College of Education and Human Development

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Elementary education MEd and teaching license

Earn your masters of education and a license to teach in elementary classrooms (K-6) in Minnesota in just over a year. Our accelerated program will prepare you to step into your classroom with confidence and solid classroom experience. You will complete all of the required teaching hours and coursework in 13 months. The license to teach in Minnesota is highly transferable to other states and our candidates are sought after by local school districts. This is a graduate-level, full-time program. (The program is nine months for graduates of the elementary education foundations major). 

If you are beginning your undergraduate studies and interested in a career in elementary education, visit the BS in elementary education foundations program.

97.3% Elementary education MEd graduates found full-time teaching positions within a year of graduation (2021-22 Cohort)

Quote from Mychi Nguyen

I liked the idea of getting my teaching license as well as my masters degree in just one year. I also know that the U’s teaching program is very social justice orientated and I wanted to be able to work with like-minded people as I continued my education.

Mychi Nguyen MEd 2021

About the program

Master's of education

Earning an MEd with your teaching license offers the following advantages:

Teachers who have a master's degree will see a roughly $7,000 annual salary increase [Teacher.org ]

Though the salary increase with a master's degree will vary by district and state, Minnesota teachers are on the higher end of the payscale. The annual mean salary for elementary school teachers in Minnesota in 2019 was $63,250 [Bureau of Labor Statistics].

Teachers with advanced degrees can be promoted to school administration positions and can become mentors to other teachers based upon their graduate training.

Timeline

Students starting the program without a BS in elementary education foundations from the University of Minnesota:

Courses start in May and finish June of the following year. Coursework taken in May-July are foundational courses to ground you in elementary education theory and practice. In the fall, you rotate between your student-teaching placement site and campus coursework. During spring, you will remain full-time at your student-teaching site and take two evening courses on campus.

UMN BS elementary education foundation students:

For students who are transitioning from the BS in elementary education foundations, the program runs August through June, in tandem with the public school calendars. In the fall, you rotate between your student-teaching placement site and campus coursework. During spring, you will remain full-time at your student-teaching site and take two evening courses on campus.

Student experience
Our unique co-teaching program and cohort experience will help you gain the confidence you need to start in your own classroom with plenty of support. Learn more about the student teaching experience .

Program coursework
To look at the core curriculum and electives for the program, visit the University course catalog teaching MEd page and scroll down to see the elementary education sub-plan.

Admission, tuition, and scholarship information
See admissions deadlines, prerequisites, application requirements, and program costs.

teachers taking a selfie

Teacher scholars of color program

Do you identify, or are you identified, as a non-majority racial group? Consider participating in the Teacher Scholars of Color program. Students admitted to the MEd and initial teaching license programs have the opportunity to join a community of prospective teachers of color and get paired with a faculty mentor. International students are also welcome to this program. Find out more about the TSoC program.

How to apply

    Application deadline and instructions

    • October 1: MEd/ILP application opens
    • October 4: Scholarship application opens
    • November 30: Priority deadline for a transcript review/prerequisite evaluation
    • December 15: Priority application and scholarship application deadline, elementary education program accepting applications through January 15
    • January 15
      • Deadline for Arts in Education and Elementary education program
      • Final scholarship application deadline
    • March 15 - April 30: Admissions notifications will be sent on a rolling basis between March 15 and April 30. Students waitlisted may receive a notification after April 30.

    Tuition and funding

    To get you started, we have created a tutorial to review your scholarship and financial aid options. Watch the scholarship video tutorial.

    Tuition costs

    All master's degree programs have the same cost per credit hour. The University of Minnesota tuition operates on a credit band where there is a flat rate for tuition each semester when taking 12 - 24 credits.

    Financial aid

    • Apply for financial aid and scholarships when you submit your application
    • Each year we award partial scholarships to qualified teaching candidates. Teaching candidates received over $600,000 in scholarships from CEHD last year.
    • If you intend to teach a high-need subject in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income families, you may be eligible to receive grants of up to $4,000/year. Learn more about the TEACH grant on Onestop under Employment or Service Related.
    • If you plan to teach full-time for five complete and consecutive years in schools that serve low-income families, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 through a program administered by the federal government.
    • Learn more about teacher loan forgiveness

    Application requirements

    What we look for

    • A commitment to social justice and equity through working with diverse populations and underrepresented, or marginalized, group
    • A capacity for critical self-reflection
    • How teaching is a thoughtful and informed career choice

    Requirements

    1. Prerequisite evaluation. Prior to applying you will want to work with an MEd advisor to have your transcripts reviewed. The MEd advisors will evaluate your coursework and determine which classes meet licensure-specific prerequisites. (Elementary Education Foundations majors do not need to complete this step).
    2. A bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from a recognized college or university in another country, is required.
    3. A 2.80 GPA or above is required for immediate consideration of your application. If your GPA is less than 2.8, your application will require special review. In this situation, an Extenuating Circumstances statement may be appropriate.
    4. Transcripts. Unofficial transcripts from all previous institutions. Official transcripts aren't required until after you are admitted.
    5. Resume. Tailor your resume to highlight your experiences and achievements working with children and youth.
      Essay. Describe the world you come from--for example, your family, community or school. Tell us about a time when your worldview has informed and/or been challenged by working with children or youth. Reflecting on this and other experiences, how do you hope to grow as a reflective teacher through our program? Please submit an essay that is no longer than five pages, standard font-size, and double-spaced. Include your name at the top of each page.
    6. Letter of recommendation. Ask someone to write your letter of recommendation who can speak to your experience working with children or youth, or who can vouch for your commitment to educational equity. When you apply, list the name and email of your recommender. We will email them with instructions on how to submit their letter into the UMN application system.
    7. Diversity statement. Given the well-documented racial, ethnic, and/or cultural differences between teachers and the students they teach in K-12 spaces, what have you done to further your knowledge and understanding about equity and diversity? How have you demonstrated your learning? Please submit a response that is no longer than two pages, standard font-size, and double-spaced. Include your name at the top of each page.
    8. Extenuating circumstances statement (optional). While this is not required, if there is something on your transcript that does not accurately reflect who you are as a student, please write no more than 500 words documenting unusual circumstances or hardships you have faced and the ways in which you have overcome or responded to them.
      Application fees are $75 for US applicants and $95 for international students.

    The GRE is not required.

    Additional admissions information

    Prerequisite evaluations

    Each MEd program requires prerequisite coursework based on content area. View a list of the prerequisites by program area that are required for admission to each teaching MEd and initial teaching license program.

    Submit your unofficial transcript via email to the following contacts based on licensure area:

    Elementary Education Foundations majors do not need to complete this step.

    Transcript evaluations can take up to four weeks to complete; please plan accordingly and request a transcript evaluation well in advance of the November 30 deadline.

    Application instructions

    Utilize the resources below to ensure you have all the required forms and documents needed to apply.

    We are here to help! If you have questions, please contact the advisor who completed your prerequisite evaluation. Email addresses are listed in the prerequisite section above.

    Note: The Dual Language and Immersion license has a separate application process.

    International applicants

    You must get a NACES-approved member organization to complete a course-by-course evaluation of your transcript. Please send the official evaluation to: Department of Curriculum & Instruction c/o Foreign Transcript Evaluations Peik Hall, 125 159 Pillsbury Dr. SE Minneapolis, MN 55455

    Non-native English speakers must submit an official score from one of the following exams: TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB.

    Fore more information on this requirement and how to subnit your scores, please visit the Graduate School's English language proficiency page.

    Request information

    We’re here to help. Simply complete one of these forms and a member of our department will be in touch