Teacher Education

Teacher Education

Southern Miss offers initial teacher licensure programs at the traditional undergraduate level, alternate-route certificate level, or alternate-route graduate level for graduates wishing to teach in Mississippi.  We also offer advanced licensure programs and programs for other school professionals at the graduate level. We do not guarantee to meet the licensure requirements of other states.  You will be responsible for verifying that your program of study meets your desired state’s licensure requirements. 



The Professional Education Unit at The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).  Our professional education faculty has extensive expertise in the classroom and is actively engaged in research that informs professional practice.  Nothing is more important to our professional education faculty that investing in our teacher education students.  They are committed to providing you with an exciting and engaging professional education experience that prepares you for a successful and rewarding career as a teacher, teacher leader, or school administrator.

Elementary Education

Students pursuing an undergraduate degree with a major in elementary education will attain an elementary teacher’s license (certification for grades kindergarten through six) and an endorsement in one content area and a supplemental reading endorsement. Areas of endorsement include 21 hours in English, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Mathematics, or Science.

For specifics concerning these endorsements, students should consult their advisor.

Elementary Education and Special Education Licensure (Dual-Licensure)

Students pursuing an undergraduate degree with a major in elementary education will attain an elementary teacher’s license (kindergarten through grade six) and a special education teacher’s license (mild-moderate disabilities K-6). This program focuses on preparing teachers for meeting the needs of exceptional students in the general education curriculum and classroom.

K-6 Endorsements for Elementary Majors

K-6 elementary education majors are required to complete a minimum of one highly qualified area beyond the required course work. These courses are called endorsement courses. K-6 elementary education majors requiring one highly qualified area beyond the required course work are encouraged to carefully consider options, discussing them with an adviser. A supplemental reading endorsement is built into the program. It is important to think about the future teaching settings in which you wish to work when selecting courses.

Please note that the university awards your degree while the Mississippi Department of Education awards your licenses and endorsements. To be eligible for licenses and endorsements, you must complete the applicable course work and, often, be recommended by the university for the license or endorsement. Licenses are most often granted by completing an “approved program” such as elementary education, special education, etc. Supplemental endorsements may only be added to licenses; that is, you must have an original license and then add this onto it.

Special Education

The University of Southern Mississippi prepares individuals to teach in several areas of exceptionality. At the undergraduate level, the degree program leads to licensure in mild/moderate disabilities (K-12) in the state of Mississippi. The special education undergraduate program requires preparation in mild/moderate disabilities. Special education majors are strongly encouraged to select electives that lead to supplemental endorsement in areas which will enable them to meet Mississippi's requirements for highly qualified teachers. All special education majors should seek advice from a special education adviser in order to select electives that will help them meet their teaching goals.

Secondary Teacher Education Programs(Grades 7-12)

Students seeking an undergraduate degree with licensure to teach at the secondary school level (grades 7-12) must consult advisers in the college and department of the selected teaching field. Academic majors that provide for licensure in the various teaching fields, grades 7-12 are:

Biology, Chemistry, English, History, and Mathematics