About the Program

UNLV’s Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL) programs provide a fast track into teaching for individuals who hold a bachelor's degree outside of education. These comprehensive programs offer the ability to receive a conditional teaching license in Nevada after one semester (based on successful completion of licensing requirements) and continue through the Nevada standard licensing requirements and Master of Education (M.Ed.) or Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) requirements for early childhood education, special education, and curriculum & instruction.


Available concentration areas include:

  • Early childhood education (birth-2nd grade)
  • Elementary education (K-8th grade)
  • Secondary education (7th-12th grade, teaching fields English, math, science, social studies, art, career and technical education, world languages, and health/physical education)
  • Special education (K-12th grade)


Benefits of the ARL program include:

  • Expedited track to a full-time teaching position
  • Credits that count toward teaching licensure requirements and a master's degree
  • Excellent job prospects in Nevada and Clark County School District
  • Ability to teach in CCSD, private schools, and charter schools
  • License reciprocity options for states outside of Nevada

Alternate Route to Licensure (ARL) FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the program. Still need help? Contact us at coe.recruitment@unlv.edu.

Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL) is a Nevada Department of Education licensure designation, not a program. Students who enroll in our master of arts in teaching (elementary and secondary) or master of education (special education and early childhood) programs may qualify for an ARL teaching license after meeting program-specific requirements. Students may be able to pursue a standard license pathway with additional field placement requirements. 

Students in our program are subject to university’s tuition and fees for graduate programs.

Our programs are typically in-person, though they may include hybrid and/or online components.

The college also offers a one-year accelerated program, with partial funding support, which is offered predominantly online with in-person support. For students outside of Clark County, in-person support components may be completed online.

In our traditional master’s-level programs leading to licensure, duration varies depending on the pace in which students choose to work, but it can be completed in as little as one year. The accelerated program takes one year to complete.

Field experience requirements vary by program. Please contact the programs you are interested in to learn more about their specific requirements.

The Nevada Department of Education currently requires the Praxis® Core or CBEST® to obtain an ARL license. Contact the program areas for additional details on program-level requirements:

Students in our program are subject to university’s tuition and fees for graduate programs. Please consult the UNLV Graduate Catalog for specific plans and required coursework details.

Advanced ARL Program

Want a faster track to the classroom?

The Accelerated Alternate Route to Licensure (A-ARL) program provides a one-year, high-quality pathway to earn a Master of Education and complete requirements for teacher licensure. Funding through the Nevada Educator Preparation Institute & Collaborative (NV-EPIC) can support up to 75% of your costs.

Teaching & Learning Programs

Master of arts in teaching

UNLV’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) ARL programs for elementary and secondary teaching are designed for you to take 9 credits* of coursework in your first semester, which provides you with preparation in pedagogical practices, literacy instruction and classroom management. After successful completion of the first 9 credits (including 90-hour practicum), you will be eligible for your ARL certificate and may apply for a conditional license (valid for three years) to the Nevada Department of Education. You will then be eligible for hire in Nevada schools once meeting these as well as state and school district requirements. You will continue courses in order to complete the criteria for a standard teaching license and MAT.

* The 9 credits required for your conditional license will only be offered in the Fall and Spring semesters.

Graduate Conditional Licensure Certificate Programs

The 12-credit Conditional Licensure Certificate programs in elementary education and secondary education are designed to provide courses that address the knowledge and skills needed for new teachers. Upon completion of the certificate program, students are eligible to obtain their three-year conditional license and must apply for one of the ARL-track M.Ed. programs or continue as a graduate non-degree seeking student to complete the standard licensing requirements.

Early Childhood, Multilingual & Special Education Programs

Master of Education in Early Childhood Education or Special Education

Interested in teaching individuals with disabilities or young children? Then the Department of Early Childhood, Multilingual & Special Education's Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL) program is a great way to seek your degree and pursue your teaching dream. The ARL program is a fast-paced program where you have the possibility of receiving your conditional teaching license in the state of Nevada after one semester (based on successful completion of licensing requirements) and you will receive your Master's degree within a year. In order to apply you must be willing to seek a Master’s degree or license in one of the following areas in special education: Early Childhood or Early Childhood Special Education. Lastly, you must have a passion for working with individuals with disabilities or young children.