What is a Bachelor’s in Education Studies degree?

Grandmaother And Childs Hands About To Touch

It's a lot more than you might think.

Education as a field is not confined to teaching in public schools. There are private, charter, religious, online, and cooperative schools, not to mention a host of other jobs for those with expertise in education. An understanding of education and the process of teaching is required for businesses, non-profits, government agencies, community action groups, policy centers, museums, adult education centers, educational publishing, and hospitals. The fact is, in our globalizing and digitizing world, the need for people who understand how to analyze information, communicate it effectively to the desired end, and assess learning is greater than ever before.

The Bachelor’s in Education Studies is a major for those interested in education as a field of study itself and desire to effect positive societal change.  How do different institutions decide educational policy, research, teaching, and learning?  What is the role of education historically, socially, politically, and economically, especially in light of our world today? What are the particular challenges urban schools face? These broad-based interdisciplinary questions form the basis for the Education Studies major. Programs vary from school to school, but typically the Education Studies major is a non-licensure program. Many schools offer the ability to individualize the major to student interests as the degree covers education, psychology, political science, sociology, history, and more.

The degree is designed for those who:

1) wish to teach, but not necessarily public school, for example, charter, private, or religious schools

2) those who want to provide a sound basis for teaching and further education such as the MAT

3) those who desire to work or move into training in non-teaching education jobs such as social work, counseling, non-profit organizations, educational publishing, leadership development, and business-related teaching.

Depauw University has an excellent visual displaying potential pathways opened by the Education Studies major. They highlight five areas: Educational Policy, Educational Law, Development of Educational Programs, Graduate School, or Alternative Teaching. Arizona State University has a helpful document on careers for Education Studies majors.

Examples of jobs you can do with this major include early childhood non-teaching, recruiter, social/educational entrepreneur, Junior officer at UNICEF, Headstart, Campaigner at Amnesty International, Juvenile Justice Advocate, eLearning specialist, College Counselor at Americorps, or Teacher with Teach for America to name a few. See our FAQ on “What can I do with a Bachelor’s in Education Studies Degree?” for more.

So then, the Bachelor’s in Education Studies is an interdisciplinary degree the blends liberal learning about education, research, and real-world experience for diving into the world of education as a teacher, policymaker, researcher, activist, social worker, consultant, and more.

University’s programs usually include a liberal arts core, professional courses in education, often combined with considerable flexibility in areas of emphasis, a research component, and a thesis or final project.

Coursework includes:

  • Educational Psychology
  • Cultural Diversity in the Classroom
  • Human Relations in Organizations
  • The Politics of Education
  • Intrapreneurship and Innovation
  • Political Economy of Urban Education
  • History of Education in the United States
  • Curriculum, Methods, and Assessment: Literacy and Language Arts
  • Social Context of Education
  • Neighborhood Schools and Social Inequalities
  • Education and Public Policy in the US
  • The Science and Politics of Testing in the US
  • Development and Assessment of Workforce Education Curriculum