Elementary Education

Graduate programs

Master of Science in Education, Elementary Education

Denise Cunningham, Program Coordinator
Hill Hall, Room 121; Phone 417-836-3262
CEFS@MissouriState.edu

Program description

The graduate program in Elementary Education is designed primarily for practicing educators who desire to continue their professional growth toward master teacher with deeper knowledge and advanced skills in elementary teaching. With a curriculum focusing on theory, practice and content knowledge, candidates completing this degree are prepared for greater responsibility within their district, the role of mentor to colleagues and preservice teachers or pursuit of doctoral studies.

The program requires a minimum of 33 semester hours and may be completed fully online or with a combination of face-to-face and online courses with fifteen hours of required courses. A minimum 12 hours program focus is required in Advanced Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Technology, Elementary Mathematics, Literacy, Conservation Education, or Gifted and Talented Education. Program focus courses are offered in combination of face-to-face and/or online courses.

Successful completion of focus area coursework provides eligibility for an MSU Graduate Certificate. Graduate certificates may be earned independently or as part of the MSEd in elementary education program. Students must formally apply for admission to a graduate certificate program separately from the admission to the MSEd, Elementary Education program. The graduate certificate is awarded upon successful completion of coursework in the focus area and the certificate will be placed in the official university transcript.

Program admission requirements

Admission to the program requires the following minimum criteria:

  1. A minimum GPA of 3.00 for courses taken in the last 60 hours of course work in the undergraduate program. Students who do not meet the GPA requirements must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  A GRE combined score of 290 (875 under the old scoring system before August 1, 2011) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination is required prior to the student’s registering for more than 9 hours.
  2. Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based or a comparable score of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL are required for admission.
  3. Applicants who wish to pursue Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) certification to teach in grades 1-6 while completing the MSEd in elementary education must complete a transcript analysis with the Teacher Certification and Compliance Office before being admitted to the elementary education graduate program.  Note: selected courses are available toward certification.  See advisor for details.
  4. A student who does not meet all the above criteria, but who demonstrates outstanding potential, may be fully admitted by the Elementary Education graduate faculty and the Head of the Childhood Education and Family Studies department on the basis of individual merit and successful completion of the first 9 hours of graduate coursework with a GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Program admission procedure

Following admission to graduate study and prior to the completion of 9 graduate hours of master’s degree course work at Missouri State University, the student must submit the following to the Coordinator of the Elementary Graduate Program or the Head of the Childhood Education and Family Studies department to continue in the program.

To be considered for admission to this program, a student must apply to both the Department of Childhood Education and Family Studies and the Graduate College (refer to the Graduate College, Admission to Graduate Studies, Admission Requirements.

  1. Students must possess a bachelor’s degree and must meet the requirements for admission to graduate school as stated under the Admission to Graduate Study section of the Graduate Catalog.
  2. In addition, the following materials must be submitted to the Department of Childhood Education and Family Studies:
    1. A letter of intent describing the applicant's professional goals and teaching philosophy, future plans, background information, teaching experiences, and/or other related experiences with children.
    2. A copy of an appropriate teaching certificate or eligibility for teacher certification by a state agency. Application without certification or eligibility may be accepted with permission from the Coordinator of Elementary Education Graduate Program or the Department Head of Childhood Education and Family Studies.
    3. Submission of three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the candidate’s academic abilities and teaching potential. One letter should be from someone who has observed the applicant working with children.

Degree requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 33 approved graduate hours with a minimum overall GPA of 3.00.
  2. No more than 16 hours of 600-level course work may be applied to the graduate degree program.
  3. Comprehensive Examination.  A comprehensive examination or equivalent must be passed by the candidate before a degree will be granted.
  4. Research. Option I: Satisfactory completion of one extensive paper or major creative work facilitated through the research seminar course.
    Option II.  Satisfactory completion of a thesis in the candidate’s discipline.  This credit shall be not more than 6 hours of the minimum 33 required for the degree.
  5. Transfer credit.  A maximum of 30% of the 33 hours of graduate credit may be accepted toward the master’s degree.  All transfer credit must be “A” or “B” grade status from an accredited college or university and must be approved by the Coordinator of the Elementary Education Graduate Program or the Department Head of Childhood Education and Family Studies.

Course requirements

Courses may count only once in meeting the 33 hour program course requirements.

  1. Required Core Courses - 12 hrs
    ELE 711 Contemporary Issues in Elementary Curriculum
    ELE 725 The Emerging Master Teacher
    ELE 720 Advanced Theory and Practice in Student Assessment and Evaluation
    SFR 780 Educational Research Methodology
    ELE 772* Research Seminar in Elementary Education (Research Option I) OR
    EEM 799 Thesis (Research Option II)

    * ELE 775 Research Writing (1-3 hrs) may be taken as an elective up to 3 times to support research work.
  2. Electives. Students in consultation with the Coordinator of the Elementary Education graduate program of advisor will select electives based on student interest and need to bring the total credits for the program to 33 hours.

