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Washington State University

Teacher Education – Admission Requirements


We want you in our program!

Here is what you need to do to make that happen!

Program application review occurs each fall and spring. Interested students apply in February for fall admission and in September for spring admission.

Meeting minimum application requirements makes a student eligible to apply, but does not guarantee admission. Enrollment is limited and admission is competitive.

Here is what we will be looking for:

  • A completed application.  Please be sure to complete the correct application below. There are separate applications for elementary and secondary.

Elementary Education Application – Pullman Campus – The application link for fall 2024 will be posted here on September 1, 2024.

Secondary Education Application – Pullman Campus – The application link for fall 2024 will be posted here on September 1, 2024.

  • Personal goals statements will be submitted with your application in the link above. **PLEASE SUBMIT THIS DOCUMENT IN THE APPLICATION AS A PDF.**
  • 80 Hours Requirement
    • 60 teaching hours: These hours must be recent educational experience with ages 4 – adult in a teaching capacity. Hours can be paid or volunteer.  Experiences must be within the last 3 years (at the time of application to the program).
    • 20 hours cultural hours: These hours we want you to be working with or learning about people from diverse populations and/or attending cultural events surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. Experiences must be within the last 3 years (at the time of application to the program).

    Your hours are due by the last day of instruction for the term in which you are applying.

  • Complete at least 45 semester hours of coursework, which includes very specific courses, as outlined in the above-posted application.
  • Complete an interview. Interview details are provided in the applications.
  • Meet minimum basic skills requirements in reading, writing, and math. This can be fulfilled through scores on the SAT, ACT, or WEST-B. See Basic Skills Testing page.
  • Have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 at WSU

Secondary education majors:
To teach a specific subject in middle school or high school, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in the subject you choose. In addition to the classes for your declared major, you must complete core professional education coursework within the College of Education to earn teacher certification in a particular subject.


* Please consult the WSU General Catalog for course planning. You must meet the requirements outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.

Please email any questions to

Teacher Education – Program Advantages


You could choose anyone. here’s why you should choose us!


  • We have the most up-to-date knowledge of effective teaching, student learning, and educational reform.
  • We employ innovative education technologies and the latest classroom facilities.
  • We give our students the chance for supervised classroom experience through 200 hours of practicums and a full semester of student teaching.
  • We facility access to classroom teaching opportunities in every region of Washington, as well as in English-speaking schools overseas.
  • We maintain strong professional connections through professors who collaborate with more than 150 school districts.
  • We encourage participation in our thriving Alhadeff Future Teachers of Color program.

View our Learning Outcomes

Maren Talcott: Awesome work in an awesome place

Maren Talcott

Maren Talcott: Awesome work in an awesome place

Recent grad volunteers in Guatemala

FEBRUARY 20, 2014
By C. Brandon Chapman

Not a single place in Washington state has it been warm this winter. But Maren Talcott just couldn’t care less, because she’s not in Washington – she’s in Guatemala. And it’s, like, 75 degrees every day. And the sun is shining. And she’s right on Lake Atitlan. And she has a bunch of new friends. Life, you could say, is pretty decent.

Maren graduated in December with a degree in elementary education and a minor in Spanish. She’s always been interested in both those things. And now she’s combining them, teaching at La Casa Opalo, a Montessori on a 70-acre farm. It’s also right on Lake Atitlan, the deepest lake in Central America, surrounded by seven volcanoes.

“I have wanted to be a teacher almost all of my life,” Maren says. “I also have eight years of education in Spanish. I wanted to go somewhere where I was forced to use the language and I could assist in a school. This experience will help strengthen my Spanish and give me the exposure I need to be fluent.”

This initial teaching post is merely voluntary, between January and March of this year. In this time, she’s already had plenty of good experiences. And lots of good memories. She’s there to teach, yes. And while teaching the young elementary-schoolers English, art, and computer knowledge is a primary function, it’s perhaps less satisfying than the personal relations she’s built. That’s surely what she’ll remember most.

