Ball State placed thirty-eighth in the nation in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report ranking of best online graduate education programs.

Approximately 350 students are pursuing Ball State’s online elementary education master’s degree and/or graduate certificates.


If you’re ready to take on a new leadership role in your school system but want to do it on your own terms, Ball State University offers you one of the most customizable master’s in education in elementary education programs in the nation.

You can choose a degree concentration that aligns with your academic strengths and interests, whether it’s early childhood education, elementary education, or reading/literacy instruction. If you want to choose a specialty area, you can choose from other focus areas, such as: autism, educational technology for teachers, gifted and talented education (high ability), human development and learning, middle school education, response to intervention, English as a new language, and more.

Completion of the master's degree does not lead to initial licensure.

Program Contacts

Becky Druetzler
Academic Advisor

Linda Martin
Director of Graduate Programs

What It’s Like to Pursue an Online Master of Arts in Education (MAE) in Elementary Education

Ball State’s Teachers College ranks in the top 25 in the nation for the number of nationally recognized educator programs it offers. From intimate and interactive classes to innovative and inspiring faculty, other advantages of Ball State’s master’s in elementary education are worth reviewing.

Small, Interactive Classes

  • To assure maximum interaction and collaboration with peers, classes average around 20 students.
  • Your classmates will be ambitious education professionals from across the country.
  • You will learn from professors who are experts in their fields. Our professors have taught in elementary classrooms, and design their courses with you, an active professional in elementary education, in mind.
  • You will interact regularly with your professors and classmates in courses that are meant to have immediate applicability to your current classroom situation.

A Technological Leader

  • This program is an innovative leader in online education. 
  • All of Ball State’s on-site technology resources are available to you online.

A Reputation to Talk About

  • A national leader in education, Ball State Teachers College has been offering online courses since the late 1990s and today offers one of the largest arrays of online teacher- and administrator-preparation in the country. So, you can be assured our professors have experience and skills in online delivery of course materials.
  • Our alumni fill administrative and teaching positions across Indiana and the United States.
  • Ball State is a member of the Quality Matters Program, which sets a nationally recognized standard of best practices for online and blended learning.
  • We also offer a Ph.D and an Ed.D. in elementary education.  Contact Dr. Linda Martin for more information.

For Indiana Teachers

  • If you are an Indiana teacher, the master’s in elementary education is a step towards earning a 10-year renewal on your teaching license when you earn your degree in one of our concentrations.
  • The program is compatible with Indiana’s teacher performance assessment models.  

Recognized, Approved, or Accredited by:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Higher Learning Commission  
  • International Literacy Association (ILA)
  • Indiana State Reading Association (ISRA)
  • National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC)
  • Indiana Association for the Education of the Young Child (IAEYC)
  • Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)

You may want to update your knowledge in a specialized area (a 15-credit graduate-level certificate) and not complete the entire master’s degree. Certificate programs have separate graduate admission processes, and courses completed in approved certificate programs may be applied to the MAE.  Once completed, your certificate will be listed in your official university transcript.

Completion of a graduate certificate does not lead to initial licensure. 

Ball State was founded as a teachers college in 1918, so teacher education has had a unique role on our campus from the beginning.  Our teacher educators address the professional needs of each individual student to create future leaders in the field of education.

While you are a student in the program, you will be treated as a professional educator by our faculty, as well as teacher-classmates with whom you’ll have frequent interaction. The same Ball State professors who teach on campus, and all of whom have doctorates, will mentor you and encourage you to use lessons learned in your own classroom.

Need more reasons to consider Ball State’s graduate program in elementary education?

Course Requirements

Once admitted to the master’s degree program, you will select a concentration in Early Childhood Education, Reading/Literacy Instruction, or Elementary Education.  You may also apply for a graduate certificate or choose a specialty focus area.

Early Childhood Education

Master of Arts in Education with a Concentration in Early Childhood Education (30 credits)

This program helps you build compelling learning environments for children from birth to age 8, including the roles of early literacy development, child development, classroom creativity, and family and community partnerships in early childhood programs.

This concentration area meets and exceeds national accreditation requirements that early childhood program administrators complete at least 9 credits, or a minimum of 144 clock hours, in the areas of administration, management, and leadership of early childhood education. 

