Secondary Education Certification

Secondary Education Certification Master of Arts Teaching (M.A.T.) - English

About English 7-12 Teaching Certification

Equip students with invaluable tools of thought and expression.

Open up worlds of knowledge for middle and high school students. Level I certification and a master's degree in English education from California University of Pennsylvania prepares you to teach English to grades 7-12 in Pennsylvania, while giving you essential real-word experience as an effective classroom leader.

This rigorous master's program combines core pedagogy courses with classes on literary forms and English history as needed.

Join our history of producing top-quality educators. 

  • Cal U has been training Pennsylvania teachers for over 160 years.
  • Cal U's teaching programs are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and have been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954. We are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
  • Our partnerships with local school districts foster exceptional observation and student teaching experiences.


Online Classes: English education courses are delivered online so you can continue your day job while earning your degree. You'll also interact face to face with professors and peers during a two-day, on-campus summer residency. 

Fieldwork & Student Teaching: Cal U students stand out in the English education job market because they complete 20 to 24 hours of fieldwork per semester in assigned Pennsylvania schools before the full-time student teaching component of this program.

Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.


Average annual salary for secondary education teachers in Pennsylvania Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Semesters needed to complete your master's degree and certification in secondary education certification - four semesters of courses and one semester of student teaching.
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Program Benefits

Whether you have a background in English or are switching careers from another field, graduate degree courses will give you mastery of the latest practices and theories in literacy, language arts and English education while deepening your expertise in the discipline.

  • Study English curriculum development techniques and how to use the Standards Aligned System (SAS).
  • Learn top strategies in classroom management.
  • Master classroom technology for the teaching of English.
  • Deepen your knowledge of poetry, drama, fiction, grammar, historical world literature and other related topics.
  • Gain real-world experience through student teaching.
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Graduate Outcomes

Graduates of this program are prepared to teach secondary education English at public or private schools. They also thrive as English program coordinators, evaluators and curriculum specialists. Secondary education program graduates are employed by dozens of schools across the country.


Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

This professional graduate degree program is delivered online and during a two-day, on-campus residency. Our rigorous courses will deepen your English knowledge base while equipping you with the latest theories and practices in English and literary arts education. All students are required to have current school clearances to participate in field experience and sign up for courses.



Course Credits
ENG 101  English Composition I 3
ENG 102  English Composition II 3
Required Content Courses (a grade of C or better is required for certification)
ENG 106  Intro to Poetry  OR  ENG 107  Intro to Fiction  OR  ENG 108  Intro to Drama 3
ENG 205  World Lit to 1600  OR  ENG 206  World Lit from 1600 3
ENG 301  English Literature I  OR  ENG 302  English Literature II 3
ENG 308   Research for Writers  OR  ENG 352  Studies in Writing 3
ENG 337  Survey of American Literature I  OR  ENG 338  Survey of American Literature II 3
ENG 345  English Grammar and Usage  OR  ENG 347  Introduction to Linguistics 3
ENG 346  History of English Language 3
ENG 425  Shakespeare 3
ENG Writing Elective 3
ENG Literature Elective 3
ENG Upper Level Elective 3
ENG Elective 3
Cal U Required Courses
EDU 650  Supporting the English Language Learner 3
ESP 610  Sp. Ed. Foundations & Collaboration 3
ESP 613  Evidence-Based Practices for Sec Inclusion 3
ESP 701  Introduction to Behavior Analysis 3
MSE 641  Orientation to 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 642  Standards-Based Instruction in 7-12 Ed 3
MSE 643  Content Area Literacy in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 644  Instructional Strategies in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 645  Technology in 7-12 Education* 3
MSE 646  Assessments and Interventions* 3
MSE 647  Classroom Management in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 651  Methods of English Teaching 7-12* 3
MSE 661  Student Teaching & School Law** 9
Total Graduate Credits 45

* Two-day on-campus July residency will be integrated into the summer MSE courses.

** Must earn a recommendation for student teaching.


Admission Requirements

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
  • International Graduate Applicants

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

Program Requirements

  • Depending on the area of certification chosen, the department will provide guidance if any foundation undergraduate courses need to be completed before applying for student teaching
  • Clearances:  Students are responsible for updating clearances annually through the Office of Field Experience.  In addition, clearances must be on file before applying for student teaching  - Acts 24, 34, 114, and 151 

How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

For additional information:
Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.

Related Programs


A student and teacher works on a project.

On-campus Summer Residency

Each summer, Cal U secondary education graduate students meet on campus for an intensive two-day residency where students get face-to-face instruction, interact with their peers and teach sample lessons.

An English teacher with students.

Experienced Faculty

Learn best practices in education from experienced professors such as Dr. Connie Monroe, who has taught high school French, English and English as a second language. 

A Cal U student rides his bike on campus.

Course Spotlight: Teaching of English

Learn how to apply the principles of educational psychology, philosophy and sociology to the teaching of English in secondary schools. This course covers practical techniques of classroom practice and examines the challenges of the profession.


English Certification Faculty

Dr. Keith Hepner

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Dr. Marcia Hoover
Professor; field coordinator, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

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Dr. Connie Monroe
Professor and chair, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

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Dr. Susan Morris-Rutledge
Associate Professor and ESL Program Coordinator

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Dr. Michael Perrotti
Coordinator of Graduate Secondary Ed Programs and Associate Professor

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Dr. Joseph Zisk
Professor; director, Teaching and Learning Center

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Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.