Study education with flexibility and freedom

The B.S. in Education Studies will prepare you for a career in education without the rigid structure involved in earning a license to be a classroom teacher at a public school. You will have the opportunity to customize your learning to meet your specific career goals and approach education as an interdisciplinary field with connections to other liberal arts disciplines.

Make connections between disciplines

Chart your own course by selecting your own content focus area 

Complete your field placement in a single term


Years 1 & 2

Foundational coursework will familiarize you with the the science of how people learn, child development and inclusive educational practices. You will also get to begin exploring your content area focus and begin taking education courses on topics that interest you.

Year 3

In your third year you will begin to study curriculum development, assessment and education technology. You will also deepen your content area expertise and advance your expertise in education methods classes that match your interests.

Year 4

Your final year is the capstone of your educational experience and includes additional content area focus and education methods courses of your choice. It also includes your opportunity to get experience in a field that interests you.

Where this degree can take you

This degree prepares you to specialize in a broad range of education jobs outside a traditional public school classroom. The education studies degree can also help lay the foundation for graduate studies in fields like special education, speech therapy, ASL, counseling and teaching. 

Possible job titles

  • Outdoor/Environmental Educator
  • Museum Education Curator
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Teacher at Private or International School
  • After School Program Director
  • Camp Director
  • Homeschooling Consultant

Possible employers

  • Private Schools
  • Outdoor Programs
  • Environmantal Organizations
  • Museums
  • Education Agencies

Answers to common questions about the B.S. in Education Studies

What is the education studies major? Is it right for me?

If you are interested in pursuing a career in the field of educational without wanting to teach in a public school, the education studies major may be the right degree program for you. 

The mission of the education studies major is to prepare your for a career in the field of education but not necessarily classroom teaching. This non-licensure program prepares individuals for positions requiring expertise in formal and non-formal learning and educational settings that do NOT require licensure. This program provides students both a solid liberal arts and sciences foundation along with a strong background in educational theory and practice.

Why doesn’t the education studies degree come with a teaching license?

This program is optimized for people who are most interested in working in settings that do not require a teaching license or who plan to obtain a license elsewhere (for example, through a master’s degree).

By not offering a license, we are able to give you more flexibility, like choosing a content focus area and removing coursework that is required to meet licensing requirements.

Why would someone want to get a non-licensure education degree?

We have many students who have an interest in education and working in educational settings but do not have an interest in becoming a public school classroom teacher. For example, we have international students who want to obtain an education degree from our university but have no intention of teaching in an Oregon public school.

We have students who are preparing for graduate programs, such as Special Education, Speech Therapy, ASL, Counseling, and the Masters of Arts in Teaching degree – a degree that does prepare students to teach in Oregon public schools.

We also have students in our program who regularly give professional presentations and seminars as a part of their job; students who have administrative positions in zoos, summer camps, and youth organizations; and, students who have the desire to develop educational materials for the education market. The education studies major provides students such as these with the background and skills necessary to help them achieve their individual and professional goals. 

What will I learn while earning my education studies degree?

The education studies degree contains three central components: your general education courses, your education studies, and a content area focus. Your general education courses will help develop your background knowledge as well as your communication and critical thinking skills. Your education studies courses will deepen your understanding of education including inquiry-based teaching and learning, advocacy, culturally and linguistically responsive practices, and innovative uses of technology.

The education studies degree program also allows you the opportunity to become an expert in another area through a content area focus of your choice. This secondary area of specialty will give you the depth of understanding necessary to be considered well educated. The choice is yours. For example, you might be interested in developing further specialty in ASL, criminal justice, forestry, geography, mathematics, biology, nursing – the list is broad. You can take a number of courses in your area of interest and apply them to your education studies degree.

What kind of practical experience will I get while working towards the education studies degree?

Near the end of your program, you will take a seminar class and a practicum that are designed to help you examine the connections between education and your specific area of interest. You will get a work/study experience in a setting connected to your specialized studies that will better position you for future employment. 

More ways to study education at WOU

Teacher Licensure

This option is designed for students who would like to teach at a public school. The degree path includes completing a teaching license, with pathways that include licensure in elementary, middle, and high schools.

Early Childhood Studies

This degree prepares graduates to work in early childhood education in situations that don’t require a teaching license, such as preschools and infant and toddler care.