Find an Education Path For Teaching in Maryland, (MD)

If you want to be a teacher, there are certain steps to follow. The first step depends on where you are now on the path toward becoming a certified educator. Please choose the highest level of education that you have achieved and we will guide you through the steps to take as you advance towards a teaching career in Maryland.

Choose Your Highest Level of Education

The information below will help you discover the steps you should take to become a teacher in Maryland.

If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED

Finishing high school is one of the first steps you can take to advance toward a teaching career in Maryland. Students who want to earn a Bachelor’s degree are required to have a high school diploma or a GED transcript to document that they have graduated. At this point, aspiring teachers have a choice of enrolling in a teaching program at two-year or community college and earning an Associate degree or a Certificate to teach specific populations, or applying directly to a four-year college at which they can complete an education-related Bachelor’s degree.

  1. Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, specific academic content areas or student populations.
  2. Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
  3. Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help you make a decision regarding what school to attend and what degree program to pursue.

If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree

Two-year and community colleges offer Associate degrees and Certificates or Credentials in the field of education. Completing a two-year program at a Maryland-accredited college is a valuable step in your quest to become a teacher in Maryland. Your classes and Associate degree may fulfill some of the prerequisites for coursework required in a Bachelor’s degree program at a four-year university.

  1. If you have earned an Associate degree from a regionally accredited two-year college or a community college in Maryland, you may qualify to enter certain four-year colleges as a Junior and pursue a Bachelor’s degree that brings you closer to certification to teach. Some two-year college programs, such as an Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT)–available for Early Childhood, Elementary Education, and Secondary Education—may offer a clear pathway for transferring into an education degree program at a four-year college or university.
  2. Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact the schools that interest you to request more information.
  3. Some aspiring teachers, who have earned Associate Degrees or Credentials in Early Childhood Education, choose to seek employment shortly after graduation. A certificate or Associate degree in Early Childhood Education, may qualify you to begin working as a teaching assistant or child caretaker with infants, toddlers and pre-school children at Head Start, preschools, childcare organizations or before- and after-school programs.

If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s degree in education, teaching or the content area you hope to teach is an essential requirement to qualify you to apply for a teacher certification in Maryland. Students entering college as freshmen must satisfy all Core or General Studies requirements in their freshman and sophomore year. At some colleges, prospective educators will complete their major, take classes in professional education during their Junior year, and begin a teaching internship in their senior year. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree and have decided you want to teach in Maryland, your undergraduate major and degree will determine the next steps you take toward teacher certification.

  1. If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in conjunction with an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you have already fulfilled essential academic and teacher preparation requirements. Teacher Preparation Programs include coursework and classroom observations, fieldwork, and student teaching. Successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for a teaching certificate or license.
  2. All Maryland prospective teachers must meet the state testing requirements before applying for a teaching certificate. Teaching candidates must receive qualifying scores on the Praxis I Pre-Professional Academic Skills Assessments in Reading, Writing and Math and on the Praxis II Knowledge and Content assessments. Talk to your advisor about possible exam alternatives, such as the SAT, ACT or GRE.
  3. Receiving a Bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal studies can be an important step toward certification as an Elementary level teacher. Some certification programs recommend the Liberal Arts major, because it prepares educators to teach in the many different subject areas taught in Elementary school classrooms.
  4. If you received your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have already satisfied some certificate programs’ recommended academic requirements. Majoring in a specific subject taught at the secondary school level prepares individuals to become endorsed or qualified to teach high school and middle school classes in that content area.
  5. If your Bachelor’s degree is in a subject other than education, the Maryland State Department of Education accepts some alternative paths toward certification. One way to accomplish this is to enroll in a Master’s degree program that culminates with a master’s degree as well as eligibility for certification to teach in Maryland. Another option might be completing an Alternative preparation program that leads to teacher certification, but not necessarily to a Master’s degree. Maryland also offers an Alternative Certification for Effective Teachers, which was created for individuals interested in teacher certification in a high need subjects. This requires a Bachelor’s degree, Praxis I and II exams and other documents verifying your education and work experience. Consult with an advisor about which of these options would be right for you.
  6. When you have earned your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, passed all Praxis basic skills, knowledge, pedagogy and content area tests, completed a regionally accredited Teacher Education Program, and fulfilled experiential requirements, including student teaching, you will be eligible to apply for a Professional Eligibility Certificate or a Standard Professional Certificate to teach in Maryland.

If You Have a Master’s Degree or are in a Master’s Degree program

After you finish your graduate level coursework and earn a Maryland-approved Master’s degree you can move forward on a few different paths. If you have satisfied all teaching credential coursework, assessments and experiential requirements, your next step may be to submit an application for teacher certification. Successful completion of an accredited Teacher Preparation program that emphasizes professional education is also essential for certification in elementary, middle or secondary education in specified content areas.

  1. Accredited universities with graduate programs in education offer a range of Master’s degrees that can lead you to a teaching license and a career as an educator. Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education, or Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees may be offered concurrently with a Teacher Preparation program that is required for certification. You may also have the opportunity to focus on Elementary or Secondary Education, with an emphasis on the subject area you hope to teach. If your Master’s program does not satisfy the professional teacher preparation requirements, you can enroll in a stand-alone Teacher Preparation program.
  2. When you are ready to begin your teaching career, you must demonstrate that you have completed all requirements for certification or licensure. These steps include finishing required academic coursework, completing an approved Teacher Preparation Program, passing mandated tests, and fulfilling student teaching hours. The next step is to apply for your teaching certificate and begin searching for a job in the education field. Contact the Maryland Department of Education to request an application.
  3. Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their education and pursue a doctoral degree. Earning an Educational Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) or a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) may increase your opportunities for a better job and a higher income. Gathering information about available doctorate degrees in your field or specialty will provide the information necessary to discover the best university and education program to meet your needs.