Master's (M.Ed.) Secondary Education & PA 7-12 Certification

M.Ed. or M.A. Secondary Education & Pennsylvania 7-12 Certification
M.Ed. or M.A. Secondary Education & Pennsylvania 7-12 Certification

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  • Application requirements: Two letters of recommendation, transcripts, minimum GPA of 3.0 (undergraduate), proof of English language proficiency, personal statement, undergraduate coursework audit by content area specialist in the certification area, and résumé.
  • Deadline(s): April 15 for summer semester summer, July 15 for fall semester start, December 15 for spring semester start. The application and all supporting materials are due by the listed deadlines.
  • Course Requirements: 11 courses (33 credits)
  • Typical Course Load: Fall (2-3 courses), Spring (2-3 courses), Summer (2 courses)
  • Time to Completion: 18 months
  • Practical Experience Component: Student teaching in the last semester (only for those looking for additional certification)
  • Alumni Current Positions: Biology, English, Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Science, and Mathematics teachers
  • Ranking: Ranked 16th in nation for Best Secondary Education
  • Note: Due to Pennsylvania Department of Education criteria, international students are not eligible for this program.


The Secondary Education program is designed for the college graduate who seeks to become a teacher certified to work with students in grades 7-12. 

The Master of Education offers graduate courses designed to promote evidence-based instructional practices. The M.Ed. is best suited to students who have sufficient background content knowledge in a secondary certification area, such as history, English, mathematics, or a science. Graduates teach Biology, English, Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Science, and Mathematics in secondary schools in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Master’s candidates work with innovative faculty in Lehigh University’s College of Education to become highly skilled in the best practices and effective methods for teaching all learners, including those with special needs and English language learners. 

As school enrollments rise and older teachers retire, there is great demand for new teachers in Pennsylvania and across the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting that employment of high school teachers will grow by 8 percent from 2016 to 2026. 

Application requirements for Lehigh’s Secondary Education program include completing an online application and providing undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate transcripts.  A grade point average of at least 3.0 is mandated for undergraduate work. Prospective students should also supply two letters of recommendation (academic or professional), a personal statement and an acknowledgement of College of Education policy on clearances. 

Master’s candidates can start the program in any semester, with admissions deadlines of July 15 for the fall semester, Dec. 15 for the spring semester and April 15 for the summer. 

The M.Ed. degree requires the completion of 11 courses (33 credits). Full-time students with content-area prerequisites can complete the program within 18 months. 

Students can choose from eight subject areas in which to be certified to teach in grades 7-12:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Space Science
  • General Science
  • Physics
  • English
  • Mathematics or
  • Social Studies.

They will graduate with Level 1 Teacher Certification in Pennsylvania in one of those subjects. Some students opt for dual certifications, for example, in an academic subject and special education. 

To be eligible for certification, all Master’s candidates must demonstrate competence in their subjects. So, upon admission, each student meets with a Lehigh faculty member who is a content specialist in the field in which the student is seeking certification. The faculty member will review the student’s transcripts and compare the coursework to what the Pennsylvania Department of Education is looking for and recommend additional classes if needed. 

In addition to learning the best practices for working with students of different abilities and backgrounds, candidates are trained in the basic principles of research and testing and techniques for gathering and analyzing educational data.  

During the program, Master’s candidates gain practical experience working with teachers and students in a practicum of 8-10 hours per week. They spend their final full semester student teaching in a classroom, with Lehigh’s certification office making the placement.


Once they are certified to teach in Pennsylvania, that certification has reciprocity in most states. Educators who have completed Lehigh’s program teach in almost every state in the United States as well as overseas. 


Core Coursework (15 credits)
SPED 332  Education and Inclusion of Individuals with Special Needs   3
TLT 404  Diversity, Families, and School Collaborations in K-12 3
TLT 405  Principles and Applications of K-12 Assessment 3
TLT 407  Instructional Design for K-12 Classrooms 3
TLT 409 K-12 Classroom Environment and Management  3
Development of Professional Skills (3 credits) - You will choose one of the content-area teaching methods course with the approval of your adviser:
TLT 431   Social Studies in Middle Level and High School Education  3
TLT 434 English in Middle Level and High School Education 3
TLT 436   Science in Middle Level and High School Education 3
TLT 438 Mathematics in Middle Level and High School Education 3
TLT 432 Reading and Critical Thinking in Middle Level and High School Education 3
SPED 465 Advanced Inclusionary Practices in K-12 3
TLT XXX  Elective (with advisor approval)  3
Extended Field Experiences (6 credits)
TLT 440 Pre-professional Seminar 3
TLT 444 General Education Student Teaching and Seminar 3
Additional course work to add dual certification in Special Education PreK-12 (21 credits; 3 credit elective can be applied)  
TLT 411 Early Childhood Education 3
SPED 418 Alternative Curricular Approaches 3
SPED 419 Intensive Intervention in Reading 3
SPED 421 Intensive Intervention in Mathematics and Content Area Literacy 3
SPED 423 Transition to Post-school life 3
SPED 432 Positive Behavior Support  3
SPED 452 Assessment in Special Education 3
Extended Field Experience (3 credits) Dual certification in General Education 7-12 and Special Education PreK-12 will require the following to replace TLT 444:
TLT 442 General Education and Special Education Student Teaching and Seminar  3

M.Ed. in Secondary and dual certification in General Education 7-12 and Special Education 7-12 is an option for 15 additional credits (45 credits total with 3 of these credits applied toward the elective above).

In order to be eligible for secondary certification, by the time a student finishes the program he or she must have demonstrated competence in the subject matter area of that certification. Each student upon admission meets with the content-area specialist in the field in which that student seeks secondary certification. The content-area specialist, who is a faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences, reviews the student’s transcripts and compares that student’s coursework with the content-area guide sheet approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Following this audit, the content-area specialist will identify what additional coursework in the content-area is needed, if any. The student is responsible for completing this coursework prior to applying for secondary certification.

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: 

  • An overall GPA of at least 3.0 (both graduate and undergraduate)
  • Clearances 
  • Refer to the the Pennsylvania Department of Education for information on Pennsylvania Certification

Curriculum can be found in the course catalog.