The alternative A elementary education (M.S.E.) program is designed for the working professional who has earned a bachelor's degree in a field other than education from a regionally accredited institution who now desires to become a certified elementary education teacher.

This is a full-time program that may require students to attend classes on campus and at clinical settings during traditional work hours. Some class meetings will be online and some will take place in the evenings on campus.

Upon successful completion of this five-semester program, candidates are eligible for the Master of Science in Education degree in Elementary Education (K-6) and Class A certification (provided current certification requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education have been met).

Certification areas include kindergarten through sixth grade with the ability to teach sixth grade at any middle school. Students in the program will receive outstanding support and instruction from a host of veteran classroom teachers and professors.

For the past three years, 100% of our graduates have gained employment within three months after completing all requirements for graduation and certification.

Objectives and Curriculum

Upon completion of the program, students will earn a master's degree and be positioned to receive Class A teaching certification in just five semesters, and have the opportunity for extensive field experience and practical content application. This fast-track program places heavy emphasis on clinical experiences and teaching pedagogy. Our candidates are highly sought after and are well prepared to enter the classroom and begin making a difference in the lives of students.

The curriculum requirement for the program is 36 credit hours. Students must have a 3.25 or higher cumulative GPA at Orlean Beeson School of Education to graduate. Please view our full list of completion requirements.

For more information about the graduate courses and electives offered at Orlean Beeson School of Education, please visit the Orlean Beeson School of Education section of the Samford University Catalog.



Application Deadline

Summer term: May 1

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Alternative A Master's Program you must:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and have graduated with a minimum GPA of 2.5. 

For an application to be considered complete, we must receive the following:

  • Online application for admission—(Please list your personal e-mail address on the application.)
  • $35 Application Fee—This non-refundable fee is payable by credit card and is waived for Samford alumni, current Samford students, faculty or staff.
  • Official Transcript from all institutions attended—Transcripts are considered official only when they bear the issuing institution’s seal and arrive with the seal intact. Transcripts can be sent electronically to or by mail to: 
    Attn: Marcie Harchuck
    School of Education
    Samford University
    800 Lakeshore Drive
    Birmingham, AL 35229
  • Passing score on Praxis Multiple Subjects 5901:
    5903 Math subtest: 157
    5905 Science: 158
    5904 Social Studies: 154
    Applicants may register for the bundle test (5901), or take tests individually (5903-5905).
  • Passing score on all areas of the Praxis Core test 5751:
    5733 Math: 150
    5713 Reading: 156
    5723 Writing: 162
    Applicants may register for the bundle test (5751), or take tests individually (5713-5733).
    Alt A applicants having a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher will be exempt from taking the Praxis CORE tests at admission. All other Praxis test requirements will remain intact based on the current Teacher Education progression timeline.
  • Background clearance letter
  • Dispositions form filled out by current supervisor.
  • Interview with faculty.

To check the status of application items, you may login to your application account and view the list of application items received.

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Is This Program for Me?

If you are passionate about building an educational foundation for students - supporting them as they learn and grow academically, developing their social-emotional skills, cultivating good character and challenging students to become thinkers - this program is for you.

The alternative A elementary education (M.S.E.) program will help you become a well-prepared teacher through rigorous curriculum, high expectations, numerous professional development opportunities and multiple authentic classroom experiences. The faculty not only cares about your continual academic growth, but also makes it a priority to invest in your calling and passion.

“We are the beginning for these children. There is a lot of focus on high school and graduation, but we cannot get them there if we have not made a strong foundation and it is laid in the elementary classroom."– Ami Brooks ‘17

Career Opportunities

  • Elementary education teacher
  • Youth or recreation director
  • Children's ministry coordinator
  • Health educator
  • Owner of tutoring business
  • Teacher for homeschool or homebound students
  • Department of Education professional
  • Textbook author or editor

Tuition, Scholarships and Financial Aid


View the current graduate tuition and fees worksheet or contact the graduate admission director.


Orlean Beeson School of Education is proud to award graduate students in its master's, certificate and specialist programs a scholarship. Graduate students do not need to apply for this scholarship as it is automatically applied. The school will continue providing a scholarship until coursework is complete. Any additional scholarships are the responsibility of the applicant to secure.

Financial Aid

Financial aid, payment plans, student employment and student loan options are available to assist graduate students in attending Samford University. To learn more about our financial aid options, visit the Samford One Stop or call 205-726-2905.

Recognition and Accreditation
Nationally Recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Association of Childhood Education International, and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).