The School of Education offers coursework leading to a Colorado initial teaching license to undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and master's degree students. Colorado requires public school teachers to be licensed by its state department of education. Students who successfully complete all School of Education requirements will be recommended for a Colorado initial teaching license. Licensure requirements vary from state to state and from teaching area to area. Students who are interested in teaching in other states should familiarize themselves with the requirements of those states so they may plan an appropriate degree program.

Teacher education at the University of Colorado, while administered by the School of Education, is a university-wide function. Many academic departments provide coursework that supports teacher preparation. Undergraduate students follow a prescribed set of core courses that meet state content preparation standards, complete a major, and satisfy professional education requirements concurrently. The program involves a combination of courses at the university and K–12 school placements.

Students interested in pursuing Elementary (grades K–6) Education teacher licensure should refer to the Elementary Education - Bachelor of Arts (BA) section of the catalog for more information.

Program Mission & Commitments

The School of Education prepares educators who are able to enact commitments to social justice and equitable access to deep content learning in school, family and community contexts.

The following principles guide our work in preparing the next generation of educators:

  • Teachers must position students as sense-makers and knowledge-generators, who desire to invest and succeed in school. This involves noticing children/youth, building relationships with them, valuing their perspectives and attending to their thinking, curiosities and capabilities.
  • Teaching is both intellectual work and a craft. Deep knowledge of content and pedagogy, creativity and passion fuel both learning and teaching.
  • Teachers must design equitable learning environments in which all children are engaged in robust and consequential learning.
  • Teacher's instruction and student learning is always conducted within the context of larger social systems, structures and hierarchies.
  • What we do and say matters and must be analyzed. Our language and action constructs or constrains opportunities for children to build meaningful, positive and sustained relationships to learning and one another.

Colorado Teacher Quality Standards

Teacher education candidates engage in a planned sequence of courses and accompanying clinical experiences in local community and school sites. Courses and assessments ensure candidates have demonstrated appropriate mastery of (1) content taught in the Colorado Academic Standards and (2) professional practices and dispositions associated with the Colorado Teacher Quality Standards listed below.

  1. Teachers demonstrate mastery of and pedagogical expertise in the content they teach.
  2. Teachers establish a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment for a diverse population of students.
  3. Teachers plan and deliver effective instruction and create an environment that facilitates learning for their students.
  4. Teachers reflect on their practice.
  5. Teachers demonstrate leadership.
  6. Teachers take responsibility for student academic growth.

Admission Requirements

Students may apply to the undergraduate nondegree or the post-baccalaureate teacher education programs if the following requirements have been fulfilled:

  • GPA: Secondary students must have and maintain a 2.75 (on a 4.00 scale) cumulative GPA, 2.75 at CU Boulder, 2.75 in their subject area (secondary teacher fields) and 2.75 in education. K-12 Music Education students must have and maintain a 3.00 overall and in their subject area.
  • Prior Degrees: Students applying to Post-Baccalaureate programs must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  • Youth Experience: Students must provide written verification of 25 clock hours of satisfactory experiences with elementary, middle/junior high or senior high school-aged youth (appropriate to the desired program) in the past five years. Forms for this purpose are available online at the School of Education website.
  • Basic Skills: All teacher education students must demonstrate basic skills competence in mathematics and literacy. This may be done through acceptable grades in appropriate college coursework, or by acceptable standardized test scores. Contact the School of Education for more information.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Students applying to an undergraduate nondegree program must have one letter of recommendation from a college-level instructor, professor, graduate student instructor, lab instructor, or a teaching assistant. Students applying to post-baccalaureate programs must have two letters of recommendation from a college-level instructor, professor, graduate student instructor, lab instructor, or a teaching assistant.
  • Personal Statement
  • Background Check and Fee: Please contact the School of Education for the most updated information.
  • Application Fee: The appropriate application fee should be submitted with application materials. Fees vary by program.