Milligan teacher education professor in classroom with elementary students

Complete your master’s and teaching licensure in as few as 4 semesters (14 months if you start in June). The Initial Licensure program is a professional education program that prepares students for the high level of teaching competence expected by public and private educational institutions.

Prepare to Lead & Serve at Milligan

  • Complete in 4 semesters (14 months if you start in June) or at your own pace
  • Lowest MEd tuition in region
  • GRE not required with a high SAT or ACT
  • NCATE (now CAEP) accreditation means your degree is instantly recognized nationwide for quality
  • One of only 9 programs with an “Exceeds Expectations” rating on the State Board of Education Report Card
  • Second and third-year employment retention rates exceed the state average
  • Our employed teacher graduates “exceed expectations” on measures related to teacher observations and student-growth scores, scoring well above the state average
(c) Milligan College Teacher Education MEd

Prepare to lead and serve

What Makes Our Program Unique

Beginning with their first education class, our students are heavily involved in field experience in the schools. Our students gain practical, hands-on experience both in the classroom and in their field experiences. Our students are recognized as caring servant-leaders who desire to make a difference. Committed and caring faculty work with you through each step of the program. And we have fun while learning!


CAEP accreditation means your degree from Milligan is instantly recognized in Tennessee and the nation for its quality. Milligan’s commitment to meet CAEP quality standards means we take great care in seeing you gain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for success as a professional educator.

The teacher education program at Milligan is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This accreditation covers initial teacher and advanced educator preparation programs. This accreditation means your degree from Milligan is instantly recognized in Tennessee and the nation for its quality. We take great care in seeing you gain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for success as a professional educator.

CAEP Annual Report Disclosure »


Milligan’s Master of Education program is one of the most economical education programs in our region and is even priced below the local state university rate. Students in this program are eligible to apply for state and federal tuition assistance programs and for employer reimbursement when applicable. Ask us how our costs compare to other similar institutions and programs!  Cost and financial aid info » 

Also, the state of Tennessee offers several scholarship and grant programs for undergraduate and graduate students (Tennessee residents). Click here to learn more.

Cost of Attendance elements by program »

Caring Faculty & Personal Attention

At Milligan, graduate courses are taught by professors with doctorates in education or related fields, or by individuals with master’s degrees who have been recognized as outstanding in elementary or secondary teaching. The teaching staff includes faculty with a wide variety of experiences in education in both urban and rural settings.

Graduate courses at Milligan are small, allowing professors to interact closely with students for individual attention and supervision throughout their program. Our faculty are role models and mentors, and they will challenge you and stretch your mind and spirit.

Teaching you is more than a job to our faculty—it’s a mission. They are dedicated teachers, experienced professionals, and trusted mentors who invest time, energy, and ideas to inspire you and help you reach your highest potential. It’s not just a degree. It’s your future.

Christian Worldview

Today’s schools are challenged as never before. Faced with increasingly diverse student bodies and phenomenal technological change, contemporary schools need to provide quality services for all children. Now more than ever, children need teachers who are committed to excellence in the classroom and to Jesus Christ. It is our belief educators prepared in such a way will make a difference in the school and community where they live and serve.

“Caring and Reflective Teacher,” the theme of our department, is interwoven throughout our program. Our primary goal is to produce caring and reflective professional educators who will affect the lives of children in a markedly positive manner.

Convenient Design & Schedule

Complete your master’s and teaching licensure in as few as 4 semesters (14 months if you start in June). The Initial Licensure program is a professional education program that prepares students for the high level of teaching competence expected by public and private educational institutions.

Course offerings are scheduled in a summer-fall-spring-summer sequence. However, you may begin during any semester and pursue the program completion at a more gradual pace to meet your scheduling needs. The program is 45-47 semester hours. See the Catalog for curriculum details.

Outstanding Reputation

For many decades, Milligan has enjoyed a strong partnership with area school systems. The University’s reputation for producing well-prepared, creative, committed teachers is unparalleled. School administrators consistently look to Milligan as a resource for both hiring and training, regularly calling on faculty to lead workshops for in-services and to collaborate on various education issues. Thousands of our graduates are serving as teachers, coaches, counselors, and administrators in schools across the United States.

