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M.Ed. and Initial Teaching License in English Education


Earn a license to teach English in grades 5-12 in Minnesota. Our program will prepare you to step into your classroom with confidence and solid classroom experience through our unique co-teaching practicum model. The license to teach in Minnesota is highly transferable to other states and our candidates are sought after by local school districts.


Our program prepares future middle and high school English teachers to support adolescent learners while exploring the personal and political nature of reading, communication, language, and literacies. Instructors use critical literacy as a catalyst for examining how educational experiences are shaped by race, language, culture, identity, and codes of power. We educate teachers to reflect on these issues with students through literature, writing, discussions, and digital literacies. We cultivate relationships with diverse schools, teachers, and learners committed to engaging communities, enacting social justice, transforming learning experiences, and creating joy.

Masters of Education

This program includes two components: initial licensure to be an English teacher in Minnesota and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers our teacher preparation programs at the graduate level because it affords you the opportunity to master your content knowledge through your undergraduate degree before being placed in a real classroom for an optimal learning experience.

Combining an M.Ed. with your teaching license offers the following advantages:

  • Teachers with a master's degree are regarded as experts in their field, making you a more competitive job candidate with an M.Ed.
  • Teachers who have a master's degree will see a roughly $7,000 annual salary increase [].
  • Though the salary increase with a master's degree will vary by district and state, Minnesota teachers are on the higher end of the payscale. The annual mean Minnesota teacher salaries were $64,790 for middle school teachers and $64,960 for high school teachers in 2019 [Bureau of Labor Statistics].
  • Once a teacher is employed, there is much more mobility that comes with a master's degree. Teachers with advanced degrees can be promoted to school administration positions and can become mentors to other teachers based upon their graduate training.


The initial teaching licensure coursework is offered in a full-time, 12-month, post-baccalaureate format integrating educational theory with classroom practice. Courses start in the summer and finish the following summer. Students earning their M.Ed. along with initial license complete 12 additional credits after finishing the licensure part of the program. Evening, online, and summer courses are available to complete the M.Ed. coursework after licensure. You have up to three years to complete the required 12 credits to earn your Master of Education.

Unique Cohort and Co-Teaching Model

You will be placed in a classroom with an experienced teacher as part of your educational experience. With ample opportunity to co-teach with a master teacher, you'll merge the theory of your coursework with the complex and compelling realities of the classroom to enter your career with confidence and experience in the field. Learn more about the co-teaching experience.

Our graduate program is designed to foster a community of support. You will join a cohort of candidates who want to become English/language arts teachers and be paired with experienced teachers to complete your fieldwork, entering the classroom prepared to teach.

“You build such strong connections with people who are on the same career path. My colleagues in the cohort push my thinking and growth as much as my professors. I know that I will always be able to rely on them to help me critically reflect and grow my pedagogy in the years to come."
— Paul Glembocki, M.Ed. in English Education, 2018

Teacher Scholars of Color program

Do you identify, or are you identified, as a non-majority racial group? Consider participating in the Teacher Scholars of Color program. Students admitted to the M.Ed. and initial teaching license have the opportunity to join a community of prospective teachers of color and get paired with a faculty mentor. International students are also welcome to this program. Find out more about the TSoC program.

Career Outlook

95 percent of the 2018-19 cohort of Communications Arts licensure students found full-time teaching jobs within one year of graduation. Our graduates find teaching positions locally, nationally, and internationally.

The annual mean salary for Minnesota teachers in 2019 was $64,790 for middle school teachers and $64,960 for high school teachers [Bureau of Labor Statistics].


The coursework will cover core instructional practices including:

  • Reading methods
  • Writing methods
  • Curriculum design and development
  • Classroom discourse and discussion
  • Literature methods
  • Critical media analysis
  • Adolescent literature
  • Assessment of writing
  • Critical literacy
  • Digital literacy
  • Literacy for English language learners

You’ll also have the opportunity to put your coursework into practice directly in the classroom with the unique teaching practicum and co-teaching experience.

To look at the core curriculum and electives for the program, visit the University course catalog Teaching M.Ed. page and scroll down to see the English sub-plan.

English teacher candidates are expected to have significant completed coursework in English and ethnic studies, writing and literature. See prerequisites for English education. You will have an opportunity to complete up to two prerequisites during the Fall semester of your initial licensure coursework.

In order to be recommend for your Minnesota 5-12 Communication Arts/Literature teaching license (English Education), you must successfully complete these licensure requirements required by the state of Minnesota.

Admissions Information

Priority deadline to apply: December 15

To ensure you have the required prerequisites to enter the program, please get your transcript pre-checked by the academic advisor, Michelle McElroy before applying. A bachelor's degree and 2.80 GPA are required.

DirecTrack to Teaching: For current freshmen and sophomores at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus, DirecTrack to Teaching offers a preferred admission to the M.Ed. and Initial licensure program. If you are a freshman or sophomore interested in teaching, visit the DirecTrack page.

The Racial Justice in Urban Schooling minor and Teach English as a Second Language (TESL) minor will help prepare you to enter the M.Ed. in English Education and explore teaching while you are an undergraduate in the major of your choice.

For detailed admission information and tuition information on the M.Ed. and Initial Teaching License program visit the M.Ed. and Initial Teaching License program admissions page.

Madeleine Wolfe

"I loved the cohort model. It was so nice to be provided with a small group of people to be allies and friends with throughout the experience, and to spend time with people who shared similar interests and goals."

Madeleine Wolfe, M.Ed 2020