Programs Preparing Elementary Teachers

Live to Inspire.
Love to Teach.

Do you love children and want to make a difference in their lives? Then consider becoming an elementary school teacher.
Few careers give people the opportunity to impact individuals and their communities like teaching.  Can you think of a specific teacher who made a difference in your life?  Would you like to become that kind of teacher? 

The elementary school years are the most formative and can impact the rest of a child’s schooling experience.  Warner will prepare you to become an innovative elementary school teacher, committed and able to help all students succeed.  

Our teacher preparation programs offer the shortest path to NYS initial and professional teaching certification and a guaranteed 50% tuition scholarship.
Guaranteed 50% Tuition Scholarship!Learn More About Our Scholarships

Program Quickview

All of the master's degree programs described below prepare candidates for NYS initial and professional teaching certification in Childhood Education (teaching all subjects in grades 1-6) and are offered at the graduate level only.

If you are interested in other elementary education programs, check our Related Programs.
Prerequisites (as required by NYS):
  • Undergraduate degree in a liberal art (BA) or science (BS).
Key Program Features:
  • Meets All Coursework and Internship Requirements for BOTH Initial and Professional NYS Teaching Certification: In addition, you will need to pass the required state exams and complete the teaching requirements for professional certification.
  • Shortest Program: Preservice teachers can complete the program in 15 months of full-time study (if starting in summer); certified teachers seeking additional certification in childhood education may require less time.  
  • Focus on Content-Based Pedagogy: Includes a methods course in each of the four core content areas plus the arts; student teaching is taken concurrently with methods courses.
  • Focus on Teaching ALL Students: Includes courses on diversity, students with disabilities, and English language learners (ELLs); these required courses may be transferred in for certified teachers.
  • Option to Add Specializations:  With only a few extra credits, you can pursue additional NYS certifications or advanced certificates that can strengthen your effectiveness with diverse learners and make you more marketable; see Opportunities for Additional Specializations.

Warner Programs that Prepare Elementary Teachers

For Preservice Teachers with No Prior Teaching Certification
  • MS Program (TA3): 45 credits, including field experiences and two student teaching experiences.
teacher playing with block tower with two children
Opportunities for Additional Specializations (with minimum additional credits required):
  • NYS Certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities in Childhood: Prepares you to better serve students with differentiated learning needs while qualifying you to teach in inclusive classes.
  • Advanced Certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership: Prepares you to teach and lead in racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse urban settings.
  • NYS Certification in Early Childhood Education: Qualifies you to also teach in kindergarten and preschool.
  • Advanced Certificate in Digitally-Rich Teaching: Prepares you to make the best use of digital technology in your teaching.
  • NYS Certification in TESOL: Prepares you to better serve English language learners in your classes and qualifies you to teach ESOL courses.

Licensure in other states. Review certification and licensure requirements for all Warner programs.

For Initially Certified Elementary Teachers Seeking NYS Professional Certification
If you already have your NYS initial teaching certification in Childhood Education, and are seeking NYS professional teaching certification in the same area, there are several Warner programs to help you achieve this goal. Most of these programs require only 30 credits of coursework and no internships. Check the requirements related to the option(s) that best apply to you from the program choices below:
kids playing with hula hops at recess with busses in background
For Certified Teachers in Areas Other than Childhood Education Seeking Certification in Childhood Education
If you already have your NYS teaching certification in another area of specialization, and are seeking an additional certification in childhood education, you will still need to meet the same prerequisites, but will have fewer requirements and internships to complete your program.
  • Advanced Certificate (NA2): Fastest path; as few as 11 credits, including specialization courses plus 50 contact hours of field experiences.
  • MS Program (SA2): 32 credits, including 50 contact hours of field experiences; also leads to NYS professional teaching certification in your original area of certification.
teacher with students at butterfly garden

Our Approach

Creating Effective Elementary Teachers Who Can Inspire and Lead Change.

