Bachelor of Science (BS) in Educational Studies Degree

Bachelor of Science in Educational StudiesInitial Program – Does Not Lead to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Education

Bachelor’s in Educational Studies Degree Overview

The field of education plays a unique role in effecting positive change in communities and society as a whole. The Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies degree program offered by Grand Canyon University (GCU) prepares you to work toward a brighter future by influencing educational policies, laws, programs and curricula.

When completing this educational studies degree program from the College of Education at GCU, you will critically examine and analyze pedagogical theories, teaching practices, education laws and learning environments. While this program does not lead to teaching licensure, it does provide you with an invaluable foundation of knowledge surrounding the education profession.

Benefits of Earning an Educational Studies Degree from GCU

This educational studies degree is offered both online and on campus. GCU seeks to graduate students who have gained both a firm foundational knowledge and the ability to thoughtfully reflect and think critically about the world around them. This rigorous curriculum guides you in analyzing ethical dilemmas in the educational arena through the lens of the Christian perspective. There is a strong emphasis on servant leadership.

Educational studies majors develop a firm grasp on the following core areas to develop a well-rounded perspective on teaching practices in alternative learning environments:

  • Educational psychology
  • Early childhood and adolescent literacy
  • Diversity in the classroom
  • Instructional technology
  • Communications
  • Classroom management
  • Leadership planning
  • Legal compliance

Learn Applicable Skills and Knowledge to Transform Education With an Educational Studies Degree

While majoring in educational studies, you will examine relevant and timely topics through an interdisciplinary lens. Some of these topics include:

  • Best practices in curriculum development
  • Practical applications of pedagogical concepts
  • Effective strategies for classroom engagement
  • Methods of student assessment and evaluation

All graduates with this major must complete 120 credits, including 56 major-specific credits and 24 to 30 open elective credits. This program may be more transfer-friendly than traditional teaching licensure programs, and it may benefit you to speak with GCU faculty to discuss your options.

Some of the classes you could take may include the following:

  • Early Childhood Literature
  • Adolescent Literacy
  • Early Literacy Development
  • Special Education Litigation and Law
  • Cultural Diversity in the Classroom
  • Educating the Exceptional Learner
  • Faith in Learning, Leading and Serving
  • Educational Psychology

Whether enrolled in the educational studies degree online or on campus, this program culminates in an internship experience. You will complete an internship in a nontraditional school setting, during which you will gain practical, hands-on knowledge of how to integrate ethical values and servant leadership into the learning environment.

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Educational Studies Career Paths for Graduates to Consider

This BA in educational studies is a multidisciplinary program that prepares you to pursue a variety of careers across a diverse range of settings. The foundational skills you will acquire during your coursework will translate well to various professions. Graduates may choose to pursue a job in any of these settings:

  • Nontraditional schools
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Daycares
  • Early childhood education centers
  • Social service agencies
  • Public or private community organizations

Some examples of careers related to this educational studies degree may include:

  • Social service manager
  • Community service manager
  • Community service specialist
  • Social service specialist
  • Eligibility interviewers
  • Government programs

The Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies degree program does not lead to initial teacher licensure. This profession does not have licensure requirements in most states, including Arizona. Individuals may choose to broaden their knowledge base and enhance their career opportunities by pursuing graduate certificates or degrees in educational studies.

BS in Educational Studies Degree Program FAQs

A bachelor’s in educational studies is ideal and highly beneficial for students who are either interested in teaching or working in an education-related field. A degree in educational studies prepares you for a career in shaping the lives of children, adolescents and adults alike, making this a life-long rewarding career choice. If you find enjoyment in learning and helping others better understand the world around them, a bachelor’s in education studies majors may be a good fit for you.

While the educational studies degree from GCU does not lead to teaching licensure, it enables you to pursue various careers in the educational studies field. An educational studies degree may also lead to a teaching career in private or charter schools that do not require a teaching license. You may also choose to pursue a full teaching degree later on in your education as well.

The Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies degree consists of a curriculum that is meant to challenge you in your studies and prepare you to excel in your career. This program includes many of the same courses as programs that lead to teaching licensure, however, there is not a student teaching requirement in this education studies degree, which may make it more appealing to some. GCU is committed to helping you in every step of your journey to assist in the development of your studies and academic skills both in person and online.

The skills you will learn as an educational studies major at GCU are the same for both online and on campus. No matter what platform you decide to pursue your bachelor’s in educational studies degree, you will graduate prepared for a multitude of different professions in the education field. Topics covered in educational studies online and on campus include a vast assortment of practical teaching methods, as well as social sciences, health and theory within educational fields.

Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
[More Info]
Online: 8 weeks
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Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Campus: $8,250 per semester
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Online: $455 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance


If seeking licensure or certification, applicants to the program are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. In addition, fingerprint and background clearance is required.

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
35 credits
Open Elective Credits:
45-51 credits
Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.


Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

In this writing intensive course, teacher candidates study how to teach a diverse population of students by examining the foundations and dimensions of social justice in education, social constructs, privilege, prejudice, and oppression with the goal of becoming culturally competent educators.

Course Description

In this course, candidates will identify the value family relationships and the community environment contribute to the classroom environment. Emphasis is placed on building relationships with families, caregivers, and other stakeholders in order to influence children, build productive learning environments, and create a positive culture for schools. Focus is placed on creating an inviting atmosphere for families and caregivers, and an inclusion of community organizations and businesses to support this family connection. Candidates research ways to utilize community resources to empower families and include them in communication, learning, and collaborative opportunities that foster a healthy home and school connection. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

In this course, candidates identify the developmental milestones of children, prenatal to adolescence. Students examine the progression of these milestones in all areas of development, including psychological, social, emotional, linguistic, cognitive, and physical. Additional focus is placed on typical and atypical child development, and analyzing the effects of environment, trauma, and family dynamics on the development progression. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates survey types and purposes of literature based on the developmental literacy needs of elementary-aged children. Particular emphasis is dedicated to the various genres that exist within the literature spectrum and how to utilize the different genres, including digital text, to meet specific instructional needs and literacy goals of elementary-aged children. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates survey a variety of reading instruction and phonemic practices. Emphasis is placed on the five elements of reading: phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This survey prepares the teacher candidate to plan and evaluate effective reading instruction that optimizes student learning. Effective communication techniques are reviewed and practiced with a variety of audiences teacher candidates may encounter in a classroom. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates will explore the importance and methodologies for developing innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula that integrates all academic areas in a relevant and cohesive manner. In this course, teacher candidates will examine the various aspects of STEM that can be integrated across content areas and disciplines. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates, particularly those who intend to teach courses focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), need to be equipped with technological skills in order to meet the demands and expectations of the changing educational environment. In this course, teacher candidates will research current and emerging technologies, examine their use in enhancing teaching and learning, and explore approaches to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to utilize them appropriately. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course focuses on the communication processes in personal relationships such as romantic relationships, family relationships, and friendships. Through quantitative and qualitative methods and other theoretical perspectives, students in this class examine the expression and interpretation of messages in everyday personal interactions as well as significant relational events. Students also explore communication processes involved in developing, maintaining, and dissolving relationships, how communication impacts partners and their relationships, and how to improve relational quality or individual well-being through communication.

Course Description

This course focuses on servant leadership and ethical leadership, explores how servant leadership is different from other styles of leadership, and examines how this connects to ethics, accountability, and being a responsible leader.


GCU Campus Student

Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.