COE: Bachelor of Educational Studies (BES)
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Innovative Education Outside the Traditional Classroom

UMSL’s College of Education offers the Bachelor of Educational Studies (the “BES”) for students excited about education, but looking for challenges outside the traditional classroom. The BES degree prepares students for a career as an educator in many agencies. Wherever education happens outside the classroom, BES graduates will be prepared to be skilled and confident leaders and innovators. Coursework builds around a student’s interests with a unique mix of education, management and content, including significant courses from across the University from Arts & Sciences, Social Work and Business:

  • One-third education courses
  • One-third management related courses
  • Content area concentration selected from a wide selection of minors and certificates

Wide varieties of institutions emphasize informal learning and do so in many different types of settings. These institutions are eager to hire people who have training and relevant experience in education, management, marketing, and technology. UMSL’s College of Education, responding to this need, has designed a distinctive, flexible and inter-disciplinary bachelor’s degree that emphasizes practical skills for multiple settings.

The BES is expressly designed for students who want a broad view of education and a career in educational settings outside the traditional classroom. Program flexibility allows students to choose emphasis areas and tailor coursework to align with their career aspirations. In-depth internship opportunities with select agencies offer students authentic work experiences and the opportunity to put their coursework into practice.

Real BES enthusiasts have an opportunity to receive a small scholarship by becoming BES Ambassadors. More information about the scholarship is available at

Contact Advisor:

Ellen Duncan

201 South Campus Classroom Building (SCCB)
(314) 516-5932


Slide 1 December graduate Zaymon Harris makes a difference educating outside of the classroom
Zaymon Harris graduated from the College of Education with a BES on Saturday. During his time at UMSL, Harris interned with Beyond Housing, an organization dedicated to helping communities succeed through individual programs and policy efforts focused on education, housing, health, job training, economic development and personal finance. This past summer, Harris helped develop the organization’s first virtual summer camp. His “Young King” sweatshirt was fashioned for him by one of his students, Leilani Billups. (Photo by August Jennewein)
Slide 2 BES grad heals trauma through music and nature
Educational studies major Kelcee Burton rekindled her love for music at UMSL while being involved on and off campus. During her time as a student, she served as a leader in the BES Club, mentored high school students at the Wyman Center and participated in a unique micro-internship program at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Slide 3 From a Business Degree to Informal Education: A BES Student’s Journey
"At some point I found myself more helping them than working on my own program. That’s how I started thinking about a career in education"