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Ph.D./M.A. in Elementary Education


Contribute to the advancement of knowledge so necessary to address the dynamic challenges of contemporary education at the elementary level. This program emphasizes:

  • A focus on interdisciplinary approaches to curriculum development
  • The use of inquiry as a key pedagogical approach
  • The importance of a strong understanding of diversity and its social and educational implications
  • Child development and learning theories as the foundation for research and teaching in elementary settings

Research Opportunities

Students can engage in research that advances the field of elementary education and ties into their area of interest. Faculty work closely with each cohort to achieve research and educational goals and improve educational opportunities students.

Examples of student research theses areas

Career Outlook

Graduates of the program have assumed positions as university faculty, instructional leaders in the public schools, curriculum development specialists, and assessment specialists.

Graduates have found employment in the following positions:

  • Associate professor, Wright State
  • Professor, University of Minnesota
  • Associate professor, Western Carolina University


Blanca Caldas Assistant Professor
Blanca Caldas
Ann Mason Director of Elementary Teacher Education
Ann Mason
Mark Vagle Program Lead
Mark Vagle


As a full-time graduate student, you will have opportunities to:

  • Supervise student teachers
  • Teach courses in Elementary Teacher Education
  • Conduct research
  • Engage with faculty and student colleagues in research/discussion groups related to the study of Elementary Education as a contextual space
  • Present at conferences for researchers and practitioners

Your Ph.D. coursework will center on your research interests. The program consists of 51 course credits and 24 doctoral thesis credits for a total of 78 credits.

To view the core curriculum and electives visit the Education, Curriculum, and Instruction Ph.D. page in the course catalog and view Elementary Education at the bottom of the page.

Master of arts students can choose either a thesis (Plan A) or final paper (Plan B) to complete their degree.

Admissions Information

Priority deadline: December 1

Admissions decisions: January

We have several funding options to support students full-time. View detailed admissions and funding information for M.A. and Ph.D. students including policies concerning transfer students and international students.

Transfer Credits

International students

Younkyung Hong

"I was drawn to this program when I learned that the faculty and graduate students in the program are not only doing academic work, but also engaging with the public to improve education."

Younkyung Hong, PhD candidate in elementary education, 2021