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

Student learning outcomes

Early and elementary education

  1. Master content knowledge: Candidates demonstrate content knowledge in the disciplines to be taught in an elementary classroom as evidenced by performance on Praxis II and the liberal arts equivalency GPA.
  2. Demonstrate ability to plan instruction: Candidates demonstrate that they can effectively plan classroom-based instruction as evidenced by the read-aloud lesson plan.
  3. Demonstrate application of knowledge, skills and dispositions: Candidates effectively use skills in practice as evidenced by the clinical evaluation continuum assessment during internship.
  4. Demonstrate effect on student learning: Candidates demonstrate effect on student learning as evidenced by success on the practicum B lesson plans in math, science and social studies.
  5. Demonstrate success on developmental project: Candidates will demonstrate competence in developing unit lesson plans as evidenced by the TEDU 414 unit plan.
  6. Demonstrate success on activity project: Candidates will demonstrate competence in developing student activity plans by success on the health and PE movement experience activity project.
  7. Demonstrate ability to integrate the arts in lessons: Candidates will demonstrate that they know, understand and use basic communication in the arts, can analyze art from structural, historical and cultural perspectives, and have an informed acquaintance with art from varied cultural and historical periods.  Further, candidates will demonstrate that they are able to integrate art in a basic content lesson by success on the learning center notebook project.

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 at

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.T. Fall Feb 1 GRE or MAT
Spring Oct 1
Summer Feb 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 a major, or equivalent, in the subject the student wishes to teach (for secondary) or an appropriate liberal arts major (for early/elementary) (Students in the five-year extended program must be pursuing an appropriate bachelor’s degree.)
  2. Three letters of recommendation addressing the student’s potential for graduate study in education
  3. Student’s written statement concerning career interests
  4. Transcripts of all previous college work
  5. Satisfactory scores on the GRE or MAT

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 Student Services Center section on the School of Education website for current testing requirements.

Admission to clinical experiences in schools requires a background check and fingerprinting.

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:

Course Title Hours
MATH 131Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics3
STAT 208Statistical Thinking3
STAT 210Basic Practice of Statistics3

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. Choosing among these courses is recommended:

Course Title Hours
Biological sciences
BIOL 101
BIOZ 101
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
BIOL/ENVS 103Environmental Science4
Physical sciences
CHEM 110
CHEZ 110
Chemistry and Society
and Chemistry and Society Laboratory
CHEM 112Chemistry in the News3
PHYS 101
PHYZ 101
Foundations of Physics
and Foundations of Physics Laboratory
PHYS 107Wonders of Technology4

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

Course Title Hours
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 390Physical Education for the Elementary Teacher3
TEDU 410Classroom Management in Elementary Schools3
TEDU 411Integrating the Arts in Curriculum for Young Children 12-3
or ARTE 301 Art for Elementary Teachers
TEDU 414Curriculum and Methods for Early/Elementary Children4
TEDU 426Teaching Reading and Other Language Arts3
Total Hours25-26

 Students may choose another applied arts course.

Graduate courses
Course Title Hours
EDUS/PSYC 607Advanced Educational Psychology for Elementary Teachers3
EDUS 673Seminar on Educational Issues, Ethics and Policy3
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

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum)  34

Other curricular options

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

Graduate program coordinator
Laura Domalik, M.Ed.
Instructor, Department of Teaching and Learning
Phone: (804) 828-1305

Additional contact
Julie Gorlewski, Ph.D.
Associate professor and chair, Department of Teaching and Learning
Phone: (804) 828-1305

Program website: