Initial Teacher Certification

How to become a certified teacher

Maybe you want to follow in the footsteps of a teacher who changed the course of your life. Maybe you want to impart knowledge on the next generation of change-makers. Maybe you want to share your love of learning with a classroom of eager students. Whatever your reason for wanting to become a teacher, Mercer’s Tift College of Education is here to help you achieve your goal. Our initial teacher certification programs will prepare you to:

  • Make a difference in the classroom and beyond
  • Incorporate technology into the curriculum
  • Give back to your community
  • Leave a lasting legacy
  • Be a lifelong learner
  • Lead by example

Get started

  • Step One: Find the best degree program for you. Answer the question below to navigate to the programs that are right for you.
  • Step Two: Create a Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) account and discover which GACE assessments you will need. The timing of GACE assessments varies depending on your certification path.
  • Step Three: Upon completion of your degree and passing the GACE, apply for your teaching certificate through the State of Georgia.

Which statement describes you?

Start your career in education

Bachelor of Science in Education

Residential Undergraduate Programs

Choose from three majors for full-time, daytime residential undergraduate students on the Macon campus.
Elementary/Special Education - The Holistic Child
Music Education
Secondary Education

Working Adults Undergraduate Programs

Choose from three majors designed specifically for working adults seeking to take classes in the evening and online.
Early Learning and Development
Elementary/Special Education
Secondary Education

Start your career in education

Master of Arts in Teaching

Evening, Weekend, and Online Programs

Designed for individuals who hold a bachelor's degree in a field other than education, Mercer's M.A.T. programs will prepare you to gain initial teacher certification.
Elementary Education
Middle Grades Education*
P-12 Education*
Secondary Education*


4+1 Bridge Program

Designed for students to earn a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree in either Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, or Secondary Education over the course of approximately five years of full-time study.
4+1 Bridge Program