Mathematics 5-8 or 8-12, Initial, Post-baccalaureate Licensure

Discover your path to becoming an educator at Westfield State University!

Do you already have a bachelor’s degree and need initial license to teach mathematics in middle or high school? Are you working under an emergency license and want to earn your initial license? Westfield State University offers a flexible post-baccalaureate program to help you learn the content you might be missing. We determine in close conversation with you which prior work experiences and/or course work count toward the DESE requirements, and which courses you still need to take. We will create a personalized program of study for you to help you earn your initial license in a flexible and timely manner. Many licensure courses will be offered in the afternoon or evening to make the program work for you!

For questions on course advising please contact

Christine von Renesse
Professor of Mathematics & Advisor

Your journey into education begins with impactful programs designed for aspiring educators.

The post-baccalaureate program is a non-degree bearing program that leads to initial licensure. Students complete the required coursework, take the Massachusetts Teacher Educator Licensure exams (MTELs), and complete a practicum to fulfill the requirements for initial licensure in the state of Massachusetts. A minimum of six credit hours are required to be taken at Westfield State University before practicum for students not previously
enrolled in Education courses at the University.

  • Classes

    offered in the day, afternoon, and evenings with some hybrid courses offered throughout.

  • Individualized Advising

    by expert faculty

  • Attend

    during the fall, spring, and summer sessions

Course Requirements

Post-baccalaureate Program Leading to an Initial Teaching License


Westfield State University has a history and abiding commitment of preparing educators who serve the educational needs of prekindergarten through secondary school students in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our teacher education programs embrace this vision, Education Leaders Building Inclusive Learning Communities,  a vision grounded in our department's 5 foundational pillars: Critical Engagement with Diversity, Community Building, Social Justice, Scholarship, and Reflection. 

Westfield State University's teacher education programs are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Westfield State University's educator preparation program is fully accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). Westfield State University was awarded full accreditation for seven years in June 2020. AAQEP also awarded our educator preparation program with a commendation for our work in anti-racist education.

Post-baccalaureate programs leading to teaching licensure are offered through the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education, and are designed for individuals holding a baccalaureate degree who wish to obtain an initial teaching license, without obtaining an additional degree.  

Students who satisfactorily complete program requirements leading to a teaching license are recommended for licensure to the Massachusetts Department of Education. Program requirements include completion of all coursework, passage of Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs), a demonstrated ability to meet program dispositional standards, and completion of a practicum experience.


Program Description

The post-baccalaureate Mathematics Education Initial licensure program leads to initial licensure to teach either middle school (grades 5-8) or high school (grades 8-12) mathematics, but does not confer a degree. Applicants to this program must have:

  • a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a GPA of 2.6 or greater;
  • passed the MTEL Communications and Literacy test; and
  • a 2.7 GPA in undergraduate English courses, including English Composition I & 2 or equivalent.
A. Prerequisite coursework or experience

Content knowledge in the following areas must be documented in the student's undergraduate academic record. Any gaps in coverage must be fulfilled as determined by the student's advisor. Courses referenced below are from the Westfield undergraduate program, but equivalent coursework from another institution and/or work experience may be accepted.

Coursework meeting subject matter outcomes: 

  • MATH 0105 Calculus I
  • MATH 0106 Calculus II
  • MATH 0201 Calculus III
  • MATH 0220 Discrete Structures
  • MATH 0218 Linear Algebra
  • MATH 0301 Abstract Algebra I
  • MATH 0306 Modern Geometries I
  • MATH 0311 Number Theory
  • MATH 0340 Mathematical Statistics IOR

    MATH 0108 Elementary Statistics I
  • MATH 0310 Career Preparation
  • MATH 0361 Technology and Teaching Mathematics
  • MATH 0204 Exploring the Mathematical Knowledge of Teaching I
  • MATH 0205 Exploring the Mathematical Knowledge of Teaching II
  • One to two additional 300-level mathematics courses (to achieve seven 300-level mathematics courses)
B. Required Courses for Licensure
  • EDUC 0220 Schools in American Culture OR

    EDUC 0633 Social Cultural Theories: Foundations of Education
  • EDUC 0221/0540 Foundations of Special Education
  • EDUC 0321 Middle School & Its Students (required for 5-8 licensure candidates only)
  • EDUC 0380/0580 Theory of Critical Multicultural Education
  • EDUC 0354/0554 Educational Planning & Evaluation
  • EDUC 0363/0631 Sheltered English Immersion
  • PSYC 0203 Adolescent Development
  • PSYC 0101 Introduction to Psychology (Required as prerequisite to PSYC 0203)
  • MATH 0337/0537 Foundations of Secondary & Middle School Mathematics
  • EDUC 0564 Practicum: Middle* OR
  • EDUC 0569 Practicum: Secondary*

* Seminar hours will be required during practicum.

Additional Requirements

A 30-hour diversity experience is required before or during practicum.

Students must pass the required MTEL subject matter test for Mathematics 5-8 or 8-12 licensure, and have a GPA of 2.8 for admission to practicum.

Practicum placements are generally within a 30-mile radius of the university unless otherwise specified and approved.

Start your journey to become a math educator at Westfield State University!

Explore the possibilities and start shaping your future today!

Why Westfield?

At Westfield State University, we proudly carry the legacy of being the first coeducational teacher's college in the U.S., founded in 1839 with a commitment to inclusivity regardless of gender, race, or economic status. Today, this commitment remains unwavering as we prepare educators for diverse PreK-12 settings, extending our impact across Massachusetts, New England, and beyond. Led by nationally accredited programs, our dedicated faculty, comprised of experienced educators and administrators, provide personalized advising to ensure our student teachers are well-equipped for the dynamic opportunities and challenges in the field of education.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the admission requirements?

Prospective students should access the post-baccalaureate teacher licensure application online at 

The following materials must be received for an application to be reviewed:

  1. Completed post-baccalaureate application with $50 application fee.
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended.
  3. Two letters of recommendation. One academic reference is strongly encouraged.
  4. Copy of passing Communication and Literacy MTEL (reading and writing subtest) scores.
How do I know if I should apply to the post-baccalaureate program versus the initial master's program?

Bridge the gap in your education and fulfill missing coursework, including the required practicum for initial teaching licensure in Massachusetts, through our post-baccalaureate program. Our suggestion: collaborate closely with the Math Academic Advisor to determine the best path based on your completed coursework. 

What MTEL's do I need to pass?
Do I need a certain GPA in order to do practicum (student teaching)?

Yes, a pedagogical GPA of a 3.0 for practicum and a 2.8 GPA overall. 

Where are practicum placements?

Practicum placements are generally within a 30-mile radius of the university unless otherwise specified and approved.

Continue to your graduate degree at Westfield State University

As a Massachusetts educator, achieving professional licensure within your first five years of teaching is crucial, and a master's degree is a key requirement. Westfield State University streamlines this journey with a range of Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs at the professional level. Seamlessly transition from your post-baccalaureate program to a graduate program, conveniently offered through evening and online courses for your flexibility as a working teacher. 

Learn more about our Mathematics, 5–8, 8–12 (M.Ed.)

Transform your passion for math into a rewarding career at Westfield State University!

Take the next step toward becoming an inspiring math educator.

Campus Globe against cloudy blue sky

For questions on the application process

Graduate Outreach Team

Request Information

We’re here to answer your questions and deliver the support you need along your academic journey. Please provide your contact information and area of interest, and we’ll be in touch shortly.


Mathematics 5-8 or 8-12, Initial, Post-baccalaureate Licensure