Program Requirements and Opportunities

Published annually, the Course Catalog sets out the requirements of the academic programs--the majors, minors, and concentrations. Each Bryn Mawr student must declare a major before the end of the sophomore year. Students may also declare a minor or a concentration, but neither is required for the A.B. degree. Students must comply with the requirements published in the Course Catalog at the time when they declare the major, minor and/or concentration.

The Course Catalog also sets out the College requirements. Students must comply with the College requirements published at the time they enter Bryn Mawr College.

For more information, visit the Catalog Homepage to view the current content. To view Catalogs from previous academic years, visit the Catalog Archives page.

The Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Department centers teaching and learning as fundamental to human life and growth, and intrinsically connected to struggles for understanding, liberation, and justice. With a primary focus on relationships, facilitation, and change as the heart of the study and practice of education, we address our students as past, current, and future stakeholders of public education systems, as participants in many other systems and structures, and as prospective teachers, school leaders, researchers, policy makers, activists, artists, and theorists. Defining teaching and learning as social, political, and cultural as well as personal activities, the Education Department challenges students to explore the relationships among schooling and other contexts of learning, human development, and social change as they gain knowledge and skills of educational theory and practice. Consult the Student Guidebook and the FAQs for detailed information about declaring a major or a minor in Education Studies.

Requirements for the Major and Minor in Education Studies

Students may complete a major or a minor in Education Studies. For students pursuing a major, specialization is required. Within the overarching frame of Research, Policy, and Practice, specialization options are Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Secondary Education with Certification, Higher Education, and Out-of-School Contexts. Alumnae may also complete the requirements for secondary teacher certification after they graduate through the Post-baccalaureate Teacher Education Program. 

In the minor, students may choose between the minor in Education Studies and the minor in Education Studies leading to secondary teacher certification. In the minor, students can opt into a specialization within Education if it suits their goals. 

Major Requirements

To satisfy the requirements for the major in Education Studies, students take a minimum of six courses within the Education Department: an approved entry-point course, four 200-level courses, and one 300-level capstone course. In addition, a maximum of five allied courses from outside of the Education Department are required, for a total of 11 major credits.

Community-engaged learning through placements/partnerships/field work is also a central requirement of the major. Thinking with and learning from this work is a strand of Education Studies woven throughout coursework and highlighted in the capstone process.

Minor Requirements

Six credits are required for the minor in Education Studies without certification:

  • 1 “exploratory entry point” course

  • 4 200-level education courses, from which:

    • At least two must be offered by Education Program faculty

    • Up to two may be offered by faculty in other departments, pending submission of the petition form and approval from major/minor advisor.

      • One may be taken at Swarthmore, Penn, or while studying away.

  • 1 300-level capstone course, selected from the following:

    • EDUC 311: Theories of Change in Educational Institutions

    • EDUC 301: Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar

    • EDUC 310/SOWK 676: Making Space for Learning in Higher Education

See “Requirements for Secondary Certification for Undergraduates and Post-bacs” below for the minor with certification.

Specialization Options

Five specializations are offered within the major. Students pursuing a minor may also choose to select a specialization. All five options entail studies of how knowledge, culture, language, and power interrelate and bear on teaching and learning across contexts. Within the overarching framework of Research, Policy, and Practice, the specialization options are:

  • Secondary Education

  • Secondary Education with Certification

  • Elementary Education

  • Higher Education

  • Out-of-School Contexts 

Selecting a specialization affords students maximum agency in their study and application for their education degree. In addition to serving students who seek to pursue teaching routes, this selection offers options for those who seek to apply education in various ways in their studies and careers. See this document for a detailed description of the specialization areas.

Capstone Requirements

The Education Studies major and minor culminate with a 300-level capstone course to be completed during a student’s senior year and appropriate to a student’s chosen specialization. In each of these capstone courses, students will complete a portfolio. The following courses are designated as capstone options:

Capstone Course Options By Specialization

Secondary Education

(choose one)

  • EDUC 311: Theories of Change in Educational Institutions

  • EDUC 301: Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar

Secondary Education with Certification 

(all 3 courses required)

  • EDUC 301: Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar

  • EDUC 302: Practice Teaching Seminar

  • EDUC 303: Practice Teaching

Elementary Education (choose one)

  • EDUC 311: Theories of Change in Educational Institutions

  • EDUC 301: Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar

Higher Education

(choose one)

  • EDUC 310: Making Space for Learning in Higher Education

  • EDUC 302: Practice Teaching Seminar

Out-of-School Contexts

(choose one)

  • EDUC 310: Making Space for Learning in Higher Education

  • EDUC 311: Theories of Change in Educational Institutions

See the Student Guidebook for detailed descriptions of the areas of specialization, requirements for the major and minor, and the process of applying.

In a five-year program, complete both the A.B./M.A. program in French, mathematics, physics, or possibly other departments that offer the AB/MA option and the secondary teaching certification program.

Alumnae may also complete the requirements for secondary teacher certification after they graduate through the Post-baccalaureate Teacher Education Program. 

Students in the tri-college community may also apply to sub-matriculate as juniors or seniors into the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education's elementary or secondary education Master's program.

Students interested in any of these options should meet with the Education Program Adviser as early as possible for advice on scheduling, preferably by the sophomore year.

Requirements: Secondary Certification for Undergraduates & Post-bacs

The Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program is accredited by the state of Pennsylvania to prepare undergraduates and alumnae for certification in the following subject areas: English; languages, including French, Latin, and Spanish; mathematics; the sciences, including biology, chemistry, and physics; and social studies. Pursuit of certification in Chinese and Russian is also possible but subject to availability of student teaching placements. Students certified in a language have K-12 certification.

To qualify for a teaching certificate, students must complete an academic major in the subject area in which they seek certification (or, in the case of social studies, students must major in history, political science, economics, anthropology, psychology, sociology, or Growth and Structure of Cities and take courses outside their major in the other areas). Within their major, students must select courses that help them meet the state standards for teachers in that subject area. Students must also complete the secondary teacher certification track of the minor in education, taking these courses:

  • EDUC 200 Community Learning Collaborative: Practicing Partnership

  • PSYC 203 Educational Psychology

  • EDUC 210 Perspectives on Special Education

  • EDUC 275 Emergent Multilingual Learners in U.S. Schools

  • EDUC 301 Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar (fall semester, prior to student teaching)

  • EDUC 302 Practice Teaching Seminar and EDUC 303 Practice Teaching. These courses are taken concurrently for three credits.

Students preparing for certification must also take two courses in English and two courses in math, maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and pass a series of exams for beginning teachers (state requirements). To be admitted to the culminating student teaching phase of the program, students must earn a grade of a 2.7 or higher in both EDUC 200 (Community Learning Collaborative) and EDUC 301 (Curriculum and Pedagogy) and be recommended by their major department and the director of the Education Program. To be recommended for certification, students must earn a grade of 2.7 or higher in EDUC 302 (Practice Teaching Seminar) and a grade of Satisfactory in EDUC 303 (Practice Teaching).

Note: Students practice-teach full time for 12 weeks in a local school during the spring semester of their senior year. Given this demanding schedule, students are not able to take courses other than the Practice Teaching Seminar and senior seminar for their major.

Bryn Mawr and Haverford graduates may complete the requirements for secondary teacher certification at Bryn Mawr in a post-baccalaureate program at reduced tuition.

Title II Reporting

Title II of the Higher Education Act (HEA) requires that a full teacher preparation report, including the institution’s pass rate as well as the state’s pass rate, be available to the public on request. Copies of the report may be requested from the Education Department at (610) 526-5010.


Contact Us

Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program

Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5010

Haverford College
Founders 028
370 Lancaster Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041-1392