Program goal

The Master of Teaching curricula are designed to incorporate eligibility for initial teaching licensure in Virginia in early and elementary, or secondary education (biology, chemistry, earth science, English, history, history and social studies, mathematics or physics).

The approved curricula include undergraduate qualifying courses as well. Individuals pursuing the extended program are awarded undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously; baccalaureate degree recipients who meet the admission criteria also may pursue the Master of Teaching degree program, including the qualifying courses. The combined baccalaureate and Master of Teaching program requires a minimum of 153-154 hours, at least 33 of which must be at the graduate level.

Early and elementary education

Freshman students bound for the Master of Teaching program with a concentration in early and elementary education are required to enroll in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a liberal studies for early and elementary education major. This program offers liberal studies curriculum designed through an interdisciplinary collaboration among professors in the College of Humanities and Sciences and the School of Education in consultation with successful area teachers. It targets core knowledge across the four major subject areas represented in Virginia’s Standards of Learning (mathematics, sciences, social sciences and language arts/communication) while also providing a university-level skill set and knowledge base. Throughout the undergraduate program, contact with area schools and young learners is programmed into service and experiential learning venues.

Transfer students intending to be elementary teachers (and completing the Master of Teaching with a concentration in early and elementary education) are required to meet with advisers for the LSEE major prior to registering for courses. Advisers will evaluate all courses successfully completed outside of the LSEE major prescribed curriculum (from VCU or elsewhere) to determine their transferability to the LSEE major.

LSEE majors are encouraged to select at least one minor in order to deepen knowledge and appreciation of a subject area. Philosophy, religious studies, African American studies and international studies have relevance in their understanding of human investigation of knowledge, human behavior and world cultures. A minor in a science area such as environmental studies may be more employable because of school and societal concerns about our planet and its preservation. In selecting the humanities and sciences minor, the choice should be based on the student’s interest and perceived relevance.

Consult with the appropriate professional studies adviser for additional information regarding professional studies and liberal arts requirements.

Student teaching requirements

All students pursuing a concentration in early and elementary education within the Master of Teaching program will student teach. To do so, students must take and pass the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment and their subject-specific Praxis II exams before the fall or spring semester of the academic year in which they will student teach.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Learner and learning: Understand human development and learning theory appropriate to the age group they will teach and acquire an awareness of the diversity of the school-age population in cultural backgrounds and styles of learning
  2. Content: Demonstrate knowledge of the subjects they will teach
  3. Instructional practice: Demonstrate an ability to plan and implement effective teaching and measure student learning in ways that lead to sustained development and learning
  4. Professional responsibility: Develop an understanding of purposes for education and a defensible philosophical approach toward teaching and demonstrate professional dispositions

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online today.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
Degree:Semester(s) of entry:Deadline dates:Test requirements:
M.T.FallFeb 1GRE
Spring Oct 1
SummerFeb 1

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  1. Bachelor’s degree with an appropriate liberal arts major
  2. Three letters of recommendation addressing the student’s potential for graduate study in education
  3. Statement of intent
  4. Transcripts of all previous college work
  5. Satisfactory scores on the GRE

Additionally, there are several tests that students must pass for admission to teacher preparation, admission to student teaching and licensure in Virginia. Students should consult the Teacher Preparation page on the School of Education website for current testing requirements. Admission to clinical experiences in schools requires a background check and fingerprinting.

Please visit the School of Education website for further information.

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to complete course work in core and elective courses.

  1. Credit hour requirements: Students are required to complete a minimum of 33-34 credit hours depending on concentration.
  2. Grade requirements: Receipt of a grade of C or below in two courses constitutes automatic dismissal from the program. Courses with a grade below C cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.
  3. Student teaching requirements: Students must successfully complete approved student teaching experience. Note: Students must complete all undergraduate courses before student teaching.
  4. Additional testing requirement: Students must pass Praxis II, where applicable, for licensure.

Curriculum requirements

Program requirements – mathematics and statistical reasoning

The general education requirement is three to six credit hours; the early childhood/elementary education program requirement is six credit hours, including three credit hours in mathematics at the college algebra level or higher and three credit hours in a statistics course typically taught by a college department of mathematics. Choosing among these courses is recommended:

MATH 303Investigations in Geometry3
MATH 361Numbers and Operations3
MATH 362Algebra and Functions3
STAT 206Data Analysis and Statistics for Elementary Education3

Program requirements – natural sciences

The general education requirement is seven to nine credit hours, with one course each from the physical sciences and the biological sciences, with at least one laboratory; the early childhood/elementary education program requirement is 12 credit hours, again with at least one course each in the physical sciences and the biological sciences and two laboratories. 

Biological sciences
BIOL 101Biological Concepts3
INSC 201Energy!3
or INSC 300 Experiencing Science
or PHYS 101 Foundations of Physics
CHEM 100Introductory Chemistry3
or CHEM 101 General Chemistry I
or CHEM 110 Chemistry and Society
ENVS 105Physical Geology3
or ENVS 201 Earth System Science
or ENVS 301 Introduction to Meteorology
or ENVS 310 Introduction to Oceanography
or URSP 204 Physical Geography
Science labs 12

Two of the science content courses must pair with a one-credit lab for a total of two credits of laboratory course work in the degree program. Possible partner laboratory courses include BIOZ 101, PHYZ 101, CHEZ 101, CHEZ 110, ENVZ 105 and URSZ 204.

Program requirements – applied arts

Two to three credit hours in applied arts to be designated with the professional studies adviser.

Professional studies requirements

Undergraduate courses

EDUS 301Human Development and Learning3
or PSYC 301 Child Psychology
TEDU 310Elementary School Practicum A (taken with TEDU 410, TEDU 414 and TEDU 426)2
TEDU 313Elementary School Practicum B (taken with TEDU 517, TEDU 522 and TEDU 591)2
TEDU/ENGL 386Children's Literature I3
TEDU 390Movement Education 3
TEDU/SEDP 410Building a Community of Learners: Classroom Management3
TEDU 411Integrating the Arts in Curriculum for Young Children 13
or ARTE 301 Art for Elementary Teachers
TEDU 414Curriculum and Methods for Early/Elementary Children4
TEDU 426Teaching Reading and Other Language Arts3
TEDU 510Instructional Technology in PK-12 Environments2

 Students may choose another applied arts course.

Graduate courses
EDUS/PSYC 607Advanced Educational Psychology for Elementary Teachers3
EDUS 673Democracy, Equity and Ethics in Education3
SEDP 505Theory and Practice of Educating Individuals with Special Needs3
TEDU 517Science Education in the Elementary School3
TEDU 522Teaching Mathematics for Elementary Education3
TEDU 566Diagnosis and Remediation in Reading4
TEDU 591Social Studies Education in the Elementary School3
TEDU 626Home-School Communication and Collaboration3
TEDU 672Internship4
TEDU 674Internship II4
TEDU 681Investigations and Trends in Teaching1
Total Hours34

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 34.

Other curricular options

Students who already possess a content major in a discipline appropriate for secondary education may pursue a post-baccalaureate certificate.

Communications and Enrollment Management
(804) 827-2670

Additional contact
Katherine P. Dabney, Ph.D.
Associate professor and graduate program director
(804) 828-1305

Program website: