Northern Plains Transition To Teaching (NPTT)

Contact Information

P.O. Box 172940, 412 Reid Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717-2940
Tel: 406-994-5662  Fax: 406-994-7900 Email:

The Northern Plains Transitions to Teaching (NPTT) Program at Montana State University is a graduate-level program designed to prepare candidates for the teaching profession at the secondary school level (middle school and high school only). Eligible candidates must have an earned baccalaureate degree in a teachable subject area (or a bachelor’s degree and the equivalent coursework in a teachable content area), must have a documented history of productive engagement in the workforce, and must have a demonstrated capacity and the willingness to engage in serious, concentrated study and preparation in order to move rapidly through this demanding, highly concentrated course of study. For more information, see this link for Frequently Asked Questions.

 What is the Northern Plains Transition to Teaching program?

  • Teacher Preparation & Licensure: NPTT prepares adults with college degrees in relevant content areas to prepare for a career in secondary teaching. 
  • 100 % Online:  NPTT coursework is 100% online, and designed to fit into the schedules of busy people who are already working.  Distance is no longer a barrier.  It takes two to three years to complete all requirements but you can be teaching as early as your second year of the program.  (See website for details).
  • Masters Degree:  Coursework is graduate level, and leads to both a Masters of Education (M.Ed.) degree and a professional license to teach. 
  • Compact & Rigorous:  All courses are designed specifically for the online environment and for an academically accomplished audience.  Each course is eight weeks long offered back to back to accommodate working professionals.
  • Flexible; Asynchronous:  Students move through the program in cohort type learning communities, but daily engagement can be done at any time, and does not require specific log in time (coursework is entirely “asynchronous” within the weekly cycle of activities. 
  • Field Experiences:  Early field experiences ensure understanding of classroom realities in preparation for the practicum (student teaching or internship). 
  • Practicum:  The NPTT program culminates in a teaching practicum -- either in a traditional student teaching (EDCI 598 - 6 cr.) or an internship for those candidates who are able to secure a paid teaching position in the second year (EDCI 598 - 3 cr.). 
  • Nationally Accredited:  NPTT is fully accredited by the state of Montana and by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC/CAEP). 

Program Requirements

NPTT consists of a 31 to 36 credit, 10 course sequence plus a teaching practicum (either 3 or 6 credits) to earn the Master of Education degree. Students must also take and pass the appropriate Praxis II exam.


Admissions are conducted on a rolling basis and typically take five to ten working days to complete. Please see this link for complete details on applying to NPTT.

Application Process

Apply online through The Graduate School (there will be a $60 non-refundable application fee).  Be prepared to submit the following materials during the online application process:

  1. Personal Statement: Describe your previous work history, academic preparation, and work with children or adolescents. Describe the unique characteristics, academic abilities, and personal traits that qualify you to become a teacher. Describe why you want to enter the teaching profession, and what you expect to encounter as a teacher. The combined essays should be at least 5-8 pages, double spaced, with standard margins in 12 point serif font (Times New Roman or similar), and properly edited.
  2. Curriculum Vitae or Resume: The information should be current and inclusive of all experiences. Please ensure that large gaps in time are accounted for in the document. Please indicate what subject/endorsement area you intend to pursue licensure in (based on the content area options offered through NPTT in the TEPP section) as part of your objective statement in the resume/vita.
  3. Three letters of recommendation: Recommendations should be from individuals qualified to assess your ability and potential as a graduate student and individuals able to attest to your work ethic and professionalism. Examples of individuals qualified to assess your potential as a graduate student are professors in your major field, technical supervisors, department heads, or deans from your baccalaureate institution.   We do realize, however, that in some cases applicants will not be able to provide a university    
    reference due to time out of higher education. Examples of individuals qualified to assess your  abilities in the job place are your most recent employer or supervisor. References from relatives are not acceptable. Please be prepared to provide contact information for your recommenders during the online application process.
  4. Completed TEPP forms (See Teachable Subjects here).
  5. Official academic transcripts from all institutions attended (An applicant does not need to submit transcripts for a degree awarded at MSU).
  6. Criminal Records (Disclosure)
  7. International applicants: must submit the same application materials as US applicants. Additionally, the applicant must hold a four year bachelor's degree equivalent.

Application Deadlines

NPTT accepts rolling applications for four start dates per year. Please contact the NPTT office for detailsPlease speak with the Northern Plains Transition to Teaching staff about the M.Ed. application process during your initial application question and answer session.

Other Information

Program Costs

Tuition is based on Montana State University's fee schedule for online only  graduate students. This information is available here: 

Financial Assistance

Financial aid is available to NPTT students most (but not all) semesters. In order to qualify, you are required to file the FASFA form and to follow MSU procedures for applying for financial aid.

Master of Education

Curriculum and Instruction

The M.Ed. is earned through successful completion of the 30 or 36 credit Northern Plains Transition to Teaching program course sequence and the Teaching Practicum and associated credits (4 or 6). When completed, NPTT students will earn a Master of Education degree in Education, with an option in Curriculum and Instruction.

Required Courses

EDCI 552Human Development and the Psychology of Learning3
EDCI 553Diversity, Special Needs, and Classroom Discipline3
EDCI 554Curriculum Design, Pedagogy, & Assessment3
EDCI 558Internship: Methods of Teaching3
EDCI 559Internship: Equity, Special Needs, and Diversity3
EDCI 555Technology, Instructional Design, and Learner Success3
EDCI 556The Legal, Social, and Practical Basis of Schooling3
EDCI 557Brain Science, Educational Research, and Teaching3
EDCI 540American Indian Studies for Ed Students may choose between EDCI 540 and EDCI 5913
EDCI 591Special Topics (International Comparative Education) Students may choose between EDCI 540 and EDCI 5913
EDCI 564The Comprehensive Portfolio (Student Teachers Only)3
EDCI 598Internship4 or 6
Total Credits31-36