Elementary education graduate programs aim to prepare students for a role in K-12 learning: touching on subjects from in-classroom teaching, administration techniques, to best methods research and curriculum planning. With the variety of programs available, students with all levels of education may find a top degree program that addresses their own graduate goals. Current teachers and those newly joining the educational field alike may benefit from seeking perfect elementary education graduate programs which prepare students for their career.
Elementary education graduate programs may offer master’s, doctorates, and graduate certificate tracks. To those currently in the teaching field, earning a graduate degree could potentially lead to career enhancement – many educational centered positions require advanced degrees. If you currently do not have a bachelor’s degree in education, earning a master’s in elementary education degree or a graduate certificate from a state-approved program may be a great first step into the world of teaching.i
Since an undergraduate degree is required for teaching licensure, a master’s degree in elementary education may not seem as vital. But here are a few facts that show how great a master’s degree program could be.
Choosing an elementary education graduate program may seem intimidating – there are a lot of choices! Write down your own degree requirements: how long do you want to be in school? What is your academic objective? Do you want to study in the classroom? Answering these questions may help you pick out a perfect program to fit your life, schedule, and goals.
Some Elementary Education Graduate 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.
As with many degrees, admission requirements for elementary education master’s programs may differ based on the school. Programs may require applicants to hold a 2.0 to 3.0 undergraduate GPA and submit GRE scores. Other general admissions requirements may be letters of recommendation, personal essays, CVs and resumes, and a professional teaching portfolio. Elementary education master’s programs may take between 1-3 years to complete, depending on whether the course is accelerated or the student is handling a full-time or part-time course load. Program lengths vary by school.
Some elementary education masters programs offer a licensure option to help new teachers prepare to enter the field. For those just beginning their foray into the teaching world, this could be an important factor. These programs may not only cover important topics in the classroom, but also integrate field requirements to give new teachers hands on experience. Schools that do not offer a licensure elementary education masters program may solely accept currently licensed teachers.
Masters in Elementary Education programs typically fall into one of three categories.
Every elementary educations masters program may have slightly different curriculum and goals. Therefore it's best to read the full course list for preferred programs and contact schools direclty.
To apply to a elementary education doctorate program, schools may require a GPA of 3.0 to 4.0 as well as GRE scores. Graduate programs leading towards a doctoral degree may involve intensive coursework; because of this, a degree program may take between 4 to 6 years to complete. Program lengths vary by school. Programs may require a master’s degree in education in order for admission, so this program may not be the best choice for those just beginning their teaching career.
Many doctoral programs may require a dissertation as part of their coursework. Check your school’s course catalog to ensure all class criteria are met.
Graduate certificate programs in elementary education are designed for students who already earned a baccalaureate degree and looking to make the jump to teaching without going through the lengthy processes of earning a master’s or doctoral degree. This means that those applying may not be required to currently hold a baccalaureate degree in education. These programs may be markedly faster, taking anywhere from 1 to 2 years to complete. Program lengths and courses may vary by school, but courses typically cover:
Some programs may even offer internships or applicable field work to ready students to enter the classroom.
Students earning a graduate certificate may be charged with passing all state issued teacher licensure exams. Be sure to check with your school to make sure all criteria are met.
The U. S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) as a professional accrediting body for teacher preparation. The NCATE accredits schools, colleges, and departments of education in U.S. colleges and universities, as well as non-university entities that prepare educators for P-12 schools[v].
After selecting the elementary education graduate degree program that may be perfect for you, it’s time to see what learning format fits your lifestyle and schedule. Elementary education programs are presented in many ways, there is bound to be one that enables you to balance life, work, and school.
|Elementary Education Graduate Program||Degree Awarded||Average Length to Completion|
|Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education||MAT||2-3 Years|
|Master of Science in Elementary Education||M.S.||2-3 Years|
|Master of Education in Elementary Education||M.Ed.||2-3 Years|
|Doctorate of Education in Elementary Education||EdD||4-6 Years|
|Doctor of Philosophy||PhD||4-6 Years|
|Graduate Certificate in Elementary Education||Certificate||1-2 Years|
Whether this is only your first foray into the world of teaching, or you’re an educational veteran looking to expand your technique, a graduate degree in elementary education might be a great way to get the ball rolling. To begin browsing Gradschools.com for the perfect program, select your preferred program and format. You can always narrow your search down by selecting your state or city – who knows, an ideal elementary education graduate program might be right out your front door!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm | [iii] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm#Education | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [v] ncate.org/