Master’s Degree & Certification

Elementary Education: The Early Years (Pre-K-4) (MEd)

Whether you are a practicing teacher, working in the community, or right out of a bachelor’s program, the master of education in Elementary Education: The Early Years may be the right fit for you.

Elementary Education Teacher and Student

Program Overview

The early elementary education graduate program prepares you to use innovative practice to meet the demands of today’s diverse, inclusive, and technology-driven schools. You'll receive individualized instruction and be prepared to serve and value diverse children and families in a variety of educational settings.

Through hands-on graduate work, Widener challenges educators and encourages learning through civic engagement, scholarship, and cultural diversity. You'll receive personalized attention through small class size, expert faculty, and individualized program counseling.

Program Options

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You may earn your teaching certification in Elementary Education: The Early Years (PreK-4) in addition to the master's degree.

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Each state/jurisdiction has requirements that candidates must meet in order to obtain licensure and/or certification to teach. It is the student’s responsibility to seek appropriate guidance before beginning any academic program. If you intend to seek certification outside of Pennsylvania, the University recommends that you contact the appropriate state licensing agency to obtain specific licensure/certification requirements per state and the most up-to-date information.
To view Widener’s licensure eligibility by state/jurisdiction, please visit the Center for Education: Program Licensure page.

Admissions Information

  • Complete the application form.
  • Copy of your Resume.
  • Personal Statement.
  • Have an official transcript sent from all previous graduate and undergraduate programs.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from colleagues, supervisors, or college professors.
  • Complete a writing sample. Contact the Writing Center at 610-499-4332 to schedule an appointment. The writing sample can be waived if you have an acceptable undergraduate GPA.

You will have an admissions interview with a faculty advisor.

We have rolling admissions, so you may enter the program in any semester.

Two letters of recommendations are needed for admission into the Elementary Education: The Early Years master's program.

Program Highlights

Our graduate program in elementary education gives you the professional skills and preparation to advance your teaching career in preK-4 grades.

Teacher Education

A Flexible Program Fit For You

Students learn through a combination of class time, fieldwork, and one-on-one advising. This multi-faceted approach fosters confidence and experience and prepares students to become compassionate educators. Most of our students are working professionals and can easily fit this program into their schedules because classes are held during the week and in the evening. 

K-12 Educational Leadership

Engaged Field Experiences

Students in the program spend time working in the field to develop their skills and gain personal experience interacting with students and teachers. Field experience asserts the importance of collaboration among students, faculty, seasoned teachers, administrators, and supportive educational specialists.

Nursing education graduate student

Mentoring Relationships & Individualized Attention

Faculty are committed to excellence, scholarship, and service and will work closely with you on research projects that transform theory into practice. Small class sizes mean you’ll receive individual attention from well-qualified and respected faculty who will help you construct a foundation for career enrichment and success in elementary education.


Get to know our faculty in the Elementary Education: The Early Years program.

Richard E. Thurlow
Associate Professor

"My interests include brain development, literacy development, and applications of technology in research and instruction. My greatest excitement in teaching comes from the way that working with graduate students spills over to my teaching of undergraduates and vice versa."

Reisboard, Dana_22SP
Associate Professor

"My teaching focuses upon cognitive processing and application. In this regard, critical literacy complements the cognitive learning process. Critical literacy is the ability to actively read a text that promotes an understanding of social concepts and human relationships."

Briana Bronstein
Assistant Teaching Professor

It takes someone special to teach someone special. Our pre-service educators are dedicated to learning, growing, and teaching the next generation.

Nadine McHenry

"Learning to be a teacher requires discipline and hard work. Learning to be great teacher requires passion and a deep dedication to the many and diverse children that we serve."

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

Recent Employers & Industry Connections

  • Chester Upland School District
  • Chichester School District
  • Downingtown School District
  • Interboro School District
  • Ridley School District
  • Southeast Delco School District
  • The School District of Philadelphia
  • Wallingford-Swarthmore School District

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Early Childhood teacher
  • Elementary Education teacher
  • Preschool owner or director
  • Teacher leader

Demand for Teachers

Students enrolling in public kindergarten and elementary schools is expected to increase over the coming decade, and the number of classes needed to accommodate these students should rise.

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

Visit Us

A visit, whether in person or online with a special online admissions guidance counselor, is the best way to get to know us. Schedule your visit today, and see all that Widener can offer you.

View Tuition and Fees

Explore program costs and payment options.

Financial Aid

At Widener, opportunities for financial aid extend to graduate students. Discover how Widener can help make obtaining your degree possible.

Next steps to apply

We’re glad you made the decision to apply. All applications and supplemental materials are submitted through the online application system. There is a $35 application fee to apply to Widener.

Get in Touch

Center for Education