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.

English Certification Secondary Education - Master's Degree
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 Secondary Education Master's Degree Courses

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

* Must earn candidacy/admission to teacher education. 2-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.  Those admitted conditionally based on missing document/s have up to a maximum of two semesters to satisfy these requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision
    • Unofficial transcripts

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

  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above), email ( or fax (724-938-5712)

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.


Secondary Education

Master's in Teaching Degree Certifications

View Admissions Requirements


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 Assistant 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.