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Elementary Teaching Diploma Programs in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has over 40 colleges that offer elementary education and teaching programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for nine of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

While diploma programs in elementary teaching are rare in Massachusetts, there are a little over 40 universities around the state that offer degrees in the discipline. Students can pursue bachelor's and master's degrees and, in some cases, they might participate in dual-degree programs. The curricula consist of seminars and practicum requirements as well as student teaching and field experiences. Below are short overviews of nine of the largest schools in Massachusetts offering elementary teaching programs.


Boston College

Boston College in Chestnut Hill offers degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that lead to licensure in elementary education. Students enrolled in the bachelor's degree program must complete a minimum of 124 credits in topics like child development, child learning theories, mild learning disabilities, reading, science, social science and other elementary-level academic subjects. Students must also select a second major in either interdisciplinary studies or the subject field in which they wish to teach. The Master of Education (MEd) degree program is designed for individuals who already possess a bachelor's degree and wish to enter the teaching field. It requires 37 credits in various teaching subject areas plus seminars and practicums, and graduates can obtain initial licensure. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program requires 30 credits, and it gives students a high level of freedom in selecting which classes to take; this degree also prepares graduates to earn professional licensure.

Boston University

Located right in Boston, this university offers a bachelor's degree program in elementary education that incorporates a liberal arts curriculum with the professional education classes needed to meet the requirements for licensure. Students have the option to take extra credits and complete a dual licensure program in elementary education and either special education or English as a Second Language. Students also have the opportunity to earn a double degree, completing a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in a subject offered through the College of Arts and Sciences. Additionally, there are three Master of Education programs in the elementary education field. One of these requires 46 credits and leads to initial licensure in elementary education. A second option requires 66 credits and prepares students for initial licensure in both elementary education and special education. Both of these programs have optional study abroad teacher training programs. Individuals who have an initial license can complete 32 credits to attain the training necessary for a professional license.

Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater State University, located in Bridgewater, offers a variety of programs in elementary education. Undergraduate students must complete both the elementary education major and a second liberal arts or science major. The bachelor's degree program requires 120 credits, including 57.5 credits of elementary education courses, 80 hours of pre-practicum experience and one semester of student teaching. Those who wish to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree and dual initial licensure in elementary and special education will take a minimum of 120 credits, including 60 undergraduate credits in elementary education. Additionally, 34 graduate-level credits in special education and a graduate practicum with disabled children are required. Other graduate degree programs at Bridgewater include a 31.5-credit post-baccalaureate initial licensure program, a 34-credit MEd initial licensure program and a 31-credit MEd professional licensure program. There is also a 31-credit non-licensure MEd program for teachers who already have a professional license.

Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg, Massachusetts, is the home of Fitchburg State University, a public institution that is accredited through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and has an on-campus public elementary school. It offers a bachelor's program with a double major in elementary education and interdisciplinary studies. Students take 14 classes in the education major and complete two practicums and an on-site field immersion experience. They also complete an 18-credit subject area minor and two short subject area cluster programs; one of the clusters must be in mathematics. Fitchburg also offers two Master of Education in Elementary Education degree programs: a 39-credit program that leads to initial licensure and a 36-credit program that leads to professional licensure.

Framington State University

Located in the small city of Framington, MA, Framington State University is a public school with two pathways to initial licensure for prospective elementary school teachers. Undergraduates may choose a major in elementary education, and they can also complete a minor in a subject area like English, math, Earth science or Spanish. Individuals who already have a bachelor's degree and wish to enter the teaching field may complete the post-baccalaureate teacher licensure (PBTL) program, which includes coursework in teaching methods, the psychology of learning and the nature of schooling. Individuals in the PBTL program also participate in three or four field experiences, including observations and a semester-long teaching practicum. The school's Master of Education degree program enables licensed elementary school teachers to upgrade to the professional license.

