Department of EYC, Elementary, Middle Grades, Literacy and Special Education

Degrees & Licensure

Undergraduate Degree Programs

  • Education of Young Children (B-K)
    The Education of Young Children (EYC) program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree leading to Birth through Kindergarten (B-K) teacher licensure in North Carolina. Our program has made special efforts to provide access to teacher education for a very diverse paraprofessional and practicing teacher population.
  • Elementary Education (K-6)
    This degree leads to North Carolina teacher licensure in grades Kindergarten through six. This degree is offered in two tracks:
    • Traditional on-campus
    • Online/ Distance Education
  • Middle Grades Education (6-9)
    This degree leads to North Carolina teacher licensure in grades six through nine.
  • Special Education (K-12)
    Special education prepares teachers to serve children with disabilities from kindergarten through grade 12 in public schools and in various other service agencies. This degree leads to North Carolina teacher licensure in one of two areas:

    • General Curriculum
    • Adapted Curriculum

Graduate Degree Programs

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy in Early Childhood
This specialization is an interdisciplinary program designed for people who work or wish to work as a leader in the field of family and child advocacy. Information in this degree supports the development of leadership skills to serve in positions within the community, state, and national agencies, in both the public and private sectors that focus on supporting the healthy development, growth, and education of families and children. This specialization provides a grounding in social, historical, philosophical, developmental, educational, and international perspectives of family and child advocacy.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Elementary Education
This online program is designed for certified K-6 Teachers seeking to expand their knowledge in the field of elementary education at the graduate level.

Master of Arts (MAT) in Elementary Education
This program is designed for students that already hold a bachelor's degree, but have little or no background in education. Successful completion of the program will lead to NC Elementary Education licensure (K-6) and prepare educators to teach as elementary classroom teachers. This program is offered in both traditional and online formats.

Master of Education in Language and Literacy
The Master of Education (M.Ed.), with a specialization in Language and Literacy Education, addresses the North Carolina Masters/Advanced Competencies requirements and is designed for individuals who hold (or are eligible for) a North Carolina Class "A" teacher license in education. The online program is designed for K-12 teachers seeking to improve their knowledge about literacy teaching, learning, and problem-solving in the complex contexts of K-12 classrooms, and it opens doors for individuals interested in becoming literacy leaders in schools, districts, state and national agencies.

Master of Arts (MAT) in Middle Grades Education
The MAT in Middle Grades Education Program is designed for students holding a bachelor's degree who are seeking North Carolina Middle Level teaching licensure, while simultaneously earning a graduate degree. This 33‐hour program prepares teacher candidates to teach middle grades language arts, math, science and/or social studies. The program of study is offered in both traditional and online formats.

Master of Arts (MAT) in Art Education
The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Art Education is a master’s degree combined with NC K-12 art teacher licensure certification. The one full-year program is designed for candidates who already hold a bachelor’s degree in art or related fields and plan to obtain an art teaching licensure to teach art at public schools. The program combines online courses with in-person and hands-on field experience to provide maximum flexibility for working professionals. During the final semester, students will participate in full-time student teaching under the guidance of a mentor teacher and faculty supervisor. Successful completion of the program will prepare students for obtaining NC K-12 art teaching licensure.


Licensure Programs

  • Community College Teaching in Early Childhood
    This 18- credit hour program is designed for professionals in the early childhood field interested in teaching at the community college level.  The purpose of this certificate is to provide students in the M.Ed. in LPAEC program a set of courses they can take that could meet the requirement of teaching faculty in the Early Childhood Education program at NC Community Colleges. This certificate can also be taken by students who already hold a master’s degree and want to qualify to teach the Early Childhood Education program at NC Community Colleges. The program is offered completely online and provides flexibility for full-time professionals who may need access to distance education options.
  • Elementary, Licensure Only
    This program is designed for students that already hold a bachelor's degree, and are seeking licensure as an elementary teacher. Please first examine the MAT in Elementary education option.
  • Elementary, Math Add-on
    Elementary Mathematics Add-on License (EMAoL) for teachers holding an Elementary Education license.
  • Residency Licensure
    Residency Licensure (formerly Lateral Entry) is an alternative pathway to teaching that allows qualified individuals to begin teaching while completing North Carolina licensure requirements. Applicants for the Residency Licensure program at UNCW’s Watson College of Education must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and a teaching position in a school in a Watson College PDS School District. The position must be in one of the following areas: elementary, middle grades, or secondary math, science, English or social studies. The applicant must also have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7 and 24 hours in the content area they are teaching, or passing Praxis II scores in the area in which they are hired.