Master's in Elementary Education

Student Success Begins With Yours at GW

As teaching and learning practices constantly evolve to better cater to students' needs, our program provides an innovative experience to prepare you to adapt and to become an effective teacher and leader in your field.

The one- or two-year intensive master's program, accredited by CAEP, results in eligibility for licensure in teaching elementary school (grades 1-6).

The program's conceptual framework consists of an integrated set of three themes, detailed below, that are reflected in all aspects of program coursework and related clinical experiences.



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Good teachers know the subject matter they teach; exceptional teachers understand the process of its construction and its impact in life. This extended comprehension establishes a base for meaningful classroom instruction to help students understand their own thought processes and how the lesson applies to their daily lives. Understanding these principles of knowledge allows teachers to help students effectively think, communicate and participate in the real world.

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Based on their rich array of experiential and cultural backgrounds, students bring a diverse set of personal, social, and academic expectations to the classroom. Effective teachers are attentive to students as individuals and are sensitive to the broader cultural context that gives shape to diversity. This awareness helps design meaningful programs of study that maximize the development of each student’s potential.

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Social Responsibility

Teaching is a socially significant profession that requires a wider moral vision extending beyond the narrowness of personal gain and intellectual development. The education of today’s youth is connected to many crucial issues confronting the larger social order. Good teachers recognize, reflect, and actively explore these important connections that link school and society, classroom and community.




The GW Advantage

What better place to examine education history, reform, and methods than in the policymaking capital of our nation? Benefit from our unique location and connections to government agencies and leading educational organizations. Plus, you'll receive a wealth of hands-on experiential learning and career opportunities at nearby urban and suburban public, charter and private schools.





 Program at a Glance

Degree Awarded:

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in the Field of Elementary Education
(Licensure Eligible)


Curriculum and Pedagogy

Course Delivery:

Main Campus

Program Entry:

Summer (Full-Time: 1-Year Cohort)

Fall (Part-Time: First Year Only, 2-Year Cohort)

Our Mission

The mission of the program, grounded in GSEHD's bridging concepts — Research and Scholarship, Reflective Practice, Community Service, and Educational Leadership, is to prepare teachers who are:

  • Knowledgeable in the research and scholarship of curriculum and methods of instruction.
  • Reflective practitioners in the integration of theory and practice.
  • Actively dedicated to teaching and learning in a pluralistic democracy.
  • Eager to contribute to the national conversation about the reform of American schools and society.
The following requirements must be fulfilled: 33 credits in required courses and successful completion of a master's comprehensive examination.
CPED 6604 Perspectives in American Education
CPED 6606 Theories of Learning and Development
CPED 6608 Development and Diversity
SPED 6290 Affective Development and Behavior Management for Teaching Students with Disabilities

CPED 6410 Reading Children’s Literature across the Curriculum
CPED 6412 Elementary School Curriculum and Methods (Math)
CPED 6412 Elementary School Curriculum and Methods (Science)
CPED 6412 Elementary School Curriculum and Methods (Language Arts)
CPED 6412 Elementary School Curriculum and Methods (Social Studies)
CPED 6623 Foundations of Reading Development
EDUC 6114 Introduction to Quantitative Research

CPED 6635 Professional Internship in Elementary Education (taken for 6 credits)

Successful completion of comprehensive examination


 Download Program Plans for the 1- and 2-year options >



Licensure Eligible: A one-year or two-year, intensive 33 credit program, the Elementary Education model leads to eligibility for licensure in grades 1-6. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) which includes state-approval under the District of Columbia -- Office of State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) a partnership state with CAEP.


  • Candidates for admission must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a major other than Education or Elementary Education.
  • Other preparation is required for elementary licensure requirements:
    • A minimum of two college-level courses in each of the following areas: English composition, Science (one course with laboratory experience), Literature, History (one course must be in U.S. History, Mathematics, Social Science (one course must be in Geography)
    • A minimum of one college-level course in the foundations of each of the following areas: Art, Music, Health, Physical Education
Internship Opportunities
  • Course work strengthens the program's clinical practice in partner elementary schools in the Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland districts.

  • The number of our area partner schools continues to grow along with an increasing number of program graduates who teach in these schools. These long-standing partner schools continue to be actively involved in the program’s semester-long internships for our teacher candidates and have consistently hired our program graduates to teach in their schools.

