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I want to be a teacher. What should I major in?
If you are interested in teaching at the middle or high school level, you will need to earn a degree in the subject area you wish to teach. For instance, you would want a BA in English if you’re interested in becoming an English teacher and a BS in a science if you were interested in becoming a science teacher. Generally, a major in a field will meet the state and program requirements. For more information, please see the specific subject matter requirements for each subject area.
If you are interested in teaching at the elementary level, you can major in the liberal arts, social and behavioral sciences, sciences, or mathematics. For a detailed list of appropriate majors for those interested in pursuing elementary licensure, please click here.
Who should Minor in Education?
The Minor in Education is appropriate for University of Massachusetts Amherst undergraduate students from any department; students interested in becoming elementary, middle, or high school teachers; students interested in other educator licensure programs (e.g., School Counseling, Special Education); and students interested in education who wish to pursue careers outside of schools.
If I complete the Minor, am I licensed to teach?
No. The minor and our licensure programs are two different entities. If you want to teach at the middle or high school level, you’ll need to complete an approved licensure program in secondary education to earn your license. For teaching at the elementary level, you’ll need to complete our approved licensure program in elementary education to earn your license. If you want to teach at the early childhood level, you’ll need to major in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education.
Is it possible to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree and a license to teach in four years?
Yes. For the early childhood level, students can earn an initial license to teach grades PreK-2 by completing the Education Major with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. For the middle and high school level, we have an initial licensure program called University to Schools for Undergraduates, which can be completed by undergraduates in four years with careful planning. Students wishing to complete licensure as undergraduates should seek advising at the Educator Information Office in their first year of study at UMass Amherst.
I’m interested in education, but I don’t want to teach. What are my options?
There are plenty of jobs in the field of education outside of teaching. UMass offers other licensure programs in School Counseling, Special Education, School Psychology, and more. The Minor in Education is a nice option for those interested in education but are unsure of their specific career path.
I’ve heard people mention the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). What is that?
The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) is the state licensing test for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. All candidates for educator licensure in Massachusetts must pass the Communication and Literacy Skills Test in addition to the subject test or tests required by each subject area. See information on each program for specifics regarding which tests are required and when to take them.
I have some more questions. How can I learn more about your programs?
If you are interested in learning more about our educator licensure programs, the MTEL, or the Minor in Education, please consider making an in-person or phone appointment with an advisor in the Educator Information Office. You can make an appointment by contacting the Educator Information Office at 413-545-2002 or firstname.lastname@example.org.