Teacher Licensure

Undergraduate

Mount Holyoke College has been granted approval with distinction by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to offer teacher education programs leading towards an initial teacher license at both the baccalaureate and masters levels.

Program Overview

Baccalaureate licenses are offered in the following areas:

  • Biology [8-12]
  • Chemistry [8-12]
  • Dance [all levels]
  • Early Childhood Education [Pre K-2]
  • Earth and Space Science [8-12]
  • Elementary Education [1-6]
  • English [5-12]
  • Foreign Language [5-12] in Spanish and French
  • History [5-12]
  • Latin & Classical Humanities [5-12]
  • Mathematics [5-8], [8-12]
  • Music [all levels]
  • Physics [8-12]
  • Social Science [5-12]
  • Theatre [all levels]
  • Visual Art [Pre K-8], [5-12]

The teaching licenses obtained through these programs are recognized in approximately 46 other states. To become eligible for licensure in the state of Massachusetts while at Mount Holyoke, you must successfully complete the requirements of a teacher licensure program, pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) [fees apply], and submit licensure application materials and fees to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Selection of a Major

Students pursuing a license in middle or secondary school subjects, or certification in the arts typically major in that subject area. For example, students pursuing a license in middle school mathematics would major in mathematics; students pursuing a license in secondary school history would major in history. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires knowledge of specific subject matter within each major.  It's important to consult with Ms. Sarah Frenette, the Five College Teacher Licensure Coordinator, early on in your academic career to review subject matter knowledge requirements.

Students who wish to work towards an early childhood or elementary license have a choice of majors. Students can major in Psychology and Education or any liberal arts major which the College offers. For example, students can major in art, history, psychology, environmental studies, women studies, etc. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires knowledge of specific subject matter within the early childhood or elementary levels.

Check with Ms. Sarah Frenette, the Five College Teacher Licensure Coordinator, for the self assessment form appropriate for your chosen level.

Required Courses

Candidates for all Mount Holyoke’s teacher education programs must complete a sequence of courses in the Psychology and Education Department prior to the spring semester of their senior year. The spring semester of the senior year is devoted almost entirely to the practicum, which is a full-time student teaching assignment in an area school. This sequence of psychology and education courses can also fulfill requirements for an education minor. See the Psychology and Education course requirements necessary for licensure in the following programs:

In some instances course work in a major coincides with course work required for licensure; in other cases, it does not. For specific course requirements for licensure within your chosen major, please consult the chair of the department and your advisor. 

Applying to the Practicum Semester

Completed applications are due January 7 of the junior year. Application materials are available online. Once all application materials are submitted, candidates will be contacted for an interview with one of the program directors. As part of the application process, candidates must also complete the Communication and Literacy Skills test of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) prior to February of their junior year. A Practicum Selection Committee examines these documents along with evaluation and self evaluation forms from the field based experiences.

Students are notified prior to spring advising week of their junior year whether they have been provisionally accepted into the practicum. Full acceptance necessitates a passing score on the subject area tests of the MTEL. This test can be taken as early as the junior year, but no later than November of the senior year. Please check the MTEL Registration Bulletin or the NES Web site for the current test administration dates. NOTE: early childhood and elementary candidates must also take and pass the Foundations of Reading Test no later than November of the senior year before starting the practicum semester.

Contact Us

The Teacher Licensure program staff helps guide students through teacher education programs leading towards an initial teacher license at both the baccalaureate and masters levels.

Cheryl McGraw
  • Academic Department Coordinator

Next Steps

Apply to Mount Holyoke

Mount Holyoke seeks intellectually curious applicants who understand the value of a liberal arts education and are driven by a love of learning. As a women's college that is gender diverse, we welcome applications from female, trans and non-binary students.

Financing your education

Everyone’s financial situation is unique, and we’re here to make sure cost does not get in the way of an exceptional education.