Undergraduate Teacher Licensure Program

Please check on the bulletin board outside the English Department to make sure that you have the most updated version of this information.  DESE regulations change frequently.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • In what subject areas may English majors seek licensure?

    English majors may work toward Initial licensure in elementary education (1-6), middle school English (5-8), and secondary English (8-12).
  • What are the requirements and procedures for admission to the licensure program?

    Any English major who wishes to work toward initial licensure must apply to be admitted to the undergraduate education program. Applications are available in the College of Education & Human Development’s Office of Student Services (W-2-119). Interested English majors should schedule an initial meeting with the English Department licensure advisor in order to plan a program of study.
  • What are the requirements for initial licensure?

    Students must be enrolled in the teacher education program and follow a two-year sequence of education courses, starting fall semester of the junior year. The requirements for the undergraduate education program are available from the CEHD Office of Student Services. This program requires, for example, Intro to Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, as well as pre-practicum experiences. English majors must, in addition, complete the following courses within the English major:
    • One language focused English course: (440, 442, 443)– generally offered in fall semesters
    • Perspectives on Literacy (448)– generally offered in spring semesters
    • Capstone requirement is met by student teaching and portfolio. English majors must still take the required number of English courses for the major (student teaching does not count as an English course).
  • What other courses are recommended (but not required) for students seeking licensure?

    • For students, who haven’t yet taken an intermediate seminar, it might be interesting from a teaching perspective to take ENGL 262G– the Art of Literature, to consider how a general-interest literature course might be taught.
    • Within the major, students should take a broad spectrum of literature courses if they plan to teach Middle or Secondary English (in preparation for the English subject area Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL).
  • What are some other useful general education courses for prospective English teachers?

    • Sociology of Education
    • Oral Communication
    • Introduction to Mass Media or Media and Identity (Media is often a topic in the HS English curriculum)
    • Theatre Arts courses (for techniques that can be engaging for high school learners)
    • American Studies courses (providing an interdisciplinary perspective and attention to popular culture).
    • Students who wish to seek Elementary Education licensure must take additional courses within CEHD; all students may take workshops preparing for the Communications and Literacy portions of the MTEL through the CEHD.
  • What are the pre-practicum requirements?

    Students must complete up to 75 supervised field hours (observation) in elementary, middle, high school, or equivalency settings. Pre-practicum placements will be arranged through CEHD (see below).
  • What are the practicum requirements?

    The practicum consists of one semester of supervised student teaching in a classroom setting corresponding to the area of licensure (a minimum of 300 hours) concurrent with a practicum seminar. The practicum/student teaching is set up through the CEHD.
  • How does one apply for student teaching?

    Students must apply for the practicum through the CEHD’s Office of Teacher Education. When you submit your application for student-teaching; a current UMass transcript (required English and Education courses should be completed before student teaching); documentation of 75 hours of field observation; proof of passing the Communications & Literacy section and the appropriate subject area test of the MTELs. Deadlines for submitting applications for student teaching are March 1st (for Fall student teaching) and October 1st (for Spring student teaching).
  • What exams must one take (and when)?

    The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires all candidates for initial license to pass the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL). This test consists of two exams: “Communication and Literacy” (a reading and writing test) and “English”. (Students pursuing Elementary licensure have additional examinations). ****Students must successfully complete all requisite MTELs before student teaching.**** Information about upcoming MTEL administrations and registration materials are available from 1-866-565-4894 or via the MTEL website:
  • Contact Information

    English Department Advisor:
    Alex Mueller
    CEHD Associate Director of Student Services:
    Kevin Ziomek
    CEHD Licensure Officer:
    Aimee D’Avignon
    Pre-Practicum Placements:
    Danielle Wheeler
    Massachusetts Department of Education: