Students with an interest in education or in a teaching career may consider a variety of majors that will provide the academic background needed to enter the field of public school teaching, or to prepare for further study at the graduate level. For those interested in teaching in elementary education (K-5), you may select any major. Typical majors include, but are not limited to, anthropology, psychology, sociology, history, Latin American and Latino studies, economics, and humanities majors. Students interested in elementary teaching choose electives to increase their knowledge of the areas included in the California Content Standards (e.g. mathematics, language arts, social studies, humanities/fine arts, physical education, and science).

For those interested in teaching in secondary education (middle/ high school), selecting a major that supports your primary area of interest is necessary. For example, for those interested in teaching English, a major in literature is appropriate. For those interested in teaching the social sciences, a major in history, politics or economics is appropriate. For those interested in the sciences, majors such as biology, chemistry, physics, environmental studies or School of Engineering majors are advised. UCSC is also home to the Cal Teach Program, a specialized program for students interested in becoming mathematics or science teachers. This exciting program offers coursework and teaching internships for students majoring in mathematics, science fields, or engineering.

Programs with a specific focus on education include a major in Education, Democracy & Justicea combined major in Latin American and Latino Studies and Education and Justice and Democracy (LALS/EDJ), a major in Mathematics Education, and a major in Science Education.

The Education Department offers two minor tracks:

  1. Education Minor that can be taken with any major.
  2. STEM Education Minor. The STEM minor specifically serves students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors who are considering careers in secondary mathematics or science teaching. Applying to Cal Teach is a requirement for this minor.


Consult the information available about majors you are considering to determine if you need to take placement exams in math, language, or other subjects.

For the Mathematics Education and Science Education majors: Complete the Math Preparation and placement process. You can review your math skills for free to prepare you for placement or your next course. It takes up to three business days for ALEKS PPL placement to be posted in your student record.


Education, Democracy & Justice Major, Education Minor, and STEM Education Minor
Department Advisor,,
Education Department, room 2163, second floor, McHenry Library Building

Cal Teach Program
Program Advisor,, 831-459-2226
Jack Baskin Engineering Building, room 157B

Mathematics Education
Mathematics Department,

Science Education Major
Science Education is offered by the Physics Department:, 831-459-1347

Combined major in Latin American and Latino Studies and Education, Justice and Democracy (LALS/EDJ)
LALS Department,

Last updated 6/2024