Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Graduate Certificate in Teaching/M.A.T. and a traditional M.Ed. or M.A.?

The Graduate Certificate in Teaching is an initial licensure program. Students who complete the certificate may apply to the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) and count their certificate coursework towards completion of the degree. Graduates from the M.A.T. will be eligible for advanced, M-level licensure. Traditional M.Ed. or M.A. programs are designed for teachers who are already fully licensed and wish to directly pursue advanced, M-level licensure.

Should I pursue a teaching license through a second bachelor’s degree instead?

No. Pursuing licensure through a second bachelor’s degree often takes substantially longer than doing so through the Graduate Certificate in Teaching. Also, undergraduate courses are typically offered during the day instead of in the evening or online.

How long does the program take?

The length of time for completion varies with the number of courses needed for each program, though most students complete their program in two years or less. Please work closely with your advisor to plan out your schedule of courses and to determine the time frame that works best for you.

How much will the program cost?

Costs vary by concentration (which have between 16-22 credit hours), but candidates should expect tuition and fees to total approximately $5000-$6,000+. Up-to-date pricing information is available here:

Is there a required internship?

Yes. All students will complete a full-time, semester-long internship. The Office of School and Community Partnerships (OSCP) will facilitate your placement. If you are currently teaching with a lateral entry or residency license, you will complete this internship in your own classroom. If you are a full-time teacher assistant, you may be able to complete this internship in your current position. Contact OSCP (704-687-8812 or to confirm.

Can I complete my internship in any state?

No. Required internships and other clinical experiences must be completed in North Carolina P-12 schools. This applies to both distance education and on-campus concentrations of the Graduate Certificate in Teaching.

Do I have to have a bachelor’s degree before being admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Teaching?

Yes. Candidates must have a four-year degree from an accredited institution. Some concentrations require a specific major or 21 hours of background coursework. See the concentration planning sheets for more details.

Do I need Praxis Core before beginning the Graduate Certificate in Teaching program?

No. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree are not required to take the Praxis Core before being admitted to a teacher education program.

Where do I send my official transcripts for the application?

Official transcripts may be sent electronically to or mailed to UNC Charlotte, Graduate Admissions, 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223. This link provides additional information regarding transcripts. 

I do not have the required background courses or passing scores on licensure exams. Can I still be admitted while I work on them?

Candidates cannot be admitted without 21 hours of relevant background coursework or passing scores on licensure content exams to concentrations in the Graduate Certificate in Teaching that require them. However, an advisor in TEAL can work with you to identify any deficiencies that exist and find courses that will satisfy missing requirements.

How do I know if I have been accepted to the program?

All applicants will receive an official decision letter via email when one has been reached. Decisions are typically made on applications 2-4 weeks after all components have been submitted and the application becomes ready to review.

Can I defer my admission?

You may request to defer your application one time.

Is there a time limit to the program?

Graduate Certificate in Teaching requirements must be completed within five years of your first course.  The M.A.T. requirements must be completed within a seven years of beginning your first course in the certificate.

I’ve been admitted. Now what?

Your admission letter lists your faculty advisor at the bottom. Contact that advisor for assistance with registering for courses. Planning sheets are available here.

Can I meet with someone to discuss the program?

Yes! Contact Ms. Ashley Langan (704-687-8189 or, Ms. Cassandra Himes (704-687-8727 or, or Ms. Jadah Nicholson (704-687-7353 or to make an appointment.

Candidates are also welcome to join our virtual drop-in sessions on Mondays from 3-4 pm and Wednesdays from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm to inquire about the Graduate Certificate in Teaching.

Join the virtual meetings here.

I’m a lateral entry teacher completing a RALC plan of study. Can I take courses in the Graduate Certificate in Teaching?

Lateral entry teachers clearing their license through RALC should apply as “Post-Baccalaureate – Regional Alternative Licensing Center” students and submit their RALC plan of study with their application. Once admitted, you will work with Ms. Liz Adkisson (704-687-8882 or in TEAL to register for courses. If you plan to clear your license through the Graduate Certificate in Teaching, even if you have a RALC plan of study, you must apply directly to the program.

When will I meet the EPP enrollment requirement for a residency license?

You will meet the EPP enrollment requirement for a residency license when you have been admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Teaching and enrolled in your first course(s). Form RLs verifying enrollment should be sent to Ms. Liz Adkisson ( for completion only after your employing school district has completed the LEA portion.