Elementary BEd

This four-year program provides engaging, relevant and high-quality preparation for the responsibilities and challenges of today's classrooms. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Education degree and are eligible to apply for a BC teaching certificate. In British Columbia, teaching certificates are issued by the Ministry of Education's Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB).

Year one
In year one, you'll study English, Canadian studies, mathematics and laboratory science. You'll also take two academic elective courses. Click the Year One tab below for more details about these requirements.

Years two - four
The core education courses are offered over three winter sessions beginning in year two. The courses provide an introduction to the full range of subjects taught in an elementary classroom (kindergarten through grade seven). To learn what you’ll study in years two, three and four, refer to the program outline in the UVic Undergraduate Calendar.

Year one courses, competencies and GPA

Take these courses as a first year student in UVic's Faculty of Education, in another faculty at UVic, or at another university or college.

The courses and competencies listed here must be completed by April 30:

  • 3.0 units1 approved English, and
  • demonstrated competency in written English2, and
  • 3.0 units approved Canadian studies, and
  • 3.0 units approved mathematics3 with a C+ average, and
  • 3.0 units approved laboratory science3, and
  • 3.0 units approved academic electives4, and
  • a minimum sessional average of 3.00/9-point scale (UVic C+). If your most recent session is fewer than 12.0 units, you must have a grade-point average of at least 3.00 on a 9-point scale (equivalent to UVic's C+ grade) on your most recent consecutive 12.0 units. Learn how a GPA is calculated at UVic.


  1. 3.0 UVic units are equivalent to two, half-year courses or 6 credits at most BC colleges and universities.
  2. A minimum C+ grade in each of two approved English courses.
  3. Mathematics and laboratory science courses must be completed within ten years of entry to year two.
  4. Choose from subjects related to those taught in BC schools such as art, computer science, French, geography or physics. Courses from professional programs such as child and youth care, education and social work are not normally approved. Consult an academic adviser.
Tip! The electives are normally taken in year one but may be taken in a summer session following years one, two or three. The electives must be completed before entry to year four.

French Immersion Specialization (Optional)
With approval, the Professional Specialization Certificate (PSC) in Teaching French Immersion may be taken concurrently with the BEd (Elementary Curriculum) program. 

The certificate consists of four courses: two offered online in the winter session and two offered face-to-face in the summer session (normally in July). If admitted to the PSC, you may begin taking courses in the summer session following year two. The final course must be taken in the fall term of year four. Refer to Continuing Studies’ website for more details about admission to the certificate program. 

Students must meet with a Faculty of Education adviser before applying to the PSC in Teaching French Immersion.

What courses do I take in year one if I'm a UVic student?

You'll study English, Canadian studies, mathematics and laboratory science. You'll also take a couple of academic electives. Click on the tabs below for approved UVic courses. Speak with an adviser in the Education Advising Office in MacLaurin if you have questions.

English and written English competency

Choose two from:

  • ENGL 135 University Writing or Academic Reading and Writing or ENGL 215 The Writing of Expository Prose
  • ENGL 146 The Literature of Our Era
  • ENGL 147 Great Moments in English Literature
  • ENGL 200A English Literature to 1660
  • ENGL 200B English Literature, 1660-1800
  • ENGL 200C English Literature, 1800-1914
  • ENGL 201 Introduction to Modernist Literature
  • ENGL 202 Introduction to Canadian Literature
  • ENGL 203 Introduction to American Literature
  • ENGL 207 Introduction to Cultural Studies
  • ENGL 208 Introduction to Women's Writing
  • ENGL 209 Foundations of Literary Criticism
  • ENGL 260 The Bible as Literature

Written English competency
This will be satisfied with a grade of C+ or higher in each of two approved English courses.  Consult a Faculty of Education adviser if you've completed any English course with less than a C+ grade.


