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M.Ed. and Initial Teaching License in Elementary Education with a focus on Dual Language and Immersion


This two-year program prepares you to teach elementary education content to K-6 students in both dual language/immersion classrooms and those where English is the language of instruction. You will earn a master’s of education (M.Ed) degree and qualify for an initial teaching license in K-6 elementary education. Infused throughout the program are DLI-specific practices such as biliteracy development and language-focused teaching strategies.

Dual language immersion expertise is a high needs area in Minnesota. The Minnesota Advocates for Immersion Network estimates that more than 15,000 students in Minnesota learn their subject matter in a language other than English, including Chinese, French, German, Hmong, Korean, Spanish, and more.

In order to be recommended for your Minnesota k-6 elementary education teaching license, you must successfully complete these licensure requirements required by the state of Minnesota.

Is this program right for you?

This program is designed for bilingual individuals who have a bachelor's degree including:

  • Education assistants or paraprofessionals
  • Tier 1 or Tier 2 teachers seeking a Tier 3 license currently in immersion, indigenous, or bilingual programs
  • International students
  • Professionals seeking a career change

Why pursue a master's of education degree?

Combining an M.Ed. with your teaching license offers the following advantages:

  • Teachers with a master's degree are regarded as experts in their field, making you a more competitive job candidate with an M.Ed.
  • Teachers who have a master's degree will see a roughly $7,000 annual salary increase [].
  • Though the salary increase with a master's degree will vary by district and state, Minnesota teachers are on the higher end of the payscale.
  • Once a teacher is employed, there is much more mobility that comes with a master's degree. Teachers with advanced degrees can be promoted to school administration positions and can become mentors to other teachers based upon their graduate training.


Summer 2022 6 credits, 6 weeks, 6 hours per day, 3 days a week, UMN Twin Cities

Fall 2022: 6 credits, alternating online and face to face Saturday classes at UMN Twin Cities

Spring 2023: 6 credits, alternating online and face to face Saturday classes at UMN Twin Cities; 50 hour continuous in-school field experience in a Dual Language or Immersion school

Summer 2023: 6 credits, 6 weeks, 6 hours per day Monday through Friday; 50 hour continuous in-school field experience in the Minneapolis Public Schools

Fall 2023: 6 credits, alternating online and face to face Saturday classes at UMN Twin Cities, Student Teaching in a Dual Language or Immersion school (12 continuous weeks)

Spring 2024: 6 credits, alternating online and face to face Saturday classes at UMN Twin Cities

Program Experience

Our program is unique and offers the following core experiences:

  • A teacher cohort studying together for 2 years
  • Face-to-face and online coursework
  • Candidates can complete the program while continuing to work
  • Innovative and equity-driven curriculum
  • University coursework concurrent with school-based experiences

In addition to learning the K-6 content and pedagogy, the program infuses dual language and immersion-specific topics including:

  • Biliteracy development
  • Language-focused teaching strategies
  • Teaching English-language learners
  • Culturally-responsive pedagogies

Language Testing Requirements

If you grew up speaking the target language in the home (non-native English speakers):

  • To show evidence of proficiency in English, submit an official score from one of the following exams: TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB. You must submit your scores to the program prior to interviewing. For more information on these exams and the minimum score requirements, please visit the Graduate School's English language proficiency page. See the Graduate School’s page for information on showing English language proficiency through post-secondary coursework. Note: this is both a Graduate Admissions requirement to demonstrate readiness to participate in graduate-level studies in English at the University as well as a program requirement to demonstrate readiness to teach in a dual-language context in the target language.
  • To show evidence of proficiency in the target language, no testing is required if you are currently employed in a bilingual school setting where proficiency in the target language is required for your position. This will be verified by the program. If you do not meet this, the OPI will be required.
  • If you grew up speaking English in the home (non-native target language speakers):

  • Submit an official score from the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) to demonstrate readiness to teach in a dual language context in the target language. Scores must be received by the program prior to the required interview. Information can be found here about the Oral Proficiency Interview. Advanced Mid is the preferred level for admission. Advanced Low is the minimum level accepted for admission. Contact the program regarding requirements for non-OPI tested languages (e.g., Hmong, Ojibwe).

Inquire about the program

Interested or wondering if this is the right program for you? Please fill out an inquiry form!

We will follow up with a request for your unofficial transcripts for the prerequisite course review. Following this review, we will send a document with complete application instructions. The application will require a resumé with relevant experience, an essay, and letters of recommendation.

Do you have questions? Contact Jade Beauclair, program advisor,, 612-625-4013

Program Coordinator: Stephanie Owen

For detailed admission information, please visit the DLI-L admissions page.