Teaching and Learning — Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP)

Program Type
Master’s Program
Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
Mode of Study
In Person

Tuition per credit hour

$445 for both in-state & out-of-state residents. See details and other costs

Credit hours

39-42 required credit hours, depending on certification area. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Financial aid

Over 150 graduate assistantships available with stipend & tuition assistance, plus scholarship & fellowship opportunities. Explore aid


Apply by Jan 31 for fall term. After deadline, rolling admissions may be possible through May 1. View application process & deadlines

Program Highlights

  • Earn your degree on your terms: Choose from our fast-track 9-Month Pathway or the more flexible 2-Year Pathway.
  • Prepare for in-demand career options: Become eligible for teacher certification in either Elementary (K-6) or Secondary (6-12) grades. Graduates benefit from high job-placement rates.
  • Gain twice as much classroom teaching experience as you would in a typical graduate teacher preparation program.
  • Benefit from our strong support system that includes a school-based mentor teacher, faculty advisor, and fellow cohort students.
  • Join a network of top professional teachers: Alumni are nationally recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence, the Milken Educator Award, and board certification.
Students site at tables, facing an instructor who is pointing at a projector screen.

Our Program Options

We offer two pathway options. Our 9-Month Pathway is the most accelerated teacher certification program in the state. Our 2-Year Pathway offers greater scheduling flexibility. With each pathway, you can choose to focus on either Elementary (K-6) or Secondary (6-12) education.

A group of graduate students and teacher sit in a circle as the teacher gives a lecture.

Initial teacher certification

You’ll complete all state of Maine requirements for initial teacher certification in one of the following areas: K-6 Education, 6-12 English, 6-12 Mathematics, 6-12 Physical and/or Life Sciences, 6-12 Social Studies, or PreK-12 World Languages.

A group of teachers sit together and take notes on an assignment.

Program requirements

We pair an intensive student-teaching internship with evidence-based professional knowledge, ensuring that our students have a highly practical, authentic, and well-supported educational experience.

A group of four teachers sit at cluster of desks and smile at the camera.

Strong school partnerships

Our graduates have strong job-placement rates in the districts where they have completed their student-teaching internships.

A student teacher talks with high school students and holds a yellow folder.

In-depth classroom experience

We offer twice as much classroom experience as other graduate programs. You’ll gain student-teaching experience in two grade levels — and in a district that aligns with your location and career goals.

“The enthusiasm for teaching that I gained at USM helps me motivate and inspire my students.”
— Laura Stevens, ‘05, ETEP graduate, MS in Applied Literacy, Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science Teaching, 2016
Laura Stevens works with students in her classroom and reads them a book.
An aerial view of the University of Southern Maine Gorham campus.

Experienced, dedicated faculty

Study with faculty who have extensive experience as practicing educators in K-12 schools. Our faculty guide and support your professional development and career planning.

Two women sit at a table and review paperwork together.

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. We encourage students in graduate degree programs to apply for scholarship opportunities.

Graduate students attend their orientation in a lecture hall, with a staff member speaking at a podium.

Graduate student support

Our Office of Graduate Studies connects you with opportunities for professional development, scholarships, and graduate assistantships. They also foster our graduate student community through Peer Mentorship and the Graduate Student Board.

A woman in a red sweater sits and works on a laptop.

Connect with us

Our monthly Graduate Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the benefits of our program, as well as our admissions and financial process.

Register today
Logo for CAEP (Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation)

National accreditation & state approval

The Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) confirms that our students graduate with the tools and expertise for classroom success. Maine State Board of Education and Maine Department of Education approval ensures continual utilization of new knowledge, practices, and technologies.

A student smiles while looking through a folder of application materials.

How to Apply

To ensure a high level of applicant qualifications, our required application materials include prerequisites mandated by the Maine Department of Education as well as materials required by the University. We recommend giving yourself ample time to gather and prepare application materials.

Next steps

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

Get info
Meet us

Students walk down the sidewalk by Wishcamper Center on the Portland campus on a sunny day.

Admission information: MSEd in Teaching and Learning (MTL) – Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP)

Application deadlines

We accept applications on a rolling basis and review them continuously.

Application deadlineFall term start*
All applicantsJanuary 31
Rolling admissions through May 1 if specific certification areas have openings
*9-Month Pathway begins in mid-August. 2-Year Pathway begins in September.

Applicant qualifications

Minimum requirements for academic preparation

An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program. Applicants who do not have a 3.0 overall GPA must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet eligibility requirements may be automatically denied.

Relevant experience and professional potential

  • Prior experiences working with school-aged children in instructional or leadership situations.
  • A learner-centered educational philosophy.
  • Self-knowledge, maturity, and sensitivity toward others.
  • Ability to adapt to, and learn from, new and challenging situations.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Applicants must show completion of required academic content for the intended certification area (can be in progress at the time of application).

Bachelor’s degree which includes at least the following credits.

Credits & subject areaSubject area notes
6 credits in mathThis includes courses related to algebra, calculus, finite math, geometry, number theory, probability, and statistics.
6 credits in scienceThis includes courses related to:
— Life science, including anatomy and physiology, biology, botany, ecology, entomology, environmental science, marine biology, and ornithology, and zoology.
— Physical science, including chemistry, earth science, geology, oceanography, physics, and space science.
6 credits in EnglishThis includes courses related to language development; composing and comprehending literature; analyzing language reading and writing across the curriculum, and research related to English language arts.
6 credits in social scienceThis includes courses related to anthropology, economics, geography, history, and political science.

For certification in Secondary Teacher Education, you’ll focus on one specific content area. The prerequisites for each content area are listed below.

Certification areaPrerequisites
English Language ArtsBachelor’s degree with at least 24 credits in English or literature.
This includes courses related to language development, composing and comprehending literature, analyzing language reading and writing across the curriculum, and research related to English language arts.
Life ScienceBachelor’s degree with at least 24 credits in life sciences.
This includes courses related to anatomy and physiology, biology, botany, ecology, entomology, environmental science, marine biology, and ornithology, and zoology.
MathematicsBachelor’s degree with at least 24 credits in mathematics.
This includes courses related to algebra, calculus, finite math, geometry, number theory, probability, and statistics.
Physical ScienceBachelor’s degree with at least 24 credits in physical sciences.
This includes courses related to chemistry, earth science, geology, oceanography, physics, and space science.
Social StudiesBachelor’s degree with at least 24 credits in social studies.
12 of the 24 credits must include 6 credits in US History and 6 credits in World History. Additional courses can be related to anthropology, economics, geography, history, and political science.
World LanguagesBachelor’s degree with at least 24 credits in a foreign language.
Please note: If applicants do not have 24 credits in this area, this requirement can also be met through the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) exam. Applicants must score advanced level or higher in the world language on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Test and the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Test and the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test.

Formal teaching experience is not required. However, prior experience working with school-aged children and/or adolescents in an instructional or leadership situation is required for admission.

In order to maximize the success of student-teaching interns in the program, the admissions committee expects applicants to demonstrate enough experience working with school-aged children and/or adolescents to be able to explain why they want to be a teacher.

Prospective teachers are highly encouraged to work with children or adolescents in a long-term interactive environment such as a classroom aide, tutor, substitute teacher, or coach. Many applicants have also engaged in teaching at a religious school, leading youth groups, athletic coaching, mentoring, childcare, or camp counseling.

