Graduate Certificate in Teaching Elementary Education

Stock photo for Certificate in Elementary Education RTR program.

he Graduate Certificate in Teaching: Elementary Education prepares students to become teachers in high-needs/hard-to-staff elementary schools. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of science, social studies, and mathematics pedagogy and content. The program provides field experiences during a one-year residency to expose students to classroom teaching and classroom management. Graduates will be prepared to teach in elementary (K-6) classroom settings, and to meet the needs of elementary students with a focus on urban and high-needs schools.

This certificate is designed to meet the Virginia Department of Education’s requirements that are specified for provisional teacher licensure. Although it does not lead to full licensure, the coursework can lead to provisional teacher licensure through a public school system.

The target audience for this graduate certificate program includes students who hold bachelor’s degrees, but do not possess all of the necessary coursework to be eligible for teacher licensure in the state of Virginia.

Curriculum information

All students move through the certificate as a cohort. Courses will be taken in three consecutive semesters. Summer semester enrollment will be required. In the fall semester, students will enroll in 10 credit hours (fulltime). In the spring semester, students will enroll in six credit hours (part-time). In the summer semester, students will enroll in 12 credit hours (fulltime). Students will complete the program in one academic year.

Degree requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Teaching Elementary Education »

Students unable to complete a course or a semester with their cohort, will work with the director of the program to plan for re-entering with the next cohort. Students have up to three calendar years to complete the coursework for the certificate, once registered coursework has commenced.



How to apply: Graduate application
Semester of entry: Summer only
Application deadlines: Feb. 1

Resources and Checklists

Application Checklist - Graduate Certificate in Elementary Education [PDF]
RTR Teacher Residency Application Checklist [PDF]



  • Acceptance into the RTR Program through a rigorous on-site assessment process
  • Submit an online application and application fee to VCU Graduate Admissions
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their most recent degree
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of intent
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with no more than nine credits of content courses needed to meet state licensure requirements
  • Transcripts of all previous college work
  • Satisfactory scores on the VCLA and Praxis subject tests for elementary education licensure

Ready To Get Started?

Jenna Lenhardt, Ph.D.