Master's Secondary Teaching Certification Requirements

The Secondary Master of Arts with Certification program is designed to help you make strong connections between theory and practice. Issues related to curriculum, instruction, assessment, classroom management, philosophy, psychology, history, and the social context of education are interwoven throughout the program, and connections are made between your day-to-day experiences in schools and assigned readings, discussions, projects, and assignments. School and classroom issues are discussed as they arise, and faculty members offer various perspectives for understanding these issues and their relation to current educational research and practice. Continuous attention is paid to studying the adult and youth cultures in a variety of schools throughout southeastern Michigan with an eye to understanding the various factors that shape teaching and learning.

The rich experiences of teaching interns in the Secondary Master of Arts with Certification program are based, in part, upon unique features of the program:

Cohorts: You will be a member of a 20-25 person Secondary Master of Arts with Certification cohort for the 12-month program. This will provide you with the opportunity to learn in the company of other interns who are working in similar contexts and develop a network of colleagues who bring multiple perspectives to the field of education. You will examine the tensions between the theories and practices learned in your courses and the realities of everyday life in classrooms in your regular interactions with faculty, experienced teachers, and cohort colleagues. Students in this program typically span an age range from 22 to 55 and have a broad variety of work and life experiences. Some interns are parents; all have had significant experiences with children.

Fieldwork: Program-long involvement and experience in schools is central to the Secondary Master of Arts with Certification program and its curriculum. This emphasis will make it possible for you to delve deeply into issues related to public school education and to work closely with experienced school colleagues as you begin to build a teaching practice. Interns will work with students in a variety of schools and school districts throughout southeastern Michigan. These sites will afford you the opportunity to work with youth from a range of social, cultural, economic, and linguistic backgrounds. For students specifically interested in an urban experience, the program offers the opportunity to work in Detroit-area and Ypsilanti-area schools. If you are interested in teaching in an urban setting, please indicate this in your application to the program. These placements are contingent upon a number of factors, including availability of mentor teachers who teach the subject(s) for which you are seeking certification endorsement.

Another important feature of the 12-month Secondary Master of Arts with Certification program is a course schedule designed to allow program faculty to integrate most of the required courses into a series of interconnected topics. Rather than teaching a given education course during a single term, the content of education courses is taught across several terms. This arrangement allows faculty to transcend traditional term-time constraints and teach topics when they are most beneficial to Secondary Master of Arts with Certification students.

Teaching Majors and Minors

​Teacher candidates for the Secondary Master of Arts with Certification program are required to have a teaching major in order to be recommended for teacher certification. A teaching minor is​ ​strongly ​encouraged, but not required. Teacher candidates in the program choose from the following teaching majors and minors:

Teaching Majors: Teaching Minors:

Due to the intensive nature of the Secondary Master of Arts with Certification program, interns are encouraged to have all of the coursework necessary for the required teaching major(s) and minor(s) completed prior to beginning the program.

A coursework evaluation must be done using transcripts from every undergraduate and graduate institution attended to help determine what teaching major and minor will be most appropriate for you. An application for a coursework evaluation should be submitted as early as possible. There is no cost for this evaluation.

The Year at a Glance

The Secondary Master of Arts with Certification program is designed to be completed in four terms over 12 months. All Secondary Master of Arts with Certification students attend full-time.

NOTE: The Secondary Master of Arts with Certification program schedule varies from the UM calendar to accommodate school district calendars and program needs.

Mid-June: Orientation for all Secondary Master of Arts with Certification program teaching interns.

June, July, and early August: Teaching interns complete university courses and participate, during the month of July, in a clinical field experience several mornings each week in a local school district’s Title 1 Summer School Program.

Late August: Interns meet with their assigned mentor teachers and assist them with preparations for the school year.

September through December: Teaching interns work two days per week in their placement classrooms, attend seminar, complete a methods course in their academic major courses, and complete other education coursework.

January through March: Teaching interns become fully immersed in teaching, working with their mentor teacher and grade 6-12 students two full days per week and three additional mornings.  Also, interns continue to take university courses in the late afternoons and early evenings.

April through June: Interns spend five full-days per week in their placement classrooms and continue there until the end of the placement school's calendar. At the same time, they are completing a capstone project under the supervison of their faculty advisor and preparing to showcase their work in early June.

