Study Secondary Education at the University of Montana

Earn your certificate in secondary education at the University of Montana and get 100-plus hours teaching and learning with children and youth before student teaching.

As a middle school or high school teacher, you can have a profound influence on the students you work with. Our secondary education certificate program features an innovative curriculum and extensive clinical experiences to prepare you with the content expertise and practical skills you'll need to succeed. 

You'll learn from licensed, experienced secondary school teachers who have close connections to the schools of Montana and are active researchers in their specialty fields. You'll have the guidance and support of 5-plus professional mentors, including faculty and current teachers. You'll also have access to engaging research and scholarship opportunities that total $130,000 in annual awards.

The certificate in secondary education program at the University of Montana is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

3.25 GPA

average for recent admits


hours with children before student teaching


dollars in scholarships awarded annually

What can you do with a certificate in secondary education?

Secondary education most commonly refers to teaching middle school and high school in the United States. Our secondary education certificate program will prepare you to teach in one or more specific content areas in grades K-12 and/or 5-12.

Good teachers are always in high demand, so earning your secondary education teaching licensure can offer job security as well as career fulfillment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that employment of middle school and high school teachers will continue to increase with rising student enrollment.

Secondary education teachers are content experts, so you'll major your subject and study it thoroughly. We'll add teaching skills, theory, practice, research and reflection. When you graduate, you'll be ready to teach anywhere in the world.

Secondary education jobs

Secondary education combines expertise in specialized subject areas with practical teaching skills, making it a versatile course of study that can open a variety of career opportunities such as:

  • Middle school teacher
  • High school teacher
  • Substitute teacher
  • Student counselor
  • Instructional designer
  • Adjunct professor (with master's degree)

Secondary education salary*

Middle school teachers in Montana earn an average of $58,710 per year. The average yearly earnings for Montana high school teachers: $52,360. Keep in mind that secondary education salaries will vary by region as well as teaching and educational experience.

*Based on recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Secondary education teaching majors

You'll need to complete a teaching major in a specific content area as well as the professional licensure requirements to teach that discipline in K-12 schools. The following extended secondary education teaching majors do not require an additional teaching major or minor:

  • Art (K-12)
  • Biology (5-12)
  • Social Studies Broadfield (5-12)
  • Chemistry (5-12)
  • English (5-12)
  • French (K-12)
  • General Science Broadfield – Biology-Based (5-12)
  • General Science Broadfield – Physics-Based (5-12)
  • German (K-12)
  • Mathematics (5-12)
  • Music (K-12)
  • Spanish (K-12)

The following secondary education teaching majors require an additional teaching major or minor:

  • Earth Science (5-12)
  • Economics (5-12)
  • Geography (5-12)
  • Government (Political Science) (5-12)
  • History (5-12)
  • Latin (K-12)
  • Physics (5-12)
  • Psychology (5-12)
  • Russian (5-12)
  • Sociology (5-12)
  • Theatre (5-12)


Student Success Story: Alex Carey

“I'm learning so much in all my University of Montana classes and it's obviously information that I'm going to carry with me as I proceed into my professional career, but having the hands-on experience is incredible as far as classroom management strategies and lesson planning and just having that sort of real, tangible experience.”

— Alex Carey, University of Montana education student

Video: Teaching to inspire: The UM Teacher Education Program

Students in the University of Montana's Teacher Education program discuss their experiences and how the curriculum has prepared them to teach.

Beyond the classroom: Experiential learning in the secondary education program

This program offers meaningful opportunities for teaching and learning, working in secondary school classrooms, and guided by experienced teachers and 5-plus professional mentors. You’ll learn to teach as part of a community, with peers and faculty who will support, challenge, and inspire you. You’ll also have opportunities for research and to study abroad through your coursework.

Secondary education clinical experiences and student teaching

Our students spend 100-plus hours rich in experience, learning and reflection with children and youth prior to student teaching. Student teaching opportunities are available locally, across Montana, out-of-state and internationally.

Clinical experiences are integrated into two semesters and followed by a final semester of student teaching. Our content and methods classes and clinical model will prepare you to teach in one or more specific content areas in grades K-12 and/or 5-12.

Additional coursework and classroom experience qualify you for a specialized field such as literacy, special education or teacher librarian while amplifying your employability and impact.

Career development in the secondary education program

Mentorship is an important part of our program. As experienced P-12 teachers, our faculty members have been there and understand what you need to be a successful secondary education teacher, and you’ll teach and learn as part of a supportive community.

Networking and professional development

The numerous field-based experiences in our program offer excellent opportunities for networking and professional development. You can connect with employers and explore secondary education jobs through our Educators’ Career Fair, offered by Experiential Learning and Career Success at UM. Even your application process to the Teacher Education Program (and especially when you apply to student teach) will help you prepare for interviews with potential employers.

Student organizations and facilities

The Phyllis J. Washington Education Center features a beautiful on-site preschool, state-of-the-art classrooms, cozy study spaces, a lovely atrium and courtyard, and a coffee shop. Secondary education students are also welcome to take part in the Educators Rising student group at the University of Montana.

Explore classes for the secondary education certificate program

Students preparing for secondary teacher jobs at the middle school and high school level must complete a teaching major in a specific content area as well as the professional licensure requirements to teach that discipline. Content area options include art, biology, social studies, chemistry, earth science, economics, English, French, general science, geography, German, government, history, Latin, math, music, physics, psychology, Russian, sociology, Spanish, and theatre.

View all classes for the certificate in secondary education program at the University of Montana.