Northeastern University

Aspiring elementary teachers who have an associate's degree and are employed as assistant teachers or teaching paraprofessionals can prepare for initial elementary education licensure at Northeastern University in Boston. This school has a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies degree that has a special 'bridge to teaching' track. This program requires 160 quarter hours to complete, including 25 hours in elementary education. Career changers who have a bachelor's degree in another field may earn elementary school licensure through the Master of Arts in Teaching program, which requires 44 quarter hours in graduate-level classes to complete. Individuals who would like to earn additional initial teaching licenses may add studies in special education or teaching English as a second language.

Salem State University

Salem State University in Salem offers a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in elementary education with both licensure and non-licensure options. The initial licensure program is accredited by the NCATE. Licensure-track students who maintain a 3.0 GPA in the education major after completing at least 75 credit hours and pass appropriate portions of the MTEL exam will complete a student teaching practicum. Graduate students may participate in one of two teacher licensure tracks at Salem; the initial licensure program is available to those seeking a master's degree and their first teaching license, while the professional licensure program enables teachers to upgrade their skills and credentials. Graduate students at Salem may have the opportunity to attend training at the Center for Education and Community and student teach at three elementary-level laboratory schools in partnership with Salem State University.

Westfield State University

Founded in 1839, Westfield State University in Westfield is the oldest public co-ed school in the nation to offer a teacher education program, and it's accredited by the NCATE. Undergraduate students who desire to teach in an elementary school may obtain licensure by completing a double major in education and either liberal arts or interdisciplinary studies. This program requires 57 credit hours in the elementary education major in addition to a 12-credit practicum. Westfield also offers the post-baccalaureate elementary teacher initial licensure program, which requires students to complete 15 courses and a practicum.

Worcester State University

Worcester State University, which is located in Worcester, offers an elementary education major program that prepares students for initial licensure. Students must complete 42 credits in the major, as well as specified liberal arts and science courses. This degree program is completed in three stages; at the third stage, students must pass parts of the MTEL and enroll in practicum programs. They are required to perform their practicum experiences in a wide variety of different school environments in order to achieve well-rounded training. Experienced teachers may earn a Master of Education in Elementary Education, a 34-credit degree that qualifies individuals for the professional licensure in elementary education.

Career Requirements

According to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, individuals who wish to teach in a public elementary school must obtain a teaching license. In order to qualify for the license, it is necessary to complete at least a bachelor's degree program and an accredited teacher preparation program; the latter is often incorporated in a bachelor's program in education.

The prospective teacher must also earn a passing grade on the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) exam. In addition to the initial licensure, experienced teachers are eventually required to earn professional licensure. Below is a comparison table showing individual school offerings and tuition info at a glance.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Elementary Teaching Degree Programs Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Boston College Four-year, private not-for-profit; small city Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education (multiple program options),
Master of Education in Elementary Education,
Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education
$49,324 (undergraduate)*
$26,262 (graduate)*
Boston University Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (multiple program options),
Master of Education in Elementary Education (multiple program options)
$48,436 (undergraduate)*
$48,082 (graduate)*
Bridgewater State University Four-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education,
Dual Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Master of Education in Special Education,
Post-Baccalaureate Licensure Program in Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Elementary Education (multiple program options)
$8,903 in-state; $15,043 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$9,538 (graduate)*
Fitchburg State University Four-year, public; midsized suburb Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Elementary Education (multiple program options)
$9,935 in-state; $16,015 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$5,472 (graduate)*
Framingham State University Four-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education,
Post-Baccalaureate Licensure Program in Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Elementary Education
$8,700 in-state; $14,780 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$9,405 in-state; $14,780 out-of-state (graduate)*
Northeastern University Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education (multiple program options) $45,530 (undergraduate)*
$22,061 (graduate)*
Salem State University Four-year, public; large suburb Master of Education in Elementary Education (multiple program options) $9,246 in-state; $15,508 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$6,894 in-state; $8,514 out-of-state (graduate)*
Westfield State University Four-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education,
Post-Baccalaureate Licensure Program in Elementary Education
$8,815 in-state; $14,895 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$5,400 (graduate)*
Worcester State University Four-year, public; midsized city Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education,
Master of Education in Elementary Education
$8,857 in-state; $14,937 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$5,184 (graduate)*

Source: *NCES, College Navigator.

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