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Urban Secondary Education Post-Baccalaureate Licensure and Graduate Certificate Program

[Program Overview] [Program Outcomes] [Curriculum] [Admission Criteria] [Application Requirements] [Contact Information] [Gainful Employment Facts]

Program Overview

The Urban Secondary Education Post-Baccalaureate and Graduate Certificate program is part of a standards-based alternative pathway for persons with a bachelor's degree or higher who seek a Minnesota grades 5-12 teaching license to teach mathematics, life/general science, English, or social studies in urban middle schools and high schools. Completing the coursework, along with other program and state requirements, qualifies urban teacher candidates to apply for initial state teaching licensure. The School of Urban Education also works with persons who already have earned teaching licensure and want to add to their existing license(s).

Required courses are offered at the graduate (600) level, so some earned graduate credits may be applied to a master's degree depending on the university and/or count toward a higher teaching salary depending on the employing school district. The graduate certificate is not, itself, a license to teach. Nor is it a master's degree program.

Program Outcomes

Students completing the program will be able to:

  • demonstrate proficiency in meeting the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice for Beginning Teachers required of all teacher candidates seeking a licensure recommendation to the state;
  • demonstrate competence in meeting the needs of diverse urban youth to a high-quality, rigorous, culturally-responsive education;
  • demonstrate respect for urban learners, their development, their families and their communities with "unconditional positive regard" and a focus on their assets and resiliency; and
  • integrate professional, social-cultural, instructional, and subject matter competence required by standards for teacher licensure and the needs of urban schools.


There are five areas of course requirement for Initial Grades 5-12 Licensure:

Content Coursework (credit varies)

Content coursework is any content area coursework in Communication Arts and Literature, Life Science/General Science, Mathematics or Social Studies necessary to meet Board of Teaching content standards that has not been satisfied by your previous degree. This coursework is only offered at the undergraduate level. Faculty will review your previous learning and determine the remaining requirements. Credits will vary based on prior learning.

Ethnic Studies Competency

Students must complete with at least a C+ or better a UTP-approved Ethnic Studies course (4 credits) or demonstrated equivalent from prior learning that addresses race and racism in the U.S. using comparative analysis. Contact the School of Urban Education for a list of approved courses.

Professional Education Coursework (28 credits)

Content Methods Coursework (4-8 credits depending on licensure area)

Practicum and Field Experience (8 credits)

Total Credits Required for Licensure, Residency, and Graduate Certificate

There are 40-44 total EDU credits required for licensure for students who have all required content coursework/standards met with their previous degrees, but who have no prior Urban Education coursework. For the purpose of gaining initial teaching licensure, post-baccalaureate students can complete either graduate (600-level) or undergraduate level (300-400 level) courses. Post-baccalaureate students seeking a recommendation for state teaching licensure from the School of Urban Education must satisfy a residency requirement of at least 12 credits (graduate or undergraduate) completed at Metropolitan State. In order to earn a Graduate Certificate in Urban Secondary Teacher Preparation from Metropolitan State, at least 14 credits of required EDU coursework must be completed at the graduate level.

Admission Criteria

Metropolitan State's alternative pathway to licensure involves individualized assessments of each prospective urban teacher candidate's prior learning and experience. Decisions about admission to the School of Urban Education are based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to teaching in an urban setting
    • Assessed by letter of application, interview
  • Demonstrated understanding of and respect for the needs of diverse learners in urban communities
    • Assessed by letter of application, recommendations, faculty interview, completion of EDU 600, and Ethnic Studies competency.
  • Undergraduate or graduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
    • Assessed by review of official transcripts
  • At least 40 hours of experience working with diverse youth or observing classrooms in an urban setting
    • Assessed by verifiable documentation of field experience 
  • Evidence of professional conduct associated with positively interacting with urban youth, families and fellow educators 
    • Assessed by recommendations, letter of application, faculty interview

Application Requirements

  • Graduate Studies Application to the University
  • Non-refundable application fee (waived for graduates of Metropolitan State University)
  • Official transcripts
  • Letter of application to the School of Urban Education
  • Current resume
  • Documentation of at least 40 hours field experience with urban youth
  • Two recommendations (one from an instructor and one from someone familiar with your experience with urban youth)
  • Copy of current licensure (if already licensed)

See Applying to the Program for application packet details and deadlines.

Contact Information

Office Location
Metropolitan State University
Midway Center
Mailing Address
School of Urban Education
Metropolitan State University
1450 Energy Park Drive
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: 651-999-5920
Email: utp-info@metrostate.edu