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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.

A JMU student supervises a child in a JMU Occupational Therapy Clinical Education Services program.


  • 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

Where is the major in education?

Students at JMU and all other Virginia colleges and universities do not major in education. Future teachers of Dance, Music, Art or Theater complete an undergraduate teacher licensure program. All others go through a 5-year program and earn a Masters of Arts in Teaching.

So…where is the major in education? In short, future elementary, early childhood, middle education and special education teachers major in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies. Students who want to teach at the secondary level, or who want to teach Art, Dance, Music, Theater, Foreign Languages, Health and Physical Education or English as a Second Language major in a content related to the subject they wish to teach. Learn more.

Initial Teacher Licensure Areas

Art Education
Dance Education
Music Education
Theater Arts Education

5-Year Initial Teacher Licensure Programs

Early Childhood
Elementary Education
Foreign Language (Spanish, French, German)
Health and Physical Education
Inclusive Early Childhood Special Education
Middle Grades Education
Special Education
Secondary Education (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, English, Social Sciences, Mathematics)
Teaching English as a Second Language (may be completed as a 4 year program)