Completion of the master's degree does not lead to initial licensure.

Courses You Will Take

 

  • ECYF 630 School, Family, and Community Partnerships (3 credits)
  • ECYF 640 Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • ECYF 641 Early Childhood Program Leadership (3 credits) OR ECYF 649 Infant and Toddler Education (3 credits) OR ECYF 672 Mentoring Early Childhood Professionals (3 credits)
  • ECYF 648 Play and Creativity in Early Childhood (3 credits)
  • ECYF 651 Educational Programs for Young Children (3 credits) - Prerequisite ECYF 640
  • ECYF 653 Observations and Assessment in Early Childhood (3 credits)
  • EDEL 644 Education in a Diverse Society (3 credits)
  • EDEL 676 Research in Elementary Education (3 credits)
  • EDPS 627 Child Development (3 credits)
  • EDRD 615 Early Literacy Development (3 credits)

Master of Arts in Education with a Concentration in Reading/Literacy (30 credits)

The teaching of literacy is a central issue in today's school culture. As a teacher you are faced with increasingly complex demands that require a deep understanding of literacy and well-developed decision-making abilities.

The reading/literacy instruction concentration for your master's in elementary education will provide you with the practical skills needed to help children succeed in reading, writing, and language arts.

Completion of the master's degree does not lead to initial licensure.

Courses You Will Take

  • EDEL 676 Research in Elementary Education (3 credits)
  • EDRD 610 Teaching of Literacy in the Elementary School (3 credits)
  • EDRD 620 Disciplinary and Integrated Literacy in Elementary Classrooms (3 credits) OR EDRD 615 Early Literacy (3 credits)
  • EDRD 624 Integrating Technology in the Literacy Program (3 credits)
  • EDRD 627 Teaching Literacy to Diverse Learners (3 credits)
  • EDRD 630 Psychological Foundations of Reading (3 credits)
  • EDRD 645 History of Reading (3 credits)
  • EDRD 650 Organization and Support of a School Reading Program (3 credits) OR EDRD 640 Current Trends and Issues in Literacy (3 credits)
  • EDRD 680 Classroom Literacy Assessment (3 credits) - prerequisite EDRD 610 or 620
  • EDRD 685 Advanced Teaching Methods in Language Arts (3 credits)

Master of Arts in Education with a Concentration in Elementary Education (30 credits)

While mastering specific classroom skills are critical to becoming an effective teacher, you also need to know the role of education in today’s diverse society, the importance of data-driven assessment, and how technology can support the teaching and learning experience.

This concentration helps enhance the daily practice of today’s teacher leaders.

Completion of the master's degree does not lead to initial licensure. Ball State's Elementary Education - Transition to Teaching program prepares professionals who have degrees in other areas to teach in elementary schools.

Courses You Will Take

  • EDEL 600 Basic Concepts in Elementary Education (3 credits)
  • EDPS 603 Human Growth and Development (3 credits) OR EDPS 627 Child Development (3 credits)
  • EDRD 610 The Teaching of Reading in the Elementary School (3 credits)
  • EDEL 626 Discipline and Classroom Management (3 credits)
  • ECYF 630 School, Family, and Community Partnerships (3 credits)
  • EDEL 644 Education in a Diverse Society (3 credits) 
  • EDEL 655 Principles of Differentiation in the Elementary Classroom (3 credits) OR EDEL 657 Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Elementary Classroom Programs (3 credits)
  • EDEL 660 Effective Use of Technology in the Classroom (3 credits)
  • EDEL 663 Understanding Data to Inform Teaching and Learning in Elementary Schools (3 credits)
  • EDEL 676 Research in Elementary Education (3 credits)

A specialization can also give you flexibility to customize the master's degree to meet your specific professional goals.

Possible specialties might include: 

Certificate Options

Receiving a certificate in a specialty area is not automatic and requires a separate graduate application. You must apply for the certificate to have it listed in your official transcript.

Completion of the master’s degree and/or a graduate certificate does not lead to initial licensure.


Ready to Apply?

You will first want to check if you meet the admission requirements for the Ball State Graduate School. Then you may apply.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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