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Practical Experience for Classrooms K-6

When you graduate with a master’s degree in Elementary Education from UNC, you gain a significant advantage in the job market for teaching. It’s not only because we’re designated as the primary institution for teacher education in Colorado, nor is it only because we’re nationally recognized for excellence in teacher education. It’s also the quality of your learning experience, and the people learning along with you. We have a focus on hands-on learning, including 160 hours of practicum fieldwork, plus a full-time, 16-week student teaching experience in an elementary classroom. Equally important is the unique level of personal involvement and mentorship your professors provide—they directly supervise teacher candidates in the field. As a program designed for both American and international students, a wealth of diverse perspectives will enrich your education and career.

Degree Details

Credits Required:



Loveland + Online
Denver + Online

Time to Completion:

Licensure: 1 year, MAT: 15 months

Cost Estimator

Degree Options

The Master’s of Arts in Teaching: Elementary Education Licensure Program has cohorts in Loveland and Denver. A cohort is a group of students who participate together throughout the program. Take the next step! Explore courses, contact information and admission requirements.

Degree Requirements

Program Details 

Related Programs

Your Future in Elementary Education

Earning your master’s degree in Elementary Education will not only increase your marketability and pay rate; it also opens up new opportunities for leadership and positively impacts the lives of students.

Consider UNC's Elementary Education M.A. if you are:

  • Ready to take the next step in your teaching career
  • Interested in leading school-wide change
  • Seeking a greater understanding of research-based teaching practices

You’ll learn:

  • Teaching methods in a wide range of subject areas
  • Effective leadership skills sought by school administrators
  • Applying theory and research to everyday classroom challenges

Sample courses:

  • Effective Instruction in Elementary School Mathematics
  • Achieving Effective Instruction in Developmental Reading
  • Introduction to Applications of Educational Technology
  • Elementary School Practicum
  • Intro To Grad Research
  • Elementary Student Teaching & Capstone Seminar

Jenni Harding


Jenni Harding Middleton, Ed.D.
Professor of Elementary Education

A former elementary school teacher and instructional technology specialist, Jenni Harding, Ed.D., coordinates the Elementary Education M.A.T. program, working with multiple partner schools across Colorado. Her interests include mathematics instruction, quality instruction for children, improving teacher education, culturally responsive classrooms and STEM learning for English Learners. She was awarded the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Advisor Award in 2012 and 2008, and has earned Doctoral Research Endorsement status at UNC.

Learn more about Dr. Harding Middleton

Beyond the Classroom

Where can your degree take you?

With this degree you’ll have a range of options:

  • Elementary school teacher
  • Elementary education administrator
  • Curriculum developer
  • Educational policy developer

Current Research

Our professors share passions in both research and teaching. Two of our department’s current research undertakings include:

Investigating Culturally Responsive Instruction

Brian Rose, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Teacher Education

How can teachers work more effectively with English language learners in their classrooms? Rose investigates how teacher candidates conceive of culturally responsive instruction and the assumptions that underlie instructional modifications they make in their lessons. He’s also interested in learning how teacher educators can better support teacher candidates from diverse backgrounds. For example, a recent study examined an early field experience and its effects on first-year, first-generation college students' understandings of teaching and learning. Ultimately, through both his research and teaching, Rose aims to support diverse learners to be more successful in their academic and professional endeavors.

English language learners

Affective Responses and Cognitive Processes of Students Grades K-6

Gary Fertig, Ph.D., Professor of Elementary Education

Gary Fertig’s research explores how children in grades K-6 develop historical thinking skills in learning social studies content. This focuses on identifying the affective responses and cognitive processes that students depend on to develop meaningful interpretations of what life was like for people who lived in the past. As a former elementary school teacher, Fertig encourages prospective teachers to reflect on their classroom practices to improve teaching and learning: “For real understanding to occur, teachers must recognize when to provide young learners with practical experiences in addition to direct instruction, how to ask significant questions as a basis for guiding investigations and motivating students to care about their learning.”

Historical thinking skills

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Still not completely sold? We understand. Here's more information on costs and funding and how to apply.

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