Integrated Studies

SPU regular teaching faculty (by subject areas)
Programs offered
  • Integrated Studies (major and concentrations)

This major is not accepting new admits as of Summer 2024. A new major in Elementary Education will be offered as a replacement.

If you intend to complete Residency Teacher Certification with an endorsement in Elementary Education, you are required to major in Integrated Studies. Coursework for the major along with the Residency Teacher Certification program may be completed in four years.

It also is possible to complete a major in Integrated Studies without the residency teacher certification coursework. Such students will not be required to complete the Foundations Quarter, Methods Quarter, Integrated Quarter, and Internship quarter required for certification. Instead they must complete one or more concentration-specific capstone courses rather than the Education Capstone course.

Find out more about this program’s mission, vision, and outcomes.

Integrated Studies (BA)

The Integrated Studies major is a comprehensive interdisciplinary program designed for students who want to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher.

  • A minimum 86-91 credits are required for this major, including 36-41 upper-division credits.
  • This is the required major for you if you intend to complete the Residency Teacher Certification with an endorsement in Elementary Education as an SPU undergraduate.
  • If you do plan to complete Residency Teacher Certification, plan to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.8 so you can apply for admittance to the School of Education.
  • Coursework for the major along with the Residency Teacher Certification program may be completed in four years.
  • This major allows you to develop depth of knowledge in the content areas in which you will teach: language arts, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, the arts, and health/fitness.

Core courses

The Core Courses were selected to enable you to develop both breadth of content knowledge across the subject areas you will teach (e.g., language arts, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, the arts, and health/fitness), and some depth of content knowledge in those areas. These courses simultaneously fulfill your Ways of Knowing requirements.

A number of these courses were specifically designed for future elementary teachers, including inquiry-based mathematics; inquiry-based science; children’s literature; the arts, music, theatre; and health/fitness education of children.

The courses are aligned with the six content areas of Washington state’s Endorsement Competencies for Elementary Education K–8 and will prepare you to take the state-mandated WEST-B® and WEST-E™ content skills tests. Further information about the tests can be found on the School of Education website.

Concentration in a discipline

You will select a discipline as an area of concentration early in your program. You take 24–35 additional credits of coursework in this discipline with the goal of acquiring greater depth of knowledge in one of the Core content areas.

When you are admitted into the major, you should work with your advisor for your selected concentration.

The six concentration areas, and their faculty contacts, include:

  • The Arts Concentration, Andrew Ryder, PhD, advisor
  • Health and Fitness Concentration, Jarrett Mentink, PhD, advisor
  • Language Arts Concentration, April Middeljans, PhD, advisor (If you choose this concentration, you must fulfill the requirement for proficiency in a second language.)
  • Mathematics Concentration, Jerilynn Lepak, PhD, advisor
  • Natural Sciences Concentration, Kara Gray, PhD, advisor
  • Social Sciences Concentration, Rebecca Hughes, PhD, advisor


It is extremely important for you to work closely with an advisor as you make decisions regarding your course selections for the Core courses, the Concentration, and the Residency Teacher Certification, and the University’s graduation requirements.

As an incoming freshman, you are assigned a University Colloquium advisor and an Integrated Studies faculty advisor. You will work with your Integrated Studies faculty advisor to select appropriate courses.

If you plan to participate in a study abroad program, you will need to work closely with your faculty advisor to determine the most appropriate quarter for such travel. This planning should be done during your freshman year, if  possible.

Transfer students

Work closely with your Integrated Studies faculty advisor to determine whether or not you have completed transfer courses that may substitute in the Core courses and in the Concentration.

Professional Certification Disclosure

SPU’s Undergraduate Teacher Certification Program meets the educational requirements for certification in the state of Washington. Each state has different professional licensure and certification requirements. Eligibility for certification/licensure may involve more than degree completion and may include professional examinations, background checks, and fingerprinting. The requirements for certification/licensure can change without notice.

The state professional licensing boards make the ultimate decision as to whether or not an individual will be eligible for licensure based on the rules and regulations in place at the time the individual submits their application for licensure. Find information here about certification/licensure in the state where you intend to teach.

Entering and completing the major

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified a major in this department as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major.
  • To change or enter a major or minor in this department, follow these instructions.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.

Time Schedule:

Course planning: Suggested course sequences