The Certificate in the Study of Education is awarded to students who complete seven courses from an approved curriculum.  Successful candidates must earn either a grade of B or better in each course or maintain a B+ or better average for the seven courses used for the certificate.  The courses must include at least one course in each of the following categories: 1) Cognitive and psychological influences on learning and schooling; 2) Social and structural analyses of education; 3) Statistics; 4) Broader contexts; 5) In-school experience. The two additional courses should be chosen from those listed in categories 1 and/or 2.  The courses may be completed in any order consistent with their prerequisites.

The supervising faculty maintains a suggested course list below. Students may always request that other courses fulfill the requirmements by emailing the supervising faculty with a justification. The petition must give a full description of the education-related content of the course (e.g., from the detailed syllabus) and describe how it fulfills the requirements of the certificate equivalently to approved courses. No more than a total of two individual or group tutorials may be used to fulfill the certificate requirements. Student fora are typically not eligible for approval but students are free to ask by emailing a copy of the syllabus to the supervising faculty.  Courses from other institutions may be used but must first be accepted for transfer credit by the relevant Wesleyan academic department or program.  A cover form that should accompany course substitution petitions may be downloaded here.

The Category 5 In School Experience requirement does not need to be credit-bearing. If the experience is something other than one of the listed courses below, the experience must be fully documented and fully meet the Category 5 criteria. The cover form to document fulfillment of Category 5 experiences may be downloaded here.

Courses that have specific prerequisites that must first be completed are indicated with an asterisk.

Category 1: Cognitive and psychological foundations of education (1+ credits)

PSYC 206*       Research Methods in Cognitive Development and Education

PSYC 221         Human Memory

PSYC 230*       Developmental Psychology

PSYC 233         Adolescent Psychology

PSYC 245         Psychological Measurement

PSYC 320         Cognition, Learning, and Instruction in the Classroom

PSYC 337         Mathematical Cognition and Children's Learning

PSYC 355         Psychology of Reading

PSYC 388         Advanced Research in Measurement


Category 2: Social and structural analyses of education (1+ credits)

CSPL 341         Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Education (Harber Fellow Seminar)

ECON 122         Schooling and Scarcity

ECON 213*       Economics of Wealth and Poverty

PSYC 253         Educational Psychology

SOC 263          Education and Inequality

SOC 273*         Sociology of Education


Category 3: Statistics (1 credit)

The field of education research is replete with quantitative data that can inform theory and practice. Furthermore, there is a push to make educational decisions “data-driven.” In order to participate in these central conversations, students need to have a grasp of basic statistical principles.

ECON 300*        Quantitative Methods in Economics

ECON 385*        Econometrics

MATH 132         Elementary Statistics

PSYC 200         Statistics: An Activity-Based Approach

QAC 201           Applied Data Analysis

Category 4: Broader contexts (1 credit)

In order to put the contemporary US educational system into context, students should take a course that addresses how systems of knowledge are understood, constructed, transmitted, and changed. A broad theoretical course should sharpen students’ ideas about what is taught, why it is taught, and how it is taught in the current US context.

AMST 241         Childhood in America

DANC 341         Dance Teaching Workshop: Theory into Practice

HIST 140          The Long Civil Rights Movement in 20th-Century America

HIST 176          Science in the Making: Thinking Historically About Science

HIST 215          European Intellectual History to the Renaissance

HIST 216          European Intellectual History since the Renaissance

HIST 240          The 20th Century United States

HIST 322          Reason Against Itself

SISP 202          Philosophy of Science


Category 5: In-school experience (40 hours)

Students must complete one experience, equivalent to one Wesleyan credit, that is primarily focused on providing in-school or similar practical experience. The following three requirements MUST be met. 

1. The total experience must be at least 40 hours (equivalent to 1 credit).

2. The student must spend at least 20 contact hours with students.

3. A reflection, preparation, discussion, or scholarly component is required.

There are a variety of ways that students can fulfill this requirement. Some ideas are listed below. 

  • Tutoring in a school setting for 10h per week for a semester or 5h per week for two semesters, designing a tutorial on education with a service learning component in a school, or developing an internship in a school. Students should register for CSPL 401/402 to complete the reflection requirement to receive .25 course credit, complete a .25 credit tutorial to reflect on or connect the experience to scholarly work, and/or write a reflective or scholarly paper for the CSED supervising faculty.
  • ASTR 430* (Seminar on Astronomical Pedagogy)
  • CHEM 241/242 (Informal Science Education for Elementary School Students)
  • DANC 447 (Dance Teaching Practicum)
  • ENGL 371 (Henry James and the Giant Peach: Teaching the Fundamentals of Literary Analysis)
  • MUSC 463 (Teaching Music Lessons to Children in Local Schools)
  • PSYC 328 (Early Childhood with Service Learning Component)
  • Completing one semester as a Writing Tutor and the Ford Fellow Seminar (ENGL 491/492)
  • Completing one semester as a Teaching Apprentice for an introductory course (e.g., first year foreign language or gateway science or social science course; all three criteria are met if student contact reaches 2h/week and there is discussion, planning, and reflection with mentor faculty).
  • Student teaching at the Bank St. School of Education (Urban Education Semester)
  • Teaching in an intensive summer program (Breakthrough, Summerbridge, CTY) and providing a letter confirming completion from the program.