A life-changing experience

The elevation around Lake Atitlan is roughly 5,100 feet. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Maren’s photos are stunning. But for her, the photos she has taken with the students are of even more personal value.

“Words cannot describe the children of Guatemala,” she says. “I came here to teach the children, and in return they are actually teaching me. They are teaching me about myself, my values, my dreams, and my beliefs every day.”

Also, they’re teaching her appreciation.

“These children are living on nothing, barely getting a sufficient amount of food every day,” Maren says. “Their homes are made up of dirt walls, toilets that are a hole in the ground, and up to 14 people living in one small house. Life is very different for them. But these children have so much love to give, and they are grateful for absolutely everything. Many children in the United States expect iPods for Christmas and computers at the age of 5. If you give these Guatemalan children a paper doll, it is like gold to them.”

In fact, while Maren lives in what seems like an oasis, La Case Opala was set up as a haven for the surrounding communities. It’s precisely an oasis because the towns – more like villages – around the lake are not nearly as beautiful as the lake itself.

In 2005, Hurricane Stan came off the Caribbean and pelted Guatemala, as well as some other countries in the region. In that storm, with the accompanying rain, a massive landslide all but took out the Panabaj, leaving an estimated 1,400 dead. Those who were lucky enough to survive were left homeless. However, the sewage treatment plant that existed was never rebuilt. Untreated sewage and other contaminants now work its way into the lake. This is life in the region.

This is life in the region. Real life. Maren wasn’t truly prepared for what she would see. Since right before she embarked on her new adventure, she’s been documenting her experiences in her blog Adios Washington….Hola Guatemala!

Here’s an excerpt from one of her first days:

Today we did a few home visits to families that will be attending the school this year. Let me describe their homes. Some were made of dirt/mud, others cement blocks. The cement house was considered the “nice home.” Their floors were dirt, the toilet was a hole in the ground, and their stove looked like it was found in a dump and did not even work. There was no shower, no fridge, and the family usually slept in the same room. Imagine sleeping with your brothers, sisters, and parents! No privacy, no warmth, and no cleanliness. Could you do it? I know that I took one look at the homes and thought to myself, could I even live there for one night? Two? It would be so hard. These people live like this every single day, and it is all they know. The family with the “nice house” which was just remodeled to have the cement walls instead of the dirt walls, was more grateful than ever. The families I saw today, their children will be attending the school soon. I was able to introduce myself as one of their teachers this year. Their smile, their eyes, and their happiness just warmed my heart. Yes, my home and the school are amazing and I am so grateful for everything I have around me. But to see how little the families have that will be attending the school really puts things into perspective. When I look at the school, I see the most beautiful school and view I have EVER seen. Imagine how the families feel that are living in dirt homes with nothing? This school means everything to them. This safe haven is a blessing to the families of the nearby towns.

This is the real reason Maren is here. She can teach the little ones math. But what they sometimes really want is a gift – the gift of an exotic friend who cares about them. Because they certainly care about her.

One of the most eye-opening things Maren writes about is when she first showed up in the country. She went with the bus driver to pick up some of the school children, and they were immediately drawn to the gringa.

“They looked at me with such curiosity, touching my hair, complimenting me, hugging me, like they had known me for years,” Maren says, in her blog. “It was the most welcoming thing I have ever experienced.”

One little girl proceeded to sit on Maren’s lap on the bus, and then never leave her side.

“She ended up being my friend for the whole day.”

It didn’t even matter that the children all spoke at once and Maren could barely understand. She felt their admiration.

“Love is something you can communicate without words,” she says.

The language

While much communication is done without talking, Spanish is still one of Maren’s passions. She wants to improve. It’s been a goal of hers since she first started taking Spanish classes in high school.

“Although I can tell my Spanish is already so much better, it is absolutely mentally exhausting,” she says. “At times, it can be frustrating, as well. I will want to say something, but I can’t because I don’t know how to in Spanish.”

For an extrovert, that might be the most difficult part.

“It is hard because I can’t be my outgoing self, and I feel like the people and my students are not getting to know the real Maren,” she says. “In English, it’s obviously much easier to be myself and say what I want to say when I want to say it. It just isn’t that easy in Spanish!”

