Education Department Programs

St. Olaf College offers the following Education programs:

Education Majors

  • Bachelor of Arts in Education: This major prepares students for teaching licensure and must be paired with a major in the teaching content area (e.g., art, chemistry, Spanish, etc.).
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Education: This is a stand-alone major; students may opt to pursue teaching licensure.
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education: This is a stand-along major that prepares students for teaching licensure.

Education Concentration

The Educational Studies Concentration (for students beginning the program in the fall of 2022 and after) offers students from all areas of the liberal arts an opportunity to strengthen their program of study with selected courses that focus on issues of education, particularly the teaching of English learners and student linguistic diversity; see catalog for requirements.  The program does not lead to teaching licensure (except for ESL candidates), but completers earn a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).*

Educational Studies provides important foundational work for achieving a number of post-baccalaureate goals including various vocations (e.g., management, arts education, coaching, environmental education, youth ministry, teaching English abroad) and service opportunities (e.g., Peace Corps, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, AmeriCorps, Fulbright, etc.). *NOTE that proof of obtaining the TEFL certificate is listed on student transcripts. There is no actual “certificate” generated.

Teacher Education Licenses

St. Olaf is approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) to recommend its graduates for teaching licensure in Minnesota. To be eligible for a teaching license through St. Olaf, students must meet the requirements of their teaching content area (English, mathematics, music, social studies, etc.), complete all B.A. or B.M. requirements (including a graduation major), and complete all required education courses and experiences (see catalog for more information). If you are interested in teaching, please contact the Education Department (call x3245 or email to meet with an Education faculty member regarding course plans.

All licenses require that students hold a major in their teaching content area (except for ESL – English as a Second Language; those teacher candidates may pursue any St. Olaf major).

St. Olaf offers the following licenses:

License Portability

The St. Olaf College Education Department recommends qualifying students to be licensed in Minnesota. We are required by federal regulation to inform students regarding the portability of their Minnesota license to other U.S. states.  We have not made a determination that our curriculum meets the educational requirements for certification in states other than Minnesota, so students seeking licensure in another state upon completion of the St. Olaf program should consult with the Director of Field Experiences and Licensure for information on whom to contact in other states regarding licensure transfers or reciprocity.

Course Substitutions

The courses listed in the advising sheets are required, but we occasionally will allow course substitutions. All course substitutions must be documented on a Course Substitution Form and approved by the Director of Licensure. Contact an Education department faculty member to initiate the course substitution process.

Elementary Education

St. Olaf does not offer an elementary K-6 classroom license. Students may begin to work towards their license while studying at St. Olaf and complete the requirements after graduation at several different institutions.  Contact the Education Department ( for further information.