Curriculum & Requirements

View all details and course requirements for this program in the Milligan University Catalog (link below). The Milligan University academic catalog is the official, authoritative source for all academic requirements and policies. Any discrepancies in curricular requirements from other sources will default to the Catalog.

Licensure Areas

If you already have a baccalaureate (B.A. or B.S.) degree, see our chart for graduate initial licensure options at Milligan: Graduate Initial Licensure Programs »

Professional Licensure

This program prepares students for licensure in Tennessee. A determination of eligibility for licensure in other states has not been made. Students should check specific state requirements before applying to the program.

Recent Licensure Changes

Mathematics (6-12) Endorsement

Effective October 19, 2018, educators now have the option to choose between an ETS Praxis Series assessment and a new assessment offered by the National Evaluation Series (NES).  Candidates may submit qualifying scores on either the ETS Praxis Series assessment Mathematics: Content Knowledge, test code 5161, or the National Evaluation Series (NES) assessment Secondary Mathematics 6-12, test code 304.  At this time, there are no plans to discontinue acceptance of the ETS Praxis Series assessment for the Mathematics (6-12) endorsement.

Option 1: ETS Praxis Series assessment Mathematics: Content Knowledge, test code 5161 (qualifying score of 160)

Option 2: National Evaluation Series (NES) assessment Secondary Mathematics (6-12), test code 304 (qualifying score of 220)

Elementary (K-5) Endorsement

Effective August 31, 2019, ETS Praxis Series assessment Elementary Education: Content Knowledge, test code 5018, will be replaced by ETS Praxis Series assessment Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects, test code 5001.  Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects has four (4) subtests:

  1. Reading and Language Arts, test code 5002 (qualifying score of 157)
  2. Mathematics, test code 5003 (qualifying score of 157)
  3. Social Studies, test code 5004 (qualifying score of 155)
  4. Science, test code 5005 (qualifying score of 159)

To pass the Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects assessment you must receive a passing score on each subtest.  If you wish to take all four subtests (5002, 5003, 5004, and 5005) at the same time, select Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects, test code 5001 when registering.  If you wish to take or retake an individual subtest, you may register to take just that subtest.

Professional Learning and Teaching (PLT)

Effective January 1, 2019, the Tennessee Department of Education will no longer accept the PLT exams for licensure.  The PLT exams have been replaced by edTPA.  edTPA is a subject-specific assessment focused on three tasks:  Planning, Instruction, and Assessment.  To get more information about edTPA, visit their website at

Instructional Leader License

Effective August 31, 2019, the ETS Praxis Series assessment School Leader Licensure, test code 6011, will be replaced by the ETS Praxis Series assessment School Leader Licensure, test code 6990 (qualifying score of 151)

If you have any questions about testing requirements for a Tennessee teaching license, please:

Internship: Classroom Experience

The initial licensure program provides you with extensive field experience in local schools through a required internship. You experience the school year from beginning to end during this two-semester internship in teaching, assessment, and classroom management. It provides a sustained supervised experience in classrooms of community-partner schools, working directly with master teachers as mentors. Placement in at least two grade levels is required for each licensure area.

Portfolio & Research: Prep for Board Certification

Initial M.Ed. students benefit from the required portfolio and research components to prepare you for the profession of teaching. The portfolio, aligned with InTASC standards, documents your mastery of applicable Milligan University graduate program outcomes. The research project features action research related to the school setting of your internship.



