Elementary BEd

This 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 (UVic or elsewhere)

In year one, you'll study English, Canadian studies, mathematics and laboratory science. Two elective courses selected from a wide choice of academic subjects are also required. While the electives are normally taken in year one, you may take them in a summer session following year one, two or three. You must complete the electives before beginning year four.

Years two - four (full time at UVic or College of the Rockies)

The core teacher education courses and practica are offered over three academic years (September - May). 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.

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. 

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

Year one requirements: courses, competencies, GPA, and deadlines

You'll 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 electives4,5, 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.6


  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 Education adviser.
  5. The electives are normally taken in year one but may be taken in a summer session following year one, two or three. The electives must be completed before entry to year four.
  6. Learn how a GPA is calculated at UVic.

Year one course options at UVic

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 an Education adviser if you've completed any English course with less than a C+ grade.


We can't accept technical or creative writing courses.

  1. We can't accept 3.0 units of English composition.
  2. Consult an Education adviser before taking a 'special topics' course. The adviser will need to see a course description or outline.
  3. Consult an Education adviser 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.


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 Education adviser 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. If you can, choose courses that have a weekly three-hour lab. Science courses that average at least 1.5 hours of lab time a week are also acceptable. 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 102A General Physics I
  • PHYS 102B General Physics II
  • PHYS 120 Physics I


  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. Please consult an Education adviser if you took a human anatomy or physiolgy course elsewhere.
  4. Social Science department courses, such as psychology, are not accepted in lieu of science courses.
  5. Physical geography courses are the only social science courses that will be accepted as science. UVic's GEOG 103, for example.
  6. We won't accept any laboratory science course completed more than ten years ago.


Choose two 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 the rule:  EPHE 141 Human Anatomy and EPHE 155 Introduction to Nutrition: Concept and Controversies.

Year one course options at other universities and colleges

If you're taking courses at a college or university in British Columbia, check the list of post-secondary institutions 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. If you are attending a BC post-secondary institution, 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.

Educative experience

In addition to the required courses, you'll be asked to 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. These supporting documents must adequately indicate to the satisfaction of the elementary program lead that your experience working with children/youth support your ability to be a teacher candidate in this program.

In your letter of intent, you'll explain why you wish to become a teacher, how your life experiences (employment, volunteer activities, work with diverse groups of children/youth, special skills or talents, leadership roles) are relevant to teaching, and why you think these experiences are appropriate preparation for a career in teaching.

Your résumé will list your education, employment history, education-related experience (volunteer or paid), work experience with youth (volunteer or paid), and two references.

Your reference forms will be completed by individuals who have observed you interacting with children/youth in educative ways in at least two different settings.

How to apply (September entry)

Application deadline: February 28

  • Apply to year one if you are a current or graduated high school student. The GPA cut-off for year one is high (80 - 85%). If you aren't selected for year one entry you may, instead, complete year one courses at UVic in another faculty or at another post-secondary institution and then apply to year two.
  • Apply to year two if you've already taken at least eight half-year university-level courses.

Click here to access application information. This information is updated each September for entry in the following year.

  • Indigenous applicants, please take note of the additional information provided for you on this page.