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Secondary Education with Licensure, M.A.

Application Deadlines

Summer/Fall Semesters: February 1 for best consideration. Applications will continue to be reviewed.
Spring Semester: September 1 for best consideration. Applications will continue to be reviewed.

Degree Program: Secondary Education
Degree: M.A. in Secondary Education with Licensure
Program Code: MA-SED

Department: Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy
Program: Secondary Education

Apply to a Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Department Degree Program

To apply for admissions, you should:

1) Pass the National Evaluation Series (NES) Essential Academic Skills Subtest I, II, and III.

2) Contact a faculty advisor in your content area to set up an appointment. Bring your undergraduate transcripts to the meeting. The faculty advisor will analyze your transcripts and plan your coursework with you.

3) Complete the Application Requirements online at

Note: All applications must be received by the application deadline date. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

An interview and writing prompt will be required before admission into the license program. You will receive notice of the date and time of your interview. 

Please see the Specific Application Instructions under Forms and Resources for additional information.


Our program offers three licensure options to prospective teachers holding a Bachelor’s Degree. Applicants for all three options must satisfy Graduate School requirements and be admitted to the M.A. with Licensure Program.

M.A. with Licensure: A planned sequence of 45 credit hours of master’s courses and the Standard Licensure program of studies. You should complete Standard Licensure requirements before you begin the core Master’s courses.

Standard Licensure: A planned sequence of 24 credit hours of courses and field experience, 12 hours of which may be applied to the master’s degree. You may apply to the state of New Mexico for the Level I Standard License after completing this 24 credit hour sequence of courses.

Alternative Licensure: A planned sequence of 18 credit hours of courses and field experiences. You may apply to the state of New Mexico for the Level I Alternative License after completing this 18 credit hour sequence of courses.

Step by Step Process for the M.A. with Licensure Program

Application for the Program

  1. Complete the application online at for the Secondary M.A. with Licensure program.
  2. Register for the NES Essential Academic Skills Subtests I, II and III and request that your scores be sent to the Department of Teacher Education, Educational Leadership and Policy. You may submit an application if you provide proof that you have taken the test but are awaiting scores, or are registered for the nearest possible test date after the application deadline.
  3. Submit your completed application online at by the appropriate deadline.
  4. Make an appointment with a Secondary Faculty Advisor to review requirements for standard or alternative licensure and the M.A. with Licensure program. You will need to bring transcripts when you meet with your faculty advisor who will fill out and sign an advisement form. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable, but you should include transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended.

Note: Faculty advisors are generally not available for advisement during semester breaks and the summer. See a college academic advisor in the College of Education Advisement Center (505/277-3190) if you need assistance during this time, or make an appointment with your faculty advisor when UNM is back in session.

  1. Submit your completed application to the Department of Teacher Education by the appropriate deadline.

Acceptance to Program

  1. Satisfy all state and university requirements for graduate and secondary licensure program admissions, including successful completion of the NES Basic Skills Assessment. Students can be granted provisional acceptance pending receipt of passing scores from the NES.
  2. Applicants accepted to the program receive a letter from the Department of Teacher Education within four weeks after the submission deadline.

Teaching Field Requirements

  1. Complete courses required in your teaching field as approved by your Faculty Advisor on your advisement form. To enroll in Teaching Experience I in the Fall, students must be lacking no more than six credit hours in their chosen teaching field.
  2. Confer with your Faculty Advisor to determine whether you will pursue a Standard License or an Alternative License.

Professional Licensure Requirements

  1. After receiving approval to enroll in Professional Licensure courses, attend a mandatory orientation meeting to learn about requirements, courses and school placements.
  2. Note: Students do not make their own placements and should not contact classroom teachers or schools directly.
  3. Make an appointment with a College of Education academic advisor to fill out a completion check form. This should be accompanied by an advisement form signed by your faculty advisor.
  4. Complete a fingerprint and background check and purchase liability insurance through the American Federation of Teachers. Provide copies of each for your file at the Field Experiences Center in Manzanita Hall, Room 114. New Mexico statue and school district policies require background checks for all adults who have contact with students in New Mexico schools.
  5. Meet field experience requirements under the supervision of a Cooperating Teacher in Teaching Experience I (Pre-Student Teaching) in the Fall and Student Teaching (Advanced Field Experience) in the Spring and course requirements in the Professional Licensure program. In Teaching Experience I, students are in the school every week assisting and teaching in one class. Days and times vary depending on the schedule at the school. In Student Teaching, students are in the school every day for the whole day. Student teachers often start when the school year begins but finish when the UNM semester ends. In Teaching Experience I, students are in the school every week assisting and teaching in one class (the same class) for the entire semester.
  6. Assess your progress and remaining requirements for licensure with a Completion Check that is done in the Fall by the College of Education Advisement Center.
  7. Complete New Mexico Assessment of Teacher Competency and the appropriate content specialty test(s) found under the New Mexico Content Knowledge Assessments required by the NM Public Education Department.
  8. Complete the Licensure Program Exit Survey.

Apply for Licensure

  1. When the NES scores have been sent to the state, apply for the desired licensure option (standard or alternative) from the state of New Mexico.

Complete the M.A. Degree (Optional for Alternative Licensure Students)

  1. Meet with your faculty advisor on courses needed to complete the M.A. degree (33 hours). Students can use 12-15 hours from their licensure program towards their M.A. degree. Students will then need 18-21 hours after completing their licensure requirements. Of these, students must take one course from each of the five categories of core courses as shown on the program of studies form. Remaining hours can be taken as electives.
  2. See your faculty advisor each semester to update your program of studies and discuss progress towards completion of your degree. EDUC 590 Seminar is the final course that should be taken to complete your M.A. program.
  3. A Masters Examination is required for all students in the M.A. in Secondary Education with Licensure Program (Plan I). This examination is administered through the EDUC 590 Seminar.
  4. To graduate, submit the OGS Program of Studies form to the Department of Teacher Education. This form must be submitted the semester before you enroll in EDUC 590, the final course you will take in the M.A. with Licensure the semester prior to the semester in which you plan to graduate according to the following deadlines: October 1 for Spring Program Completion; March 1 for Summer Program Completion; or, July 1 for Fall Program Completion.
  5. Receive a passing score on the Master’s Examination.Complete the M.A. Program Exit Survey.
  6. Complete the M.A. Program Exit Survey.