Elementary Teaching Courses in SC with Degree Program Summaries

There are more than 25 schools within South Carolina that have elementary teaching degree programs. Read an overview of ten of these schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

Aspiring elementary school teachers in South Carolina can attend a number of 4-year colleges and universities in the state. They offer bachelor's degree programs as well as graduate-level education. Coursework in these programs cover topics such as education foundations, children's literature, classroom assessment and effective teaching principles. A clinical practicum and fieldwork experience may be included.


Clemson University

Clemson University is located in Clemson. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education that prepares students to teach grades 2-6. The program is unique in that it offers the state's only area of focus for English as a second language for elementary students. In addition, students in this program may focus their studies on one of two high-needs areas during their junior year: literacy, culture and diversity or mathematics and science.

Clemson also offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Teaching and Learning that requires completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours of study. This program is designed for currently certified teachers and includes elementary education as a specialty content area covered by its curriculum.

Coastal Carolina University

This Conway-based university enrolls almost 10,000 students. The school's Spadoni College of Education has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education that requires 125 credit hours of study. Graduates of this program are prepared to obtain certification to teach grades 2-6.

A Master of Education in Learning and Teaching with a concentration in early and elementary grades is also available. This program's curriculum recently underwent revision, but it was reopened and admitted students starting in the summer 2013 semester. Some required classes in this 30-credit-hour program include strategies for serving diverse learners and teaching with technology.

The College of Charleston

Situated in Charleston, this school provides a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, the curriculum of which includes fieldwork and a clinical practicum. The College of Charleston also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus on elementary education that's designed for individuals who have undergraduate degrees in a non-teaching field. This program prepares students to obtain initial teaching certification for grades 2-6. Its curriculum includes field experiences.

Francis Marion University

This university is located in Florence and enrolls about 4,000 students, the majority of whom are undergraduates. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education that requires a minimum of 125 semester hours of study and includes coursework in topics such as education foundations and effective use of technology. Students in this program must complete a major in one collateral field of study totaling 12 credits of study and may be able to add an early childhood or middle grades education endorsement to their degree program.

Limestone College

This school, which is in Gaffney, offers a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Classes in this program focus on topics such as children's literature, effective teaching principles and the exceptional child. The program's curriculum also includes three practical experiences.

South Carolina State University

South Carolina State University in Orangeburg enrolls over 3,300 students. Individuals may elect to earn a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the university. This program, which requires 131 semester hours of study, includes coursework in math modeling, elementary activities and science education. The program also includes 12 semester hours of a professional clinical experience.

At the graduate level, individuals may earn a Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus on elementary education or a Master of Education in Elementary Education. The former program is designed for individuals who have a non-teaching bachelor's degree and who are seeking initial teacher certification. It requires 48 credits of study. The latter program is intended for certified teachers seeking advanced training. Students in this program may complete an option focusing on elementary education, early childhood education or reading education.

University of South Carolina - Aiken

This school is situated in Aiken and administers a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, the curriculum of which includes a minimum of 100 hours of observation and an internship. Credit hours required for this degree range from 129-131. Classes focus on subjects like teaching reading in elementary schools and classroom assessment.

University of South Carolina - Columbia

Located in Columbia, this school provides a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program with a curriculum linked to the state's teacher certification requirements. Students in this program complete a minimum of 122 semester hours of study, which includes field experiences.

The school's Master of Education in Teaching program is designed for currently licensed teachers seeking an advanced degree in the field. The curriculum of this 36-credit-hour program includes a comprehensive exam and culminating experience.

A Doctor of Philosophy in Teaching and Learning program is also available at USC - Columbia. This program is open to individuals possessing at least a bachelor's degree who have two years of teaching experience. The program's curriculum includes a qualifying exam and a comprehensive exam and requires that students write a dissertation prior to graduation.

University of South Carolina - Upstate

Aspiring elementary education teachers at Spartanburg's University of South Carolina - Upstate may elect to earn a Bachelor of Arts in the field. This program includes coursework in the foundations of education, fine arts in a curriculum and teaching mathematics in elementary schools. The school also offers a more flexible 'certification-only' program in elementary education or a second-degree option for those who hold a non-teaching bachelor's degree.

A Master of Education in Elementary Education program is also available at USC - Upstate. This 2-year program requires completion of 36 credit hours of study. The majority of coursework in this program is offered during the summertime, thereby allowing students to continue working while earning their degree.

Winthrop University

Situated in Rock Hill, this school offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education program that requires 63 credits of study in the major toward the 123 total needed for the degree; internship experiences are built into the professional education sequence. Other classes in this program include supporting the gifted student and curriculum integration.

A Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on elementary education is also offered. This 36-credit-hour program is designed to provide licensed teachers with advanced instruction in their field. Classes related to elementary education in this program include elementary school science and literacy strategies for the struggling learner.

Career Requirements

The South Carolina Department of Education's Office of Educator Certification licenses teachers in the state. All classroom teachers or individuals working with an instructional program in a public school in South Carolina must be licensed. To become licensed, an individual must possess a bachelor's or a master's degree from a state-approved or accredited institution and pass the Praxis II and Principles of Learning and Teaching exams. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accredits elementary education teaching programs. This article discusses the ten largest schools in South Carolina that offer elementary teaching programs. Each of the institutions listed below are accredited by NCATE and approved by the state.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Elementary Teaching Programs Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Clemson University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Teaching and Learning
$14,272 in-state; $33,190 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$9,220 in-state; $18,406 (graduate)*
Coastal Carolina University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Learning and Teaching (concentration in early and elementary grades)
$10,530 in-state; $24,320 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$13,008 in-state; $23,496 out-of-state (graduate)*
The College of Charleston 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education,
Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education
$11,322 in-state; $28,866 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$12,450 all-students (graduate)*
Francis Marion University 4-year, public; small suburb Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education $10,100 in-state; $19,668 out-of-state*
Limestone College 4-year, private non-profit; fringe town Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education $23,900*
South Carolina State University 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Science Elementary Education,
Master of Arts in Teaching (focus on elementary education),
Master of Education in Elementary Education
$10,088 in-state; $19,856 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$10,088 in-state; $19,856 out-of-state (graduate)*
University of South Carolina - Aiken 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education $9,878 in-state; $19,472 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
University of South Carolina - Columbia 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Teaching,
Doctor of Philosophy in Teaching and Learning
$11,482 in-state; $30,298 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$12,784 in-state; $26,932 out-of-state (graduate)*
University of South Carolina - Upstate 4-year, public; midsize suburb Bachelor of Arts in Education - Elementary Education,
Certification-Only Post-Baccalaureate Program in Elementary Education,
Second Degree Option for Certification,
Master of Education in Elementary Education
$10,818 in-state; $21,468 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$12,834 in-state; $26,982 out-of-state (graduate)*
Winthrop University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on elementary education
$14,456 in-state; $27,704 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$14,128 in-state; $26,938 out-of-state (graduate)*

Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.


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