Elementary Teaching - M.A. with Specialization

Elementary TeachingM.A. with Specialization

Elementary teachers are curriculum generalists, working simultaneously across subject areas.

The specialization is intended to reflect the preparation of the recipient practitioners in the core areas of the elementary school curriculum of reading, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Memorandum of Courses


  • 30 - 36 credit hours.
  • Students will work closely with a faculty advisor to select graduate level courses, which may be taken within Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education or other departments as long as they meet Master's requirements.
  • Required Master's courses (9 credits) are listed below. These must be taken in order to earn the Master of Arts degree.
  • Required specialization courses (12 credits) must be taken in order to earn this specialization.
  • Elective courses (15 credits) may be chosen from within the department, college, or university depending on individual needs, interests, and professional goals.

Please note that if you are interested in earning your initial teaching certificate, you'll need to pursue a Master of Arts Leading to Initial Teaching Certification.

Required Master's Courses (9 hours)

  • TEAC 800 Inquiry: Teaching and Learning (3 credits)
  • TEAC 801 Curriculum Inquiry (3 credits)
  • TEAC 889 Masters Seminar (3 credits)

Required Specialization Courses (12 credits)

Science Education:
TEAC 842A Objectives and Methods of Science Teaching: Elementary

Social Studies Education:
TEAC 822A Principles and Practices in Social Studies Education

Choose one course in Literacy and Language Arts Education:
TEAC 811 Reading Processes and Practices
TEAC 811C Response to Intervention—Reading
TEAC 815E Emerging Biliteracy
TEAC 854 Multiethnic Literature for Children and Adolescents

Choose one course in Mathematics Education:
TEAC 836G Professional Development: Mathematics Teacher Leadership
TEAC 807C Equitable Practices in Mathematics Education: Mathematics Classroom Discourse
TEAC 807A Equitable Practices in Mathematics Education: Identity, Access, & Equity in Mathematics Education
TEAC 808G Improvement of Instruction in School Mathematics: Manipulatives in Mathematics Education
TEAC 848G Introduction to Curriculum Studies: Mathematics Curriculum Analysis & Design
TEAC 856P Learning Models: Theories and Applications Specific to Mathematics Instruction
TEAC 880E Teaching with Technology: Instructional Technology in Mathematics
TEAC 807B Equitable Practices in Mathematics Education: Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice
TEAC 849G Studies in Assessment and Leadership for Learning: Assessment in Mathematics Education
TEAC 808J Improvement of Instruction in School Mathematics: Special Topics

for Summer Sessions and Fall Semester

for Spring Semester

Application Requirements

  • Undergraduate GPA equivalent to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A good match between your goals and the department’s ability to address those goals
  • A completed application submitted to the UNL Office of Graduate Studies which includes the following:
    • Resumé
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation
    • Application Essay
      The Graduate Admissions Committee looks closely at the applicant’s goals in the application essay for further evidence of your meeting the admissions criteria. A well-written essay is crucial to admissions decisions. This application essay is a concise statement in which you address clearly why you want to pursue graduate studies at the master’s level at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In this essay you should address clearly:
      • Your academic and/or professional goals and how the master’s degree in Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education will enable you to meet these.
      • Your academic strengths, with specific attention to your background in higher education and how this qualifies you for graduate study at a major university.
      • Any professional experience, knowledge, and skills you possess and how these further qualify you for graduate study at a major university.
      • This statement should be between 700–1000 words.

*Please note that a complete background check may be required upon admission to the program. Many institutions today require a criminal history background check before an individual is allowed to work, volunteer, conduct research or collect data within their facility. CEHS students who are required in their program to go into daycare facilities, schools, hospitals, or other community agencies must complete a background check before CEHS can place them in these facilities.

Only completed application files will be reviewed. Following the review process, you will be informed in writing of the admission decision.

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Master's Degree Options

View the master's degree overview and milestones on the Graduate Studies website.

The NU Graduate College offers master's degrees under two Options, except in a few departments where such a choice is not feasible.

For Options A & B
  • No courses older than 10 years will apply toward master's degree requirements at UNL.
  • A written or oral comprehensive examination is required.
  • Courses open only to graduate students are those numbered at the 900 level, or at the 800 level without counterparts at the 400 level or below.

Option A
  • Thesis required
  • Minimum of 30 credit hours, including 6 - 10 credit hours of thesis
  • At least one half of the credit hours required for the degree, including thesis, must be TLTE (TEAC) courses
  • At least 8 credit hours, excluding thesis, must be graduate-only courses
  • May include a minor of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department

Option B
  • Thesis not required
  • 36 credit hours
  • At least one half of the credit hours required for the degree must be TLTE (TEAC) courses
  • At least 15 credit hours must be graduate-only courses
  • May include a minor of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department

Change of Option

Students may change their declared Option at any time during the program of study with written approval from the advisor, the Chair of the Graduate Committee in the student’s major, and the Dean for Graduate Studies. The only exception to this policy is that students may not change from Option A to Option B if certification of full-time status has been utilized.

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Jenelle Reeves

Jenelle Reeves
Graduate Chair

Joelle Tangen

Graduate Project Associate