Warner’s approach to elementary education reflects what we know about how students learn best and high-impact teaching practices. We prepare innovative teachers who can inspire and lead change.
smiling teacher and student working together
Learn More About Warner's Approach to Elementary Education
Children experience learning during their early years that shapes their views of themselves and the world around them—learning that can affect their later success in school, work, and their personal lives. Our programs prepare highly-qualified, dedicated teachers who play a key role during these formative years in determining the future of their students. They meet children of all backgrounds where they are and support their success along the way.

Whether in private or public elementary schools across the world, or other informal learning settings, our graduates provide the tools and the environment for children to develop into responsible adults. Their students use various subjects, like math and literacy, as a way to make sense of the social and scientific world. And, their students bring rich and meaningful experiences to school that become valuable resources for curriculum development. Our graduates learn how to develop appropriate curriculum and instructional strategies for meeting the diverse learning needs of all children. Throughout the program, they approach curricular and pedagogical decisions as thoughtful practitioners with knowledge of social, historical, cultural, and political contexts of schooling and curriculum.

Our graduates are critically reflective practitioners who are committed to social justice, equity, and school reform. They have a deep understanding of the subjects they teach and the skills and understanding of teaching, learning, and development needed to help all students develop their potential. We prepare elementary teachers who lead efforts to advocate for full inclusion for students with disabilities in general education classrooms as part of their efforts to reform schools. And, they keep learning organic and teaching creative in the face of increasing demands.

The Warner Advantage

Preparing Graduates to Innovate, Advocate, and Elevate.

Our teacher preparation programs in elementary education will help you stand out from other elementary teachers and prepare you to excel in your career.
  • Become an elementary teacher who can create learning opportunities that are inviting and accessible for all students – engaging with cutting-edge research and educational innovations.
  • Be challenged to be an agent of change, who can effectively introduce new ideas and practices that will enhance students’ learning and address current inequities.
  • Leverage the reputation of a leading research university to strengthen the recognition of your degree.
  • Network with the best and the brightest future colleagues.
  • Make yourself stand out when applying for teaching positions by pursuing additional specializations for a few additional credits.
  • Learn from an accessible, supportive faculty of researchers and accomplished practitioners who will prepare you to become adaptive experts in today’s K-12 schools.
  • Shorten your path to a doctoral degree by earning transferable credits.
While rigorous, Warner’s teacher preparation programs are both flexible and affordable.
  • Benefit from a guaranteed 50% scholarship.
  • Take advantage of online learning options that help reduce trips to campus.
  • Be ready to teach the school year following enrollment, as the program can be completed in as little as 15 months, even by those new to the teaching profession.

All About Experience

Your experience at Warner will be informed by the many research projects and community initiatives we are engaged in. In addition, you'll benefit from the experience of faculty that include nationally recognized researchers, award-winning authors and accomplished practitioners.

Horizons at Warner: Enrichment Program for RCSD Students in Grades K-8

Horizons at Warner: Enrichment Program for RCSD Students in Grades K-8

Warner hosts a six-week summer enrichment program that engages urban K-12 students in meaningful and authentic learning experiences. The Horizons program creates a unique opportunity for Warner students to interact with young learners in an out-of-school setting. Opportunities for paid teaching experiences in this program are also available after graduation for a limited number of students.

Project READ Literacy Program

Project READ Literacy Program

Project READ aims to strengthen children’s literacy learning and looks at literacy as it takes part in every aspect of every child’s life—from the classroom to home. Warner students have the opportunity to take advantage of paid internship opportunities, providing tutoring services, in-class support, professional development, and family literacy activities in a local urban elementary school as well as part of our East partnership.

Expert on Alternatives to High-Stakes Testing

Expert on Alternatives to High-Stakes Testing

Warner faculty member David Hursh, who teaches the elementary social studies methods course as well as other foundation courses in the program, is a noted author of multiple books on the topic of standardized high-stakes testing. Dr. Hursh is a regular resource to national, regional and local media contributing interviews and essays on this critical educational topic.

Career Opportunities

Advancing Education and Your Career to the Next Level.

Graduates of a Warner teacher preparation program in elementary education will have earned the credentials needed to teach all subjects in grades 1-6 in New York State (NYS) public schools and other states that recognize NYS teaching certification.

Unlike graduates of an undergraduate teacher preparation program, our graduates will have already met all the coursework requirements for NYS professional teaching certification. This means they will only be required to complete three years of teaching and some state exams in order to obtain this additional level of certification – a NYS requirement within five years of beginning a teaching job.

At the same time, some of our graduates have chosen to pursue careers other than teaching in K-12 public schools. These include teaching in private schools and other educational settings, including informal and after-school environments, community-based organizations, and private industry.
young student holding up writing assignment


An Accessible, Supportive Faculty of Researchers and Accomplished Practitioners.

Kristen Love thumbnail imageKristen Love, PhD
Elementary Teacher Preparation Program Director and Advisor
LeChase Hall 456
(585) 273-5443


Making Warner Affordable.

The Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester is pleased to offer a number of scholarships to eligible students who enroll in teacher preparation programs. These scholarships are made possible by federal grants as well as the generous support of donors, who are committed to the success of future teachers.

Byron Williams Teaching Scholarships – Guaranteed 50% Tuition Savings
All new students starting their master’s programs in teacher education leading to New York State teaching certification are guaranteed a minimum 50 percent tuition scholarship, provided they commit to teach in a United States school for a minimum of two years after graduation.

Vasquez in class at table with studnets

Try Us Out

Get a Taste of What Warner Has to Offer.

We invite you to visit one of our innovative instructional programs, including:
  • Horizons Summer Enrichment Program: A six-week, full-day summer program for K-8 students from the City of Rochester that takes place on the University of Rochester campus, and provides its students with meaningful literacy and math learning opportunities in an informal context.
  • East Irondequoit Digital Conversion: A K-12 partner school that has incorporated iPads into student learning and implemented a district-wide Learning Management System (LMS) to transform teaching practices.
Take A Course! You can also experience Warner as a non-matriculated student for a highly discounted price.

Contact admissions to arrange for a visit or learn more about opportunities for non-matriculated students.
young students in a line having fun


Meliora means 'Ever Better.' To our graduates, it means making a world of difference.

  • Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

    "The growth I’ve realized in myself is something I will be forever grateful for. I’ve learned to question, analyze, think and create in ways I never considered. I’ve changed as an educator and as a person."

    Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

  • Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

    “I had a very unique situation. I wasn’t going down the typical path of a Warner student, and the school was just so flexible and supportive.”

    Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

  • Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children

    “When it came time to interview for jobs, it was very easy for me to talk about anything in the field, and that set me apart,” he says. “You name it, and I had at least one experience in it—largely due to Warner.”

    Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

  • Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

    “It was more than I expected. Not only what I learned in the program, which I’ve been able to put into practice every day since, but also the connections I was able to make and the relationships I was able to form."

    Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

  • Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

    “As educators, it’s our job to make sure we’re giving students the knowledge to be successful when they move on in their life….Warner was the best grad school experience I’ve ever had because it prepared me extremely well to jump into my career, and I will forever be grateful for that.”

    Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

  • Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

    "The most important thing I received there was the opportunity to be immersed in the study of education and leadership with very talented people, that think-tank mentality of being surrounded by the best of the best. The intellectual stimulation from both the staff and fellow classmates really did allow me to think about things differently."

    Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

Contact Admissions

The admissions team looks forward to assisting you as you explore graduate education at the Warner School. Please feel free to use the form below to contact us with any questions. You can also email us at or call (585) 275-3950.

Application Deadlines

The next application deadline is March 01, 2023. View all  Admissions Deadlines.

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