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).
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 in 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 complements the internship.
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. Most MCERT interns study in Professional Development (PDS) schools across these four districts and in other districts depending on the content area/grade level needs.
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
Please refer to the MCERT handbooks below.
Step 1: Download the MCERT Admissions Handbook 2022-2023.
Step 2: Contact program with questions or attend an information session.
Step 3: Complete online Graduate School application.
Applications must be complete on the dates listed:
- Priority deadline November 1
- Final deadline March 1
Additional resource links:
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 a 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Requests for a transcript review from the COE Office of Student Services must
be submitted via www.go.umd.edu/PrelimReview, prior to submitting the
Graduate School application.
For Admissions and General MCERT Program Information
2311 Benjamin Building, 3942 Campus Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Tel: (301) 405-4448
MCERT students are eligible for scholarships! Apply by the Priority Deadline of Nov 1st to have priority for 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 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 301-314-9000.
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
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
- Program participants are placed to teach in high-need schools and districts
- For more information see: http://www.ed.gov/programs/transitionteach/index.html
- 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.
- For more information see https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/perkins
- 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.