Massachusetts Teaching Certification Program Overviews

Research teaching certification programs in Massachusetts, which currently has roughly 42 schools offering these programs. Read overviews of the degree programs and get some quick facts for two schools to decide which program is right for you.

Teaching Certification in Massachusetts

Universities in Massachusetts offer teacher education programs at the bachelor's and master's degree levels, preparing students for state certification. Aspiring Massachusetts teachers will find that the following two schools offer a variety of programs. Learn about the areas of specialization, degree levels and student teaching requirements at these schools. The table at the bottom of this article also reveals additional school facts.

  • University of Massachusetts - Amherst, centrally located in the state, offers master's degrees leading to certification in early childhood/elementary, secondary and reading/writing education.
  • Boston University, located near the Atlantic coast, offers the following degree programs: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Bachelor of Science in Bilingual Education (ESL), Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education in Early Childhood, and Master of Education in Elementary Education.

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

UMass Amherst is the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts System. A 4-year school that educates over 28,000 students a year, it's the largest public college in the state that offers teaching certification programs. The UMass Amherst School of Education features several graduate-level teaching degrees in its Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Department.

Master of Education - Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher Education Collaborative Teacher Education Pathway (CTEP)

Courses in this 10-month program include childhood development, integrated teaching methods, social studies, science and childhood literacy. It's geared toward undergraduates seeking to become certified early childhood or elementary teachers, as well as other professionals who want to transition to teaching.

Master of Education - Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP)

This 18- to 24-month program provides aspiring middle and high school teachers with the classroom, field and clinical training needed to pursue Massachusetts teaching certification. Students must choose a focus, such as English, political science, mathematics, history or a foreign language.

Master of Education - Reading and Writing

This program focuses on the power of literacy in education, as well as the academic, emotional and social effects of reading and writing. Graduates are prepared for state licensure as reading and writing teachers.

Boston University

This 4-year, private school educates over 31,000 students each year. BU's School of Education offers ten undergraduate concentrations that qualify students for Massachusetts teacher certification. BU also features graduate programs for prospective teachers.

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

This program, which focuses on teaching pre-kindergarten through third grade, includes general education coursework with an emphasis in liberal arts. Fieldwork is part of the curriculum from the outset, with students working in local schools in their first year and student teaching beginning their junior year.

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

The elementary education program prepares students to teach kindergarten through sixth grade. Coursework includes liberal arts classes and those specific to elementary-aged children.

Bachelor of Science in Special Education

Through a combination of coursework and fieldwork, aspiring special education teachers are prepared to teach various special needs students, ranging in age from pre-kindergarten to 21. Graduates can pursue certification as a teacher of students with moderate disabilities for grades pre-kindergarten through eight, 1-6 or 5-12 and as a teacher for those with severe disabilities, ages 3-21.

Bachelor of Science in Bilingual Education (ESL)

Graduates of this program are qualified to pursue English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching certification for pre-kindergarten through sixth grade or grades 5-12. The curriculum includes liberal arts classes, plus courses focused on curriculum development and literacy studies.

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching

This 1-year program prepares those with a bachelor's degree in another area of study to become teachers. Field experience and such classes as child development, classroom systems and assessments are part of the program. Graduates are eligible for certification as middle or high school teachers.

Master of Education in Early Childhood

Teaching pre-kindergarten to grade two is the focus of this program, which includes courses on childhood learning and curriculum development in math, science, reading and the arts. Students complete one semester of fieldwork at the Early Childhood Learning Laboratory, which educates up to 20 children, ages 2-5. Graduates are qualified to take the state-licensing exam in early childhood.

Master of Education in Elementary Education

Graduates of this 1-year program, which includes a student teaching experience and 100 hours of fieldwork, are ready to teach grades 1-6. Classes generally begin in the summer, with students prepared for licensing exams by the following summer.

Comparison of Schools

Beyond comparing degrees and program requirements, many other factors should be considered when choosing the right school. The following table explores school details and statistics, including tuition charges, student population numbers and admission rates.

University of Massachusetts - Amherst Boston University
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private, non-profit
Total Enrollment (2012) 28,236* 32,603*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2013-2014) $13,443 (in-state)*
$28,159 (out-of-state)*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2012-2013) 88%* 62%*
Acceptance Rate 63% (2013)* 46% (2012)*
Retention Rate (2012) 88%* 92%*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2013) 73%* 84%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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