Elementary Education for Teaching with a Masters

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Teach Students By Being One

The Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation Department of the School of Education and Human Development offers graduate programs for new and experienced teachers in Elementary Education organized around reflective inquiry and socially responsible professional practice. Guided by the School of Education and Human Development conceptual framework, we are committed to educating scholar–practitioners with the knowledge and skills to educate and prepare future generations.

Whether you pursue a Master of Arts Degree (MA) or a Sixth Year Certificate (SYC), you'll learn within an inclusive environment of faculty, community members and leaders, and experienced, aspiring classroom teachers - providing you a strong foundation on which to build a successful career and a fulfilling life.

Paid Teaching Internships

Paid teaching internships available in the spring and fall semesters.

Elementary and Secondary Education at Fairfield


The School of Education and Human Development is currently accredited by NCATE, currently known as CAEP, the largest accrediting body for educator preparation providers, through December 2028. The School of Education and Human Development is currently undergoing a CAEP self-study to extend accreditation.

Course Offerings

A minimum of 51 credits* must be completed.

Core Courses (18 credits)
Philosophical Foundations of Education 3
Contemporary Schooling in Society 3
Learning and the Child's Experience
OR Educational Psychology
Introduction to Educational Technology 3
Psychoeducational Issues in Special Education 3
Evidence-Based Strategies in the Inclusive Classroom 3
Elementary Education Coursework (27 credits)
Contexts of Education in the Primary Grades 3
Extending Literacy in the Elementary School: Grades 3-6 3
Developing Literacy in the Elementary School: Primary Grades 3
Learning Mathematics in the Elementary Classroom 3
Teaching Science in the Elementary Classroom 3
Developing Integrated Curriculum for Elementary Students: Inquiry and Action 3
Student Teaching: Immersion in a Community of Practice 3
Reflective Practice Seminar: Elementary Education 3
Integrated Inquiry/Advocacy Sequence (6 credits)
Introduction to Educational Research 3
Educating for Social Responsibility and Civic Engagement: A Capstone Seminar 3

* Based on elementary education faculty evaluations, teacher candidates may also be required to take Teaching and Learning within Multicultural Contexts of Education and/or Educational Psychology.

A Passing Grade of B (3.0) or better in student teaching is required.


Admission Requirements

Applicants for the M.A. in Elementary Education must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent) and give promise of meeting the standards set by the School. Applicants for certification must have completed at least 39 general education credits, including at least one course in the each of the following areas:

  • English
  • Natural science
  • Mathematics
  • Social studies (including a survey course in U.S. history)
  • Foreign language
  • Fine arts
  • U.S. history survey course (covering at least 50 years)

No more than 6 credits of prerequisite coursework may be missing to be eligible for formal admission; this coursework must be completed before student teaching begins.

More About Elementary Education

Message from The Director

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Message from The Director

Ryan Colwell, Ph.D.

Dear Prospective Teacher Candidate,

Congratulations on your decision to become an elementary teacher! We need knowledgeable, dedicated educators to guide our children as they learn and grow. We are delighted to welcome you to our professional community.

Fairfield University's graduate program in Elementary Education is designed to support your growth as a highly knowledgeable and skilled educator who teaches with excellence and commitment for your students' learning. Here, you'll meet and work with other teacher candidates and faculty who share your wish to "touch eternity" through your teaching and mentoring as an elementary educator.

At Fairfield, you'll find that you have joined a professional community that lives out the ideals of our Jesuit mission as advocates for equity and justice through the transformative powers of education. Upon admission, you'll be assigned an advisor with whom you'll discuss your passion for educating, plan your program, and work closely throughout your course of study. Our faculty are excellent teachers who love to teach and to learn with our teacher candidates in an academically rigorous and intellectually stimulating environment. They work with you, your fellow teacher candidates, local teachers, and local communities in many ways to support children's learning.

Please feel free to explore this program site further, and if you have any questions or would like to schedule a time to meet with me for further discussion, just send me an e-mail.

Ryan Colwell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director, Elementary Education

Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

Four Students sitting together talking to each other in common srrea 

As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Fairfield is dedicated to diversity and inclusion; to radical hospitality in service of racial, social, and economic justice.

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Career & Professional Opportunities

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Career & Professional Opportunities

Fairfield elementary education graduates are highly regarded and well received throughout the state and the region. Most of our graduates immediately begin their new careers as K-6 classroom teachers in Connecticut and the surrounding region. Some choose to work in public schools, others in private or parochial schools. Some of our graduates find employment in middle schools as well.

All of our graduates continue their own professional education, because to be a teacher is to be a lifelong learner.

Most choose to remain as classroom teachers, becoming master teachers. Others develop as:

  • Curriculum specialists
  • Administrators
  • Community activists
  • Educational entrepreneurs
  • College teacher educators
  • Policy makers

Learn more about how the University's Career Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

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Our caring and committed faculty offer a rigorous course of study, with a broad range of courses that integrate critical reflection, extensive field experience, and the most current research in the field of Elementary Education.

Meet the Faculty

Frequently Asked Questions

When you are ready to apply, you can create an online application. Please plan to spend about 10 - 15 minutes completing the application. You can create the application and return to the platform in the future to submit it if you require additional time. You should be prepared to answer a series of questions pertaining to your biographical information, program of interest, and educational/ work background. Additionally, you will be required to enter the names and contact information for two references. As part of the application process, you will be required to submit all official college transcripts (sent directly from your institutions), two recommendations (submitted directly from your references who will receive a unique email link), a personal statement, resume, and test scores (required for programs leading to state certification). Please note, you may submit the online application prior to submitting the required supplemental materials. For any questions about the online application please contact Fairfield University Graduate Admission.

Our Office of Graduate Admissions is available to explain the application requirements and to help you get your application together. You may contact them at gradadmis@fairfield.edu or by calling (203) 254-4184.

Students must provide documentation of scores on the Praxis Core, SAT, ACT, GRE, or equivalent test.  If students provide their social security number to ETS www.ets.org/praxis when registering for the Praxis Core exam, the reported score will automatically be uploaded to their Fairfield application file. Fairfield University's code is 3390.

Tuition and fees for our graduate programs.

Our program is designed to meet the learning needs of full and part-time students.

Most of our courses are offered from Mon.-Thurs. in the late afternoon and evening. A few are offered on the weekends. Weekday courses generally meet once a week for 2 hours. Weekend courses tend to be full day courses that meet for 4 or 5 weekends or weekend days over the semester. We also offer summer courses from late May through early August.

We keep our classes small. The typical maximum class size is 20, but class sizes range from 6 to 20.

Our students come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds and have majored in a wide variety of disciplines. It is very important that our teacher candidates in elementary education understand and can teach the wide range of subjects that are taught by elementary teachers. We carefully advise our students when we see that they need to take additional undergraduate courses to build up their knowledge base.

Students who attend full-time take 9 credits each Fall and Spring semester and up to 9 credits in the summer sessions. For full-time students, the program can be completed in about 2 years. For students who attend part-time, the time will vary based on how many courses are taken at a time.

Students are required, however, to complete their degree within 6 years after they begin their first course.

Our financial aid office can best answer that question for you. You may reach them by phoning (203) 254-4125 or by e-mailing them, and you can visit the Financial Aid page.

Our graduate assistantships provide tuition credit for work. See the Graduate Assistantship page for more information.

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