Students interested in teaching and education may achieve, during their four years at Amherst, state certification in Massachusetts for positions in secondary schools. Reciprocity agreements between Massachusetts and over 30 other states permit students certified in Massachusetts to qualify for public school positions across the country. Those who wish to obtain certification for public school teaching may – as an alternative to enrolling in a Masters program after graduation – draw upon our liaison with the Psychology and Education Department at Mount Holyoke College to complete the requirements for provisional certification during their undergraduate years. Acceptance into the Mount Holyoke program requires a formal application in the spring of the student’s junior year.

Because the requirements for Massachusetts certification involve both course-work and a considerable number of hours engaged in classroom teaching, students interested in the possibility of a public school teaching career should consult with the education advisor in the Career Center and with the faculty advisor to the Program in Secondary School Teaching, Professor Barry O’Connell of the English Department, as early as possible in their time at Amherst. In addition to majoring in the subject area in which they seek certification, students will need the following courses, or their equivalents, in order to participate in the Mount Holyoke program. Many of these can be taken at Amherst; others in any of the Five Colleges. A few must be taken at Mount Holyoke (indicated by an *).

  1. Introduction to Psychology
  2. Adolescent Psychology
  3. Educational Psychology
  4. A course in multicultural education (At Amherst English 06 meets this requirement)
  5. Differences in Learning (Educ. 234 at Mount Holyoke, or with approval courses at Smith College or University of Massachusetts)
  6. Observing and Assisting in Middle and Secondary Schools (Educ. 332j a January interterm course at Mount Holyoke College or TEAMS at University o Massachusetts among other possibilities)
  7. Educ. 330* Process of Learning and Teaching in Middle and Secondary Schools
  8. Teaching (Math, English, etc.) In Secondary School, an Amherst College special topics course taken in conjunction with the teaching internship.
  9. Educ. 331* Teaching Intership. This is a double course at Amherst College, to be taken in the spring semester of the senior year or during the ninth term at Mount Holyoke College.

Passage of the Massachusetts Educator Certification Test, is required of all participants in the Mount Holyoke College Program. Tests are administered four times each year in October, January, April and June. Application forms and test preparation materials are available at the Amherst College Career Center.


In Class