Elementary Education (Professional Licensure , PK-6)

(M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction)

This program is designed for teachers who would like to get Teaching Licensure in Elementary Education.

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

The Elementary Education (PK-6) program prepares students to become licensed elementary teachers in the State of Virginia.

VDOE Approved Licensure Program

Teaching Licensure

Residential/On Campus

100% Faculty Commitment

Our Elementary Education Program

The Elementary Education Program at Virginia Tech is a Master's degree program that prepares students to become licensed elementary teachers (PK-6) in the state of Virginia. Elementary Education is a full-time program offered on the Blacksburg campus only; there are no distance learning options. Students are required to complete extensive preservice teaching experiences in both Montgomery County and Roanoke City, and they are responsible for their own travel arrangements to field placements.

Why Study Elementary Education Here?

We engage teacher candidates in the examination of a variety of instructional approaches based on sound theoretical and research-based underpinnings; provide teacher candidates with experiences that are active, interactive, and/or collaborative. In addition, there are a variety of opportunities to reflect upon, respond to, synthesize, and apply information; involve teacher candidates in ongoing inquiry about children, teaching, and learning. Inquiry experiences are particularly focused on the development of teachers who possess the knowledge and courage to examine the complexities of classroom life and make sound choices that will support children's development and learning.

What You'll Study

The MAEd-Elementary Education program requires completion of 57 graduate credit hours in education and can be completed in 12 months if specific graduate level education courses are taken during the bachelor's program. In order to be eligible for 5000-level courses, an undergraduate must be a senior and have a 3.0 GPA.  Dual/Accelerated status is NOT required for this option.

If the graduate course work is not completed prior to beginning the master's program, EDCI 4024 will be completed during student teaching and others during the summer session following student teaching, resulting in a 14-month program.  Completing the program in 14 months, instead of 12, does not delay your degree/license, nor does it prevent you from applying for jobs the will begin in the upcoming fall.

  • EDCI 4024 Humanizing the K-12 Classroom
  • EDCI 5554 Educating Exceptional Learners across the Lifespan
  • EDEP 5154 Psychological Foundations for Teachers
  • EDCI 5214 Linguistic Theory and Instruction in Reading and Written Expression
  • EDCI 5234 Advanced Curriculum & Instruction in Elementary/Middle Math
  • EDCI 5414 Theory & Practice in Early Literacy Instruction (PK-3)
  • EDCI 5784 Graduate Seminar: Research on Assessing Student Achievement in Math 
  • EDCI 5224 Advanced Curriculum & Instruction in Elementary/Middle Social Studies
  • EDCI 5244 Advanced Curriculum & Instruction in Elementary/Middle Science
  • EDCI 5424 Theory & Practice in Content Literacy Instruction (3-6)
  • EDCI 5784 Advanced Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary Math, Grades 4-8
  • EDCI 5964 Field Studies (6 hrs.)
  • EDCI 5204 Elementary School Curriculum
  • EDCI 5754 Internship in Education (9 hrs.)
  • EDCI 5784 Elementary STEM Education
  • EDCI 5784 Diversity and Classroom Management

Career and Professional Development

In this program, students become licensed elementary teachers (PK-6) in the state of Virginia. Elementary Education Program faculty and staff strive to identify and recruit talented and knowledgeable elementary teacher candidates, especially from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The program at Virginia Tech provides coursework and experiences within public schools in the region through the development of mentoring communities with teachers committed to social justice, cultural diversity, and teacher as agent and reflective inquirer. The university coursework and experiences within the mentoring community address the highest professional standards of NCATE and other professional associations.

Blacksburg Campus

This degree program is offered at the Blacksburg campus. The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center. 

Our Faculty 

Research Interests:

  • Literacy studies at the elementary level
  • Literacy teacher education
  • Literacy education in developing countries
  • Literacy studies for minority students

View Profile

Mary Alice Barksdale, Associate Professor

Mary Alice Barksdale, Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Sociocultural factors influencing students’ participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

Research Interests:

  • Text Difficulty and Readability
  • Reader-text Matching
  • Beginning Reading
  • Phonics and Word Study

Heidi Anne Mesmer, Associate Professor

Heidi Anne Mesmer, Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Mathematics Education
  • Quantitative Literacy
  • Mathematics Beliefs and Attitudes
  • Children’s development of fractions concepts
  • Teaching and learning of probability and statistics

Jesse L Wilkins, Professor

Jesse L. Wilkins, Professor

Elementary Education Research Highlights

Brand, B., Kasarda, M., & Williams, C. (in press). Inquiry by Engineering Design: Applying the Sixth "E". Technology and Engineering Teacher.

Mesmer, H. (2016). Text matters: Exploring the lexical reservoirs of books in preschool rooms. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 34(1), 67-77, 497.

Triplett, C., & Barksdale, M. A. (2015). Preservice teachers’ perceptions of struggling readers. Journal of Reading Education.

Wilkins, J. L. M. (2015). Standards-based mathematics curricula and the promotion of quantitative literacy in elementary school. International Journal of STEM Education, 2:19.

Related Programs

Students interested in applying to the Elementary Education (PK-6) should contact Dawn Knight, by email at peap@vt.edu.

Visit our office at 107 War Memorial Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Early Admission
Summer I: October 15
Other Applicants
Summer I: January 31
This program is offered to State of Virginia Licensure applicants only. 


Mary Alice Barksdale
Program Leader
307 War Memorial Hall

Dawn Knight
107 War Memorial Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

School of Education
226 War Memorial Hall (0313)
370 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061