Undergraduate and Graduate Initial Certification (Masters of Arts in Teaching)


Certification programs are approved by Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and by the Council of the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Certification is available in early childhood education (Pre-K to grade 3), elementary education (Grades 1 to 6), and secondary education (middle school, high school). Secondary certification programs include English, social studies, mathematics, science, art, music, dance, theater and foreign language

All teacher certification requires the completion of an academic major. During their first advisement session, all teacher candidates will be informed of the choices of major that are appropriate for their area of certification.

• Early childhood teacher candidates may select any major that meets their intellectual interest.
• Elementary teacher candidates’ choices of major include English, American Studies, Africana Studies, Political Science, Geography and Environmental Systems, History, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, a foreign language, Interdisciplinary Studies, or Psychology.
• Secondary teacher candidates must major in the content area that they intend to teach.

Application and Admission

Program entry requirements for undergraduates include a 2.75 GPA in your major and the test requirements for all licensure areas as outlined by the state of Maryland here:


Students entering their internship must have a 3.0 GPA. Students must attain a B or better in all required education courses at the 400 level or above. Students seeking teacher certification must purchase an account in the Education Accountability System via TK20. Students complete an application for their year-long teaching internship in the spring prior to their internship.

Students in the teacher education program should see their major adviser and their education adviser every semester.  The education adviser is responsible for the requirements of the teacher education program only.

The certification programs of the Department of Education are required to meet the standards set by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Council of the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). In addition, there is a continuing analysis of all programs of the Department to determine whether modifications are necessary to improve their quality and efficiency. When a standard is changed, a requirement is added, or a modification is made after the publication of the catalog, a change in one, or all of our programs, may be necessary even though it does not appear in the catalog. Changes of this type will be made to the program descriptions on the web site of the Department of Education as soon as possible. Please check our web site periodically for program changes or see an adviser



Master of Arts in Teaching Program

MAT Overview
The UMBC Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program is a Council of the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) approved graduate program for career changers and recent graduates with at least a bachelor’s degree seeking initial teaching certification. Students are introduced to pedagogy, including curriculum planning, instructional design, assessment and human development as well as a subject-specific methods course. In keeping with Maryland’s Redesign of Teacher Education (1996), the MAT incorporates competency-based course work and a Professional Development School internship program for every student in the program. The course work integrates content and pedagogy as recommended by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) (1996), the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), and the Council of the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). All MAT candidates’ competencies in essential teaching and content knowledge will be evaluated through performance-based assessments. Graduates of this program will meet all Maryland certification requirements, receive initial teacher certification in their area of specialization, and extend their understanding of issues germane to teaching and learning.

The MAT program is based on a four-semester (or equivalent) sequence that requires completion of 36 credit hours. The majority of MAT students are studying as part time students.

Content Coursework Requirements
To fortify content understandings and be highly qualified as well as certified, students may be required to take additional content coursework. This course work may be needed to satisfy discipline specific requirements as defined by UMBC, MSDE/CAEP approved program requirements. Students’ undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts will be reviewed in advising sessions before admission to determine if additional courses are needed to fulfill these requirements. All students will receive a written copy of the review of their transcripts indicating any additional content coursework that must be successfully completed prior to beginning of Phase II of the internship.

MSDE requires both early childhood and elementary school teachers to complete 12 credits of reading methods courses and secondary school teachers must complete 6 credits of reading. In the MAT, 24 credits of the content core, various content area foundations and methods, as well as the accompanying internship are also required. Secondary teachers will have six hours of content-related, discipline specific electives to complete their 36-hour program. All students are required to complete each required education course with a grade of “B” or better and pass their portfolio presentation.

Field Experience
A major goal of the program is to integrate theory and practice. Consequently, field experiences are incorporated throughout the program in a variety of ways. Elementary MAT teacher candidates will have opportunities to work with children and teachers through their methods and reading courses.

Early Childhood MAT teacher candidates participate in a different semester-long field experience that is linked with a three-credit study group during each of the first 3 semesters. Students spend three hours on two mornings a week in the field for a minimum of 72 hours over the course of each semester.

Secondary track MAT teacher candidates will also have field experiences built into their methods and reading courses, in addition to a separate practicum course. The field experiences may be scheduled a variety of ways. It is typically scheduled as a 3-hour block once a week.

Clinical Experience
Clinical experience, sometimes referred to as student teaching or internship, is intended to be a full-time experience lasting at least 100 days and spanning two semesters. During this period of time, it is expected that the candidate will gain as much experience in teaching as possible. Ideally, at the conclusion of the clinical experience, a candidate will be ready to successfully assume full responsibility for a classroom.

The candidate is expected to be devoted full-time to Phase II of the internship and participate in the seminar course. The candidate may take methods courses during Phase I of the internship. Any part-time non-school work is unacceptable during Phase II of the internship.

For more information regarding the models for clinical experience and UMBC Professional Development Schools, Director of Office of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice (pds@umbc.edu)

Dual Areas of Certification
In some cases, candidates may wish to pursue two areas of certification. This means that it will be necessary to complete two special methods courses and demonstrate academic competence in both areas of certification. During the field experience course and clinical experience, candidates will observe and participate in both areas of certification.

Culminating Portfolio
The MAT program culminates in a portfolio (written and electronic) based on the performance outcomes developed by CAEP, the Specialized Professional Associations (SPA) and MSDE and includes teacher performance assessments, including their portfolio presentation, as well as their knowledge of content and pedagogy and dispositions toward teaching diverse students.

Application and Admission
The MAT is a UMBC graduate program. Applicants must be accepted and admitted to the UMBC Graduate School and the UMBC Department of Education. Minimum admission requirements include an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 for admission and 3.0 for internship and passing scores on Praxis I, according to MSDE certification criteria.

The first step in the application process is to schedule a personal interview with an advisor of the program and submit transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate study for analysis.