Elementary Education - Online and Distance Education

Elementary Education

Master's Degrees | Elementary Education

Elementary Education

Entrance Exam: Not Required

NC State’s master’s program in elementary education has an emphasis on either elementary mathematics education or elementary science education. The program is designed for those who hold a current teaching license and is offered through a cohort model, in which students start the program at the same time and progress together through the courses. This cohort model supports the development of a strong professional community among participants.

The program develops teacher-leaders who possess strong specialized content knowledge including a deep understanding of how elementary students learn and can apply such knowledge and understanding to their leadership and instructional practices. Offered off campus at school sites in the Raleigh region,  the program is considered Distance Education (DE), but it is not online. Most courses are taught through face-to-face instruction with professors that are experts in their fields and who bring experience teaching elementary school students using theoretical and research-based methods for student learning and engagement. 

There are two options for completion. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) program in Elementary Education requires 30 credit hours and the Master of Science (M.S.) option requires 33 credit hours.  M.S. students are required to complete three additional hours of master’s thesis preparation beyond the M.Ed. requirements and need to secure an advisor in advance to supervise their thesis work and research.

Mathematics specialist cohorts initiate each summer in even years; in addition to their master’s degree, students graduating from this program earn a mathematics specialist add-on designation to their K-6 North Carolina teaching license. The science-focused cohorts initiate each summer in odd years, prepare teachers to become leaders in elementary science, and will earn a science specialist add-on designation to their K-6 North Carolina teaching license. Graduates from the program report that the master’s experience invigorated their teaching experience and increased their effectiveness as practitioners. Many recent graduates have also furthered their careers through attaining positions as coaches or content specialists.

This program may lead to Professional Licensure.


Applicants must submit:

  • 500-800 word personal goals statement that showcases your background, teaching experience and goals for seeking an advanced degree.
  • Copy of your current teaching certificate: must be uploaded with personal statement.
  • Transcripts of all post-secondary education showing 3.0 GPA as required by the Graduate School.
  • Three letters of recommendation that assess your work ethic and potential as a graduate student. These letters must be included with the online reference form.


The Master of Education degree requires 30 credits. At 2020-21 tuition rates, the cost of the required courses is $462 per credit for North Carolina residents and $1,311 per credit for non-residents. Thus, the total estimated cost for the 30-credit program is $13,860 for North Carolina residents and $39,330 for non-residents. The Master of Science program, which requires 33 credit hours, is charged at the same rates. See Online and Distance Education Tuition and Fees for cost details. 

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