Jul 15, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2024-2025 
Graduate Catalog | 2024-2025

Teaching: Elementary Education, Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Teaching: Elementary Education is a 22 credit hour program designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree. Upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate, students are eligible for the North Carolina Standard Professional I teaching license.

The required courses for the Graduate Certificate are identical to Phase I of the M.A.T. Upon completion of the Graduate Certificate, qualified students have the option of continuing into Phase II to complete the M.A.T. Admission to the Graduate Certificate is separate and distinct from admission to a graduate degree program and not an indication of automatic admission to the M.A.T. degree program. For more information on this option, refer to the M.A.T. in Elementary Education .

All courses for the Graduate Certificate must be completed within five years.

General Requirements for Admission to the Graduate School

Please refer to admission information in the Graduate School section.

Admission Requirements for all Graduate Certificates in Teaching Programs

  1. An undergraduate degree from a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body
  2. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75  (For alternative ways to demonstrate academic competence, contact the Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL))
  3. Two professional references in a supervisory capacity (i.e. principal or manager) and/or academic references (i.e. professor)
  4. Statement of purpose
  5. Clear criminal background check
  6. Apply online at graduateschool.uncc.edu

Certificate Requirements

Internship/Student Teaching (5 credit hours)

The graduate-level student teaching/internship is the culminating experience of the Graduate Certificate program, offering students the opportunity to demonstrate their readiness for the initial Standard Professional I teaching license. A GPA of 3.0 or above in the graduate certificate coursework is required to be eligible for the student teaching/internship. Students are assigned to an appropriate classroom for a full-time, semester-long experience under the supervision of the classroom teacher and University faculty.  Residency teachers and teacher assistants must contact the Office of School and Community Partnerships to determine the appropriateness of their classroom for the student teaching/internship experience and licensure requirements. This contact should take place at least one semester before student teaching. The prerequisite for the student teaching/internship is completion of all program coursework, a GPA of 3.0 or above, an application for the course by the established deadline, and approval of the department.


** Must be taken in the final semester for the initial licensure program.

Certificate Total = 22 Credit Hours


All students are assigned an advisor upon formal admission to the program. Students should consult with their advisors at least once each semester.

Clinical Field Experiences

All courses require students to develop their knowledge, skills, and dispositions in public school/agency settings. During the Graduate Certificate in Elementary Education program, all students are expected to complete clinical experiences in at least three significantly different settings.

Clinical field experiences provide opportunities for helping all students learn, including children with exceptionalities and students from diverse ethnic/racial, linguistic, gender, and socioeconomic groups. During clinical experiences, students apply theories and understandings gained in coursework, analyze K-6 student learning, and develop the ability to positively impact all learners. The first semester requires a minimum of 30 hours of clinical experiences.  The second semester requires a minimum of 36 hours of clinical experiences.  The third semester requires a minimum of 40 hours of clinical experiences. These structured experiences can take place in multiple settings such as neighboring schools or districts, after-school programs, or in the schools and classrooms in which the candidates work or are placed by the Office of School and Community Partnerships.

Candidates who are lateral entry teachers and teacher assistants must move beyond their own classrooms and schools for at least two clinical experiences.  Alternative settings must be approved by the instructor.  A limited number of clinical experiences may be approved in significantly different classrooms within their school of employment.  Employed candidates are encouraged to seek assistance and support from their administrators.


Upon successful completion of the Phase I/Graduate Certificate, teacher candidates will be recommended for the North Carolina Standard Professional I teaching license. For this license, students are required to complete all NC State mandated testing/performance assessment requirements for licensure.