Major in Education Studies (BS Degree)

Make a Difference in the Lives of Students

If you dream of being a teacher who makes a lasting impact with young learners, begin with the bachelor’s degree in Education Studies at Gwynedd Mercy University. The Education Studies program provides teacher preparation without teacher certification, however,  you have the option of earning your teacher certification in the following areas provided you meet state requirements. Please work with your advisor on this:

Attaining this degree will prepare you for other positions in Education such as para-professionals, teaching assistants, etc. You may also move on to a graduate program to attain certification.


"During this extraordinary year, teachers faced many obstacles in creating lessons for their students. However, their creativity, flexibility, and willingness to ‘think outside the box’ allowed teachers to engage with students in meaningful ways using the technologies at their disposal. Teachers became energized by this challenge and rose to meet the challenge each and every day."
—Mary Jo Pierantozzi, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, Education


Program Details

At GMercyU, we have been helping students become the teachers they’re meant to be for more than 60 years. You will have access to expert faculty and resources as you develop your teaching and classroom management skills. Learn more below.


Your Personal Academic Team

No matter your major, all GMercyU classes are taught by full-time or part-time faculty members – no teaching assistants. In fact, the professors in our Education Programs have more than 130 years of combined experience as educators!

As an Education Studies major, your support includes:

  • A personal advisor who will guide you through all four years.
  • Field Placement Director, Dr. Cheryl Malfi, who will help ensure that you have a successful student teaching experience.
  • An Education and Certification Coordinator. Once on the teacher certification track, Mrs. Megan Lawler will ensure you meet all requirements to become a certified teacher in Pennsylvania.

BONUS: GMercyU’s Student Success Center is another great resource for you as you earn your degree – it’s your one-stop-shop for your academic and career needs with services such as test prep and tutoring.

Education Clubs and Organizations

Gain leadership skills, grow professionally, and make friends by getting involved!

Education Outreach Club
Its mission is to provide an opportunity for those with a passion for helping the community to come together to learn, collaborate, and share educational experiences. This club offers its members the option to connect with professionals, participate in educational and social events, and volunteer. Being a member of this club will promote understanding, education, and best practices for the GMercyU community.

Best Buddies
Our Best Buddies chapter matches GMercyU students with members of the community who have Intellectual and developmental disabilities, hosts monthly events, and participates in fundraisers.

Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society
It is the oldest and largest honor society in education. Invitations to join are based on academic achievement, a commitment to education as a career, and a professional attitude that assures the member’s steady growth in the field of education.


In addition to general education requirements, you will complete the following courses for a bachelor’s degree in education studies:

Core Courses -  54 Credits 

EDU 100 Education in America 
EDU 104 Health and Motor Development
EDU 216  Foundations of Teaching & Learning PreK-4
EDU 226 Reading Sequence I 
EDU 227 Math Methods for PreK-4
EDU 228  Arts and Humanities
EDU 301   Educational Psychology
EDU 305  Children’s Literature
EDU 309   Technology Integration in Education PreK-8
EDU 315  Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment
EDU 351    Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners 
EDU 395   Field Experience I
SPE 205 Exceptional Person
SPE 231   Mild/Moderate Disabilities in the Inclusionary Setting
EDU 495  Field Experience  II
EDU 4000  Capstone Seminar

Credit Requirements

A minimum of 120 credits is required for a bachelor’s degree in education studies.

This program requires a criminal background check, child abuse clearance, and certain immunizations and other health-related clearances in order to participate in student teaching experiences.


Undergraduate Minors

Increase the value of your Education Studies degree by adding an undergraduate minor. GMercyU offers a wide variety of minors so you can choose the one that best meets your personal and professional goals.

Featured Courses

Here’s a closer look at just a few of the courses you’ll take as an Education Studies major at GMercyU.  

EDU 216 Foundations of Teaching & Learning PreK-4
This is a foundation course in the teaching and learning process of children in pre-kindergarten to 4th grade. Students will be required to demonstrate knowledge of learning as a process that integrates all areas of a child's development. Student will examine curriculum models and developmentally appropriate practices for individual and group needs, with special emphasis on developmental and learning theories. Course content is based on the competencies of the PA Early Learning and Academic Standards.

EDU 309 Technology Integration in Education PreK-8
In this course, students will become familiar with the PDE Standards of Science and Technology as well as the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for both teachers and students. Students will design lesson plans and learning activities that integrate technology from Pre K to Grade 8. Students will be introduced to the various tools of technology including assistive technologies for students with special needs. The use of technology for assessment, management and other administrative procedures will also be addressed.

