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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.

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

Admission Requirements (Regular)

  • Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.80 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • For International Applicants: TOEFL score of 213 on computer-based exam, 550 on paper-based exam or 80 on Internet-based exam

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted for a period not to exceed two terms with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:

    o    Bachelor’s degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision
    o    Unofficial transcripts

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