Middle Level Education

Middle Level Education

With its specific focus on teaching, working with and understanding the characteristics of students in grades five through eight, the University of Northern Iowa middle level education program provides a highly marketable and flexible degree option for future teachers.

As a middle level education major, you will learn to design instruction for young adolescents, be a leader in best programs and practices and enjoy an ever-changing group of students and school settings. UNI has provided this special focus for thousands of teachers-to-be since 1938. 

Offered only as a dual major, the middle level program pairs with either an elementary or secondary education major. The program adds only nine extra credit hours (four classes) to elementary programs, and 15 credit hours for secondary.

Students must choose at least two specialty areas (can also do three or four) from math, science, social studies and reading. Each specialty area requires 12 credit hours, but most, if not all, of those areas are dually counted with classes you have already taken.

Middle school principals look for this endorsement for any middle level hires, even if your other degrees allow you to teach grades five through eight. Having this degree shows prospective principals and districts that you have not only worked with middle level students, but also have keen knowledge of their uniqueness.

The core coursework for most middle level education dual majors is offered through the College of Education. If you pair your degree with elementary education, you will earn a dual degree from the College of Education. If you combine your middle level preparation with a secondary subject, such as math teaching, you will earn a dual degree from the college providing your primary teaching major (such as math or history) and the College of Education. 

UNI also offers a specific degree in middle level science education, part of a focused secondary science education curriculum. 

The University of Northern Iowa is the only higher education institute in the state of Iowa to feature a major in middle level education (to be paired with elementary education or secondary education).


Remember, an instructional technology minor can go with any major!


Middle Level Education

The middle level program has an active student organization, the Student Association of Middle Level Educators (SAMLE), that meets twice a month and features guest speakers who specialize in certain aspects of middle school. The organization has also planned opportunities to work with middle school students, and is eligible to present at the national conference, AMLE. In many cases, funding for this trip is partially paid from various sources. 

Middle Level Education
Hands-on experience

The middle level major requires 30 field hours with middle level students. This gives pre-service teachers a chance to work with actual middle school students and implement what has been discussed in class. Many of these hours can be in actual classrooms working with current middle school teachers as well. The middle level program also alters student teaching so one of the placements will be in a middle school. 

Middle Level Education
Be Dually Prepared

Since middle level education is a dual major with either elementary education or a secondary education subject, middle level education majors are prepared to work with a wide variety of students. 


96% of last year's graduates are either continuing their education or employed


Middle school or junior high teacher

Informal educator (museums, aquariums, zoos)



Have questions or want more information? Fill out the form below and someone from the department will contact you directly. To receive general university information from UNI’s admissions office, please click on ‘Request More Info About UNI’.

Carolyn Weber
Middle Level Coordinator

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