Site Search

A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.

Master of Arts Teaching: Initial Teacher Certification - Secondary Education

Art K-12 Certification – Credits:  33-45 (program code:  0521)

Biology 7-12 Certification – Credits: 33-45 (program code:  0560)

Chemistry 7-12 Certification – Credits: 33-45 (program code:  0590)

Communications 7-12 Certification – Credits: 33-45 (program code:  0525)

Earth Science 7-12 Certification – Credits: 33-45 (program code:  0563)

English 7-12 Certification – Credits: 33-45 (program code:  0501)

Spanish K-12 Certification – Credits: 33-45 (program code:  0540)

Mathematics 7-12 Certification – Credits: 33-45 (program code:  0548)

Physics 7-12 Certification – Credits: 33-45 (program code:  0530)

Social Studies 7-12 Certification – Credits: 33-45 (program code:  0580)

Program Description

This program prepares individuals to apply for initial certification in the following areas: art K-12, biology 7-12, chemistry 7-12, communications 7-12, earth science 7-12, English 7-12, Spanish K-12, mathematics 7-12, physics 7-12 and social studies 7-12. It is designed for individuals with a background in each area or those individuals wishing to make a career change into secondary teaching. However, anyone can be admitted regardless of previous degree. This program is designed for practicing professionals who wish to become certified teachers in their chosen fields of study, such as a chemist becoming a chemistry teacher, or a history major becoming a social studies teacher. However, many of the students enrolled in the program are becoming certified in areas not related to their undergraduate work. In this program, you may apply for your Pennsylvania teacher certification at the completion of student teaching. During the program, you may apply for a Pennsylvania intern certificate if you have a school district willing to hire you full time. Contact the program coordinator for more information about the intern certificate.

Program Objectives

  • Students will design teaching lessons using a variety of instructional strategies.
  • Students will demonstrate effective teaching pedagogy.
  • Students will demonstrate content knowledge in their area of certification.
  • Students will be eligible to obtain a Pennsylvania Department of Education teaching certificate

Delivery Mode

Online with two-day on-campus residency component

Field observations/experiences and student teaching are conducted in school settings.


Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation  (CAEP, formerly NCATE)
Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education

Admissions Criteria

Minimum overall undergraduate 2.80 GPA or 3.00 GPA in last 48 college credits verified with official transcripts from an accredited institution

Graduate School Application plus $25 nonrefundable application fee

*For applicants with undergraduate GPA of less than 3.00, conditional acceptance may be possible.

The credit requirements for initial teacher certification may vary. For example: Biology certification requires different undergraduate courses than English. Each applicant’s academic record will be reviewed to determine what, if any, undergraduate (or graduate) content courses still need to be completed. Most students will need to take one or more undergraduate courses. Applicants will receive evaluations of their transcripts to determine what, if any, content courses still need to be completed. This is done on an individual basis. Each applicant should submit to the program coordinator a complete set of transcripts for a content requirement evaluation. Certification area of interest should be specified.

Curriculum: Initial Teacher Certification Track

Semester 1 (Fall)
Course NameCredits
MSE 641 Orientation to 7-123
MSE 642 Standards-based Instruction in 7-12 Education3
ESP 610 Special Education Foundations and Collaboration*3

Semester 2 (Spring)
Course NameCredits
MSE 643 Content Area Literacy in 7-12 Education3
MSE 644 Instructional Strategies in 7-12 Education3
ESP 701 Introduction to Behavior Analysis*3

Semester 3 (Summer)
Course NameCredits
MSE 65X Methods of (Content) Teaching3
MSE 646 Assessments and Interventions in 7-12 Education3
MSE 645 Technology Integration in 7-12 Education3

Semester 4 (Fall)
Course NameCredits
MSE 647 Classroom Management in 7-12 Education3
ESP 613 Evidence-based Practices for Secondary Inclusion*3
EDU 650 Supporting English Language Learners*3

Semester 5 (Spring)
Must earn a recommendation for student teaching
Course NameCredits
MSE 661 Student Teaching and School Law9

*Chapter 49 requirements mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Courses are allowed to be satisfied with previously taken undergraduate courses subject to approval of the program coordinator.

In addition to their courses, teacher candidates will need to do in-school field observations and a full semester of student teaching.


Students in the Master of Arts Teaching program receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and program faculty. Each student is assigned to an academic adviser from the time he/she is accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study.

Application Questions

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Eberly 202B
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419

Program Coordinator

Michael Perrotti, Ph.D. (Marywood University), M.S.Ed. (Wilkes University), B.S.Ed. (Mansfield University)
Web Page:
: 724-938-4487

Graduate Faculty

Keith Hepner, Ed.D. (University of Pittsburgh), M.Ed., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), Professor
Marcia Hoover, Ed.D. (West Virginia University), M.Ed., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), Associate Professor
Connie Monroe, Ph.D. (University of Dayton), M.A. (Regis University), Post baccalaureate Teaching Certification (University of Texas at San Antonio),  B.A. (Case Western Reserve University), Associate Professor
Joseph Zisk, Ed.D (Temple University), M.S. (Drexel University), M.Ed., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), Professor