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This master's degree program provides a robust, well-rounded curriculum that includes general and content-specific teaching methods courses and leads to initial licensure in elementary education.

Strong partnerships with local elementary schools ensure that teacher candidates are immersed in classroom settings with elementary students throughout the program. Graduates will be able to recognize and adapt to students’ needs, interests, and readiness levels through innovative, research-based pedagogical practices.

More Information about the Program

  • Graduates of this program earn their initial teaching license upon graduation, enabling them to teach grades PK–6 in the state of Virginia.
  • Graduates gain hands-on experience and make a difference through Mason’s local partner schools.
  • The Mason Elementary PDS Network is comprised of elementary schools in Fairfax County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Arlington County, and Manassas Park. In a PDS partnership, the elementary school and the teacher preparation program take joint responsibility for:
    • teacher preparation
    • faculty development
    • enhanced student learning
    • inquiry directed at the improvement of practice

Our Cohort Model

Students in this program progress through the graduate curriculum as a cohort, completing the ELED courses in a specific sequence. Students have the option of starting in the fall, spring, or summer semester. If enrollment numbers permit, we offer both a daytime and an evening cohort option for fall admits. This Cohort Comparison Chart shows the sequencing of courses for the three different cohort start terms.

Our Courses

The majority of the ELED courses will meet once per week on Mason’s Fairfax campus or will be blended with a mix of on-campus and online instruction. Occasionally, a class may be scheduled to take place in one of our PDS Network schools. Courses will require 15 hours of observation in the field, enabling students to be immersed in a classroom setting throughout their time in the program. Students will be assigned to a specific school and classroom teacher in our PDS Network for completion of these field hours.


Elementary education students engage in a year-long (YL) or semester-long (SL) internship experience (student teaching). Students who do the SL internship must complete an additional 3-credit elective to earn the required 39 credits to graduate. Just like with field work, internship placements are made by the program in a PDS Network school.

On rare occasions, a student will obtain a job as a lead teacher prior to finishing the program. In this case, a student would complete a semester-long, on-the-job (OTJ) internship in lieu of traditional student teaching. 

Licensure Disclosure

George Mason University will verify completion of the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) state-approved preparation program at the graduate or undergraduate level. Such verification does not guarantee the issuance of a Virginia Collegiate Professional, Postgraduate Professional, or Pupil Personnel license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is solely the student's responsibility to comply with all requirements for licensure by the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, a social security number is required for licensure.

This program has been identified by George Mason University as one that may lead to a career requiring professional licensure/certification. Federal regulations require Mason to disclose information as to whether this program meets/does not meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification in your state, or whether such a determination has not been made. Please consult our Licensure Disclosure Tool for the disclosure statement specific to your desired state/program combination.