School of Education & Counseling

General Science (1-6 or 5-8) Initial Licensure Teaching Certificate  Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

Prepare for a career as a Massachusetts middle or elementary school science teacher with this licensure teaching certificate.

21 - 24 Credits
Starts September 3, 2024


Learn more about modalities >>

science class

General Science (1-6 or 5-8) Initial Licensure Teaching Certificate Program Overview

This teaching certificate prepares you to teach general science in Massachusetts public and private schools, grades 1-6 or 5-8. This program is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

This program is designed for individuals who hold an undergraduate degree in science. This is a license-only pathway and does not result in a graduate degree. However, credits earned for the certificate can be used toward the Master of Education in General Science at Cambridge College.

Based out of our Boston location, this certificate program consists of remote classes via Zoom and self-paced, fully online classes.

General Science Initial Licensure Teaching Certificate Program Highlights

As a student in the General Science Initial Licensure Teaching certificate, you'll benefit from:

  • Hands-on training: Get the experience of what it’s really like to teach a science class. This program includes a practicum in an elementary or middle school classroom guided by a licensed/certified general science teacher.
  • Flexible program: Designed for working professionals, this program includes a mix of remote classes via Zoom and self-paced online classes. Remote classes are scheduled on nights and weekends.
  • Experienced faculty: Learn from top science professors who are accomplished researchers, experienced teachers and accessible mentors dedicated to helping you succeed.
  • Diverse experiences: Gain new perspectives by working with other adult learners from around the world. Recently ranked as one of the most ethnically diverse colleges in America, Cambridge College welcomes more than 300 students from 50+ countries.
  • Affordable tuition: Cambridge College is one of the most affordable four-year private nonprofit colleges in the United States, giving you exceptional value for your education.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this teaching certificate program will be ready to teach an elementary and middle school science curriculum, engaging learners in the scientific practices and the engineering design process. Knowledge and skills covered include how to:

  • Design and conduct scientific inquiries to test scientific hypotheses
  • Communicate scientific procedures and explanations
  • Convey how science, technology and math inform each other and serve as mechanisms for inquiry into the nature of the universe
  • Use best practices to teach inquiry-based science and develop a balanced approach to hands-on science instruction
  • Create a safe and collaborative learning environment to engage all students in their learning
  • Implement well-structured lessons with measurable assessments of learning and engage in ongoing reflection on practice

General Science (1-6 or 5-8) Initial Licensure Teaching Certificate Tuition Information

Cost Per Credit
Total Program Tuition
Cost Per Credit$639
Credits* 21 - 24 credits
Total Program Tuition $13,419 - $15,336

*See curriculum sheet for a breakdown of credits and credit ranges.

Prospective graduate degree students for programs in the School of Education & Counseling must satisfy the following requirements plus any program-specific requirements your program may have.

  1. Complete and sign the online application.
  2. Pay the application fee. Pay your $50 ($100 for international students) application fee by the term start date.
  3. Send official transcripts. Maildirectly to Cambridge College in a sealed, unopened envelope. Learn How to Send Transcripts. Required degrees must be from accredited colleges or universities.
    • Master's and most graduate certificate programs require an earned bachelor's degree.
    • Post-master's certificates and CAGS require an earned master's degree.
    • International transcripts must be translated and evaluated by an approved agency. See all international student requirements
  4. Send your résumé and work experience. Send your resume that details your education and work experience, including how they pertain to your career goals. If your SEC program has a work experience requirement, it will be listed in the Program-Specific Requirements section below.
  5. Submit your personal statement. Write a 500-word, typed, double-spaced essay describing your professional experience, goals and objectives for graduate study. How do you expect your graduate studies to enhance your future career?
  6. Include two professional recommendations (not required for fully online programs). These should address your professional character and ability to perform graduate work. Download Applicant Recommendation Form
  7. Interview (required for some programs). If your program requires an interview, it will be listed in the Program-Specific Requirements section below.
  8. Satisfy Health Insurance & Immunization requirements. (Massachusetts only). These are required only for graduate students taking six or more credits per term in Massachusetts through on-campus or hybrid classes. Health insurance may be waived.

Teacher Licensure Program Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed above, our Teacher Licensure Programs have these additional requirements:

  1. Earned bachelor's degree with 3.0 or higher GPA.
  2. MA Educator Documentation from the Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website. Keep copies of all documents submitted and, upon admission, post in your electronic portfolio:
    1. Massachusetts Educator Personnel ID (MEPID number)
    2. MTEL Communication & Literacy Test, successfully completed.

Required if completed:

  • Massachusetts preliminary license, if held
  • Sheltered English Instruction requirement
  • Fingerprinting and Criminal Offender Record Information

Applicants who do not initially meet all requirements (e.g. GPA of 3.0 or MTEL) for admission into their chosen licensure program must enroll in the corresponding non-licensure degree option. Students who achieve a 3.0 GPA upon completion of the first three SEC courses, pass the MTELs, and now meet all requirements, may request a change of program.

Disclosures: For all Licensure Programs

  • Licensure requirements are subject to change per Massachusetts regulations. All Cambridge College licensure programs are based on current regulations.
  • All candidates admitted for licensure programs must successfully complete the program in its entirety.
  • All requirements at the time of program completion must be finalized prior to seeking Massachusetts endorsement for licensure purposes.
  • If you have any licensure questions, please speak to your program chair.

Program-Specific Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's or master's degree in a STEM field
  • Pass Communication & Literacy MTEL.

Science Teaching Careers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Boston/Cambridge area of Massachusetts is one of the metropolitan areas with the highest employment level for middle and elementary school teachers.

Massachusetts is also one of the top-paying states, with middle school teachers making an annual mean salary of $85,460* and elementary school teachers making $82,690.**


Annual mean salary for Massachusetts middle school teachers*


Annual mean salary for Massachusetts elementary school teachers*

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, 25-2022 Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education, (visited December 19, 2023).

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, 25-2021 Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education, (visited December 19, 2023).

Science Teaching Jobs

This program prepares you to teach elementary or middle school general science — including earth, life, physical and engineering sciences — for grades 1-6 or 5-8.

Graduates of this program also go on to other careers such as educators at science museums, nature center guides, aquariums and zoos.

Faculty Spotlight

John N. Papadonis

John N. Papadonis


Program Chair: Science and Digital Literacy

John Papadonis is a distinguished figure in science education, currently serving as the Program Chair of Science and Digital Literacy Programs at Cambridge College. With a wealth of experience and expertise, he has been instrumental in shaping the General Science Program at Cambridge College into one of the premier science education programs in Massachusetts. Notably, under his leadership, approximately 20% of all Massachusetts K-8 licensed science teachers receive certification through the...