Saint Joseph’s University’s Master of Science in education, elementary/middle school, will prepare you for initial instructional certification.
Education MS — Early Childhood/Elementary PK-4
Offered in-person and online, Saint Joseph’s 36-credit Master of Science in Early Childhood/Elementary Education is designed for those who seek to become school teachers at the pre-K through fourth-grade level. In your coursework, you will deepen your understanding of early childhood development and learn how to teach young students lifelong learning skills.
Early childhood and elementary teachers must meet the wide-ranging needs and learning levels of a diverse student population and have a firm comprehension of the varied subjects they teach. A principal characteristic of Saint Joseph’s education programs lies in assuring that graduates acquire this breadth of knowledge and practical experience.
If you’re an undergraduate student at Saint Joseph's, our 4+1 program education programs offers the opportunity to earn credits towards an education MS and earn a master's degree in just five years. Students interested in this option must apply to the graduate program in their junior year and be conditionally accepted before they complete their bachelor's degree.
What Sets Our Program Apart
The School of Education and Human Development helps you coordinate the three required field experiences or labs as well as your full-time, 14-week student-teaching placement. Participating in a field experience in a local Philadelphia school or a lab exposes you to a variety of classroom experiences and teaching styles.
We’ve designed our flexible early childhood education MS so you can balance all commitments of a busy life. Take courses online, on-campus or a combination of both. The program offers evening classes with small class sizes and the option to work at your own pace by choosing one, two or three courses per term. The required field experiences and student teaching will have to be done in person.
The master’s in early childhood and elementary education is designed to build and strengthen your content area knowledge, instructional skills and ability to create an inclusive classroom. This program will prepare you for initial instructional certification (Level I).
Saint Joseph’s accredited program is aligned with the Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements for teacher certification in Pre-K – Grade 4. Students will also engage with content and pedagogical approaches relevant to grades 5 and 6.
Saint Joseph's education faculty are experts in their fields, bringing theory, practice and relevancy to the classroom. Our small, dynamic classes allow for discussion, reflection and collaboration.
Graduates are prepared to be reflective, principled educators who are deeply committed to furthering student achievement as well as teacher performance. This tradition reinforces ethical and moral leadership and teaching methods centered on values and principles, and advocates for social justice in education for underrepresented communities and students.
What Can You Do With an Early Childhood/Elementary Master's Degree?
With a master's degree in pre-kindergarten to elementary school education from Saint Joseph's University, you will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and background necessary to pursue a successful career educating young children.
Graduates go on to teach pre-kindergarten through fourth grade in:
- Public schools
- Private schools
- Parochial schools
- Charter schools
Affordable tuition options start at $845 per credit.*
*This rate applies to all students accepted by Saint Joseph's University after June 1, 2023. Tuition and fee rates for students accepted prior to June 1, 2023, differ. Pricing does not include room and board, health insurance or any professional, clinical or transportation fees. Visit our Tuition & Fees page or contact us for more information.
Financial aid may be available to you to help offset the cost of your degree. Explore your options on our Financial Aid page.
Saint Joseph's offers a 20% tuition discount to teachers in the Philadelphia School District, the Philadelphia Archdiocese network, and select surrounding school districts.
Have you completed a year or more of service with a recognized service organization? You may be eligible for our mission discount.
Alumni of Saint Joseph's are eligible to receive 10% off the cost of this program through our alumni discount.
Check with your employer to see if they are an Edcor or a Bright Horizons EdAssist member, which may entitle you to a discount on graduate programs.
Note: discounts cannot be combined.
Saint Joseph’s University is approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, that assesses institutions for the highest available form of accreditation.
The Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University is also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a recognition that represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide.
SJU is a yellow ribbon school that accepts GI education benefits. Our Office of Veterans Service can help you access and understand the benefits available to you and will support you during your educational career at SJU.
Graduate assistantships are offered on a limited basis. Please contact the program director for availability.
Why Study an Early Childhood Education MS in Philadelphia?
With 218 schools and 118,053 students, Philadelphia offers a wide range of schools seeking elementary and early childhood educators. Additionally, Saint Joseph’s School of Education and Human Development has a long-standing relationship with Samuel Gompers Elementary School, a K-8 school in Wynnefield, Philadelphia located next to Saint Joseph’s Hawk Hill campus. Faculty and students collaborate with the school year-round on in-class and extracurricular programming, ranging from education to health and wellness initiatives. Existing grant projects include enhancing the school’s sports and science programs and creating a volunteer recruitment and management system.
To be considered for admission you must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and have earned an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Visit our Graduate Admission Information page to learn more about admission requirements, key deadlines, additional requirements for international students and how to submit your application.
- Apply online.
- Submit official college transcripts from all colleges attended.
- Submit a personal statement.
- Submit resume.
- Submit two letters of recommendation.
Graduate applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. New students may enroll in courses during the fall, spring or summer semesters.
- Fall: August
- Spring: January
- Summer: May
If you’re applying as an international student, you must provide proof of English Language Proficiency and Certification of Finances along with your application. Check the graduate admission page for more information about the application process and additional requirements for international students.
Frequently Asked Questions
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, pre-K and elementary school teachers earn a median annual salary of $61,350 per year.
Saint Joseph’s University offers multiple master’s degree programs in education at various levels, including:
In addition to a student support coordinator, we have a variety of other tools and resources that make it easy for you to get technical assistance, chart your course and focus your career search. Check out our online learning resources.