Site Search

A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.

Elementary Education Pre-K-Grade 4

Master of Education – Pre-K-Grade 4  with certification – Credits:  54 (program code:  0906)

Master of Education – Pre-K-Grade 4 without certification – Credits:  45 (program code: 0908)

Program Description

The elementary education program, accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, is designed for students who have a baccalaureate degree and are seeking a master’s degree or Pennsylvania elementary education (grades Pre-K-4) certification with or without a master's degree. This program is appropriate for students who wish to broaden their knowledge of elementary/early childhood education and teachers certified in other areas, and for those with an undergraduate degree outside of education.

Students who are not certified in Pennsylvania must pass the PECT test. It is possible to earn the master's degree and Pre-K-4 certification in the same program.

Students who hold Pennsylvania teacher certification may also satisfy Act 48 requirements by successfully completing graduate courses.

Candidates for Pennsylvania certification must have completed undergraduate or graduate coursework that includes the following:

College-level mathematics (6 credits)

English composition and English/American literature (3 credits/3 credits)

 Health and wellness (3 credits)

Citizen: Geography, political or economy (3 credits)

English language learners (3 credits)

 Instructional technology (3 credits)

U.S. history (3 credits)

Physical science (3 credits)

Environmental/earth science (3 credits)

 Biology (3 credits)

The courses listed above apply only to the Master of Education with certification program. Students entering the program without all, or part, of the undergraduate requirements may meet them with additional coursework or by competency tests while they are taking the graduate classes.

Delivery Mode

Traditional (on-ground, face-to-face delivery with some online/distance elements)


Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation ( CAEP, formerly NCATE)

Admissions Criteria

Admission Requirements (Regular)

  • Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.80 or a 3.00 in last 48 credits earned (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • For International Applicants: TOEFL score of 213 on computer-based exam, 550 on paper-based exam or 80 on Internet-based exam. An official copy of an IELTS with a minimum score of6.0may be substituted for the TOEFL score.

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted for a period not to exceed two terms with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision
    • Unofficial transcripts

Program Requirements

  • Current Act 24, 34, 151 and 114 clearances

How to Apply:

  • Complete the Graduate School Application
  • Under Planned Course of Study:
    • Select “Teacher Education (MEd)” and then choose “Pre-K-Grade 4 (MEd without Cert)” as the designated program
    • Or Select “Teacher Education (MEd)” and then choose “Pre-K-Grade 4 (MEd with Cert)” as the designated program
    • Or Select “English as a Second Language (Cert Only)”
  • Submit your $25 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcript to:
    • School of Graduate Studies and Research
      California University of Pennsylvania
      Box 91
      250 University Ave.
      California, PA 15419
  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above), email ( or fax (724-938-5712)

For additional information:

Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:

All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.


Course NameCredits

RES 800 Methods of Research
EDE 701 Standards Aligned Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment3
ESP 610 Special Education Foundations and Collaboration3
ESP 612 Evidence-based Practices for Pre-K-8 Inclusion3
ESP 701 Introduction to Behavior Analysis3
PSY 712 Advanced Psychology of Learning3
ECE 703 Literacy Development3
ECE 707 Leadership and Management in Early Childhood 3
ELE 701 Teaching and Assessment in Language Arts3
ELE 702 Teaching and Assessment in Reading3
ELE 703 Field Experience 3
ELE 711 Teaching and Assessment in Mathematics 
ELE 718 Teaching and Assessment in Expressive Arts3
ELE 721 Teaching and Assessment in Science3
ELE 731 Teaching and Assessment in Social Studies3
ELE 795 Student Teaching 

The Master of Education without certification program requires all courses above excluding ELE 795 student teaching (45 credits).

Program requirements may include comprehensive examinations and certification tests.


Students in the Pre-K-4  education program receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and program faculty. Each student is assigned to an academic adviser from the time he/she is accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study.

Application Questions

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Eberly 202B
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419

Program Coordinator

Peter Cormas, Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin), M.S. (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Post- baccalaureate (Yale University), B.A. (University of Pittsburgh)
Phone: 724-938-4018

Graduate Faculty

For faculty bios, visit:

Holly Diehl, Ed.D. (West Virginia University), M.Ed. (Frostburg State University), B.S. (West Virginia University), Associate Professor
Deborah Farrer
, Ed.D., M.A. (West Virginia University), B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania),  Associate Professor
William Hug, Ph.D., M.S. (Pennsylvania State University), B.S. (Western Illinois University),  Associate Professor
Diane Nettles
, Ph.D., M.A., B.A. (University of South Florida), Professor
Christine Peterson, Ed.D. (West Virginia University), M.S. (Johns Hopkins University), B.S. (Edinboro University of Pennsylvania), Associate Professor