Graduate Secondary Teacher Education Program Course Sequence

Summer Term Fall Term Winter Term Spring Term
EDUC 504: Education Tech (1 cr.) EDUC 402: Literacy (3 cr.) EDUC 445: Exceptionalities 6-12 (2 cr.) EDUC 571: Professional Seminar (0.5 cr.)
EDUC 571: Professional Seminar (2 cr.) EDUC 4XX: Major Methods (3 cr.) EDUC 504: Education Tech (1 cr.) EDUC 652: Directed Teaching (0-1 cr.)
EDUC 606: Ed Psych (3 cr.) EDUC 4XX: Minor Methods[1] (1 cr., potentially) EDUC 510: Teaching and Learning (3 cr.) EDUC 654: Directed Teaching Seminar (0-0.5 cr.)
EDUC 649: Ed Foundations (3 cr.) EDUC 504: Education Tech (1 cr.) EDUC 571: Professional Seminar (0.5 cr.)  
EDUC 650: Practicum (1 cr.) EDUC 571: Professional Seminar (0.5 cr.) EDUC 652: Directed Teaching [2] (5-6 cr.)  
EDUC 695: Ed Research (3 cr.) EDUC 650: Practicum (2 cr.) EDUC 654: Directed Teaching Seminar (1-1.5 cr.)  
  EDUC 593: Educational Linguistics (3 cr.)    
  EDUC 650: Practicum (2 cr.)    
Semester Total: 13 Credits Semester Total: 12.5-13.5 Credits Semester Total: 12.5-14 Credits Semester Total: .05-2 Credits
Program Total: 40-41 Credits
 [1] Enrollment in a Methods in the Minor course is not required of all content areas.
[2] The distribution of credits for EDUC 652 and 654 will depend on whether an intern is pursuing an ESL endorsement.

Blood-Borne Pathogens Training

Before you begin the program, you are required to complete training to handle blood-borne pathogens.  To complete the blood-borne pathogens training, go to the Global Compliance Network website. For instructions on accessing the training module and completing the training, please see the Blood-Borne Pathogens Training Instructions sheet. Training typically takes 30 minutes or less.

Criminal Background Check

Before you are eligible to begin the Teacher Education program, you must take steps to satisfy criminal background check requirements for the School of Education and for the school district(s) in which you will be placed. You will receive instructions from your program coordinator for completing the criminal background check. 

Licensure in Michigan

In addition to the requirements of our program, the State of Michigan has requirements with which you must comply in order to receive teacher certification. These requirements are applicable to all of the teacher certification programs within the state.  These requirements include CPR (child and adult) and first aid training and successful completion of the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) Professional Readiness Exam (PRE) and relevant subject-area tests.

CPR & First Aid Training

Michigan Public Act 18 of 2003 requires all teaching interns to be certified in CPR (child and adult) and first aid prior to being recommended for teacher certification.  The legislation stipulates that this training must be completed through the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or a comparable organization or institution approved by the department.

Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC)

The MTTC Professional Readiness Exam (PRE) and subject-area tests are designed and administered by the Michigan Department of Education, and they are meant to ensure that each certified teacher has the necessary general knowledge and subject-area knowledge to be an effective educator in Michigan schools.

Dates and locations of the tests as well as registration information and practice tests are available on the MTTC website.

Professional Readiness Exam (PRE):

Passing the PRE or having ACT scores that meet the PRE exemption requirement (Reading = 22; Mathematics = 22; English/Writing = 22) is an admissions requirement. The PRE is offered every month: four times a year in a paper-based format and every month at Pearson Testing Centers in a computer-based format

Subject-Area Tests:

Subject-area tests should be taken when you have completed most or all of your major and minor university-based coursework. For many Secondary Master of Arts with Certification students, the July test date in the year they begin the program is strongly recommended. However, if students expect to complete their teaching major and minor through courses in the fall term, then we strongly recommend they wait no later than the January test date in the year they complete the program to satisfy this requirement.

World Languages Teaching Interns

World languages teacher certification students are required to take and pass the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) test in their teaching major and/or minor before they can be recommended for certification. Contact Dr. Maria Coolican ( to arrange your test date.

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