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A transcript analysis is conducted through the admission process to evaluate content preparedness. Additional content area courses may be required.

To earn the master's degree, students complete nine credits beyond the licensure preparation courses. Master's coursework focuses on cultivating teacher leadership and scholarship through research. All students are expected to spend significant time in K-12 schools in conjunction with their coursework.

Students will will present evidence of successfully completing content area courses that fulfill the state requirements for content area competence. Content specialty areas include:

  • Communication Arts and Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Science (Life Science, Physical Science, Physics, Chemistry)
  • World Languages and Cultures (Spanish, French)

Documentation may include syllabi, course descriptions, or other evidence that can detail the student's competence. Content courses completed with a grade of C or above may be submitted as evidence of competence.

Field Experience and Student Teaching

Experience applying theoretical concepts in real life settings is crucial to teacher's development as a professional. Saint Mary's categorizes these experiences in two blocks: Field Experiences and Student Teaching. This overarching framework provides for greater exposure to the developmental spectrum of students in the student's licensure category (K-8 or 5-12).

Portfolio Development

Students are required to develop and maintain a professional portfolio that demonstrates mastery of the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice. In each course students receive guidance in building portfolio evidence for mastery of course-relevant Standards of Effective Practice. Students who do not meet mastery of course-specific standards must submit evidence of mastery to the Graduate Standards/Portfolio Assessment Committee (SPAC) before beginning student teaching.


The standards listed below serve as the principles guiding Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's vision of an effective teacher. We both teach and hold our students accountable for demonstrating proficiency on these standards.

  • Subject Matter
  • Student Learning
  • Diverse Learners
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Learning Environment
  • Communication
  • Planning Instruction
  • Assessment
  • Reflection and Personal Development
  • Collaboration, Ethics, and Relationships