The Master’s Certification Program (MCERT) is a one-year graduate-level teacher preparation program that leads to elementary, middle school, secondary or preK-12 teacher certification and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree. Grade level/content area specializations include Art, Elementary Education, English, Mathematics, Middle School Math and Science, Physical Education, Secondary Sciences (Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth/Space Science, Physics), Social Studies, TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and World Languages (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian, Spanish). 

Program Advantages

The Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL) at the University of Maryland College Park is ranked 12th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. MCERT students receive instruction from high-caliber faculty, and explore in-depth opportunities to connect content and pedagogy. MCERT students participate in a year-long inquiry project (in lieu of a thesis) which culminates into the writing of a graduate seminar paper. MCERT students present their research at the end of the program. 

In addition, all MCERT students produce a teaching portfolio (in lieu of a master’s comprehensive examination).

Intensive Mentored Internships

 Throughout the entire internship year, MCERT interns apprentice in classrooms with experienced certified teachers who serve as mentors. The classrooms serve as “learning laboratories” where MCERTers can practice the ideas and concepts that they are studying in their courses and learn the essentials of instructional planning, responsive teaching, embracing diversity, and the ongoing assessment of student learning. In addition, all MCERT interns receive support during the school year from a university-based supervisor and a subject-based coordinator, who are experienced educators in the area of the intern’s certification field.

Personalized and Supportive Learning

MCERT interns, also referred to as “teacher candidates” are organized into content area and grade-level cohort groups. These groups work closely with faculty and public school staff, enroll in the same classes, and participate in an ongoing peer-support network for interactive learning and support through a seminar course. The seminar experiences provide instruction that complement the internship.

School Partnerships

Created in 1985, MCERT has expanded to encompass partnerships with four neighboring school districts: Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties. Select partners from these school districts, in which we have 25 school sites, join university faculty in the development of the program curriculum. MCERT interns study in Professional Development (PDS) schools across these four districts.

Professional Accreditation

The College of Education is fully accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), and our programs are approved by the Maryland State Department of Education.  MCERT provides all necessary requirements for Maryland State Certification, combining the rigorous coursework and content/grade level-specific internship (student teaching).  Upon successful completion of the program, interns are recommended to the Maryland State Department of Education for licensure. Maryland has reciprocity with other states and U.S. territories. 


The University of Maryland’s reputation and location near Washington, D.C. provides students with a wealth of opportunities to work in diverse school districts, collaborate with educational associations, and engage in important, practical research.

  • Bachelor’s Degree with 3.0 GPA
  • Experience with children or young adults
  • Strong background in certification area content
MCERT Admissions Handbook_2020May10.pdf


Step 1: Download the  MCERT Admissions Handbook_2020May10.pdf

Step 2: Contact program with questions or attend an information session

Step 3: Complete online application at www.gradschool.umd.edu

Applications must be complete on the dates listed: 

  • Priority deadline November 1 
  • Final deadline March 5  


Additional resource links:

Guide to Applying 

Frequently Asked Questions


The UMD Master's Certification Program [MCERT] has enhanced its Elementary, Secondary, and P-12 Education Programs.

Fast, Affordable, & Cutting Edge



Earn your Master's degree and become eligible for teaching certificate in 12 months and 36 credits.


Pay the same tuition regardless of Maryland residency status and pay less for reduced program cost.


Learn to teach culturally, academically, linguistically diverse learners at home and in school through hybrid course offerings and two-semester internship.


Recent news item about our Physical Education MCERT students.

For Admissions and  Preliminary Transcript Review

Office of Student Services

1204 Benjamin Building, 3942 Campus Drive

University of Maryland

College Park, MD  20742

Tel: (301) 405-2364           Email: ed-advising@umd.edu 


For Admissions and General MCERT Program Information


2311 Benjamin Building, 3942 Campus Drive

University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20742

Tel: (301) 405-4448             Email: mcert@umd.edu

The MCERT faculty provides academic advisement for MCERT students; see Program Contacts (below). For MCERT advising information please contact the TLPL  Graduate Program Coordinator at tlpl-admissions@umd.edu  or (301) 405-4448.

COE Scholarships 

The College of Education offers $1,000 scholarship awards to deserving students. Criteria, details, and applications are available online at The College of Education Financial Aid & Scholarship webpage.

For more information concerning fellowships and scholarships, please visit:

The University's Scholarships webpage, and The Graduate School Student Fellowships & Awards webpage

The priority deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is February 15. For detailed information, see http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. For questions regarding Financial Aid, please contact the UMD Financial Aid Office online at http://www.financialaid.umd.edu, or by phone at 301-314-900. 


Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Fellowships 

KSTF Teaching Fellowships are awarded to young men and women who have received a bachelor's or advanced degree in science, engineering or mathematics and are committed to teaching high school science and/or mathematics in U.S. schools. The fellowship supports recipients professionally and financially through a teacher preparation program. 

