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Graduate Programs

Elementary Education (Kindergarten - 9th grade)

Master of Science in Education and Initial Teaching Certification

This graduate program is designed for individuals with an undergraduate degree in an area other than education who want to become certified to teach in Kindergarten-9th grade or in an early childhood setting.

Our program has been revised to meet the needs of our students and to align with the licensing requirements of the Wisconsin Department of Instruction (DPI).  Students will complete requirements for their teaching license within two years and can choose to complete a master’s degree with one additional course.

Key Features

  • Completion of Wisconsin certification requirements for Elementary and Middle School (grades Kindergarten – 9) while pursuing the master’s degree.
  • Field experiences during the day in elementary and early childhood settings are integrated throughout the program.
  • Year-round classes are held during the evenings in combination with online and summer coursework.

Program Curriculum

Admissions Requirements

The admissions process is designed so that those who enter and complete the program will obtain their license and be prepared for a career as a teacher. Individuals who complete the admissions process before July 1 will have priority for admission into the fall cohort. Later applicants may be admitted if space is available.

All candidates need to meet these admissions requirements:

  • submitted online UW-River Falls application and payment of the processing fee;
  • A 600-1000 word letter of intent describing why you consider yourself a strong candidate for the teaching profession and identifying your future career goals. 
    Official transcripts showing an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with an overall GPA of > 2.75 (on a 4 point scale).

If the overall undergraduate GPA is between 2.5 and 2.74, a candidate may receive a contingent admission requiring a UW-River Falls graduate grade point average in their first term with grades ≥ 3.0 AND passing scores on one of the following assessments to demonstrate basic skills (ACT, PRAXIS Core, GRE, MTLE EAS). 

Send all documents directly to the UWRF Graduate Admissions Office by mail or email. Transcripts must be sent to UWRF directly from your previously attended institution. 

NOTE: A criminal background check is not required as part of the application, but will be required for all accepted students prior to formal admission. Accepted students will receive an email from the College of Education and Professional Studies Associate Dean about this process. Indications of any criminal history on the background check are not considered in the application review process but may require a meeting with the college Associate Dean. Additionally, the program cannot guarantee any graduate an educational license nor job opportunities. Some licensing agencies and some school districts may choose not to consider applicants with criminal histories. 


For More Information

Dr. Hiawatha Smith, Faculty Director
College of Education and Professional Studies
Teacher Education Department

Pamela Bowen, Program Manager
Continuing Education

Contact Us

Admissions Office
M-F 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
103 David Rodli Hall