Master’s Degree in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum - Pennsylvania Teaching Certification Program
Drexel University School of Education
Drexel University’s School of Education offers a number of post-baccalaureate and graduate teaching certification programs that prepare students to obtain their teacher certification in Pennsylvania. Students in the MS in Teaching Learning and Curriculum: Teacher Certification program can earn PA Instructional I certification in elementary (prek-4), middle level (4-8) secondary (7-12), and secondary and special education dual certification.
Whether you are interested in becoming a teacher in the state of Pennsylvania or broadening your knowledge to advance your career within the field of education, Drexel University’s School of Education Track 1 graduate degree program equips teachers with the skills to succeed in K-12 education or the workforce.
What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree Certification in Teaching, Learning, & Curriculum?
The MS in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum: Teacher Certification prepares students academically and practically for careers in K–12 teaching or other educational settings, including capabilities to:
- Demonstrate professional ethics and independent and creative teacher leadership
- Understand the changing role of teachers in increasingly diverse societies
- Demonstrate a strong academic background in all subject areas that meet PDE requirements including literacy, language and STEM areas
- Demonstrate the ability to create and maintain a positive and democratic classroom climate for students
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of child development in their ability to develop and implement learning opportunities that are unique to every child
As a student nears program completion, Drexel’s Field Placement Office offers multiple resources to help prepare the student’s resume and professional network, including interviewing and job placement opportunities.
Master’s Degree in Teaching, Learning, & Curriculum - Program Options
The Master of Science (MS) degree in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum (Track 1) is offered:
- Online: Drexel online programs offer the same faculty, curricula and degrees as Drexel's distinguished on-campus programs. The online teaching certification program is designed to be offered on a part-time basis in order to provide more flexibility while working to obtain a master’s in education with a teacher certification.
- Note that all coursework is online, but field experiences must be completed on site at an approved school district in your area.
- On site: Held at Drexel’s Main Campus in Philadelphia, PA—The on-campus master’s degree in teaching and teacher certification program is offered in the evenings on a full- or part-time basis in Philadelphia.
For graduate students that already have a master’s degree and are interested in taking graduate-level courses, Pennsylvania state requirements for obtaining your teaching certification includes a two-tiered certification system: Instructional I Certificate and Instructional II Certificate.
Types of Teaching Certifications
Instructional I Certification
A candidate’s typical initial teaching certification is known as “Instructional I”. For graduate students considering a career change or to start a new career in the education field, the Instructional I Teaching Certification program would be the best graduate program option. This program would also apply to out-of-state graduate degree candidates looking to earn their initial certification to teach within the state of Pennsylvania.
The Instructional I certification, as part of the master’s degree in Teaching, Learning & Curriculum program at Drexel University, qualifies teachers to teach for a maximum of six years. Your master’s program advisor can help evaluate your incoming credentials to determine the best plan of study for you, including whether you qualify for the Instructional II certification.
Instructional II Certification
The Instructional II Certification is considered a “permanent” teaching certification. A teacher interested in advancing and applying to the Instructional II certification must have the following prerequisites:
- Instructional I Certification
- A minimum of three years and a maximum of six years of teaching experience on an Instructional I Teaching Certificate
- 24 semester-hour (or 36 quarter-hour) credits beyond a bachelor’s degree
- Completion of an induction program (generally provided by a teacher’s school of employment)
Once a student has successfully completed the course of study and all exams required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Drexel will recommend the student to the PDE for issuance of the appropriate teaching certificate.
For more information regarding certification descriptions and requirements, students should visit the Drexel University Course Catalog.
MS in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Program Requirements
The School of Education requires that students have a “B” average (3.0 GPA) in content teaching certification courses needed for teacher certification in addition to a grade of “B” or better in each core pedagogy course in accordance with the teacher certification requirements.
All post-baccalaureate and graduate students are required to obtain and submit copies of the following clearances to the School of Education at the time of acceptance to the teacher certification program in order to participate in classroom observations and student teaching in Pennsylvania. All students (Pennsylvania and Non-Pennsylvania) must obtain the FBI clearance. Non-Pennsylvania students should contact their state's department of education or school district office for a list of clearances required in their state.
Act 48 Requirements
To maintain Instructional I and Instructional II Certifications, the PDE requires a teacher to complete the minimal equivalent of 6 semester-hour (or 9 quarter-hour) credits, 180 credits of professional development, or a combination of credits and professional development hours every five years. College credits must be acquired from an accredited four-year, degree-granting college or university.
Note: For those working to acquire Instructional II Certification, the 24 semester credits or 36 quarter credits needed to apply for Instructional II may also count towards Act 48 requirements. Undergraduate credits from a community college may not be counted toward Act 48 credits for Instructional II Certification.
For more information and to apply credits to your state record, visit the PA Department of Education Act 48 Continuing Professional Education.
Elementary Certification (Grades Prek-4)
The PA Educator Certification Tests (PECT) are required to obtain your Elementary (Grades PreK-4) teacher certification in Pennsylvania. Students will be required to take the appropriate assessment exam for each area of certification they wish to obtain.
For more information about examinations and registration, visit the PA Educator Certification Tests (PECT).
Middle Level (Grades 4-8)
The Praxis examinations are required for all Middle Level Certification candidates. Students must pass the PA Grades 4-8 Core Assessment subtests in Pedagogy, English Language Arts/Social Studies and Mathematics/Science as well as the subject area concentration test(s) for the area of certification they wish to obtain.
For more information about examination and registration, please visit the Praxis website.
Secondary Certification (Grades 7-12)
All post-bachelor’s students seeking Secondary (Grades 7-12) teaching certifications in Pennsylvania are required to pass the Praxis II Series. Students must pass the appropriate Praxis II Content Knowledge test(s) for each area of certification they wish to obtain.
For more information about examination and registration, please visit the Praxis Series.
Note: PA state teacher certification requires U.S. citizenship or a declaration of intent to become a U.S. citizen. Students not living in the U.S. should contact the School of Education at 215.895.6770 for specific requirements for international field experiences, PECT or Praxis exams, and certification application requirements before matriculating into the program.
Secondary Education/Special Education Dual Certification
While other programs require students to complete one certification at a time, Drexel offers students the ability to earn PA instructional I secondary certification and Instructional II special education (grades 7-12) with enough credits to complete a master's degree. This track saves students time and makes them more attractive in the job market. Students gain an edge in experience by completing 270 hours of field experiences and 12-weeks of student teaching. The School of Education's Field Placement Office works closely with students to secure placements all across the country.
Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum: Teacher Certification Courses & Curriculum
The MS in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum: Teacher Certification program at Drexel University offers a curriculum that reflects the latest trends and practices in teaching and learning. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 45 credits, allowing them to become certified to teach in the following areas:
- Elementary education (PK–4)
- Middle level education (4-8)
- Secondary education (7–12)
- Earth and space science
- General science
- Social studies
- Special Education*
*Note: Certification is available as an add-on certification with additional coursework
All graduate students must also select professional electives with guidance from one of our master’s program advisors. Professional electives may be taken from any graduate course offered at the University providing the student has adequate preparation and it is deemed appropriate by the program advisor. The professional electives may comprise a combination of the School of Education's master electives and/or approved transfer credits.
After successful completion of the required content courses, core education, field experiences, Praxis and/or PECT exams, and receipt of the application and all supportive documents, Drexel’s certification officer will recommend the candidate for Pennsylvania Instructional Certification.
Students on Track I who do not wish to pursue PA Instructional I Certification, or who do not qualify for PA Instructional I certification, may complete the Master of Science (MS) degree in Teaching, Learning & Curriculum without a concentration by completing 15.0 credits of Core Pedagogy and 30.0 credits of MS Electives.
For full course details for the MS in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum: Teacher Certification curriculum, visit the Drexel University Course Catalog.
Field Experience & Student Teaching
The School of Education takes great pride in the level of extensive clinical and field-based experiences that graduate program candidates have prior to completing their teacher certification, including up to 20 hours in a PK-12 classroom (depending on the specific course requirements).
Additionally, students are required to complete up to 60 hours of pre-student teaching immediately prior to student teaching. This allows candidates the opportunity to put into practice their learned pedagogical skills in preparation for their student teaching experiences.
Once completed, both online and on-campus students are required to complete a full-time, minimum 12-week student teaching field placement in a carefully selected public or charter school under the immediate supervision of a highly competent cooperating teacher. This unique student teaching opportunity encourages students to demonstrate instructional skills and curriculum management in a professional setting.
Since this is a full-time program commitment, student teachers are encouraged to be free of external responsibilities, as they will serve as a full-time member of the staff in the school to which they have been assigned. This is a mandatory requirement of all students seeking a teacher certification.
How to Apply to the MS in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Program or Get Your Teacher Certification
Students have multiple options to apply to the Master of Science in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum: Teacher Certification program: