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  • Teaching Certificate in Middle School Education

    Drexel University’s online part-time Post-Bachelor’s Teaching Certificate in Middle Level Education is designed for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree and want to qualify for state teacher certification for grades 4-8. Perfect for career changers and current educators who do not have a formal teacher certification, this program provides a thorough and highly specialized look at middle level education. The mix of online classes and in-person field and student teaching experiences is designed to help you feel comfortable in your classroom from day one.

    Learn about an exciting new scholarship opportunity!

    What is a Certification in Middle School Education?

    Drexel’s online Post-Bachelor’s Teaching Certificate in Middle Level Education prepares you to become an educator for grades 4-8 in one of the following subject areas:

    • English
    • Math
    • Science
    • Social Studies

    The curriculum mixes foundational pedagogy classes with courses that focus on teaching your specific subject area. Sample courses include "Teaching the Middle School Child" and "Evaluation of Instruction." The curriculum also covers topics like using culturally responsive pedagogy for diverse classrooms, making decisions based on the Pennsylvania Professional Code of Conduct, and creating an optimal learning environment for middle level students.

    This program will prepare you for a Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate. Through interstate reciprocity agreements, a Pennsylvania teaching certificate may be converted to the analogous teaching certificate in most states. We recommend contacting your state’s Department of Education to find out more about these transfer procedures. Learn more about interstate reciprocity policies, eligibility, and requirements in other states.

    Program Features

    • Prepares you for Pennsylvania Instructional I Certification—through Interstate Reciprocity Agreements, you can become certified to teach in almost any state in the nation
    • Drexel’s teacher education programs are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education
    • Classes are completely online—the only face-to-face requirements are the various field experiences and student teaching
    • Drexel’s field placement office works with you to secure appropriate school placements, no matter where you’re based
    • Credits earned in this program may be applied toward the MS in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum

    CAEP Accredited Provider

    The Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP) accredits Drexel University School of Education educator preparation programs. CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. Drexel University meets rigorous national standards for education preparation set by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation.

    What Can You Do with a Teaching Certificate in Middle Level Education?

    A teaching certificate in middle level education prepares you to obtain a state teaching certification. Once you receive your state teaching certification, you will be prepared to lead your own classroom.

    Drexel’s program is specifically tailored to the middle school educator, and the curriculum focuses on the skills you need to effectively run a middle school classroom. This goes beyond pedagogical content knowledge to include topics such as creating a safe and productive learning environment, developing informed teaching practices that meet the needs of diverse learners, and using data and classroom-based evidence to inform your teaching.

    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Teaching Middle-Level Salary Expectations

    Teaching salaries for middle school educators will vary state-by-state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a middle school teacher is $57,720. For more information, please see our Teacher Salary Guide.

    What Degree Do You Need to Teach Middle School?

    Most middle schools require you to have a state teaching certificate. You will need to meet certain requirements to qualify to obtain your certification. In Pennsylvania, you must obtain a recommendation to be certified. This can be accomplished by successfully completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in teacher education or by earning a certificate like Drexel’s Post-Bachelor’s Teaching Certificate in Middle Level Education, which is designed for those with undergraduate degrees in non-education fields. In these programs, you will learn how to create safe, positive, and productive learning environments that support and facilitate learning for students of all backgrounds.

    Additional requirements need to be met to earn your teaching certification, such as passing required licensure exams Stage 1-4 field experiences and demonstrating understanding of content knowledge specific to the type of certification. These requirements vary by state. Learn more about state certification requirements.

    How Do I Earn a Teaching Certificate Online?

    Teacher certification programs can be completed online or in-person. Online teaching certificates, such as Drexel’s Post-Bachelor’s Teaching Certificate in Middle Level Education, typically consist of online courses mixed with field and student teaching experiences.

    Online courses in Drexel’s program are asynchronous. That means you don’t need to meet at the same time every week and can instead focus on learning when it’s convenient for you. Your professor will upload assignments and lectures every week, and you’ll complete and submit your assignments via Drexel’s online learning portal. Your academic experience will vary from course to course, but most classes consist of a combination of discussion posts, quizzes, tests, or a series of projects. Throughout your time in the program, you will have lots of opportunities to connect with your professors and classmates. Learn more about online learning at Drexel.

    How to Become a Teacher if You Already Have a Degree

    Even if you already have a degree in a non-education field, it’s not too late to become a teacher! You will need to take teacher certification courses and obtain your teaching certificate. Drexel’s program is designed for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree and want to teach grades 4-8. Through a mix of online courses, field experience, and student teaching experience, you’ll graduate with the pedagogical foundation you need to teach in your own classroom.

    The Robert Noyce Scholarship

    The Drexel University Middle School Robert Noyce program is a prestigious funded program from the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the goal of recruiting and preparing STEM teachers for schools in high need.

    To be eligible for the scholarship, you must meet the following requirements:

    • A bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, such as Mathematics, Science, or Engineering
    • For every $10,000 in scholarship funds received, you must commit to teach for 2 years in a high-need school
    • You must work toward completing your degree or certificate program within 14 months

    For additional information, questions, or to apply, please contact Dr. Sheila Vaidya, Program Director, at vaidyasr@drexel.edu. Apply Today!

    Archived Webinars

    Related Programs

    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    Core Courses  
    EDEX 542 Fundamentals of Special Education 3.0
    EDEX 544 Inclusive Practices 3.0
    EDEX 568 Literacy and Content Skill Development PK-12 3.0
    EDLT 525 Design for Learning with Digital Media 3.0
    EDUC 515 Adolescent Learners 3.0
    EDUC 520 Professional Studies in Instruction (Middle) 3.0
    EDUC 522 Evaluation of Instruction 3.0
    EDUC 540 Field Experience 3.0
    EDUC 562 Middle Years Social Studies Methods 1.5
    EDUC 564 English/Language Arts Teaching Methods for the Middle Years 1.5
    EDUC 565 Foundations in Instructing English Language Learners 3.0
    EDUC 567 Middle Years Science Methods 1.5
    MTED 563 Middle Years Mathematical Methods (4-8) 1.5
    Total Credits 33.0

    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher  
    • Students pursuing teacher certification must meet the PA State content course requirements for their specific area of certification. Content course reviews are conducted at time of application. Coursework missing from a student's undergraduate background or below the minimum 3.0 GPA cumulative average may be taken concurrently with the graduate program.

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
    • Two letters of recommendation (professional or academic)
    • Resume
    • Essay describing why you're interested in pursuing graduate study in this field and stating your intended area of certification (e.g. middle-level mathematics)
    • Additional requirements for International Students


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2024-2025 is $1111 per credit. (A 25% tuition savings off Drexel's regular tuition rate of $1481 per credit)

    For the academic year 2023-2024, students enrolled in an online graduate academic program will be charged a graduate online program fee of $125 per year.

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.

    Field Experience

    There are four types of field experiences in K-12 classrooms required for certification embedded throughout the program:

    • Observing: EDEX 542, 544, 546, EDUC 520, 565, Methods
    • Participating & Assisting: EDEX 542, 544, 546, EDUC 520, 565, Methods
    • Pre-Student Teaching: 30 Hours for Each Required Methods Course
    • Graduate Student Teaching: Capstone Experience 12 weeks

    You should not take it upon yourself to arrange any field experience on your own, however, you can list your desired school district on all field placement applications. Once you submit all required clearances and the appropriate Observation or Field Placement Application (listing a preferred district), a Field Experience Coordinator from Drexel's School of Education's Field Placement Office (FPO) will make every effort to arrange a school-based, appropriate field placement related to your area of certification in a location reasonably close to where you live or work, providing that the requested school meets PA State requirements. The FPO must receive a confirmation for all field experiences from the School District's Field Placement office prior to allowing students to enter into any school classroom.

    For Graduate Student Teaching, you're required to spend a total of 12 weeks, full-time, under the supervision of a certified cooperating teacher and university supervisor. At a minimum, 6 of the 12 weeks of student teaching must be located within a public or charter school. Once Drexel's FPO locates an acceptable site, you'll work with the school's principal, university supervisor, and certified cooperating teacher regarding meeting the course's objectives/goals. You'll videotape yourself teaching and periodically send tapes to the Field Experience Coordinator for evaluation. In addition, you'll be required to complete the required hours of regular in-class observations and fieldwork in most core Pedagogy courses.

    Drexel students are also able to complete student teaching at Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS.)


    Drexel University policy requires that School of Education Faculty, Staff, and Students who may come into contact with minors, either through field-based supervision or research experience in school settings, to obtain and present to the Field Placement Office (FPO) the following clearances prior to entering a PK-12 school setting.

    Some schools and/or school districts may require clearances on file to be valid through the end of a field experience within a year of date of issuance. Non-PA students may need to obtain additional clearances for their state of residency prior to engaging in a field experience.

    Although the process may seem lengthy, it is extremely important when considering the safety and welfare of PK-12 school children. Schools and districts take clearance policies very seriously. A candidate may not enter a PK-12 building for purposes of conducting a field experience without the proper clearance information.

    Please submit all clearance items electronically via StuTeach@drexel.edu with the subject heading: "Clearance Submission" followed by your full name.

    Specifically, students conducting field experiences within PA State borders are required to obtain and submit:

    • FBI Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114)
      Use Service Code 1KG6RT for Colleges/Universities Teacher Education Program. Information about how to obtain your FBI clearance is available at the PA Department of Education. Upon registering for the fingerprint check, you will be assigned an unique Universal Enrollment ID (UEID). Please email your UEID to the Field Placement Office at StuTeach@Drexel.edu so that we may access your FBI clearance electronically. Be sure to process this clearance through the PA Department of Education and not another government agency requiring a FBI Clearance, e.g., Department of Public Welfare or Department of Banking.
    • Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training (Act 126)
      Teacher candidates must complete the mandated reporter training and forward a copy of the certificate to the FPO. The online training can be found at the PA Child Welfare Resource Center.
    • Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Records Check (Act 34)
      Request your record through the PA Access To Criminal History (PATCH) system and forward it to the FPO.
    • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151)
      Information related to background checks/clearances can be found at PA Child Welfare. The clearance document is to be forwarded to the FPO.
    • Arrest / Conviction Report and Certification Form (Act 24)
      Teacher candidates must complete and forward the PDE-6004 form to the FPO to have on file. Please note that individual schools may also request a candidate to sign a form for their files. Forms can be found at the PA Department of Education.

    Although Background Checks and Clearances are viable for five (5) years from date of issuance for Drexel students who remain continuously enrolled, some school districts and schools require the Background Checks and Clearances to be valid within the year of their dates of issuance. It is your responsibility to maintain updated clearances in such situations. Also, some districts and schools may also require proof of a clear Tuberculin skin test.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the FPO at StuTeach@drexel.edu.

    International Students

    If you wish to complete the field experience requirement outside of the United States, you must contact the School of Education's Field Placement Office to be aware of the international deadline and procedures to submit your field placement application. All field experiences must be completed in a U.S. accredited school, or an approved international school whereby English is the language spoken in all classrooms, and the school is following PA Department of Education and US Department of Education guidelines. You should not choose field placements which include working with students with special needs or students whose first language is not English.

    Typically students living overseas student teach in a U.S. affiliated school, such as on an Army base, under the guidance of a U.S. fully certified teacher at the grade level and subject appropriate for the intended area of certification. The cooperating teacher needs to be certified in the U.S. with a minimum of 3 years teaching experience in the area of certification being pursued. All international field placements will be arranged by the School of Education's Field Placement Coordinator.

    • All PA certification candidates living overseas must submit the original PDE required Health form signed by a US Licensed Physician or US Licensed Physician's Assistant prior to completing the TIMS certification application.
    • PreK-4 students can only take the PECT exams in the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico or Virgin Islands.

    Any student (U.S. Citizen or otherwise) living overseas or planning to move overseas should contact their advisor to discuss their situation prior to enrolling in the program or completing courses and certification requirements. 

    Academic Calendar

    2023-2024 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

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    Fall 2023

    September 26, 2023

    December 9, 2023

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    Winter 2024

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    Spring 2024

    April 1, 2024

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    Summer 2024

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    August 31, 2024

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