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

UMass Lowell prepares secondary teachers for the classroom and beyond.

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The College of Education, UMass Lowell’s Blended Master of Education degree (M.Ed.) with initial licensure prepares English, History, Math and Science secondary teachers to effectively meet the needs of Massachusetts diverse students. The program combines educational theory and practice with authentic well supported field-based experiences. This prepares teacher candidates to enter the teaching profession with the content, confidence and skills necessary to be successful. Well-supported field-based experiences embedded throughout their preparation programs.   

Our virtual simulations and partnerships with local school districts, including Lawrence, Lowell, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Haverhill, Methuen, Westford and local technical schools give you real-world opportunities to hone your teaching skills before you begin your student teaching semester. Coursework and field experiences address the contemporary demands of teaching students in a diverse world of changing demographics - ensuring that you are truly “classroom-ready” when you graduate.

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


The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Initial Teacher License Option requires 9 courses/30 credits. Seven core courses are required and two-three courses are chosen from an area of specialization:
  • English
  • History
  • Math
  • Science
Visit the academic catalog for details of each specialization's degree pathway.


To be recommended for a University of Massachusetts Lowell master's degree, candidates must satisfy all of the general requirements, plus any additional requirements that may be required by the department through which the program is offered. 
Requirements are found in the Graduate Catalog.

Accelerate Your Teaching Career in as Little as 12 Months 

The program offers multiple pathways for you to complete your master's degree in a timeline that's flexible and convenient to match your busy schedule and career goals. 

Bachelor's to Master's Fast Track Option 

This track is ideal for UMass Lowell undergraduates who wish to pursue a career in teaching at the middle or secondary level. The program can be completed in one or two years. The online courses provide greater flexibility for you to work part-time or full-time as you complete your graduate degree coursework. Undergraduate students can start by taking two graduate courses during their senior year. 

One Year Full-Time Option 

Students can earn their master's degree in one year by completing the courses during the summer and fall semesters, and finishing the practicum during the spring semester. The online courses provide greater flexibility for you to work part-time or full-time as you complete your coursework. 

Two Year Part-Time Option 

This option is a particularly strong pathway for working adults looking to make a career change and become a teacher. You can continue to work full-time in your current profession, and pursue your coursework part-time (except during practicum).


All applicants must submit:
  • An application - Apply Online 
  • An application fee 
  • A statement of purpose 
  • Letters of recommendation 
  • Official transcripts 
  • No GRE required 

For specific information regarding any of the above application materials (which may vary for some programs), please see UMass Lowell's Graduate Admissions Process at 

Applications can be completed and submitted at any time during the year. Each application is processed - and each applicant notified - as soon as all of your admissions materials have been received and reviewed. For additional details, please visit graduate admissions- process


In many cases, applicants may register for a course before they have formally applied into the program; however, students requiring financial aid may want to wait until they have been formally accepted into the program to ensure that their course(s) will be covered. Please contact the College of Education at if you have questions about the application process.

  • Completion of a bachelor's degree in English, History, Math or Science. For those with alternative majors, a minimum of 36 content credit hours is required. 
  • Candidates must pass the following required MTEL tests: Communications and Literacy and Content Area test for the license you seek.
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average 3.0 or above for your bachelor's degree.
  • Any UMass Lowell undergraduate junior or senior may apply to a master's degree program at UMass Lowell under the Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Degree Option with the following conditions: 1) The applicant must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above at the time the baccalaureate degree is conferred in order to maintain eligibility for this option, and 2) The applicant must apply for and receive his/her baccalaureate degree before matriculating into the graduate program. Conditional acceptance into the program will be granted to eligible juniors and seniors before their baccalaureate degree is conferred.

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.