Take your education career to the next level: You'll do that here.

You’ve been in the classroom, and now you’re ready to take the next step in your career.  With a master’s degree in elementary education you can choose from three fully online emphasis areas to deepen your understanding in your field of expertise, or branch out into a new area. Earning credits towards your master’s degree can also cover continuing education requirements. 

Since Southeast has been preparing educators since 1873, you can feel confident in our history, our reputation, and our accreditation. We're fully accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.  

What You'll Do

As an elementary education major, you’ll learn about trends and issues affecting elementary education today, then learn the skills and assessment methods needed to thrive in the classroom. More specifically, you’ll have the opportunity to: 

  • Complete coursework online and at your own pace, while choosing an emphasis area of study that meets your career interests and needs. 
  • Conduct research relating to challenges you face in your own teaching. 
  • Add additional Missouri teaching certificates as a Reading Specialist or Math Specialist. 

What Can You Do with a M.A. in Elementary Education?

Earning a master’s degree in elementary education lets you apply the latest knowledge and trends to your own classroom. Earning your master’s degree can also open up new teaching opportunities or leadership roles.  

Career Opportunities 

  • Reading Specialist 
  • Literacy Interventionist 
  • Math Coach 

Online: Elementary Education Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree

Elementary Education by the Numbers

  • $62K

    Elementary Teachers

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for elementary teachers is $ 61,690.

  • 2

    National Recognitions

    The College of Education has received national recognition for excellence from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), & Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI).

Elementary Education Curriculum

Degree Map

The time it takes to earn a degree will vary based on factors such as dual enrollment, remediation, and summer enrollment. Students meet with an academic advisor each semester and use Degree Works to monitor their progress.

In addition to the criteria established for general admission to graduate studies, applicants must have the following: 

  • An undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale 
  • A valid professional teaching certificate OR a qualifying score on the state content exam appropriate for that certificate OR be in the 50th percentile verbal and analytic components of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Note: This program does not lead to initial teacher licensure. 

International applicants must have a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 OR TOEFL score of 95. This requirement is for non-United States citizens who are not native English speakers. Students from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are exempt from English proficiency verification. 

Required core courses:

  • EL615 Research in Action (3)
  • EX601 Educational Assessment (3)
  • GR698 Master's Final Comprehensive Examination (0)

Choose one emphasis area:

Early Childhood Emphasis
  • CE605 Issues and Trends in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • CE610 Curriculum, Methods, & Program Management in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • CE634 Assessing Young Children's Learning and Development (3)
  • EL606 Curriculum Construction (Elementary) (3)
  • Electives: 6 hours (Suggested electives related to young children)
Choose one course:
  • EX556 Communication Intervention and Strategies for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (3)
  • EX602 Language Acquisition for the Exceptional Child (3)
Choose one course:
  • CE614 Family / School Partnerships in Early Childhood (3)
  • EX507 Family and Child with Exceptionalities (3)
Math/Science Emphasis
  • EL603 Teaching Elementary School Mathematics (3)
  • EL604 Techniques of Teaching Science & Mathematics in the Elementary School (3)
  • EL606 Curriculum Construction (Elementary) (3)
  • EL608 Diagnosis and Remediation of Difficulties in Learning Mathematics (3)
  • Electives: 9 hours (Suggested electives in math/science)
Choose one course:
  • CE614 Family / School Partnerships in Early Childhood (3)
  • EX507 Family and Child with Exceptionalities (3)
Math Specialist Emphasis
  • EL667 Mathematical Leadership for Elementary Mathematics Specialists: Foundations (2)
  • EL668 Mathematical Leadership for Elementary Mathematics Specialists: Influencing and Facilitating Improvement (3)
  • MD611 Internship in Numbers and Operations (1)
  • MD612 Internship in Rational Numbers and Proportional Thinking (1)
  • MD616 Internship in Geometry and Measurement (1)
  • MD617 Internship in Algebraic Reasoning (1)
  • MD621 Numbers and Operations (3)
  • MD622 Rational Numbers and Proportional Thinking (3)
  • MD624 Data and Probability (3)
  • MD626 Geometry and Measurement (3)
  • MD627 Algebraic Reasoning (3)
Reading Emphasis
  • EL611 Emergent Literacy Learners Practicum (3)
  • EL615 Action Research (3)
  • EL623 Intermediate and Upper-Level Literacy Learners Practicum (3)
  • EL624 Literacy Leadership (3)
  • EL644 Creating and Fostering Literate Environments (3)
  • EL647 Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Difficulties (3)
  • EL648 Dyslexia and Reading Disabilities (3)
  • SE602 Effective Literacy Instruction at the Middle and Secondary Level (3)
  • EX601 Educational Assessment Techniques (3)
Choose one course:
  • EL629 Advance Studies in Children's Literature (3)
  • EL646 Aspects of Literacy Development and Acquisition (3)

  • Additional courses are required for MO Special Reading Certification (K –12), depending upon undergraduate course work completed. This certificate also requires valid MO Teaching Certificate and two (2) years teaching experience. 
  • Additional requirements for those seeking the MO Elementary Math Specialist (1 – 6) certificate:
    • A valid Missouri permanent or professional certificate of license to teach; and 
    • Two (2) years of successful mathematics teaching experience; 
    • Must have recommendation of designated official for teacher education in the college or university with an approved program of study 
    • Must complete the content knowledge or specialty area test designated by the State Board of Education with a score equal to or greater than the Missouri Qualifying Score. 

Although students may complete this program at their own pace and sequence, these courses do have pre-requisites: 
  • EL647 Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Difficulties (prerequisites – EL 644 Understanding and Applying the Multi-dimensional processes of Reading and EL 646 Inquiry & Research Model Used to Improve Reading) 
  • EL 611 and EL 623 Early and Older Literacy Practicums (prerequisite – EL 647 Reading Assessment) 
  • EL 615 Research in Action (prerequisite - EX 601 Educational Assessment) 
  • GR 698 Action Research Project (prerequisite - EL 615 Research in Action) 

Additional Note

  • The Reading Emphasis Area requires practicums with young children and older students. These may be completed in the graduate students’ school setting.

Southeast is a school with a lot of heart. The professors in the College of Education took us under their wings and did everything they knew how to make us the most effective teachers. They built relationships with us and cared about us. That’s the first step to effective teaching.

Samohya Stallons, Elementary Education

College of Education, Health and Human Studies

This degree is housed within the College of Education, Health and Human Studies. The college boasts programs that train students in mind, body, and soul. So, whether you want to teach, to care, to support, or to fix, we have a program to get you there.

Earn Your Degree on Your Schedule.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Online Learning at Southeast

When it comes to your success, we do whatever it takes. Online learning at Southeast takes the same reputable college courses taught by Southeast faculty and makes them available anytime, anywhere.


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  • CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation) logo
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Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

(573) 651-5184
Office Location
Kent Library 305
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 4610
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Take the Next Step