU Liberal Studies

Elementary Education Emphasis

On this page: Learn about the elementary education emphasis with a focus in Literacy, Mathematics, or Science.


This emphasis is designed primarily for students who wish to teach at the elementary or middle school level or pursue a career that requires an interdisciplinary liberal arts degree. The elementary education emphasis provides the greatest flexibility in meeting specific career goals or pursuing a variety of interests. This emphasis provides preparation for teaching regular education, special education, or bilingual education in elementary school or English in middle school.

Focus and Option 

Students in the elementary education emphasis complete a focus and, within each focus, an option.

  • Focus: The 18- to 21-unit focus provides an opportunity for students to explore the habits of mind and methods used in a chosen subject area as they develop both their depth and breadth of knowledge and experience. The 3 focus areas are Literacy, Mathematics, and Science.
  • Option: Each 6- to 9-unit "option" course will help students explore topics in linguistics / English as a second language (leads to TESL certificate), bilingual education, special education, or performing arts. For those who focus in math or science, additional optional courses (extended middle school pathway) are available.

Elementary Emphasis: Literacy Focus

If you choose the literacy focus, you will develop depth in linguistics, literature, and theatre. The focus is designed so that you also complete the 32 units and specific coursework required to earn a Middle School Subject Matter Authorization in English, provided you earn a grade of C or better in each course. Options within this focus include Linguistics (leads to TESL), Bilingual credential preparation, Special Education credential preparation, and Performing Arts.

Elementary Emphasis: Math Focus

If you choose the mathematics focus, you will learn to think like a mathematician as you build breadth and depth in your subject area. Once you have completed some of the coursework in the focus, you need to choose whether to take additional math courses or to complete one of the options. Options within this focus include Linguistics (leads to TESL), Bilingual credential preparation, Special Education credential preparation, and Performing Arts. If you choose to take additional mathematics courses, you can qualify to teach middle school under the mathematics emphasis (extended pathway).

Elementary Emphasis: Science Focus

If you choose the science focus, you will learn to think like a scientist as you build breadth and depth in your subject area. Once you have completed some of the coursework in the focus, you need to choose whether to take additional science courses or to complete one of the options. Options within this focus include Linguistics (leads to TESL), Bilingual credential preparation, Special Education credential preparation, and Performing Arts. If you choose to take additional science courses, you can qualify to teach middle school under the science emphasis (extended pathway).

Advising sheets 

After declaring your major, you will use an Advising Sheet to guide your way through the degree program. Each sheet details all upper-division coursework necessary to complete your emphasis, with suggested course sequence for junior and senior years.

Note

The information on this page applies to Liberal Studies majors entering the program in catalog year 2014 and later. If you began your studies during catalog years 2011-13, find guidance on completing your degree.

Photo: Elementary school child at desk with teacher and open book

"There is an old saying that the course of civilization is a race between catastrophe and education. In a democracy such as ours, we must make sure that education wins the race."

—John F. Kennedy
School of Teacher Education

Front Desk (EBA 255)

admste@mail.sdsu.edu | 619-594-6131