Elementary Education (M.Ed.)

Elementary Education (M.Ed.)

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Our Master of Education (M.Ed.) program in elementary education is committed to preparing teachers for culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse schools by providing skills that will make a difference in the classroom and in the greater educational community, as well.

Why get an M.Ed. in elementary education?

With a Master of Education in elementary education, you’ll gain the knowledge, experience and skills to teach effectively in today’s classrooms and communities. Subject matter, research, theory and field-based experience will help you teach with confidence. Learn to foster caring, cooperation and improvement with internships available in culturally, linguistically and socioeconomically diverse urban and rural schools. We focus our teacher education program on preparing teacher-leaders  ̶  not only excellent practitioners, but teachers who work toward improving education in and beyond their classrooms. The M.Ed. leads to certification for teaching in elementary schools.

Why choose UNH for your master’s in education?

At UNH, you can enter the elementary education teacher preparation program at the graduate level or through the accelerated master’s degree option. With this option, you’ll begin preparation at the undergraduate level with a semester of field experience and professional coursework in education. After completion of your baccalaureate degree, move into a fifth year of study and full-year internship, which leads to the M.Ed. and licensure for teaching. Issues related to the challenges and rewards of serving in diverse schools are woven into the teacher preparation program, with unique opportunities through UNH Manchester and the Teacher Residency for Rural Education program.

Potential career areas

  • Elementary school teaching 

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Curriculum & Requirements

The Elementary Education program provides an M.Ed. degree and leads to certification for those who wish to teach in elementary schools.The basic program to achieve these ends is the five-year program in which students begin preparation for teaching at the undergraduate level with a semester of field experience and professional course work in education. Students complete a baccalaureate degree outside of education and move into a fifth year of study and full-year internship which lead to either the M.Ed. degree and licensure for teaching. Students who have already completed a baccalaureate degree may also enter the teacher preparation program at the graduate level. With no prior course work in education, these programs will normally require two years to achieve licensure and a degree.

Admission Criteria

In determining admission of students to teacher education graduate programs, several criteria are used:

  1. The undergraduate record. The undergraduate overall minimum grade point average for admission is 3.0.  The undergraduate grade point average of students admitted to the graduate programs in teacher education is approximately 3.55 (based on 2020 admissions).
  2. Positive recommendations from EDUC 500 Exploring Teaching, EDUC 935A Seminar and Practicum in Teaching or the equivalent and from those able to relay information about a candidate's performance in teaching situations or related areas.
  3. Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) exam scores are required. Applicants must obtain, at a minimum, a qualifying score (as set by the state of New Hampshire at the time of testing) on all three (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) Core exams in order to be considered for admission. Current NH qualifying scores may be found at the ETS Praxis Website under the “Tests required for all licensure areas” page.
  4. Additional required application materials can be found at http://www.gradschool.unh.edu/php/pos.php under programs.

The M.Ed. degree requires a minimum of 32 graduate credits. The exact number of credit hours will depend on the student's academic background, competencies, and professional goals, and will be determined by the adviser.

Any Education course taken for a teacher licensure requirement must be completed with a grade of B- or better.  This applies to any courses from other departments that have been designated as equivalent to an Education course.

