The University of Chicago | Graduate Admissions

Urban Teacher Education Program - MAT

Division: Graham School
Degree Type: MA

Program Description

The University of Chicago Urban Teacher Education Program (Chicago UTEP) is a two-year master's degree and certification program that recruits and prepares candidates, who have a strong undergraduate background and a commitment to educational equity, to teach in underserved urban public schools. Our particular emphasis is preparing elementary teachers and secondary mathematics and biology teachers for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

Teaching is intensely intellectual work. Our distinctive program design prepares students for the rigors of the profession through:

  1. Two full years of guided, in-school training with experienced master teachers
  2. Academic and methods coursework taught by University faculty and clinical instructors that is integrated with tutoring and teaching experiences
  3. Extensive fieldwork in urban schools and neighborhoods
  4. Up to three years of post-graduate supports that include individualized coaching, alumni-led workshops, and teacher leadership training

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FAQ section:

Application Method

Applications should be initiated through the online application


Deadline for admissions and financial aid: December 1, 2014 (Round 1); January 19, 2015 (Round 2); March 30, 2015 (Round 3)

Campus Visits

Prospective students may visit campus at any time for an informational interview or information session. Only selected applicants will be invited to campus to interview for a place in the class as part of the admission process.

UChicago UTEP holds several informational meetings on the University of Chicago campus. For prospective applicants unable to come to campus, monthly webinar information sessions are offered. 

Degree Objective

MA and teacher certification

Application Requirements

Application for admission that includes:

  1. A personal statement
  2. Three recommendations (one professional, one academic, and one personal preferred)
  3. Transcripts of all prior academic work at institutions of higher education
  4. Passing scores on the Illinois Test of Basic Skills (learn more about other options for fulfilling this requirement here)
  5. Application fee

Neither the GRE nor any other ICTS/ILTS exam is required for admission. Subsequent ICTS exams will occur during the residency year of the program.

Admissions Decisions

Admissions decisions typically are released in the spring.

Program Requirements

Chicago UTEP integrates rigorous academic coursework with ongoing teaching experiences that broaden in scope as candidates progress through the program. Our two-year (24-month) MA and teacher certification program has three certification pathways: Chicago UTEP Elementary, which leads to teaching certification for grades K–9; and Chicago UTEP Secondary Biology or Chicago UTEP Secondary Mathematics, which leads to teaching certification for either mathematics or biology in grades 6–12. Chicago UTEP offers middle-grade endorsements in General Science, Language Arts, Mathematics, and Social Science.

The experience of working directly with students and teachers in urban public schools begins in the first quarter of Chicago UTEP, as part of the three-quarter Foundations of Education sequence (academic year). The sequence is designed as a unique set of hands-on, academic, affective, and reflective experiences that guide candidates in understanding the complex environment of their future profession. At the end of the Foundations year, candidates must apply and be accepted into the residency phase of the program.

The yearlong Chicago UTEP residency begins in the Autumn Quarter, with residents working in a classroom four or five days a week, alongside clinical instructors—master teachers who model best practices and guide residents during the semester. At the end of the first semester, residents rotate into a second placement. All residents spend one semester at a University of Chicago Charter School campus and the other in a neighborhood CPS school. During this time, residents are taking academic (subject-area) coursework and learning pedagogical methods through the Professional Teaching Seminar while they experience strong instruction in the classroom. Each of these areas—subject-areas coursework, methods classes, and pre-service teaching—align with our core practices and values. As the year progresses, residents take on increasing teaching responsibilities. The last phase of the program occurs in the summer, with residents leading summer school classes—which is an opportunity to experience solo teaching experience as a final step in their preparation.

Costs & Financial Aid

The University of Chicago is committed to keeping the costs of UChicago UTEP as low as possible to attract the most qualified people to teach in Chicago Public Schools. Incentives include significantly reduced tuition, financial aid, and stipends. University of Chicago undergraduates take the Foundations of Education sequence as an undergraduate elective during their fourth year in the College. Graduates of other colleges enroll in the first year of UChicago UTEP as part-time graduate students, and pay tuition at a part-time student rate. During the second year of UChicago UTEP—the residency—all graduate students are full time, but can expect a sizable reduction in tuition.

Significant aid is available for all students. The amount you receive is dependent on your financial aid eligibility. Low-interest loans are also available through the forgivable federal Perkins and Stafford.