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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 is designed for students who have a baccalaureate degree and are seeking a master’s degree or Pennsylvania elementary education (grades Pre-K-4). 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

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
Out of State Students:

Students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for the most up-to-date information regarding out-of-state certification information.


ECE 703 Literacy Development3
ECE 707 Leadership and Management in Early Childhood 3
EDE 701 Standards Aligned Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment3
ESP 701 Introduction to Behavior Analysis3
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 
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
RES 800 Methods of Research3

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.

How to Apply

  • Complete the Graduate School Application
  • Under Planned Course of Study:
    • Select “Teacher Education (MEd)” and then choose “Early Childhood Education (MEd without Cert)” as the designated program
    • Or Select “Teacher Education (MEd)” and then choose “Early Childhood Education (MEd with Cert)” as the designated program
  •  Submit the non-refundable $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)

Application Questions

Phone: 724-938-4187

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

Program Faculty

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

For faculty bios, visit: