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 

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Semester
Does not admit Does not admit March 1

Application Requirements

  • GRE & GACE Program Admission plus Georgia Educator Ethics — Program Entry Assessment. More information at www.gre.org
  • Two letters of recommendation, goals statement and interview
  • Undergrad GPA of 2.75

Visit our graduate admissions page to learn how to apply

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  • Take note of the deadlines.
  • “GACE Program Admission” means that the applicant must have passed all three basic skills areas of the GACE Program Admission Assessment.
  • “Georgia Educator Ethics — Program Entry Assessment” means that the applicant must take this assessment (applicants to Educational Leadership programs take the Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership — Program Entry Assessment, instead). You will receive a certificate once you complete the assessment.
  • GRE scores may not be more than five years old at the time of application.
  • All documents and materials submitted in consideration for admission to a program become the property of Georgia State University and cannot be returned at any time.

Ph.D. GRE Admission Guidelines

An official score on the Graduate Record Examination General Test is required for admission to Ph.D. programs in the College of Education and Human Development. While it is important to note that GRE scores are used along with other criteria established by departments and programs when determining admission, a score of 155 or higher on the verbal section and 151 or higher on the quantitative section will make the application more competitive.

GACE Program Admission & Georgia Educator Ethics (Program Entry) Assessments

Students seeking admission to a program for initial certification from the State of Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) are required to pass the GACE Program Admission Assessment (or provide an exemption — Attention: GSU will not exempt for holders of Master’s degrees) and the Georgia Educator Ethics — Program Entry Assessment (applicants for the Educational Leadership programs take the Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership — Program Entry Assessment, instead). Applicants who are already certified or meet certification requirements in the State of Georgia do not have to meet this requirement. For more information about these assessments, visit GACE & Georgia Educator Ethics.

The GACE Program Admission Assessment can be exempted based on certain scores from the GRE, the SAT or the ACT (Attention: GSU will not exempt for holders of Master’s degrees). The current options for satisfying the GACE Program Admission Assessment, including exemptions (attention: GSU will not exempt for holders of master’s degrees), are outlined here  (scroll to “Options to Satisfy the Program Admission Requirement”) Go to GACE’s “about” page for more information about the GACE Program Admission Assessment, including test dates and registration.