Yet, she is committed to improve; to communicate more efficiently. She’s certainly in the right place.

“Put yourself in a third world country, where everyone around you only speaks Spanish, and all day long, you are translating in your head and trying to communicate in a language different from your own. Let me tell you, it is exhausting,” she says. “But I am certain that after three months of it, I will be more confident in the language and more fluent than when I started!”

Goals, goals, and more Spanish

Maren is certified in Washington to teach K-8. But her true passion lies with the younger crowd; the really little ones.

“My dream is to be a kindergarten or a preschool teacher,” she says.

After working at a Montessori for the past fives years, and after her experience in Guatemala, Maren figures on becoming a certified Montessori preschool teacher. She figures it will take less than a year to get certified.

Plus, she’ll still be able to use the Spanish she’s learned in whatever she does.

“As a teacher, I hope to incorporate Spanish into my future classroom, and I want to be able to communicate with parents who only speak Spanish,” she says. “I think it is really important for students to learn a second language at a young age. Being bilingual is such a gift, and I hope to use this gift in my classroom and in my career.”

But no matter what Maren does in the future, you can be sure she’ll take Guatemala with her. She can’t help it. It’s become part of who she is. And she’ll never be the same person because she’s seen what true happiness should look like.

“In my world, I can go out and buy a new shirt from Nordstrom for $50 and not think twice about it,” she says. “Here, I am realizing that that amount of money could feed a whole family for an entire month! I am certain I will return after three months with a different outlook on life. So many people in the United States try to buy happiness. The people of Guatemala are genuinely happy even without a glamorous life. It is beautiful to see, and amazing to be part of this life. I try to embrace the culture every day.

“Buying a shirt for $50 will make me happy for about a week. Making a difference in someone else’s life will make me happy for the rest of my life.”


Maren on…

Why she’s teaching

“I have wanted to be a teacher almost all my life. I was never the girl that changed her major five times. I was fortunate to get a job right after high school at a preschool. I worked every summer and during my breaks for the past five years. Working at the preschool really opened up my eyes and heart to my passion for teaching. My real passion is with the little/young children, ages 3 to 6. When I am around children, I am the best version of myself. I have so much love for the children, and it is a rewarding profession that leaves me feeling so much love in return. I might not become a millionaire, but I will certainly make a difference. I wanted a career that I could look forward to work every day…and that is exactly what I found.”

Why she chose WSU

“I actually only applied to WSU and one other school. The reason I applied to the other school was because they also have a strong education program. I visited the other school first, and realized it was about the size of a high school. All it took was one visit to WSU, and I knew right away it was the school for me. Something about the school spirit, the genuine people, and the comfort of a big school in a small town made me feel right at home. I can confidently say, the best four years of my life were spent in Pullman!”

Hardest thing about college

“The hardest thing about college was balancing a social life and school. We all go to college to get a good education, but it is difficult when there are so many other fun things to do! I had a rough transition from high school to college. And my grades suffered a little my first semester. I used to be able to study for a test the night before…but it wasn’t that easy in college! But, all it took was one semester for a wake-up call. I quickly was able to set my priorities straight and get my academics up to par. Especially after I got all my gen ed classes out of the way, and into the classes I was actually passionate about!”

For fun in Pullman

“One of my favorite things to do in Pullman is hang out with my friends at the Coug. Enjoying a cold beer, good company, and an inviting environment…it doesn’t get much better than that! Especially when we start playing Catch Phrase!”

Delicious Palouse fare

“My absolute favorite restaurante is La Casa. Although it isn’t in Pullman, it is very close! It’s only about 10 miles away in Moscow. I swear they have the best Mexican food I have ever had! After graduation, every time I visit Pullman, I am sure to make a stop at La Casa!”


“I truly believe that everyone should take the time to learn a second language. IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO START! Even though it is hard, it forces you to learn about another culture, and it opens doors to opportunities you never even dreamed of. Being bilingual is a gift, and it is something that can impact all aspects of your life.”

Teacher Education – Advising Resources

Helping you follow your passion for teaching.

Our advisors  will help give you the best start possible to graduating, earning your Washington teacher certification, and being an effective K-12 teacher.

Advisor (last names A-L)

Meet Rebecca Liao-Cance

Advisor (last names M-Z)

Meet Ashley Herridge

Mathematics and Science Education Annual Retreat

math science phd retreat photo-story

Nothing beats face-to-face collaboration!

The Math and Science Ed Ph.D. program’s annual retreat is an investment that yields high returns.

Each fall, all students and faculty in the program hold an annual retreat on the Tri-Cities campus. While teleconferencing and other technologies allow all program members a chance to connect on a regular basis, this retreat gives a yearly chance to reconnect in a face-to-face environment.

Conversations and work at the retreat support future collaborations and often lead to joint publications and presentations. The retreat also provides opportunities for self-reflection and peer feedback, enhancement of the strong learning community that exists inside the program, and input on the content and focus of the program.

View photo gallery from 2015 retreat

Mathematics and Science Education

$2.9 milliongrant awarded

Amy Roth McDuffie is part of a multi-university team that has received a $2.9 million National Science Foundation grant to improve middle school mathematics.

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MagnifyingGlass mathematics

Program Overview

Our math and science education doctorate degree will help you get ready to make important contributions to the field.

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Candace mathematics

Meet Our Students

We have the best students in the world, already making a huge difference. Candace Chappelle is just one example.

Meet Them

Kristen mathematics

Meet our faculty

Students in this important field get a boost from their top-notch faculty. These are experts in their field.

Meet Them

They said it!

My time in this program has surpassed my expectations. I have been able to grow so much in my professional capacities and when I compare myself to other graduate students I meet at national conferences and in other social sciences at WSU, I think we compare well and can hold our own with the strong preparation we’ve had.”

— Reponse by Ph.D. student as part of 2018 anonymous program survey

I was interested in joining the Math & Science Education program because of the intentionality and recognition of the need to work at the intersection of math and education, rather than foregrounding one and backgrounding the other. I have garnered the most from the more informal mentorship of the faculty as they have candidly reflected on their own experiences in the academy, shared unpolished work, and as we have co-authored manuscripts. Such interactions have “pulled back the curtain” on academia, making it less and less mysterious. This helps me envision myself in the academy.”

— Roxanne Moore, Mathematics and Science Education doctoral candidate

Language, Literacy, and Technology (LLT)


Program Overview

Read more about our degrees in Language, Literacy and Technology.

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Meet our faculty

Our faculty members will teach you what you need to know. They’re thought-leaders in their field, and won’t hesitate to share their expertise.

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It’s never been an easier time to increase your knowledge, value as an employee, and effectiveness in the field. We’ll help you through the process.

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They Said It…

Masters student Amy Jacobson standing at flip chart teaching in classroom.

“My teaching was transformed by the Masters education I received at WSU.  Through the mentorship and guidance of my WSU professors, I was able to gain an in-depth understanding of powerful literacy skills and techniques with which I could immediately apply in my classroom.  Over the course of my Masters education, I watched my students, even the ones who were averse to reading, grow to be avid readers who read, shared, and discussed books with their friends.  The positive impact on my students was the most valuable thing I took from my Masters, and I couldn’t have done it without the proper guidance.”

— Amy Jacobson

Teacher Education

Become a Teacher

There are several steps to becoming a teacher. We make
it easier for you by breaking it down, step by step

View The Plan

Employment opportunities and career fairs for current students and graduates


Advising Resources

Includes program admission information as well as important documents and resources.

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The state requires you to be certified and endorsed. We can help you through the entire process.

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Field Services

From internships to student teaching, Field Services will help you from start to finish.

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They said it…

“I wanted to share I was recognized by Alabama’s School Counseling Association as the elementary counselor of the year. In my application, I wrote a lot about the national board process and how much it stretched me as a counselor. I contribute so much of that to you and how hard you pushed us to THINK.”

— Elizabeth Shaddix, in an email to Jane Oczkewicz, our National Board facilitator for ECYA COunseling