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Alternative Certification or Alternative Master’s

Alternative Master’s Degree Leading to Class A Certification:  Individuals who do not have teacher certification may earn a Master of Arts degree in Education and simultaneously complete requirements for Alabama Class A (master’s level) teaching certification. The University of Alabama offers all of the teaching fields listed below at the graduate level.

Admissions to the Alternative Master’s Program

For admission to a certification program in the College of Education, you must meet the requirements of The University of Alabama and those established by the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).  Admission to The University of Alabama’s Graduate School does not qualify an individual for admission to a teacher education program.

  • ALSDE & College of Education Requirements
    • Transcript evaluation (Request for Transcript Evaluation for Alternative Certification)
      • Specific course requirements vary for each person according to the intended teaching field. If you are interested in a non-traditional approach to certification, the first step is to request an evaluation of your transcripts.  You must complete the evaluation request form and submit both pages of the form, along with official transcripts and the evaluation fee (if applicable). Transcript evaluations usually require 2-4 weeks after official transcripts have been received. Requests should be submitted no later than April 1st for summer term, July 1 for fall semester, and November 1 for spring semester. Requests received after these dates may not be processed before the beginning of the semester. If you are not currently enrolled at The University of Alabama, there is a $20 evaluation fee for the first teaching field and $10 for each additional teaching field requested. Money orders, cashier’s checks, or personal checks are accepted.
    • Earned bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 (GPA of 3.0 for Elementary).
    • Completion of undergraduate deficiencies—specifically teaching field requirements (determined by transcript evaluation) and may include undergraduate general studies courses and/or undergraduate professional education courses.
    • Fingerprinting/background clearance
  • Graduate School Requirements
    • An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, a 3.0 average for the last 60 semester hours in a degree program, or a 3.0 or higher in a completed graduate degree program.

Some programs in the College of Education may consider a student who does not meet these requirements for conditional admission. Specific conditional admission policies may be obtained from the appropriate program chairperson or department head.  Please go to the Graduate School for specific information about applying.

Program of Study

After receiving the results of your transcript evaluation, you should set up an appointment with your assigned advisor to discuss your evaluation and your COE/ALSDE-approved program of study.  Your advisor will assist you in developing a plan to complete any undergraduate deficiencies or other initial requirements (fingerprinting, etc.).


Field experiences must be completed in a wide variety of school settings and must comply with regulations of the Alabama Dept. of Education.  The internship for candidates completing an Alternative Class A program shall be full-time in the schools for a full semester in the teaching field for which certification is sought and may include more than one classroom or grade level.