Five-Year Bachelor's plus Master's & Pennsylvania Teacher Certification

In just 5 years Lehigh University undergraduate students can earn their Bachelor's and Master of Education degrees plus Pennsylvania Teacher Certification in Early Elementary or Secondary Education.

The College of Education's teacher certification and degree programs are built upon the premise that expert teaching occurs at the intersection of discipline-specific knowledge and pedagogical knowledge. Good teachers know how to adapt their instruction accordingly to ensure that each child is learning. For this reason --and unlike other four-year undergraduate education programs-- our master's-level teacher education program is in addition to (not in place of) the depth and breadth of coursework required to complete a bachelor's degree in a discipline-specific area. However, if you're working toward the completion of a bachelor's degree at Lehigh, we can shorten the time it takes for you to add a master's and teacher certification from two years to just one additional year.

Our 5-year Bachelor's plus Master of Education and Teacher Certification Program begins in the spring semester of the sophomore year with a 3-credit initial course in either child development or inclusionary practice. During the junior year, 5-year students take an additional 3 education credits (typically in the fall) in classroom management and practice. In the senior year, students complete a year-long core skills course sequence while also completing two teaching methods courses (12 credits total). After graduating with their bachelor's, students continue their master's and certification program with coursework in the summer (12 credits), fall (9 credits), and round out their experience in the spring with student teaching and the student teaching seminar (3-6 credits). All of our teacher education courses explore best practices in evidence-based teaching and learning carefully designed to integrate real-word classroom experiences. The actual number of credits required will vary depending on undergraduate degree and area of certification selected by the candidate.

We are accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to certify general education teachers in the following areas:

  • Biology 7-12
  • Chemistry 7-12
  • Earth and Space Science 7-12
  • English 7-12
  • General Science 7-12
  • Mathematics 7-12
  • Physics 7-12
  • PreK-4
  • Social Studies 7-12

Both the early elementary and secondary 5-year programs lead to a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree with an Instructional I Certificate that qualifies the candidate to teach in the Pennsylvania public schools. Pennsylvania Certification is widely accepted nationwide under reciprocity agreements with many other states. A dual certification option in Special Education is also available for an additional 12-15 credits (depending on grade band of initial certification).

Undergraduate students are initially admitted to the University through the regular application process in the College of Arts and Sciences, the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, or the College of Business and Economics and begin the normal course of study to complete their bachelor's degree in their intended major.

First-year students with a minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA can apply during their second semester for permission to take education classes in the 5-year program. To request an "Application to Take Education Classes as an Undergraduate" and apply to the 5-year program contact the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Program at email

Those accepted will begin education classes during the second semester of their sophomore year. Although any student can apply to the program, in order to finish in 5 years, the student's major must be tightly aligned to the intended area of certification. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 each semester and have attained a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 by the end of the fall semester senior year in order to continue on to the fifth year.

For more information about the curriculum and contact information, click the tabs above.