College of Education and Human Development

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

DirecTrack to Teaching

Get on the path to teaching licensure as an undergraduate through DirecTrack to teaching. The program gives undergraduates early exposure to the culture of teaching and schools through in-school experiences and prepares you to enter our MEd and teaching license programs.

  • Learn as part of a select group of future teachers from multiple disciplines.
  • Participate in guided experiences (volunteering, observing, tutoring) with youth and in classroom settings.
  • Focus on the subject area you want to teach.
  • Earn preferred admission status into the MEd and teaching license program in your focus area when certain benchmarks are met (but admission is not guaranteed).

DirecTrack to teaching is a non-degree program. You will maintain your current University of Minnesota undergraduate college and major status (e.g., CLA, history major) while in the DirecTrack to teaching program.

Quote from Quynh Van, BA 2018

Through DirecTrack, I have had several meaningful service-learning experiences, made great friends who are as dedicated about teaching as I am, and have found a community I feel I belong in.

Quynh Van, BA 2018

Coursework and program details

Coursework and requirements

You will be required to meet the following benchmarks to continue participating in the DirecTrack to teaching program:

  • Achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 throughout the program
  • Maintain full-time status and good academic standing in the major, and adequate progress towards graduation.
  • Take at least one course in the DirecTrack to Teaching sequence per academic year after admission to DirecTrack to Teaching.
  • Earn grades in DirecTrack to teaching courses of B or higher.
  • Stay on track toward successful completion of area prerequisite courses for the MEd and teaching licensure program.
  • Participate in at least two DirecTrack to teaching professional development events per semester (when not enrolled in a DirecTrack to teaching course).
  • Participate in the DirecTrack to teaching learning community via the online networking site.
  • Complete at least 100 hours of practicum/service-learning experience through enrollment in exploring the teaching profession coursework: CI 3901 and CI 3902 (two 2-credit course sequence: 4-credit total).

Program experience

After acceptance into the DirecTrack to teaching program, you will attend a spring orientation. DirecTrack to teaching advisers will work closely with you to help you choose the proper coursework to meet DirecTrack to teaching requirements.

Earn your teaching license

After you've completed your undergraduate degree and met all DirecTrack to teaching benchmarks, you will be eligible to begin the graduate-level teaching licensure program in your field. If you graduate and complete DirecTrack to teaching in the spring semester, you will begin your teaching licensure program that summer.

Teaching content areas

You'll find it easiest to fulfill all your major and DirecTrack to teaching requirements if you choose an undergraduate major that is directly related to the teaching licensure area you want to pursue. See the licensure areas below and corresponding recommended majors to ensure you have the prerequisites to enter the graduate-level MEd and teaching licensure program after completing DirecTrack:

  • Art education (licensure in visual arts education) Recommended majors: art, art history, studio art
  • Dance education Recommended major: dance
  • English education(licensure in communication arts and literature) Recommended major: English
  • Mathematics education Recommended major: math
  • Science education Recommended majors: astrophysics, biology, chemistry, engineering, environmental sciences, fisheries and wildlife, genetics and cell biology, geology, neuroscience, physics
  • Multilingual education (licensure in world languages and English as a second language) Recommended majors: language studies (French, German, Japanese, etc.), international relations, linguistics, speech-language-hearing sciences
  • Social Studies education Recommended majors: African American and African studies, American Indian studies, American studies, anthropology, ChicanX and LatinX studies, economics, gender and sexuality studies, geography, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology
  • Theatre education Recommended major: theatre arts

How to apply

    Application deadline and instructions

    DirecTrack application is OPEN and we are currently accepting applications for Fall 2024. If you have any questions or extenuating circumstances (transferring to the UMN, current UMN junior hoping to teach) please contact Jehanne Beaton.

    The DirecTrack to Teaching Program begins admission in the Fall term of each academic year only. Applications are accepted from October 15 for the following school year. Acceptance decisions will be communicated to applicants by March 15th.

    Application requirements

    What we look for

    DirecTrack to Teaching encourages applications from all students interested in meeting the diverse needs of students in our schools, including applicants who demonstrate the following:

    • Racial or ethnic diversity
    • Multilingual
    • First-generation college student
    • Interested in teaching in high-need areas (ESL, Spanish, math, science, special education)
    • Interested in teaching for social justice (encompassing race, economics, gender, sexual orientation, religion, power, and privilege)


    This program accepts currently enrolled University of Minnesota-Twin Cities undergraduate students with either second-term freshman status or second-term sophomore. We're looking for exceptional students who hold promise as future educators. We look for students with the following attributes:

    • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 overall (3.0 is preferred). A minimum 3.0 overall GPA is required for maintaining your status in the program.
    • Demonstrated volunteer activities that show an interest in education, such as teaching activities and volunteer experiences related to children and youth.
    • Undergraduate transfer students from outside the University of Minnesota system who meet the above criteria are also eligible to apply. Candidates must have at least two years of studies remaining at the University of Minnesota after transfer.

    The application requires you to complete an essay, which we suggest you draft before applying.

    Essay topic: What do you see as the most important job of being a teacher? Recognizing that there are many “right” answers, please RANK the items below:

    • Providing equity and opportunity to all students. Building resilience in young people through interactions with a caring adult.
    • Strengthening the foundations of democracy by helping students become critical and active citizens in their classrooms, schools, and communities.
    • Helping every student reach their intellectual potential. In your essay, please explain why you chose your first and last ranking. Explain your choices by reflecting on your own educational experiences in and outside of school. The essay should be between 500-750 words (approximately 2-3 pages, double spaced).

    Prerequisites to MEd and teaching license programs

    Before you are admitted to the MEd and Teaching license programs, you must complete some prerequisite coursework, which varies based on the type of license you are seeking. Below, you will find a list of prerequisites listed by license.

    In order to ensure your past coursework fills the required prerequisites, please get your undergraduate transcripts reviewed by contacting the academic advisor for your program area (contact information below). Transcript evaluations can take up to four weeks to process. Please allow time to get your transcript reviewed before applying if you are unsure if the courses you have completed fulfill the required prerequisites.

    Process for completing prerequisites evaluation

    Submit your unofficial transcript via email to the following contacts based on licensure area:

    English, Second Language Education (World Languages, ESL): Contact
    Social Studies, Science, Mathematics: Contact
    Arts in Education: Contact
    Elementary Education: Contact
    Elementary Education Foundations majors do not need to complete this step.

    Transcript evaluations can take up to four weeks to complete; please plan accordingly and request a transcript evaluation well in advance of the November 30 deadline. 

    Prerequisites by topic

    Request information

    We’re here to help. Simply contact this member of our staff and we will be glad to assist you. 

    Jehanne Beaton Jehanne Beaton

    Jehanne Beaton has worked as a secondary social studies teacher in the public schools for more than twenty years, the bulk of which has been spent in diverse, urban classrooms in Minneapolis. She holds an M.F.A.

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