EDU-395 Field Experience I
During this stage of Field Experience, the Education Studies major will spend one day per week or equivalent in a school setting to observe in the teaching and learning process. Major focus will be on observing and understanding the four domains of effective teaching. As the semester progresses, the student will begin to work with individual students and teach in a small group setting. A University Supervisor will evaluate the student in the classroom.

For all courses in GMercyU’s Education Studies program, please refer to the undergraduate catalog.

Meet the Faculty

Mary Jo Pierantozzi, MS

Position: Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, Education
Did You Know? Professor Pierantozzi has presented nationally on many topics in education including math, social studies, hybrid online courses, and cooperative learning. She is also the advisor for Best Buddies and Kappa Delta Pi.

Learn More

Deb Schadler, PhD, CPCRT, PRSE

Position: Assistant Dean, School of Business and Education
Did You Know? Dr. Schadler is also the Director of GMercyU’s Autism Institute. She has developed and taught GMercyU’s undergraduate special education curriculum.

Learn More

Marianne Boyd, M. Ed.

Position: Professor of Practice, Education

Did You Know? Professor Boyd has extensive experience as a classroom teacher and an elementary principal and brings a wealth of experience to her courses. She is the co-advisor of the Education Outreach Club.

Learn More


Career Opportunities

The Need for Teachers

Pennsylvania is a state in need of educators. According to the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the number of new teacher certificates issued in Pennsylvania dropped by 74 percent between 2012-13 and 2018-19, with the number of college students completing Pennsylvania teacher prep programs dropping by 32 percent between 2013-14 and 2017-18.

There is opportunity beyond Pennsylvania, as well. Assistant Dean of the School of Business and Education Deb Schadler, PhD, reports that these states have been aggressive in recruiting GMercyU students:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • West Virginia


Where GMercyU Education Grads Work

Recently, GMercyU students have completed student teaching and landed teaching positions after graduation in these districts and more:

  • Abington School District
  • Bensalem School District
  • Central Bucks School District
  • Colonial School District
  • Council Rock School District
  • Hatboro-Horsham School District
  • Lower Moreland School District
  • MAST Charter School
  • Methacton School District
  • Neshaminy School District
  • North Penn School District
  • Perkiomen Valley School District
  • Philadelphia School District
  • Phoenixville School District
  • Springfield School District
  • St. Malachy School
  • Upper Dublin School District
  • Upper Moreland School District
  • Wissahickon School District


What Teachers Make

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2020, the median annual wage for elementary school teachers was $60,940, with the top 10% earning more than $100,480.

The median annual wage for special education teachers was $61,420 with the top 10% earning more than $100,160. reported Pennsylvania's 50 top paying school districts, including average salaries for teachers.


Next Steps

Transfer Opportunities

If you’ve already earned college-level credits at other accredited institutions or education studies colleges, you can transfer them to Gwynedd Mercy University in order to achieve an educational studies degree. All you need to do is submit your transcript and course description to the Registrar, who will determine whether the course counts towards the credits required for graduation. Read more on our Transfer Credits page.

In addition, Gwynedd Mercy University has articulation agreements with Bucks County and Delaware County Community Colleges, Harcum College, and Manor College to speed your path to become a teacher with teacher certification.

Bucks County Community College
AA in PreK-4 Education to BS Early Education PreK-4 Certification 
AA PreK-4 Education to BS PreK-8 Special Education Certification 

Delaware Community College
AS Early Education to BS Early Education PreK-4 Certification 

Harcum College
AS Early Childhood Education to BS Early Education PreK-4 Certification  
AS Early Childhood Education to BS PreK-8 Special Education Certification 

Manor College 
AS Early Education to BS Early Education PreK-4 Certification  
AS Early Education to BS PreK-8 Special Education Certification 

Admission Requirements

Have questions about GMercyU's admission requirements? Contact us! Our Admissions staff is ready to walk you through the process of applying to GMercyU’s Education Studies Program.

Phone: 215-641-5510

Financial Aid, Tuition & Fees

At GMercyU, we strive to make a quality education accessible to all through financial aid, scholarships, and grants. As a military-friendly university, we welcome service members and participate in all VA educational benefits programs. 

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A bachelor's degree in Education Studies will put you on a path to achieving your dream of becoming a teacher. Start your journey today!