Schools Offering Elementary Education Programs: How to Choose

Elementary education typically focuses on teaching students from the kindergarten level up through eighth or ninth grade. Some elementary education bachelor's and master's degree programs provide a teaching license along with the degree.

Elementary education programs can be found at 4-year universities and colleges through their education divisions. Explore schools that offer elementary education programs, as well as learn about the bachelor's and master's degree programs.

Top Elementary Education Schools

The following public and private universities offer elementary education programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016, In-state)*
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's $13,560 (Undergraduate)
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,415 (Undergraduate)
Teacher's College at Columbia University New York, NY 4-year, Private Master's $35,752 (Graduate)
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $13,856 (Undergraduate) $20,966 (Graduate)
Vanderbilt University (Peabody) Nashville, TN 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $44,712 (Undergraduate) $44,050 (Graduate)
University of Georgia Athens, GA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $11,622 (Undergraduate)
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private Master's $46,320 (Graduate)
University of Washington Seattle, WA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $11,839 (Undergraduate)
Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,388 (Undergraduate)

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when choosing an elementary education teacher's preparation program:

  • Some bachelor's degree programs offer the training needed to work as a licensed educator, or students who hold a bachelor's degree but do not hold a valid teaching license may want to pursue a master's program that offers licensure preparation.
  • Some states may require students to obtain a master's degree within a specified period of time after an individual begins teaching.
  • Middle-school endorsement may also be available through certain programs, and candidates interested in broadening their potential student demographic should consider these options.
  • Students who wish to receive a more well-rounded education may want to consider enrolling in a structured program with mandatory minimum requirements in multiple educational areas, such as English, math and history.

Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education

A bachelor's degree program in elementary education can be completed as a 4-year program and typically includes a good deal of classroom experience, usually ending in a 1-year student-teaching experience. Basic studies in math, history, English, social studies, and science are typically mandatory, and specialized curriculum may also be offered in areas like special education or curriculum and instruction.

Master's Degree in Elementary Education

Master's degree programs in elementary education may be offered as Master of Science, Master of Education and Master of Arts programs, which may or may not lead to teaching certification depending on the school. These programs may include research and internship opportunities.

Students wishing to become elementary teachers can pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in elementary education at public or private institutions. Potential students should consider things like licensure preparation and their future career path when searching for schools to attend.


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