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Program Contact

Sarah J. Carrier
Associate Professor
Elementary Education Graduate Program Coordinator
sjcarrie@ncsu.edu
919.513.2808
Program Contact

Irene Armstrong
Graduate Student Services Specialist
irene_armstrong@ncsu.edu
919.515.3221

Master of Education or Master of Science

Elementary Education


Teacher Education and Learning Sciences (TELS)

NC State’s Master’s program in Elementary Education has an emphasis on either elementary mathematics education or elementary science education. The program is designed for those who hold a current teaching license and offered through a cohort model, in which students start the program at the same time and progress together through the courses. This cohort model supports the development of a strong professional community among participants.

Important Dates
March 15, 2018
Science Specialist Summer Application Deadline


March 15, 2019
Mathematics Specialist Summer Application Deadline
* Departmental deadlines are earlier than those of the Graduate School. Late or incomplete applications must wait until the next department deadline to be reviewed. All supporting documents must be received by deadline for application to be considered complete.


Program Description

The Master’s program in Elementary Education develops teacher leaders who possess strong specialized content knowledge including a deep understanding of how elementary students learn and can apply such knowledge and understanding to their leadership and instructional practices. The program is considered Distance Education (DE) and offered off campus, at school sites in the region, to take advantage of reduced DE tuition rates. Most courses are taught through face-to-face instruction with professors that are experts in their fields and who bring experience teaching elementary school students using theoretical and research-based methods for student learning and engagement. There are two options for completion. The Master of Education (MEd) program in Elementary Education requires 30 credit hours and the Master of Science (MS) option requires 33 credit hours.  MS students are required to complete three additional hours of Master Thesis preparation beyond the MEd requirements and need to secure an advisor in advance to supervise their thesis work and research.

Mathematics specialist cohorts initiate each summer in odd years; in addition to their master’s degree, students graduating from this program earn a mathematics specialist add-on designation to their K-6 North Carolina teaching license. The science specialist cohorts initiate each summer in even years. In addition to their Master’s degree, graduates earn a science specialist add-on designation to their K-6 North Carolina teaching license. Many recent graduates have also furthered their careers through attaining positions as coaches or content specialists.

Please contact the program coordinator, Dr. Sarah Carrier, for information and PRIOR to submitting your application at sjcarrie@ncsu.edu or 919-513-2808.

Course of Study

Full Curriculum

Math Specialist Master’s Degree

  • ELM 555 – Number Systems and Operations: K-5 Mathematical Tasks
  • ELM 556 – Rational Numbers and Operations: K-5 Learning Trajectories
  • ELM 557 – Data Analysis and Measurement: K-5 Classroom Interactions
  • ELM 558 – Algebraic Reasoning: K-5 Discourse and Questioning
  • ELM 559 – Geometry and Spatial Visualization: K-5 Assessment
  • ELM 560 – Mathematical Modeling: K-5 Leadership
  • ELM 520 – Methods of Teaching Elementary School Science
  • ELM 530 – Diversity and Social Studies
  • ECI 541 – Reading in Content Areas
  • ELM 654 – Inquiry Project

Science Specialist Master’s Degree

  • ELM 524 – Issues in Elementary School Science Education
  • ELM 539 – Special Problems in Elementary Science Education
  • ELM 520 – Methods of Teaching Elementary School Science
  • Life Science Content
  • Earth Science Content
  • Physical Science Content
  • ELM 530 – Diversity and Social Studies
  • ECI 541 – Reading in Content Areas
  • ELM 654 – Inquiry Project

Admission Requirements

  • 500-800 word personal/goals statement that showcases your background, teaching experience and goals for seeking an advanced degree
  • Copy of your current teaching certificate: must be uploaded with personal statement
  • Transcripts of all post-secondary education* showing 3.0 GPA as required by the Graduate School
  • Three letters of recommendation that assess your work ethic and potential as a graduate student. These letters must be included with the online reference form.
  • Non-refundable application fee of $75 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents or $85 for international residents

NOTE:  As of Spring 2013, GRE scores are no longer required for admission.  However, if your overall GPA is below a 3.0, we strongly recommend that you submit GRE scores.

* Applicants currently attending or who have previously attended NC State are not required to provide an NC State transcript.  Official transcripts will be required once an admission decision has been made by the Graduate School. Copies of transcripts should be uploaded directly into your online application or sent directly to the Graduate School at:

The Graduate School
North Carolina State University
Research Building III, Room 240
1005 Capability Drive, Box 7102
Raleigh, NC  27695

Additional Info

View more information on our  Mathematics or Science Master of Elementary EducationPrograms.

NOTE: Departmental deadlines are earlier than those of the Graduate School. Late or incomplete applications must wait until the next department deadline to be reviewed. All supporting documents must be received by deadline for application to be considered complete.