Teacher Inside an Elementary Classroom

Elementary Education

Follow your passion for working with and teaching children while learning to encourage, guide and inspire K-8 students as an elementary teacher.

Why Study Elementary Education?

As an elementary education major at USD, you will develop the technology, cultural responsiveness and intervention skills you need to make a difference as a K-8 elementary school teacher. This four-year program includes a full year of residency, meaning you will graduate with a wealth of hands-on experiences that will set you apart after graduation.

Prepare to motivate, support and guide children in your own classroom as an elementary education major at USD.

Degrees & Offerings

Elementary Education (B.S.Ed.)

  Vermillion Main Campus and Sioux Falls

The B.S.Ed. in elementary education prepares you to become a K-8 teacher. The program includes valuable field experiences, and the curriculum provides you with a rich knowledge base in methods, integrated literacy and various content areas. A technology endorsement is embedded in this program, equipping you to teach and lead in a 21st century classroom.

Elementary Education & Early Childhood (B.S.Ed.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

An early childhood emphasis may be the right fit for you if you want to work with young children. The classes in this program will provide you with knowledge about how to best support children and their families, including guidance on developmentally appropriate practices and experience teaching in a kindergarten setting.

Elementary Education & Kindergarten Education (B.S.Ed.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

The B.S.Ed. in elementary education prepares you to become a K-8 teacher. The program includes valuable field experiences, and the curriculum provides you with a rich knowledge base in methods, integrated literacy and various content areas. A technology endorsement is embedded in this program, equipping you to teach and lead in a 21st century classroom.

Accelerated Special Education: Advanced Specialist in Disabilities (M.A.)

Accelerated Program
  Vermillion Main Campus

You can choose an accelerated option when specializing in advanced specialist in disabilities. If you are a current USD undergraduate student who would like to begin a master's degree while completing your bachelor's degree, you may apply and begin the program after the completion of 90 undergraduate credit hours.

View Admissions Requirements

Program Details





Teacher Working One-On-One with a Young Student

Add a Second Major in Special Education

As you look forward to entering the workforce or applying to a graduate or professional program, you need real-world experiences that set you apart. 

At USD, you'll experience a wide range of hands-on learning opportunities. You have the chance to conduct research in biomechanics or exercise testing labs, learn coaching resistance training techniques, participate in programs through the Wellness Center, complete an internship and attend conferences.


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Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.


As a student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.

There are plenty of ways you can get involved as a student in the School of Education at USD. Whether you want to serve the community of Vermillion, work with children who have special needs, promote literacy or explore another interest related to education, you'll be able to find the right organization for you.

Explore Student Organizations

The National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Education Association are professional organizations for educators. Connect with a wide network of teachers and be an advocate for students in one of these organizations.

Enrich your education and see the world by participating in one of our many study abroad experiences. Here are a few benefits of studying abroad during your time at USD:

  • Gain a new perspective on your academic field of study
  • Improve your language skills
  • Explore a new culture
  • Gain independence and increase self-reliance
  • Become more prepared to work in a global economy
  • Set yourself apart from other job and graduate school applicants
  • Learn more about yourself and your own culture

Learn More

A unique part of your USD education is access to undergraduate research opportunities. As an education student at USD, you will have the chance to explore your interests and conduct innovative research with the support of professors who care about your success. Grants and travel funding are available through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

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Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in teacher residency and education.
Teacher Sitting at a Table with Students.

Teacher Residency & Education

The Division of Teacher Residency & Education is focused on preparing effective, responsive teachers who can meet the needs of all students in today's schools. Through unique features such as a robust yearlong residency, an emphasis on technology and curriculum that recognizes a variety of learners, our division offers an enriching education for educators and leaders.

Faculty & staff

Get to know the faculty and staff in the Division of Teacher Residency & Education. Our faculty's K-12 experience informs their teaching; they know what it's like to manage a classroom, plan curriculum and teach a wide variety of learners, so they have the expertise necessary to prepare you for your future classroom.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Daniel Mourlam

Daniel Mourlam

Division Chair, Teacher Education/Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Susan Gapp

Susan Gapp

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jing Williams

Jing Williams

Associate Professor


Social Studies Education
Bio Image for Faculty Member John Williams

John Williams

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lisa Hazlett

Lisa Hazlett



Young adult literature; secondary ELA education
Bio Image for Faculty Member Nicki Carr

Nicki Carr

Bio Image for Faculty Member Danielle Davenport

Danielle Davenport

Senior Secretary
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kristen DeMuth

Kristen DeMuth

Bio Image for Faculty Member Jamie Hovden

Jamie Hovden

Bio Image for Faculty Member Monica Iverson

Monica Iverson

Senior Lecturer


Special Education
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kelly Knutson

Kelly Knutson

Bio Image for Faculty Member Carla McMurryKozak

Carla McMurryKozak



K-12 Special Education
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kevin Reins

Kevin Reins

Associate Professor
Teacher Reading a Story to an Elementary Class

Gain Real-World Experience

At USD, you will gain the real-world experience and skills schools are looking for.

Our graduates are highly sought-after because they bring such a wealth of experiences to the classroom; by the time you graduate, you will have experience in at least three schools and at two or more grade levels – including a full year of teaching experience incorporated into your four-year program. These hands-on experiences prepare you to graduate as a highly-effective teacher with a wealth of knowledge and a variety of marketable skills. 

Elementary Students Using Tablet to Control Robot

Prepare for the 21st Century Classroom

Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives and our schools. USD's program prepares you to thrive in the 21st century classroom. Our classes teach you how to integrate technology into the classroom to support the learning experience of your students. You'll even have the opportunity to practice this work with students at our local elementary school even before you enter your yearlong residency. 

You'll graduate with a technology endorsement, which will help set you apart and position you for success in your future classroom.

Tuition & Costs

USD offers low tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, as well as scholarships, financial aid and employment opportunities to help make your education even more affordable.
SD Residents, SD Advantage* & Child of Alumni
MN Residents
Tuition (30 cr.)
Fees (30 cr.)
Books (estimate)
Food Service

* SD Advantage: The in-state rate is available to new undergraduate students who are residents of South Dakota, Colorado, Illinois (starting Summer 2023), Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin (starting Summer 2023), Wyoming and children of alumni of USD.

More About Tuition & Costs

This is an estimated annual cost. Other factors may change the cost of tuition.

Undergraduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities.

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.


USD awards nearly $9.5 million in scholarships each year. View our scholarships to see which ones you may qualify for and how you can apply.


Meet a USD Student

Success story Carter Larson smiling.
USD's School of Education has provided continued support throughout my academic experience and I couldn't be more thankful. The faculty has provided opportunities that are second-to-none, including the year-long residency program that provides a substantial hands-on experience.

Carter Larson

B.S.Ed. Elementary Education '22
Vermillion, South Dakota

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