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Where is the major in Education?

In Virginia students do not major in education. Instead future teachers major in a content area to provide them with the content knowledge needed to be highly qualified teachers.

Future teachers for TESOL, foreign language, art, dance, music or theatre major in the required content area and complete an undergraduate teacher licensure program. All others complete the required undergraduate major and preprofessional education program and then complete a year of graduate coursework, earning a Masters of Arts in Teaching in order to complete their teacher licensure program. Learn more.

A JMU practicum student teaches in the JMU Young Children's Program

JMU has been preparing teachers since 1908

At JMU, we have been preparing teachers since our founding in 1908.

Here's how that works for you. You acquire skills and knowledge from our amazing faculty members and from countless opportunities to hone what you learn in class during observation, practicum and student-teaching experiences.

Come to JMU and you will go well beyond merely skills and knowledge. We strive each day to stimulate your creativity, develop your cognitive abilities and encourage you to test hypotheses over and over.

JMU education students continually reinterpret the human experience. The combination of all these aspects has helped our graduates win local, regional and national teaching awards.

Preparing excellent teachers is our tradition, our goal, our passion.


  • JMU has 21 teacher licensure areas that cover the gamut of teacher preparation excellence, a JMU hallmark since the university's founding in 1908.
  • We have trained more K-12 teachers than any other Virginia school in the past decade.
  • Our teacher education students get contact with elementary, middle and secondary classroom settings as early as sophomore year.
  • Multiple choices exist for students preparing to study abroad throughout their academic career at JMU. Experiences range from four-week summer programs to the completion of a portion of your required student teaching. International learning experiences tend to have long-term positive impacts on participants' lives and their careers as educators.

What do alums say?

Amy MacaleerThe first time, and every time after, that a student thanks you for something that you have done for them, it makes a world of difference. Just to know that you helped out one student makes the time and effort that you need to put into the job completely worth it.

- Amy Macaleer ('01), 2007 national Miliken Educator Award recipient

JMU offers various programs that lead to licensure or advanced study in education. Learn more.

Initial Teacher Licensure Areas

Art Education
Dance Education
Foreign Language (French, German, Italian and Spanish)
Music Education
Theater Education

5-Year Initial Teacher Licensure Programs

Students completing these programs earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree.

Elementary Education, PreK-6 - M.A.T.

Inclusive Early Childhood Education, Birth - Age 8 - M.A.T.

Middle Level Education, 6-8 - M.A.T.

Physical Health Education (PHETE) - M.A.T.

Secondary Education, 6-12 - M.A.T.: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Physics

Special Education, K-12 - M.A.T.

Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) - M.A.T. - may be completed as a four-year program