The Master’s with Initial Certification Program in Secondary English Education is ideal for candidates who:

  • Demonstrate deep knowledge and interest in literacy including reading, writing, speaking and listening, language, non-print texts, digital media, film, and literary studies;
  • Want to help adolescents learn, grow, and become knowledgeable, creative, critical thinkers and adult members of their communities through literate practice for daily life;
  • Value equity, inclusion, and diversity;
  • Understand that teachers are made, not born;
  • Seek to make a positive contribution in the lives of adolescents by teaching them how to understand and communicate successfully in all aspects of their lives

We welcome traditional English and English Education majors into the program, and we also work with candidates from many other backgrounds related to literacy, language, and English studies.

Master’s with Initial Certification English Education graduates earn a full MA degree and are eligible for certification in English language arts, grades 8-12.

Students admitted to this program are matched strategically with Cooperating Teachers and local partner schools for a full school-year to ensure they receive extended, authentic, diverse, and high quality experiences in applied classroom settings throughout their program of studies. Our learning together is highly collaborative and places strong emphasis on teaching as a matter of purposeful, research-based, and professional design. Our success is not accidental.

Our graduates learn to teach as idealists: Professionals who are committed to the eternal pursuit of excellence for all, not just some.

Today is an important time to embark upon a career in teaching English language arts. Our program asserts there is no more important subject for young people to learn than ELA because learning to use language strategically for thinking, identity building, and communicating for success in today’s world is the foundation for success in all aspects of modern life.

The Master’s with Initial Certification Program in Secondary English Education program is approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Program Details

Delivery Method: In-person

Credit Hours: 31

Time to Completion: The Master of Arts in Secondary Education with Initial Certification (MIC) at the University of Kentucky is an intensive one calendar-year program of 31 credit hours which leads to both a master’s degree and initial teacher certification in Kentucky.

Tuition Cost: Refer to the UK Tuition and Mandatory Fees page.

Refund Policies: You can find tuition refund policies, deadlines, amounts, and other important information on the UK Student Account Services website.

Program Requirements

You must hold a degree in English, Secondary English Education, or an equivalent content area BA degree.

Demands of the MIC Program

  • How time-consuming is the program? – In the fall, students are enrolled in 11-13 hours of coursework. These courses typically meet on Mondays and Fridays. Students also participate in a fall practicum experience, for which students typically spend Tuesdays-Thursdays in the field. In the spring, students complete their student teaching, which requires students to be in the field Mondays-Fridays. Students are also enrolled in 11 hours of coursework. These courses typically meet on Thrusday evenings. The program is very intensive; other employment is not recommended.
  • Financial Assistance – Applicants are encouraged to apply for scholarships available through the College of Education. Please note that the deadline for incoming graduate students to apply for scholarships is February 15th. Applicants should contact the University’s Financial Aid Office for information about additional funding opportunities.
  • Veterans – We are pleased to welcome veterans and would like to mention the additional financial aid opportunities offered through the Veterans Resource Center.

Course Plan & Curriculum

The Master’s with Initial Certification Program in Secondary English Education consists of 31 graduate hours and is completed in one calendar year. The typical course sequence is:

Fall Term:

  • EDU 645/SEM 770 – Foundations of Pedagogical Theory and Practice in the Secondary School (3 hours)
  • EDC 632/EDC 634/SEM 631/SEM 635 – Subject Area Pedagogy in the Secondary School (3 hours)
  • EDC 638 – Technology Education (1 hour)
  • EDC 639 – Multicultural Secondary Education (1 hour)
  • EDP 658 – Problems in Educational Psychology (1 hour)
  • EDS 604 – Issues in Special Education (1 hour)
  • EPE 773 – Seminar in Educational Policy Studies (1 hour)

Spring Term

  • EDC/SEM 746 – Subject Area Instruction in the Secondary School (9 hours)
  • EDC 637 – Classroom Management (1 hour)
  • ELS 691 – Legal Perspectives for Teachers (1 hour)

In addition, students are required to take 9 graduate elective hours (which we recommend completing the summer term prior to the official start of MIC coursework). Due to a recent change in state policy, one of those elective courses must be:

  • EDC 533 – Teaching Adolescent Literacy Across the Disciplines (3 hours)

Students wishing to teach overseas must take:

  • EDC 554 – Student Teaching Abroad



Students admitted to the MIC Secondary Education Program must complete nine (9) credit hours of graduate-level elective course work.  These electives may be completed in your content area or in Education. MIC students are required to take EDC 533 (Teaching Adolescent Literacy Across the Disciplines) as one of their electives. This course is offered during Fall, Spring, and Summer 2 terms. MIC students planning to Student Teach Abroad must take EDC 554 (Student Teaching Abroad). This course is offered in the Fall term.

Students are strongly advised to complete all nine graduate elective credits during the summer prior to the fall and the formal start of the MIC program.  However, students are not required to do so.  If you choose to take electives later in your program, you are advised to complete two elective courses during the summer prior and one elective course during the fall term.  If you choose, you may complete electives during the summer that follows student teaching.  In such cases, students will be advised that their degrees and certification will not be completed until August.  Late completion may affect your qualification for professional teaching jobs.  Students are strongly advised to avoid taking elective courses during the Spring term when they are student teaching full time.



  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a minimum GPA of 2.75 in an approved major in a subject area covered by the MIC and an overerall GPA of 2.75.
  • Admission to the UK Graduate School, which requires a minimum of 2.75 undergraduate GPA, 3.0 GPA in any graduate work, and standardized test scores.
  • Demonstration of adequate skills in written and oral communication.
  • Demonstration of complex skills, understandings, and dispositions through the medium of faculty interviews, admission portfolio materials, and written or oral tasks at the time of the admission interview.
  • Please visit the Apply page for more details on the application requirements and process.
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Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have regarding this program. We can’t wait to hear from you!

photo of Jennifer Doyle
Visiting Assistant Professor

State Authorization & Licensure

If you plan to complete a University of Kentucky online program while living outside of Kentucky, you should check the Out-of-State Students page to determine if the University of Kentucky is authorized to provide this program in your state of residence. If you plan to use the degree to seek licensure, you should also determine if the degree meets the educational requirements for licensure in your state.

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