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Pre-Professional Education programs prepare students for teaching positions in Pre-K through 12th grade. These programs are offered by the following colleges:

Description of Education Pre-Professional Programs

James Madison University offers various programs that lead to licensure or advanced study in education. Initial teacher education licensure programs can be completed at the undergraduate and/or graudate levels. As an undergraduate, students must enroll in the major required for their chosen education program: Elementary Education, Inclusive Early Childhood Education, Middle Grades Education, Special Education (general or adapted), or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Students interested in the secondary education pre-professional program can select from a 4-year program with a double major in Secondary Education and content or a 5-year program with a content major and a minor in pre-professional Secondary Education to earn both a bachelors degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree. The approved list of content majors (including Biology, Chemistry, Geology/Earth Science, History, Physics, Political Science, Math, English, Modern Foreign Languages) are appropriate to complement this program. Along with a pre-professional program in secondary education, students interested in History or Political Science will also minor in Social Studies. Students interested in Art, Dance, Music (instrumental or vocal), Theater Education, or Physical and Health Education (Kinesiology), major in those areas. A list of teacher licensure and eduation related programs can be found at

Teacher education programs include content on various aspects of education such as human development theory and research, philosophies and history of American education, teaching methods and materials, and educational technology integrated with opportunities for practical experience. Students declare their program and apply for admission to teacher education programs by contacting the Education Support Center in Memorial Hall. All of the teacher education programs are nationally accredited. Scholarships and financial support are available to students once they have entered an education program. The College of Education also offers undergraduate minors in Educational Media, English as a Second Language, Human Resource Development, non-teaching Special Education (for students not working towards licensure in Special Education), and Military Leadership.

Since students must closely follow their licensure program, it is extremely important to obtain and consult with an education advisor.

Characteristics of Successful Students

Strong communication skills, in both oral and written expression, are very essential. Leadership ability, patience, enthusiasm, and an ability to handle a variety of situations are also important.


The occupations listed below provide a sample of career options one may choose with this academic background. Many more occupations exist and are worth investigating.

Classroom Teacher:

  • Head Start Teacher
  • Teacher (Early Childhood, PK-3)
  • Teacher (Elementary, PK-6)
  • Teacher (Middle, 6-8)
  • Teacher (High School, 9-12)
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Drama
    • Earth Science
    • English
    • Foreign Language
    • Geography
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Social Studies
    • Technology Education

Special Education:

  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Early Intervention Specialist
  • School-based Special Education Teacher
  • Transition Specialist
  • Teacher at Residential Treatment Facility


  • Resource Teacher (Art, Music, Physical and Health Education, Reading)
  • Camp Director
  • Community/Outreach Coordinator
  • Day Care Teacher or Director
  • Nursery School Teacher
  • Educational Consultant
  • Tutor
  • Peace Corps Volunteer
  • Recruiter

Who Employs Education Graduates?

Boards of education, book publishers, bookstores, colleges / universities, community organizations (i.e. YMCA, Red Cross), day care centers, federal government (i.e. Department of Education, Department of Defense, Department of State), magazine publishers, Montessori schools, nursery schools, Peace Corps, private schools, professional organizations, public schools, state / local government (i.e. school boards, Department of Education), technical schools, VISTA, and vocational services centers employee teachers.

Internships and Experiential Opportunities 

Students pursuing teacher licensure are required to have various practicum experiences and to student teach. Student teaching allows students to implement skills and knowledge learned in their teacher education programs under the guidance of a cooperating teacher and university supervisor. These experiences are coordinated through the Education Support Center. Practicum opportunities also exist through other education courses. 

View our list of internship coordinators for each major.

Career Profiles 

Childcare Workers
Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals
High School Teachers
Instructional Coordinators
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
Middle School Teachers
Preschool Teachers
Self-enrichment Teachers
Special Education Teachers
Teacher Assistants

Additional Resources to Research Careers
  • Handshake: view new internships and jobs that employers are looking to hire JMU students from your major 
  • Career Outcomes: see where alumni worked or studied right after graduating.
  • GoinGlobal: learn more about employment opportunities overseas as well as H1B visa information for international Dukes pursuing jobs in the U.S.
  • O*NET: browse occupational profiles to learn about thousands of different careers, pulling data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
  • CareerOneStop: explore thousands of different careers by looking at career profiles 
  • Utilize the LinkedIn Alumni tool to see what others have done with their majors and what their career paths look like. Reach out to alumni via LinkedIn and conduct an informational interview.

© University Career Center, James Madison University

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the JMU University Career Center. Content for each major has been written/reviewed by faculty in the respective department and is revised each year. Requests to update content can be submitted to

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