  • Fellowship provides the following: tuition assistance, monthly stipend, instructional support, school-site mentor, room, board and travel expenses for summer professional development and fellows’ meetings, membership in a professional organization. 

  • Fellowships are renewable for 5 years 

  • For more information see: www.kstf.org 


TEACH Grants 

Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. 

  • Expected availability for math, science, foreign language, bilingual education and other high need areas. 

  • Provided through the Department of Education 

  • Must have at least a 3.25 GPA 

  • Graduate student scholarships available for up to $8000 

  • Must teach in a high-need school in a high-need field for a minimum of 4 years within eight years after finishing the program 

  • For more information and to apply see https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/teach  


Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

After you have been employed as a full-time teacher for five consecutive, complete academic years at a school that is considered "low-income" according to certain criteria for funding under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, you may be eligible for teacher loan forgiveness. 

  • You must not have had an outstanding balance on a Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) or Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP) loan as of October 1, 1998, or on the date you obtained a FFELP or FDLP loan after October 1, 1998. 

  • The loan for which you are seeking forgiveness must have been made before the end of the fifth year of your qualifying teaching service. 

  • You may not receive more than a total of $5,000 ($17,500 for certain highly qualified secondary math and science teachers, and elementary and secondary special education teachers) in loan forgiveness for outstanding principal and accrued interest for the same teaching service under both the FFELP and the FDLP. 

  • For more information see: http://www.tgslc.org/borrowers/teachers/eligible.cfm 


US Department of Education 

  • Transition to Teaching Program: provides five-year grants to state and local educational agencies, or for-profit organizations, non- profit organizations, or institutions of higher education collaborating with state or local educational agencies 
  • Perkins Loans provide low-interest loans to help needy students finance the costs of postsecondary education. Borrowers who undertake certain public, military, or teaching service employment are eligible to have all or part of their loans canceled. 
  • Grants do not have to be repaid. Click the link below to learn more about grant programs available for eligible students pursuing a postsecondary education. 
  1. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above for required coursework.
  2. Passing Praxis II content test.
  3. Successful completion of Portfolio.
  4. Successful completion of TLPL 698 and submission of Action Research paper.
  5. Successful completion of MCERT internship.
  6. Satisfactory performance on Foundational Competencies, Final PBA, and edTPA.
  7. Applying for Graduation and submitting a Master’s Approved Form by deadlines.
  8. Fulfillment of all provisions/prerequisites required in the terms of your initial offer of admission to UMCP/MCERT.

Graduate Education Program Requirements

Ebony Terrell Shockley, Program Director


Applications must be complete on the dates listed: 

  • Priority deadline November 1 
  • Final deadline March 5  

Guide to Applying 

Frequently Asked Questions

Good News: The College of Education is hosting virtual MCERT Info Sessions!

The Master’s Certification Program (MCERT) is a one-year graduate-level teacher preparation program that leads to eligibility to apply for elementary, middle school, secondary or P-12 teacher certification and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree.

Registration is now open. RSVP here: https://go.umd.edu/mcis. Zoom link with password will be sent when you register.

Session Dates:

Wednesday, September 16th, 4 PM-4:45 PM (EST) Session 1

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2:30 PM-3:15 PM (EST) Session 2

Wednesday, October 7th, 2:30 PM-3:15 PM (EST) Session 3

Thursday, October 15th, 2:30 PM-3:15 PM (EST) Session 4

If you are interested in a preliminary review of your transcript please send an unofficial copy to ed-advising@umd.edu at least two weeks prior to the Information Session that you plan on attending and remember to list the content area you are planning to pursue.

MCERT Program Coordinators:

Art Coordinator, Margaret Walker, mwalker8@umd.edu

Computer Science Coordinator, David Weintrop, weintrop@umd.edu

Elementary Coordinator, Karen Rehderkrehder@umd.edu

Middle School Coordinator, Angela Stoltz, astoltz@umd.edu

Physical Education Coordinator, Cara Grantcgrant75@umd.edu

Secondary English Coordinator, Peggy Wilson, pwilson@umd.edu

Secondary Mathematics Coordinator, Monica Anthonymrd@umd.edu

Secondary Sciences Coordinator, Tranae Johnsontjohnso8@umd.edu

Secondary Social Studies Coordinator, Lena Morreale Scottlscott12@umd.edu

TESOL Coordinator, Loren Jonesldjones@umd.edu

World Languages Coordinator, Margaret Marcus, mmarcus@umd.edu.  



Graduate students in the College of Education are responsible for meeting University and the Graduate School policy, and for meeting Program requirements. The Graduate Catalog is the official listing of Policies governing graduate education at the University of Maryland. The schedule adjustment policy is available from the Office of the Registrar and provides information on adding and dropping courses, penalties, and refund schedules. 

MCERT Admissions Handbook_2020May10.pdf

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