Skip to main content
Master's Degrees | Elementary Education

Elementary Education

Entrance Exam: Not Required
College of Education

NC State’s master’s program in elementary education advances teachers’ knowledge and instructional practices in elementary mathematics education or elementary science education. The program is designed for licensed teachers and is offered through a cohort model, in which teachers 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, and our courses are designed to align with teachers’ schedules.

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. The professors are experts in their fields who bring experience teaching elementary school students using theoretical and research-based methods for student learning and engagement.

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) program in Elementary Education consists of ten 4-hour courses for a total of 30 credit hours. Students who choose a Master of Science (M.S.) option take 3 additional hours of master's thesis preparation, and must make arrangements with an advisor prior to their application to the program.

Mathematics specialist cohorts initiate each summer in odd numbered years; in addition to their master’s degree, teachers graduating from this program earn a mathematics specialist add-on designation to their K-6 North Carolina teaching license. The science-focused program offers a rolling enrollment option each semester and prepares teachers to become leaders in elementary science; teachers in this program will earn a science specialist add-on designation to their K-6 North Carolina teaching license. Graduates from the programs 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, content specialists, or used their preparation to launch their doctoral studies.


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.

Career Prospects

As an elementary school teacher, this program will advance your content knowledge and instruction practices by earning your specializations in either mathematics or science.

Completion of this program will enhance your research-based instruction practices, and prepare you to lead with a specialized advanced degree in either science or mathematics elementary education.