5-Year Program in Elementary Education (K-6) with Subject Matter Specialization (5-8) Certification

    Program Overview

    The 5-Year Program in Elementary Education (K-6) with Subject Matter Specialization (5-8) Certification covers a range of foundational topics in elementary education including the principles of classroom learning, evaluation and assessment, classroom organization, literacy development, and educational psychology. Depending on the student’s chosen subject matter specialization, curriculum will further explore topics in English or language arts, mathematics, science, or social studies. In alignment with the GSE’s mission, all teacher preparation programs and courses are designed to prepare teacher candidates to be culturally responsive practitioners and effectively teach diverse learners by fostering a deep understanding of students from historically underserved linguistic, economic, and cultural backgrounds and communities. Successful completion of this program will lead to a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree in elementary education, elementary education (K-6) teacher certificate, and middle school (5-8) content specialization teacher certificate. Graduates can expect to be effective practitioners knowledgeable about current research in learning, teaching, and their field of interest, and prepared to make informed decisions about their educational practice. 

    To finish the program in 5 years, Rutgers undergraduate students must complete specific pre-admission coursework and field placements during their sophomore and junior years. Notably, pursuing an undergraduate major that aligns with the student’s chosen subject matter specialization will also make meeting the associated requirements much easier to accomplish later on. Students will apply for the 5-year program before the Spring semester of their junior year and if admitted, enter the professional education sequence in the summer before senior year. After senior year, students qualify to have their bachelor’s degree awarded by the undergraduate liberal arts college and continue with the professional sequence in the summer after graduation. Students will return in the fall to complete a full-time student-teaching internship and continue with full-time graduate study, including a field-based research project in the spring. 

    After the master’s degree is awarded, the GSE will make a recommendation to the New Jersey State Department of Education on behalf of the graduate to receive their Elementary Education Teacher (K-6) Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS), as well as their Middle School Content Specialization CEAS.

    Program Goals as of 2022-2023
    (Last updated: 7/18/2022)


    • Students will build deep understanding of how children learn and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually (across cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical domains) and are shaped by diverse cultures and communities.  
    • Students will develop strategies for communicating and collaborating with students, families, community members, and other educators to support inclusive learning environments that empower each learner to meet high standards. 
    • Students will develop, expand, and deepen content knowledge and understanding (e.g., mathematics, literacy, science, language, and elementary and early childhood education), drawing on current research to plan and implement high quality Preschool-8th grade instruction. 

    Communication/Community Building 

    • Students will participate in local, professional, and scholarly communities through communication and collaboration (e.g., research, presentations, and service).  
    • Students will develop strategies for communicating and collaborating with students, families, community members, and other educators to support inclusive learning environments that empower each learner to meet high standards. 

    Social Justice (Urban Education Teacher Preparation) 

    • Students will examine social justice issues and collaboratively promote educational equity in educational settings, where diverse backgrounds and perspectives (educational, cultural, personal, social, economic) are an integral part of the learning experience, by exploring and addressing them in intentional and meaningful ways. 

    Research/Professional Practice 

    • Students will examine research and professional resources to inform their practice and address problems of practice, as well as interpret and evaluate studies and resources in professional areas of interest, which may lead to the disruption of traditional structures, norms, and expectations.  


    • Students will evaluate, identify, and use developmentally and disciplinarily appropriate models and approaches to effectively design and implement assessment of learning and teaching. 

    Professional Development/Self-Reflection 

    • Students will capitalize on opportunities for continuous professional learning and development, including reflective self-inquiry, in order to contribute to and improve their practice and the teaching profession.  

    For more information about this program:

    Program Details

    Application Deadline

    APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED! Contact academic.services@gse.rutgers.edu for assistance

    Entry Term(s)


    Program Level


    Program Type

    Bachelor's Degree Master's Degree + 2 Teacher Certification





  • What You’ll Learn

    Through expert-led, research-driven coursework, graduates of the 5-Year Program in Elementary Education (K-6) with Subject Matter Specialization (5-8) Certification will gain the perspective needed to understand learning as an active process in which students construct their own knowledge and understandings. They will possess a vision of teaching that promotes depth of understanding and problem solving rather than mere curriculum coverage and recognizes children’s individual and cultural differences. Students will exit the program prepared to be teacher-researchers who reflect on their practice, and armed with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to act as change makers in the schools and communities they serve.

    For more information about the courses in this program, please visit the course catalog and online schedule of classes.

  • Program Requirements
    • 39 Undergraduate Course Credits
      • 6.5 Credits – Completed Pre-admission in Sophomore or Junior Year
      • 3 Credits – Completed in the Summer Before Senior Year
      • 14.5 Credits – Completed in the Fall of Senior Year
      • 15 Credits – Completed in the Spring of Senior Year
    • 2 no-credit Course Modules – Completed in the Summer Before Senior Year
    • 33 Graduate Course Credits
      • 6 Credits – Completed in the Summer Before the 5th Year
      • 15 Credits – Completed in the Fall of the 5th Year
      • 12 Credits – Completed in the Spring of the 5th Year
    • Portfolio 
      • Students will archive artifacts from various GSE courses via an online instructional and evaluation system as directed by faculty

    Throughout their undergraduate and graduate studies, students must also complete at least 15 credits of college-level work in the area of their subject matter concentration (English, mathematics, science, or social studies). While any major offered by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is acceptable for admission into this program, pursuing a major in one of the subject area concentrations will make the program requirements much easier to accomplish.

    Graduates are expected to complete the required course sequence and satisfy their general education requirements, content area concentration requirements, and liberal arts credits, as well as complete HIB training, an edTPA performance-based assessment, and their portfolio concurrently through completion of their coursework.

  • Careers and Outcomes

    Graduates exiting this program will be prepared for immediate employment as an education practitioner in New Jersey public, private, and charter schools. Students may teach grades K-6 and or their specialization subject in grades 5 through 8. Beyond roles as practitioners, graduates of this program may also pursue positions as school administrators, family support specialists, early childcare specialists, education consultants, math or literacy coaches, private tutors, and education advisors.

  • Admissions Requirements
    • Personal Statement
    • One Letter of Recommendation
    • Passing Praxis Core test scores* in Reading, Writing, and Math
      • or SAT scores* greater than 50th percentile in both Math and Verbal or both Math and Reading
      • or ACT scores* greater than 50th percentile in both Math and English
      • or GRE scores* greater than 50th percentile in both Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning
    • Official Undergraduate Transcripts**

    *Any test scores submitted must be less than 5 years old as of the application deadline
    **The New Jersey Department of Education requires a minimum GPA of 2.75 to be admitted to a teacher education program

  • How to Apply
    1. Collect the materials required for admission
    2. Submit your application online at http://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/
    3. Submit supporting materials online
    4. Any supporting materials that cannot be submitted electronically should be mailed to Graduate Admissions’ New Brunswick office. Their mailing address can be found here: https://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/about/contact-us
  • Tuition & Financial Assistance


    For tuition and fees information please visit the tuition landing page.

    Financial Aid:

    While students are encouraged to apply for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), there are a number of other merit- and need-based support options, including loans and college work-study programs within and external to Rutgers. For more information, please visit the Office of Financial Aid website.

    Scholarships, Fellowships & Assistantships:

    Generous GSE alumni, friends, and community members have established and continue to donate to more than one dozen fellowships and scholarships to help deserving students reach their goals. These awards are granted on the basis of academic achievement and or financial need. While these awards are competitive, interested students are encouraged to apply for consideration and submit the required materials. Students must also submit a FAFSA application to be eligible.  

    To review all current awards and learn more about the donors that established them, please click here

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