Core Requirements

EDUC 500Exploring Teaching4
or EDUC 935A Seminar and Practicum in Teaching
EDUC 605Educational Perspectives in Critical Times4
or EDUC 959 Issues in Education
EDUC 801Human Development & Learning: Cultural Perspectives4
EDUC 803FTeaching Elementary School Science4
EDUC 803MTeaching Elementary Social Studies4
EDUC 806Teaching & Learning Literacy in the Elementary Classroom4
MATH 801Exploring Mathematics for Teachers I3
or MATH 601 Exploring Mathematics for Teachers I
MATH 703Teaching of Mathematics in Grades K-54
EDUC 851AInclusive Elementary Education: Literacies and Learning for Diverse Learners4
Internship (Select one of the following options) 1
EDUC 808
Internship and Seminar in Teaching
and Literacy Assessment for Elementary Classroom Teachers (Fall semester)
EDUC 809
Internship and Seminar in Teaching
and Supporting Readers in Elementary Classrooms (Spring semester)
EDUC 812
Internship and Seminar in Teaching
and Teaching Multilingual Learners 2
or ENGL 815 Teaching English as a Second Language: Theory and Methods
ENGL 816
Internship and Seminar in Teaching
and Curriculum, Materials and Assessment in English as a Second Language 2
Note: All coursework listed above must be completed, therefore some students may exceed the minimum credit requirement while completing the required coursework.
  • GOAL ONE. OUR GRADUATES ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE SUBJECTS THEY TEACH Outcomes. Our graduates: demonstrate depth of knowledge in their subjects. recognize how knowledge in their subjects is created, organized, and linked to other disciplines. identify the organizing themes and central concepts necessary for understanding a subject. identify associated content necessary for students to understand these themes and concepts.
  • GOAL TWO. OUR GRADUATES ARE COMMITTED TO KNOWING THEIR STUDENTS AND CULTIVATING A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS. Outcomes. Our graduates: understand how students develop and learn. treat students equitably and work diligently to help each student reach his or her potential. create and maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning. recognize diversity among their students and adjust their practice accordingly. create and maintain an atmosphere fostering mutual respect and caring. cultivate within their own students a recognition and valuing of diversity.
  • GOAL THREE. OUR GRADUATES KNOW HOW TO TEACH SUBJECT MATTER TO STUDENTS. Outcomes. Our graduates: demonstrate specialized knowledge of how to teach subject matter to their students. use multiple approaches to facilitate student learning. create lessons that are engaging and motivating for students. create learning experiences that are appropriately challenging for all students. involve students in thoughtful inquiry and reflection. ensure that students understand the purpose of activities within and across lessons and units.
  • GOAL FOUR. OUR GRADUATES EFFECTIVELY MONITOR STUDENT LEARNING. Outcomes. Our graduates: use multiple strategies to assess students. regularly assess student progress using appropriate measures. demonstrate the ability to make informed decisions about students and their learning based on classroom, district, and state assessments.
  • GOAL FIVE. OUR GRADUATES ARE THOUGHTFUL AND REFLECTIVE PRACTITIONERS WHO LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE. Outcomes. Our graduates: make well-reasoned choices and decisions within the complex and demanding conditions of teaching. analyze the effects of their actions and make appropriate changes. take into account the moral and philosophical implications of educational decisions. improve their practice by reflecting on their own experience, observing others, seeking advice, and drawing upon educational research and scholarship.
  • GOAL SIX. OUR GRADUATES UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF SCHOOL REFORM AND THEIR ROLES AS AGENTS OF CHANGE. Outcomes. Our graduates: assess the relative merits of educational reform efforts and determine their appropriateness to the classroom, school, and broader societal contexts in which teaching and learning occur. develop and articulate their own conceptual and philosophical perspective on teaching and learning based on professional experience and current theories and research in education. develop an understanding of how leadership is informed by varied perspectives on the structure of public education, the nature of educational change, and the teacher's role in the change process. are willing to take risks as advocates for the benefit of students, teachers, and the profession.
  • GOAL SEVEN. OUR GRADUATES ARE ACTIVE MEMBERS OF LEARNING AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITIES. Outcomes. Our graduates: work with colleagues to enhance their own teaching, learning, and professional development. work collaboratively with students, peers, and community members to create and contribute to effective learning environments. participate in professional organizations. continue to pursue avenues of inquiry into the teaching and learning process through study, research, and dialogue.


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: April 15
  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer: April 15
  • Special: Students who plan to begin their internship Fall semester, must have a completed Graduate School application by March 1st and have taken all prerequisite coursework.

Application fee: $65

Campus: Manchester

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters: Yes (for more details see the accelerated masters information page)

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts are required for any school you earned a degree from, attended for at least one year, or attended for 2 or more semesters. Exceptions to this rule may be approved at the discretion of the program you are applying to and the UNH Graduate School Admission’s office.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted. At least one letter should be from a university/college level instructor.

Test Scores: Praxis Required

IMPORTANT: Please see the latest information regarding Praxis testing at https://www.ets.org/s/cv/important-update/   More testing centers have reopened with limited seating capacity. In addition, select tests (Praxis CORE), are being offered in a Test At Home environment. The tests are the same as the ones offered at testing centers and are monitored by an online “human proctor.”  Go to:  https://www.ets.org/s/cv/praxis/at-home/ for additional information.

Admitted students will need a background check prior to beginning their internship, and passing scores on the Praxis Core will be needed for program completion and teacher licensure.

Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) exam scores are required of all applicants to Master’s level (M.Ed. and M.A.T. ) programs leading to initial certification in Teacher Education, Special Education, and Early Childhood Education. Applicants must obtain, at a minimum, a qualifying score (as set by the state of New Hampshire at the time of testing) on all three (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) Core exams in order to be considered for admission. Current NH qualifying scores may be found at the ETS Praxis Website under the “Tests required for all licensure areas” page. To have scores sent to our office please use our recipient code which is 3922.

For general information about test scores required for admission into our programs please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

In no more than two pages, describe the reasons you wish to pursue the degree program you have chosen, including relevant personal qualities and life experiences that have shaped your beliefs about learning, development and teaching, counseling, or administration (depending on the program to which you are applying).

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

State and Federal Background Check

A background check is a requirement before an application can be reviewed by the Education department. Here is the document and instructions Department of Education Background Check and Criminal History Release form.

Follow the provided instructions and bring your background check documentation to the Department of Education at Morrill Hall, Room 203B (see instructions for details).  Due to COVID-19 and remote learning, you can also mail your completed form and check to: UNH Education Department, Morrill Hall, 62 College Road, Durham, NH 03824. Once received, the Education Department will provide a receipt that you will upload to your application to show this portion is completed. The Education department will send the materials to the state for processing. 

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

This program is normally not available to international applicants who are currently living outside of the U.S.

Explore Program Details

The UNH Teacher Education program is for current or prospective undergraduate students who are interested in becoming a teacher. Diligent students have the ability to earn both their bachelor's and master's degrees in as little as five years* through the Accelerated Master's Program. The GPA for the accelerated master’s is 3.2.

This program is an integrated undergraduate-graduate program culminating in a fifth year, year-long internship. Before the internship, students earn a bachelor's degree in one of our current undergraduate degree programs.