Which Florida Schools Offer Elementary Education Teaching Degrees?

Find out which Florida schools offer elementary education degree programs. See requirements, prerequisites and school information, and learn about the job prospects for an elementary education career in Florida. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Elementary education teaching degrees in Florida are typically offered at 4-year universities. You might earn a 4-year bachelor's degree in education with a specialization in elementary education. If you already have a bachelor's degree, hold a teaching certificate, or are eligible for one, you could earn a master's degree in about 3 semesters and choose an area of specialization such as elementary education, special education, or English as a second language. A 5-year combination bachelor's/ master's degree with teacher certification is also available with some courses offered online. Additionally, students who already have a master's degree can earn a Ph.D. in approximately 6 semesters; research, publication and a dissertation are required. Explore the following summaries to find a program that meets your needs.


Bachelor's Degree Programs in Florida

Florida State University

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Education
  • Specializations: Elementary education
  • Program Length: Four years full-time (two years, or four semesters, are in education degree program)
  • Tuition: $5,825 per academic year for state residents, $20,992 for out-of-state residents (2011-2012)
  • Program Prerequisites: Required courses (introduction to education, teaching diverse populations and technology in education), passing score on the FTCE's general knowledge section
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 40,000 students (about 31,000 undergraduate)
  • Address: Stone Building, Suite 1100, 1114 W. Call St., Tallahassee, FL 32306-4450
  • Phone: (850) 644-6885

After completing the elementary education bachelor's degree program at Florida State University (FSU), and contingent on your passing the required sections of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination prior to graduation, you'll be eligible for certification to teach grades kindergarten through six. You'll also be eligible to obtain endorsements in teaching English as a second language and reading. Admission is competitive because the Florida Board of Regents granted limited enrollment status to FSU's School of Teacher Education. Throughout the program, you'll apply what you learn in class through field experiences, and you'll spend your final semester student teaching full-time in a Florida classroom. You may have the opportunity to complete an internship abroad.

University of Miami

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Education
  • Specializations: Elementary education/special education
  • Program Length: Four years full-time
  • Tuition: $19,990 per semester (2012-2013)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; approximately 16,000 students (about 10,000 undergraduate)
  • Address: School of Education and Human Development, 5202 University Dr., Merrick Building, Rm. 312, Coral Gables, FL 33146
  • Phone: (305) 284-3711

The University of Miami's elementary education program prepares you for certification as a kindergarten through sixth grade educator and as a special education teacher for grades K-12. You'll also be eligible for endorsements in reading and English for speakers of other languages. The program emphasizes field experience and student teaching in Miami-area elementary schools. Your coursework will help you learn to teach in a way that builds on the strengths of all your students.


Master's Degree Programs in Florida

University of Florida

  • Program Name: Master of Education in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Elementary Education
  • Program Length: 36 credit hours (roughly three semesters, full-time)
  • Tuition: $13,750 per year, full-time, in-state; out-of-state students pay an additional $17,394 (2012-2013)
  • Requirements: Possession of or eligibility for elementary education teaching certificate
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 50,000 students (about 33,000 undergraduate)
  • Address: College of Education, 140 Norman Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611
  • Phone: (352) 392-0726

The University of Florida offers two master's degrees in elementary education, neither of which prepare students for teacher certification if they don't already have it. In the Master of Education (M.Ed.) and the Master of Arts (MAE) degree programs, you'll take courses in literacy, children's literature, math and English for speakers of other languages as well as pursue studies in courses of your own choosing. You must write a thesis in the MAE program. Most classes are taught on campus, but some only are offered online.

If you already have a bachelor's degree in a subject other than education, you can qualify for teacher certification through the school's 39-credit Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in elementary education. The university also offers an elementary education program that will allow you to earn a bachelor's degree in education, teacher certification and a master's degree in five years. The Unified Elementary ProTeach program (UEP) qualifies students for dual certification in elementary education and special education (K-12) and the ESOL endorsement.