  1. BACCALAUREATE DEGREE (BA or BS) with a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 from a completed baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate degree program or a GPA of 3.00 in the most recent sixty (60) credit hours earned at a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
  2. TWO OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS from each college or university attended showing all credits previously earned.
  3. TWO COMPLETE REFERENCE FORMS from former supervisors and/or professional references who have adequate knowledge of the applicant’s Christian commitment and character and potential for success as a graduate student and professional educator. Reference requests are sent as part on the online application.
  4. COMPUTER COMPETENCY evidenced in rudimentary knowledge and experience in areas such as word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, email, and internet searches.
  5. FINGERPRINT BACKGROUND CHECK (within 6 months) conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Click here for registration information.
  6. BRIEF INTERVIEW with Milligan faculty members, resulting in a positive recommendation.
  7. COMPLETED HEALTH AND IMMUNIZATION RECORD. You must complete and sign the front page of the immunization form and have a physician complete and sign the back page, indicating the dates of the required two doses of the MMR vaccine. International students must also meet the TB testing requirements. The other vaccines are recommended.
  8. REQUIRED CONTENT COURSES based on the area/discipline you plan to teach. Teacher candidates must know, understand, and use the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines they will teach. For unconditional admission, teacher candidates must have completed subject matter undergraduate requirements with a grade of C or better for teacher licensure (or equivalent) as follows:
    • Elementary education
      A basic pattern of liberal arts courses to assure licensure (two courses in language or literature; two courses in social studies, one of which is American History; two courses in science [with labs]; and two courses in math); OR
    • Secondary education
      (1) A basic pattern of liberal arts courses to assure licensure; (2) specific courses in endorsement areas with a minimum 2.75 GPA to assure content competency consisting of at least 24 hours that are the equivalent of a major in that area (See Catalog for a list of licensure programs available).
    • NOTE: You might be able to take some prerequisite courses at Milligan at a reduced rate. Learn more »
  9. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: This program is approved by SEVIS to accept international applicants. International students must complete the application requirements for this program AND the international application requirements and immigration/visa process outlined here » 
Special Admission

This status is designed for a Milligan undergraduate student whose goal is to be accepted into the M.Ed. program as degree seeking, but who does not meet the admission standards. See the Catalog for details or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 423.461.8306 or

Expectations and Responsibilities

All students at Milligan are expected to uphold the expectations and responsibilities for student lifestyles at Milligan University. Milligan University adopts specific rules on the basis of the belief that God’s Word, as the final rule of faith and practice, speaks on many matters pertaining to personal conduct. Therefore, behavior that conflicts with Scripture is unacceptable. Historically, communities also have developed guidelines that help put into practice basic moral and social principles. Such standards serve as a guide toward worthwhile goals relevant to one’s academic, spiritual, social, and physical well-being.

Students should consult the Student Handbook for further guidance regarding acceptable personal lifestyle and conduct while enrolled at Milligan University. A student’s matriculation and enrollment at Milligan University is their pledge to abide by the policies and expectations outlined in the Student Handbook and Catalog.

I certify that all information given in this application is true and correct. If I am accepted as a student and choose to enroll, I pledge to abide by the Christian values as reflected in Milligan’s Lifestyle Expectations.

Accelerated BS+M.Ed. Plan

Earn your bachelor’s and Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in five years and get a fast start on your teaching career. This is a 4+1 (5 year) plan that gives you the opportunity to complete the M.Ed. degree in one academic year (+ May term) after receiving a bachelor’s degree.


  • Start higher on the salary ladder with one year of teaching experience AND a master’s
  • M.Ed. degree will make you more competitive for job openings in most markets
  • Secure your spot in the M.Ed. program
  • Get a fast start on your career
  • May qualify for TEACH Grant
  • Continue learning from your Milligan faculty and gain the credentials and strong reputation of the Milligan M.Ed.


  1. Major in a teacher education field at Milligan (talk to advisor about available fields and majors)
  2. Request endorsement from your faculty advisor
  3. Meet with Dr. Angela Hilton-Prillhart for approval to declare the Accelerated Plan by fall of junior year (preferably in sophomore year)*
  4. Complete and Submit (to the GPS Office) the Participation form for the Accelerated plan, which requires approval signatures from both your undergraduate advisor and Dr. Hilton-Prillhart
  5. Complete the required coursework for the Accelerated Plan
  6. Must complete the M.Ed. admission process, be admitted, and pay deposit by NOV 15 of senior year

*Approval to declare the M.Ed. accelerated plan is not a guarantee of your admission to the Milligan M.Ed. program.


Melissa Dillow
Admissions Recruiter for Teacher Education Programs

Associate Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Education; Professor of Education

Rich Aubrey
Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dean

Associate Professor of Education

Associate Professor of Education

Professor Emerita of Teacher Education

Lyn Howell
The Paul Clark Chair Emerita of Teacher Education

Karen Presnell
Certification Officer, Placement Coordinator, and Area of Education Office Manager

Seeger's Steeple infant of a yellow sunset