Admission requirements

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee:
    • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
    • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Essay: Please write a thoughtful response to the following prompt. The challenge of teaching is helping to ensure ALL students are provided with an equitable learning experience. What would a school look like that provides all students equal opportunity to learn? What practices to ensure ALL students are learning have you seen, know of, been a part of, or been inspired to emulate?
  • Catalog of Experiences: Select a range of personal, educational or professional experiences working with children or adolescents that have been particularly significant in your development as a learner and a prospective teacher. Reflect carefully on each experience indicating what you learned about children, your content, and yourself.
  • Recommendations: Two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s potential for pursuing graduate-level academic work, experience working with children and youth, and dispositions for being a professional teacher. Recommendations are easily submitted using our online application form. The recommendations should be from persons able to comment from direct knowledge of the applicant’s potential for success as a teacher and graduate student.
  • Interview with faculty. Qualified applicants will be invited to interview with the faculty.

Additional information

DeadlineAdmission action
January 31All application materials must be submitted by January 31 to ensure priority consideration.
Mid-to-Late FebruaryApplications will be screened by faculty; selected applicants will be invited for an interview. Applicants who are denied admission to the program will be notified in writing by the University’s Office of Admissions.
MarchInterviews are held. On the day of the interview, applicants will be surveyed about their fall student teaching internship placement preferences.
AprilAdmissions decisions are finalized and candidates are notified. If admitted into the program, candidates who wish to enroll are required to make a nonrefundable deposit that will be applied to their fall tuition.
MayThis is the deadline for admitted students to:
Enroll in a paid TK20 account.
Supply evidence of fingerprinting.
July 30This is the deadline for admitted students to:
— If you had not completed your undergraduate degree at the time of application, you must submit evidence of your completed bachelor’s degree.
— If you were missing a content credit for your Certification Area at the time of application, you must submit your course grades or CLEP test scores.

Preliminary: Review your undergraduate transcript and cross-check it with the guidelines above to see what coursework you may be missing.

Recommended: We strongly encourage you to contact our Academic Advisor for an unofficial transcript analysis.

You can also contact the Maine Department of Education.

We strongly encourage you to contact our Academic Advisor for an unofficial transcript analysis. The transcript analysis will determine if you have completed the required courses for your intended certification area.

If you do not yet have the required number of course credits in your intended certification area, you can either complete course work at a regionally accredited college or university or obtain a passing score on the CLEP exam.

Course Work

USM Courses

Use our Course Search tool to browse individual course listings. Please note: Courses taken at USM in the summer immediately prior to entering ETEP should be taken as pass/fail so as not to impact your GPA.

Community college

A course requirement may be met through coursework at a community college if the specific course is part of an articulation agreement with a four-year accredited college or university. Please note: We advise getting prior approval for the course through Our Academic Advisor.

Deadline: Coursework may be in progress when you submit your ETEP application. You must complete the course by early July so that you can submit grades to ETEP by July 30.

The College Board College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Exam

The CLEP Exam will measure your knowledge in a specific content area. If passing scores are obtained, the College Board will grant course credit.

Credit hour limit: A maximum of 6 credit hours of course requirements may be met through the CLEP Exam, per the Maine Department of Education.

Passing score: A minimum score of 60 is required to apply to ETEP. Please note: This is higher than what the College Board considers to be a passing score. If you do not obtain a minimum score of 60, you must wait 90 days before retaking the CLEP Exam.

Deadline: CLEP Exams may be in progress when you submit your ETEP application. You must submit your scores to ETEP no later than July 30.

  • The ETEP faculty reserve the right to admit and retain only those students who, in the judgment of the faculty, satisfy the requirements of scholarship, maturity, and personal suitability for teaching.
  • All students admitted to the program will be working with children in school settings and are therefore required by law to be fingerprinted through a process approved by the Maine Department of Education.
  • The students are responsible for obtaining and paying for the fingerprinting and providing evidence of the results to ETEP upon admission.
  • The University will make reasonable efforts to place admitted students in field experiences & internships, but placements are not finalized until the student has supplied all necessary documentation, passed all required background checks, and the school district has determined that the student will be allowed to work within the district.
  • Students should be aware that a criminal record could jeopardize state certification.
  • The program maintains the right to change admission and/or program requirements as needed to meet changes in state certification requirements.

International student instructions

View additional application requirements

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address