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Minor in Middle School Education

Master of Science Degree – Track 2

The College of Education, Health & Human Sciences at the The University of Tennessee, has one of the few nationally ranked teacher licensure programs. Candidates earn a Bachelor’s Degree in a content area and then return to take graduate courses required for state certification. A Master’s Degree can be earned by completing twelve hours beyond the required courses. A major distinguishing characteristic of this program is the one-year internship in a middle grades classroom which guarantees a full range of professional experiences and counts as one year of teaching experience in Tennessee.


The following minimum standards must be met prior to the application being considered by the Teacher Education Program.

Academic Performance. Candidates must complete at least 60 semester hours of college courses with at least a 2.7 overall grade point average (GPA). Candidates’ overall GPA in the content area must be 2.5 or higher. Any accepted transfer work will be combined with UT work to reach the minimum of 60 hours and also to factor in calculating GPA.

The Praxis I. The Praxis I: Pre-professional Skills Test (PPST) is a basic skills test designed to measure students’ competency in reading, writing, and mathematical reasoning. Students are required to REGISTER in advance for the exam and may do so online. Times, dates, and registration materials for these screening tests are available here. Passing scores on the Praxis I: PPST are: Math 173; Reading 174; Writing 173. The test may be repeated, as needed. There are two exemptions from the PPST: 1) candidates with enhanced ACT scores of 22 or combined RSAT scores of 1020 and 2) candidates with a prior Bachelor’s degree.

Hearing and Speech Screening. The hearing and speech screenings are given every August and January at the Hearing and Speech Center, on Peyton Manning Pass. Prior to arriving at the Center for the screening, the applicant must check in with the Teacher Education Admission Office, 309 Bailey Education Complex. Review the Teacher Education Calendar for specific dates and times for the screenings. Teacher candidates must perform within normal limits. Hearing impaired candidates are exempt from this screening. The Teacher Education Admissions Office, however, must be informed of the impairment.

• Once pre-admission requirements have been completed, applicants will receive a letter from the Teacher Education Admissions Office inviting them to interview with the Middle Grades Education Board of Admissions. Included with this letter will be an application to the Teacher Education Program that must be completed and submitted to Nina Fox in the Teacher Education Admissions Office, 309 Bailey Education Complex. Once the application has been submitted, the applicant can schedule an admission board interview, by contacting Nina Fox. Interviews are held twice a year, November and April.

• Candidates should plan to meet all of the pre-requisites and interview by the fall semester of their junior year, so they can enroll in the undergraduate courses required for the Bachelor’s degree education minor, which are offered in the spring semester only. These courses are typically taken in the spring of the senior year. A Bachelor’s degree and completion of the education minor courses are required before intern placements are made. Internships follow the academic calendar for the K-12 district in which the intern is assigned. Intern placements are only guaranteed for the academic year specified on the application for admission. Each candidate is responsible for informing their academic advisor if they want to delay their internship. Attendance is required at an internship orientation during the spring semester prior to the professional year.

Note: The applicant is not formally admitted to the program or allowed to progress into the Professional Education courses until a criminal background check has been completed. As stated in the current catalog, “Tennessee state law… requires that students wishing to enter an approved higher education educator preparation program must submit to a criminal background check. Admission to the program is dependent on clearance of any conviction(s) as referenced to a list of crimes that would prohibit a person from being licensed in Tennessee.”

• Admission to the Middle Grades Teacher Education Program is contingent upon a successful Admissions Board interview. The Board of Admissions takes a holistic approach when considering applicants. Several factors are taken into consideration when admitting applicants to the program, including GPA, experience with youth, interviewing skills, and writing skills. Admission to the program is selective. If warranted, the applicant is welcome to interview more than once.

• The membership of the Board of Admissions includes, but is not limited to: (1) a faculty member representing the program to which the applicant is applying, (2) a faculty member representing other academic departments of the university, (3) a classroom teacher representing the program to which the applicants is applying, and (4) an advanced student in the program to which the applicant is applying.

• To help prepare for the Teacher Education Admissions Board interview, it is recommended that the applicant arrange for a “mock interview” with Career Services.

• Application to Graduate School should be made during the spring semester prior to the internship.

• Successful candidates can earn the Master’s of Science Degree with a major in Teacher Education and a concentration in Middle Grades Teaching by completing twelve hours of graduate work beyond the required courses.

• Eligible undergraduate candidates may apply for Senior Privilege (Seniors eligible for Graduate Credit) and complete a maximum of 9 graduate hours as a part of the undergraduate program. The form for a senior requesting graduate credit is available here.

• All candidates are required to take the appropriate Praxis II examinations before the Initial Teaching License application will be made upon successful completion of the internship year.

Please follow this link to the UT Graduate Catalog.

  1. Select the appropriate catalog from the dropdown menu on the right.
  2. Select the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.
  3. Scroll to TPTE and select “Display Programs for this Department.”
  4. Click on the appropriate program to see the credit requirements and admission procedures for each program.

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