Elementary Education


The UMBC elementary education program provides a course of study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Program completers are eligible for teaching grades 1-6 in Maryland. The program meets all state and national accreditation standards.

The UMBC undergraduate certification program is unique in that all undergraduates must complete an academic major in addition to the certification program. Students can choose from a list of majors, including American Studies, English, history, mathematics, a foreign language, one of the sciences, one of the arts, psychology, or interdisciplinary studies. At a time when many elementary schools are departmentalizing (teachers focus on teaching math, English/language arts, science and/or social studies), principals find the academic major especially attractive in their new hires.

Coursework in the undergraduate program includes foundations, content methods, and reading courses. Students must take additional co-requisites that will prepare them for the wide range of content taught in the elementary grades. These courses include mathematics, science, and social studies-related courses. Students must have a basic psychology course.

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program requires 36 graduate credits. Students complete courses related to cognitive and cultural diversity, learning theory, and methods of teaching content and reading. In addition to the education courses, MAT students must show evidence of taking content-based coursework in mathematics, science, history and geography, English, the arts, and child or human development. Requirements not met through a student’s undergraduate program can be taken at local community colleges or tested through CLEP concurrent with MAT enrollment.

The department also offers an accelerated master’s program. This program is helpful to qualified students who decide late in their undergraduate career that they want elementary education certification. Undergraduate students can transfer two 400 level education courses into the graduate program and transition directly into the MAT program.

All undergraduate and graduate students must meet GPA and Praxis (or other qualifying test) requirements for full admission to their program of study. Acceptance into the program is not a guarantee of continued enrollment. While enrolled, students must meet grade and GPA requirements every semester, as well as demonstrate department expectations of professional behavior and dispositions.



To view program requirements/ advising sheet, please click on one of the following:



If you are interested in the program or would like to find out more, please contact Cherly Blackwell-Johnson(blunck@umbc.edu) for graduate students and Michele Stites (mstites@umbc.edu) for undergraduate students.

Program Coordinator

Michele Stites, Ed.D.
Associate Professor
Office: Sherman Hall A Wing, Rm. 414.

Email: mstites@umbc.edu or elementaryed@umbc.edu