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. 

Areas of Specialization: Art; Dance; Elementary Education; English; Middle School Mathematics and Science; Mathematics; Physical Education; Secondary Sciences (Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth/Space Science, Physics); Social Studies; TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages); World Languages (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian, Spanish)

Program Advantages

Graduate-Level Degree Program

The Elementary and Secondary programs in the College of Education are both ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report.  High-caliber faculty and school practitioners teach MCERT courses and provide in-depth opportunities to connect content and pedagogy. All MCERT students participate in a year-long inquiry project (in lieu of a thesis), which culminates in the writing of a graduate seminar paper. In addition, all MCERT interns produce a teaching portfolio (in lieu of comprehensive examinations), which students present at the end of the program. 

Intensive Mentored Internships

Throughout the entire internship year, MCERT interns apprentice in PreK-12 classrooms with experienced certified teachers who will serve as the intern's mentor. The Internships serve as "learning laboratories" where interns can practice the ideas and concepts they are studying in their professional teaching courses and learn the essentials of classroom management, instructional planning, responsive teaching, and the ongoing assessment of student learning. In addition, all graduate 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

The MCERT team organizes teacher candidates into content area cohort groups. These groups work closely with faculty and site coordinators, take classes together,  provide an ongoing peer-support network for interactive learning, and engage in cooperative exchanges through internship seminar sessions

School Partnerships

MCERT was created in 1985 and has grown over the last thirty years to encompass partnerships with four neighboring school districts: Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard and Anne Arundel counties. School and university faculty join together in developing the program curriculum, supervising internships, teaching courses, and advising students. MCERT interns study in PDS (Professional Development School) sites across these four districts. We currently have over 25 school partner sites in Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties. 

Professional Accreditation

The College of Education is fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and our programs are approved by the State of Maryland. Completion of MCERT coursework provides the requirements to be eligible for Maryland State Certification, combining courses with the internship (student teaching). Internships are in partner schools in Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's Counties. Upon successful completion of the program, interns apply to the Maryland State Department of Education for licensure. Maryland has reciprocity with several other states and US 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 Handbook


Step 1: Download the MCERT Handbook

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

Kay Moon, Program Coordinator, MCERT & Outreach

2311 Benjamin Building, 3942 Campus Drive

University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20742

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

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. 

Kay Moon, Program Coordinator


(301) 405-4448


Ebony Terrell Shockley, Program Director