Five-Year Bachelor's plus Master's & Pennsylvania Teacher Certification

Lehigh University undergraduate students can earn their Bachelor's and Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Elementary Education or Secondary Education plus Pennsylvania Teacher Certification in 5 years.  We are accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to certify general education teachers in the following areas:

Biology 7-12

English 7-12

Physics 7-12

Chemistry 7-12

General Science 7-12


Earth and Space Science 7-12

Mathematics 7-12

Social Studies 7-12

The College of Education's teacher certification and degree programs are built upon the premise that expert teaching occurs at the intersection of discipline-specific knowledge and pedagogical knowledge. Good teachers know how to adapt their instruction accordingly to ensure that each child is learning. For this reason --and unlike other four-year undergraduate education programs-- our master's-level teacher education program is in addition to (not in place of) the depth and breadth of coursework required to complete a bachelor's degree in a discipline-specific area. However, if you're working toward the completion of a bachelor's degree at Lehigh, we can shorten the time it takes for you to add a master's and teacher certification from two years to just one additional year.

Lehigh undergraduate students with a minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA can apply for permission to take education classes in the 5-year program. To request an "Application to Take Education Classes as an Undergraduate" and apply to the 5-year program contact the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Program at email  Those accepted will begin education classes during the second semester of their sophomore year (or junior year).  After graduating with their bachelor's, students continue their master's and certification program with coursework in the summer (12 credits), fall (9-12 credits), and round out their experience in the spring with student teaching (3 credits). All of our teacher education courses explore best practices in evidence-based teaching and learning carefully designed to integrate real-word classroom experiences. The actual number of credits required will vary depending on undergraduate degree and area of certification selected by the candidate. Although any student can apply to the program, in order to finish in 5 years, the student's major must be tightly aligned to the intended area of certification. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 each semester and have attained a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 by the end of the senior year in order to continue on to the fifth year. During the fall semester senior year, 5-year students must apply to the graduate Elementary Education or Secondary Education program for the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree and teacher certification (fifth year).

Pennsylvania Department of Education Requirements for Teacher Certification

It is important for individuals considering teaching as a career to be aware of the fairly rigorous academic, health, and personal character requirements for teacher certification that are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for teacher candidates statewide: 

Pennsylvania certification is widely accepted nationwide under reciprocity agreements with many other states.

Please contact our Program Coordinator, Donna Toothman, for an application for the 5-year program today!