Students who are interested in working as a teacher in a public or accredited private school in grades 9-12 (K-12 for Art, Music, Physical Education and Birth - Grade 12 for Family and Consumer Sciences) should consider Secondary Education Certification. Secondary Education teachers must choose a content area to teach (Agriculture, Business, English, Math, Social Studies, etc) and can only teach in their content area. Students with a bachelor's degree in a field closely related to an area of Secondary Education who wish to teach in a High School setting would choose this program.
Students choosing Secondary Education certification may also add Middle School (grades 5-9) in the same content area. Post-bac students may add middle school by completing an additional 12 credit hours of middle school coursework, and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) students may add middle school for only 3 additional hours. For those with a related degree, it is typically faster to complete both Secondary and Middle School certification than to pursue the Middle School.
Currently Missouri State has several options for certification in Secondary Education. Applicants are encouraged to review ALL options below before selecting a program.
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program
This program has now also been expanded to include students who have recently graduated with a Bachelor's Degree, but have decided to pursue teaching as a career. Students should have a minimum of two (2) years of work experience in their field before being considered for admission to the MAT program. For these students without significant work experience in their field, additional content and teaching methodology coursework may be required.
Since the MAT program is an "Accelerated" or "Alternative" route to certification, as defined by DESE, it is strictly sequenced and cannot be completed one course at a time while working full-time outside the field of education. However, this program WAS designed for those who desire to teach full-time in the high school setting on a Provisional Certificate while pursuing certification.
This program is currently offered at Missouri State University in Springfield, on the Missouri Southern campus in Joplin, and at Missouri State - West Plains. All programs are classroom-based, so students are required to attend classes on that campus. However, Joplin and West Plains students can complete their entire program (including content coursework) without ever coming to the Springfield campus. (Because West Plains is a Community College campus, any required 300 level or above content coursework will need to be taken at a 4 year institution. See your advisor for options.)
Since the MAT program has a competitive admissions policy and can only admit a certain number of students each summer, the following criteria are considered when selecting students for this program:
- Those pursuing Secondary Education or K-12 certification (currently not available in Physical Education, Agriculture, or Technology Education)
- Those with a Bachelor's Degree in an area closely related to the area they wish to teach and have significant work experience in their field.
- Those with an Overall Cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 and a content area (the area you will be teaching) GPA of at least 2.50 (2.75 for Social Studies).
- Those who are interested in teaching in high need areas (preference is given to candidates pursuing math, science and foreign languages, but candidates in all certification areas are considered).
For more information on the Master of Arts in Teaching program, including coursework required and the application process, please visit the Master of Arts in Teaching website.
Post Baccalaureate Teacher Certification
The post baccalaureate (post-bac) teacher certification program at Missouri State University allows candidates with a 2.50 (2.75 for social studies) minimum GPA and a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university to pursue certification at the undergraduate, non-degree seeking level. This program offers a flexible schedule, and most courses are offered both during the day and in the evening. Please review the Post Baccaulaureate Teacher Certification admission criteria.
Students can work at their own pace, attending classes part time or full time. Post-bac students complete the same courses as our undergraduate BSED majors, but the certification program may be streamlined to allow post bac students to complete the program in the shortest time possible. The average amount of time to complete a post-bac certification program if the student attends full time is 1 1/2 years. Students seeking this option are not eligible for PELL grants (not available after the initial bachelor's degree) but may be eligible for student loans as a teacher certification student.
Who would choose the Post-Bac route to certification?
- Students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of a 2.75 for admission to the Master's level program
- Students who cannot take evening courses in the MAT program
- Students who do not feel ready to complete a Master's Degree program, already have a master's degree in another field or are also interested in eventually pursuing Education Administration or School Counseling and therefore would need a different master's degree.
What courses will I need to take? For a list of courses required for certification in Secondary Edcuation at the post-bac level, you can view the appropriate Academic Program Guide for the area of certification you wish to pursue .
How do you apply for the post-bac program? Getting started couldn't be easier! Just go to our Application Process website and follow the detailed instructions on that page.
Post-Bac, Teacher Certification combined with Content area Master's Degree
- The Teacher Certification Office: An advisor in this office will evaluate your transcripts and determine the coursework required for certification in the content area of your choice.
- The Department of your Content Area: If you are interested in this option, your advisor in the Teacher Certification Office will then refer you to the appropriate graduate advisor in your content area. You will then take that analysis to the graduate advisor and discuss the possibility of combining certification and a Master's degree in your content field.
Students who choose this option would have two distinct programs of study - one for the certification, and one for the Master's degree. However, select courses may count toward requirements in both programs.