Today's elementary teachers are experts at teaching reading and writing, but they offer much more: They know how students learn and use best practices to make subject matter accessible to young minds. They also create a class climate where diverse students can learn and provide differentiated, engaging instructional activities to challenge students at varied levels of development.
The two-year Elementary Education master's degree program provides college graduates in fields outside of education the opportunity to become teaching professionals. It is designed for those who want to fill the critical roles of teacher and mentor, motivating and molding students at a time when they are eager for new experiences.
Elementary educators teach in public and private, urban and suburban elementary, middle, and junior high schools. Some elementary teachers add other credentials and become school administrators, counselors, curriculum specialists, reading specialists and special educators.
Interested in applying for admission to this program? Learn more about its admission requirements and how to apply.
Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Education (MEd)
The Elementary Education master's degree program leads to an Illinois Professional Educator License with an endorsement in Elementary Education (self-contained classroom, grades 1-6; it is an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved program.
Through meeting additional requirements, students have the option of also earning a middle school endorsement in a specific content area.
To accommodate working professionals, the Elementary Education master's degree program offers courses that meet on weeknights at DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus, online, or a hybrid online and on-campus format (although field experience and student teaching requirements must be fulfilled during weekdays.) In addition, the program's schedule is flexible, allowing students to attend full-time or part-time as their professional and personal schedules allow.
The Elementary Education master's degree program includes 56 quarter hours of coursework in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education and Teaching and Learning; however, teaching licensure requires more than a series of courses - there are special requirements such as completing field experiences and a student teaching internship, completing content area coursework and passing state licensure exams.
In addition to these requirements, students who opt to earn the MA must complete one additional four-quarter hour course that requires a thesis and oral defense (60 quarter hours in total.)