Masters in Elementary Education

Looking to take the next step and pursue a masters in elementary education? Does your passion lie in inspiring and teaching the next generation of students while helping them succeed? Elementary education master’s programs offer the next step in educational instruction to current teaching practitioners, as well as an in depth way for career seekers to try and break into a new field.

Elementary Education Master’s Program: The Basics

Elementary education master’s programs offer an opportunity to earn advanced degrees for teachers, administrators, or those who have earned a bachelor’s degree and are looking to pursue a career in the educational field. Depending on whether you attend as a full-time or part-time student, the Masters in Elementary Education degree program may take between 1 to 3 years to complete. Program lengths vary by school. While a Masters in Elementary Education is not a requirement to earn a teaching certification, some states require teachers to earn an advanced degree a certain number of years after earning their initial certificate. Teachers also seek graduate degrees in order to improve their classroom skills, fulfill personal goals, or to seek higher wages. Education admins who have earned their master’s degree have wage premium of $23,000 over their colleagues who earned only a bachelor’s degree[i].

Common Admissions Requirements for Master of Elementary Education

As with many degree programs, admission requirements may differ from school to school due to the varying intensity of the programs.  Some schools may offer a teaching licensure program, as well as a master’s program, for those newly entering the educational field. This allows undergraduates to apply to the programs no matter the concentration of their bachelor’s degree. Those that do not provide a teaching certificate preparation may solely accept currently accredited teachers. In terms of previous academic achievement, many programs require applicants to hold a undergraduate GPA of  2.0 to 3.0 and may also require GRE scores. Other general admissions requirements may be letters of recommendation, personal essays, CVs and resumes, and a professional teaching portfolio.

Some schools may also require state-issued exams prior to admission. Check your school’s admission policies to ensure criteria are met.

Course Load

Elementary education master’s programs may touch on some general education coursework while gearing classes toward the intended K-12 students. Classes may vary from school to school, but some common offerings might include:

  • Learning Theory
  • Teaching General Elementary Math/Language/History/Etc.
  • Curriculum Fundamentals
  • Visual & Performing Arts Methods

Accreditation

While teachers seeking to earn their master’s degrees may already have gone through their teaching accreditation, undergraduates looking to make the jump into education may not have. Requirements to receive a teaching certification differ by state, but some requirements may be:

  • Written examination
  • Background checks
  • Verification that Bachelor’s Degree has been earned
  • State issued education courses

What Elementary Education Graduate Degree Types Might You Pursue?

If you’ve landed on completing an elementary education master’s program, you may have a plethora of degree program options – each highlighting a different aspect of the teaching method. While deciding on which program, keep in mind your own academic and career goals so that you could find a matching program: within the broad heading of master’s degrees in elementary education, students could pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Science in Elementary Education, or a Master of Education in Elementary Education, to name a few. While these degree programs share many similarities at their foundations, they may offer unique variations for jumpstarting a career. Gaining an understanding of these facets may help you choose a perfect program.

Elementary Education Master’s Programs

Earning your elementary education master’s degree may be the next big step in your career or it may be an entirely new frontier. Choosing the perfect program may be daunting, but this basic run-down should illuminate which degree type could be a perfect fit for your needs.

  • A Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) may be a common elementary education master’s degree program you might find available. Those pursuing their MAT may focus on math, language, natural sciences, and other general academia appropriate for an elementary classroom. This degree may be especially beneficial to those newly joining the teaching profession, as it focuses on the common classes you find in K-12 schooling.
  • The Master of Science in Elementary Education is similar to an MAT in that it’s intended to support teachers’ daily work in the classroom. The biggest difference between the two degrees is the M.S. degrees focus more on classroom research and analysis of how the education system benefits students as a whole. 
  • Master of Education in Elementary Education programs, like the other two programs, prepares educators for general, in-classroom teaching. It differs by emphasizing creative problem-solving to address educational hurdles such as literacy development, teaching method, and curriculum planning.

Which Masters in Elementary Education Program Formats Might Work for You?

After choosing what elementary education master’s degree is a perfect match for your current academic goals, the next step is to choose what school format suits your schedule and lifestyle. Elementary education programs are offered in many different formats, allowing you to balance life, work, and school with ease.

  • On-campus elementary education master’s programs may be perfect for students searching for a traditional campus experience or who are easily able to commute. These programs may offer valuable face-to-face networking opportunities among fellow students and professors alike, as well as provide resources such as libraries and technological facilities to facilitate your learning experience. Some schools also offer online courses as part of their catalogs, so flexibility between a full on-campus experience and a part-time online one are often doable.
  • Online elementary education master’s programs may be ideal for students whose highest priority is flexibility. Online classes allow students to access coursework on their own time – which may be a valuable asset while actively teaching. Some schools offer live-streamed lectures or online class chatrooms to better strike a balance between online and traditional campus learning.

Some masters in Elementary Education programs do require students to take state licensure exams prior to required coursework. Check your course catalog to ensure that requirements are met prior to scheduling.

Find a Perfect Elementary Education Master’s Program Today!

If you’re ready to take the next big step to find the elementary education master’s program that may be a great fit for you, GradSchools.com is here to help! Just select the appropriate master’s program and program format, and filter schools by selecting your preferred country, state, or city. You may just find a Masters in Elementary Education program that is perfect for you!


Sources" [i] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm#Education

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