Best Combined Master’s and Teaching Credential Programs of 2023
Teachers are dedicated and hardworking professionals. And while some decide to pursue a career in teaching early on, others make the decision later in life — and that's OK. Either way, there's a path for you.
If you've already earned a bachelor's degree and are interested in pursuing a career in education, you can complete a master's degree and earn your teaching credentials at the same time.
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Why consider a combined teaching program? Because combined master's and teaching credential programs are set up to help you get into the classroom — and fast.
What Is a Combined Master's and Teaching Credential Program?
There are specific requirements for becoming a licensed teacher. A combined master's and teaching credential program allows you to earn a master's degree in an education area while also meeting the requirements to obtain your teaching credentials.
Depending on your career goals, your path will include completing a combined master's and teaching credential program through pursuing a master of education (M.Ed.) or a master of teaching (MAT).
So what's the difference between an MAT vs. an M.Ed.?
- Specialize in educational topics like inclusive learning or curriculum and instruction.
- Prep for specialized teaching roles like STEAM or literacy.
- Popular option for those seeking careers in administrative leadership, counseling, or educational policy.
- Specialize in elementary education or secondary subjects like English or math.
- Prep for classroom teaching with coursework on classroom management and teaching philosophies.
- Popular option for people who do not have a bachelor's in education or who are not already certified teachers.
Prerequisites for a Combined Master's and Teaching Credential Program
To apply to a master's program you must hold a bachelor's degree. But keep in mind that each college has its own requirements.
A combined master's and teaching credential program prerequisites could include:
- Letters of recommendation
- Experience or student teaching hours
- Personal essay
- Minimum undergraduate GPA
- GRE scores
What Credentials Are Available in a Combined Master's and Teaching Credential Program?
Most teachers go into a master's and teaching credential program knowing what age group they want to work with or what content they like to teach. Depending on your interests, you'll pursue either a single subject teaching credential or a multiple subject teaching credential.
Single Subject Teaching Credentials
- You want to teach middle or high school-aged students.
- You are passionate about teaching a specific subject like English or science.
- You'll deeply explore your content with strategies for working with secondary students.
Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials
- You enjoy working with elementary-aged kids.
- You want to work mostly with one class of students teaching all subjects from humanities to science.
- You'll learn curriculum standards for age groups and classroom management strategies for young kids.
Frequently Asked Questions About Combined Master's and Teaching Credential Programs
How long does a combined master's and teaching credential program take?
You can complete a combined master's and teaching credential program in as little as 14 months. Each program has its own credit and course requirements, but typically full-time students can earn their degree and teaching credentials in two years or less.
Can you get two teaching credentials at the same time?
If you are feeling extra ambitious, you could earn two teaching credentials at once. But you would need to meet the requirements of both teaching credentials.
You may also need to meet specific conditions for each credential in the master's program. Pursuing more than one teaching credential at once may mean being in a program for longer in order to meet the program and teaching credential requirements.
What's the difference between a single subject vs. multiple subject teaching credential?
A single subject teaching credential is geared toward secondary teachers who will teach a specific content area like science or history. Graduates of these programs are only licensed to teach classes in that subject.
Elementary education candidates would earn a multiple subject teaching credential. This is because elementary teachers work with a targeted age group but are responsible for teaching them multiple age-appropriate subjects like reading, writing, and math.