Become a Teacher

Teacher Education Options

The University of Kentucky has a variety of options for students interested in becoming teachers. Most of these programs are located in the UK College of Education, except where otherwise noted. To explore these programs in more detail, or to check out other degrees offered in the College of Education, please visit our Degree Programs page.

Agricultural Education*: You can specialize in becoming an agriculture teacher in one area, such as horticulture, or may study to be a generalist and teach several different areas. The broad technical agricultural background obtained in the Agricultural Education option is also good preparation for employment in the public and private sectors. The Agricultural Education degree is available through the UK College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment.

Art Education**: The undergraduate program in Art Education is built on a strong foundation in art studio and art history. The program prepares you for a career in art teaching from primary through 12th grades. The Art Education degree is available through the UK College of Fine Arts.

Elementary Education: The Elementary Education Program prepares you for teaching positions in P-5 classrooms. You will be shaped to be an effective teacher as you discover better ways to teach, to manage a classroom, and to help a child learn.

Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education: This program prepares you for a variety of careers working with families and their young children, birth through age 5, including those with disabilities. Graduates of the program are employed in public preschool, early intervention (First Steps), kindergarten classrooms, childcare, research, state government, and other career settings. The program prepares you to consume, critique, and apply research as a foundation to become a leader in your chosen profession.

Kinesiology & Health Education: This program offers a double major certification for students who want to become teachers in physical education and health education. The teaching program certifies students in primary through 12th grade in physical education and/or health education, while providing them with opportunities to direct youth physical activity programs, manage health-related grants, supervise programs and camps for youth, personal train, and coach, among others. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue the double major since school systems frequently hire employees who can teach both health and physical education classes.

Middle Level Education: The Middle Level Teacher Education Program is a personalized, innovative program that emphasizes the development of professionally trained specialists in teaching early adolescents. As such, the program models team teaching and collaborative learning. You will experience active learning and real-world connections in this curriculum. Completing this program leads to teacher certification in grades 5-9 in two content areas (English, Math, Social Studies, Science).

Music Education**: As a Music Education major, you may choose between a vocal/elementary general music track or an instrumental (band/orchestra) track. UK subscribes to the philosophy that training in music education should be as practical and hands-on as possible. Consequently, the curriculum includes a series of undergraduate seminars that integrate the real experiences of the music teacher in elementary or secondary schools with the development of skills for becoming an outstanding teacher. The Music Education degree is available through the UK College of Fine Arts.

Secondary Education: An undergraduate secondary education program without teacher certification is available in English and social studies. To be eligible for teacher certification in these areas, you must first complete the undergraduate secondary education program in English, social studies, or another approved program and then complete the master’s with initial certification program.

STEM Education: The STEM Education program is an undergraduate certification program housed within the College of Education and the STEM Education Department. It represents a unique approach to teacher education and is the first STEM Education major in the United States. Through this program, you will earn a double major in STEM Education and a content major of your choice (math, physics, chemistry, or earth science) with secondary teaching certification (grades 8-12) in one or more state-certifiable STEM subjects in just four years (120 credit hours).

World Languages***: Majors in world languages are available at the undergraduate level through the UK College of Arts and Sciences. Teacher certification in each language (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish) is available through the Master of Art in Teaching World Languages degree in the UK College of Arts
and Sciences.

Special Education

Learning and Behavior Disorders: Special education teachers are in great demand across the country. Special education students mature, learn, and explore at different rates, seemingly in different directions. As a classroom teacher engaged in working with young people during this time in their lives, Learning and Behavior Disorders graduates will be certified to teach primary to 12th grade and make similar discoveries about better ways to teach and manage a classroom to help a child learn.

Moderate and Severe Disabilities: The Moderate and Severe Disabilities program prepares teachers to teach students primary to 12th grade while working with students with low incidence disabilities. This may include students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities, severe autism, or significant physical and sensory disabilities that impair functioning across domains.

* Offered in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
** Offered in the College of Fine Arts
***Offered in the College of Arts and Sciences