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Major / Minor Requirements

Students who wish to major or minor in education at Carthage, and complete the Teacher Education Program, must complete a series of steps during their four years at Carthage.

Major and Minor Requirements

Carthage prepares students to teach students in middle childhood/early adolescence (elementary/middle school), cross-categorical special education, and early adolescence/adolescence (middle/high school). Please click on one of the categories below for a list of requirements for that major or minor.

Current students: You should follow the official College Catalog from the year you entered Carthage and work with your advisors and the department chair to ensure all requirements are met.

elementary education

Students who want to teach in grades 1-8 must complete a major in elementary education and a minor in their subject area.


Teacher candidates seeking grades 5-12 (Early Adolescence through Adolescence) certification must complete a major in their subject area and the secondary education minor. 

Cross-Categorical Special Education

The cross-categorical special education major requires a Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence licensure or an early adolescent/adolescent licensure along with the CCSE program.

Music Education

Students can pursue a major in vocal or instrumental music education. The major meets the K-12 Wisconsin licensure requirements as well as the standards set forth by the National Association of Schools of Music.


The broad field social science education major emphasizes breadth over depth in the social sciences and is solely for students pursuing teacher certification in Secondary Education (Early Adolescence to Adolescence, grades 5-12).

Urban Education Minor

For teacher candidates seeking grades 1-8 (Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence) certification or grades 5-12 (Early Adolescence through Adolescence) certification.

Natural Science/Stem Minor

The Natural Science/STEM minor for prospective elementary and middle school science teachers offers two tracks: Physical Science/Project Lead The Way or Environmental, Earth, and Life Science. 

Broad field Science Minor

Teachers are often asked to teach general science classes that stretch beyond their major fields. The broad field science minor supplements a science major and EA-A education certification, preparing students to teach science in middle and high schools.

Educational Studies Minor

The educational studies minor provides the background information on basic educational theories, child and adolescent psychology, and foundational knowledge about how their majors connect with the ability to teach, manage, and lead groups of people.

Additional Licensure Programs

Art Education K-12

Carthage offers licensure in Wisconsin to teach art, grades K-12.

Physical Education K-12

Carthage offers licensure in Wisconsin to teach physical education and health, grades K-12. Students may also pursue licensure in adaptive physical education and athletic coaching.

theatre education k-12

Carthage offers licensure in Wisconsin to teach theatre, grades K-12.


Important Steps: Planning a Program

In each of the licensure programs, there are specific course sequences students must follow to achieve licensure. Students are expected to plan and confirm their programs with an education department faculty member and/or appointed advisor.

NOTE: Completion of the Carthage Teacher Education Program does not guarantee licensure. State requirements (such as student teaching, content tests, criminal background checks, etc.) in addition to program completion must also be met for teacher certification.

The Education Department also requires students in the Teacher Education Program to take and pass the Praxis II test as a requirement for student teaching. 

Core Basic Skills Testing

The Core is comprised of three tests: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. You can take one, two, or all three of these tests at a time. If you don’t pass one or more of the tests you only need to retake the one(s) you didn’t pass. To enter the Teacher Education Program (TEP) at Carthage and to be in compliance with Wisconsin state requirements, you must pass all three tests.

Praxis II Content Area Testing

Students may not achieve admittance into their professional semester of student teaching without achieving the minimum score required for their specific Praxis II test. Students majoring in Elementary Education and Cross Categorical Special Education must take and pass the Middle School Content Knowledge test; students minoring in Secondary Education must take and pass content tests in their academic subject majors.

FORT exam

The Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) is required for students majoring in Elementary Education and/or Cross-Categorical Special Education, Reading Teachers, and Reading Specialists in order for them to obtain their Wisconsin Teaching License. 

*Please note that students may qualify for alternatives to testing based upon certain GPA and coursework requirements with approval from the Education Department chair.

edTPA Portfolio

All teacher candidates must pass an edTPA portfolio to obtain their Wisconsin Teaching License in their major field; Elementary Education majors must pass the edTPA Literacy portfolio and Secondary Education minors must pass the edTPA portfolio for their major subject areas.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Looking to teach? Count on becoming a familiar face in local schools. Carthage students accumulate 135 hours in local classrooms before their student teaching semester. Make that 450+ for those entering our new urban teacher program.

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …