M.Ed. – Initial Licensure

This initial licensure program prepares educated candidates to earn their teaching license and to change lives.

The M.Ed. – Initial Licensure program is designed for any individual who has an undergraduate degree in an area of study other than teacher education and who wants to pursue graduate studies to become licensed as an elementary or secondary school teacher.

Through classroom study and integrated teaching experience in real classrooms, students transition from knowing their subject to knowing how to share that passion with others. After 21 months (two academic years and one summer), candidates complete their degree and can apply for licensure. Once licensed, Valpo graduates are eligible to teach in public schools in Indiana and dozens of other U.S. states.

The program consists of 34–44 credits of required coursework — both a “professional studies” core curriculum and a concentration. Concentrations include elementary, secondary, or Chinese teaching.

Students also complete 10 credits of student teaching under the supervision of a cooperating teacher and university field instructor. During the field education experiences, students are engaged in full-time teaching and therefore will not be able to work at another daytime job.

Professional Studies (13 credits)
ED 504 Educational Psychology 3 credits
ED 506 School and Society 2 credits
ED 518 Designing Curriculum, Assessment, and Learning Plans 2 credits
ED 570 Diversity and Equity in Education 3 credits
ED 651 Seminar: Efficacy in Professional Practice 0 credits
SPED 540

SPED 543

Learning Exceptionalities

Teaching Reading to Students with Disabilities

3 credits

3 credits

Experiential Learning (10 credits)
ED 630 Supervised Teaching 10 credits
Concentrations (11-21 credits)
Students complete additional course work for a concentration in either elementary, secondary, or Chinese teaching, depending on the grade level at which they will teach. 

Elementary Concentration (Grades P–6)
21 credits

  • ED 510 Foundations in Emergent and Early Literacy – 3 credits
  • ED 523 Methods of Teaching Science in the Elementary School – 4 credits
  • ED 524 Methods of Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary School – 4 credits
  • ED 527 Methods of Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School – 4 credits
  • ED 529 Literacy in the Elementary School – 3 credits
  • ED 565 Literacy in Socio-Cultural Contexts – 3 credits
  • SPED 543 Teaching Reading to Students with Disabilities – 3 credits

Secondary Concentration (Grades 5–12)
11 credits

  • ED 560 Literacies Across the Content Areas – 3 credits
  • ED 567 English Language Learning Methods – 3 credits
  • ED 581- 588 Methods of Teaching in Secondary Schools (for licensure area) – 3 credits
  • SPED 543 Teaching Reading to Students with Disabilities – 3 credits

Chinese Teaching
14 credits

  • ED 560 Literacies Across the Content Areas – 3 credits
  • ED 567 English Language Learning Methods – 3 credits
  • ED 585* Teaching Chinese Literature – 3 credits
  • ED 587 Methods of Teaching Foreign Language in Secondary Schools – 2 credits
  • SPED 543 Teaching Reading to Students with Disabilities – 3 credits

*Note: Must be taken at Valpo


Because the M.Ed. – Initial Licensure program helps educated candidates earn their teaching license and prepare to teach, this program relies on students’ undergraduate education to fulfill the state’s requirements for content knowledge. For that reason, applicants for this degree must have an undergraduate major that is “licensable.”

Licensable majors include: art, biology, chemistry, Chinese, English, environmental science, French, German, geography, history, mathematics, music, physical education, physics, and Spanish.

The Valparaiso University licensure director evaluates transcripts and determines if there are any deficiencies in the content area. Additional content area courses may be required, depending on the type of teaching license that a candidate wants to obtain. These courses will have to be completed with a 3.0 GPA or better prior to beginning classes for the M.Ed.

Upon successful completion of the program, teacher candidates are eligible for a master of education from Valparaiso University and, after passing all assessments required by the state and the education department, an Indiana initial teaching license.

This teaching license qualifies an individual to teach in public and some parochial school settings in Indiana. Indiana teaching licenses are reciprocal with teaching licenses in more than 40 other states and territories in the United States.

Three checkpoints must also be successfully completed in this program — at the time of admission, before the student teaching internship, and at the end of student teaching. More information is available in the course catalog.

In addition to meeting the requirements for admission to the Graduate School, applicants must submit passing scores on relevant exams as part of the admission process.

Basic Skills

Applicants must demonstrate competency in basic skills through submission of passing scores on ONE of the following standardized tests:

  • ACT with a score of at least 24 based on Math, Reading, Grammar, and Science
  • SAT with a score of at least 1100 based on Critical Reading and Math
  • GRE with a score of at least 1100 based on Verbal and Quantitative
  • CASA (Core Academic Skills Assessment) exam with a score of 220

Evidence of passing scores must be submitted at the time of application. Anyone with a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution is exempt from this requirement.

Content Knowledge

Applicants must also demonstrate knowledge of their chosen content area by passing the Pearson Content Knowledge exams at the time of application for admission to the M.Ed. (Initial Licensure) program.



Admission is competitive, with deadlines of March 1, Aug. 1, and Nov. 1.


To apply, prospective students must submit the following materials:

  • A completed Graduate School application form
  • A completed Supplemental Education Application form
  • Graduate application fee of $30 for U.S. applicants, $50 for international applicants
  • Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work
  • Essay relating graduate study to professional goals, and clearly stating reasons for wanting to become a teacher. (This essay substitutes for the General Essay on the Graduate School application form)
  • Two letters of recommendation. Recommendation forms for each degree are available either online or at the Graduate School. Persons writing the recommendations should not be related to the applicant.
  • Evidence of passing scores on the required tests (see the “Qualifications” tab on this page)

Visit valpo.edu/grad for additional information and application forms.


Students may be surprised to discover the affordable tuition rate at Valparaiso University. Tuition for the 2015–2016 academic year was $615 per credit hour, highly competitive for a private institution of recognized national quality. Full-time graduate students pay a $234 general fee each fall and spring semester. Part-time graduate students pay a $113 general fee each fall and spring semester.

Financial aid is available through direct and indirect student loans for students taking six credits or more during fall and spring semesters. Students may also transfer up to six credits of approved graduate coursework into the program.