graduate programUrban Accelerated Certificate and Master’s (UACM)


The Urban Accelerated Certificate and Master’s (UACM) program is an exciting alternative teaching certification and Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree program that celebrates urban education of elementary school students (PreK-5th). Each year, a cohort of up to 25 master’s degree students are accepted.

The UACM program promotes the success of elementary students, taught in urban schools, through the development of competent, equity-oriented, caring, empowered teachers who are change agents inside and outside the classroom. We believe that teaching is a profession, and our team of experienced and dedicated faculty guide our candidates to become experts in the field of teaching and learning.

PHASE I: Teacher Certification (PreK-5th) & ESOL Endorsement

  • First Year: Students complete the Early Childhood and Elementary Education (Pre-K-5th grade) certification and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement.
  • Our cornerstone course, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, lays the foundation for preparing teachers to promote the success of elementary students in urban schools, and is interwoven throughout the program.
  • After meeting all program and state requirements, students are recommended to the state for certification in Early Childhood and Elementary Education (Pre-K-5th grade) with an English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement at the end of the first year.

PHASE II: M.Ed. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education

  • Second Year: Students continue taking courses while working as full-time, paid teachers in an urban elementary school in metro Atlanta, while completing the M.Ed. degree.

  • Bachelor's degree from accredited college or university
  • GPA ≥ 2.75
  • Desire to become an elementary teacher in urban schools
  • Seeking an alternative teaching certificate
  • Ability to be a full-time student

  • [Year 1] A minimum of 47 semester hours is required to complete Pre-K-5 certification and ESOL Endorsement
  • [Year 2] A minimum of 30 semester hours is required to complete M.Ed. degree
  • 6 semesters or 2 years

  • Atlanta Public Schools
  • Cobb County School District
  • DeKalb County School District
  • Fulton County School District
  • Gwinnett County School District

Course description and classes

View the GSU Graduate Catalog 

Admissions Information


Request Program Information

Faculty Interview