Graduate Certificate in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction - select 12 hrs

  • ELE 710 Elementary School Curriculum
  • ELE 713 Advanced Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Communication Arts
  • ELE 714 Advanced Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Social Studies
  • ELE 715 Advanced Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Mathematics
  • ELE 716 Advanced Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Science
  • ELE 721 Standard-based Integrated Curriculum, Learning and Teaching
  • ELE 722 Differentiated Instruction for Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle School

Graduate Certificate in Elementary Mathematics Specialist (EMS) with Missouri DESE Certification - 24 hrs

The Master of Science in Education, Elementary Mathematics Specialist is designed for practicing teachers (with at least 2 years of experience teaching elementary or middle school). This track is part of a statewide Mathematics specialist certification in collaboration with other Missouri Universities. Elementary Mathematics Specialist (EMS) professionals can serve students and schools in a variety of ways including as classroom teachers, lead or mentor teachers, and school or district-based mathematics specialists.

Prerequisites - 8 hrs

  • MTH 750 Number and Operations for Elementary Mathematics Specialists
  • ELE 730 Internship in Numbers and Operations
  • MTH 752 Rational Numbers and Proportional Thinking for Elementary Mathematics Specialists
  • ELE 732 Internship for Rational Numbers and Proportional Thinking

Required Courses - 16 hrs

  • MTH 754 Algebraic Reasoning for Elementary Mathematics Specialists
  • ELE 734 Internship for Algebraic Reasoning
  • MTH 760 Geometry and Measurement for Elementary Mathematics Specialists
  • ELE 738 Internship for Geometry and Measurement
  • MTH 758 Data and Probability for Elementary Mathematics Specialists
  • ELE 736 Foundations of Mathematical Leadership I for Elementary Mathematics Specialists
  • ELE 737 Foundations of Mathematical Leadership II for Elementary Mathematics Specialists

Graduate Certificate in Conservation Education - 12 hrs

  • EEM 716 Nature Unfolds
  • EEM 717 Nature Unleashed
  • EEM 718 Project Wet, Wild and Learning Tree
  • EEM 719 Nature Unhooked: CMAE Conserving Missouri's Aquatic Ecosystems

Visit the Graduate Catalog for details about the Conservation Focus and Certificate Program in Elementary Education.

Graduate Certificate in Education of the Exceptionally Gifted-Talented Child - 12 hrs*

  • EEM 720 Introduction to Learner Development and Differences in Gifted and Talented Students
  • EEM 721 Curriculum Planning, Instruction and Assessment in Gifted and Talented Education I
  • EEM 722 Curriculum Planning, Instruction and Assessment in Gifted and Talented Education II
  • EEM 723 Learning Environments and Collaborations in Gifted and Talented Education

*Adding SFR 780, Educational Research Methodology, and ELE 772, Research Seminar in Elementary Education, will earn Missouri DESE certification for Gifted and Talented Education.

Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology - 16-17 hrs

Visit the Graduate Catalog for details about the Educational Technology Focus and Certificate Program in Elementary Education.

Graduate Certificate in Literacy - select 12 hrs

  • RDG 700 Relationship of Language to Literacy and Intellectual Development
  • RDG 710 Content Area Literacy
  • RDG 740 Issues and Trends in Literacy Education
  • RDG 770 Curriculum Design in Literacy
  • RDG 780 Assessment Procedures for the Literacy Specialist
  • RDG 781 Assessment of Literacy Problems (must be taken concurrently with RDG 782)
  • RDG 782 Remediation of Literacy Problems (must be taken concurrently with RDG 781)

Visit the Graduate Catalog for details about the Literacy Focus and Certificate Program in Elementary Education.

Accelerated Master of Science in Education, Elementary Education 6-12 hrs

The MSEd-ELE accelerated program master's option provides exceptional Missouri State University students the opportunity to enroll in graduate-level coursework as a baccalaureate candidate and earn up to 12 credits toward the Elementary Education master's degree program.

Eligible BSEd majors may apply for preliminary acceptance into the MSEd-ELE program after admission requirements for the accelerated master's option have been satisfied.  After acceptance into the Accelerated Master's in Elementary Education program, candidates must receive approval from the MSEd-ELE Coordinator, CEFS Department Head and the Dean of the Graduate College before enrolling in a dual BSEd/MSEd course.  Acceptance into the program and all approvals must be completed prior to the end of the Change of Schedule period for the course(s).  A student will be fully admitted to the Graduate College upon completion of the requirements for the baccalaureate degree and all other Graduate College admission requirements.  See the Graduate Catalog for further information.

Admission Requirements for the Accelerated Master's in Elementary Education:

  1. Junior or Senior standing with an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher
  2. BSEd major in progress
  3. Admitted to Teacher Education
  4. Recommendation of a faculty member in teacher education

Students admitted to the Accelerated Master's option may take 6-12 hours from the following courses or a course in consultation with the MSEd-ELE Coordinator/advisor:

  • ELE 710  Elementary School Curriculum
  • ELE 721  Standards-Based Interdisciplinary Curriculum
  • ELE 722  Differentiated Instruction
  • ELE 725  The Emerging Master Teacher
  • PSY 703  Human Growth and Development
  • SPE 715  Foundations in Special Education
  • EDT 650  Selection and Utilization of Instructional Technology
  • RDG 640  Analyses and Correction of Difficulties in Literacy
  • MID 725  Advanced Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Early Adolescents