Elementary Education - Certification, Master of Education

Department of Teaching and Learning

College of Education

This plan is no longer offered at the Flagstaff Campus. See the Campus Availability tab below for alternate plan campus options.

Online programs leading to certification require fieldwork, internship, and/or student teaching which must be completed onsite in Arizona.

Online programs leading to certification may require synchronous online learning activities. Students must have access to technology with audio and video capabilities.

We designed this academic plan to deepen your knowledge of issues and current research on best practices in the field, while preparing you to be a teacher in grades K-8.Preparing skilled teachers has been a part of NAU's heritage from its earliest years. Those who earn this degree will be ready to contribute to this essential part of community and country-the education of young people, the breath of the future.

This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

This program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Education (AZBE)

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, professional knowledge, and professional dispositions to be eligible to enter student teaching or internship placements.

Content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills, professional dispositions are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):

Minimum Units for Completion 49
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Arizona Endorsement

Prepares student for Arizona Endorsement.

Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching is required.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

This program may lead to licensure.

Purpose Statement

The MEd Elementary Education with Certification degree program provides candidates with the necessary foundation to teach in K-8th grade classrooms. This nationally recognized program emphasizes sound pedagogical practices while stressing the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary to confidently enter the field of education. Candidates engage in a purposeful program of study, which is grounded in theory and infused with practical experiences in schools. Candidates pursue coursework in a wide variety of areas, including curriculum and instruction, educational foundations, educational psychology, special education, educational technology curriculum, and bilingual and multi-cultural education.  Candidates complete the program with a full-day, field-based student-teaching capstone, occurring over a sixteen-week period, that is tied to a reflection seminar. Additionally, students are involved in practica experiences across the program of study.

Throughout the program, students demonstrate outcomes aligned to the standards of CAEP and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium. These outcomes include, but are not limited to, constructing learning opportunities that support students’ development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation; knowing, understanding, and using major concepts in subject matter fields to enhance student learning and development; creating instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse students; knowing, understanding, and using various assessment strategies to plan, evaluate, and improve teaching and learning; and reflecting and continuously improving educational practice.

Candidates who complete this program will be prepared to contribute to and participate in the education of future generations through public , charter, and private schools, as well as other venues where such coursework and certification may serve the job, such as training/teaching in organizations, non-profits, and agencies. This degree leads to state teacher certification in the state of Arizona.

Student Learning Outcomes

Outcomes align with the Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC).

Detailed Student Learning Outcomes

STANDARD 1 – Understanding and Addressing Each Child’s Developmental and Learning Needs Candidates use their understanding of child growth and development, individual differences, and diverse families, cultures and communities to plan and implement inclusive learning environments that provide each child with equitable access to high quality learning experiences that engage and create learning opportunities for them to meet high standards. They work collaboratively with families to gain a holistic perspective on children’s strengths and needs and how to motivate their learning.

STANDARD 2 – Understanding and Applying Content and Curricular Knowledge for Teaching Candidates demonstrate and apply understandings of major concepts, skills, and practices, as they interpret disciplinary curricular standards and related expectations within and across literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies.

STANDARD 3 – Assessing, Planning, and Designing Contexts for Learning Candidates assess students, plan instruction and design classroom contexts for learning. Candidates use formative and summative assessment to monitor students’ learning and guide instruction. Candidates plan learning activities to promote a full range of competencies for each student. They differentiate instructional materials and activities to address learners’ diversity. Candidates foster engagement in learning by establishing and maintaining social norms for classrooms. They build interpersonal relationships with students that generate motivation, and promote students social and emotional development.

Standard 4 – Supporting Each Child’s Learning Using Effective Instruction. Candidates make informed decisions about instruction guided by knowledge of children and assessment of children’s learning that result in the use of a variety of effective instructional practices that employ print, and digital appropriate resources. Instruction is delivered using a cohesive sequence of lessons and employing effective instructional practices. Candidates use explicit instruction and effective feedback as appropriate, and use whole class discussions to support and enhance children’s learning. Candidates use flexible grouping arrangements, including small group and individual instruction to support effective instruction and improved learning for every child.

STANDARD 5 - Developing as a Professional Candidates promote learning and development of every child through participation in collaborative learning environments, reflective self-study and professional learning, and involvement in their professional community.

Graduate Admission Information
  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
    • ENG 105 (or equivalent), or 6 units of English or composition coursework, with a minimum cumulative English GPA of 3.0 
    • College Algebra or an approved math course with a minimum grade of C
    • One lab science course with a grade of C.
    • IVP Fingerprint Clearance Card
Master's Requirements
  • This Masters degree requires 49 units distributed as follows:

    • Teaching and Learning Course Requirements: 23 units
    • Course Requirements from across the College of Education Departments: 15 units
    • A Full-day, field-based, student-teaching capstone, occurring over a sixteen-week period, that is tied to a 1-unit reflection seminar: 11 units

    Take the following 49 units:

  • Before being accepted to student teaching, candidate must successfully complete required state and university training modules.

    In addition to earning a Master’s degree, this plan meets the Arizona requirements for K-8 teacher certification and provides an institutional recommendation that you can use to obtain K-8 teacher certification in Arizona.

    Be aware that Arizona state teacher certification requirements leading to Institutional Recommendations may change at any time, and may impact program of study requirements.

    This degree is considered a terminal degree; you cannot apply it toward a doctoral degree.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.