University of South Florida - Main Campus

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Specializations: Elementary education program has curriculum specialization, teaching program has elementary education/ESOL specialization
  • Program Length: 33 semester credits (roughly three semesters full-time); teaching program requires five semesters
  • Tuition: $416 per credit hour, in-state; $837 per credit, out-of-state (through summer 2012)
  • Requirements: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university, B average or higher in all upper-division undergraduate work, elementary teaching certificate or eligibility for elementary certification
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 40,000 students (about 31,000 undergraduate)
  • Address: 4202 East Fowler Ave., Office: EDU 202, Tampa, FL 33620
  • Phone: (813) 974-3460

This program is designed for educators who want to improve their teaching skills. You and your advisor will develop a plan of study. You will choose from courses in literacy, child development, educational research and literature. Your electives are offered in areas such as math, English as a second language (ESOL), social studies and science. If you hold a bachelor's degree in another subject, you can meet the requirements for an elementary education/ESOL teaching certificate through the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program.


Ph.D. Programs in Florida

Florida State University

  • Program Name: Doctor of Philosophy in Elementary Education
  • Program Length: 72 credit hours (about six semesters, full-time)
  • Tuition: $421 per credit hour, in-state; $1,052 per credit hour, out-of-state (total tuition and fees, 2011-2012)
  • Requirements: Master's degree from an accredited university, GPA of 3.0 or better in coursework for the master's degree, GRE scores, at least three years professional experience in elementary education, three letters of recommendation, statement of professional objectives, a writing sample, interview with faculty in elementary education
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 40,000 students (about 31,000 undergraduate)
  • Address: Stone Building, Suite 1100, 1114 W. Call St., Tallahassee, FL 32306-4450
  • Phone: (850) 644-6885

In FSU's Ph.D. program in elementary education, you'll take 48 semester hours of courses in research design and methods, elementary education methods and specialty areas that you and your advisor select, such as research, sociology, policy or teacher education. You'll also earn 24 credits for work on your dissertation. You must pass a qualifying exam and prepare, present and orally defend a dissertation. This Ph.D. program is designed for educators who are interested in leadership positions in local school districts, state departments of education, colleges, universities or educational research centers. Because of the intensity of the program, the school recommends that students plan to enroll full-time.

University of South Florida-Main Campus

  • Program Name: Doctor of Philosophy in Elementary Education
  • Program Length: 76-77 credit hours (about six semesters, full-time)
  • Tuition: $400 per credit, in-state; $821 per credit, out-of-state (through summer 2012)
  • Requirements: GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 in postbaccalaureate coursework, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 40,000 students (about 31,000 undergraduate)
  • Address: 4202 East Fowler Ave., Office EDU 202, Tampa, FL 33620
  • Phone: (813) 974-3460

The program emphasizes collaboration in solving current problems in education and looking at equity in schools. Doctoral candidates work closely with faculty in research, publishing and presenting papers at conferences. In this intensive program you must pass a qualifying exam or present three formal papers to advance to candidacy status. Completing and defending a dissertation or submitting a review and database of literature related to your research question is also required. You will be required to spend at least two consecutive semesters on-campus, and spending two years is encouraged for those seeking positions in higher education.


Florida Teacher Certification Requirements

The Florida Department of Education supervises the certification process for all public school teachers in the state, including elementary school teachers of children in kindergarten through sixth grade. You qualify for a Professional Florida Educator's Certificate if you graduate from a state-approved teacher education program and pass all three portions of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE). If you have not passed all portions of the FTCE, you can get a temporary certificate and teach while you complete the testing process. If you graduated from a school outside Florida, you can apply for a temporary certificate if your degree is in a field and at a degree level that matches Florida certification requirements so you that can teach while completing the FTCE.

Salary and Job Outlook for Elementary School Teachers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the mean annual wage for Florida elementary school teachers, not including special education teachers, was approximately $50,000 in May 2011, lower than the national mean annual wage of approximately $55,000. The BLS predicted employment of elementary school teachers would grow by 17% from 2010-2020, about as fast as average for all occupations. Prospects in Florida may be better than the national forecast, the BLS noted, since population growth in the South could create more jobs for teachers. The BLS reported that Florida had one of the nation's highest employment levels for this occupation in May 2011, with elementary school teachers holding nearly ten out of every 1,000 jobs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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