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M.A.Ed - Curriculum & Instruction - Elementary Education

Do you dream of making a difference in the lives of children? Make it a reality with an M.A.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Elementary Education. Our program focuses on integrating theory, research and practice so that in one year, you’ll be ready to step into the classroom with the knowledge, skills and strategies to confidently teach diverse student populations. Get ready to unlock your potential—and that of your students.

This program is designed as a full-time, 12-month (summer, fall, spring) program in which students complete all requirements as a cohort. This model provides for an intense and rewarding experience and creates a strong network of support among students, faculty, cooperating teachers and university supervisors. 


Graduate students in Elementary Education complete a 42-semester hour program that includes educational foundations course work, methods courses in elementary school subject fields, and student teaching experiences. Course descriptions and sequence can be found on the M.A.Ed. Elementary Education Program of Studies. 

Field Experiences

Clinical experiences are a complement to and an integral component of the teacher preparation program in the School of Education. Throughout the program, preservice teachers have experiences in a variety of settings and with diverse populations at our partnering public schools. These experiences serve as a bridge between the knowledge, skills, and dispositions developed through formal course work and the practical application of those professional attributes as a teacher candidate and, subsequently, as a classroom teacher.

In the fall, elementary education candidates complete a minimum of 60 hours in the field, practicing their teaching skills, interacting with students, reflecting on the experiences, and learning about the ecosystem of schools. These field activities prepare candidates for their culminating field experience – student teaching. The 15-week, immersive student teaching experience takes place in the spring and is a critical component of our candidates’ preparation and development as a teacher.


Students who successfully complete our Elementary Education program will be eligible to apply for licensure in Elementary Education PK-6 in the state of Virginia. Learn more about applying for licensure.

Testing Requirements

All teacher candidates must obtain passing scores on the professional teacher assessments prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education. At William & Mary, all required licensure tests are also graduation requirements; therefore, the appropriate tests must be completed regardless of a teacher candidate’s decision to apply for a teaching license. Learn more about testing requirements.

Additional Course Requirements

In addition to other program requirements, candidates seeking an endorsement in Elementary Education PK-6 must complete six semester hours in each of the following disciplines:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science – Courses should be in the laboratory science areas of Earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics. The required six semester hours must come from two different science disciplines.
  • History and social sciences – Courses should be in the areas of history, geography, civics or government, or economics.

Please work with your advisor to ensure that courses you would like to take will satisfy this requirement.

Undergraduate and 5th Year Programs

Current William & Mary undergraduates may pursue elementary education through a BAEd or through our fifth year program, in which students complete a master's degree as a fifth year.

Elementary Education Program Contact

[[keconradi, Kristin Conradi Smith]]
Program Coordinator
(757) 221-6212

Download Program Fast Facts (PDF)