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Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction: Initial Teacher License Option

UMass Lowell prepares elementary and secondary teachers for the classroom and beyond.

Program Overview

Full Time | Part Time

UMass Lowell students may qualify for the Fast Track to Teaching program, allowing you to earn bachelor's and master's degrees in five years.

See the UMass Lowell online Graduate Catalog for more information and a list of courses offered by the Graduate School of Education.

Elementary Education

For Initial Licensure with add on license in Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities:
The M.Ed. Elementary Education plans to suspend admissions after summer 2017. Please ensure that we receive your application by April 15, 2017 and are able to begin the program in summer (trimester) 2017 and complete it in 2 years.

Program Audience Admissions *MTEL Tests Required for Admission MTEL Tests, prior to practicum
Elem. Ed. and Teaching Children with Moderate Disabilities add on license program of study (pdf)

Requires two practica: the first in general education setting, min. of 12 weeks; the second in a special education setting, six weeks. This is a 39-credit program.
Graduates of accredited colleges and universities seeking both a MA license as an Elementary (grades 1-6) teacher and as a teacher of students with moderate disabilities (PK-8)
  • Appropriate undergraduate preparation
  • 3.0 GPA
  • MTEL Tests*
  • Application Deadlines: 4/1 for summer and 8/1 for fall
Communication and Literacy (01) reading and writing subtests

General Curriculum (03) Multi-Subject subtest
General Curriculum (03) mathematics sub-test

Foundations of reading (90)

Fast Track to Teaching program for Elementary Education

These are full time programs. Courses begin at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. School visits beyond course meeting times are often required.
Get information about MTEL tests.


See the Admissions Requirements (pdf).

For admission and online application to either degree visit Graduate Admissions.

See Before You Apply tab for information on CORI checks and fingerprinting.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view any pdf files. It can be download for free from the Adobe website.

Secondary Education

Middle & High School

There are four routes to becoming a secondary education teacher, which provide flexibility for those who wish to pursue a teaching program on a full-time or part-time basis. Also our program accommodates candidates who are teaching on a preliminary license. All programs are 30 credits, consisting of 21 credits of course work, a pre-practicum and a 9 credit practicum.

Routes to Teaching

Program Audience Admissions MTEL Programs of Study (pdf)
Route I - Fast Track to Teaching program (pdf) Middle/Secondary Programs Only (Plus One Program) UMass Lowell Undergraduates Middle / Secondary Programs Only

Appropriate Undergraduate preparation 3.0 GPA MTEL Tests

Application Deadline:

  1. December 1 of senior year
  2. April 1
  3. August 1
  4. Teaching full-time in the role of the license for one semester in public school.
    Preliminary License
    April 15 for summer or August 1 for fall

Communication and Literacy (01) reading and writing subtests

Subject test in discipline:

Biology (13)

Chemistry (12)

English (07)

History (06)

Mathematics (09)

Physics (11)

Must be successfully completed for admission.

High School English

High School History

High School Mathematics

High School Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, General Science

Route II - Initial Licensure, Middle/Secondary Programs Only, 12 months (Summer, Fall, Spring)

Graduates of accredited colleges and universities seeking both a MA license as an Elementary (grades 1-6) teacher and as a teacher of students with moderate disabilities (PK-8)
Route III - Middle/Secondary Programs Only, 18 months (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall)
Route IV - Alternative Licensure Program, Middle/Secondary Programs Only, 3 years maximum allowed, for candidates who are teaching as the "teacher of record" on a preliminary license in a middle or high school in Massachusetts

Options III and IV can be completed as part-time students. Courses generally begin at 4 p.m. There will be occasional school visits beyond course meeting times.
Get information about MTEL tests.


Admissions Requirements (pdf) for Secondary Education Options I, II, III and IV

For admission and online application to the degree go to Graduate Admissions. You do not need to specify the “route” on the application form.

See Before You Apply tab for information on CORI checks and fingerprinting.

Before You Apply

As a teacher you have responsibility for minors and must show that you are a person who has the attributes and behaviors expected of professionals. All candidates for teacher licensure will be required to meet regulations for working in schools, which include, but are not limited to completion of a CORI, fingerprinting and a UMass Lowell Code of Conduct check.


Please note that Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L. c. 71, § 38R) requires that school districts conduct background checks through a Criminal Offender Record Investigation (CORI) for school personnel, including volunteers and student teachers, who may have direct and unsupervised contact with children. Certain convictions may prevent an individual from completing a teaching practicum in a Massachusetts school district. Further, it should be noted that the Massachusetts Department of Education may conduct CORI checks “as part of the general screening process for educator licensure.


In September 2013, Governor Patrick signed into law Chapter 77 of the Acts of 2013, "An Act Relative to Background Checks

This new law expands the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and, in addition, requires fingerprint-based state and national criminal record information check (CHRI). Though districts are responsible for assuring that school personnel are fingerprinted, UMass Lowell and other education preparation programs support districts in satisfying this law. 

The Commonwealth contracted Morpho Trust USA to establish and operate fingerprinting locations across the state. Online registration, appointment, and cost information are available through the IdentoGo by MorphoTrust USA registration system. When you register you will be required to list up to 10 school district provider ID's.

Fingerprints are captured and submitted electronically for processing by the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and reports are returned to the designated school district(s) (not to UMass Lowell). 

Based on CHRI reports or non-compliance with the law, a school district may disallow an individual from engaging in pre-practicum or practicum work in the district. These circumstances may result in the teacher preparation student being able to complete the approved teacher preparation degree program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.


Prior to working with children as part of your coursework, the school district and/or the university will require you to submit paperwork for a CORI check and a UMass Lowell Code of Conduct report. School districts may refuse to allow a student to complete field and clinical experiences if certain offenses are revealed. These circumstances may result in the student being unable to complete a teacher preparation degree program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. 

Why Earn Your Master of Education at UMass Lowell?

man in front of white board

Teach with Confidence

The program combines education theory, teaching students in the diverse world of changing demographics and field experiences in local schools. You will have the content, confidence and skills necessary to be successful in the classroom.
male teacher doing experiment

Where Our Graduates Work

Graduates of our program are working in school districts throughout the Merrimack Valley and beyond. The majority of our graduates teach in Massachusetts, but the Commonwealth has teacher licensure reciprocity with most states.
woman with pipet

Career Potential

Being a full-time elementary or secondary teacher is the first step for our graduates but many continue their education and become specialists, department chairpersons, assistant principals and principals.