  1. We can't accept technical or creative writing courses.
  2. We can't accept 3.0 units of English composition.
  3. Consult an adviser before taking a 'special topics' course. The adviser will need to see a course description or outline.
  4. Consult an academic adviser in the Education Advising Office at MacLaurin  if you have any questions regarding the English requirements.

Canadian studies

We accept courses that focus on the Canadian experience and cover topics taught in the BC elementary social studies curriculum.

Choose two from:

  • CS 102 Introduction to Canadian Contemporary Issues
  • CS 201 Issues and Ideas in Canadian Environmentalism
  • ECON 100 The Canadian Economy - Problems and Policies
  • HSTR 230A Canada to Confederation
  • HSTR 230B Canada from Confederation - present  
  • IS 200A Indigenous Studies Foundation
  • IS 200B Introduction to Indigenous Studies
  • POLI 101 Canadian Politics
  • POLI 201 Canadian Institutions of Government
  • SOCI 103 Canadian Society
  1. We won't accept Canadian literature, art history courses or CS 101.
  2. We normally won't accept courses that study one region or province of Canada. 

Mathematics and mathematics competency

Choose two from:

  • MATH 100 or 102 Calculus I or Calculus for Students in the Social and Biological Science
  • MATH 101 Calculus II
  • MATH 151 Finite Mathematics
  • MATH 161 Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers I 
  • MATH 162 Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers II

Mathematics competency
This will be satisfied with a C+ average on two approved mathematics courses (UVic 3.00/9-point scale).


  1. We recommend MATH 161 and 162.
  2. We won't accept UVic's MATH 120 Pre-calculus.
  3. We won't accept statistics courses from computer science, economics, psychology or sociology.
  4. Consult an academic adviser in the Education Advising Office at MacLaurin if you've completed a statistics course from a mathematics department.
  5. We won't accept any math courses completed more than ten years ago.

Laboratory science

Because elementary teachers take a strong field-based, hands-on approach to teaching sciences, we prefer science courses that offer a significant lab component. We recommend courses with a weekly 3-hour lab, but will accept those that average at least 1.5 hours of lab time a week. Try to choose courses from two different subjects. 

Choose two from:

  • ASTR 101 Exploring the Night Sky
  • ASTR 102 Exploring the Cosmos
  • BIOL 184 (formerly BIOL 190B) Evolution and Biodiversity
  • BIOL 186 (formerly BIOL 190A) Physiology and Cell Biology 
  • CHEM 101 Fundamentals of Chemistry I
  • CHEM 102 Fundamentals of Chemistry II
  • EOS 110 Oceans and Atmosphere
  • EOS 120 The Dynamic Earth1
  • One of EPHE 141 Human Anatomy or EPHE 242 Introduction to Human Cellular Physiology (formerly EPHE 241A)4
  • GEOG 103 Introduction to Physical Geography2
  • PHYS 120 Physics I3
  1. Each year, the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences reserves an EOS 120 lab section for prospective elementary teachers. Registration is by permission. Questions regarding SEOS courses and labs can be directed to seos@uvic.ca or (250) 472-5133.
  2. Consult an adviser if you want to take GEOG 103 but have already taken EOS 110 or 120.
  3. PHYS 102 General Physics (3.0 units) is also acceptable. You won't need to pair PHYS 102 with a second course because it is 3.0 units.
  4. Please consult an academic adviser if you took a human anatomy or physiology course elsewhere.
  5. Social Science department courses, such as psychology, are not accepted in lieu of science courses. 
  6. Physical geography courses are the only social science courses that will be accepted as science. UVic's GEOG 103, for example.
  7. We won't accept any laboratory science course completed more than ten years ago.


Choose courses from subjects related to those taught in BC schools such as:

  • AHVS - Art History and Visual Studies
  • ANTH - Anthropology
  • ART - Visual Arts
  • ASL - American Sign Language
  • BIOL - Biology
  • CHEM - Chemistry
  • CS  - Canadian Studies
  • CSC - Computer Science
  • EOS - Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • ES - Environmental Studies
  • FRAN - French
  • GEOG - Geography
  • GNDR - Gender Studies
  • HSTR - History
  • IS - Indigenous Studies
  • MUS - Music, except MUS 131
  • POLI - Political Science
  • PSYC - Psychology
  • SOCI - Sociology
  • THEA - Theatre


  1. Elementary schools are keen to hire teachers with a good knowledge of French. For this reason, we suggest you consider taking French as your elective in first year. 
  2. We can’t accept courses from professional programs such as child and youth care, social work, and teacher education. For example, do not take AE 103A, AE 103B, ED-D 101, EPHE 142, EPHE 143, or MUS 131. The following education courses are the exception to this rule: EPHE 141 Human Anatomy and EPHE 155 Introduction to Nutrition: Concept and Controversies.

What courses do I take in year on if I'm a student at ...?

It's possible to take English, Canadian studies, mathematics, laboratory science and elective courses at another post-secondary institution and then apply to UVic's Faculty of Education for year two entry. Click on the tab below for more information.

Approved courses at BC colleges and universities

If you're taking courses at a college or university in British Columbia, check the list below. You may find an information handout for the college or university you'll be attending that lists approved year one courses.

If we haven't prepared an advising sheet for the college or university you're attending, then:

  1. Select courses that you think can be used to satisfy year one requirements. 
  2. Use the BC transfer guide to find out if the courses transfer to UVic.
  3. Send your course selection to the Education Advising Office at MacLaurin.  An adviser will review your course selection and let you know if your courses are approved or not

Camosun College (updated June 2016)

Capilano University (last updated Nov 2015)

College of the Rockies (updated Jan. 2017)

College of New Caledonia (last updated Oct 2015)

 Douglas College (last updated July 2015)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (last updated July 2015)

Langara College (last updated Oct 2015)

North Island College (updated June 2016)

Northern Lights College

Northwest Community College

Okanagan College (last updated Dec 2015)

Selkirk College

Simon Fraser University

Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University - Open Learning (distance, updated July 2016)

Trinity Western University

University of British Columbia - Okanagan

University of British Columbia - Vancouver

University of the Fraser Valley

University of Northern British Columbia

Vancouver Island University (last updated Oct 2015)

How to apply

The Faculty of Education accepts students into year one and year two of this program. Each entry point has specific admission criteria. 

You may apply for year one entry if you are a current high school student or high school graduate.

Application deadline: February 28.
What are the admission requirements and how do I apply? Go to the Undergraduate Admissions website.

In addition to the required coursework, you must provide evidence of your experience, ability, and interest in working with children in educative ways in the form of a letter of intent, résumé and reference forms.

If you aren't offered admission to year one, you may apply for year two entry after completing the first year courses in another faculty at UVic or at another university or college.


For those who will have completed, or have in-progress,  at least two approved university-level courses in each of English, Canadian studies, mathematics, laboratory science, and who’ve satisfied the competencies and minimum grade-average required at the end of year one.

You must also provide evidence of your experience, ability, and interest in working with children in educative ways in the form of a letter of intent, résumé and reference forms.

Application deadline: February 28.
How do I apply? Go to the undergraduate application page and click on the BEd (Elementary Curriculum) – Year 2 entry tab.

The Faculty of Education is committed to increasing the number of students with First Nations, Inuit and Métis ancestry in our programs. The faculty has developed distinct access initiatives:

  1. Reserved seats: 5% of the positions in all the faculty's undergraduate programs will be held for Indigenous applicants who meet the Faculty of Education's minimum program entrance requirements and Indigenous application requirements.
  2. Exceptional admission: Exceptional students who do not meet the standard faculty requirements may be eligible for admission through a case-by-case review process.

 For more information, refer to the University of Victoria Undergraduate Calendar or speak with the Faculty of Education's Indigenous adviser, Glenda Haynes.