EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features

Online Elementary Education Masters Degree

Online masters degree in elementary education programs teach the foundations of developing instructional vision for students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Therefore, courses look at theories, concepts, and the latest methods of creating lesson plans, using technology, and classroom management to help keep students focused and engaged on curriculum.

Did You Know?

As of the fall of 2016, public schools employed about 3.1 full-time equivalent (FTE) and roughly 400,000 FTE teachers in private schools.

Online Masters Degree in Elementary Education

Online Masters Degree in Elementary Education: Basics

Elementary education masters degrees teach a complete range of the principles of helping students from kindergarten through the 12th grade achieve academic success. Usually, this is by analyzing current research and effective strategies to help students from different backgrounds or cultures, and who have different learning styles.

Some of the topics elementary education masters degree programs look at include how to:

  • Design and deliver standards-based curriculum
  • Document impact on students
  • Evaluate effectiveness of various teaching methods
  • Understand classroom management and discipline

As one of the most important aspects of teaching is the art of creating and executing engaging and educational lesson plans, many online masters degree in elementary education programs analyze the latest research and theories on the subject. Some courses and programs may focus on how to integrate technology into lesson plans, which may create more interactive lessons for some students.

Admissions Requirements for Online Elementary Education Masters Programs

Typically, each school has their own admissions requirements for an Online Masters Degree in Elementary Education program. However, most ask that you have earned a bachelors degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Each online masters degree in elementary education may have additional requirements. Check out the list below for some of these other requirements for elementary education masters degree programs.

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Official Transcripts
  • 3 Professional References
  • GRE Scores
  • Copy of Teaching License

Remember that some schools are stricter than others regarding earning an Online Masters Degree in Elementary Education. Therefore, admissions requirements may vary from school to school. For instance, some schools may ask that you show that you earned your bachelors degree with a higher GPA or ask for fewer references. You should research a few online masters degree in elementary education programs to find a match for you.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Masters in Elementary Education?

Typically, it takes full-time students two years to earn their masters degree in elementary education. However, this may vary from school to school depending on when courses are available and the specific course architecture. Usually, part-time students take longer to earn their degree.

What Are the Elementary Education Masters Degree Requirements?

In order to earn your online masters degree in elementary education, prospective students may need to pass all required courses and any electives. Upon completing all coursework, many programs also ask that you complete a capstone or a thesis project.

A capstone or thesis typically is a way to show that you have acquired a complete understanding of the principles of effective teaching. Depending on the program, this may be a paper, presentation, or a portfolio of well-organized representation of your work and accomplishments while pursuing your masters degree in elementary education.

Specifically, a teaching portfolio may consist of the materials listed below.

  • Resume
  • Philosophy of Teaching Statement
  • Examples of applying lessons to real-world problems
  • Recommended strategies for handling potential issues in the classroom

Keep in mind that each school is different. In fact, some schools don’t ask for a capstone or thesis at all, while others ask only for a professional portfolio. Check with a number of schools to find one that matches your goals.

Online Masters in Elementary Education Accreditations

There are a number of accrediting bodies for online masters degree in elementary education programs. The standard accrediting body for education programs, including elementary education, for many years was the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

In 2013 NCATE combined with TEAC (Teacher Education Accreditation Council) and formed Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (CAEP). CAEP strives to create standards to ensure those who have earned a teaching degree have learned the skills and knowledge to support the development of all students.

Some of the other aspects of programs that CAEP looks for to accredit schools is that they meet the five standards listed here.

  1. Content and Pedagogical Knowledge
  2. Clinical Partnerships and Practice
  3. Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity
  4. Program Impact
  5. Provider Quality, Curriculum Improvement, and Capacity

Keep in mind that schools that aren’t accredited aren’t bad schools. However, it does mean that you may have to perform more independent research about the program.

What Is the Elementary Education Age Range?

The specific age range of elementary school students can range from state to state. However, the list below gives the most common distinctions and age groups.

  • Elementary or Primary School: Ages 5 – 10; Kindergarten through 5th Grade
  • Middle or Intermediate School: Ages 11 – 13; 6th Grade through 8th Grade
  • Secondary or High School: Ages 14 – 18; 9th Grade through 12th Grade

Many online masters degree in elementary education schools focus on studying effective teaching methods for grades K through 12. However, some schools make different distinctions. Those schools may only focus on teaching students up to the 4th, 6th, or 8th grades.

Some schools may match the design of the program to match the distinctions of elementary education in that particular state. Check with a few different schools to find one that has a design and curriculum that matches your goals.

Elementary Education Masters Degree Online: What You’ll Learn

Online elementary education masters degrees teach effective methods of inspiring children in each of the different core subjects. This may include studying current theories and research, and applying new technologies to the design of curriculum and instruction.

One of the most important goals of many elementary education masters programs is to teach how to narrow, and eventually eliminate, the achievement gap. Therefore, many subjects may include how to reach learners with diverse learning styles, from other cultures, and who may have various learning abilities.

The four different learning styles are typically referred to as VARK, and consist of:

  1. Visual
  2. Auditory
  3. Reading and Writing
  4. Kinesthetic

Each of these learning styles may require a different approach to teaching, especially before important exams and quizzes. Therefore, many online masters degree in elementary education programs teach some of the different teaching approaches.

Important Elementary Education Topics

There are a number of important topics that you may study while pursuing your online masters degree in elementary education. All of these are focused around creating an engaging learning experience for students of all abilities and backgrounds.

Check out the list below for some of the common topics you may study in elementary education.

  • Curriculum and Instruction Design
  • Creating Lesson Plans
  • Adapting Lessons to Help All Students
  • Assessing the Progress of Each Student
  • Effective Classroom Management and Discipline Techniquesi

Typically, this may also include how to communicate the progress of each student and the effectiveness of lesson plans to students, parents, other faculty, and administration. Therefore, some schools may have class exercises on how to relay important information to parents.

Online Elementary Education Masters Degree Concentrations

Some schools may offer a number of concentrations for you to choose from while pursuing your online elementary education masters degree. Typically, these are based on the different subjects offered to elementary school students.

Some of the common concentrations in elementary education are:

  • Math
  • English or Language Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education

Choosing a concentration may help tailor your course of study to one aspect of elementary education. This may help students who want to teach in middle or high schools, as those teachers typically teach one subject or a group of similar subjects. On the other hand, an elementary school teacher normally teaches a number of different subjects.ii

However, remember that not all schools offer concentrations and others may offer additional options in terms of a masters in elementary education. Check with a few options to find one that matches your goals.

Common Elementary Education Masters Degree Courses

While earning an elementary education masters degree online, courses focus on translating theory and research into effective practice. This includes analyzing current methods and best practices in each subject area of elementary education.

Programs typically use this type of analysis to enhance the learning experience of children from all walks of life. This may teach you how to create a classroom experience that is exciting, encourages participation, and is successfully educational.

Check out the list below for some of the courses you may take while earning your elementary education masters degree.

  • Classroom Management Strategies
  • Standards-Based Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Adaptive Instruction and Assessment
  • Curriculum Fundamentals
  • Teaching the Natural and Social Sciences
  • Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education
  • Elementary Reading and Literacy Methods
  • Application of Elementary Social Studies Methods
  • Analyzing Foundations of Teaching
  • Mathematical Reasoning in Elementary Grades

Keep in mind that each school is unique. Therefore, specific courses may vary depending on the program, when courses are available, and if you choose a concentration. Look at the specific courses offered by a few different schools to find one that matches your goals.

Is Elementary Education a Master of Art?

While there are a number of elementary education masters degree programs that are a masters of art, there are normally different distinctions for an elementary education degree. Check out the three different options below.

  1. Master of Arts in Education (MAEd)
  2. Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  3. Master of Education (MEd)

Each of these types of elementary education masters degrees are academically equivalent to each other and have similar requirements. However, there are some differences that you should keep in mind while researching schools.

The main differences between these types of degrees are the roles they may prepare you for and the types of students they target. For instance, a MAEd usually focuses more on developing research and analysis skills and may be the perfect option for those who wish to earn a PhD.

On the other hand, a MAT may be for students who wish to pursue further studies in a concentration while earning a teaching license. A MEd is typically considered a practical degree designed for those who are already licensed teachers.

Keep in mind that each school, even those that offer the same type of elementary education masters degree, are unique and may have different designs. Check with a few options to find one that matches your goals. 

Common Careers in Elementary Education

Many students who earn their masters in elementary education often become teachers for kindergarten through the 12th grade. However, other students who have earned their masters degree choose to improve student achievement by entering into curriculum design or administrative positions.

Some of the jobs that you may pursue upon earning your elementary education masters degree include those listed here.

  • Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers: $55,800iii
  • Middle School Teachers: $56,720iv
  • High School Teachers: $58,030v
  • Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary Schools: $92,510vi
  • Instructional Coordinators: $62,460vii

To become a teacher for kindergarten through 12th grade, typically you need a bachelors degree and a teaching license.viii On the other hand, many education administrators and instructional coordinators are required to have a masters degree. Some of these positions may also require a teaching license and years of experience.ix

Additional Elementary Education Certifications

Every state requires that public school teachers become licensed. However, each state has their own unique requirements to earn your teaching license, which includes different rules for private school teachers. Some of the most common requirements include those listed here.x

  • Bachelors Degree
  • Student-Teaching Experience
  • Minimum GPA
  • Pass General Teaching Certification Test
  • Pass Test Demonstrating Knowledge in Specific Subject Areaii

Remember, that these requirements vary from state to state. However, all states require that you have earned a bachelors degree and completed student-teaching. Check with your state to find the specific requirements there.

Move Forward with Your Life

Do you love children and enjoy helping others learn? Are you interested in helping children from all walks of life achieve their academic goals?

Then take the next step to earn your online masters degree in elementary education. Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to learn more about each school. You can even reach out to your favorites directly to request more information and apply today.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-2 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-4 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-5 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm#tab-5 [v] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-5 [vi] bls.gov/OES/current/oes119032.htm [vii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm#tab-5 [viii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm#tab-4 [ix] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm#tab-4 [x] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-4

Find Schools