Partnership Schools

Alexandria City
   James Polk*
   Samuel Tucker*

Arlington County
   Arlington Science Focus School
   Long Branch

District of Columbia Public Schools
   Eaton NW
   Hyde-Addison NW
   Janney NW
   Key NW
   Lafayette NW
   Langley NE
   Watkins SE

District of Columbia Public Charter Schools
   DC Bilingual Public Charter NE
   Washington Yu Ying Public Charter NE

Fairfax County
   Great Falls
   Spring Hill

Falls Church City
   Oak Street

Montgomery County

Independent Schools
   Concord Hill School (Montgomery County)
   Georgetown Day School (DC)
   Norwood School (Montgomery County)
   Our Savior Lutheran School (Arlington County)
   Washington International School (DC)

*Past Partnership Schools
Program Outcomes
  • Coursework is in educational foundations, elementary school curriculum and methodology, and a series of integrated field experiences at different grade levels in public schools. Key features of the program include:
    • Coursework in the cultural, historical, and social/psychological foundations of education
    • Opportunities to design, produce, and evaluate research
    • Multiple experiences with master teachers in elementary schools, including multiculturally diverse and/or inclusive classroom settings
    • Practice and feedback in using a variety of instructional strategies, including direct instruction, team teaching, inquiry-based instruction, cooperative learning, and problem solving
    • Field placements in a variety of select inner-city, urban, urban-fringe, and suburban schools designed to provide a graduated, incremental introduction to teaching



 Apply Now

GSEHD’s Office of Admissions invites you to apply for a spot in our program. Please review the following admission and financial information.

Ready to take the next step in your career? Review our step-by-step guide to applying to GSEHD >

To learn more about the program, admission process, and upcoming events, please connect with the GSEHD Admissions Team at or 202-994-9283.

Apply Now   Schedule Consultation with Admissions Counselor  

To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the online application form as well as the following required supporting documents. There is no application fee.

  • Prerequisite: Bachelor's Degree (To be eligible for licensure, candidates must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a major other than Education or Elementary Education.)

  • Resume

  • Transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities

  • Statement of Purpose

  • Two Letters of Recommendation

  • Writing Sample (should consist of an academic paper written for undergraduate studies, a professional paper, or published academic or professional work with full citation)

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants.

For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQs page.

View more details about requirements  

Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2023. We encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Application Timeline Summer Fall
Priority Deadline Nov 1 Nov 1
Round 1 Deadline Dec 15 Dec 15
Round 2 Deadline Jan 16 Jan 16
Round 3 Deadline March 1 March 1
Round 4 Deadline May 1 May 1
Round 5 Deadline N/A June 15



 Tuition & Financial Aid

We know embarking upon graduate school is a big decision - due in part to the costs of attending. At GW, we understand the time and thought behind making graduate school work for you. Please take a moment to learn more about the options and opportunities available to help fund your graduate education.

Students have been offered an average of 25-50% tuition support upon committing to the Elementary Education program. In 2022, merit fellowships of 50% of the total program tuition were awarded to new students.

In addition to dedicated program awards, two endowments are available annually to Elementary Education students -- the Beck Endowment and the John Horrworth Children's Book Award. Learn more about these awards from past recipients >

Learn more about scholarships, grants & financial aid 

Graduate tuition is charged per credit hour, unless otherwise noted. Rates vary by program and location.

The tuition rate* for the Master's in Elementary Education program is $1,870 per credit hour.

This program requires 33 credits.

Please note: Additional fees may apply for international students, late fees, etc. Current tuition rates may be updated during the year.

*Summer 2023, Fall 2023 and Spring 2024

View the current fee chart  

Scholarships are available to eligible admitted students. Review eligibility requirements and learn more about funding your education >




Ella Fludzinski
quotation mark

My time in this program has offered me so many opportunities and experiences for which I will be forever grateful. Thank you to the program faculty for teaching me to be the best teacher I can be and for supporting me through this program and my teaching endeavors. I know that I would not be the teacher, or person, that I am today without this program, the amazing faculty, and my incredible classmates. The level of dedication and hardwork that it takes to dive into this profession is daunting, and this program made it feel much more possible than I could have imagined. I cannot wait to begin my career as a teacher.

(M.Ed. '22, Elementary Education)




 Career Outlook

In the last 5 years, 100% of Elementary Education program participants have been employed following graduation. Our Elementary Education graduates are teaching throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area and the country.

Elementary Education Career Opportunities
teacher holds model of planet to show elementary students sitting at table  (Image by Freepik -

In addition to teachers, graduates of this program have become:

  • Teacher Mentors
  • Cooperating Teachers
  • Gifted Resource Teachers
  • Advanced Academic Program Teachers
  • Reading Specialists
  • Early Childhood Specialists
  • School Based Technology Specialists
  • Instructional, Literacy or Mathematics Coaches



Elementary Education Faculty

Dr. Sylven Beck

Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy

(202) 994-9084
Dr. Colin Green

Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy

(202) 994-0997
Dr. Patricia Tate

Associate Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy

(202) 994-1542




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 Take the Next Step in Your Career

Complete the form below to learn more about degree requirements, course descriptions, tuition, and more.



{Lesson} Plan for a Better Future (image of male teacher leaning down to assist two elementary students with tablet)